I've recently been missing analog sound so I recently dug out my old B&O RX-2 turntable and hooked it up to my secondary system which consists of a Hafler power and pre connected to a pair of Energy bookshelfs that I have mounted to my wall in my bedroom (I call this my Wife's stereo). The system typically has a McIntosh C32 pre but its with McIntosh for a refurb. I don't want to get into it, but my main system has a Meridian 565 that's having issues. That's next on the list because it's connected to a McIntosh amp with JM Focal 936's for my mains. Until then, I'm running my vinyl on my secondary (Wife) system. I discovered a method to digitize vinyl and eventually upload to my iPod for music in the car and on foot. I am finding the RX-2 to actually sound much better in bass than CD's (but still lacks punch and cllarity). The highs are certainly lacking an aire of crispness that all together is simply harsh and convuluded! Mid-range is lacking as well in all areas! My budget for audio equipment is slim today, but I was looking at the RP-1, Clearaudio, and the Pro-ject. I'm looking to stay in the $1,000.00 or under range but would like to obviously increase my listening experience in all areas sonically. The only other option I discovered is a company named Sound Smith that sells brand new MMC cartridges (Currently I'm using a MMC 4) for what seems to be way too much. What do you recommend, A new turntable or upgrade the old relic? I'm leaning towards a new turntable that has the ability to upgrade arm and cartridge. Ideally I would love an LP12 (been in love with that since I'm 13!). But to do it correctly, I'm looking at a minimum of 4K.
In my opinion, the B & O turntables mainly had their looks going for them. They are not rare or coveted at this time. I would definitely look for a new TT of the type you mentioned if you are looking to buy new, or, there are good used tables available in that range that can eclipse the new tables of the same price if you have someone to help you choose. This option may be more involved with setup as well as the new tables are practically plug and play. You can even get the Rega with a premounted cartridge, although not a great cartridge, it will get you going. Project's 2nd up the line cartridge is about $600 and with the additional money, you could get a great moving magnet cartridge or decent moving coil but you would need a step-up tranny if your McIntosh has a phono input. If you were to buy the Rega and then buy one of the entry-level grado moving iron carts for about $300, it would be a great combo.
Good luck and best regards,
Thanks for the input Tom. I'm really liking the Rega, maybe I'll go with one of the higher end models. I always set a budget for audio gear and I always surpass it, but its always worth it. If I purchase a used turntable, what do you like? I have no problem with any kind of setup. I built my Hafler equipment as a kit when I was 13 and am very good with my hands and enjoy the process of setting up equipment. My RX-2 wasn't working when I got it going two weeks ago so I ripped apart and now its working perfectly. If I buy used, I would like to go with a setup that comes with a tonearm and cartridge or a base, new arm, and new cartridge that doesn't exceed $1,500.00. Your advice is greatly appreciated!
I burned vinyl to Audacity yesterday and did a comparitive listen to a burned CD. All I can say is I have no idea why it took me so long to break out the vinyl, it's far superior in every dynamic!
in the under $5k price range, most tables are sold as a package with an arm. in the case of the rega's, you want that arm. the only drawback to a rega arm is the non-adjustability of the vta (up and down). if you get a rega cartridge, no problem, for others, you buy these shims directly from rega and they are not hard to install, just fiddly. the real sweet spot in the rega line is the p5. it comes with an excellent 700 arm and if you get the speed controller($350), would be about $1700 new. used, about 1/2, but you seldom see them and i think for good reason.
i prefer not to buy a package with a cartridge because usually you can get a better one for similar money. also, do you want moving magnet, moving coil or something else. if you go for moving coil, you will at least need a transformer which means that piece and more cables.
good used tables are available from VPI, Rega, Nottingham, Clearaudio. Some mighty good values to be had between $1,000 and $1500. A VPI scout used should leave you a couple of hundred for a cartridge. A nottingham space deck would be better in my opinion, but would likely strain the budget (i use nottingham personally).