Okay, I'm going to say I blame it all on Stephen, but I need to get another record deck. I sold my last one (an SME 10) when we had our first baby (we now have two, aged 4.5 and 1.5). Foolish me. I thought I could live without high-end sound. I thought I could live without vinyl (but hey, at least I didn't sell my records). I was wrong. I admit it and I repent.
Since I (and THE BOSS) am now a firm believer in the convenience of streamed audio I have to be realistic and admit that vinyl will not be my primary source anytime in the immediate future so I want to limit my budget to a 'reasonable' SEK 50,000 (think $7000) or so all-in. And I want something that apart from offering great sound is pretty robust and offers 'set-and-forget' convenience; I don't want a tweaker's dream or anything 'way out there' from a maintenance or aesthetic perspective.
My main system currently comprises Boulder 1012/mbl 8006B (considering upgrading to Boulder 860)/Verity Audio Parsifal Encores. The Boulder has a built-in (balanced-only, switchable MM/MC) phono stage which I assume is of reasonable quality.
The principal alternatives I am considering are the Wilson Benesch Full Circle and the Rega P9, either with their matching cartridges (Ply/Alpheta) or something like a Lyra Dorian or Argo i. But I am open to other suggestions. Availability is a major factor; I live in Stockholm, Sweden, so my choices will pretty much be limited by what is available here.
So, I am looking for recommendations or thoughts on a balanced-out vinyl front-end for under $7000 (or thereabouts) that will gel with the rest of the system.
- Any other decks I should consider?
- Any other cartridges?
- Thoughts on the Lyra Dorian vs Argo in this price and system context?
- Balanced tonearm cables in an appropriate price-range?
- Any other thoughts?
Audiophile siblings, I have a vinyl itch I badly need to scratch! Please share your wisdom and help me spend my money!