After seeing some rather dismal remasters done on CD that are compressed to the point of crap and finding that quite a few of those same albums lack that amount of compression and clipping on LP, I realize it is time to invest in an LP player again. I realize that the recording industry likely won't change its wicked ways in the near future, and while I would rather have the choice of getting quality recordings on CD, I fear that it just won't happen any time in the near future, so it is time to move on and do what I have to, to get better sound quality on particularly offensive albums.
I can afford to get a class "A" turntable setup but am trying to figure out if it is really worth the difference from a class "B" setup as the price for all the parts can more than triple! Am I really going to get that big a sound quality difference between those two categories?
The class "B" setup I am considering would be:
Pro-Ject RPM-10 (or the Funk Vector TT)
Sumiko Blackbird Cartridge
Bellari VP129 (or the Grado for around $500)
I was also considering starting with a VPI TNT jr., so I could work my way up to a class "A" setup. Or, I could just start out with a VPI HRX and be done with it all until I die or it breaks. I am not a fan of tweaking. I want to put something together and be finished, so if there is an outstanding difference and I will want to upgrade if I buy a class "B" system I would rather buy the class "A" system now because I don't want to waste my money by having bought both at some future date in time. OTOH, I also don't want to waste money on a class "A" system if there isn't a real, noticeable difference in the sound quality for me beyond potential price bias influences.
I'd appreciate any help. I would also appreciate if people would answer the following questions so I can gauge their experience and basis for an opinion, as without these answered I can't be certain if the person answering is shooting from the dark or has actually used both "A" and "B" stock equipment. I also am trying to determine if people who have heard both and prefer one over the other also hear differences in cables, as this might mean that I won't notice a difference in the sound even if someone else does. Please number the answers. Without these answers, your posts won't help me at all, I'm sorry to say, because I need these answers to apply your posts to my particular situation.
- Have you ever owned a full class "A" system or listened to one extensively, and if so, was it in an acoustically treated and well setup environment (good speaker placement, etc)?
- Have you ever owned a full class "B" system or listened to one extensively, and if so, was it in an acoustically treated and well setup environment (good speaker placement, etc)?
- Do you hear differences between audiophile speaker cables and/or interconnect cables?
Thank you for your time,
P.S. Other suggestions are also welcome, such as alternative TTs and their merits (I have also been considering the Linn Sondek LP12 and Rega P9 TTs and their respective phono-stages, etc, as total, almost all-in-one solutions). So please, feel free to offer up options I haven't considered, praise options I am considering, or berate my ignorance for choosing a product that you feel is overhyped and underqualified.