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Welshsox
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Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

Hi

Im looking at a new turntable in the $2k range, maybe a touch more with cartridge, possibilities that are stocked locally are

Rega P5
VPI Scout
Nottingham ( innerspace I think )
Roksan Radius 5
Music hall 9.1

Im leaning towards the Nottingham or VPI just because they look better engineered and normally its better to buy a lower end product from a company than its top of the range.

Any thoughts on major pros/cons, ive got a feeling that they are all good product and its just going to come down to preference.

Thanks

Alan

struts
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

Welsh,

I think you are right, it may come down to preference. Here are some random impressions/insights gained from my own quest (see this recent thread) which may help:

  • If you can, go and inspect the tables in the flesh. They sometimes look different than they appear in pictures and you can judge the quality and 'feel' much better. In my own selection I rejected one highly-recommended contendah (not on your list) on the grounds of its build quality, it just didn't have the 'feel' I was after.
  • You can tell a lot by 'playing' with the players on your shortlist. Cue up a record, at the start and somewhere in the middle. How does it feel? The lid, the on/off switch, the platter spinning up to speed, the cueing action, etc. Do they meet your expectations? You may discover some prejudices you weren't aware of, for instance I have never owned a unipivot arm and generally they give me the shivers like one of those 'wet fish' handshakes. However, the Nottingham arm is a 'stable' unipivot whose cueing action inspired confidence, the arm on the VPI was all over the place and I knew I could never live with it regardless of how good the deck sounded.
  • Your musical preferences will play a part in the decision. There is a clear difference in character for instance between the Nottingham and Rega decks. The former major on a large detailed soundstage against a dead quiet backdrop and with a great sense of musical ease. The latter is more forward in its presentation (it pushes the music more 'at you') with a greater sense of excitement. A jazz and classical fan may consequently prefer the Nottingham whereas a rock fan may prefer the Rega.
  • Make no mistake, the Rega is also a superbly engineered product. I have not seen the Roksan or the Music Hall 'in the flesh'.
  • Buy local. With the weak dollar UK products will be more expensive than ever in the US, whereas US products generally haven't become correspondingly cheaper in the UK. A US-made product will have a big cost advantage (if not price advantage) in the US.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Buddha
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

Save up a little more and look at a Michell Gyrodec.

Timelessly great.

Great great great.

Even researching it is worth your time in making your decision.

mrlowry
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

VPI Scout with a Benz Micro cartridge is a killer combo. Vanishingly low surface noise, with an effortless flow to the music.

Tedrick
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

I'd go with one that offers an upgrade path. VPI for sure offers such a path; the Scout can be upgraded all the way to SuperScoutmaster IIRC. There are plenty of aftermarket bits available for the Regas. The MH cannot be upgraded other than maybe cartridge and 'arm. I don't know about the others, but I'd be surprised if at least Nottingham didn't offer parts with which to upgrade.

Monkey Mouse
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

I have a moded P3 and have some time listening to the P5 and Scout (also the SM).

Honestly, I think spending the extra $700 to bump up to the Scoutmaster is a worthwhile investment. Of course cartridge and preamp are extra and do influence the sound, but VPI is killer value and also sounds excellent.

Never heard the Roksan or Nottingham, but the MH is not in P5 or Scout league/

Paul

Welshsox
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

Paul

I currently have a used P3 with a Dynavector DV20 high output which I believe is a pretty respected cartridge.

How would you compare listening to the P5 and the Scout to the P3, would say it was a major difference or very subtle ?

It sounds like you would go with the Scout over the P5 ?

Appreciate your comments

Alan

BillB
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

I'm interested in upgrading TO a Rega P3 (I suppose the new one, P3-24, with the 301 arm). What makes you interested in upgrading FROM a P3? That is, what doesn't it do that you want it to?

struts
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

Decks like the P3 undoubtedly offer outstanding bang for the buck, I listened to that and a couple of comparable decks recently and was extremely impressed by their musicality and the rounded nature of their performance.

What you get as you move up in quality is more. More detail, like harmonic texture and soundstaging clues (e.g. the "sound" of the recording venue), more delineation of sounds at the frequency extremes (e.g. separation of the bass drum from the bass guitar, hearing the difference in timbre of different cymbals etc), more dynamic (loud-to-soft) shading, etc. In fact more of pretty much everything except surface noise!

IMHO a P5 is not the order-of-magnitude step up I would look for if upgrading from a P3. It is better, but I would personally be looking for a bigger step up in performance to something like a Nottingham Ace Space or Buddha's beloved Gyro.

However, don't get me wrong, a P3 is a great place to camp out on the dminishing returns curve, and I suspect that for many, many people it will be the last deck they will ever need.

dcstep
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

Check out Fremer's review on the MH9.1 in this month's Stereophile.

If you can put together another few hundred dollars, then the Pro-ject RM10, with it's 10' arm and included isolation base is worth consideration. I bought mine, with a "$800" Sumiko Blackbird for $2880.

Dave

Buddha
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

I plumb forgot one thing!

If you live in a metro area, be sure to check the used Hi Fi spots, and you may also strike gold!

Without prying, what area do you live in?

Monkey Mouse
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable


Quote:
Paul

I currently have a used P3 with a Dynavector DV20 high output which I believe is a pretty respected cartridge.

How would you compare listening to the P5 and the Scout to the P3, would say it was a major difference or very subtle ?

It sounds like you would go with the Scout over the P5 ?

Appreciate your comments

Alan

I have the Clearaudio Arum Beta on my P3 - also has the upgraded platter and incognito wiring. I have heard a P5 with a Benz Ace - sounds a tiny bit better than my P3. But keep in mind a P5 with all the things I have would be about 1/2 of a step upward. It would be the TT design.

The Scout is one hell of a rig - even the $1,800 setup. I do like the Scoutmaster better due to the better plinth and not much more of an increase in price ($700 or so). Either is a killer rig. Major difference between the P3/P5 and the VPI.

If I was going to spend $1,300 total I would go for a P3 with a $450 cartridge. $2,300 would be for the Scout; $3,300 for the SM.

Welshsox
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Re: Thoughts on $2,000 turntable

Buddha

Im in the Chicago area.

I wouldnt know really what to look for in a used TT, what sort of things would you expect to come up ? the only one that springs to mind is an old linn LP12

Thanks

Alan

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