It seems that in most (notice I didn't say all) TT reviews, especially relative to budget units, the reviewer doesn't switch arms or cartrdiges much. As such how can one tell what contribution the table makes? What is the pecking order of contribution to sound quality in a TT? Seems to me the cartridge is first, arm second and the TT itself is third? IF this isn't true what is the order? While I understand one buys an entire package - especially with budget units - it would be nice to know how each piece affects the sound. When arms are reviewed we seem to get more switching of cartridges and TTs. When cartridges are reviewed we get arm switches but not so many TT switches.
I suppose the "company language" is "stock" reviews. What you get is what is reviewed.
Well, on budget turntables, what I don't understand is that basic "bottom line" budget turntable model that is going around badged under all sorts of brand names. You know the one, I think it is actually a AT design. Plastic, too light, EQ preamp, around $100, can be found less than that. An audiophile wouldn't even look at it let alone listen to it. Damn thing doesn't sound that bad using the EQ switched to the AUX jacks. WTF is up with that. Did the "mass market turntable" industry reach a plateau with this unit. There are a few units on the market for less than $200 and a bunch of TT units for several hundred dollars and on up. But this particular TT may be cheap and the chances of a lemon is unit is more than good due to quality control but I can't see anything wrong with the sound coming out of the one I listened to and it was badged as a TEAC. Look, I'm not advocating these bottom line cheap TTs. I'm just saying the design is such that they don't sound bad. And this is the absolute bottom line TT on the market at outlets like retail stores and online retailers like The Needle Doctor. I guess they are okay for occasional playing of an old vinyl collection, transferring vinyl to digital, and so forth. Especially with all the failures I hear about people wanting to match up a budget external preamp to their favorite budget turntable and becoming totally frustrated because it sounds like crap. I suspect an old album would sound better on a cheap TT like mentioned above than a more responsive and sensitive high end budget TT. I look at turntables like I do shotguns. I have some Ithaca Model 37s, which are $500 shotguns and they shoot just as good some of those fancy Italian jobs. But what the hell! We work hard for the money.