Best table for my budget.

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Slickmccool
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Best table for my budget.

Post by Slickmccool » 09 Mar 2019 19:17

Burgeoning vinyl collector here. Ready to ditch my LP-60.

My budget is 350-400, including preamp.

Here is what I narrowed it down to.

Uturn acrylic with ortophon om, cue lever, and built in preamp.

Pro Ject Essential iii with ortophon om, and built in pre amp.

TEAC 400N and Edifer RT81 have built in preamps, inferior cartridge, but universal head shell so I can upgrade. Look gorgeous tho.

Denon DP-300 looks cheap but I like the full automatic. Cartridge looks cheap.

AT-LP120 also looks too plasticy and cartridge doesn’t impress. But all reviews are stellar.

I looked at Rega and Pro Ject Carbon, and higher end Edifers but all take me over budget before preamp.

Any thoughts or suggestions would help. What should ai do that keeps in in or under budget.

jmcwha
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by jmcwha » 09 Mar 2019 21:12

The only one on your list that I have had any experience is the Project Essential. I had an Essential II which I wouldn't recommend. It didn't track very well, the belt and anti-skate kept coming off, and it generally felt an bit cheap. A built in phono stage may seem like a good idea but with Project decks you can't switch them off or bypass them. This means you can't upgrade to a better phono stage.
If your current turn table supports an external phono stage I would get a Schiit Mani and then save a bit more for a better turntable.
Also look at second hand and vintage turntables. If you can find one that has been well looked after it will be far superior to a new budget deck.

MetalT75
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by MetalT75 » 09 Mar 2019 21:59

I agree with jmcwha. Your money is safe with a vintage TT. Other option is to save more for a better new TT. My vote also goes for Schiit Mani although some people are having problems with RFI. I don’t have any but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a problem where you live so caution is recommended.

I’ve got experience of LP120. It’s a plastic toy. All those reviews are BS. Search this forum or others for more info. Not worth of your money.

Bob Dillon
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by Bob Dillon » 09 Mar 2019 22:08

If you must have internal pre, the internal preamp of the LP120 is not supposed to be that good. Some LP120 fanboyz n' girlz have made a thing out of removing the preamp for better sound - you can find online tutorials. My guess would be none of the internal pre's on these tables are that good, except for the U-Turn which probably has the U -Turn Pluto preamp installed, which is passable. You can upgrade the stylus on the Ortofon OM sometime down the road, if you choose, it's a good cartridge, basically. Some of the others carts aren't so good, as you point out.

Slickmccool
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by Slickmccool » 09 Mar 2019 22:58

MetalT75 wrote:
09 Mar 2019 21:59
I agree with jmcwha. Your money is safe with a vintage TT. Other option is to save more for a better new TT. My vote also goes for Schiit Mani although some people are having problems with RFI. I don’t have any but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a problem where you live so caution is recommended.

I’ve got experience of LP120. It’s a plastic toy. All those reviews are BS. Search this forum or others for more info. Not worth of your money.
My issue with vintage is i don’t know what I’m doing. I would have no idea if it was working well, what repairs it needs, how it should sound, ect.

I just want my music to sound pretty good on my Active Soeakers.

giannitufolli
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by giannitufolli » 09 Mar 2019 23:17

Find a good preowned Technics Quartz SL-Q3 TT. It's a wonderful piece of gear. I've had mine since it's release around 1979-80. I have an Ortofon 2M Blue on mine but there are numerous quality carts to choose from.

mr_ray
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by mr_ray » 09 Mar 2019 23:44

I thought about a cheap UTurn, but went with a Fluance RT-85 for a bit more. So far I love it. You’d need to stretch your budget and buy a proper preamp, but in exchange you get a massively better cartridge and very nice overall experience.

Slickmccool
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by Slickmccool » 09 Mar 2019 23:53

mr_ray wrote:
09 Mar 2019 23:44
I thought about a cheap UTurn, but went with a Fluance RT-85 for a bit more. So far I love it. You’d need to stretch your budget and buy a proper preamp, but in exchange you get a massively better cartridge and very nice overall experience.
My budget is my budget. Don’t even know if I’ll continue this hobby a few years down the road. Hence the mid range budget.

MetalT75
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by MetalT75 » 09 Mar 2019 23:54

@Slickmccool, take your time to browse this forum and ask for help like you did. And, if you have a store nearby that sells vintage gear, they’ll help you and also sell gear that has been well maintained.

Just the other day my friend wanted to get back to vinyl and I found him a Dual 550-4 with a Goldring 1022 cartridge for 340€ which is basically 25% of the original price.

This forum has a lot of knowledge and a lot of people who know the stuff. If I would have found this place before I got back to vinyl after 20 years I’d be playing with different gear...

mr_ray
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by mr_ray » 10 Mar 2019 00:07

Slickmccool wrote:
09 Mar 2019 23:53
mr_ray wrote:
09 Mar 2019 23:44
I thought about a cheap UTurn, but went with a Fluance RT-85 for a bit more. So far I love it. You’d need to stretch your budget and buy a proper preamp, but in exchange you get a massively better cartridge and very nice overall experience.
My budget is my budget. Don’t even know if I’ll continue this hobby a few years down the road. Hence the mid range budget.
Out of your list, I'd get the UTurn.

Solist
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by Solist » 10 Mar 2019 09:28

Slickmccool wrote:
09 Mar 2019 22:58

My issue with vintage is i don’t know what I’m doing. I would have no idea if it was working well, what repairs it needs, how it should sound, ect.

I just want my music to sound pretty good on my Active Soeakers.
Then get the U-turn. Or wait and try to get a used Rega.

If you want to go the vintage route, you need to learn how to service these turntables, otherwise you will just end up destroying them.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by JoeE SP9 » 10 Mar 2019 16:29

No matter what a poster asks there are always the same ones recommending a "vintage" (used) TT. If you don't feel comfortable buying something that may have problems buy the U-Turn with all the extras. The cartridge can easily be changed at any time.

FWIW: The Fluance RT85 would be my choice. Yes it's above your budget. However IMO it's worth the money. The RT84 is closer to your budget. The cartridge it comes with is not nearly as good as the one on the RT85. Otherwise it's identical.

Just about all TT's for <$1000 are considered to be lower end starters.

katana1100
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by katana1100 » 10 Mar 2019 16:53

I’m one of those who scream “buy vintage “
My last acquisition was a mint Sony 600 biotracer for $300 which is better than anything under $10,000 new. An extra bonus was the wonderful signet 5kea cart and near new needle, worth a few Benjamin’s by itself. You don’t get that with a new china table .
And, before someone says it can break, has no warranty, all that crap from China only has a year warranty and then you’re on your own.
For stuff much simpler, the pioneer wood plinth Pl41 are always for sale on the bay for under $200 and they are now out living their original owners- do you think any of those China tables will be able to make that claim ?. Heavy duty build, user friendly maintenance and if that giant motor should fail, it can be rebuilt.
As for preamp, just get s TCC 750 or Art DJ

Slickmccool
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by Slickmccool » 10 Mar 2019 17:20

katana1100 wrote:
10 Mar 2019 16:53
I’m one of those who scream “buy vintage “
My last acquisition was a mint Sony 600 biotracer for $300 which is better than anything under $10,000 new. An extra bonus was the wonderful signet 5kea cart and near new needle, worth a few Benjamin’s by itself. You don’t get that with a new china table .
And, before someone says it can break, has no warranty, all that crap from China only has a year warranty and then you’re on your own.
For stuff much simpler, the pioneer wood plinth Pl41 are always for sale on the bay for under $200 and they are now out living their original owners- do you think any of those China tables will be able to make that claim ?. Heavy duty build, user friendly maintenance and if that giant motor should fail, it can be rebuilt.
As for preamp, just get s TCC 750 or Art DJ
There is no where in my area to buy good used vintage at a good price unless it’s already high end. And I’m not buying high end yet.

The garage sales. The goodwill. It’s all scavenged daily. Because vinyl is so hot. And I know from a few people who wanted vintage, the used stuff making its way into the market is getting less and less quality because people either want to turn it for a profit fast, or they just don’t know what they are doing when it comes to repairs. And people like me who are just starting don’t know what to look for in a used system.

abs1
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Re: Best table for my budget.

Post by abs1 » 10 Mar 2019 17:43

Slickmccool wrote:
10 Mar 2019 17:20


There is no where in my area to buy good used vintage at a good price unless it’s already high end. And I’m not buying high end yet.

The garage sales. The goodwill. It’s all scavenged daily. Because vinyl is so hot. And I know from a few people who wanted vintage, the used stuff making its way into the market is getting less and less quality because people either want to turn it for a profit fast, or they just don’t know what they are doing when it comes to repairs. And people like me who are just starting don’t know what to look for in a used system.
"Buy vintage, buy vintage" they say, even if you are adverse to tinkering with questionable used goods and don't even have an active reliable source for them :roll:

It's very easy for others to gamble with your money, isn't it?

All of the reasons that you presented above are valid and make perfect sense.

I'd get the U-Turn and settle down to enjoy your record collection. Orbit manufactures them here in the USA, they provide good customer service, and work decently too boot. What's not to like?

Cheers,
Al

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