ScooterMcTavish wrote:Thanks for the tips all.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a little more selection on eBay in the US vs. Canada. Also, every US dollar costs me $1.35 Canadian, and shipping to Canada can be punitive.
Did see those LP Gear cartridges/styli combos online, but I'm not sure I'm ready to drop $250-$300 CDN (after shipping/duty/taxes) on what is possibly a second "rock" turntable. I'll keep my eyes open for a deal, but am a bit jealous of those who can buy in the US with US dollars.
There is no Duty on electronics imported to Canada. The GST is due (5%) or if you are unlucky, HST. Shipping is cheap if you are doing it right. I have an account with a customs broker (setting up an account is free) with a US warehouse, so I usually get free "domestic US" shipping in many cases, and pay $10~20 (depending on weight) to have it shipped from the border to me with 1-day Purolator courier. The seller has no idea I am even in Canada.
In other words, there is a right and a wrong way to import products.
You would be wise to refrain of thinking of a "dollar" as having some fixed value. In my career I was paid in both $C and $US for nearly 30 years and I've seen it when you paid $C 1.55 to buy a USD and I've seen it when you paid $US 1.10 to buy a Canadian dollar. Yes, and not so long ago, either, around 2006 or so.
But the point is the currency ratio changes and if you are buying in a different market then it costs what it costs.
You probably don't realize it, but you may well be paid more in $C than the same job in the US pays (or you may be paid less ... like I said, different markets), but if you are an hourly employee, chances are you get more $C's for an hour's work than the same job pays back in America.
Starting wage under the latest UAW contract (GM, Ford, Chrysler) is $US 15.78; it's $20 for new hires now in Canada under a new 2-tier CAW wage agreement, anyone hired before that last contract started at $24. Top wage in a US "Big 3" auto plant is $28.69, in Canada it's $34.
"Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."
It costs what it costs. Don't think that because they are both called "dollars" that they are supposed to be identical in value. No two currencies work that way, no two markets are identical, and that's even within the same country. Americans pay the same price you do, and I've found second hand audio tends to be less expensive in Canada. Take advantage of your own market's advantages.
Wages in China are now about the same as wages in Mexico, but audio is much cheaper in Mexico (Chinese consumers pay twice what we pay for electronics ... yes, if you were a Chinese citizen you would have to pay $US 1500 for a smartphone, due to that country's internal tariffs and taxes).
Turntables are much cheaper in the UK than here, and used tables are even less there. But most other audio electronics cost more. And so on.
Do the calculations and that's the price; it's simple and you will live a lot longer if you don't fret over things you have no control over. There is always differences in markets.
There are some rare "high end" cartridges that were offered in P-mount, I am always looking for one of the Sumiko Blue Points, for example.
It's not an option for the Linear Tracking models, but the handy should consider swapping out the tonearm ... you can buy the SL-1200 arms for more-or-less $US 100, amongst many options ... might be the best option.
You would lose any automatic or auto-return feature, and it would require fabricating a tonearm mount, but it's hardly rocket science and it solves a problem if you really want more choice in cartridges. There are many 1980's model p-mount equipped turntables that offered the highest performing DC DD motor assemblies ever offered on the consumer grade tables. Something to think about versus dealing with dead capacitors and flaky speed control assemblies on the 1970's alternatives.