Anyone have any opinions/recommendations for turntables in the $1000 price range?
I personally don't think there are any turntables in the $1k range that are worth paying $1k for. My advice for $1k and under is to buy a used turntable. There are many excellent tables that are in the $1500 to $3000 range new that come down into that range used only a few years.
The Rega P3-24 is an outstanding turntable, and it can be upgraded later by adding the outboard power supply. It's priced at $895.
Must agree with Mr Harley. When I got back into vinyl I got a Rega P-5 with the TT power supply. This setup is a bit more than 1k but the P-3 is very similar and, when you can afford it, the TT power supply is a 'must have' upgrade. Remember, you need a phono stage and a nice sounding cartridge. I started with the (not the best) phono stage in my old preamp and then the PS Audio. I now use the Herron # 2. My first MC cartridge was the Benz Glider (the Ace is good too).
rwortman is right as well. You would probable get something better in the secondhand market.
How do the Regas stand up to a used VPI Scout or a Music Hall MMF 7.1? The cost would be comparable to the Regas.
My experience is limited to the Rega but from what I have read you wouldn't go wrong with either of these.
Ten years ago I got rid of my expensive ($4-$5k) turntable (but was smart enough to keep all my vinyl), and dove deep in to digital land. Recently, just to check out the water again, I purchased a used Music Hall MMF-7, which came with a very respectable HO Goldring moving coil cartridge. It's been 'toe-tapping' great. I'm listening and enjoying to so much music on vinyl that I'm amazed. The next upgrade for me is the cartridge, but don't misunderstand, the Goldring that comes with the table is warmly musical. Oh, and by the way, I purchased the table for $600, and I'm not the least bit embarrased to say so.
Great stuff Louis,
I spent years (and a lot of money) chasing good sound through cd. When I got back into vinyl the Cisco LP of Jennifer Warnes 'The Well' gave me goose bumps big time. I probably listen to cd more than vinyl because of its ease of use but in my view the best vinyl has a greater 'goose bump factor' than the best cd. I think vinyl will outlive cd for sure.
All this becomes very confusing after a while. Robert recommends the Rega P3-24 and I trust his judgement, but I've read that you can't adjust VTA without an upgrade kit. Is VTA adjustment not important or just not important to Rega? The only real difference I can see between the MMF 5.1 and the MMF 7.1 is an outboard motor on the 7.1 for quite a bit more money. There is also an upgraded cartridge on the 7.1, but I'm not really interested in their cartridges. I already have a few of my own. Why can't I buy either of these without a cartridge. I'm sorry, I believe the 7.1 can be bought without a cart. Why not the 5.1? From what I've read IMHO a used Scout seems to be the best value for the money. How much better, or not, is the Scout over the MMF 5.1 or the 7.1. What are the differences sonically? Is the Scout sonically better than the Rega P3-24 or vice versa? There aren't any brick and mortar stores in my area to go audition any of these tables. The net has opened up many doors but has also closed a lot of them. In smaller metropolitan areas audio shops have ceased to exist and this is a terrible thing. To my ears its very difficult to hear the different nuances of tables and carts, etc., through a keyboard. I pretty much have to rely on the opinions of others and hope they're good ones.
Thanks to all of you, Sam
I never needed (bothered) with VTA on my P-5. I have an SME Series V now with a Van Den Hul Black Beauty Special X. I played around with VTA for a while but just have it dead flat with very little antiskate. Im not into changing VTA for every record. Maybe I'm just lazy but I think its a bit silly.
For what its worth, when I bought the P-5 the VPI distributer (here in Australia) told my the P-5 was a better buy than the Scout. A good isolation device is a good investment for either of these.
I can recommend the Rega from my experiences. Good luck with whatever you decide on.
I'm not into changing VTA with every record either, but if you change mats or cartridges VTA usually needs to be adjusted accordingly. I agree with you, a good isolation device is money well spent.
From memory you can get a variety of 'washers' that you can use to vary height on the Rega. Also,
once I read a review of some aftermarket device you can buy to adjust VTA on the fly. I tried to tweak my P-5 with an acrylic platter and a few other things. Apart from the TT PSU and an isolation device it was pretty much a waste of money in my view. I was advised to, and eventually did, buy a better T/Table. I got a Simone Yorke S7 built in 1998 for $4K (Aus) and I think it was the best buy ever. I tell you this only because a well made and simple table like this will last a lifetime. I bought the SME new and the VDH as a little used demo. All up about 10k but it was worth it!!
I think I'm going to keep my eyes open for a nice VPI Scout. I, personally, believe that the Scout is what I really would rather own. I've been lusting after one for about a year now. Great sound and pleasing to the eye to boot. They sell used here on average for around $1100 USD, or about the same as the MMF 7.1 without cartridge new, MMF 5.1's go for around $850 new. So for about the same money I can get a nice Scout.
I owned an MMF-5SE before I got my Scout and the Scout walked all over it sonically. No comparison.
Both the Rega P3-24 and Rega P5 are bargains and the TT PSU elevates their performance significantly. The secret is the quality of their tonearms, which are worth the entire price of the 'tables. Shims are required to adjust VTA and you can get those from Rega, but I found I didn't need to adjust VTA when pre-set-up with the Rega Exact cartridge.
Since the Regas lack suspensions, care must be taken on placement. If you can use a wall-mount stand, you're all set. I found myself listening to record after record with the Rega P5 and enjoying myself immensely.
Sure, you can always go to the used market and find better "deals" if you're willing to take the risk, particularly with arms and cartridges which are easily abused. I have not heard the Scout, but I own a VPI Aries (with the earlier platter) and it is very good. However, the table alone on the used market will take up all of your budget.
We don't get the Music Hall turntables here in the UK. We have good alternatives, though. Alongside the Rega range, check out models from Pro-Ject and Thorens. A Pro-Ject 1 Xpression MkIII (typically bundled here with the Ortofon Alpha cartridge) or the Pro-Ject RPM 5.1 (with the same cart) are extremely popular and recommended here.
Most of these are suspension free, so a good rigid table (or a wall shelf) is vital.
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What about the Technics 1200 series table? I recently heard a 1210 mk5g that sounded very nice. Many say it compares the P3-24 and is a much better overall deal.
Coool thanks for the information
Try the Pro-Ject RPM-5 with a Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge and the Cambridge Audio 640p phono pre-amp ( I have this combo, along with my older but still very good TT's, Thorens TD-160, TD-150 mk2 & TD-125 mk2).
click for more info: http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject-RM5-1SE-Turntable?sc=7&category=947