View Full Version : Turntable buying advice?

09-13-2008, 07:22 PM
I am looking to upgrade my turntable from my fathers old Sony. Any advice on what I should look into for under $1k? I've been to my local audio store, who only had Pro-ject tables (though they did sound nice, the xperience in particular). Also, I am currently using an old Onkyo moving coil cartridge. Unfortunately, I can not find out much about it. I know it was expensive in it's day ($450 in 1978) and sounds pretty good. Can I install this in a newer turntable? Can I have it rebuilt? Thanks for helping this vinyl newbie!

09-13-2008, 07:46 PM
Not sure on having your old cart rebuilt or the stylus replaced, the folks at needledoctor.com can probably help you out on that one. I recently almost bought the Pro-ject Experience, but went with the RM5-SE instead. The Experience is a great table, and I won't hesitate to recommend it. The problem was the cart that came with it just didn't sound good with my speakers (Magnepan 1.6QR). By the time I upgraded the cart, I was getting close to the deal my store would give me on the RM5-SE, because they had a stack of them in stock. If you go with the Pro-ject Experience, I would suggest upgrading to a Grado Gold or Silver cart, and getting the Pro-ject Speedbox. You should be able to talk them into all that for around $1k. I've had the RDO tweeters in SDA's and Monitors, and I think the Grado mid-line carts would be an excellent match. I found the Speedbox does make a difference, YMMV, so you could save the cost of the Speedbox if you don't hear a difference. Pro-ject makes many tables that are sold under other brand names, and in my opinion they seem to make a great product. But so does Rega, VPI, Music Hall, etc. Have fun shopping!

09-13-2008, 08:06 PM
I am a big fan of the Rega tables. Simple, excellent and ultra reliable. I have 2 tables, having upgraded to a loaded VPI HW-19 from a Rega P3-2000. Regas a few years old like mine can be found in excellent shape for about 1/2 retail. You might consider a used one. The RB-300 stock arm is absolutely a gem and impossible to beat for this amount of money. For example, a 5 yr old Rega P3-2000 w/ RB-300 might be about $500 or so. That's a tremendous value IMHO, considering the entry Rega table, the P1 is about $450 I think. Good luck. Vinyl rules. :D

09-13-2008, 08:40 PM
Harder to find but Thorens makes a beautiful 'table.

09-14-2008, 06:45 PM
DKG999, are you talking about the xpression instead of the xperience? Every place I have looked the xperience was more expensive than the RM-5 SE. How do you like the Rm5? I have noticed that it comes with a better Sumiko cart than is on the xperience.

09-14-2008, 09:39 PM
Yep, my bad! I meant the Expression! The Experience is a really nice table, just more than I wanted to spend.

I love my RM5-SE! The cart seems to mate very well with the rest of my system.

09-15-2008, 08:43 AM
You could prob. find a stock Rega P-25 for a grand or so, same as the P-5 as well, anyway its been my table for a few years now and does a great job.


09-15-2008, 12:21 PM
Quite a few "reasonably priced" Thorenz on Acoustic Sounds site (maybe Music Direct too). I think Todd The Vinyl Junkie sells them too.


09-15-2008, 06:37 PM
Well, I went with Pro-ject xperience from needledoctor. They had a pretty good deal on it, it was less than the RM 5-SE. It comes with the Sumiko Pearl cartridge, which is supposed to be ok. But, I couldn't bring myself to upgrade the cartridge yet after ponying up that amount of cash. That gives me a future endeavor to undertake:D Pictures will be upcoming after delivery. I can't wait!

10-02-2008, 03:38 PM
I own a Pro-ject RM5 and I enjoy it, but now I need a Ortofon 2M catridge and a good phono pre.


10-02-2008, 03:56 PM
I bought a demo Pro-ject Tube Box II from Music Direct and have been very happy with it for a phono-pre.

10-09-2008, 04:02 PM
Under $1K I recommend a Pro-ject table or a Rega P25. I've heard all the project tables and the 5 SE on up nice sounding tables. I heard the Rega P25 at last years Polkfest and loved it. I still say you can't go wrong with a VPI but you are going to spend much more money.

As far as your cartridge goes there are lots of companies that do retipping but the cost is usually as much as a good new cartridge.

10-22-2008, 09:53 AM
Just bought an Xperience 3 weeks ago for 900, it is fabulous! I have been told by more than a handfull of people that new thorens tables are not the way to go, overpriced. Good luck.

10-23-2008, 10:26 AM
I've got a Project table, I love it. Check underwood hifi for the best prices on them.

11-04-2008, 12:16 AM
Harder to find but Thorens makes a beautiful 'table.

If you are patient, you might be able to find a TD124 with an SME tone arm in your price range.