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Entry-level audiophile turntable- Rega or Orbit?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by merzbau, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. merzbau

    merzbau Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Hi! Occasional lurker, first time poster. I'm finally ditching my AT LP60 for something decent- ideally within the $600 or less range- and after obsessively reading threads here, I think I've narrowed down the field. Opinion of the Pro-Ject Debut line seems to be fairly mixed, and the model I was eyeing (the Carbon Esprit SB) is no longer available.

    Regas seem well-liked, but the recent revision to the Planar 2 (which is within my budget range) removing the anti-skating control seems like it might be an issue.

    Finally, the U-Turn Orbit Special is pretty attractive, especially as I've got my eye on a unit bundled with an Ortofon Red for considerably less than the price of a Planar 2 with Rega Carbon cart, and U-Turn's reputation for customer service is stellar.

    Is there anything obvious I'm missing, or other factors I should be aware of when shopping in this price range?
     
  2. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.
    Perhaps look at the Music Hall line as well.
     
    bhazen, Oelewapper and merzbau like this.
  3. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    I might go with a U Turn or Carbon of those 3. But ideally Id rather buy used, something like a PLX 1000 or similar technics would be a great upgrade for you if its cheaper than new.

    Just make sure you have a Phono stage somewhere since your LP60 had one built in.
     
  4. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I have a P1 and an Orbit and I definitely prefer the Orbit.

    Both sound great but the Orbit feels a bit better during normal operation. Also, on the P1, I need to remove the platter to switch speeds for 45’s.
     
    Nathan Z, Shawn and rcsrich like this.
  5. merzbau

    merzbau Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    That was definitely part of the attraction for the Carbon Esprit SB. But unless I'm missing something, the Orbit doesn't have a switch for playback speed either? I'll manually switch the belt if I have to, but I won't be thrilled about it.
     
  6. merzbau

    merzbau Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I've got my eyes on a preamp as well- is a Bellari Rolls VP29 a decent investment when just starting to buy in? As a relatively cheap and completely separate component, it'll certainly be easier to swap out if I need to later; I just don't want a poor preamp to be the bottleneck in this system.
     
  7. VapourTrailUS

    VapourTrailUS Internet “Person”

    Location:
    California
    I have a Music Hall Classic and I love it. It's right at your price point. Simple press of a button to go from 33-45. Dust cover. Semi auto. Replaceable headshell. Living the dream.
     
    Shawn likes this.
  8. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    There's no switch on the Orbit but the belt is exposed and easy to change.
    In the event that I forget a 12" is a 45, on the P1 I need to remove the record, remove the platter, switch the belt, replace the platter and then the record. On the Orbit it's no big deal to switch back and forth.
     
    merzbau likes this.
  9. merzbau

    merzbau Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Oh yes -_- Can't believe I didn't notice that!

    Is an exposed belt a potential maintenance issue, or one that might need replacement more frequently? Or would I be fine so long as I keep the dust cover down and don't let my cat get a hold of it?
     
  10. Mccrip

    Mccrip Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis,MO
    no maintenance issue with it they are under warranty from UTurn for three years. Just keep the dust cover down when not in use and dont leave it on the 45 setting when not in use
     
  11. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    Don't forget to add the arm lift ($40) with the Uturn (if you need one?). Always thought that was a lot to charge for an arm lift. (22% of the cost of the basic turntable). Also, not sure if the 2M Red(lots of naysayers) is any better sounding than a Rega Carbon(lots of fans including the AT3600/91 crowd). The Planar 2 probably has the better tonearm.
     
  12. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Design and build quality are the most important factors. The Planar 2 has a much nicer tonearm and a heavier platter than any of the others. It's the clear choice.

    A step down, I would recommend in this order:

    Rega Planar 1
    Music Hall MMF 2,3
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC

    -Bill
     
  13. Glfrancis2

    Glfrancis2 Overworked and underpaid state employee

    Location:
    Birmingham al
    Definitely get the arm lift
     
  14. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Many better choices than that. The Rega Fono Mini and Music Hall PA1.2 are nice and affordable. Pro-Ject and Cambridge Audio also have affordable models and all I have liked better than the Bellari.
    -Bill
     
    jesterthejedi likes this.
  15. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Neither. These turntables don't meet NAB standards and you get a piece of MDF with a $10 motor. Find something used or save up more money if you must buy new.

    RE: anti-skate, unless something has changed neither has user-adjustable anti-skate.
     
    aroney, Shawn, aunitedlemon and 7 others like this.
  16. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    no issues here over the last 5 or so years. Dust cover is down when not in use.
     
  17. hoytis

    hoytis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oregon
    I can vouch for Rega. Been spinning a P1 for quite a while now. Upgraded to the glass float platter and moved to the Elys cart. I believe you get that same platter with P2. The Carbon is a solid warm cart but I found the output was too low for my system (only 2.5mV - the Elys is more than double that). I've never had any issues with the table whatsoever in terms of failing parts, hums, electrical issues. Excellent all around, and most importantly sounds really good to me. Agree, not having anti-skate is somewhat limiting if I wanted to venture outside of Rega (but to be honest, I would never install any overly expensive cart on this table anyway).

    Another option in your range is the NAD C588. They developed it in partnership with Pro-Ject. Comes with Ortofon Red. My buddy just got one and it sings.
     
  18. Tiernoise

    Tiernoise Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Charleroi, Belgium
    For the sake of accuracy, Rega's P2 and the RB220 tonearm have gotten user-adjustable anti-skate back, this from Autumn 2020. (Rega | Planar 2 Turntable).
     
  19. Technocentral

    Technocentral Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Maybe you could get a not too old used P3 for the price of a new P2?
     
    Dennis Metz and AKA-Chuck G like this.
  20. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    My recommendation would be the Art DJ Pre II for 50$. You can listen to all of the popular picks for yourself here:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL802BPbYYm-c9tkXLwwixlKLPzmjSYwye

    Summary video:
     
    Stanton56 likes this.
  21. fndrblndr

    fndrblndr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Take a look at the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO.
     
    DPR, Major Dolphin, willboy and 4 others like this.
  22. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    That's good. Still wouldn't buy one or recommend one.
     
  23. VapourTrailUS

    VapourTrailUS Internet “Person”

    Location:
    California
    Any one of these turntables is better than having no turntable is the way I look at it. Gotta start somewhere.
     
  24. regore beltomes

    regore beltomes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helenville, WI
    Eventually belts always become a maintenance issue and correct speed. There are many fine
    direct drive turntables at the affordable entry level. Zero maintenance unless you want to play.
    Variable pitch, electronic braking, Strobe, fully adjustable tone arm, anti skate are common
    features. They're all various Hanpin Electron models. All technical specs of all models are
    available on their web site. Amazing how many use the same motor and servos as the name brands.
    With the technology we have today I see no up side to belt drives anymore.
    The Hanpin DJ-45 designed tables are excellent entry tables sold under a variety of brand names.
    I bought mine three years ago now at $166 shipped. Prices have been steadily climbing though.
     
    Brudr likes this.
  25. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    In any decent sized city you should be able to buy a decent used deck for 1/3 of the price that will outperform a low-end Rega or Orbit. Then you can take that money and use it for other things, or put it towards saving for something nice.
     
    Oelewapper, Brudr, timind and 2 others like this.

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