Its been a long time since I've had a turntable, probably over 25 years since I've had one. Even then, I had el-cheapo turntables like an Akai or a low-end Technics. I recently purchased a PLX-1000 and Denon Vl12 as I wanted to start listening to records again. The cartridge I have for testing is an Ortofon 2m Blue. My gear is currently hooked up to a Pioneer Elite receiver SC-35 and Martin Logan Source speakers and a Martin Logan center channel. I have a Schiit Mani pre-amp on order that I plan to hookup to the system to thoroughly test the turntables and then choose the best one. In addition, I ordered a SL1200 MK7 to throw into the comparison which should arrive next week. So far from a build perspective, I think the PLX-1000 just feels more substantial to the VL12 as its heavier and the tone arm just looks better built. Cosmetically, in my personal opinion, the VL12 looks a little garish with all its logos and shiny looking platter and chrome tone arm. The PLX-1000 looks more refined, especially with its logo-less front chassis and dark smoke dust cover. I don't have the Schiit Mani yet and listening to the PLX-1000 and the VL12 directly hooked up to my receiver with the Ortofon 2m Blue has been very interesting and overall positive experience. I set the tracking force to the recommended 1.8 grams for the 2m Blue and started listening to a wide variety of music, from Brubeck to Depeche Mode, Norah Jones and Amy Winehouse. Its been over 25 years since my last turntables and I use to remember many cracks, pops and background hissing when listening to records. To my surprise, the cracks, pops and background hissing was almost absent with this current setup, which is a very nice surprise. My initial impressions of the music was it was more "CD" like in its clarity and absence of background noise than I remember. When using my current setup to listen to CDs or SACDs, the Martin Logan's tend to be crystal clear on highs and on female vocals like Norah Jones, the highs just sound distinct and silky smooth. However, with both the PLX-1000 and VL12, the highs were not so distinct compared to listening to SACDs and in voices where there are lot of "S's", the sound seemed a little shrill or distorted somewhat. The PLX-1000 seemed to do this more than the VL12, but this is just my initial thoughts and I am a newbie when it comes to dialing this gear in. Please let me know if anyone has any feedback on getting the best from my testing so I can choose the best turntable for my setup. more impressions to come.... thanks!