sota moonbeam iii turntable thoughts?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by John Murray, Feb 18, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. John Murray

    John Murray Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent OH
    I've been thinking about getting a new higher end turntable. Right now I've got a Project Debut 3 with an Ortofon red and Acrylic platter. I've been eyeballing the Sota Moonbeam 3. Does anyone have any thoughts on this particular tt. They sure are nice looking and made in the USA. I don't see too many reviews on them. I'll be hooking it up to a Sansui amp the 9500 and some ADS L 1090 speakers
     
  2. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    The Sota has a Rega 202 tone arm (made in England I think). For the same money or a little less the Rega RP3 has the 303 tonearm and you can add the TTPSU at a later date if you so desire. Other upgrades from other suppliers also available. I have not listened to the Sota.






    I don't work for Rega, I don't own a business selling audio. Not that their is anything wrong with either.
     
  3. John Murray

    John Murray Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent OH
    Thanks Ntotrar! I spoke with the Needle Doctor and they seem to like the table and do think it'll be a upgrade from the Project. I'll look into the Rega table. I'm digging and it's really strange not to see folks talking about the Sota, must be a sleeper?
     
  4. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    Another consideration with Rega tone arms, the cables are captive and the lower models have basic wire and plugs. 202 below.

    [​IMG]

    The 303 has nicer wires and plugs, if it matters to you.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  5. John Murray

    John Murray Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent OH
    Thanks for the links!
     
    Johnny Vinyl likes this.
  6. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I didn't know Sota was still around!
     
  7. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Sota makes very good tables and has a different approach than Rega. Moonbeam is entry, so you get a less massive platter/plinth. The Turcite bearing is pretty good. Moonbeam used to come with a 303. Sota has a very good trade up program.

    If I wanted to trade my Sota, I would most likely trade it for another Sota. That said, I would also look at the entry Clearaudio tables.

    Rega makes very good arms.

    You can add a speed controller to the Sota if you so desire.
     
  8. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    I'd call Sota and talk to them about the moonbeam and what you are looking for. I hear they are geat people. Heck, they may even be able to hook you up with some bstock/ractory refurb stuff.
     
  9. John Murray

    John Murray Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent OH
    Just emailed SOTA. Thanks for all the replies. I plan on selling my Pioneer PL 71 with an Ortofon OM and of course the Project will go. My dad just passed down his AR XA to me but that needs work.
     
  10. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I think you will be very pleased. A used Comet would be an even better entry point, and would capture more of the Sota technology.

    Here is a nice review of the Nova, which highlights some of the Sota approach.

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/turntables/turntables-reviews/sota-nova-turntable.html
     
    John Murray likes this.
  11. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    I like the Sota plinth, for the money I wish they specked the RB303. Of course the Rega tone arm mount will allow you to retrofit just about any Rega arm.
     
    John Murray likes this.
  12. 5-String

    5-String Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    Sota, if I am not mistaken, is not the same company, the original founders sold the company to the new owners back in the 80s.
    They still make nice turntables but since they are a small company it takes too long to make them.

    To the OP. Be prepared to wait for at least a few months before your turntable arrives.
     
  13. John Murray

    John Murray Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent OH
    They are a company out of Chicago (hometown). Absolutely amazing customer service. Donna got back to me within half an hour. I think I'll take the plunge within a month or so. Will keep you all updated. The Ortofon's apparently go well with the Moonbeams. I'll try for a blue. I'd love to get the higher models but my budget won't get me that far
     
  14. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    Ask them if you can upgrade the tone arm.
     
    John Murray likes this.
  15. BilboAlaska

    BilboAlaska Forum Resident

    Location:
    Alaska
    I think they are one of the nicer looking tables, but I prefer wood.
     
  16. John Murray

    John Murray Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent OH
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Folks keep telling me to go for the Comet...hahaha
     
  17. roy younger

    roy younger New Member

    I have this model. The tonearm on this model is a old stock P1 arm although SOTA calls it a S202 or a S100. After a year of ownership one tag wire broke and SOTA told me it was not covered even though the turntable is suppose to have a two year warranty. They do not use Rega distances so you can not replace with a real 202 or 303 without modification. I was lied to on several occasions. I will no longer be purchasing anything from them. Hope this helps.
     
  18. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Too bad you've had bad experiences. The wires are very delicate and easy to break. I suppose they consider this a wear and tear item rather than a defect. They do, indeed, use the distance that Baerwald used in his writings rather than the traditional Rega pivot to spindle distance, which many people consider a plus and a lower distortion design. You can use any other Rega arm on their tables. The arms they use are no different, they just require a non-Rega alignment geometry. My sense is that they prefer to keep this information proprietary, and have the user send the tables back for alignment. I don’t like this policy either.

    Can you elaborate on the lies?

    BTW, I have an alignment protractor set to the Sota spec for anyone who would like such a thing.
     
  19. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    303 has that silly VTF spring. You might be better with the lesser arm.
     
  20. Jim T

    Jim T Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mars
    I put a Rega 202 arm on my old Dual 502 and it really made a huge difference. To choose between an RP3 and this Sota would be hard...for me.
     
  21. roy younger

    roy younger New Member

     
  22. roy younger

    roy younger New Member

    The distances that rega uses starts from the main bore. The 101 or 100 starts and is centered at 23 while the 202 and up start at 25. SOTA has mounted their 1oo even closer so when you try to mount the other arms it throws the axis off at least 7 cm. Trust me it is now where close to the a Rega alignment protractor . The older arms could be pulled away from the spindle easily to fix this but with the three point mount it cant with out drilling holes. They first told me they could no longer get 100 arms and I would have to have it rewired. Then low and behold the series three comes out with the same arm but they are giving it a different name. They even now sell them for 400 bucks which is way over market value for a old stock 100 arm. I called Rega and they stated that they do not make special arms for anybody and it had to be old stock. The next problem is Kirt the husband has passed and I have no idea if they have anybody trained well enough to manufacture them. Their more advanced models are notoriously hard to repair if you do not know what you are doing. I even paid them to mount the 202 correctly and they just stuck it back in the same position . Now if you get one you will get a paper protractor punched off center because of they way they have aligned the 100 or what ever they choose to call it. The next problem is the belt does not stay on the subplatter when placed for a 45. The top of the plinth is very very soft and the three point caves it in. It needs a brace. If there is a protractor for this were do I get it? Frankly I am currently looking at a Pro Ject 2 Xperiance Classic as my next upgrade.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  23. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Rega is 222 mm pivot to spindle. Baerwald suggests 219.5, which is what Sota uses—or at least that is how mine measures. I've made myself a protractor, and have had it output at a local digital printer, which is very accurate. I'd be happy to send it to you in PDF form. You can get the measurement by using an accurate metal rule and measuring the inside of the holes, then the outside of the holes, and dividing by two.
     
  24. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    May I recommend considering a contrarian approach here. The AR turntable is a superb performer in fine order. How about considering some Vinyl Nirvana restoration love. The proprietor often makes them better than original.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page