Turntable decisions.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Pythonman, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    So I have the funds for a turntable upgrade and my final pics are now down to a new VPI Prime and a new Rega RP8. Possibility I might go with a Prime Scout but I’m not sure it’s going to whomp the RP8 which to my ears sounds superb and is compatible with a wide range of higher end cartridges as well. Things I like about the Prime, which I have seen and heard in person are the expansive sound with not just deep bass but proper tuneful bass. It also seems to relegate surface noise to irrelevance and I hear no sense of strain nor mistracking.

    The Rega has pretty much all of that plus it seems to pump a vitality and an eerie sense of real life through the speakers. There also seems to be a cohesiveness that expresses the intent of the instruments and vocals purposefully.

    But I’m unable to compare the two tables directly to see which floats the better soundstage or causes the speakers to disappear more convincingly.


    Any thoughts or experiences with these tables would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I myself would look towards the VPI. Mostly for the fact of it having more installation choices regarding Azimuth and VTA, which becomes all the more essential the more complex cartridge and stylus designs you look towards buying for the table.

    Welcome to the forum by the way ;^)
     
  3. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    If you have a cat, the choice is easy. Only one table has a dustcover. ;)
     
  4. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    But, I have two cats and I refuse to let them decide which pieces of gear I can have LOL! They're usually good and have only used my old Sony PS-X6 with no dustcover as a springboard towards a window ledge a time or two. Had to start locking the tonearm in place cause I couldn't figure why my counter weight kept moving all the way towards the pivot point. And my other cat loves to chew everything including power cords so I can just about see him munching on the lead coming out of the top of the 3D arm. Naturally I'll keep the table out of reach for them with the new rack I've already ordered to handle a possible VPI weight table. I've also considered the Michell Gyro SE but those golden platter weights rotating around would for sure drive my cats up the wall so it's out.
     
  5. mike catucci

    mike catucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    I was trying to decide between a new Planar 6 and the Prime Scout a couple of months ago. Not exactly level with your choice but one rung down on both brands. I went with the Planar 6 having never heard either one. The Rega seems to be a great table for all the reasons you stated above, but so far I have had issues with interference and I am sure that damn Rega arm has something to do with it. The other issues is I had to take the table apart today to add a shim so I could support a non-Rega cartridge. So if you like tinkering, then not an issue. I would have preferred not to have to deal with that despite it having worked out ok. Hope my 2 cents helps in some small way.
     
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  6. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Pretty much the same experience with my RP1. Upgrading can be a hastle when its easy on most other tables. Regas are meant to be plug and play devices. Even if you get shims it you can only add about 2 millimeters of spacing before the standard counter weight usually hits the lid while closed. So as a result, you have to upgrade something to get hour upgrade to work, either get an underslung counter weight or stop using the lid.
     
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  7. Cosmo-D

    Cosmo-D Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canada
    I'd suggest the Technics 1200G/GR (whatever fits your price range). The idea of belt-drive costing that much is offensive to my sensibilities. My advice is probably wasted because you appear to have already consumed the audiophile Flavor Aid/Kool Aid.

    What is "tuneful bass"? Bass response is going to be dictated by the cartridge and more importantly the speakers. Unless your record is destroyed surface noise should be non-issue (it should never be louder than the musical signal to begin with).

    If you're dead-set on those two, the VPI is probably much better engineered and constructed than the Rega. The skeletal plinth idea on the Rega seems to have no basis in reality. Based on what I have read Vibration isolation - Wikipedia light and stiff aren't really qualities you want if you are trying to dampen vibrations. Something that is light is going to be easier get vibrating than something that is heavy. I feel like stiffness lends itself to the propagation of mechanical waves. Reduction of vibration is done through isolation and damping (with materials that aren't stiff, like rubber). Because Rega doesn't post numbers for their turntables (which VPI and Technics do) we have no way of knowing whether their approach is effective or not (I would wager it is not, but you never know). I would avoid buying from Rega based solely on the principle that they don't disclose any information.
     
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  8. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    VPI and Rega have completely different sounds IME. There's many good options in this range: Well-Tempered, Michell, Gem Dandy, Anvil, Roksan...
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  9. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Having had an SL1200 MKII that sounded horrible and which I despised, the sight of the new SL1200G offends my sensibilities. My replacement for the SL1200 MKII was a Planar 2 which slaughtered it in every way imaginable.

    Tuneful bass is bass where you can almost count the cycles of struck bass notes versus just hearing a low level drone. Tuneful bass is also one in which you can more accurately gauge the pitch of the lower notes which helps if you're trying to copy the lines on your own instruments etc. I have heard several table/arm combinations that let that low level information come through quite forcefully, including my friends new Prime table which has almost the same cartridge I'm running on my older Sony DD table. On the Sony the bass goes low and has a nice presence, on his VPI Prime the bass is tuneful, goes low and deep and is punchy and tactile. From what I've read about the Technics 1200G I'm sure it is equally superb at every aspect of playback but, I'm not looking for another DD table.

    I'm also not 85 percent sure I won't end up hating the RP8 after a good week or two for many of the reasons you have listed and others. Decision time is coming up soon though and I'll report back!
     
  10. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    As opposed to drinking the Technics Kool Aid? :shh:
     
  11. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Usually people tend to compare the SL1200s with something like a Planar 3. You must really hate that table ;^D
     
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  12. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    [​IMG] My lowly vintage Thorens is great. My dealer ( out of his house) installed the Ortofon blue for me and had it for a few days (he’s a Rega dealer) loved it, he’s a not familiar with vintage tables and was very impressed with the sound. He even had a few buddies over to check it out. Might be an option for ya. Happy hunting. Try Vinyl Nervana.
     
  13. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City, USA
    VPI. That table allows you to fine-tune your set-up to your heart's desire, and they offer a lot of upgrades that you may not need now...but could find useful later. Plus, they offer great customer service.
     
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  14. Cosmo-D

    Cosmo-D Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canada
    I don't own a Technics, but from an objective standpoint DD turntables are superior. They have better speed stability, and very low rumble. The Technics 1200 is also available (depending on the model) at a reasonably modest price. At least Technics makes measurements of their products available. With Rega it is ultimately unknown how their turntables measure. Would you buy a car where the manufacturer did disclose the horsepower or torque of the engine? Would you simply take them at their word that car is indeed "fast"?
     
  15. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    No, that's a subjective standpoint in this price range. My current belt drive has better speed stability and lower rumble than any DD I've owned.
     
  16. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    What aspect are you looking for in terms of Rega specs? How fast it runs? 33 and 45rpm ;^)
     
  17. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Nani!?

    (Yes I remember, although I really do wonder about those tests).
     
  18. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Parameters one can measure are objective.
     
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  19. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Precisely, although thats what he supposedly did.
     
  20. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Listening to Dire Straights right now, I sense no disturbances in the force, just pure audio bliss. Ahhh
     
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  21. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Yup, and I have greater speed stability with my current table than with the PLX-1000 I owned. The lack of rumble is clearly audible, backgrounds are much quieter than I was ever able to achieve with a DD. I'm not saying direct drives are not capable of such performance, but when discussing turntables at this level, the claim that they're inherently superior is groundless.
     
  22. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I'm just saying that parameters like W&F, rumble and noise can be measured, so they are objective. What we like is subjective.
     
  23. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    A lot of your arguments are quite silly in my opinion. You are certainly welcome to hold onto them. But engineering doesn't work the way you suggest. There are many ways to achieve design goals. Design is a creative process. Good engineering is finding better solutions to problems. If the materials used are If you have high mass, external dampening is a necessity because it will retain the energy. This is precisely what Rega has avoided with their designs. The design is to allow the energy to dissipate within the plinth rather than retain it. The stiffness is there not for dampening, it's there to hold tolerances. The inner core which is made of foam does the dampening.
     
  24. jlykos

    jlykos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    I was in the exact same situation that you are right now when I was deciding between a Prime and an RP8. I ended up with a Well Tempered Amadeus and couldn't be happier. You may want to see if you can audition one in your area. Cheaper than either the VPI or Rega and sounds fantastic.

    I would hold off on the RP8 at any event right now. Rega is upgrading their product line and the RP8 would be the next in line for an upgrade.
     
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  25. Cosmo-D

    Cosmo-D Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canada
    How is this energy being dissipated? It's either going to vibrate, or it is going take the vibrational energy and convert it into heat or light or something.

    Are you an engineer? If you are feel free to explain to me how mechanical waves propagate. Why wouldn't high mass be beneficial? If have two piece of the same material, except one is heavier than the other, and apply vibration to them the heavier isn't going to vibrate as much. I am pretty sure this is just an application of Newton's Second Law.

    If their foam inner is effective at dampening vibrations, wouldn't it make sense to have as much of it as possible? A skeletal design still doesn't make sense.

    I'll believe that their design is effective when I see any evidence of the sort. Until Rega posts some numbers saying they have achieved rumble specs of <-78dB (probably DIN weighted, although I am not sure which DIN standard is used now) than I am not buying their claims. Audio Technica has a whole range of specs for their $99 LP60 but Rega doesn't feel the need to validate their claims for turntable costing thousands?
     
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