Turntable Recommendations, Please

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by funknik, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. funknik

    funknik He who feels it. Thread Starter

    Gorham, ME, USA
    I have always been more interested in vintage audio components and have been running an Ariston RD40 turntable with an Ortofon 2M Blue for about 5 or 6 years. I like the deck, it looks cool and sounds good, but ever since I moved into a new house last year, I have been dealing with multiple issues. The biggest obstacle has been the needle skipping - the house is over 200 years old and there is a lot of movement in the floor - that coupled with the Ariston’s spring suspension makes it nearly impossible to walk through the room without skipping the record (and I have an 8-yr old). There are also various grounding and hum issues, and it has just seemed like a constant battle to keep it running smoothly.

    I’m looking to upgrade to my “forever deck,” but I want to make a smart decision. My LP collection is large enough that its worth it to me to spend a good amount, but with the understanding that I will never upgrade to a premium amp or speaker setup, so I don’t want to superflously spend money on a table that’s out of my league.

    I’m looking at $1500 as my low end budget, and around $2500 for the top end. Stability and accurate tracking is my main concern. Ease of setup and low long term maintenance is also of the utmost importance. I tend to prefer a warmer sound to a more analytical one, and I run Polk LSim bookshelf speakers, which tend to sound excellent in the bass range, but maybe a little gauzy in the treble.

    The two decks I’m looking at seriously are the Music Hall mmf7.3 with Ortofon 2M Bronze cart that comes fully set up, and a VPI Prime Scout which I would have to set up, and am looking for cart recommendations (I was thinking Somiko Amethyst). I’m not sure if going for the entry level deck from VPI, or the higher range of MH is preferable.

    The Music Hall appeals to me for its plug-and-play nature and the fact that I have a fresh 2M Blue stylus that I could throw on it eventually (temporarily, I’m sure).

    I love the VPI look and feel and it’s very similar to my current table. I don’t relish having to set it up, but I like how solid and rugged the construction is.

    Anyway, I appreciate any comments on my lengthy dissertation and any other recommendations that might be a better fit. Thanks.
  2. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Mid South
    IMHO I would try to stabilize the floor first before I buy a turntable.
    cmcintyre, Metalheaded and Steve0 like this.
  3. Alan Beasley

    Alan Beasley Forum Resident

    I have the Music Hall 7.3 that I really like. It is a solid deck that isolates very well. I replaced an old Dennon that I had to tiptoe around or the needle would jump.
    At the high end of your budget you may want to consider the 9.3. It has 3 plinths and I would think it would do even better with floor vibrations.
    By the way your 2M Blue stylus will not work on the Bronze cartridge. The Black and Bronze are swappable.
  4. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    VPIs are not really known for ease of setup.

    The first thing I would do is invest in a good wall mount - one installed near a room corner. This will allow you to use just about any turntable you desire without footfall issues. Based on the description of your floors, most tables, regardless of design will likely suffer from footfalls and acoustic feedback unless placed on a wall mount.

    As for which table to buy, I think you'd be hard-pressed to do better than this Super12 Polytable for your budget:

    Comes with an outboard motor controller that allows for fine pitch adjustment. This might give you the best of both DD and belt-drive tables - perfect speed with least motor hum/feedback.

    The included tonearm is also better than what you'd get with just about any other turntable <$2500.
  5. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    A wall-mounted shelf sounds like a must for you!
  6. funknik

    funknik He who feels it. Thread Starter

    Gorham, ME, USA
    I hear you, but I don’t think I’m going to go that way. I have been able to prevent footfall-caused skipping by adding a granite plinth and removing the spring suspension from my current table, although the trade off is increased rumble. I really think it’s the springs that are causing my woes - if I need to address it further, I will.
    displayname likes this.
  7. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

  8. If you love the VPI look it may not be your cup of tea, but the Technics SL-1200GR could fit the bill otherwise.

    If you want belt drive, I’d also consider a Clearaudio Concept Wood.
  9. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    Suspended designs are completely out since you have bouncy floors. Have you considered the a Technics SL-1200GR? I'm really impressed with mine now that I finally got it dialed-in. It sounds excellent and it is amazingly immune to vibration.
    luckybaer likes this.
  10. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Wall mount first.
  11. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    I love this kind of threads...
    funknik likes this.
  12. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Consider the new P6 with an Exact II Cart. It is between an Ortofon 2M Bronze and a 2M Black and as one of our members who is also a Rega dealer, has commented that it is a warm cartridge. The 2M Blue is not the cartridge to use in a higher end TT not Just the P6 but other's that have also been discussed.

    Note: I have an upgraded RP6.

    But, I would go with @Helom 's suggestion to pick up the "like new" Super12 Polytable. At $2k it is a fantastic deal and is offered by fellow forum member.

    I myself buy often from our members and have had the opportunity to own some gear that is at least twice as good as what I would have bought retail.

    Since you are in the market for a TT, this one is right in the middle of your budget range and you would be getting a TT worth about 2 1/2 times (retail), what the seller's asking price is.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    Vinylsoul 1965 and johnnypaddock like this.
  13. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Loveland, Colorado
    Second vote for a P6.
  14. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    I have a Technics SL-1200GR and don't feel the need to a different turntable in this price range.

    Actually I don't feel the need to upgrade at all. And I think it matches your requirements.
  15. McRib

    McRib Well-Known Member

    Better yet 9.3 walnut:

  16. Alan Beasley

    Alan Beasley Forum Resident

    bluesaddict likes this.
  17. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Austin, Texas
    Vinyl Nirvana...a better than new with greatly enhanced damping Thorens TD150 on the plinth of your dreams with a Rega arm with Cardas wiring. Call Dave.
  18. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    Midwest USA
    I'm on the second floor of a 90 year old house. Get a wall mount for your turntable; otherwise, drive yourself nuts trying to get it stable on a table/shelf (TT design won't matter).

    I use a SolidSteel WS-5 with a 3" maple butcher block mounted on an outside wall (i.e. plaster on brick). Inside wall (plaster on lathe in my case) works better but I don't have a choice.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  19. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    I like the VPI Prime Scout in this price range. Set up is not difficult, they are hand made in NJ, they have exceptional customer service, and above all - they sound amazing. I’m on my third VPI.
  20. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    This AND a wall mount:)
  21. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Will a non-suspended turntable be less susceptible to a wonky 3rd floor in an old house than a suspended one?
  22. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    Midwest USA
    No. Get a wall mount.
    Fishoutofwater and Adam9 like this.
  23. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    Friends don't let friends by Rega.

    With your budget you can do so much better than. Good luck.
  24. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    May I suggest Michell Gyro SE which I believe would be a perfect solution for you eleminating the problems you've with the needle skipping. The chassis rests on three adjustable springs that decouple the platter and tonearm from the platform the turntable stands on- and that's only one of the advantages. The two most prominent advantages are that it is a very good sounding and good looking turntable- yes it's a killer soundwise and it's stunningly good looking. Highly recommended!
  25. NOS300B

    NOS300B Forum Resident

    Elac's Miracord 90 is on sale in September for $1500 (including a pre-installed Audio Technica MM cartridge made especially for the turntable), down from $2500. I just got one and I am in love with it. Audio Advisor is just one retailer that has it at that price, but they may be one of the few that carries it in three finishes. Music Direct may still have an open box of the glossy walnut (a fourth finish) for $2000.

    ELAC Miracord 90 Turntable with Cartridge-Audio Advisor
    Dubmart likes this.

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