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thecoffeegent

Where to start with $1000

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Hey SNA Fam,

 

I have NEVER had a record player and to be honest, I’ve never actually listened to a full vinyl record.... I want to change this!

 

I have a spare Rotel A12 Amp & B&W CM6 S2 bookshelf speakers that I want to put into use for the purpose of listening to records. I’ll be setting this up in my office.

 

I have a budget of $1000 to get started.

 

where do I start and what should I best put my $1000 into? 
 

Thanks,

TCG.

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I recommend the Reloop RP7000 Mk2.  Its actually a Hanpin Super OEM deck that you will need to pay around $1,000 if it wore a Pioneer badge.  For around $650 with a lid you can add a Jelco headshell, Funk Firm Achromat and either an AT95 with a Jico Hyperelliptical stylus or an Ortofon OM10 with a Jico Hyperelliptical stylus.  You should have enough for a Schitt Mani phono pre or if you stretch a bit more a Rothwell Simplex photo pre.  Precision align and set it up well.... it will blow you away.

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i would wait for a second hand rega 3 or project equivalent, you already have a phono stage in the amp, spend the money on the best TT

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31 minutes ago, wen said:

i would wait for a second hand rega 3 or project equivalent, you already have a phono stage in the amp, spend the money on the best TT

Thanks man, I was looking along the lines of the Rega P3 in my initial search but wasn’t sure if I should just put my funds into a “good and ready to go” unit or get a cheaper deck and upgrade the individual parts. 
 

regarding the phono stage, would there be much notable improvement In a seperate over the Rotel at this price point? 
 

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57 minutes ago, nkoulban said:

I recommend the Reloop RP7000 Mk2.  Its actually a Hanpin Super OEM deck that you will need to pay around $1,000 if it wore a Pioneer badge.  For around $650 with a lid you can add a Jelco headshell, Funk Firm Achromat and either an AT95 with a Jico Hyperelliptical stylus or an Ortofon OM10 with a Jico Hyperelliptical stylus.  You should have enough for a Schitt Mani phono pre or if you stretch a bit more a Rothwell Simplex photo pre.  Precision align and set it up well.... it will blow you away.

Thanks for the detailed reply on building a nice deck. Being a complete novice in all the parts of a record player I’m a little overwhelmed but if it would be sonically superior to a “off the rack” ~$1000 player than I’d be open to it!

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Just add a cartridge that is suitable for your internal phono stage. 

You have to spend a lot more money to best a well set up Lenco. 

 

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I have tried 2 sets Reloop RP7000 mk2. Good turntable but just make sure you physically examine it because both of my units had an issue with a bit of platter wobble. Pioneer TT platter sink into top plate so it is hard to see but RP 7000 mk2 and Audio Technica super OEM has platter sit above top plate with 2~3mm gap so can easily see the wobble. I found that the wobble is happening not because platter is bent but spindle hole of platter was not dead straight. I was reported that not all units do but some do.

 

And, it has built in phonostage which has switch to bypass just like Audio Technica but signal may still pass through the circuit board which may or maynot degrade the sound quality.  Just food for thought and consideration.

 

Nonetheless, great value DD drive Turntable.

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Buying a cheaper turntable and doing mods to it won't make it as good as a better quality turntable.  I would advise getting the best quality turntable you can at the moment (and there is excellent value in many secondhand turntables) and that way you will have a long-term investment and won't be disappointed in the short term.  And in the longer term you will still have the option to do upgrades to improve the sound further. 

Good luck.

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2 hours ago, audiofeline said:

Buying a cheaper turntable and doing mods to it won't make it as good as a better quality turntable.  I would advise getting the best quality turntable you can at the moment (and there is excellent value in many secondhand turntables) and that way you will have a long-term investment and won't be disappointed in the short term.  And in the longer term you will still have the option to do upgrades to improve the sound further. 

Good luck.

Thanks mate, this is kinda the way I think I’ll go. Since I’m new to turntables I’d probably avoid the mod route for now until I learn more.

 

Top of my audition list is the Rega P3. Is there anything else around the Rega P3 that I should add to my audition list? (I know it’s above my initial budget but seems worth the extra investment).

 

Thanks!

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10 hours ago, thecoffeegent said:

Thanks mate, this is kinda the way I think I’ll go. Since I’m new to turntables I’d probably avoid the mod route for now until I learn more.

 

Top of my audition list is the Rega P3. Is there anything else around the Rega P3 that I should add to my audition list? (I know it’s above my initial budget but seems worth the extra investment).

 

Thanks!

I'm not suggesting real mods, just a better headshell and platter mat, along with a great budget cart and phono pre.  I just set this up for my sister and its very close to my Technics SL1201 M5G.  This is a needle drop with my Technics, and the Reloop gets very close for a fraction of the price.  I can understand if all of this is a bit overwhelming.  All the best with your search.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, nkoulban said:

I'm not suggesting real mods, just a better headshell and platter mat, along with a great budget cart and phono pre.  I just set this up for my sister and its very close to my Technics SL1201 M5G.  This is a needle drop with my Technics, and the Reloop gets very close for a fraction of the price.  I can understand if all of this is a bit overwhelming.  All the best with your search.

 

 

 

No, thank you for the detailed suggestion, it’s certainly something to consider! It’s a little confusing but the more I’m reading the more it makes sense! Thanks again for your time. I’ll certainly consider the above suggestion when I come to audition options around Brisbane.

 

thanks again,

TCG

Edited by thecoffeegent

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Update: 

 

I had a listen to a couple of options today:

 

Yamaha TT-S303 (??) $599

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit (2M Red) $800

Rega P2 (Bias 2) $900

Rega P3 (Elys 2) $1300

 

Setup was using my own Rotel intergrated amp's phono stage and a pair of B&W 685's. 

 

Firstly, the Yamaha sounded great for its price, almost on-par with the P2 and much better than the Pro-Ject. Obviously the standout was the P3 though. The difference was so significant that I can be happy spending the extra $$ over my original budget.

 

My question now is:

 

Do i just go with the P3 with the Elys 2 Cartridge for $1300 total or just the P3 without Cart at $1100 and invest the $200 into a better cartridge? I'm already over budget but i don't mind if it minimizes the urge for upgrades too quickly.

 

Would there be much significant benefit from a $400 cartridge now (Rega Exact for instance) over the $200 Elys 2, than say a $6-700 cartridge upgrade down the track?

 

Thanks,

TCG

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If you are willing to spend a bit more on the cartridge go for it. I had that Elys 2 on a loaner from my brother and I thought it was horrid, different arm/ table though. Maybe an all Rega set-up has better compliance, but I found a Shure MX 97e was a much nicer cart. There is an army of a Ortofon cart users here that will probably chime in with successful combos. Stylus replacement  options for the Ortofon carts are good as well.

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1 hour ago, Bell Ringer said:

If you are willing to spend a bit more on the cartridge go for it. I had that Elys 2 on a loaner from my brother and I thought it was horrid, different arm/ table though. Maybe an all Rega set-up has better compliance, but I found a Shure MX 97e was a much nicer cart. There is an army of a Ortofon cart users here that will probably chime in with successful combos. Stylus replacement  options for the Ortofon carts are good as well.

Thanks mate! Yeh I figured the Elys 2 wasn’t the absolute best. Sounded ok on demo but I didn’t really try any other options with the P3.

 

really looking forward to hear about people’s P3 cart combos and what works well.

 

 

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At $1k I would say the best Rega 3 & cartridge you can find second hand.It's the entry into higher priced spread but ticks enough of the boxes to be satisfying to most ears. Bullet proof & non fussy. Lived with one for a few years and they can sound very good through a well matched system.

 

You will need a phono preamp of some kind so hope the $1k budget is for tt only.

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1 hour ago, shawnwes said:

At $1k I would say the best Rega 3 & cartridge you can find second hand.It's the entry into higher priced spread but ticks enough of the boxes to be satisfying to most ears. Bullet proof & non fussy. Lived with one for a few years and they can sound very good through a well matched system.

 

You will need a phono preamp of some kind so hope the $1k budget is for tt only.

This is the plan, I think. Although there are some very nice vintage tables on gumtree that have my attention also. 
 

In regards to a phono stage, I’m planning to use my existing one in my Rotel integrated for now and upgrade to a seperate phono in the future. Just to keep costs down at the moment and use what I can for now.

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see if you can get an Ortofon 2M Blue with the Rega 3, i have never been disappointed with Ortofon cartridges at their price points, someone may have compared the Ortofon to the Rega cartridge and give comment, i would give the Ortofon 2M Red a miss, the Blue would keep you happier for longer

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23 minutes ago, wen said:

see if you can get an Ortofon 2M Blue with the Rega 3, i have never been disappointed with Ortofon cartridges at their price points, someone may have compared the Ortofon to the Rega cartridge and give comment, i would give the Ortofon 2M Red a miss, the Blue would keep you happier for longer

Thanks for the suggestion!

 

Anyone out there had the 2M Blu on a Rega that would like to comment on its performance?

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13 hours ago, thecoffeegent said:

This is the plan, I think. Although there are some very nice vintage tables on gumtree that have my attention also. 
 

In regards to a phono stage, I’m planning to use my existing one in my Rotel integrated for now and upgrade to a seperate phono in the future. Just to keep costs down at the moment and use what I can for now.

One of the best budget phono stages was the Rotel RQ 970BX which can often be had for $100 on the second hand market. Lots of threads on upgrading them as well if you ever get the bug.

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16 hours ago, wen said:

see if you can get an Ortofon 2M Blue with the Rega 3, i have never been disappointed with Ortofon cartridges at their price points, someone may have compared the Ortofon to the Rega cartridge and give comment, i would give the Ortofon 2M Red a miss, the Blue would keep you happier for longer

Agree with this but also the Audio Technica AT95 with a Jico VL or equivalent stylus. These can be easily modified in the future to improve the sound dramatically. Not hard. I did it:afro:.

.at95vl.jpg.813b164100d4a3b8e4ec1502197c4aa2.jpg

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I don't think that the Ortofon 2M series has the correct VTA when mounted on a Rega arm. 

For optimum sound quality it is suggested that spacers are required to lift the arm up approximately 3mm.

I haven't had experience with this myself but remember hearing that the Ortofon /Rega combination requires a tweek. 

There is a thread on Vinyl Engine detailing that 3.2mm spacers are recommended by Ortofon. 

 

(Not sure on the policy of inbedding other forum links here so didn't add it) 

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I'll add my 2c. I traded my LP12 on an RP8/Apheta and was bitterly disappointed. I would not touch another Rega product again. quality issues aside the TT was awful and when I sold it was almost new, very little use.

 

I now have a Technics and very happy. There is an SL1200 in QLD on eBay for $900 IMO this will be a better buy than a Rega. Add an AT95 with good stylus and you're set.

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14 hours ago, Warren Jones said:

I'll add my 2c. I traded my LP12 on an RP8/Apheta and was bitterly disappointed. I would not touch another Rega product again. quality issues aside the TT was awful and when I sold it was almost new, very little use.

 

I now have a Technics and very happy. There is an SL1200 in QLD on eBay for $900 IMO this will be a better buy than a Rega. Add an AT95 with good stylus and you're set.

Regas are very system dependent (ie sound amazing or s*** - rarely just average).

Edited by furtherpale

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50 minutes ago, Warren Jones said:

I'll add my 2c. I traded my LP12 on an RP8/Apheta and was bitterly disappointed. I would not touch another Rega product again. quality issues aside the TT was awful and when I sold it was almost new, very little use.

 

I now have a Technics and very happy. There is an SL1200 in QLD on eBay for $900 IMO this will be a better buy than a Rega. Add an AT95 with good stylus and you're set.

I think the Planar 3/6 are a different kettle of fish for value. You are only spending $1000-2000 not $5000 (At a guess?) so expectations would be different. Suspended tables also sound very different to the Rega style, and I prefer an LP12/Oracle to anything from Rega

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Some more great suggestions and advice. Thank you!

 

This is kinda why I love these HiFi projects because the more you learn and explore the many offerings the deeper down the rabbit hole one goes! Which is all part of the experience imo.

 

Anyways, another option I’m interested in is the Audio Technica AT LP7. As silly as it may sound, the aesthetics of my HiFi gear is something I consider (I’m a stylist and my wife is an interior designer) so I actually avoided AT as an option as a lot of the offerings, while I’m sure are great, they just don’t do it for me looks wise. However the AT LP7 is quite a looker so I’ve added it to my list! 

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