Jump to content

Gday and looking for turntable ideas


Recommended Posts

Gday Stereonet,

Ive been a money poor but kinda knowledgeable pseudo audiophile for many years. Im looking to redirect my love to vinyl once again and need advice as to how to spend my limited money. Im looking to spend around $1000-$1500 and have found the pricepoint to be kind of limited. I need advice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts are between a Rega Planar2 with perhaps an upgraded needle... or a far more expensive Project x1 with a ortofon blue cart... or maybe even going right out on a limb and looking at a Fluence Rt85 with a built in Blue cart but no chance of aftermarket support due to getting it from the USA. On paper the Fluence wins hands down for the price (approx $900 shipped). But Im a little concerned about having no aftermarket support (but after all its a turntable... with little to go wrong). The X1 is obviously the highest end but is $600 more expensive with the same Ortofon Blue cart. The Rega is much cheaper and ive seen many reviews saying the Carbon needle is simply a Audiosonic 10buck one renamed. The Rega is also a fully manual speed change and I do like to play both 33's and 45's. So that is a genuine perceived issue for me. 
So if it were you which way would you go? 

Fluance... value for money but zero Australian support.

Rega... Quality but manual speed change and questionable cart quality (which however ive researched and the carbon seems pretty nice) 

or

Project X1... definitely entry level high end but comes with the associated dollars down and the same Ortofon blue that the Fluence comes with for around $600 less. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

keep posting till you have enough to have access to the classifieds, second hand will give you far more value for your dollar

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for your reply Wen 🙂 Im not sure what to post about as Im not sure I have much to offer in advice compared to the wealth of knowledge some definately have here... 

I do have a few questions but it seems selfish to simply ask questions without giving back in knowledge.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Hi ScottyPeace and welcome to SNA. I was in a similar situation as yourself just several weeks ago and after much consideration and deliberation of new vs second hand, and what is available in the market for both, I eventually settled for a new Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB ($900) with a Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 ($600) phono stage and am very happy with the results so far.

 

Like others have said, buying second hand will most certainly give you better value for dollar, however buying second hand may also come with its own set of problems that you would not get from buying new, so ultimately you have to weigh the features and risks yourself to prioritize and decide on what you need for your budget. I believe both the Rega Planar 2 and Pro-Ject X1 are very good tables, but IMHO they are not in the same class for comparisons, a Pro-Ject X1 at minimum it should perhaps be compared to a Rega Planar 3 although others may disagree.

 

For myself, ultimately the non-adjustable (or very difficult to mod/adjust) anti-skate on the Planar 1 & 2 made me strike those out while the Pro-Ject won over the Planar 3 because of price and the built-in speed box feature.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for all these replys! 

And thanks for you welcome ED 🙂

EasterlyDrake13.... This reply gets a little long sorry.

You make some excellent points.

For a start your point on new vs second hand is very much understood. Im not gonna go down the second hand path in this case. Too much has changed and evolved since I was last heavily into analogue hifi (30 years!) and I simply dont trust my own judgement or ability to fix stuff if things go wrong. 

No doubt the X1 and Planar2 are on different levels. I discounted the Planar3 cause if Im gonna spend that kinda dosh I will definitely want speed control built in like on your Debut Esprit. My only issue with the Debut Esprit is a doubt in my head given to me by my local HiFi shop... I live on Sydneys northern beaches (with my parents and on a disability newstart payment so despite my address im not full of money 😉) and when contacting them about the Esprit (which they dont have in stock but could nonetheless get) they told me they had hum issues. Which Project had not been able to help them with so they put it down to potential electrical supply issues here. 

For two reasons im not convinced the HiFi shop is correct.

1. From the style of their reply to me. Their recommendation for me in a sub $1000 turntable was a Technics that they have in stock for around $600 which includes both phono stage and usb connection. Neither of which I want or asked for and know beyond doubt id be paying for. So I believe theyre simply trying to sell me something theyve got in stock and not really caring about what im actually after. (they also have no Planar2's in stock).

2. After a very easy seach on google I found others had had issues with hum with the Debut Esprit but the fix was very simple despite it not being mentioned in the Project manual... Simply remove the transport screws and rubber grommets underneath them from the motor bracket. 

Is hum an issue with yours? And did you remove those screws and grommets? 

The only reason id looked past the Esprit was this comment from the local shop. The X1 is obviously a beautiful unit but to get one would be stretching my resources to the extreme. If I could get the Esprit and be confident in its performance it would certainly be my first choice. Id probably spend any extra bucks available on a Ortofon Blue cart. The Red seems nice but even on the heavily compressed YouTube I can hear a nice difference between the Red and Blue.

For the record ill not be needing a phono stage as initially at least ill be plugging it directly into my Yamaha RXV2067. I realise the built in phono in this unit may not be the best but im relying on Yamaha to have a fairly decent phono stage in this not cheap receiver...  but I definitely envy your valve phono unit! I loooove valves!  

Edited by ScottyPeace
Link to post
Share on other sites


Hi ScottyPeace. Indeed doing a search on Google for the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon returns a fair amount of reports about hum issues with this turntable, however it also returns an equal amount of people reporting no hum issues as well, so it appears to me that the cause is likely to be equipment/setup specific rather than design issues with the turntable itself. So I decided to give it a shot anyways by ordering directly from Project Audio Australia (Interdyn) since they have a 30 day if you don't like it, send it back return policy.

 

After setting everything up, I did in fact encounter noticeable hum when the volume pot is at 12 o'clock and beyond. However, I wasn't exactly surprised by this as I am using active speakers without an amp that is properly grounded, so I made an additional earth/ground lead and connected it from the phono earth/ground to power socket earth. That completely got rid of the hum for me and is dead silent now even with the volume pot at 3 o'clock.

 

Wrt to the removal or loosening of the transport screws and rubber grommets for the motor bracket, I would suggest you not try this as I believe these instructions are for older models of these units and not meant for newer models.

 

The 2M Red that came with the unit is a decent cart, but as you said, the Blue makes a worthwhile upgrade. Personally I down?graded to a OM 20 :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks again for your replyEasteryDrake13 😁

Your idea about ordering direct is certainly worth consideration. It makes alot of sense. 

I personally shouldnt need to create such an earth system as youve used... my reciever is properly grounded and has the appropriate earth point.

Im still not sure on the transport screw thingy... looking at tt's like the X1 the motor is only supported by the black rubber(band?) and as such is fully floating and independent from the plinth. It kind strikes me as thats how its meant to be.... otherwise why have the rubberband suspension at all? I figure it would be easy to try each way anyway.

Interesting that you chose to (definitely upgrade) to an OM20 when the 2M Blue stylus is a direct swap for the Red and would require no fiddling about with resetting up the cart as such... and is basically the same dosh. What were your reasons for choosing the more difficult option?

Once again cheers for taking the time and effort to engage in this conversation! Its been highly enlightening 👍🏻👍🏻😎

Edited by ScottyPeace
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ScottyPeace. I have read somewhere that apparently the rubber grommets and screws are now required and is there by design, although I cannot remember where now given the amount of content I went though. Since I actually don't have a hum or noise issue after making proper grounding I have just left it as it is and not try and fix things if its not broken.

 

Personally I found the 2M Red to be a little bright like many others have also observed, so I decided to go with the OM series instead of trying out the 2M Blue which would have been a much easier upgrade since its just a stylus swap as you mentioned. Oh, one thing I did dislike about the 2M is the stylus cover, which I found to be a pain to put back on :)

 

Edited by EasterlyDrake13
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there - I would strongly recommend the Rega Planar 3 over the 2. Much better tone arm in most opinions/reviews. The 2 gives no ability to adjust bias/anti-skate. I feel your pain re speeds, and I admit I've got the power supply for easily changing speeds

Link to post
Share on other sites


Decent reply yet again EasterlyDrake13... my question still remains as to why have the rubberband suspension but youre absolutely right... if it aint broke dont fix it!🧐

A stylus can be very personal but lacking the tools to fully change a cart properly id probably just go for the obviously smoother and more defined Blue.  

Thanks also for your reply Tinker! But tbh if im gonna spend dosh like the P3 requires id definately choose the Project X1. No doubt the P3 is a great bit of kit but having to spend an extra $600 just to get the better power supply and associated speed change puts it way out of my price range... And im not convinced its actually better than an X1 even in standard form.

I must admit the X1 is still in the running even over a Debut Esprit with Blue stylus.... It would take me an extra month or so to afford it with the same Blue cart but it kinda seems to me one month of waiting may enable a lifetime of being stoked I waited. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI, in case you haven't seen, looks like Pro-Ject just released an update to their Debut Carbon series, although will not be available in Australia until next month (depending on colour), which is just several weeks away anyway...

https://www.stereo.net.au/news/pro-ject-releases-debut-carbon-evolution-turntable

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hiya EasterlyDrake13,

I had seen the news from Project...and certainly on the surface it seems like another great addition to their lineup. I do like the tpe damped platter (but for years and years have seen glass as the ultimate). Its also coming with the Ortofon red and the more I read and listen (admittedly on compressed youtube) its just not gonna be good enough for my ears.

I actually have enough dosh to go to the shop(s) and audition a few now... So my next stop is my local HiFi joint. They recommended a Technics LP120XUSB in my initial enquiry via email to them... but they didnt have a Rega P2 or PJ Esprit in stock... now at least theyve got the P2 which to my ears sounds way better than the Esprit with red cart... which compares as a dollar for dollar match. Theyve also got the X1 which is still a little out of my price range but in a fortnight or two wont be. 

So im gonna go in and listen to all three :-)) I suspect the Audio Technica will be exactly as ive thought and will be kinda decent but not good. The P2 im very interested to hear as in reviews and sound tests ive seen and heard its actually quite an excellent TT for the price despite not having auto speed adjustment and less than ideal upgrade potential due to its auto skate adjustment (this certainly limits upgrade potential for the cart... but still many upgrades are possible for sure... including many Audio Technica possibilities which are way more affordable than the Rega equivalents...and many much higher end like some from Denon (and other brands ive never heard of!) as well). The kinda cheap Carbon it comes with seems pretty decent however. I guess i'll see with my own ears 🙂

The X1 will have to be pretty special... but it comes without a cart so id be potentially starting witha Blue or maybe even the 20 youve got... at that point Id need to start with something pretty musical as it would be a long while til I could afford an upgrade 😉

Edited by ScottyPeace
Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record ED13... I dont listen to youtube with piddley computer speakers... I view via an AppleTV through my full system 😉 So potential differences between bits and pieces are definite if not fully realised ;-))

Link to post
Share on other sites


Welcome to SNA Scotty.

 

Given your requirement for 45 rpm and desire to obtain a decent cart, I would strongly recommend that you reconsider your desire to buy new and consider a secondhand purchase from the Classifieds.

 

The members here generally look after their gear very well and generally only sell to upgrade to something better.

 

I would suggest that you consider purchasing a secondhand Rega RP6. They come with a TT PSU providing 45 rpm speed change and an RB-303 tonearm. You will often find them for sale with a good quality cartridge with low hours and some have some aftermarket upgrades such as improved sub-platters.

 

They range in price between $1,000 and $1,200 and would keep you happy for years.

 

At a lower price point, you might pick up a Rega P3-24 with TT PSU for $650 - $750. Many of these will have a low hours Ortofon 2M Blue or 2M Bronze cart installed.

 

If you buy locally, most members would be happy to demonstrate the deck for you to give you confidence when making the purchase.

Edited by Telecine
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hiya Telecine,

I very much appreciate your reply and ive been keeping my eye on the tt ads... Unfortunately ive not yet seen an RP6 or anything truly similar in my price range. 

There is a small part of me that hasnt wanted to go down the 2nd hand route too... I guess despite being pretty handy with electrickery and similar with mechanicals im getting a little too old to worry about if things go wrong. Im pretty much now sold on the idea of a Rega P2 with the upgrade pack which includes the Bias 2 cart... or the ProJect Esprit with an upgrade to the Ortofon Blue. Ive heard the Rega and tbh was stoked. I cant audition the Project unfortunately... My local shop can get it if I order it but they dont stock or recommend it 😕 Im thinking I can forgive the manual speed adjustment on the Rega as if I wanna play 45's i'll prolly play a few at a time and then go back to my far more regular 33's. 

Im still not 100% on my decision but the P2 with upgrade kit sounds pretty damn good to me... and after all I know I could listen to tons of kit but ultimately my own ears are what need to be happy (with what my wallet can afford 😉

Any thoughts you (or anyone) have in reply will be very appreciated and mentally digested :-))

Cheers, S.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/09/2020 at 4:38 AM, ScottyPeace said:

Hiya Telecine,

I very much appreciate your reply and ive been keeping my eye on the tt ads... Unfortunately ive not yet seen an RP6 or anything truly similar in my price range. 

There is a small part of me that hasnt wanted to go down the 2nd hand route too... I guess despite being pretty handy with electrickery and similar with mechanicals im getting a little too old to worry about if things go wrong. Im pretty much now sold on the idea of a Rega P2 with the upgrade pack which includes the Bias 2 cart... or the ProJect Esprit with an upgrade to the Ortofon Blue. Ive heard the Rega and tbh was stoked. I cant audition the Project unfortunately... My local shop can get it if I order it but they dont stock or recommend it 😕 Im thinking I can forgive the manual speed adjustment on the Rega as if I wanna play 45's i'll prolly play a few at a time and then go back to my far more regular 33's. 

Im still not 100% on my decision but the P2 with upgrade kit sounds pretty damn good to me... and after all I know I could listen to tons of kit but ultimately my own ears are what need to be happy (with what my wallet can afford 😉

Any thoughts you (or anyone) have in reply will be very appreciated and mentally digested :-))

Cheers, S.

Hey mate, put up a WTB ad in the classifieds. I did and was approached with the offer to buy a Rega RP6 with a 2M black cartridge. This was well above what I could afford if I was buying brand new. Give it a crack. Mine was only a couple years old. Heaps of life left in it !

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well...  both of these bits of advice came a lil too late. I wont say unfortunately cause im actually pretty bloody stoked with the P2 and upgrade pack Ive bought for just over a grand. I must admit if id known about the WTB thingy (im very new to this online Stereonet obviously massive community) and also Music Hall which never came up in any search I tried... I may have taken a bit more time. 

I must admit however the dosh was burning a hole in my pocket... and I was pretty keen to buy from a shop I could travel to if possible. For both the desire to support a local shop simply for current economic reasons and the desire to create an ongoing relationship with a local. 

I played the P2 with its Carbon cart for a few hours just to get its sound in my head and having been a digital listener since the introduction of cds I was absolutely stoked at the 3 dimensional quality of the turntable (listening to a couple of brand new 180g and a few late 80's only ever played once discs). I sold alot of perfect condition LPs in the early 90's cause I thought I was done with vinyl. What a mistake!! 

Then I installed the Rega Bias 2 cart.... and the sound is literally like the bounce from cd to vinyl all over again! The third dimension of sound over the two of digital is just wonderful!

This whole experience had completely reinvigorated my love of music and quality sound after 30 years of basically gradually getting bored by cds and digital music in general.

I will take the advice given... without a doubt at some time in the (perhaps not too distant) future ill look into another turntable. Particularly using the WTB thing! (thanks for that advice!)

For now im gonna be stoked with what ive got :-)) The upgrade from digital is immense and im gonna spend any extra readys on restocking my depleted LP stock. 

Cheers to everyone who read and replied to this post! Ive learned heaps! I may have not purchased what everyone here may have advised... but with the help ive found a great sound that I will be happy with for quite awhile.

Heres a thought....

In going to to local hifi shop I got to listen to a few sound systems as they were playing. I remembered my time as a young salesguy in a high end hifi shop back in the late 80's, early 90's.... and the differences between brands when it came to true high end audio. My local here had a Rega P something ultra high combined with a hard to define preamp and a few monoblock amps connected to a couple of extremely impressive looking European speakers. Ultra expensive stuff! 

I did not like the sound at all! It was far too refined and defined with very little warmth and bass response. Sure it was kinda impressive in its own way but it was not a sound id like to live with or hear every day. My own system is far superior to my own ears... sure it can be better... but only really by small increments and only by knowing exactly what I wanna improve.

It drove home a lesson I learned 30 y(ears) ago...  

Do not listen with your mind to the audiophile opinions of others and think its the absolute truth... listen with ones own ears and decide for oneself what you love! 

I look forward to watching and reading more on this forum! 

Cheers, Scotty Piesse :-))

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...