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Current Best Entry Level Turntable?


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Hi all,

Going to dip my toe into vinyl, not sure if it’s my jam, but going to have a crack. The wife is onboard too, budget $500-600. I slipped in the idea of a P3 at $1500 but got shot down in flames.

 

Anyway, Rega P1 seemed like the way to go (I have an exposure 2010S2 with phono board so don’t need a phono preamp), but now I’ve seen project have a new deck out in the T1 phono SB. Big things are a glass platter, and electronic speed control, with defeatable inbuilt phono. Has anyone heard one and can give an opinion?

 

I understand I am limited to the preselected cartridges, just chasing info on new options in that price range. In Darwin, so I can’t trial anything, and would prefer new with warranty. Thoughts?

 

cheers,

Andrew

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Stupid hobby... I upsold myself and have ordered a new Project Debut Carbon Evo in satin white. Adjustable feet, electronic speed control, adjustable tone arm should I wish to upgrade cartridge, no do

The OP has ordered a Project.....two days ago. He's happy.....😊

Haha, at least I will be once it arrives!

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Hi Ruffter,

 

Appreciate that you would prefer new with warranty, but a couple of things to consider with older Rega decks are the availability of parts and their relative simplicity. I recently sold my ~2013 RP3 with an Ortofon 2M Blue for $600. It’s new owner can rest easy knowing that there isn’t much to go wrong, and that belts, sub-platters and even 24V power supplies can be easily sourced.

 

Happy hunting,

 

Rohan.

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Thanks Rohan, very valid points and I know having done well with second hand audio in the past that bargains can be had. But this is a trial really, I just want an easy deck to do the job of spinning some vinyl, with the safety of warranty as I don’t want any potentially costly or time consuming issues. If it goes well from an enjoyment perspective then I’ll reevaluate and will certainly consider second hand at that time. If not, no harm no foul at that price and I can keep the P1/T1/whatever for the odd liquorice pizza.

 

cheers,

Andrew

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3 minutes ago, Decky said:

@Decky Cheers for the input, I could squeeze $675. Offers more then the Rega being upgradable with anti skate etc, but if I like vinyl I’ll look to buy a better deck as opposed to upgrading a cheap deck. You reckon a better sounding unit then the P1?

 

cheers,

Andrew

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Based on the mechanics alone - yes, no doubt - but I would strongly suggest trying to start with something a bit better. I would suggest Project RPM 5 as a good start and a Denon DL103R cartridge. 

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Be careful up your way with Rega as it can be too hot and humid for the double-sided tape 'pad' that holds the motor to the plinth.

Bit of info online about it and them letting go.

 

10 minutes ago, Decky said:

Based on the mechanics alone - yes, no doubt - but I would strongly suggest trying to start with something a bit better. I would suggest Project RPM 5 as a good start and a Denon DL103R cartridge. 

Please don't get in before me on one of these if they pop up haha.

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6 minutes ago, Bunno77 said:

Be careful up your way with Rega as it can be too hot and humid for the double-sided tape 'pad' that holds the motor to the plinth.

Bit of info online about it and them letting go.

 

Please don't get in before me on one of these if they pop up haha.

Thanks @Bunno77, that’s the info I was chasing. Just chasing an entry to vinyl without any potential dramas. Is that double sided tape standard fitment? Is a similar approach taken with the project debut carbon?

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Just now, Ruffter said:

Thanks @Bunno77, that’s the info I was chasing. Just chasing an entry to vinyl without any potential dramas. Is that double sided tape standard fitment? Is a similar approach taken with the project debut carbon?

Yeah standard for most Rega's I believe. Not always an issue but likely in the Territory.
Project screw the motor to the plinth
 

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Nah, he shut up shop a few years ago. He still has a Facebook page saying he runs from home now, but no recent posts, and isn’t listed as an authorised Aussie dealer on the Rega page.

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2 hours ago, Ruffter said:

Thanks Rohan, very valid points and I know having done well with second hand audio in the past that bargains can be had. But this is a trial really, I just want an easy deck to do the job of spinning some vinyl, with the safety of warranty as I don’t want any potentially costly or time consuming issues. If it goes well from an enjoyment perspective then I’ll reevaluate

Audio Technica LP120X USB.  Easy to source and easy to sell when you are done.  Also a pretty fine bit of gear for the money.  The belt drive turntables are cheaper but the 120 is hands down better.

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34 minutes ago, Old Man Rubber said:

Audio Technica LP120X USB.  Easy to source and easy to sell when you are done.  Also a pretty fine bit of gear for the money.  The belt drive turntables are cheaper but the 120 is hands down better.

I tend to agree with this but, if you prefer belt drive, the Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN offers belt drive with the same AT-VM95E cartridge fitted and can be had for a similar price ( no I don't have any affiliation with these guys) - 

 

https://www.selby.com.au/brands/audio-technica/audio-technica-at-lpw40wn-manual-belt-drive-turntable-walnut.html

 

https://www.selby.com.au/brands/audio-technica/audio-technica-at-lp120xusb-direct-drive-turntable-configurable.html

 

It is worth keeping an eye on JB HiFi for one of their promotions - 30% off - as they have both of these listed although the LP120 is in silver finish and Selby seem to have the black finish. They seem to run it a few times each year and there is a good chance one will come up soon, perhaps during October if they run their Rocktober promotion this year.

 

As Old Man Rubber said, these are easy to sell f you decide to upgrade or if vinyl is not your thing, and even easier to come close to breaking even if you can get them during a promotion.

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Stupid hobby... I upsold myself and have ordered a new Project Debut Carbon Evo in satin white. Adjustable feet, electronic speed control, adjustable tone arm should I wish to upgrade cartridge, no double sided tape, all for $879. Even got it past the minister for war and finances. Now to try this vinyl thing out...

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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8 hours ago, Igotmearecord said:

I tend to agree with this but, if you prefer belt drive, the Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN offers belt drive with the same AT-VM95E cartridge fitted and can be had for a similar price ( no I don't have any affiliation with these guys) - 

 

https://www.selby.com.au/brands/audio-technica/audio-technica-at-lpw40wn-manual-belt-drive-turntable-walnut.html

 

https://www.selby.com.au/brands/audio-technica/audio-technica-at-lp120xusb-direct-drive-turntable-configurable.html

 

It is worth keeping an eye on JB HiFi for one of their promotions - 30% off - as they have both of these listed although the LP120 is in silver finish and Selby seem to have the black finish. They seem to run it a few times each year and there is a good chance one will come up soon, perhaps during October if they run their Rocktober promotion this year.

 

As Old Man Rubber said, these are easy to sell f you decide to upgrade or if vinyl is not your thing, and even easier to come close to breaking even if you can get them during a promotion.

Thanks, the ATs look good, I thought they only did cheap entry level kind of like the Crosleys you see at JB Hifi. But, the aesthetics score two thumbs down from the boss, going in to a shared living room so must look tidy. I’ve pulled the trigger on a Project, will see how it plays out!

 

cheers,

Andrew

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Demo unit but this is $750 from RRP$1299  https://addictedtoaudio.com.au/collections/turntables-accessories/products/thorens-td-203-manual-turntable TD203 has unipivot tonearm  and it has dc speed controlled motor. Only catch is pretty sure the cartridge it comes is a rebadged AT 3600 so will need upgrading.

 

There are some cheaper from hifi clearance in ebay but I would prefer to stick with a well known shop 

Edited by mloutfie
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19 minutes ago, mloutfie said:

Demo unit but this is $750 from RRP$1299  https://addictedtoaudio.com.au/collections/turntables-accessories/products/thorens-td-203-manual-turntable TD203 has unipivot tonearm  and it has dc speed controlled motor. Only catch is pretty sure the cartridge it comes is a rebadged AT 3600 so will need upgrading.

 

There are some cheaper from hifi clearance in ebay but I would prefer to stick with a well known shop 

I saw that, they only had gloss red though so got shot down in flames. The project has been ordered, now the wait begins...

 

I’ve got three albums lined up to go - the Odyssey Number 5 reissue, Atreyu In Our Wake, and Ed Sheeran Collaborations (my 8yo daughter picked the last one from the record store).

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13 hours ago, Old Man Rubber said:

Audio Technica LP120X USB

I have the original AT-LP120-USB which, according to Audio Technica, is a "Professional" USB and Analog Turntable System. This was not cheap at the time I bought it - I have had it for at least a couple of years now. This 'table is factory fitted with the AT95E cartridge/ATN95E stylus, which I have not changed and I have been quite happy with the sound reproduction.

 

I am using the 'table in conjunction with my Yamaha RX-V685 Receiver, which has a Phono input (MM compatible), and I have connected the 'table to it and set its Pre-Amp selector switch to Phono.

 

However, I have always had to really pump up the volume on the receiver to get a reasonable volume output when playing my vinyl. I'm not sure why this is the case, and I was hoping someone may be able to point me in the right direction with this?? As far as I am aware, I have all the connections/settings correct.

 

Also, the hydraulically damped "cueing lever" does not work any more and I have noticed that during a quiet passage on a recording, I can hear motor noise. Given this is a Direct-Drive turntable, I am wondering if anyone else has noticed the motor noise?

 

Cheers,
Gerry

Edited by Gerry_AU
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15 hours ago, Bunno77 said:

Rega as it can be too hot and humid for the double-sided tape 'pad' that holds the motor to the plinth.

 

That sounds super shoddy.   I am surprised that Rega do this after the praise I often hear about them.

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1 hour ago, Gerry_AU said:

However, I have always had to really pump up the volume on the receiver[...]

 

Also, the hydraulically damped "cueing lever" does not work any more and I have noticed that during a quiet passage on a recording, I can hear motor noise. Given this is a Direct-Drive turntable, I am wondering if anyone else has noticed the motor noise?

Doesn't sound like a great experience which is a bit surprising.  Might be worth getting it serviced although I'm not sure they are serviceable in the same way the old Technics players are.  Does that model have a line-level output available to see if that produces a different volume in your receiver?

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

 

That sounds super shoddy.   I am surprised that Rega do this after the praise I often hear about them.

I suppose there is a reason for it and not a problem in many parts of the world. 

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Just now, Bunno77 said:

I suppose there is a reason for it and not a problem in many parts of the world. 

If they are claiming it sounds better or lower noise or something, then frankly I don't believe it.  What's wrong with using screws and a decent rubber mount?  Sounds like cheap cost cutting to me.

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7 hours ago, Old Man Rubber said:

Doesn't sound like a great experience which is a bit surprising.  Might be worth getting it serviced although I'm not sure they are serviceable in the same way the old Technics players are.  Does that model have a line-level output available to see if that produces a different volume in your receiver?

Hi Dave,

 

Sorry for the late reply. I'm fairly sure I tried the line-level output before, but I think it may have been on a different amp and it wasn't great. I'll give it another go tomorrow.

I'm probably looking at going for another turntable anyway, given the cueing lever issue and the motor noise.

 

Cheers,
Gerry

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