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Old 06-30-2009   #78
paoloop's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: bruxelles/belgium
Posts: 10
Default Re: Turntable shopping.. any help?

Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
Well, I still have all my old (and likely roached) vinyl from my youth in my parent home back in NJ, some great stuff including the entire Frank Zappa collection through 1985 unopened, and I do mean ALL of them!

I my quest for the best and most perfect sound, I have begun to wonder if I don't need to step back to go forward. Clearly the turntable was rampant @ CES this year, and for good reason. Smooth sound with a lush warmth not often found in any, if only, the highest end digital gear. This and my gadget addiction have had me shopping for TT's for a while now, maybe a year or more. I was all set to just buy a decent one and move up as needed when a local analog shop was closing, figuring I'd get a deal on something, I walked into the shop with $500 cash and CC's out the butt to buy something to get me started in the vinyl realm. Well, despite it being the last day the shop was opened before they closed for good, the only offered me <20% off retail for a MMF 5.1, I was hoping for a 8.1, but either way I wasn't going to pay >80% retail for a used demo on the last day the store was open, so I left, regretfully empty handed.

Me and my cash went home to lick our wounds and needless to say the desire still lives on. I know how I can integrate a TT into my current rack, the AudiAV Crystal, and can easily add room for a phone pre and even a dedicated two channel preamp (which would need HT passthrough and remote control) if need/want.

My problem is I can't find anyone locally who demo's TT's, and there are so many I can't possibly hear them all.

Some thing that have my interest are:

Avid Diva II/Volvere
Kuzma Stabi S
VPI Scoutmaster
Music Hall MMF 9.1
Clearaudio Solution

NOTE these are just TT's, I still need to work out arms for some, cartridge and phono pre.... I am trying to minimize my initial investment, but as you can see, I am looking @ what will likely be a ~$8K rig when complete, and that is without a separate two channel pre, unless I get one with a good phono section.

Am I crazy?

Should I just get a <$1,000 setup and play with it first? The more I think of it, the more I think this might be the smartest thing, but I haven't always used my head when deciding on audio purchases!!!!

Any input???
I think you're trying to walk upside down: first thing to choose is the cartridge-that is where the sound is; the other parts are meant to let it dance the best it can.
My advice would be( and Audiogon is a precious source for advice) the second best: Zyx1000 Airy (about 2000$, but on ebay you can find a vendor for less than half); or Denon 103 (120$, unbeatable price/quality); than get a medium weight arm (I love unipivots, but a Rega 250 could do-for 300$) and a decent table (with a very good bearing with low tolerances: that's what makes 80% of a table good sound (or lack of) -Linn or Rega or Clearaudio or VPI or Well tempered best); so you can be very near the best with something between 1000 and 2000$.
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