Entry Level and Upgrades... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Entry Level and Upgrades...

04-23-2007, 09:01 PM
So, I gottta say my curiosity has peaked lately with what the world of analog could offer. I've heard some great analog setups, but never invested personally with it simply because I couldn't focus on it hard enough with everything else. Now might be the time though, so alas my question....

What would be a really good entry-level turntable that also offers the ability to tweak and mod and turn into a really good one if one were so inclined?

Budget: $500.

On the good note I actually own a good stack of vinyl that I have collected over the years from people on the verge of throwing them away....I knew what a mistake that was, so I took it from them before they could toss it. I probably have 200 albums.

04-23-2007, 11:19 PM
.....at JMs upgrade and tweak journey. John has managed to squeeze every bit of performance out of the Rega P2. I bet it sounds nothing like the standard version now.
That's a good starting point. You could also try the Project line of TTs. The Rega and especially the RB250 arm can be tweaked fairly easy and in stages.
Wecome to the dark side PS.:)



04-24-2007, 07:38 AM
I of course would vote for the Rega P2. It is a great player out of the box but many proven after market mods available. The very first mod is to mount the cartridge in the Baerwald geometry and not the way Rega suggests. The MoFi Geodisc is a great cartridge alignment tool. This is not a table that you will be thinking about what to improve initially but when you are ready they are available.

I do not know of another table that has as many manufacturers making mods as they do for the Regas. Regas remind me of the original VW Beetles or Honda Civics with all the companies making aftermarket performance parts. My $495 Planar 2 has about $1,000 in mods spread out over about 5 years and the sound justifies the cash outlay.

04-24-2007, 07:50 AM
rega or project, both are very good, but the rega will offer more room for upgrades.

and indeed, welcome to the dark (and shiny) side :)

Keep them spinning,

04-24-2007, 05:34 PM
I apologize in advance for my $hitty grammar as usual. Nawadayz I dont get to write much English.

Today at work, I was thinking what the most important analog gear is when playing records. Once again, I wasnt able to come out with a postive answer. I second what JM suggested about MoFi Disc. I have one made by Turntablebasics. This one is also very good. I've compared it with MoFi disc I once brought it home as a trusty customer. MoFi is definetly easier to setup. My Denon carts will always sound million times better than a Koetsu installed by Stevie or Doc Watson. I could go one much more about different elements of analog set.

Anyways, the reason why I stated all the crap above is because I believe you need a well balanced setup. You know this in terms of audio as much as everybody else. Does your budget include for a cartridge, phono pre, and all the necessary accessories?
Nice your digital system is a solid one, I would at least suggest the following:

-Good cartrdige
-Phono stage that will maximize your cartridge
-$10 carbon fiber brush
-LP cleaning device/tool. CFBrush just isnt good enough
- Stylus cleaner or something to safely clean a stylus
- Good Isolation/vibration tweak that will work best in your enviroment. Sturdy rack/furniture/platform, hard/soft cones, or others.
- Reliable level to make sure your turntable is as level as possible or your patience will allow.
-Cartridge alignment tool

If the budget is only for a TT as you've originally posted, then I would once again second what JM posted*. I dont know any other TT companies that will offer so many upgrades, unless you are a hardcore DIY guy. I dont think you are.

But I will say this. Majority of turntables will always satisfy the Upgradetitus. The most significant one is called...... a cartridge. How many different cartirdges are available on the marktet? Dont think we'll ever live long enough to try'em all.
My take on the Incognito rewire is a mix. I just believe that should be the last thing to tweak before taking care of the rest.
Before buying a Rega, I would check it out with a strobe disc and check it's speed. And find out how much more it would cost to get it under a control. Maybe the newest P2 doesnt have the problem I've read alot about*. I say all of about Rega, because speed stability could be the most important part of a TT setup.
But you cannot denied the capability of Rega arms. I think their arms will match very well with some of the most desired cartridges than a conical carbon fiber arm made for MH and P-Ject decks. I would be curious to read about Rega TT specs though... then again, alot of hi-end TT compaies dont even bother.

I'm sure I got way off of the track, but I hope this helps.


04-24-2007, 05:38 PM
Thanks everyone for the various pieces of advice. The cool thing, and maybe what has me interested, is the fact that with analog stuff you can upgrade in many ways and do lots of tweaks yourself, whereas a CD player for example, there is only so much that you can do, and most of it calls for lots of technical savviness.