Originally Posted by Shaffer
The Rega is more articulate, more clear, much more dynamic....
And I see people saying the exact opposite in other places around the interweb. I suppose I need to find a shop where I can listen to both.
If the above is important to you, buy the carbon. I'd be lying if I didn't say that choosing analog gear based on its appearance can be a mistake.
Neither of those preferences have anything to do with appearance.
I suggested a used P25, because it's just as easy to setup, it's almost in your budget, and its sound quality is much improved over the other options. No matter which 'table you choose, with analog, you're always best off starting with the front end. Always. The information in the grooves will not be heard no matter what gear lies down the line, if it's not extracted to begin with. Yes, the same thing can be said about DACs. Here we're dealing with a completely different order of magnitude.
While compared to the entire range of available turntables, it may be 'almost in my budget;' $600 is 50% more than the $400 for the pro-ject. 50% overrun isn't almost in budget to my mind.
In terms of phono stages, which are you considering?
Not sure yet, haven't done much research/thinking on this.
Anyway, thanks for your opinions.