SHAman who knew of Head-Fi ten years prior to its existence
Oct 11, 2001
Asr: I think you are doing a fine job and starting this thread will be beneficial over time, if it hasn't already been beneficial. It is at least very interesting and helps bring like minds together.
I don't think it is out of the question to consider a complete system as the cart arm and table and that combo should be in the 2k range to be considered high end. Some will balk and claim it needs to be much higher but for most I think they will agree that a well setup 2k system will lay to waste most cd players in that range if not double to triple that price depending on the media used. Including the phono stage in my opinion shouldn't be considered because many preamps come with phono stages and it will complicate matters.
As for the other analog front-ends, reel to reel, cassette etc, I would love to read about them, particularly cassette decks. I have a bunch of old tapes that I would love to digitize and even keep in their current format to have a listen. I know the Nakamichi line is often said to be the best and Dragon's as one of the better models...but having folks chime in who own them, compared them with their other great gear...it's fun reading and very informative for a beginner like me.
Thorens 166 mkii, Linn Akito Arm, Benz Micro M2 Cartridge, Lehmann Black Cube Phono Stage with outboard power supply, this is over $2500, but the TT alone is not so I am not sure how this counts. Got a replacement platter from Thorens too, fantastic.
SOTA Comet (piano finish and several modifications) with a Sumiko LMTII tonearm (jelco based) with a Sumiko Blue Point.
But as said earlier I prefer some of my other tables over this and they were much cheaper. I would really love to see a list of Head-fier vinyl setups regardless of price. A big thank you to Asr for coming up with this and the digital thread as it really is a great idea and resource.
i've got a Sony PS-X800--costing about $1000 in 1980. considered by many to be the best consumer tt sony ever made and in Japan it received accolades from many audiophile mags. i'd say it's easily as good if not better than my scout.