Table, Arm & Cartridge recommendation needed
Jul 28, 2008 at 9:06 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

Know Talent

100+ Head-Fier
Jul 31, 2007
I'm going to try viynl for myself this fall and want to keep the damage in the $3000 region...

What would you recommend for a decent mid-level table, arm and MM cartridge combination?

I've been eyeing the ClearAudio Emotion package with a Virtuoso Wood cartridge.
I'd prefer something with a dustcover...
and where to buy?
Jul 29, 2008 at 12:40 PM Post #2 of 3


Headphoneus Supremus
Mar 15, 2007
You should be able to do very well for $3,000, and you should take into consideration that you are going to need content.

I suggest that you consider a used deck. Last year I bought a used Rega P7 ($2,695 new) with a Benz Micro Glider MC cart ($1,200 new) for less than $1,800. I just bought a used Sota Star Sapphire vacuum platter turntable ($3,500 new) and a vintage SME 3009 tonearm (about $550) for the same money.

I cannot comment on the Sota yet because I am waiting to take delivery, but I can say that they are very highly regarded here. The Regas are not so well regarded but after owning one for a year I don't understand why. My P7 turntable, RB700 tonearm, and Benz cart made some wonderous music and I got a lot of hours of listening pleasure out of that setup. I only bought the Sota because I wanted one when I first started shopping for a vinyl rig but couldn't find one at a good price, and the opportunity to get the Rega came along and I took it...with no regrets. But recently I had a chance to get the Sota and jumped at it. Hopefully I will like it as least as much as the Rega.

Just remember that you will need a deck, a tonearm, a cartridge, and a phono preamp. Most knowledgable people here will suggest you spend most of your budget on the deck and tonearm and relatively less on the cart and phono preamp, and I think that's pretty good advice. I've done very well on Audiogon by sticking to established sellers.

Jul 29, 2008 at 6:21 PM Post #3 of 3


1000+ Head-Fier
Feb 29, 2008
I'd recommend trying to demo a VPI deck as well. A new Scout is $1800 I beleive, but if your comfortable buying used (or demo units) then they can be had for much less. With the dollar in the dregs like it is nowadays, the VPI is a good deal since it is built in New Jersey. I love my Scout and highly recommend it. I find that unipivot tonearms are quite 'musical' as opposed to 'analytical' to my ears, which was a deciding factor after demoing a whole bunch of tables before buying the Scout.

Good luck with the search, and see if you can demo some tables. It is worth the effort.

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