Question Help to choose a suitable turntable

Hawklord

Well-known Member
I'm in the process of finishing of the music listening side of my set up and need a turntable to complement the rest of it to listen to my vinyl. I currently have:-

Cambridge audio CXC CD Transport
Roksan K3 DAC
Yamaha AS-1100 amplifier
KEF R500 Floor standing speakers

The Yamaha has a built in phono stage and I currently have an old Project debut II connected to it. The debut does a fairly decent job but probably isn't making best use of the other components as it was bought as a budget player many moons ago.

What king of budget would I need to buy a player that would make a good match to the other components but not be be overkill.

Can you recommend some players to help narrow down my choices as there is a huge market out there.

Thanks for any pointers.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
The project t t has the following...

Specifications

Type: manual

Drive method: belt drive

Speeds: 33 and 45 rpm

Wow and flutter: 0.12%

Signal to noise ratio: 65dB

Tonearm effective length: 218.5mm

Overhang: 18.5mm

Dimensions: 118 x 415 x 320mm

Weight: 5.5kg, 6.0kg (SE)

Downloads
 

Rachel H

Banned
Have you considered just changing the cartridge on the Debut, also the right platter mat can tighten up the bass significantly.

The Debut is capable of doing a bit more than the sum of it's stock parts.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
How much MONEY do you have to spend?

That is the starting point. The most recent Project Debut has a Carbon Fiber Tonearm and comes with an improved cartridge.

Project Debut Carbon with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge - £350 -

Project Debut Carbon Turntable With Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge - Superfi

How far do you want to go from there?

Project Debut Carbon Esprit SB Turntable - Superfi

Project 1 Xpression Carbon Turntable with Ortofon 2M Silver Cartridge - Superfi

The common Alternative to Project is REGA -

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/...planar-1-turntable-including-performance-pack

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/...planar-2-turntable-including-performance-pack

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/.../rega-planar-3-turntable-inc-elys-2-cartridge

These two - Project and Rega - typically top the list for affordable quality turntables. Now just decide which one you like and how much money you want to spend.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Hawklord

Well-known Member
I'll consider anything if it's worthwhile. I just want to get the best out of my system but don't want to spend a fortune (>£1000).
 

Rachel H

Banned
If you want a whole new deck then you should seriously consider a Thorens 203 as much as the ones BlueWizard posted.
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
What king of budget would I need to buy a player that would make a good match to the other components but not be be overkill.
With that amp and its excellent phono stage, you could probably spend a coupe of k before getting well into the realm of diminishing returns where you really struggle to tell a difference with a doubling of cost, but sadly the result maybe poorer than digital through a 30 quid chromecast audio into the same amp.

Some quick testing and asking around recently suggests that if I cared enough it would be worth spending 1k+ on a cartridge alone (MC) for my existing technics deck, then some more on a headshell, better PSU etc etc - ie upwards of 2K on an already existing deck, never mind buying new and even then, I probably wouldnt be stretching that amp. As it is, I will probably stick an ortofon bronze on it and call it a day. I would go for a black, but for how much I actually just listen to vinyl, I really cant justify it at all next to Tidal via MQA decoding into a decent DAC etc. (I have an A-S2100).

In your shoes, I might think about 500 quid (or whatever they cost) on a rega rp3 for pure listening, or just because I do really like their decks, then the new technics 1210 just because I have always really liked technics decks both for listening and through my years as a DJ, but that is a lot to spend and the prices I have seen do not generally include a decent hifi cartridge, so expect to spend another 250-500 on something suitable.
 
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dannnielll

Well-known Member
I can't seem to find a turntable called the project TT?
. The figures I quoted are for your debut2 Turn Table.. hence TT.
Unless the replacement has better specs than these there is no point in changing. Remember the turntable has no magic properties, its job is to rotate a platter at a constant speed, without adding rumble. It also has to provide a platform for a tone arm.
I suggest that you read carefully what Rachel has written, she has more interest (and patience) for what I consider an obsolete technology.
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'll consider anything if it's worthwhile. I just want to get the best out of my system but don't want to spend a fortune (>£1000).
You mean <£1000 - LESS THAN £1000.

Those I suggested are the most often recommended and they take you up into the £700 range. Though those brands make more expensive Turntables you could consider.

While the REGA 3 is considered a very desirable turntable, the REGA 6 takes you just a bit over £1000 -

Rega Planar 6 Turntable + FREE VINYL

The next turntable up in PROJECT also takes you just a trace over £1000 -

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/hi-fi-turntables/hifi-turntables/project-2-xperience-sb-turntable

I would expect the REGA 3 and the Project 1 Xperssion to hit a pretty decent standard in Consumer Turntables -

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/.../rega-planar-3-turntable-inc-elys-2-cartridge

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/hi-fi-turntables/hifi-turntables/project-1-xpression-carbon-ukx

Both under £700.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Hawklord

Well-known Member
yes <£1000. :)

Would I be better off purchasing a new TT or upgrading the debut?

I wouldn't know where to start with upgrading it? Maybe a new platter,plug and cartridge?
 

Jampot90

Active Member
The debut does a fairly decent job but probably isn't making best use of the other components
In what respect would you like to change what you hear and thereby improve the 'job' the Pro-ject is doing? Or do you like what you hear and anticipate more of the same by trading up?

Between the current price Steve mentions for a new Pro-ject Debut and the upper end of your budget there will be incremental changes but only you can judge whether they are VFM.

Why not visit a decent dealer and listen to a selection. Compare (for instance) a new Debut with a Project Classic (£895 at Hifix). If the improvement isn't worth the extra, ask the dealer to service the old Debut and spend the rest on records:)

Jim

New posts made while I was typing but I think still relevant if similsr to Steve's new suggestions.
 

Rachel H

Banned
The Debut is fine, if it spins and if you can't hear the motor its pretty much doing what any turntable is basically designed to do regardless of price, you can improve it by upgrading the cartridge or a mat, both change and improve the sound characteristics dramatically.

Rega and pro-ject are safe choices but not the best value. If you want a giant killer of a turntable don't get a either buy the Thorens.

Thorens are playing a catch up game, they're a company that once dominated the turntable market and have a wealth of design expertise. For roughly £600 you get a turntable with an arm that beats any rega hands down and costs roughly £500 on its own (you can even impress your friends with the way it wobbles - it's a unipivot). You get a lot for your money and the arm is where you'll get the most improvements in fidelity.

That's all if you want to buy a new deck, theres plenty more performance available from your Debut, you'll be surprised. :)
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
The actual title is missing a question mark at the end... . The discussion comments are very revealing and to an extent mirror the discussions on this forum. Generally the vinyl supporters stance is along the lines of .. vinyl is as more satisfying, enough said, . Or getting vinyl and getting a good player is all about the thrill of the hunt. Whenever questioned about the actual fidelity of vinyl versus other formats ,the point of defense then shifts to "its about the music "...when it actually is not, it's about the mechanics of music reproduction.
I only bring this up because of the tenor of the darko article
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
The Debut is fine, if it spins and if you can't hear the motor its pretty much doing what any turntable is basically designed to do regardless of price, you can improve it by upgrading the cartridge or a mat, both change and improve the sound characteristics dramatically.

Rega and pro-ject are safe choices but not the best value. If you want a giant killer of a turntable don't get a either buy the Thorens.

Thorens are playing a catch up game, they're a company that once dominated the turntable market and have a wealth of design expertise. For roughly £600 you get a turntable with an arm that beats any rega hands down and costs roughly £500 on its own (you can even impress your friends with the way it wobbles - it's a unipivot). You get a lot for your money and the arm is where you'll get the most improvements in fidelity.

That's all if you want to buy a new deck, theres plenty more performance available from your Debut, you'll be surprised. :)
Thank you for your response. You appear to have a wealth of knowledge in this area (which I sadly don't :laugh:)

If you had £600 to spend which way would you go? 1)Spend it on upgrades to the Debut or 2)buy a Thorens TT?

If 1) Could you give details (and possibly links) to what you would buy to upgrade the Debut.

If 2) Which Thorens TT would you buy and where from? Most of the usual AV retailers I use do not tend to stock Thorens TT's. I notice they have a distribtor in the UK but no shop front per say.

I just need guidance on which way would net the best result for the outlay.

Thank you for any of your informative input.
 

droidlike

Active Member
@Hawklord
may I post here some exerpts from the darko link ?

if yes, then, for example, this below may answer your first question

=================================
The turntable deployed for this experimental investigation was the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC – arguably one of the best available for less than $500. It was fitted with an Ortofon OM10 cartridge. One could argue that a better cart might have narrowed the differential with digital but I doubt it would have significantly improved the turntable’s fundamental personality.

New shoes help a little but they don’t make you a better runner.
==================================

so, if you can save a little more :eek:
then think of getting the tt on the darko article
or
read the very useful comments in that article, as already pointed out by @dannnielll :rolleyes:
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
I understand that you have to spend a lot of money to get a TT to match a good digital system.

I have 200+ vinyl records from my youth (kept them stored for 20+ years) and have only just started to enjoy them again recently.

Yes the Project debut is adequate and up to the job of playing them, but, with any audio chain can be improved by upgrading.

I do not have £3k to blow on my hobby but I'm prepared to spend some more money (say <£600) if this will make tangible improvements over the debut and further the enjoyment of my vinyl collection.
 

Rachel H

Banned
Thank you for your response. You appear to have a wealth of knowledge in this area (which I sadly don't :laugh:)

If you had £600 to spend which way would you go? 1)Spend it on upgrades to the Debut or 2)buy a Thorens TT?

If 1) Could you give details (and possibly links) to what you would buy to upgrade the Debut.

If 2) Which Thorens TT would you buy and where from? Most of the usual AV retailers I use do not tend to stock Thorens TT's. I notice they have a distribtor in the UK but no shop front per say.

I just need guidance on which way would net the best result for the outlay.

Thank you for any of your informative input.
Heya's :)

Well...if i had your amp, which punches a little above it's weight, I would probably go for the Thorens. I probably wouldn't upgrade the Debut (but you could).

BlueWizard recommended a bunch of turntables from pro-ject and rega, theres really nothing wrong with any of them, but for the money there isn't that much that would influence the sound enough over what you have, were you to do a few upgrades.

The biggest sound difference as you jump from one model in a range up to another will come from whatever cartridge is fitted, which is why a cartridge upgrade for your Debut would give you results. When you pay more for a deck you start to pay for finish more than anything else and engineering only really becomes a major factor with arms and cartridges.

The best mat i ever tried was a funk firm achromat, its what I use now and it always produces results, if you want something cheaper I would suggest an origin live mat but only on top of a felt one (I know, I know how good can it be if you have to use it on top of another mat, but it gives you results (I guess I just look for more) and more than anything allows you to play with the sound swapping them over)- the result is different to the achromat and I'm going to say not as good, but an improvement over a bare platter or simple cork or felt.

I got the impression you didn't want to spend over 1000 pounds, so the Thorens 203 sounded like a good deal, you get a sound deck and stable motor that can be adjusted, a 45/33 rpm switch and that fantastic arm which 'if' you were going to spend money on a new deck is where you'll get the most worthwhile improvements. It comes with a basic AT cartridge fitted and you ought to notice immediately (if you know the cartridge) just how much difference a good arm makes to even a basic cartridge...then...if you upgrade the cartridge...even more results - it sounds so close to a deck three times the price. :p

Some of the Thorens turntables depending on where you buy them might only ship with a European plug, so if you do go this rout make sure you have either a 12v dc adapter or ask the dealer for one.

Hope that helps :D

Rach' ;)
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
I will take your advice and upgrade the debut with a mat and cartridge first to see what improvements can be had. :)

The current cartridge is a ortophon omb 5e what would be a suitable upgrade?

Would an acrylic platter be a better investment over achromat mat?

sorry for all the questions:blush:
 

droidlike

Active Member
try with
an old but flat vinyl record as a mat and use a lightly heavy pack on top to tighten them together
and
an audio technica at440mlb, since I'm using it on an audio technica lp1240, a combo suggested here on avforums by @BlueWizard some time ago,
and it sounds so outstanding to me whem playing vinyl records compared to the same albums on cdrom
 
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Khazul

Well-known Member
so the Thorens 203 sounded like a good deal
This might be silly, but there is something just wrong with those kind of switches on a turntable :)

I'm sure they are very good, I'm just not a fan of their looks.
 

Rachel H

Banned
I will take your advice and upgrade the debut with a mat and cartridge first to see what improvements can be had. :)
The current cartridge is a ortophon omb 5e what would be a suitable upgrade?
Would an acrylic platter be a better investment over achromat mat?
sorry for all the questions:blush:
Yikes! Here's a topic I was seriously trying to avoid :confused:

Okay, soooo...upgrading is a good way to go and it will improve the sound, you just have a little extra trouble doing it because you have a Debut.

The counterbalance on your Debut is fixed at the factory (and probably too heavy), so you'll need to take a screwdriver to the underneath somewhere and unscrew the screw holding the balance in place in order to change the tracking force on whatever new cartridge you buy. The Debut, while good isn't sold as a deck they expect the average new listener to start upgrading even though you can in a limited way, and because theres no scale on the counter weight you'll need a separate scale/protractor etc in order to do it all by hand.

Next problem is that the arm isn't any more adjustable so that limits your choice of cartridge. Your best option is not to buy a cartridge but simply to buy an OM stylus upgrade such as a 20 (£120) and more preferably a 30 (£250) which means all you do is change the tracking force. You can move the cartridge to any new deck you buy in the future, remember!

An acrylic platter isn't as good as a good mat and you would be looking at the 3mm achromat not the 5mm one for the Debut.

If the Thorens is too much outlay, upgrading this way is a good choice, also you can move the mat and cartridge to any new turntable you buy in the future, just make sure it has adjustments in the tonearm. :hiya:

Rach' :)
 

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