Budget turntables

Been thinking about adding a turntable to my main setup for a while and finally decided to take the plunge. I’m still unsure about the merits of revisiting vinyl especially as I believe that a lot of recent records have been cut from digital files and the improved sound now available from CDs and digital hi res files, but I’m willing to try. However I’m not prepared to spend any more than $2k (AUD) and have lined up a Pro-ject Debut Pro deck with Pick It Pro cartridge and Phono Box DS2 pre-amp. I’m just wondering if anyone has any experience with these 2 products or have any better options/suggestions.

Talk to our illustrious dealer young fella before you do anything

Project just OK not sure about long term reliability ( he use to have them)

Give him the price level and don’t move from there

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Don’t remember ever seeing any “budget” turntables at Harry’s. I will touch base with him before doing anything though.

Re the Pro-ject stuff I know a few people that own them and love them.

Certainly check out the Rega turntables. A P3 might fit the bill with Rega cartridge or possibly an Ortofon 2M cartridge. As to phono amp, again Rega or Graham Slee if they are available in your country. Good luck. I got back into vinyl about a decade ago now. Had about 150 records and now have about 600. Particularly enjoying the remastered jazz records from the 50s, 60s and 70s such as the Tone Poet series from Blue Note and anything newly recorded and produced by Night Dreamer.


At your price it will be plug and play

Perhaps Rega 2 or 3 or some of the Dual’s are ok evidently

Won’t have to worry about bouncy Linns ha

Are you going to use with atom ?

Vinyl is getting really expensive just seems to be going up and up every day. Have a look on the Red Eye web site to see - mind boggling

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Rega Planar 3 in UK gets good user satisfaction results
My father had one and it sounded really good (usual caveats apply).

If your unsure about completely embracing vinyl Rega planar 1 and 2 are also available but I don’t know much about them

No I’ll keep it boxed till I roll out 252/250 again, it’s just I’ve got some cash that has landed in my hot hands that I will only spend on something less rewarding or waste.

I think you’ll need a Linn LP12 with the 252/250 mate :+1::+1::+1:

Start saving :crazy_face: something like the Linn Majik with the newly released Koil moving coil cartridge

I’m finding the overall quality of vinyl is pretty good , not the snap crackle and pop of years gone by

In your shoes, my first step here would be to have a chat with Harry or Norman.

The Pro-ject decks and pre-amps are good (there’s a reason why they sell so well) and generally fuss free. However, that’s not to say you can’t do better for the money. Like for like I would probably come down in favour of the Rega equivalents from a performance point of view. And then, of course, there are others like the decks from Technics, and some other options like the old Linn LP12 but rebuilt and revived.


Do not forget you have to feed it.

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Agree Richard - Harry might even be able to build an inexpensive LP12 from bits and pieces he has lying around

The fun and games begin


I’ve just started looking through the Rega range might do some more research before pulling the trigger. Thanks for the input.

If go Rega probably the 3 would be the one to go for I would say

What I’m concerned about is the TT costing more than I intended to spend and then find out I still need a phono amp.

Nope straight into the 252

Sorry about adding the photo didn’t think it was a problem, am I still able to mention the model names/numbers.

I would always consider how you feel about the maintenance of the deck getting into this. When I made my re-entry into vinyl, I knew it was for bargain bin music discovery and kitsch fun. I wasn’t really up for belt changes (which can be more frequent if you hardly use a deck as the belt is unevenly stressed for a long period). With that in mind, I opted for a good budget direct drive.

Not a turntable name you see much on the forum but the TEAC TN-4D is great budget deck. The supplied cartridge is a bit laid back for my liking but paired with a slightly better cartridge and a better power supply (it really responded to that), it takes the cost to about the same as a Rega P6. The latter is arguably a better deck, but the TEAC is fuss free. The built in MM phono stage and digital output are convenient but nothing compared to good amp’s stage or dedicated one.

The Regas don’t have a built in phono amp (or not that I can see).

I have just bought a Roksan Attessa turntable, I am more than pleased with it. Comes with a switchable built in phono stage & cartridge, excellent value for money and it picks up great reviews. I had been looking at the Pro-ject deck and phono stage you mention in your first post, but I preferred the Roksan in the end.


Must have a look I’m not familiar with the Regas although maybe I had one 25 years ago as a stop gap but I think I’ve always had Linns

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