If you had a budget of between 15-20k - what would your player recommendations be? (with a NAP500/NAC552/ND555 currently). Bear in mind, I dont like “upgrades”, would prefer something the best it can be out the box, so to speak.
I also dont know what I would need - assume most players need a power supply for the motor etc? (I am abit of a noob here, so guidance is definitvely needed).
My dad used to have a LP12 (fully upgraded circa 17k and sounded unbelievable) but I am not a Linn fan (with all their horrific customer service problems with the Komri’s and overheating drive units and their general 10 year “that’s it” policy on parts etc).
If you’re starting from scratch (sorry), then you’d be wise to set aside at least half your budget for LPs, and if you buy the right deck/arm/cartridge and phono stage then be prepared to spend that LP budget along with much, much more as you’ll be wanting to buy lots and lots of lovely vinyl records.
Clearaudio makes outstanding turntables, that once setup properly are pretty much forget it and play it.
I have a Clearaudio Ovation with a Clearaudio Universal tonearm, a Dynavector XV-1s cartridge and a Herron Audio VTPH-2a phonostage. The retail price for that in the U.S. is $20K, well within your budget and it will gel with a 500 series system very nicely. You might even step up from the Ovation to an Innovation Compact for another $2000 US.
The Herron phonostage is more readily available in the US, but a Naim Superline is in roughly the same price range.
I as well got interested in owning a tt after many years without one. I went with Rega, as the user-required setup is quite minimal compared to many others. They install their cartridge at the factory, removing that from your to-do list. They are rumored to be introducing a new version of their top-of-the-line shortly, to be called the P10. P10, top cartridge, and their own top phono stage probably will be more like 13k I’m guessing. But there are many options in your price range, and more opinions than that!
A lovely position to be in!
After several Linn LP12s and a Roksan, plus auditioning several other makes, I settled on Vertere. An MG-1 or SG-1 with the standard tonearm, upgraded arm cable, a Dynavector or Lyra cartridge and a £2-5k phono stage would do the trick.
Other interesting options to try include Nottingham Analogue Dias, SME20/3 and an AVID deck. They do sound different, so audition to hear which one sounds best to you.
I use an old Roksan deck, but have recently heard the Vertere decks. The MG1 will be well within your price-range, although watch for an announcement next week, with an SG-1 arm and ART1000 cartridge, feeding a reasonable Vertere Phono 1 headamp you’ll be around £11,000-£12,000 leaving money for the records as Richard suggested.
Yeah, you’re right. I’m thinking for this kind of money, I need home demo’s as it never sounds the same in some super optimised dealer room (and hard to gauge if they don’t have everything the same etc)
I suppose the question is, having got all these albums, will you actually listen to them? Maybe it’s a good idea to get something modest to start with. We have only a few records and bought a Rega P1 Plus a few months ago. It cost £329 plus £100 for the performance pack (better cartridge, mat and belt) and it’s really good. Despite playing it through a system that is in theory far too good for it, it sounds great. Maybe it’s all you need.
HH makes a very valid point
There is little point in splurging 20K on a top notch rig …then maybe not getting the use out of it
Appreciate you don’t like upgrading…
Appreciate you have a top notch system already…
But 3k on a Rega P8 with Inc MC cartridge and aria phono is a great way to listen to vinyl…and can be sold on in a year IF you find its lacking and your playing LPs constantly…
Just my 2 cents
RP10/Aphelion + Superline/Supercap here. Shockingly better than popular turntables of old; and yet, not so exotic you will have difficulties selling it on if you get itchy for change (which is the only reason I’d change mine).
New Planar8 is rather good, too. New 10 coming soon, I suppose.
There is nothing to set up on Technics and its build quality compared with OL is different league.
OP was unhappy as he could not get a fix for Linn kit after 10 years, I’ve not had this problem with LP12, but he has that concern. If he gets Linn level of service from OL then I’ll be more amazed than an amazed person on amazing night.
If OP wants a fit and forget non-Linn deck then he’d do well to audition one of these
The Linn LP12 Majik was my entry point. Now I have a table that is almost Klimax (Krystal Cartridge, Urika 1 Phono, not the Exact Phono) And I have never regretted.
I also had a Rega 1, but it you’re gonna go Rega, get at least a 3… I know you say you don’t want to upgrade…but don’t rule it out. Upgrading is fairly easy to do especially if you have a dealer near by…