Turntable choices - upgrade cartridge or LP12

No one has yet mentioned AVID…

Also Manufactured in the heart of England and have stellar plug and play options at any price point. Only thing is, they work from the off and keep working perfectly without the need for ‘fettling’ year in and year out. So if you cannot live with this drawback, you may well prefer theLP12 with its dependency on expert input and legion options to alter as funds permit.

I had an LP12 from Peter many years ago and he is a miracle worker, but now I live a long way away from his level of expertise, and have an Acutus and never looked back. This is above you’re budget but appear occasionally for great second hand options and I worked up to an ex dem unit following my personal discovery of the long list of drawbacks of the (gorgeous) Gyrodec. AVID also remains the comparatively small company with resultant terrific advice and customer care.

Any which way you go, an amazing upgrade in vinyl reproduction awaits - good luck!


Avid is a great call, lovely sounding decks.

@gav_sw20 Lindsay makes a very good point here. The LP12 has a very strong following here in the UK but there are other contenders. I have owned 2 LP12s myself, plus Rega, Roksan and now Vertere. Cymbiosis provide a super service but do go with an open mind, if not an open wallet (!)

Best regards, BF


So for my first post on the forum I will put a vote forward for Clearaudio. I have had an Emotion SE for years and its a fantastic turntable at what was then a reasonable price.

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Given your choices offered I would buy the LP12 you are not likely to regret it and you can upgrade it to your heart’s content whether you buy a new one or used.

But another choice worth mentioning is a Michell Gyrodec SE or full-on Gyrodec again new or 2nd-hand is a great sound and a bargain in my view for the money. Put a higher-order Rega, Michell techno arm or better an Origin Live arm say an onyx or Silver and it will sing.


Congrats! You won a badge :laughing:

.I feel special.

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I think if I lived within driving distance of Peter and could work with him on an LP12 to a budget…hard to imagine a cooler opportunity (I bought my Ittok III from him and I live in Seattle). He has several older ones on his site and specifically says he can pull together a good Franken vintagey one for less than 1400 pounds, not including arm/cartridge…so seems like you are right in there.


Welcome, @gav_sw20.

My 2p is your Carbon and cartridge are an excellent and desirable combo at their level, and a perfect set to trade in together for a Rega P3, P6, P8 or P10 and the factory-recommended cartridge, or some form of Linn, etc. These are the easy go-tos. (I think a Rega P2 is excellent but a lateral move, perhaps.)

If you have a good local dealer you would like to support, I recommend you keep these options in mind while you give fair consideration to alternatives they recommend and support well that they will let you demo comfortably.

We are in a new golden age of vinyl. My personal experience has been that Regas at whatever level I could afford over the years have always exceeded my expectations.

Good luck!


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Nick, it says a lot that your RP10 finds its place in the exalted company of a 552/500 and Naim’s top phono stage. I owned a Linn for donkey’s years and loved it but there are two downsides: the constant temptation to tweak/improve it - Linn bring out a new bearing, £900, ker-ching! - and it needs to be set up by someone skilled in the task. Since getting back into vinyl a while ago I’ve upgraded through the Rega range and now have a Planar 10. It’s well up there with a Linn, at least at their mid range level and can be set up and working in ten minutes. The semi automatic assumption that the Linn is in a different class is not correct - maybe the Rega is too small and cheap to be taken as seriously as it should? I wouldn’t be buying a Linn made up from secondhand parts - I’d be buying something that worked out of the box with no fiddling and faff.


The Michell was my route. Fabulous and very solid. Looks better than an LP12 in my view too.


For a format that was supposedly on its way out in the 80s there seems to be a remarkably wonderful choice of turntables on the market!


…indeed, in some ways the P10 might not be thought of as in the same league as other TTs, simply because it is less expensive. A comparative review would be good.

Statistically I may be wrong, but I have felt for years that there are more turntable manufacturers now than there were in the 70’s, even.

Quite possibly. I suspect that in the 80s the majority of people who listen down vinyl had micro or midi systems of some type with a TT provided as part of the package. The number of specialist turntable providers would still have been relatively small. Certainly Rega didn’t have the range of products they’ve got now.

I wonder if the shift in turntable manufacturing has been from major companies that make a range of electronics and hi-fi to companies that are focused on hi-fi or turntables alone? Back in the 70s and 80s, every major electronic company had a large range of turntables, now I suspect they manufacture one or two if any at all.

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It was a dying format because the suits and producers of CDs and LPs decided it was but actually it was kept alive by people who knew its value and how good it could sound. Now many more folk see and appreciate the medium but some turntable and cartridge companies etc. kept the faith too.

I think it will be around a good while yet, streaming is popular but there are still a lot of us who want to hold the music in our hand and have our own copy. Mind you I still buy CDs too so what do I know!


Just when you thought Linn would take a break from upgrades after the recent Karousel they come out with a mod to the inside of the Radical box and another motor. Oh, and another range topper cartridge as well. Hard to keep up!

It never stops Douglas, which is what I like about the LP12, even if can’t afford it all

It gets better and better

One can only wonder what will happen on its 50th anniversary shortly

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I think you may well be right: the 1970s t/t manufacturers included many of the Japanese companies, Garrard, BSR, Dual, Michell etc (iirc U.S t/ts had a minimal UK presence).

The international market now has changed things- think EAT, Gold Note, Pro-ject etc al.

I like turntables as objects: thankfully (or unfortunately I have neither the space nor money to collect them