Turntable Quality Hierarchy Poll

A totally useless poll!

So, what are your thoughts, in what order do you find your turntable parts contribute to your listening pleasure?

Phono? No, you can’t start with that, the poll max is 20 options :slight_smile:

Turntable quality hierarchy
  • TT - Arm - Cartridge - Phono
  • TT - Arm - Phono - Cartridge
  • TT - Cartridge - Arm - Phono
  • TT - Cartridge - Phono - Arm
  • TT - Phono - Arm - Cartridge
  • TT - Phono - Cartridge - Arm
  • Arm - TT - Cartridge- Phono
  • Arm - TT - Phono - Arm
  • Arm - Cartridge - TT - Phono
  • Arm - Cartridge - Phono - TT
  • Arm - Phono - Cartridge - TT
  • Arm - Phono - TT - Cartridge
  • Cartridge - TT - Arm - Phono
  • Cartridge - TT - Phono - Arm
  • Cartridge - Arm - TT - Phono
  • Cartridge - Arm - Phono - TT
  • Cartridge - Phono - TT - Arm
  • Cartridge - Phono - Arm - TT
  • Phono…it should start with Phono…

0 voters

I find it hard to split TT and arm, because I’ve simply never had an opportunity to listen to them separately. I think that will be true for many here.

I’ve swapped out phono stages, cartridges & decks. But arm and deck were always a combo.

After 4 decks, 3 arms, 5 cartridges and 4 phonostages, maybe 6 if you count the SUT and adding a supercap to existing stages, no not to the same one.
I don’t know but I have got better at setting them up.

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I didn’t vote myself, because I don’t own one yet. It is nice to see that the so far 45 (!) voters are roughly in consensus.

A preliminary outcome for me to ponder on, since I was under the impression that it was cartridge, arm, tt, phono, as in: ability to read/translate the grooves, ability to finetune the weight/position of the cartridge on the grooves, optimal reduction of vibrations.

The order might indeed be useless though, as it seems to be the sum of the parts, all equal in importance. Ordering them might lead to ignoring the importance of the lower ordered parts.

The base seems to be most voters’ number one though, interesting.

Interesting, and probably so, decks are commonly sold with arm. However, would someone buy for instance a Rega 8 over a 6 because of the deck or the arm?

What triggered you to frequently swap phono stages?

I wouldn’t say frequently, but I have upgraded phono stages while keeping my deck. I’ve also upgraded my deck (inc. arm) while keeping the same phono stage.

I think people would get P8 over a P6 for the combination. I’m guessing most Rega buyers, wouldn’t be able to tell you which bit is more of an upgrade, simply that the 8 sounds better. And as they’re really sold plug and play, I suspect many might even treat the cart as part of the combo and won’t compare with the same cart on both.

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The general rule of thumb in the Linn Lp12 world is (in order of importance)

Bearing, PSU, Sub Chassis, Arm, Cartridge

follow these steps you should not go wrong well in a Sondek anyway


In general I think the consensus is correct but there are so many grey areas within that under some circumstances any combination may be right

You’re probably right, I’ve heard a fair few combinations over the years but the one thing that changed my mind on the LP12 was the Keel, it changed it from the “yeah OK” class to the “YESSS!!” class to me

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Oh darn. I missed that. Luckily, the poll was introduced as being useless and I am mostly ignorant on the matter, so the order for me was totally randomly built.


I will be an owner of an LP12 Majik in a few weeks (Majik/Jelco arm with Karousel). I got a good Price and my Budget is even now.

What would be then the best Options in the future for next Upgrades?


I used to follow the orthodoxy of TT, Arm, cartridge but a few years back I heard a Rega RP3 with £1k Transfiguration cartridge with an Audioanalogue amp and big Magneplanar speakers and frankly the outcome was very thought provoking. If I remember correctly @JonR was there.




the BEST recent upgrade by a long way is karsouel, so box ticked

depending on your budget - I would improve the mjick phono to may be a serviced NAIM pre powered mine my HCDR which was a great phono only improved for me by Urika/Radikal

or look at PSU Lingo 3/4 would be my choice, then sub kore is an upgrade from current sub chassis

any enjoy the music

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Thanks for your Infos.

But what do you mean with “mjick phono”? The Urika? I will use the internal phonostage of my SN3 (powered by HiCap DR) for the beginning. I will see how good the Adict MM would be compared to my actual Ortofon Valencia.

Yes, the most important Thing is to enjoy Music but we all here are infected by the Naim/Linn upgrade Virus :wink:

Regas have always been the joker, and have history throwing the odd spanner in the hierarchy. Anybody remember the show many, many years ago (where a Planar 3 had a Dynavector arm fitted to it and was fronting a very high end system? The sound was reported to be extremely good…

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I don’t remember that Richard but there was a participant on the old forum, can’t remember his name or if he frequents this forum, who said that his Rega RP1 played music in a way that his CD555 couldn’t.



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@LindsayM sorry - my powers of recall are hopeless. Can you remind me which show that was (I assume it was at a show) ? Rega make fine decks, no doubt about it. I can certainly believe that a Transfiguration cart will sound great on an RP3.

there is No internal phono stadge fitted in Majik or Arkrute deck (from factory) so adding an internal Phono ie Naim Pre - with external power will improve the sound - the shortest distance for the signal

so on my deck I had NAIM pre powered by HCDR and the musical quality of a well looked after Pre is superb and IMO only bettered by Urika/Radikal combo

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Jon it was at the Signals show probably around 2014/5.

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Quality of recording/mastering - Turntable , Tonearm , Phono Stage , Cartridge