Vinyl thoughts

Having heard how good vinyl can sound on relatively modest systems, I’ve often wondered about adding a record deck and a select collection of LP’s to my system.

Interested to know what sort of spec/spend I’d be looking at to get something that would do itself justice and give me that lovely vinyl sound and feeling.

This will get interesting.
It depends on so much really. But if you haven’t already got any vinyl then i probably wouldn’t start now.
It’s expensive, the new stuff is crap.

But if you want to, then something like a rega P8 and rega phono stage for the money will certainly see you right. Plus it’s an easy turntable to live with and set up.
This will produce a lovely sound to easily match your NDS, i would say it will probably become your favourite source.

After this sort of level thing can get very expensive for little gains, but at the same time them little gains are very nice in the vinyl world.


It’s not my experience that most of the new vinyl available is poor. Although I have a vinyl collection that stretches back to the '70s and has a number of pressings from before then, most of the vinyl I listen to now are new issues/new music. Generally the pressings have been very good and I’d say a better hit rate than when I bought vinyl back in the '80s for instance.

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With your system Stu I would go Rega Plana 8 or an LP12. Do you have any vinyl at all?

Your best off buying used vinyl as new stuff is remastered from CDs alot of the time. The older stuff has pops and crackles but can sound really good. It becomes a very involved hobby with vinyl but for me is a more direct and fun experience than streaming which is somewhat neutral.

Rega turntables are easy to set up. Linn are a bit different. There’s lots of other brands such as Vertere, Clearaudio, Technics and so on.

Maybe just dip your toe to start with and get a nice Rega Plana 3.


I don’t own a single piece of vinyl right now

You can go as far as you want, but getting a turntable as revealing as your NDS won’t be cheap. Also remember that new vinyl (and the most sight-after second-hand vinyl) is not cheap either.

A Rega P6 and a Rega Fono phono stage are great VFM, especially second hand. However, they will still cost very roughly £700 on eBay and I would rate the SQ as quite a long way below your NDS - and your system will make the gap fault obvious.

A P8 with an Aria and a non-budget cartridge will probably cost well over £1k. It’s better than the above but still a couple of rungs below your NDS imho.

On a similar price bracket there are good s/h alternatives to Rega. I think the Dynavector P75 mk4 is brilliant sound-per-£, for example, and that is far from the only choice.

There are great-sounding turntables in this price bracket on eBay from Technics, Well-Tempered, Michell, Thorens, Clearaudio and others.

If you want to compete more directly with your NDS, you’d probably need to go for not-bottom-of-the-range with any of those brands, and you are probably spending well over £2k (and quite possibly twice that). At that level, s/h LP12s become a great option too.

And you still need to get some actual records.

Do let us know what you do.


I totally agree Dan.
Most new vinyl is directly copied from a digital source, this can be good, but it can also be crap. It’s normally recored at a higher volume, and much more compressed to how a copy from years ago is.
Volume wars and compressed music is just horrible.
I have records from the 70’s that will blow away all of what you can get today, and they call it progress, if anything we have gone backwards.


I would dip your toe to start with. Buy 10 LPs and a Rega Plana 3 used. See how you get on. If you like it you can sell RP3 on. Don’t think too much about it. If you like it then get stuck in. But going from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds won’t work well. See if you like the vinyl experience first. The 552 should make the source sound very good.


I completely disagree with that. Rega P8 with it’s cartridge will show the NDS the door. As long as you have it set up right.
That’s why i said rega, as it’s so easy to set up and nothing to do moving forward. As a fitst turntable you can’t go wrong.
Plus the P8 will be good enough for a long time, and secondhand a bargin.


Well if I didn’t have vinyl would I start now? I actually can’t answer that!

The point to remember is that vinyl is different to digital, it’s never “better” or “equivalent” it just has a very different presentation, so even, say, a Rega P3 will do things differently to your NDS, whether you prefer it is another matter.

Your best bet is to find a Naim dealer and ask them to set up say a Rega P6 and see what you think.

As for brands Vertere, Rega, Roksan, Avid, Linn, Michell, Project, Clearaudio - new or 2nd hand take your pick.


Lots of opinions on tables here, so I’ll offer up a consideration for the phono stage you’ll need (er, want, with your level system and dare I say taste)…

Superline powered from the aux on you 552 is no slouch to start, and one can upgrade to a Supercap for the ‘best.’ Skip the Hicap if you go the Superline route; IMO it’s worse than the aux2.


Smart advice @Dan_M !

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It is an expensive route to go down from scratch. But as someone who has always had a TT and is still buying new music on vinyl, it does often sound better. A fair amount of my music is sourced from Bandcamp. so I get the LP (if one is released) and a digital download and listen to the LP more often than the download on the main system.
I am not sure if I would start from scratch now, to be honest, but then again I can’t see me ever not having a TT and playing albums.


I’ve just bought a load of LPs on eBay from £6 to £30. Tbh they are all pretty good. Some brand new, some old and used and a bit tatty. Playing them is fun and enjoyable. Exciting to get them delivered!

I have a lovely LP12 which I would describe as mid to higher spec. It is a better source in some ways than NDS. It’s around £8k of kit including cart, phonostage. If you include cabling more like £8500. That is what it is taken with LP12 to get it beyond NDS. With Rega it will cost less.

But I love it. For you Stu, start slow. I also had a Linn Axis at one point which was a lower priced nice turntable. Have a Thorens TD160 in son’s bedroom which is rather nice.

Start slow, aim high!

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Can’t agree

Superline into Aux is good

Superline and Hicapdr very good

Superline and SupercapDR excellent

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You can buy bundles of LPs on eBay maybe worth a go. I think you’ll like it Stu!

Yes, I was wondering about the P8 too, having never listened to it. Though I have listened to a P10… and I can say with confidence I would prefer it to my NDS.

My Xerxes X went into storage when I had a young family. In the meantime I stepped up my digital replay from CD2, to CDX, to NDX, to NDS. Finally I bought the Xerxes X out of storage, really just to use it as a curiosity to play my old vinyl, fully expecting the considerable investment in my digital front end to have well any truly left it behind.

I was in for a bit of a shock when, from the needle clicking into the groove of the first album I played, it was clear that far from being left behind, it immediately reminded of just how good replay vinyl could be… Since then my investment has mainly been targeted at my turntable. Don’t get me wrong, I love my NDS, it’s a great streamer and it’s a great way to seek out new music, but for serious listening, I pretty much always reach for a record…

I suspect bang for buck, at least for the player itself, vinyl more than hold its own. I wouldn’t be surprised if the P8 can give the NDS a run for its money. The P8 is definitely worth a listen I’d say…


I have just done what you have done regarding the cost of the LP12 and phono stage. I did the upgrades in batches over time so hadn’t thought about the total outlay enough to work it out. having just done the mental arithmetic. I would have a glass of wine if I thought I could afford it :wink: However, I keep finding the money for new albums and have a couple of recent releases arriving in the next few days, so I will enjoy a glass or two of wine this evening as I listen to some albums.


The new Blue Note Classic and Tone Poet series are respectable sounding reissues, worth collection these if into Jazz.


Vinyl doesn’t have to be overly expensive, financially, if you’re prepared to invest time in searching out quality/bargain used. If record shops and record fairs entice you that’s where vinyl wins before the needle even hits the groove. Crate digging beats surfing downloads for shear pleasure imo. But you do need some way of cleaning records.