Which turntable for beginner

Hi, I am on the digital path since more than 20 years.

Now, I am Interested to start with a turntable.

I have somme vinil from my youth and I feel there is something indescribably arround vinil.

A colleauge would sell a LP12 from 1991 original with Itok LV III And K9 for CHF 1500.—

A other friend came form Linn LP12 and changed to Nottingham Ace because he said the Nottingham will play older vinil from our youth better.

He means the LP12 is more audiophil, but you have also to unse audiophil vinil for a good result.

Now I ask you for your opinion and maybe you have other ideas for me.

Thank you very much for your replies.


Rega P3


P2 in a record shop turned me around from abandoning vinyl. Buying a used Planar3 + Elys in 2008 made it a permanent decision.

If you can spare the $, I think you will enjoy. No need to spend crazy money - joy to be had at many levels.



You haven’t set a budget , but many users on this forum will say Rega P3, if you have a phono input on your amplifier great, otherwise you may need a turntable with a built in phono stage which at the basic level would be a Rega or Pro Ject .

I have products from both in my system and think both firms make products that are better than their budget price suggests

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An LP12 will need professional setup but should stay set for years. A Rega is as close to plug and play as you’ll get, it doesn’t have a full range of adjustment but this doesn’t matter a lot of the time but might if you want to explore different cartridges. The Nottingham is about as far from the Rega as you can get. They all sound different. If you can get to Ipswitch the dealer, Signals, there has all three brands or see what you can have a listen to locally. Take some of your old vinyl with you.

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Unless there’s a reputable Linn dealer in Switzerland or within travel distance to a bordering country then I’d avoid the LP12. There is at least one I know of in Germany, if that helps.

I’ve had a budget Pro-Ject and Rega deck at home and enjoyed them both.

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Your friend says that the LP12 is best suited to ‘audiophile’ vinyl, but don’t forget that when the LP12 first arrived there was no such thing as ‘audiophile’ vinyl and the turntable was still highly regarded. It certainly seems likely that the Linn would need servicing so you should take that into account.

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Given the system you have already I would be getting the LP12.

The beauty of a Linn is that in basic form they sound great and you can go on the upgrade path if and when you feel the need and have the cash.

I have vinyl that is 40 years old…and it still sounds great.

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Another vote for Rega P3- if you want an easy life where you can enjoy music and not fret about your source. An LP12 - if set up correctly - will out perform an RP3 but will inevitably lead to continual upgradeitis and angst…!! In the interests of honesty I had an RP3 for 35 years and now have an LP12 and do not regret the move one iota
Good luck

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Four years ago, I saw the light and decided to re-start my vinyl journey after a gap of 30 years.

My local dealer recommended the Project Debut Carbon coupled with the Project Phono Box DS.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the above combo, in fact it is rather good for the lowish asking price.

I started with just 6 LP’s and I reckon I now have approx 200 and rising…

So, my thoughts would be keep the TT sensible for now and spend money on records, records and more records.

Enjoy the journey, it is very addictive!


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Hi Whiskymat,
Welcome to the tempting world of vinyl replay.

Given the high calibre of your system, I would start with a turntable that has very good pitch stability, as this is an area in which your streamer excels. I would also start with a new cartridge to avoid a worn stylus and an aged stylus suspension, both of which get in the way of the music and may wear out your record collection.

So, your friend’s LP12 could be a great place to start, subject to the following. If it dates back to 1991, then it will absolutely need a service (replace suspension bushes, check bearing and fill with new oil etc.) and a new cartridge to replace the K9. Given the age, it probably needs a new power supply such as a Hercules or equivalent. You will also need a phono stage to go between the arm leads and your NAC252. If you take these sensible steps, then your friend’s LP12 could be a great way to start for an all in cost of approximately CHF 2,000 - 2,300 with the service, power supply, cartridge and MM phono stage.

I have also had a Nottingham Analogue Ace in our system. It’s a nice turntable, especially with its outboard power supply, but I would personally go for a serviced LP12 over the Ace every time. The Hyperspace is a different story though…

The obvious alternative (out of many alternatives) is to simply buy the best Rega turntable-cartridge-phono stage that your budget permits. The Rega turntables are so good and such amazing value these days that they really are best in class at most price points.

The Rega P3 is a lovely turntable. I have bought several of them for members of the family. However, if you are at all sensitive about pitch stability (I am), I suggest one of the better ones with a Rega outboard power supply. Given an approximate budget of CHF 2,150, a Rega P6 with Ania MC cartridge and Fono MC phono stage would be a great option.

Hope this helps, BF


The nice thing about the Rega P3 is that it gives you a solid starting point both in terms of setup and musicality. You can in fact add a 24V external PSU by using the Rega NEO PSU. I still have my Rega P3 24 and that’s had 3 different Rega PSU’s on it during it’s life.
I’ve also owned a number of other turntables including the Linn Sondek LP12 as you reference. One thing I would say is that almost any Rega deck will setup and sound the same deck to deck. You can have a dozen LP12’s sat next to each other that on first glance look pretty much identical but they will sound very different to each other. There are a huge amount of options and it’s built to be modular and to evolve as a source as your wallet and appetite for performance enhancements allows. They are somewhat sensitive to setup and adjustment and an expert pair of hands that knows the characteristics of the product are almost an essential part of their performance and your enjoyment of them as a source.
It’s fair to say that an LP12 setup correctly by a pair of experienced hands will outperform a Rega P3 with ease but with the overhead of cost and complexity in terms of setup and also in terms of phono preamp and cartridge matching as well.
If you are just starting a vinyl journey and want to hit the ground running and have an enjoyable start I’d still be inclined to lean towards a Rega turntable, there are a lot of owners on this forum and there’s a lot of performance levels above the P3 that will give you a lot more performance at a price. The P8 and P10 are worth evaluation if you are going to be taking collecting vinyl and using it as a source seriously.

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The Linn is a great turntable, however buying one that is nearly 30 years old will inevitably mean that various bits need servicing or upgrading. You also must have a dealer who knows exactly how to set them up. I had a Linn for nearly 30 years then ditched vinyl.

I recently decided to have another dabble in vinyl. Started with a Rega Planar 1 plus and recently swapped to a P6/Ania. It’s absolutely excellent. You can set it up in about five minutes, plonk it on a Rega wall shelf and you are away. The Fono MC is a perfect match and costs a modest £250. That’s what I’d get. It’s not a daft price and won’t be shown up by the rest of your system.


At one stage I had an LP12/Ittok/K9, and I am quite sure that if it’s in good condition and set up properly, it will blow a Rega P3 out of the water. It might be worth getting it looked at by an experienced Linn dealer so that you know exactly what you are getting, but if it’s in good condition, I would say go for it.
As for the subject of upgrade paths and the effect on your bank account, people often say that LP12s and Naim amps lock people into one expensive upgrade after another. That’s rubbish. The only thing that traps people in a never ending upgrade spiral is their own lack of self control. Or maybe just that they actually want to.

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As always it depends on budget.
If you just want to dip your toe into vinyl maybe one of the entry level Rega or Pro-Ject decks would suit. Trouble is, as capable as those decks are, you may find yourself wanting more quite quickly. If you want something that could be an endpoint, then maybe a Vertere DG-1.
Hope you enjoy what you end up with.

As many above, budget is the key. I have an old Planar 3 with RB300 arm and I doubt you’ll get better for the money. LP12 is the generic top dog, but it’s a whole new world of upgrades, tweaks, and ‘what ifs’…
It depends whether you’re dipping your toes for an occasional vinyl session or are committing to it as a main source



Please take the advice from C2photo and bluesfan. I also suggest an entry level, or your friends LP12. Your existing system will compliment and benefit greatly. Your investment, once set up will compliment you for years with no need to fuss with it. You will be comparing the sound to your current source, and while different it will be, you don’t want to be disappointed to the tune of not bothering to listen to the TT. It will become a hobby of collecting the vinyl, finding the rare record, and enjoying the new style sound.


Given that you have a very, very serious system and I am not sure about your total budget - how about one of the upper range ClearAudio Concepts with inbuilt phono stage

You need to allow for a lid, but this is way better than a budget Rega

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A 252/300 system is quite nice and certainly can ‘support’ a very nice turntable.

I’m a Rega fan, as we did just this – dipped our toes at home into the vast vinyl sea – with a Rega. I had a 252/300 system at the time and purchased a slightly used RP8.

Ready-to-play has a lot of advantages; the Regas ship that way and apparently the Concept does as well. I can recommend the best Rega you want to afford, be it a P3, 6, 8, etc.

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