New Turntable

Most people seem to still rave about the LP12 and I once owned one, way back in the 90’s before going totally digital - but kept all my records!!

Things have obviously moved on in the past 20 years and the American VPI seems to get fantastic reviews - claiming the deck offers far more value than its Scottish equivalent.

I now want to get back into playing my vinyl and I have narrowed down my choice to either;

1. Linn LP12 Majik $5k or Akurate $10k

2. VPI Prime $7.5k or Prime Signature $10k

I have auditioned both, but there are no dealers here in New Zealand who stock both brands - so it’s impossible to do a comparison side by side, which is sadly very unfortunate.

I welcome any comments in respect of these fine vinyl players and recommendations from users of both.

 

 

 

Original Post

Another deck to consider here is the Rega RP10.

I have to admit here that I love the engineering thought behind this deck and I'm rather looking forward to getting an ear on it in my own system.

Well worth an audition I would think, and IIRC Chris Murphy, who is Naim's distributor in NZ, is also distributor for Rega...

Richard Dane posted:

Another deck to consider here is the Rega RP10.

I have to admit here that I love the engineering thought behind this deck and I'm rather looking forward to getting an ear on it in my own system.

Rega just seem to be able to do things right with a no nonsense engineering approach. A Vibration Measuring Machine is on my Christmas list (the book not a turntable !)

Regardless of the OP's final choice of turntable, can I just congratulate Mr Frog on the excellent foresight of keeping all his records.  I know there are many, many music lovers who rue the day they consigned years of music collection to the nearest skip...

Even when you freshly clean a already cleaned LP it will sound better, odd thing but I have found it to be so. I use an Okki Nokki and think its a marvellous machine that is not stupid money. As to the  LP12 I have owned four and several other makes and have always come back to a Linn. As far as I am concerned its about as good as it gets and will never more strive to beat it as nothing else does. It simply plays music more musically than any other. IMHO of course.  

At the risk of ruffling feathers, you are far better buying the basic Rega Planer turntable at about 220 pounds UK brand new. Get the phono preamp for about another 60 or so. See how you get on. Your money is safe, and it is a risk free purchase. The turntable is astonishingly good value for money. 

Once you have convinced yourself that you really do want to play vinyl, THEN go spend serious money. But not until then.

jon honeyball posted:

At the risk of ruffling feathers, you are far better buying the basic Rega Planer turntable at about 220 pounds UK brand new. Get the phono preamp for about another 60 or so. See how you get on. Your money is safe, and it is a risk free purchase. The turntable is astonishingly good value for money. 

Once you have convinced yourself that you really do want to play vinyl, THEN go spend serious money. But not until then.

Why say that when from the information already provided, chap is apparently prepared to spend up to 10K NZ dollars?

Lets see if he is still using it after 6 months. After all, he walked away from vinyl some 20 years ago and went fully digital. Now he appears wrapped up in the romantic kitsch that is vinyl and wants back in. 

Great!

But will he really put up with noise, crackles, cleaning, handling issues, no next track etc in the longer term? He has been digital for 20 years.

Its not unreasonable to suggest this is a heart over head purchase. Which is fine, but start at 250 quid and see how you get on.

Then buy the 10k turntable.

He came here asking for advice. Thats my advice as someone who owns a full house Harban/LP12/Aro/XV1S etc. And a 220 quid Rega.

Christopher_M posted:

Pretty rude. Chap has made his decision at what level he wants to re-enter the turntable market.

What's rude about it? Seems pretty obvious to me as well. I've noticed a growing trend of late for disagreement to be interpreted by a certain type as rudeness. Participation in a forum implies a willingness to be exposed to alternatives, not necessarily wrapped up to avoid offending the over sensitive. "If you can't stand the heat......"

It really isn't advisable to lash out on an expensive vinyl replay system until you're satisfied you really do want to go down that particular avenue. Either go with Jon's suggestion, or maybe find a good basic S/H LP12. If you like what it's doing, you can improve it in lots of rewarding ways, and if you decide you don't want to bother with vinyl after all, you can probably sell it for the same price you paid.

jon honeyball posted:

Lets see if he is still using it after 6 months. After all, he walked away from vinyl some 20 years ago and went fully digital. Now he appears wrapped up in the romantic kitsch that is vinyl and wants back in. 

Great!

But will he really put up with noise, crackles, cleaning, handling issues, no next track etc in the longer term? He has been digital for 20 years.

Its not unreasonable to suggest this is a heart over head purchase. Which is fine, but start at 250 quid and see how you get on.

Then buy the 10k turntable.

He came here asking for advice. Thats my advice as someone who owns a full house Harban/LP12/Aro/XV1S etc. And a 220 quid Rega.

Well it could be a chicken and egg situation that puts him off. But I’m sure yours was just a well meant comment.

Personally, having an RP10/Aphelion/Aria, I don’t recognise what you say about vinyl SQ. I certainly am not in the LP12 camp having a hassle free vinyl system that doesn’t need the services of a well known LP12 dealer who might not be able to travel to NZ!

Vinyl like everything else sounds amazing when the timing of the rest of the system is spot on and records are properly cleaned.

Phil

Plus 1,

I don’t hear noise and crackles that often, but when I do, it honestly doesn’t bother me. There are a lot of people who are bothered by it, but I put it down to OCD or some other physiological disorder.

We don’t know why Mr Frog moved away from vinyl. I did so for 15 years, reason, a couple of toddlers who would have trashed a turntable very quickly.

Without knowing Mr Frogs life story, why speculate/make assumptions.

 

I have to agree with Jon as that is exactly what I did. I was amazed by the P3, it lasted a year until I was sure it wasn’t a fad. Now happily live with a decent LP12 and buying lots of vinyl records.

Crackles and pops could be an issue for the OP after so long listening to digital. But if you can hear through/past this then nothing quite surpasses it. As for the faff, I never clean records other than playing them. I do look after them though.

Agree an entry level second hand LP12 is also a good way to go. Set up and warranty issues all covered this way.

Stu

 

So, lets say somebody starts a thread. New Car.

Tells us they’ve not owned a car for 20 years, but they’ve test driven a Mercedesxxx, BMWxxx, Lexusxxx and porchexxxx and would like advise from people who’ve driven these cars (Don’t forget, he’s listened the expensive turntables he’s mentioned).

Would anybody seriously suggest he buys a little fiat 500, drives it around for 12 months, just to check out if he likes driving a car.

Hi Mr Frog,

I'm sorry I can't help you with the comparisons you seek in the price range you have specified.

Anecdotally I can tell you that my Linn is my second but I haven't really tested it against the  competition. Like Richard the higher end Rega decks appeal to me and I have enjoyed hearing the RP8 with the IOS phonostage. This takes me to the one point where I hope I can help. Please don't overlook the importance of matching cartridge to phonostage, as well as to arm and record player. A good dealer (possibly your most important decision) should be able to help.

Whichever deck you choose, enjoy your records.

Cheers, Chris

I think we should allow Mr Frog to decide if he considers Jon Honeyball's well intentioned suggestion to be rude, rather than telling him it was rude (and trying to making his mind up for him - I'm sure he's a fully competent adult and on points of rudeness or otherwise, I'm equally sure he can decide for himself!).

Huge posted:

I think we should allow Mr Frog to decide if he considers Jon Honeyball's well intentioned suggestion to be rude, rather than telling him it was rude (and trying to making his mind up for him - I'm sure he's a fully competent adult and on points of rudeness or otherwise, I'm equally sure he can decide for himself!).

It’s seems pretty obvious Christopher was suggesting Jon was being rude to him, not to Mr Frog. Clearly not.

Oops, sorry didn’t mean to be so rude.

 

There is tendency hereabouts to revere and worship expensive things. I have a Nait1 and Kans, and could be perfectly contented with that along with a basic Rega. Its the music that matters, not how many 555PS's you have bolted onto your NDS. 

And yes, I am naturally cynical when someone asks "1. Linn LP12 Majik $5k or Akurate $10k".  

As a kid I used to listen to radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline on a shortwave radio. I would also tape Top of the Pops through a microphone placed in front of the TV set. Sound Quality?  Nah, it was just about the music. But then I got into hi-fi and found out just how good recorded music could sound....Quad Amps, Kef speakers, Thorens TT, SME arm and the old Shure V15.  My system eventually evolved to a full-house Linn/Naim TT (LP12, Aro, Armageddon, Cirkus, Mana Phase §.) At some point I decided to get into Compact Disc so dipped my toe into the water with a Sony. A CDP player and 40 CDs later I was still grinding my teeth listening to digital so the thing had to go.  Couple of years later I had the urge to try again....this time with a Meridian. More CDs but the same result....lots of subconscious teeth grinding and the inevitable sale of the system.  Finally I bought a Naim CDS and finally I could listen to CDs. I loved the convenience, the lack of faff and the stability of the system and the sound wasn’t a million miles away from what I was used to, which was exactly why I never bonded with my previous attempts at digital. I was already way beyond their sound quality and quite unable to step backwards. And that’s exactly the problem with this hobby. Once you’ve heard true high-end it really isn’t possible to enjoy entry level....because all you’ll ever hear is what’s missing. The sound stage, the finesse, the timbre, the emotion, the refinement, the black silences, the timing, the rhythm. 

I’m now facing exactly the same decision as the OP. I’ve just implemented a new system and find myself with the top shelf of my rack free and a built-in phono stage in my amp so I’m looking at vinyl again. Why? Because this is a hobby....it doesn’t have to make economical sense....it just needs to be pleasurable and fun. But I do know one thing. If I don’t buy a TT that sounds better than my digital set-up, I won’t give it the time of day. Why would I want to sit with an archaic format, spinning records that sound inferior to my super convenient high-end digital system?  No, if I’m going to all the fuss of taking records out of their sleeve, clamping them to a turntable platter and carefully lowering a super delicate diamond into the run-in groove, there better be a big reward and that certainly won’t come from an entry level TT and cheap phono amp set-up. 

Thanks for the comments, which are mainly supportive and useful.

I have tried the new Rega Planner 3 with its Elys 2, but unfortunately, it came no where close to the turntables I mention, nor my Naim streamer with Chord Hugo.

It would seem pointless to purchase the Rega ‘to get back into and try vinyl again’, on the basis that I would want something to exceed the performance level of my digital source - otherwise, why bother .... the vinyl simply wouldn’t get played and this defeats the object.

Having previously owned a Linn LP12 for many years, I was more than happy with the sound and wouldn’t want to invest in a new turntable, which did not match its performance.

If I did, I suspect that the turntable simply wouldn’t get played and it would be a wasted investment .... inevitably leading to wanting to check out the better performance decks - which was the whole point.

You may ask, why not simply go for the Linn again? 

Well .... things have moved on in the last 20 years ...  particularly at the price level I quoted originally. There may be better performance from other manufacturers (e.g. the highly acclaimed VPI Prime) compare to the Linn at that price point.

The Linn would previously have always been my  first choice, but there are now other equally fine decks out there.

I am aware of the care required with vinyl and its inherent clicks and pops ... but that does not concern me. After all, I was playing records well before CDs came along

If I could audition the VPI against the Linn here in NZ, I wouldn’t have needed to post on the forum. I am simply seeking informed guidance from actual users of the decks, who may have had the opportunity to compare etc.

It’s a fine balance between the cost outlay and the performance level, which is why I am considering the decks I mentioned.

Unfortunately, I could not justify the cost of a full Klimax level LP12 - particularly since I have digital sourced too.

I simply want a turntable which matches the performance of my digital and not be disappointed, each time a play a record .... and regret not buying a better turntable in the first place.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I just wanted to explain the rationale for not wanting to buy an entry level deck to ‘dip my toe in the water’ ... I already know what sound performance level will or won’t satisfy.

So, I go back to my original question/post!

Thank you for those who took the time to add sound and valuable advice and I welcome other such comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackmorec posted:

As a kid I used to listen to radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline on a shortwave radio. I would also tape Top of the Pops through a microphone placed in front of the TV set. Sound Quality?  Nah, it was just about the music. But then I got into hi-fi and found out just how good recorded music could sound....Quad Amps, Kef speakers, Thorens TT, SME arm and the old Shure V15.  My system eventually evolved to a full-house Linn/Naim TT (LP12, Aro, Armageddon, Cirkus, Mana Phase §.) At some point I decided to get into Compact Disc so dipped my toe into the water with a Sony. A CDP player and 40 CDs later I was still grinding my teeth listening to digital so the thing had to go.  Couple of years later I had the urge to try again....this time with a Meridian. More CDs but the same result....lots of subconscious teeth grinding and the inevitable sale of the system.  Finally I bought a Naim CDS and finally I could listen to CDs. I loved the convenience, the lack of faff and the stability of the system and the sound wasn’t a million miles away from what I was used to, which was exactly why I never bonded with my previous attempts at digital. I was already way beyond their sound quality and quite unable to step backwards. And that’s exactly the problem with this hobby. Once you’ve heard true high-end it really isn’t possible to enjoy entry level....because all you’ll ever hear is what’s missing. The sound stage, the finesse, the timbre, the emotion, the refinement, the black silences, the timing, the rhythm. 

I’m now facing exactly the same decision as the OP. I’ve just implemented a new system and find myself with the top shelf of my rack free and a built-in phono stage in my amp so I’m looking at vinyl again. Why? Because this is a hobby....it doesn’t have to make economical sense....it just needs to be pleasurable and fun. But I do know one thing. If I don’t buy a TT that sounds better than my digital set-up, I won’t give it the time of day. Why would I want to sit with an archaic format, spinning records that sound inferior to my super convenient high-end digital system?  No, if I’m going to all the fuss of taking records out of their sleeve, clamping them to a turntable platter and carefully lowering a super delicate diamond into the run-in groove, there better be a big reward and that certainly won’t come from an entry level TT and cheap phono amp set-up. 

Fantastic post ... you have hit the nail on the head.

Your experience echoes that of mine.

 

Hi There Mr Frog

There's a mint Rega RP10 that keeps coming up locally for a shade under $5k which might be a good toe in the water with an Apheta2. 

I was recently rather impressed with an RP8/Apheta 2 demo with a Aria/Supernait it sounded better to me than a 272/200 playing flac, an experience that might be worthy of separate post.

I have a vpi scoutmaster (with sds and flywheel) which is as good as and sounds similar to the prime (i heard both). I highly recommend this player and the tonearm. Sounds great, easy use, Not so sensible with adjustment, and the opportunity to change the cart very simple is great. Match in heaven with koetsu-cartridge! Christoph 

You cannot under estimate the investment a decent vinyl set can take and it isn't just about money.  Getting the right set up for you can take a lot of time and if you do not have the money to walk into shop and buy a top notch record player with all the support that entails it can be a bit risky.  I was very lucky because although I had to buy used I bought my set up from other enthusiasts who had taken good care of their equipment and who were only looking to recoup some of their investment instead of making a profit.  

If you do go down the used route then a local expert is invaluable I'm very lucky as I live in Brighton and the Audio T shop here has an excellent service centre with very, very knowledgeable staff who can really look after you. But having said all that if it where me I would invest that money in the highest spec used LP12 I could afford from an expert as that deck has a real synergy with Naim that goes back decades.

I would also echo the sentiments above there is no value in buying a Rega RP1 and a Rega Fono Mini and expecting it to sound better than a £4,000 Naim digital source like a CDX or an NDX just because it is a record player there is no magic at work it will only sound better of you invest the right amount of time and money.

We really must nail this myth that a Linn LP12 has this golden synergy with Naim.  It wasn’t true in the 80s and isn’t now.   Of course it remains an excellent deck albeit completely different to its 70/80s forbears.   But to all the disciples out there how many have conducted a meaningful comparison in recent years against the opposition?

I did a mistake of buying a mid level turntable, just sat there after couple of lps, now I got a better beast that can compete with 272 streamer I listen more and more

i am not a LP12 fan at all, it is overpriced and fussy with millions of upgrades, there are many far better alternatives for the money they are asking, it is a British nostalgia, it is a Harley Davidson of turntables, I prefer a BMW, no need for million accessories, rides far better, looks good ( well Harley looks better )

so brands like transrotor, dr fieckert, VPI, Rega, Kronos offer good alternatives in all price range

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