I currently have the very good Rega Planar 3/Elys2 (latest version from 2016) which I use with the Rega Fono MM phono stage.
To be honest, I don’t play vinyl that often and tend to use my Naim streamer (ND5xs through Chord Hugo DAC) into my active ATC system (ATC SCA2 preamp and ATC SCM 40A speakers).
Until quite recently, I have not really played vinyl for many years and I was wanting to rediscover many artists that I don’t have on digital and for the nostalgia etc.
I have about 300 LP’s and don’t really see myself buying many more records ... I’m more likely to stick with ripping CD’s and networking the digital streaming side etc.
But .... for the ‘rare’ (due to busy family life and kids!) occasions that I can listen to records, I want the sound quality to be at the same level as my digital source - otherwise I will be less than satisfied with the sound quality....... hence the reason for wanting to change the turntable.
If I am dissatisfied with the sound, then I won't really enjoy listening to it and simply won't want to bother playing records.
As good as the Rega Plannar 3/Elys 2 is (latest version bought September 2017), it simply doesn’t inspire me to keep playing records, because my Naim/Chord Hugo sounds much better.
Back to the point and a bit of a dilemma...
I’m wanting something much better sounding than my current turntable, to play my existing collection of 300 or so LP’s ..... as opposed to investing in lots more new vinyl (though I may buy the odd few records) and it needs to sound as good as my digital source .... which with the Chord Hugo, to my ears sounds better than the bare NDX.
I’ve considered VPI, Linn, Rega (models above the Planar 3), Gyrodec, Clearaudio etc and still suspect that the VPI Prime with a good MM cartridge, might be the best option ...... unless you guys have any suggestions and solutions.
I had also considered the Linn LP12 (Majik), but consider that it may become a 'money pit' with the constant 'temptation' to keep upgrading, in an effort to get the best from it.
I simply want something that sounds great now and can be pretty much left alone, on which to play my existing collection of LP's ... without the need to spend silly money on cartridges etc;
Incidentally, here in New Zealand, dealers tend to only deal with one manufacturer in respect of quality turntables (e.g. Linn dealer or a VPI dealer) ... so its impossible to compare different makes at the same store - which doesn't help at all.
I did listen to a Rega 10/Apheta 2 today and whilst it sounded great, I have no way to compare it against anything else at the similar price point (e.g. VPI Prime).