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^^^^^^^^^^

i like the last sentence best, hahaha!

 

being very new to this, i'm always curious to have a listen to other systems, and of course have ppl over to have a listen, if anyone wants to.

Edited by zephyr11
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In my book, the hierachy of contributions to overall sound quality from most to least is : 1. Turntable   2. Tonearm   3. Phono stage    4. cartridge  Others will have a different opinion  

On 1/17/2021 at 12:04 PM, blue_starfish said:

In my book, the hierachy of contributions to overall sound quality from most to least is :
1. Turntable   2. Tonearm   3. Phono stage    4. cartridge 
Others will have a different opinion

 

Get the best turntable you like and can afford. Better still, buy the one that costs more than you can afford but you really like. As it will stay with you for a long time. A turntable  is a mechanical item that lasts decades. It is made with the same precision as a mechanical watch. The price only goes up, never comes down. Unlike electronic devices. Also TT do not become obsolete the moment it leaves the shop. 

 

My reasoning for putting the lowest priority on the cartridge at initial spending is that it is a consumable item. Wear and tear is high and by 2,000 hours usage there is degradation and time to look for a replacement. Also, a cartridge is very prone to fatal (and expensive ) accidents. I have committed my share from carelessness. Just imagine your $2k cartridge suffering an irrepairable damage from landing a stylus outside the record. A few weeks after buying it. Not as rare an occurrence as you might expect, and more likely after a few single-malts. Even for non-drinkers, cartridges are damaged from cleaning with a brush when the stylus snags a bristle or cloth. Cartridges are not sold with warranty for accidents. With a few exceptions few cartridges are factory repairable. Even those that are repairable at your cost may not be able to do after the master maker dies. 

A phono stage is placed second lowest as it is an electronic item that is easily bought and sold without need for dealer support. The only variables are gain and impedence. These are easily user set by way of switches at front panel, or dip switches in the case. The phono can be upgraded without affecting the tonearm setup. 

 

$10k is a healthy budget for a first table. With careful selection, you will get something that comfortable beats digital unless your digital rig is well into 5-digit territory. IMHO, none of the shops mentioned demo their TT at their best. They are constrained by shop conditions to cater for customers wanting to hear different stuff. If you really want to hear analog, go visit bros who own the table you intend to buy. Visit with curry puffs  in hand . 
 

 

Thanks, ability to resell or trade in is also something i think about and no dealers will take in cartridge for trade in. I want to get something for a start to see whether i really enjoy before i consider to invest more in the future, but it cannot be so mediocre that i will miss the digital playback. So i have been hopping around shops hopefully to hear something i like and to get as is - so that i have a benchmark against what i will hear at home. Like you say these shops did not setup in ideal conditions so rightfully i should be able to get better sound at home. May i ask what is the reference setup that you used? 

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