[Poll] Entry-level Turntables: Is There Really Such a Thing as a Good sub-$500 TT?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cyclone Ranger, May 28, 2017.

  1. Burt

    Burt Forum Resident

    Kirkwood, MO

    The AR benefitted from a lot of upgrading though, I don't think stock it was particularly good by modern standards.

    But the beginning system for thousands of people, particularly east coast college age people on the sixties was aAR table and speakers, and a Dynaco PAS and ST70.
    All these units had flaws but many of the flaws canceed each other out, and it was much better than the consoles their parents had.

    Making an excellent table with arm and cart for $500 retail would be possible but there need to be a lot more volume and a customer base that will buy a quality $500 table but not junk for that price. Most new vinyl buyers will buy record killing junk and retailers will vend it.
  2. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Syracuse NY
    I think most of the analog setups I’ve heard under a grand are pretty terrible technically. Not a turntable and cartridge combo that can compare to say a $500.00 CD player made by a decent company like Marantz or NAD. No such animal exists these days. Digital playback has come a long way since the 80 and even 90s when for 500 bucks you could get a turntable set up that would be worth the investment for sound quality.
  3. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Best Coast USA
    Well, inflation's a b*tch. Circa late '80s, you could get something like a Systemdek IIX, which sounded about as good as CD (better at some things, worse than others), for only $450. But that'd be close to $1000 in today's dollars.

    Most anything relying on tight-tolerances and high precision in the mechanical sphere (not to mention great synergistic design) is going to be hard to do well for cheap, esp. if you don't have huge economies-of-scale working for you. There isn't a TT out today under $700 new that's truly worth having/is sonically all that much better than entry-level, IMO..
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  4. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    I never had to buy a speed controller for an AR, never had to buy a subplatter for an AR, I never was forced to upgrade an AR beyond cartridge or stylus to get one to do it's job properly. It met the NAB standards or exceeded them for speed accuracy (AR guaranteed it would under warranty). It was also used in far more than budget systems, too. Then and now. Still outperforms Regas until you get to middle to high end (Planar 3 level) and likewise Pro-Jects (the arm on these is better, yes). I kitbuilt the Stereo 70, and the PAS (the 3X version) and used and still use them and the A-25 speakers. It's been good reliable gear, it's cost me less to own than quite a lot of more expensive options over it's lifetime. Still performs to standard.
    zombiemodernist likes this.

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