Cost Incurred to Achieve a Vinyl LP Replay

As a Long Term user of the Vinyl LP as a Source, as well as being one who has ventured into discovering and experiencing how fellow enthusiasts have developed their own interest in Vinyl replays. I have got to a place where limited to my experiences only, most I have encountered have over many years have been constrained in their budgets for the Ancillaries required to replay a Vinyl LP.

A few have exceeded the approx' £30K mark for a TT > Tonearm > Cartridge, and fewer from this selection are using dedicated Electronics with a Value of more than £10K to support the Source. 

My most typical experiences are of Ancillaries and Electronics used to support a Vinyl Replay with a combined cost of between approx' £6K - 16K.

I have been demo'd through being at commercial events, Ancillaries and Electronics that far exceed the above Values, but as these demo's are not from a familiar system and have been quite some time in the past these experiences have not been considered as being of importance or contributing to shaping how my present methods are I place to replay a Vinyl LP. 

What I have also become quite aware of, as a result of sharing and receiving accounts of Past Experiences, is that 'dye in the wool' Vinyl Replay Enthusiasts have been active at different levels in their trying out or introducing new ancillaries to get to a place where they are believing that most contentment can be found for their own unique preferences for a produced sonic.

My own endeavours has been to remain with a Particular ancillary and look to have it overhauled, where a modern approach is used to produce a end product that has materials and electronics selected and utilised to transform the ancillary into something that is noticeably different for the better over the original. As such methods are Bespoke, it is difficult to have the methods understood by a onlooker.

My experiences shared have introduced myself to like minded individuals in the flesh and through Global Forum communications. 

I do belive adopted methods to produce Bespoke ancillaries are capable of producing performance that will be more aligned to ancillaries costing much more if using a Branded Item is the guideline, as a selection of materials and adopted methods for these materials can be found in the more recent marketed products. . 

For myself Vinyl Replay is a method to supply a form of entertainment The use of ancillaries to create this entertainment is a must. The learning that is to be attained as a result of using the Ancillaries creates what is more aligned with being a hobby.

The question that is a vaguery, is how much monies, from a range of approx', £3K ($3.2K) - (£350K ($400K) does one feel justified in spending/believes needs to be spent, to satisfy their hobby (lessons learned) needs and need to be entertained (enjoyment of listening to music) .

It is without doubt, there will be 

 fewer reading this, that will be experienced with and able to comment on the 50K and upward ancillaries, it would be good to see what is to be shared. 



Huh? Maybe I am just not that smart but, if you could reduce the word size a bit and be much more direct and specific, it would be much easier to understand what you are trying to get at. 

The question that is a vaguery, is how much monies, from a range of approx’, £3K ($3.2K) - (£350K ($400K) does one feel justified in spending/believes needs to be spent, to satisfy their hobby (lessons learned) needs and need to be entertained (enjoyment of listening to music) .

You appear to be asking individuals here what dollar amounts they are comfortable spending on certain components of their systems, or what they feel is justified. I suspect that the formula is person-specific and is derived in some way from their level of disposable income along with the amount of personal debt they feel comfortable servicing, if any.

I guess I’m not that clear on the point of the question. If I were to answer say $10k, what would that mean to you or anyone else, without knowing details about my personal finances?

Or am I missing what you’re asking?



Most of it goes towards records, not towards gear in my case.

I have plenty of records that are worth more than my turntable.

I just put the OP’s question into Google translator 2-hours ago.  Google is still processing. 

If the question is "how much it cost" (I used to get this all the time with cars) to play in the state of the art, you’ll get myriad answers. In the States, the VPI is very popular as a bang for buck table (I don’t follow the company so don’t know the current models), often with a unipivot.

There are lots of tables with or without arms that lay claim to delivering the goods. Fact is, most buyers can’t make meaningful direct comparisons in their system. That’s just reality, not a complaint.

I’m not of the "all it has to do is turn at 33.3 or whatever and be quiet" school. I think there are things you hear that are artifacts of the playback system, and are often only revealed by their absence. The measurements get you only so far. Why would a tube rectified power supply make a difference on a turntable? I heard that over a decade ago.

If this is a shot at the "should I buy an OMA" I’m not playing. Haven’t heard it. I need to hear the thing in situ and within a system I know.

I rarely advocate anything I own, and will not do that here: I made a progression some years ago from Kuzma Reference/Triplanar to Kuzma XL,/Airline arm, HRS platform, Minus K isolation. I also changed cartridges, and have rolled the rectifier in my phono stage, as well as upgrading the cable between the phono stage and line stage. I’ve learned more than I need to know about air compressors. :)

All of it counts. And, I think based on current market, good vinyl is harder to do than good digital in terms of dollars, if you take into account table, isolation, arm, cartridge, phono stage-- that adds up.

Do I have a hard number? Absolutely not. I run an antique SP-10 (early, Krebs mod done) in my vintage system and it is perfectly adequate in that context. It is a good question without one "right" answer.

I am perfectly happy with my late 70s system. Probably $2500 total back then. About $11700 today. 😊


I think that is a moving target and depends on the individual's value structure. I won't spend a dime on premanufactured cables. I make my own. I will consider spending large amounts, $40K, on electronics if I perceive a tangible performance benefit. I already have the ultimate speakers for me and they are not going to change for the duration. I might go for a more expensive turntable but am unlikely to spend more than $50K on it. 

I have two hobbies, electronics, especially tube electronics with which I like to tinker, and audiophilia, which I define as maximizing the pleasure to be had listening to my ~3000 LPs. I therefore get great satisfaction in renovating and sometimes completely reconfiguring "reasonably priced" audio components. I’ve never spent more than $7K on anything except my Sound Lab speakers, and that was a one time thing. Even there, I have heavily altered the topology of the audio step-up transformers that drive the SLs. (I do own Atma-sphere MP1 and MA240s, but since I bought both in the 90s, I never paid current prices for those pieces. I also own a J&R 3160 Phonolinepreamp, but bought it used, and I like it just as it is; no plans to mess around with it.) I have no idea whether this answers Pindac’s question(s).

At the risk of being obvious or even oblivious.....

@pindac , what do you feel comfortable spending to achieve what you think that you're expecting to accomplish?  When the 'spread' of available means and that which accompany the various strata of performance v. co$t  can and does range from a nice bicycle to a Really Nice MBenz or Beemer...

33 and a third to 33.33334?  A tone arm and cart that doesn't raise vinyl curls from the grooves to that which wouldn't raise an eyebrow if it landed on it?  

An 'ok' cable with gold-plated connectors to that which rivals NASA orbital specs?

I'm kinda doomed to pref'ing 'sea level' stuff since I honestly can't hear butterfly wing motions...but that doesn't mean I don't or can't accept there are those than can....or will swear in a court of law or at me that they Can.

To cut to The Chase:

Don't take our a 2nd mortgage on the house you don't own. happy...esp. in the New Year.  *clink*  Cheers, J

....truth be told....If our OP has 50K $/EU/Yen/cupcakes to expend, it's into that which I can't ascend to on a number of levels...and that's OK, with self and ought to be for the assembly here....but esoterica wanders into the Broad Fields of Unmown Growth, the Tall Corn which some disappear into, recognized only by the bleating of Profound Pleasures unknown to many....

"I cannot hear what you're hearing through this screen or my keyboard...So?...."

Not trying to be rude, but...

Bottom line, spend what you feel comfortable spending, but without sacrificing your retirement funds and plans !  Audio is a negative ROI financially... so only discretionary funds should be used to support this hobby. 

To be fair, I doubt english is the OP's first language. But the post is confused as it mainly rambles on about this:

"I do belive adopted methods to produce Bespoke ancillaries are capable of producing performance that will be more aligned to ancillaries costing much more if using a Branded Item is the guideline, as a selection of materials and adopted methods for these materials can be found in the more recent marketed products."

This seems to be something about tweaking versus off the peg solutions from established manufacturers.

Then the closing question seems to be about the question of how much money does one have to spend to get top quality sound from vinyl?

The latter is a how long is a piece of string question that starts with a Rega and ends up with a Dohmann, SAT, Techdas etc. and all points in between. (My own vinyl replay system is in my profile).

To be honest, I decided to not go down that road long ago... I saw the cost early on and knew it could be a losing battle. If it would take a 10K tone arm to make you happy, I think sooner or later you wouldn't be happy with that. It's our nature and once you realize that when you get to good enough, you should probably stop. I think it can be measured by if you bring a fellow audiophile home to listen to your system and you wouldn't be embarrassed for them to hear it.... you are there.

Well in the 10 years or so that I have gotten back into LP Record listening. A place where I started when I was 8 years old (in 1978)  I have been through 3 Systems in 10 years. I have settled on (without the wife leaving me, although she loves the sound but would rather spend money on other things due to the current state of the world and economics)  Turntable is a Mofi Studiodeck, Outlaw Audio RR2160MKll Integrated Amp, Dahli Zensor speakers with a set out Pioneer CS99 floor speakers and Outlaw Audio M8 Subwoofer for 4.1 stereo sound.  Due to current economics that's the best I can do.  It does sound great to my wife and friends so that's a win.  I love the sound.  I have 299 LP Records of my favorite music 95% Classic Rock from the 60's 70's 80's 90's


I've been going down that road since I was 4 years old when my father bought me my first record player, a really nice Zenith Portable with a Cobra tonearm complete with eyes! It did not take me long to notice that it did not sound as good as my father's system. The behavior is now firmly imbedded and I doubt it will stop entirely. On the other hand I will not spend insane money at complexities that do nothing to improve sound like $20,000 CNCed chassis. I am lucky in that I am not impressed by looks or cost, only technical issues in support of better sound as in lower distortion, noise and superior linearity. The Goldfinger cartridge might be a fine cartridge, but I will never buy one because of the stupid diamond tacked on the front.

“but esoterica wanders into the Broad Fields of Unmown Growth, the Tall Corn which some disappear into, recognized only by the bleating of Profound Pleasures unknown to many...”

🤣 Well said, sir!  *clink* 

Some albums sound incredibly good. Most any Patricia Barber albums for example. Most do not. You can spend your life savings and it will not improve a bad recording. If you have albums that give you chills, save your money trying to get the same results from crappy 1970’s CTI recordings. 

In relation to my statement,

"most I have encountered over many years have been constrained in their budgets for the Ancillaries required to replay a Vinyl LP.

By the above, I am referring to individuals deliberately taking the stance of expressing a Disciplined and Controlled position when parting with monies to create their Vinyl Source. It has very little, if anything, to do with ones disposable income.

I feel very confident that there are Forum Active Audio enthusiasts, who have an Audio System, with Vinyl only as a Source, who are using equipment that is costing much less than can be afforded.   

@lewm has picked up on this and clearly describes that his enthusiasm for recoded music has lead him to being the Keeper of 3000ish LP's, to provide an extensive range of entertainment. When it comes to the methods put in pace to experience recorded music, it has been clearly described that this is coming from a constrained approach. 

@lewn shares similarities to individuals I regularly communicate with, as well as myself, where the use of gathered knowledge and skills (Hobby), are thought through to be utilised with an intent to transform owned items to a level of performance that can be recognised as an improvement.            

"The question that is a vaguery, is how much monies, from a range of approx', £3K ($3.2K) - (£350K ($400K) does one feel justified in spending/believes needs to be spent, to satisfy their hobby (lessons learned) needs and need to be entertained (enjoyment of listening to music)."

Reflecting on my own experiences, individuals who are invested into a Vinyl Replay Set Up, Inclusive of TT, Tonearm, Cartridge, Phonostage and Cables. For a large percentage, the individuals have been quite proactive in their endeavours to discover the present in use ancillaries. The discoveries made are ones that have been sought out through the individuals desire to create change.

Ancillaries are discovered, tried, and usually become a inclusive or rejected ancillary within a system. It is this attitude expressed from an individual to create what could be referred to as progressive change, that can eventually expose the individual to a level of sonic produced from a Vinyl Replay that is to be classed as as quite desirable and worthwhile as being maintained over other experiences encountered. In general, the individuals searching and desire to be creative is near its end, once the 'quite desirable' is discovered.      

From my own perspective, I have adopted methods for a Vinyl Sources Mechanical and Electronic Interfaces that are designs that have become a trend being used on modern designs for TT's, Tonearms and Phonostages. As a result, the discovery is what I class as being ancillaries in use, that are proving to be totally satisfactory and wanted to be maintained.

The ancillaries in use, are as a combined value, coming in at the lower end of the range of expenditure outlined, with costs fitting comfortably into the £6 - £16K area. As important, is that experiences had, have left me with the impression I do not need to expand beyond this as an expenditure to experience a Vinyl Replay, I certainly am not being influenced by the idea that much more expensive ancillaries are going to create an experience that is seemingly more desirable. 

Hence, my invite is to individuals to share their experiences and how they have come to terminate or believe they could continue their journey to discover their own unique Vinyl Replay Set Up.  


As a man of modest means, I have recently refreshed my phono rig with a Technics  SL100C, Audio Technica OC9XML, and PhonoBox DS3, which together run $2500.00 at retail. My record library is much more valuable.

@crustycoot The wonderful thing for a user of Vinyl LP as a medium and Source for accessing recorded data, is that the collection of LP's has a Value. In some cases in today's market, due to enthusiasts for owning Vinyl for more than replay purposes only, there are owned LP's that can be discovered to be substantially appreciated in value above a purchase price.

Off Topic

A friend become interested in Classical Music, and educated themselves to become quite familiar with early Classical Recordings (Brands Pressings) that are sought after across the Globe. The friend started to buy up 'Job Lots' of Classical Vinyl and after having used their acquired knowledge of the market, extracted a few choice LP's to be resold on from the 'Job Lots'. This as a method has enabled a substantial Classical Musical collection on Vinyl for very little monies, as well as remaining being a collection worth reasonable monies.  

I am beginning to suspect that someone is using ChapGPT to generate the above word salad by using the prompt "Write a forum entry in the style of a European Audiophile who only listens to vinyl records on expensive audio equipment" 

If you define ancillaries as everything but the source (and source = table, arm and cart) then…for me it’s about 40/60.

For a long time, I had a much nicer source than my ancillaries. The source was proportionally worth a lot more than everything else. Over the last 5 years, that has shifted towards a more balanced system in terms of everything, including cost. 

So, from my experience, the better your front-end the more you can throw into everything else until you feel satisfied.

There is just so much information locked in those grooves…

I for one find OP posts to be of the humble inquiry method but from a perspective of well read, educated and in ways audiophile and music lover almost always instructive. 

We both have some experience using Panzerholtz to improve vinyl playback. i believe that is but one such path he refers to.  i’ve yet to really run across anyone without some form of constraints…. that i would consider a guidestar for anything audio / music related…. in fact my mentors are famous for excellent sonics at reasonable prices. ( Vandersteen, Modjeski, Hansen )…

@whart having heard my Bardo with the tube power supply…. there is no unhearing it…. Happy holidays to you.

@pindac Three principal Vinyl LP front ends all live on HRS isolation; Brinkmann Bardo w Taurus grade SS supply, Triplaner 7 U2, Kuzma CAR 40 or Soundsmith Ruby OCL / Grace F9, Herron phono w HRS tweaks, NOS tubes, Naked Vishay R in a few critical places… ( guessing $30 K ) 2,) Denon DP-75 w Pbn updates, Wood plinth, Aircraft grade hard anodized and Panzerholtz armboards, Dynavector DV-505 arm, Kuzma CAR-40, Dynavector 17D3, Signet TK9, ARC Ref Phono 2SE, Blackplate Tungsol NOS in the power supply, Lower chassis damping w Panzerholtz, HRS isolation… Nordost/ Cardas frankencable on arm DIN… 3.) DP -75 mule, factory base w Panzerholtz armboard, Audioantiquary mag lev feet. Infinity Blackwidow arm…. Soundsmith Ruby OCL grace….

In deep….but could go deeper if it serves the music, entertainment of self….or both

@kfscoll ....better verbose than morose.....which was +/- the intent.  My current state of lp play is 'adequate', whereas I've had better....

In short, I can enjoy without lasting damage....;)

@baylinor *L*  Too easy of an excuse for this one...aannnd...

@bipod72 ....Now, that's a thought....but....some of the syntax isn't as I'd expect (mho 🤷‍♂️).....and it's certainly something yours unruly could be blamed for....😏

@whart, Thank You for contributing, the Thread is not produced to be about what 'one believes is the best', (way too confrontational) it is a 'good will' Theme for the Holiday Period and very much produced for the individual to express themselves about their experiences had or in planning to have.

The Thread is absolutely aligned to your comments offered, which is where you have stated, that you have arrived at a place that enables you to feel your experiences had, have enabled you to feel Vinyl being replayed at at present is  satisfying, and I hope your most satisfying to date. Maybe you feel further experiences are necessary to get to the Journey's End or is the present set up the end game?

@jpan, I am referring to the Source in a larger than usually used reference, this is due to my experiences had and discussions had with others. It is also possible to see from some of the earlier posts the overall Vinyl Replay Set Up is the consideration.

It is the the permutation of selections made, that are seemingly the X Factor for the individual, hence, nobody seems to have the identical set up. From Styli through to the Phonostage > Pre Amp umbilical, it is the overall assembly that matters for the individual. 

Through my own endeavours for making changes, I have been able to create the perception of a Sonic that has been assessed for being an attractive improvement or alternatively an unwanted addition. This has been achieved by something as simple as a Cartridge Tag Wire exchange or a Rectifier.

When addressing the overall interface, as a result of singular ancillary exchanges, the outcome for myself, has been the sum of the parts used is quite important. the The selection made for the configurations/permutations of ancillaries, are the critical choices that are able to deliver a Sonic that punches way above any expectations and are the most attractive to be in use. I have made my budget allocation known for my Vinyl Set Up and feel there is no need to reach beyond this outlay to experience something different.

I know through communications with others my own experiences have been discovered by individuals seeking out their own unique preferences for a produced sonic.

Hence my statement " Individuals who are invested into a Vinyl Replay Set Up, Inclusive of TT, Tonearm, Cartridge, Phonostage and Cables."

The Thread is about encouraging an individual to make it known where their cut off point has been or their Journey, or if the Journey is forecast to continue. The cost incurred to reach Journeys End or projected as the ballpark figure to get in reach a Journey's End.

My take on it, and one other reason for producing this Thread, is that in one interpretation of being a conventional 'Audiophile', is that the objective is to be creative and have enthusiasm for producing sonic that is of the absolute highest fidelity. Combined with marketing pressure for ancillaries woven into the fabric of this, encourages the notion that substantial expenditure is required to achieve this position of the highest levels of fidelity.

My experience with 'dyed in the wool' enthusiasts for the use of the Vinyl LP as a source, is that most individuals who have shared their own experiences are seen to be standing strong in their found place. The marketing aspect has diminished to the point it has very little through to zero influence on choices being made.

Individuals communicated with are contented with their discoveries, as well as in their expressing a constrained attitude toward how they spend on equipment to supply a form of entertainment.

@tomic601 I like yourself have been inquisitive to learn about the ambient environments influence on the quality of the sonic produced when Vinyl os being replayed.

Additionally, expressing an interest in being investigative about Mechanical and Electrical Interfaces and how these being present are able to impact on the sonic produced, I have stated this interest as being a (Hobby). It certainly extends beyond the attraction of listening to a recorded replay as a form of entertainment. 

What is the outcome, there are certainly methods adopted that have been discovered as being a widespread in use method to create an improved interface.

Extended investigations will show that methods adopted and being used across a wide range of enthusiasts, are also being utilised by Manufacturers of TT's > Tonearms > Phonostages, where Items offered can be found utilising the mathods come with substantial retail prices.

With such discoveries made, there is the underlying question, how far separated is my set up that has adopted these methods, from these expensive Branded Commercial offerings, using a similar approach for the design concept? 

As I don't compare to such items as a very expensive TT, I do not know the answer to that one?

A Certain Brand of TT that retails for approx' £20K I do know well, and can comfortably say, the expensive TT has not been standout during comparisons which are attended by a Group. The Group assessment has also strongly suggested the most expensive TT in use has not proved to be the most attractive either. 

I am a advocate of Social Activities within my HiFi experiences, and part of these experiences regularly create opportunities to encounter and compare ancillaries.

I have and will continue to compare ancillaries such as Tonearms and Phonostages and in my case Cart's as well as a evaluation undertaken by a Group of experienced users of HiFi Systems. My experiences to date, and one that has been found to be agreed on by others, is that my choices for ancillaries in use, are surpassing Branded Items encountered in relation to the attraction I seek from the usage of a ancillary.

My usage of unmodified Branded Items in my system is now limited to a CDT only.

@tomic601, In relation to your options to replay a Vinyl LP, I see that your selections made, offer many options on permutations to fulfill your unique preferences for a produced sonic.

In recent years, I have kept my experiences to change a sonic, limited to Headshell Exchange, Cart' Exchanges and using alternative Phonostages > SUT > Head Amp. It is this immediate access to making changes and ultimately a change to the sonic, that makes the use of Vinyl my main attraction over the other Source Option in the System. Your own methods to achieve a change to a sonic, are looking to be a speedier option that my own method adopted.

It is without doubt that you are experienced on discoveries of how a Modern approach and Vintage approach to a TT's design can be separated in relation to mechanical and electrical interfaces.

The (Hobby) element of your interest also stands out in the forefront. Looking at the materials selected and designs/usage of the materials put in place, what would be classed as a Vintage approach, has been met with a designated use of materials and design that takes the vintage design into a Modern/Vintage Hybrid as a conception.

I myself have found the Modern/Vintage concept to be a very satisfying experience. The knowing something quite improved is an outcome has been a stimulus to keep on with the inquisitiveness and investigative personality. Others (some very experienced) who have taken my prompts and set themselves up to accurately compare Original vs Modified can't say enough in favour of the modified version.   




I asked Chat GPT to summarize the OP in 150 words. How close did it get?

CHAT GPT: "The author, a long-term user of Vinyl LPs, reflects on the diverse budget constraints among enthusiasts for ancillaries (turntables, tonearms, cartridges) in Vinyl replay setups. While some invest over £30K in their systems, the author's typical range is £6K-16K. Noting encounters with higher-end setups at commercial events, the author emphasizes the challenge of integrating diverse ancillaries into a cohesive system. Personal endeavors involve customizing and overhauling particular ancillaries, aiming for a unique and improved sonic experience. The author believes bespoke methods can rival more expensive branded items in performance. Vinyl replay, seen as entertainment, involves a learning process akin to a hobby. The author poses the vague question of justifiable spending—ranging from £3K to £350K—to satisfy hobby and entertainment needs. The author invites those with experience in higher-budget ancillaries to share insights."

For me, and not going too crazy from a price point perspective:

Cleaning system (Kirmuss, etc.)



Tonearm lifter (Little Fwend, etc.)

Phono stage

SweetVinyl Sugar Cube

Likely $10-12k all in, with no obvious regrets. Be sure to budget adequately for a quality cleaning system; if you play vintage LPs, I’d look into ultrasonic systems. I mostly play more recent pressings and find the Oki Noki vacuum system perfect for my own needs.

With the price of some modern gear, I think most of us here could deplete our bank accounts completely. The idea is to not to. It's like looking at the beautiful woman across the room when you have an attractive wife sitting next to you. You have to know that the beautiful woman is going to cost you a lot of money and heartache. I hope you can appreciate the analogy. 

@hilde45 I have access to a similar Tool for editing.

It is ideal for a day to day tidy of something being put together in the workplace.

I am not in the workplace when discussing and sharing on a forum, hence I will write exactly as I please.

You know who I am, you can always stand down and keep stum, but I sense that will be way too much of a challenge for you. 

The editing Tool is way way, it looks like the software needs more work.

The editing tool suggests the wring intention for the nature of the Thread in some of the description it has presented. The tools content presents in a way that suggests only certain types of individual are invited to share their experiences, where as this thread encourages all to share their experiences. 

Maybe the individual responsible for the input of the information to be edited, manipulated the input for the editing tool until their own preferred edit appeared for posting??   

@pindac It seems that you’re taking offense. I’m actually just curious about the competency of ChatGPT. Since you took the trouble to write the OP and others have been trying to parse it, it seemed that this would be an easy thing to do.

Sorry I misjudged the situation and have wound up inspiring your ire. Let me apologize to you, then, and wish you a happy holiday and peace.

The intention in my method of writing is to be prolix, it is deliberate.

Across different forums, Communications have evolved through PM contact after a contribution from myself has had time to be aired. It is a reader looking to learn if their interpretation is on track, that I use as an indicator something of value has been identified and revisited by an interested party at a time that is more suitable.

As stated on other occasions, my writing is for the passive members, visitors and active forum members. I would think that active members are not with much need of my experiences, aims and goals, even though some active members do share similar activities and methods as I have adopted      

A reader from the above mentioned list, who is willing to parse the presented content that is proving to be of interest, will hopefully be able to store the content and improve the chance that info is available, offering a long term value. Acquiring ideas and having supporting guidance makes the exploring of options, a more sure footed experience.

In relation to the fundamental of this thread, there are plenty of forum Passive Members and Visitors keen to learn. There is already sensible contributions that have given a guidance.

I found the Software Edit to way off track in the context of the last sentence used, it was suggesting a exclusivity was being called upon. As stated in posts, the intention is to encourage as many to share as possible, without limitation, the budget used is a guideline only. The 'Cost' is a addition to help an individual see a scale of what is being spent by an individual to create a extremely satisfying experience unique to their preference with the Vinyl LP used as a Source.    

Post removed 

I’m guessing the OP is a scientist of philosopher? I was a scientist for my first career and the first time I turned a written essay I was simply crusified for being pedantic and purposefully obfuscating the meaning… like I was taught. It was humbling. Took s long time to unlearn.


Not to be unkind, but I just had to:

For fun I ran the question through ChatGPT and here was the summary on the question:

The question is somewhat vague and may benefit from clarification in order to gather more specific and actionable responses. Here are a few points that could be improved:

  1. Ambiguity in the Question:

    • The question is somewhat long and may be challenging to parse for some readers. It could be broken down into more concise points for clarity.
  2. Repetition:

    • Some points are repeated or elaborated upon in a way that may not add significant value to the main question. Editing for conciseness could make the question more focused.
  3. Lack of Specificity:

    • The question asks about the amount of money one feels justified in spending but doesn’t provide specific criteria or factors to consider when determining this amount. Adding considerations such as income level, personal priorities, or specific features one is looking for could make the question more meaningful.
  4. Assumption of Reader Experience:

    • The question assumes that fewer readers will be experienced with and able to comment on the higher-end ancillaries. Instead of making assumptions about the audience, it might be better to encourage a diverse range of responses.
  5. Formatting:

    • Consider using bullet points or numbering to make the information more structured and digestible.

A revised version could look something like:

"As a Vinyl LP enthusiast, I’m curious about the range of expenditures people consider justified for their vinyl replay setups. What factors do you take into account when determining the budget for your setup? Are there specific features or components that you prioritize? Share your experiences and insights regarding the range of expenditures, considering both lower and higher-end setups. Feel free to provide context, such as income levels or personal priorities, to help understand your perspective."


@hilde45 I thought the AI interpretation was fairly accurate but according to the OP, it was not. Fair enough. Bit rude not to acknowledge your apology.

Nevertheless, in keeping with the spirit of my understanding of the post, my vinyl solution of turntable, 2 tonearms, 2 cartridges, and phono amplification (in one system) comes in around $11k. This doesn't include the amps and speakers. It seems to achieve a large percentage of what I imagine a more expensive system costs, and because of that, I’m somewhat reluctant to change it.

@noromance I was interested that he/she/they said that the AI interpretation was not accurate. I was curious about that. Also interesting to hear that you thought that it was. So, you and ChatGPT have a similar understanding and the author differs from both of you. Probably why there were questions asking for clarification further on the thread.

OP, you're welcome to be as prolix as you wish; the only way to measure the value of that is by reader reaction, assuming that matters. Prolixity is defined as "the state or quality of being unnecessarily or tediously wordy; verbosity." If that's your aim, well, it's a free country!

I must admit the AI version was an order of magnitude easier to understand and short enough that my addled mind could comprehend. I am starting to see that AI can complement everyone.


I think I take what you would consider to be a very disciplined and controlled approach to vinyl playback. Inclusive of one cartridge and including the turntable, tonearm and phono stage I have spent a total of $35,000. IMHO spending more is an ego centric thing and is unlikely to gain much in performance. I might also add that I can afford to buy any turntable made and available today, but since I am not susceptible to to cost and looks traps I do not see the value in it. I'd rather buy music or another mode of transportation. I also have no problem with high resolution digital and I do not think Vinyl playback is inherently better. 

@mijostyn Your Post has steered the thread back into the intended direction.

Your description given has almost mirrored my own limited experiences, where an individual known to have a long term enthusiasm for Audio Equipment, and a very keen interest in using Vinyl LP as the source, has discovered that an outlay of around £30K, has been found to supply the sonic that suits their own personal preferences.

My own referencing in the OP, much more expensive equipment used to replay the Vinyl LP, points out the demo's received were in unfamiliar surroundings through unfamiliar systems. Even though a Google search might show images of particular events attended and assist with reminding me of a Design and Aesthetic seen during a demo. The memories recollected strongly suggests nothing notable occurred on the day. 


@pindac I may be getting dense in my dotage, but the ChatGPT did make sense of your question! If it was correct about your thesis, I concur with it. It is certainly possible to attain the desired degree of vinyl playback without spending ludicrous amounts of money, but in the end it comes down to aligning your expectations with your budget. I have two relatively cheap SME tables (one bought used), four excellent SME tonearms (two bought used), two cheaper Rega tonearms, a reasonable SUT, and relatively cheap Quad tube electronics. My weakness is in liking variety in cartridges, and using tonearm pods I can run six. I doubt I have the best ears around (in fact I only have one and it runs at 50%) so I'm not troubled by issues of soundstage and image, but I do like the quality of the sound to be pleasing to me.

The vinyl only parts of my setup (TTs, TAs, pods, cartridges, SUT phono stage, record cleaning machines) probably add up to about $54kCDN, and I don't feel any need to go further. In fact, all the changes made in the last ten years have been on the vinyl side; once I'm happy I stick with gear in the long term. My phono stage, pre-amp, power amps and speakers are all 16 years old.


A schizophrenic AI program. Go figure. 

16 years is getting on. You might consider a new 64 bit computer to run your digital library. I did not think there was a cheap SME turntable, Rega yes, SME no. Good tables mined, but pricey across the pond. 

God bless Winston Churchill. Happy X-mas all.

And may I wish you, and all here, a merry Christmas also.

Digital library? I tried ripping all my CDs and had a disk failure in a hardware RAID array that required the exact same model of disk to replace a failed drive. They had been discontinued, so months of work for nothing. I still play CDs and SACDs.

Cheap SME tables? Mine are humble Model 10s, since discontinued. The Model 15 would be closest now (or you could use a Model 12 and ignore the built-in phono stage, as, of course, you should). I'd love to hear the more expensive models, but I did say something about aligning expectations to one's budget!

And I doubt pindac will be charitable if we start to discuss Churchill. My first 27 years were in the UK, before I came to Canada. I am a Churchillian, both by nature and conviction. Enjoy your Christmas!


I tried ripping all my CDs and had a disk failure in a hardware RAID array that required the exact same model of disk to replace a failed drive. They had been discontinued, so months of work for nothing.

What type of RAID array did you use? If you used RAID 1, you should be able to recover your files from the disc that still works.

RAID is to protect against disc failure. It’s not a substitute for back ups.

@dogberry I have shared with you in the past on occasions about your methods used for mounting Tonearms.

Additionally, I don't remember your Brand of preferred TT being discussed, but I am very familiar with SME as a Brand. I have heard the 3009 Tonearms in use for most of my time around Audio Equipment, a friend loves to get under the hood and extract every last morsel that a 3009 can offer, I have heard these in use on numerous occasions.

The SME IV and V model TA's have been extensively demo'd and as a result I  have owned the IV Model for numerous years. It took a very long time until I discovered a TA design that superseded the IV and other owned TA's.

I have been demo'd the TOTR SME TT's on regular occasions in my days of visiting Commercial Events, it was at this time I chose to adopt a different drive TT.

Over the years I have encountered these TT's in use and not too long ago I was regularly receiving demo's of the SME 20/12 model in a system I was familiar with. 

As for your own investment of approx' CDN- $54K, this is another outlay from a 'dye in the wool' Vinyl LP  enthusiast, that is very close to the figures I have put forward.

Using my own experiences, which are made known and now using the contributions from forum members offered to this thread, there is a furthering  of reinforcement to my own notion, that suggests there are constrained attitudes expressed by individuals for their purchases. It is interesting how there is a description of offer that mirrors my own, which is not wanting to aspire to something quite different than what is already created.  

When seeing the selections made by 'dye in the wool' enthusiasts for Vinyl Replay Source Items, even though choices being made are not typical across the individuals in their Brand Selection. The accumulating monies outlaid are seen to be similar in requirement, to acquire the ancillaries that offer the individual a experience of replayed music that is meeting their unique preference.