Getting back into venal with a $2,000 budget.

Targeting $1,500 for TT and $500 for phono preamp. Current 2 channel set up is made up of all ARCAM FMJ, C31 preamp, 2 P1 power amps, CD36 CD player and Energy Veritas V2.4 floorstanding speakers.

Considering used Marantz TT 15S1 with Clearaudio Virtuoso Ebony Wood cartridge, Butcher Block Acoustics Audio Isolation Platform and dust cover all for $1,100. Or New Rega Planer 3 with Exact 2 cartridge for $1,395. The phono preamps I’m considering are Parasound Zphono XRM or Rega Fono MM Mk5.

Also open to other suggestions that would be in the $2,000 price range. 

Sorry about “Venal” should obviously be “Vinyl”. My iPad and stylus don’t always play nice and work against me sometimes.  Lol


Buying into Vintage TT's has a broad appeal.

There can be a very impressive performance achieved for not too much monies needed. It can start at a simple overhaul/service through to a swap out of original supplied parts, from a Plinth and onto the Mechanical Parts and Electrical Parts.

A DD TT can be the better option when the Electronics and Speed Stability are the Goal, as these are already well catered for in certain models, and a add on ancillary to improve a Belt or Idler Drives Speed Stability can in cases cost as much as overhauled/serviced DD TT.

Belt and Idler Drive TT's are more accommodating of mechanical parts being exchanged such as a Bearing Assembly and Platter is desired.

With the introduction of a New Plinth Design, the types of Tonearm to be used can become extended in the options.

The above is my method for a TT and I have been loyal to it for nearly 30 years. My first Idler Drive Bearing Mod' and Dedicated Plinth was completed in the mid' 90's. 

I am without a TT Source in use at present, and am happy to be able visit friends homes and share in their Vinyl Source. Buying a Few Albums occasionally for the visits, adds to the enjoyment, is usually very well received by the system owner, and builds on a Vinyl Collection.

The rush to purchase is not necessary, as there are vinyl experiences available on the Vintage Set Up. I'm sure your friend will be quite interested in supporting you through to your choices made, even if a Streamer is the option selected as the new acquisition.       

OP how close to Minneapolis are you? The Craigslist used classifieds lists quite a few capable options for you to chose from, particularly a well sorted Thorens TD 165. I would suggest going used if you have a good local audio repair shop within driving distance. I would also like to echo earlier statements, slow down, stop picking out isolation platforms for a TT you do not own and start investing in alignment tools.

Very Best Regards & Happy Holidays



@jeffrey75, I’m in no rush to purchase.  I’m enjoying the journey of researching and the hunt for a Turntable that will best suit my needs.  One that sounds good to me and is a GVFM.  I’m not looking for or picking out and isolation platform, I only mentioned it and the dust cover because it was included in the price of the used Marantz I demoed.  I’m 2 1/2 hours south on Minneapolis, so nothing really close to me.  There are some Hi-Fi shops up in Minneapolis that I plan on visiting when time allows after the Holidays.

I really appreciate everyone taking their time and providing me with valuable input.

Happy & Safe Holidays to All

I ended up with the Rega P3 but I also considered Pro-ject and NAD and used Marantz turntables. There are a lot of Rega P3s on usaudiomart under $800.