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lcd4ever's picture
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turntable upgrade.....new or 2nd hand

Thinking of upgrading the Ttable part of my system as I have been listening to a lot of vinyl lately, my Rega Planar 2 has served me well since 1989 but recently the small gearwheel on the motor assembly came off....I was advised to stick it back on with silicon which I did and it works again but you can hear an audible 'rubbing' at low volume listening which I find offputting...so I can spend around £200 on a replacement and new I know I'm looking at either a Pro-ject or another entry level Rega....just wondered what my 2nd had options would be at this price range....thought of a Systemdek IIX as I seriously coveted one of these back in there heyday....any other options and how theyt would stack up against the new options would be welcomed.
Just to recap I am using a Roksan Kandy K2 amp and MS Mezzo 6 speakers.....I would keep my current catridge as it is pretty new it is the Denon DL 160

Any thoughts welcome...

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RE: turntable upgrade.....new or 2nd hand

Well for that money I would argue that a good s/h deck would be far better than a budget Rega or Pro-ject. Personally I would look at Thorens (as I think the suspended sub-chassis design is inherantly better than the solid Rega one), and you could even use your own arm (Rega mounts are cheap and easy to fit to Thorens decks). However, I note that there is a TD160s with a SME 3009 arm currently on the bay for a starting bid of £200 and a BIN of £280 - I'd be very tempted to BIN as I've seen the 3009 arms go for that sort of price alone, and the 160s was considered one of the best decks Thorens ever made. That one aside, look out for TD150, TD160, TD166, TD318 and TD320 models in particular, as with the right arm they will give anything else a real run for thier money. Best of all spare parts are both very cheap and very plentiful (unlike some of the more esoteric decks from the period).

Another alternative could be something like a LInn Axis, and a very clean looking example (out of long term storage) is on the bay now starting at £190 including a Linn Basik Plus arm and K9 cartridge, but it is likely to edge higher than your current budget.

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RE: turntable upgrade.....new or 2nd hand

i went the secondhand route and bought a Project RPM 5.1 for not much more than your budget. It was in mint condition. Really love it. I had a Rega RP1 before that I had to sell to raise some cash and the Project is defintely a superior table. It would want to be for the price i guess new.

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RE: turntable upgrade.....new or 2nd hand

I've had a Linn Axis in the interim that I got 2nd hand for 200 back in 2007 however it died on me a couple of years back.....apparently dry solder on the pcb that controls the 'on/off' of the deck.....however was not that impressed I didnt find it a huge leap from the Rega.....will check out Thorens...I think the problem is I want a Roksan Radius but even on ebay these still command good money...

lcd4ever's picture
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RE: turntable upgrade.....new or 2nd hand

Liking the Thorens 160.....how would that sound with my Denon cartridge......was this deck better than the Axis or Systemdek in its day ?

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RE: turntable upgrade.....new or 2nd hand

lcd4ever wrote:

I've had a Linn Axis in the interim that I got 2nd hand for 200 back in 2007 however it died on me a couple of years back.....apparently dry solder on the pcb that controls the 'on/off' of the deck.....however was not that impressed I didnt find it a huge leap from the Rega.....will check out Thorens...I think the problem is I want a Roksan Radius but even on ebay these still command good money...

When I tried selling my Radius on the bay I couldn't get anyone to part with their money. They are still 'relatively new' and will hold their price for a good whille yet I feel.

The Thorens I would take rather than the Systemdeck if it were my money.

Loads of second hand expensive kit!

Captain Duff's picture
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RE: turntable upgrade.....new or 2nd hand

lcd4ever wrote:

Liking the Thorens 160.....how would that sound with my Denon cartridge......was this deck better than the Axis or Systemdek in its day ?

Well firstly the cartridge would need to be matcehd to the arm (in terms of mass etc.) rather than the platter part. Thorens decks either came with their own arms, and while these weren't bad they were considered inferior to those from the likes of Rega or SME that were commonly used instead. Indeed, there is an argument that while in the 80s Rega arms were great quality for the money, their solid base RP2 and RP3 decks were inferior to the Thorens design - but pair them up and you could have a match made in heaven.

So you could use your existing arm or cartridge in a Thorens deck easily (a quality mounting plate and arm board adaptor that is really easy to fit costs around £20). That said, you could of course do the same with a Systemdek. Never owned one myself, but they have their legion of fans too. The perception was that the earlier models were sometimes unreliable in terms of the electrics, but later ones were fine. And looking at the bay there is currently a working IIx900 from a seller with a great feedback score (I have no connection or knowledge of him myself btw) for £22 plus £11 postage. Even better it comes with a Rega arm board so in theory you could just put your existing arm with cartridge on to it and be away (and at a potentially bargain price).

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