To renew your childhood interest in vinyl?
To go analogue and enjoy the warm feeling of vinyl music?

The question now is : to buy new or preowned turntables?

You are lucky if you have a unit in store that was left behind by your father or grandfather; by all means take it out and try to revive it with help from your neighborhood hi-fi shop. You might even be able to do it yourself as treasure trove of information on turntables readily available on the Internet.

Alternatively, you may hunt for a preowned turntable; the vintage turntables actually can perform as well as or better than some of the new turntables.

For those who are choosing to buy a new turntable, it might not be easy as there are many brands of turntables around and it can be confusing if you don't have much knowledge on turntables. Hence, it would be much safer to go for established brands like Pro-ject , Thorens, Rega, Clear Audio, Music Hall, Denon,Technics, VPI etc.

Pro-ject Audio manufactures in EU (European Union) a full range of modern turntables from award winning entry level Debut to high-end models with advance carbon fibre and Ortofon tonearms. You can't go wrong buying from Pro-ject Audio Systems, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, land of the 'Sound Of Music' and Johann Strauss II. In addition they also produce a full range of supporting accessories from cork mat to record clamp etc.

RPM 1 "Genie"
(with decoupled motor and inverted bearing)

(with acrylic platter)

If you are looking for Swiss/German precision, Thorens is the answer. Thorens, has been making audio/turntable equipment for 128 years. It manufactured a full range of turntables from entry level to high end turntables with typical Swiss and German engineering precision and the result is extremely well designed turntables that will last for a long time. I personally own several units of vintage Thorens (TD150/160/145/125/135) that were made in the 60'/70' and still produces exhilarating music far better than many costly modern turntables. It's not advisable to buy the entry level automatic models with light plastic body which are not upgradeable. These units are more prone to breakdown due to too many mechanical linkages and are generally poorer in sound quality compared to manual equivalents. You would get stuck with the mediocre sound with no hope of further improvement other than to give it away or to trade-in for a new model. Try to go for mid-range manual models.

Vintage Thorens TD150
( with acrylic mat )

Thorens TD 309
(with 3-point spring suspended chassis)

If your are looking for British conservatism and value for money turntables, your choice could be Rega, a manufacturer famous for their Planar 2 and Planar 3 budget turntables (and RB250/RB300 tonearms). These were made in 70'/80' and I have a couple of units that are still functioning well today. As for the new P2/P3,there are not much visible changes compared to Planar 2/3 except the motors are of lower vibration units, mounted directly to the underside of the wooden plinth by double-sided tape. This is an economical way of securing the motors but definite not the most ideal way as the double-sided tape tends to deteriorate with time especially in the hot and humid tropical environment.

I personally prefer my Planar 2 and Planar 3 with more massive plinth with RB250/RB300 tonearms. The P2/P3 are coupled with new RB251/301 tonearms with plastic three-point mounting base compared with brass and stainless steel mounting base for RB250/RB300. This method of mounting the tonearm is nothing new (The Luxman PD277 also comes with three-point mounting but with all stainless steel base, not plastic). I don't know how long the plastic base will last. If the plastic base cracks or breaks the whole arm would be rendered useless. Stainless steel mounting base is only available for higher models like P5/P7/P9.
Even though considered quite conservative, Rega offers turntables that are hassle-free, 'timeless', value for money, and more importantly upgradable. Personally, I would shy away from 'entry-level' unit for reason stated above.

Rega Planar 3
( with acrylic platter)

Upgraded Rega P2
(with glass platter and RB251 tonearm)


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