DEBATE: Best sound for the money T/T

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As much as I enjoy my Thorens one day I would like to buy a new one, now I'd hate to shell out £xxx and it not be as good, so the question is:-  What is the best sound for pound T/T plus cartridge out there in your opinion(s).

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  • Old Grey Grump

    Well as it happens I was in a very similar position, until only last week I took delivery of a new Thorens TD203, (£399 delivered). I had previously been running an Acoustic Research ‘The Turntable’ (1984 vintage) for many years, and when I first floated the idea of getting a new TT on numerous different forums the overwhelming advice was to get a new tonearm for the AR – new TTs were ‘nothing like the same build quality’, ‘nowhere near as upgradeable’, ‘lacking subtlety’, ‘over-priced’ etc etc etc. Some of which may have been true, but I just didn’t fancy all the hassle of keeping the old TT running (difficulty finding new belts, having to undertake any mods myself), so I plumped for the TD203 because it had good reviews, and I liked the sound of the uni-pivot tonearm.

    So, I’ve been playing the new TT for a week, and I have to say that playback (even with the cheap factory fitted AT3600 derived cartridge) is really excellent – surprisingly good in fact. To make a fair comparison I’ve ripped a couple of my LPs which I’d previously ripped using the AR, (which has a Denon DL110 cartridge on it), and listening to them side by side through headphones, on the TD203 rips the instrument separation is better, the bass is more clearly defined, vocals feel somehow more ‘there’, the overall presentation is a little ‘wider’.

    In essence I guess what I’m saying is that some of the arguments against buying new as opposed to used aren’t as clear cut as some might have us believe, and if you take some time and care in making your choice, a new TT can be the answer.

    • Howard Popeck

      Thank you so much for this. Despite having experienced excellent digital reproduction, I usually get my visceral thrills from vinyl. I am both delighted and astonished at just how engaging the sound can be from well setup inexpensive decks. Very encouraging i feel. Again, my thanks. Regards – howard