Find a used Thorens. I have a TD166 MkII I bought new 35 years ago and it still works like brand new.
Glenn Croft hand builds tube phonostages the old-school way (true point to point wiring) for a great price - at least in Europe and the UK. I'm sure there are many other good options, but would rather comment from first hand experience.Who makes a good sounding affordable phono stage? With Tubes?
Thanks @stickyFingerzGlenn Croft hand builds tube phonostages the old-school way (true point to point wiring) for a great price - at least in Europe and the UK. I'm sure there are many other good options, but would rather comment from first hand experience.
I wouldn't rule out solid state, in fact the best phonostage I've ever listened to is a modern SS design.
For your budget($500), you are much better off buying used vintage.
The turntables you listed simply are not as well built as a 35yr old technics or pioneer.
You should be able to buy a vintage table in excellent condition with a nice cartridge or buy a new cartridge for $500.
Looking at Raleigh Craigslist there are two nice looking technics sl1200s and a pioneer pl 518 for less than your budget.
You can't beat the quality of a nice technics sl1200 for even $1000.
I'll never understand the dismissal of this turntable in this thread. It's eminently upgradable, reasonably priced, and I've never heard a word about motor noise anywhere I've read. Plus you can get them just about anywhere and they sound decent right out of the box.Recently got the Audio Technica LP-120 after years of not having a turntable and am pleased with it. Really enjoying listening to vinyl again! Just not used to having to flip the record after ~20 minutes. Got spoiled listening to CD for 30+ years.