Advice and recommendations needed for a turntable rig...

So I have decided to add a source (analog) in one audio system I have. I will be getting a turntable, cartridge and phono preamp. Currently DO NOT have turntable in my audio system (although some 40 years I had a Thorens TD 320 (modest belt drive TT). I like the idea of a mass loading TT and interested in a heavy TT. Looking for advice from those who have used any TT set up and why. Looking in the modest budget of $3500 price range for all components. Currently looking at a Pro-ject x8 Evolution TT with a Sumiko Blue Point #3 MC cartridge and the Pro-Ject Phono Box Ds2 phonostage (a Michael Fremer positive review).

I listen to Jazz, Blues and instrument music mostly...

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I just can't stay away from TT posts, it's an affliction. For a first TT, or the first after a long absence, I will suggest keeping it simple. Avoid Uni-pivot and viscous damped tone arms for your rookie season. Frustration is a real possibility with a TT that takes hours, or days to set up. Go with Technics. Likewise high dollar low output MC cartridges are scary fragile, and not the ticket for used records (older records were designed for elliptical, and even older records, and mono, for conical, but it's your money.... Pro-Ject seems, to me, to take the attitude that they will fix the alignment parameters for the user's cartridge, which will limit learning. I use my Orbit Theory to play test used records after cleaning. As to cleaning, I use a Spin-Clean with Tergitol's (in distilled water) recommended dilution for Spin Clean, rinse with steam distilled water (cheap) from a pressurized spray bottle over the sink, NEVER use tap water for anything when it comes to records, and never use PVC storage products. Then before putting the records in a bamboo dish rack for final air dry, I pre-dry and vacuum with a Record Dr. I try to get to each record in the collection once a year LOL. I use a carbon brush for cleaning records (dust control) just before play and I never drag a carbon brush across the grooves, never!!! (just pick it up. That little handle is how you clean the bristles, just pass it across a couple times. Don't use your fingers (oils and grunge you can't even see). Amazon sells a large package of white cotton curator's gloves for cheap, they also have boar's hair shaving brushes, and goat hair record brushes that are not as aggressive as carbon, but effective and economical, and can be used to remove particles before wet cleaning. If you have static problems the anti-static gun, like Zerostat, is effective. As to stylus care, use a designated natural hair brush designed for stylus cleaning before each play, one stroke back to front (every time!). Avoid mouse milk and snake oil on the stylus, gels, lubricants, dips, drum dampeners, kitchen cleaning pads....I don't care about the testimonials, not on my stylus. Any record cleaning is better than no record cleaning; my records from the 60's & 70's cleaned with the Discwasher pad and fluid are in surprisingly good condition. Seek contentment and fulfillment, Grasshopper, and play it loud.

I have tra yelled as a commuter on my evening trip, with a girl who I only inquired yesterday what her Job was.

I learnt she is Head of conservation of the premises and preservation of the exhibits and stored artifacts. 

We discussed cleaning solutions, for a large proportion of the Journey. 

Pure Bliss, who would thought it possible. 

Ok. My contribution.

Get a restored vintage deck. Put a modern Ortofon 2M Black on it. Then get a Project Ds2 phono pre. 

Low cost to enter the vinyl world. Buy records and good cleaning equipment with the rest of your budget.

I am very pleased with my Marantz TT 15 and Moon 110Lp.  The sound is a big step up from my previous components.  I also found setting up the turntable to be engaging and educational. 

I echo a couple of the early posts that recommend a used DD turntable. I have 7 Denons, of which 3 are being used--good ones from the 80s will run for years, and the servo arms take care of a lot of worrying about cartridge matching and so on. Some like the 47 have changeable headshells, others like the 59 & 60, changeable tonearms. All of which makes installing a cartridge easy.Don't be scared off by things will go bad on them. If they run now, they will run for awhile, at least long enough for you to know what you want to commit. I also have 2 belt TTs, a SuperPoly, and a VPI. The Superpoly is elegant, simple, and you will hear higher end cartrdiges better on it than the Denon DDs. But I'd start with a DD, Denon or Technics, used. And go from there. Under a certain dollars figure, all the phono amps are shades of gray--I have 6 different ones btw $350 and $1,200 retail....all bought used for half that.  both tube and SS. They all sound good. The convenience of a decent MM cartridge on a Denon 47F will have you playing more and fussing less. The next step up is a re-tipped Denon 301 or 303 or other lightweight cartridge, Grado Ref Sonata, on a Denon 59,60,or 61. Then it's the VPI or SuperPoly with adjustable VTA with a good arm, and heaver MC cartridge. If you are guying new records and get trapped by the 180g stuff, you need two different mats, one for regular vinyl, and one for the 180g to keep the VTA right (way easier than fussing with even adjustable VTA).