Advice for a new analog system

Hello everyone and thank you in advance for your advice.

I have made the decision to venture into the magical world of vinyl.
I was considering a VPI Avenger Direct (round 34K) turntable and CJ or Audio Research phono preamps.
As a cartridge I have in mind the Clearaudio Davinci.
I have been doing some research on Agon and apparently there are a lot of users who don't like VPI and considering the investment in the turntable I imagine there must be many options. 
I prefer the short cut of a single investment for life.
My system is Mc C1100, mc 1.25Kw and Dynaudio Evidence Platinum speakers.

What turntable and system would you recommend, I appreciate your advice.



Thank you, @vonhelmholtz for your comments and for bringing this thread to my attention.

@ftrot, your system is made of incredible components and is worthy of the investment you are willing to make for a vinyl rig. I don't come across many who pair Mc with Dyn, and I bet that results in fantastic synergy.

There have been a lot of great contributions to this thread already. When looking at the whole package, I would definitely think about the stability and drive of the table and plinth, the performance of the tonearm, and a great cartridge to pair with it given the tonearm's effective mass. Then, based on cartridge selection and the main system preamp, I would find the best phono stage to match. In my earlier days, I would typically look into cartridges first, but the performance of the cartridge is more vastly affected by the rest of the turntable. Also as cartridges can come and go, it's important to think about the turntable and tonearm as being the foundation that is there to stay.

I personally run a Clearaudio Innovation Wood, whose motor is powered by the $3500 optional Clearaudio Smart Power 24V DC power supply, which basically makes the motor run on battery power free of ripples in current while offering a bit more confidence in a way a direct drive table might, and I use the Tri-Planar U12 tonearm, which is one of the best and most innovative tonearms made today. Cartridge is the My Sonic Lab Signature Gold (one step below @vonhelmholtz, which I'm a bit jealous about) paired with a Simaudio Moon 810LP (hoping to score the optional 820S power supply down the road).

If I had the chance to set up a second rig, or perhaps sell part of mine and work with the budget you have, I would likely want to sell off the Clearaudio Innovation Wood and try for a Technics SP-10R, which is the most recent release of theirs from their long standing SP-10 direct drive line. This has been a proven design that only has gotten better over the years, and while the previous generations are still well coveted, the SP-10R breaks new grounds with stability and performance. I would then look into pairing this unit with one of the artisan plinths available, like those from Artisan Fidelity (high qualitiy wood) or OMA (cast iron).

For the tonearm, I would recommend nothing but the Tri-Planar U12 or U2SE. Tri Mai's advancement on Herb Papier's designs are nothing short of astonishing. Upgrading my arm to that one resulted in a more significant improvement in sound over upgrading my cartridge by thousands of dollars. The performance gains due to improved resonance control and less friction resulted in clarity, dynamics and effortless I'd never prior heard in my system, and this is coming from multiple types of VPI tonearms in the past. Full disclaimer, I am now an authorized Tri-Planar dealer, mostly because I was simply floored in its performance. The one I own now was not purchased in a dealer capacity.

Once you select a tonearm and cartridge to pair, you can start thinking about phono stages. Some will be typical gain stages, or, depending on the selected cartridge, you may opt for transimpedance / current mode phono stages. A few folks in this community turned me onto them when I started the thread "Solid State Phono Stages" early last year. Of course, I wholeheartedly recommend a tonearm that can be wired in true balanced configuration into the phono stage and have a phono stage that is truly balanced in input and output to preamp. That limits some choices, but inherently may make some decisions easier on you. Going this route not only will reduce noice, but enables for longer runs one day should you decide to better isolate your vinyl rig away from the rest of your rack or room.

The phono stages you mention (CJ or ARC) are somewhat apples to oranges in tonality. Given you are running an all Mc stack, which tends to run on the warm side, the Dyns likely do a good job of delivering honesty. I would likely recommend a phono stage that is quite neutral and revealing to maintain integrity, and you can then have options in your cartridge selections on whether you want more warmth, bloom, detail, etc.

I'm always happy to chat and provide guidance along the way, no purchase necessary. Feel free to message me if you're inclined.

Juan Charvet
Bliss Hifi

Thank you all again and thank you Juan for your disinterested offer, I really appreciate it, I have a lot of research to do thanks to all your contributions, which makes this trip really fascinating. @blisshifi  I accept your offer Juan as soon as I do the research homework I will be in touch for your advice. Thank you.

I have Avenger Reference with rim

i also have audio Research Reference 10 phono

 I can tell you it’s awesome

 message me if you want to talk

@ftrot , several issues. The Clearaudio Davinci is a great cartridge but not a good idea for a first timer. That cantilever hanging out in the breeze is a disaster waiting to happen. There are several great cartridges that have less exposed cantilevers by Ortofon, My Sonic Lab, Air Tight, Koetsu, Soundsmith and Grado. 

If you are going to spend that kind of money on a turntable I suggest you look at Basis, SME, or Avid. The most important parts of the record playing device are the tonearm and cartridge. The most important attributes a turntable can have are an isolating suspension and vacuum clamping. The Basis meets these requirements. All top of the line turntables have decent drives and bearings now. SME and Avid use reflex clamping which is second best.

So you have some background in turntable and tonearm design watch this, The only mistake made is his opinion of anti skating


I would say, there are probably two schools of thought.  Start low and move up.  Or start high and stay there.  In college I had the VPI Scoutmaster, it was a messy ordeal.  I never was able to get good sound out of it.  I sold it before I graduated and didn’t think about vinyl for years.


Then I thought about going back into it but I didn’t want the same experience.  So I consulted with my audiophile friends and I decided, go all in.  Bought the Avenger Ref (this was a couple years before the DD Avenger came out)… and never looked back.  Moved from Rogue Ares to Zesto Andros and now Arc Ref 10 phono.  The analog side is without lack.