Best turntable under $4000

I am looking to take the next step in my analog journey. I currently am using a Fluance RT85 with ortofon 2m blue. I have a Rogue Audio cronus magnum iii. I am running them with Kef 104/2 's. Fluance seems to get alot of hate on here. I was considering a cartridge upgrade but I am hesitant to upgrade more then the cost of the table. I don't hear much background noise and like the sound. I guess I am wondering if I don't know I hear noise because I have not heard a turntable that eliminates that noise? When I went from my Onkyo to my Rogue Sphinx iii I realized I had been missing a whole lot of sound. Then I ditched my rebuilt EPI M150's and heard hidden instruments in tracks I have listened to for years. I am looking for that in a turntable upgrade.  Apperance is important. I have interest in the following:

Clear Audio Concept Wood w/ maestro v2

Mofi fender precisiondeck w/ mastertracker

Stretching my budget is:

Dr. Feikert Volare no cartridge

Gold Note Pianosa no cartridge

These take me out of my budget once I get a cartridge

Any other reccomendations 

I will miss the autostart function for those buzzed listening nights. I would like the 4k to include a cartridge. Any opinions are welcome. Anyone think I should say screw the "rules" and get an Ortofon black?


Thank you in advance




Glad to hear that Chakster is doing well, I miss him here as well. He passed on his knowledge and experience gave me good advice. Say hi for me.

Well there are some fine suggestions here, I doubt the Basis turntable /arm combo available on US Audiomart would be bested by any of them. Most of the ones suggested are not in the same league. Basis tables are a great combo of simple but very well thought out design combined w/ a very level of build quality & reliability. The Vector 4 arm on that table now sells for over$6000 & just about worth the asking price itself assuming good condition. It’s easy to set up w/ excellent detailed videos by the late founder & designer, AJ Conti & full support & parts ( other than a new belt , unlikely anything required) fully available as the company is fully operational. 


I recently installed a DS audio E1 on my 17 year old VPI Scout with a dramatic improvement in sound quality. As I used my phono preamp as trade-in it was a pretty economic upgrade. If you like your TT, that might be a way to gradually improve your analog.

Curt, what’s funny to me is that you think $4000 is an extravagant, irresponsible amount of money to spend on a TT and tonearm. Whereas I rank it as a sweet spot where you can get a lot of bang for the buck, and I rank your hypothetical $100 Sansui as either your joke on us or an indication of self delusion. Yes, we agree that there is such a thing as ridiculously expensive, but I’d put that threshold much higher. Your original post elicited so much ire I think mostly because most of us are old fogies who have earned our money and are comfortable enough financially that there is absolutely nothing sacrificed by spending $4000 on a turntable. I have investments in tax-free bonds and mutual funds, and I don’t even live off their earnings. I simply roll them over. I am fortunate in that I can do that and still buy a $4000 turntable, if I wanted to. But as I already own five turntables that are always up and running into two different systems, I am not in the market for another turntable. If you look at the system pages of many of the guys who comment here, you will find that many of us own very elaborate systems that are very well thought out and not extravagant by modern  criteria. In other words, you are preaching to the converted, but more than that you are preaching to those who do not want to be preached to. If all that matters to you is accumulating static wealth, then also, you came to the wrong place.

@lewm if you have the money to burn, have at it.  

as for Sansui being a joke, that's news to me... at least as vintage products, they are generally well-respected.  It certainly doesn't perform as a joke; as far as turntables are concerned it's still rock solid.  Now, if you'd say having spent $4000 on a vintage turntable of ANY sort is joke, well then there we can agree.

... and vintage stuff is fun and nice to handle and look at... but I've moved away from vintage, overall; I don't need the clutter any more... just have a couple last older items remaining.  

Indeed, turntables overall are a nostalgia trip, honestly.  Maybe that's why the "fogies" you describe like them!  I used to like 'em too, and still do I guess, sort of... and yes they do sound different (different) than most digital sources... noisier... and they are fun to use, I suppose...   

Hey, if $4000+ turntables turn you on, all is well, in the end; you are expressing your values.  However, nothing - and I mean nothing - that I've ever seen nor heard has convinced me that $4000+ for a turntable is necessary by any stretch to achieve fine audio.. other than a stretch of magical thinking.  At that pricepoint, sure they're pretty and cool and fun to show off "wow" and nice to handle, and sure they sound nice but not necessary.  At that point they are more like elaborate shiny toys, high performance yes for sure, and toys are fun, I get it.  But one can get high-performance tt toys for far less money.

I stand by my assertions.