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


I have an RT85 and actually like it! Nice sounding deck. I also now have 3 high-end decks: Clearaudio Innovation Compact, Master Innovation, SOTA Nova V.

Yes, the high end decks are better. The weaknesses of the RT85:

  • Bad energy management from putting a high compliance 2M Blue on its heavy-ish tonearm. The table’s feet are on a sort of suspension to try and combat this, with limited success. Any energy coming in from your speakers is gonna cause problems. Ideally you’re on concrete slab to at least eliminate large displacements.
  • The tonearm bearings are not great. There’s noticeable "play" and it doesn’t have a silky smooth action like better arms.

I thought about putting an MC cartridge on it to better match the arm mass - something like a Benz Ace SM. But in the end, decided this would be a waste given the tonearm’s quality shortcomings. A Cadenza Black would be way overkill. It’s already nicely matched to the 2M Blue, quality wise (if not compliance-wise).

So anyways, I think SOTA is a always a fine answer for these sorts of questions. Unfortunately their prices have gone up a good bit, though it’s come with significant materials & tech improvements. Unless you’re on concrete slab, you really want to make your like easier with their 4-point suspension on the Sapphire and higher models. You might be able to squeeze in a Sapphire - I haven’t priced them out lately.

Montgomery Ward, World-Pioneering since 1872. Just to remember them

Montgomery Ward is the name of two successive U.S. retail corporations. The original Montgomery Ward & Co. was a world-pioneering mail-order business and later also a leading department store chain that operated between 1872 and 2001



I highly recommend you look at Rega. A company that has been making turntables since the 70’s and to me not only sound great but look great as well. Going from a $500 table to a $4K table is a pretty big jump. I would recommend a mid level table like the P3 from Rega or P6 if you want to spend a little more. The P3 with an upgraded mm cartridge (Exact 2) or look at a P6 with the same mm cartridge or step up to the Ania mc cartridge. A P8 would be in the $4k range but if you want to enjoy the journey (hear the difference as you move up in the line) then I would gradually upgrade. Just my opinion. 

good luck!

Micro Seiki, Wood Look rather than their more typical metal

I'd want to know if real rosewood veneer or vinyl wrap. Based on grain direction on ends, I suspect/hope real wood, dust cover end panels are wood also


Sony BIOTRACER Electronic Arm (anybody had one?)

"The Sony PS-X600 is a fully-auto turntable with direct-drive motor system and Biotracer electronically controlled tonearm.

The unit features auto-record size selection, electronic stylus force and anti-skating adjustment, synchronised operation with Sony cassette decks, a muting system and magnedisc servo system."