Chime in if you bought a second table that cost a fraction of your main table.

Let’s say this will be for those who have or had a main turntable setup in which the table and tonearm retail for $7K or more. You then went out and purchased a table/arm that retails for half (or less than half) of $7k. If this is your current or past scenario, what were your impressions. Please note: this is for someone who added the second table for the same setup, or a second system...not someone who simply downgraded. The reason for this thread is not to suggest that upgrades do not offer improvements... It’s geared more for the audio enthusiast who scratched and clawed to purchase what may be their last table. I thought it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of people who then added that lower cost table/arm, and their general experience with it coexisting with their higher priced table.


I’ve had my main table and air bearing arm in place since around 2006-7, various cartridges over the years. With the big Minus K below it, the thing is substantial in weight and size:

Several years ago, I had Bill Thalmann restore an SP-10 (mk I-- not so common, nor as desirable as the later iterations) but I've owned it since 1973, when it was new. He did a Krebs mod and replinthed it. Other than changing the factory mat for something different, it was pretty straightforward to set up and operate:

I still prefer the big Kuzma. But it is a pain to isolate (unless you are on a slab) and if you use the air-bearing arm, you’ve got the complications of an air compressor. The arm works magic with the stone-bodied Koetsus.

That old Technics is pretty bulletproof. I used it from 1973 until the mid-80s, when it got parked until it got restored in 2017. It’s a nice table for the minimal investment I have in it, and plays in an entirely vintage system elsewhere in my house.

I've always marveled at that Kuzma.  It's bling-y, but the bling is for a purpose. And it's true industrial art besides.

I love my Kuzma as well. Very nice. Well, I ask for this reason. My situation goes like this...My main system is nearly a finished product. I have a Kuzma Ref 2 with a Ref 313 arm. I really have no desire to change the table, and the Shindo/Altec system  it plays to is pretty well set. I have a few carts I enjoy, along with 2 nice step up transformers....My Sonic Hyper, EMT Tsd 75, Charisma (denon) 103, a Dave Slagle, and A23 Homage step up. I recently started working on a second system....a Naim XS 3 w/ MM phono and Harbeth C7's. So allow me to get to the skinny of this. I want to finish off this Naim/Harbeth setup with a table arm combo that sells for 1/3 or less than my Ref 2/ Ref 313 setup. I want this for my second system, but I'd like something that will play nicely in my main system if I do get the itch to try it. With this thread, I'm trying to see if people who invested close to 5 figures on a table/arm are able to also enjoy a coexisting table/arm that cost them quite a bit less. 

@fjn04 - for me, the priorities were different. On the main system, I wanted the best sound I could get. What is that? Since everything is dependent on the associated components, room and set-up, I’m happier than ever with the big table running Koetsus, after working on the woofer system, now in a bigger room. I have far more range, stage, oomph and presence-- all good things, plus the bass is characterful--texture, tone, decay, as well as spaciousness and dead silence at times, not just whomp, whomp.

The second system, where I have the SP 10, is also all tube, but uses my Quad 57s, a pair of old Quad amps, and an MCIntosh MX 110z tuner/preamp, all restored. It is not as demanding, the Quads by their nature are not super sensitive and act like a noise filter (the horns in the main system are 104db and you hear everything, including inter-component grounding irregularities, somebody using a fixture elsewhere in the house (not any more) and whatever is on the line. (that system took me a couple years to get quiet. Once quiet, I could begin to tune it)).

In short, the application for the second table is less critical in some ways but makes music just as engaging. No, no heavy metal on the Quad system, but you’d be surprised about small combo jazz.

I do like Franc K though. He’s a real guy and does it all. Well.

My guess is that most of the responses will be something like ‘OK, I guess’. For me, my main system itself is somewhat modest. 2 tables, 3 arms, Groovemaster w/ Miyajima carts. I can listen to 78’s, 16” transcription records, and stereo recordings through the main system. I wanted a 3rd table to sit next to my listening position specifically for 45’s. I have a lot of great 45’s that weren’t getting a lot of play because of the constant getting up and down.  After looking for about a year I decided to try a Pro-Ject X1. I also wanted something that I would be willing to let others touch. I moved a SUT and phono pre next to the table. This table is set up with an alignment (don’t remember the name) to emphasize tracking at the inner grooves - good for 45’s I thought. The problem #1 is that the table can’t make it through test tracks which my other tables can easily get through. Problem #2 is that you need to select the 45 speed at every play. Problem #3 is that the acrylic platter fights you trying to swap 7” records. Problem #4 is that I just don’t like the carbon fiber tonearm - or whatever plastic looking material they call it is. No real good reason, I just don’t like it.

I’ll likely get the itch in a few years and swap it out. The sound - Ok, I guess. The reality is that the convenience it affords does not contribute to enjoyment.  Nobody says to themselves - “Wow, this really sounds like I didn’t have to get up”.