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 also went backwards. I have two separate systems. I have a "surround" system with a Denon AVR, totally separate amps and a conglomeration of speakers. My TT is a Marantz TT-15s1 and Clearaudio Virtuoso cartridge it came with.

My reference system is all tube, Cary SLP-05, Dialogue 7 monoblocks. My TT is VPI Prime Classic with a Sumiko Pearwood cartridge and Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista vinyl phono preamp. Two very different systems but equally impressive. Surround for sheer power and energy. Tube for realism and sound quality.

If I want quiet reflection, I go tube. Rock concert, surround.

Bought a Technics 1210GR with Ortofon blue on an SME headshell (had one spare- they're like hen's teeth now) as I was fed up with the knocking on my Thorens TD160B.

Was initially v happy with 1210 as had always wanted one and they certainly give the impression of good build quality but then fixed the Thorens motor issue with the little thrust bearing and superglue repair kit, put a cheap AT cart on it for a laugh and now it gives me far more pleasure- only downside is the SME 3009 has a fixed headshell and it won't shift to 45 (needs a new belt), otherwise the 1210 is spare until I get a double phono stage

Some very different situations here, but this does give me idea how you (my fellow enthusiasts) are getting on with your backup table. So no offense to the following brands, but they are not in the running...VPI, Rega,Technics and Pro-Ject tables. I'm feeling like spending a little more will get me in to something I can enjoy. Not that there is anything wrong with $1000 tables, but I have been spoiled. Even the Well Tempered Amadeus (base and GTA) tables I had could be very engaging. The only reason I won't go back to Well Tempered is the lack of cue lever/ arm lift. They do have another arm offering called the Symetrex, which does have one, but I think it takes the Amadeus Jr out of my price range. Here is my short list of considerations...Dr Feickert Volare, Thorens TD 150...I was considering AVID, but apparently I would have to go up to a Diva SP in order to have push button 33/45 selection. The Marantz TT15 mentioned above is actually the table I heard when I auditioned (and bought) my Naim XS. It was actually very hard to fault with the Virtuoso cart. It seems to play well above it's price point. The cartridge seems like a throw in. However, my goal here is to end up with a tonearm that will play nicely with the carts I mentioned above...the TSD 75, and Charisma (wood) Denon 103. No harm in trying an MM or MI cart, but I already have these and an SUT to play them in to the Naim phono. 

My answer is a bit of a cheeky one. My main table is an SME Model 10. I replaced the M10 tonearm with an SME V.

Now presumably for many people a second table is a cheaper one, or one using, say, a different drive (belt vs direct vs idler for example). I'm totally happy with the Model 10. So what did I do when I decided I needed  a second? I bought a used Model 10!

One will be home to London Decca cartridges, which will no longer be repairable after November 2022 when John Wright plans to retire. The other will be home to my other cartridges, and used to prolong the time before I wear out both the Deccas.

I just kept my old table, a Townshend Rock mk2, when I bought an Artemis and Schröder Reference. I put a mono version of a Decca Maroon on the Rock and ran it along side. On original mono cuts it mostly beats the main deck but not always.