Considering vinyl again and a possible used TT

I'm considering getting into vinyl. Streaming will still be my main source. have 50 or so albums that have been in storage and will acquire more, more so cherry picking albums here and there. 

I came across a VPI Traveler V1, great condition with a decent low hour cartridge,  dust cover, cables etc for <$1k All I would need is a phono preamp. My hope would be that aside from a future cartridge upgrade I could  be happy without needing to pour more funds into hardware. 

Is a used Traveler v1 a good choice at this price point or am I setting myself up on the need to update path? Is there a better option out there?

This is my last system Sonus Faber Elipsa Se speakers, Rel s812 subs, driven by ps Audio BHK monos,  directstream dac, and pre. I do love my system sound but feel I might find more engagement in some vinyl choices


If you still own the FMJ listed with you system, and if it contains the MM/MC phono preamp section...

You could use it via "tape out" to get you started (put more money into the TT).

Also, what TT’s have you owned/liked in the past?

I’ve been using belt drive Thorens/SME combos for so long (since the early 70’s) that I’m locked into "that" sound (older DD’s and non-sprung belt’s from other manufacturers just have not floated my boat).

This said, I have not auditioned anything since 2005, or so, and some of the new offerings do look interesting based upon reviews.

Rega seems to have fixed their speed stability issues (the newer P6 look/reads interesting) and the new Technics decks in the $2K range also look/read interesting.

I’ve been looking around a bit in the case that my TD125II/SME combo needs rebuilt as I’m not up to driving to Pasadena and other "local" spots to drop it off/pick up.

My $200 Thorens/SME combo (purchased 20 years ago) now sells for more than your $1K budget.


I personally recommend the Rega Planar 6 as a turntable that will deliver great performance and will keep up very well with the rest of your system.  It retails for $1,595 so it's more than what you were considering but it is much more of a performing turntable.  As another person stated, getting a vinyl setup that will meet or exceed your digital source will not be cheap.  However, vinyl will be a wonderful additional source and I am confident that you will quickly become addicted to vinyl and be buying way more records than you had initially imagined. An excellent phono cartridge choice for that would be the Hana SL at retail of $750.  There are plenty of very good MM cartridges in the $400 to $500 range but for a MC cartridge you just can't beat Hana SL in the "under $1K price range".  And for a phono stage, the Rega Fono MC (for moving coil cartridge) or Fono MM (for moving magnet cartridge) are excellent choices. Probably the best value out there, however, is the Vincent PHO-701.  It is tube driven and has the flexibility for both MC and MM cartridges.  It sells for $595.  I owned one for nearly a year before moving up to several new components, including a phono stage, and invested fairly big bucks, overall.  It really sounded quite good and delivered outstanding imaging for a relatively modest price.  For MC cartridge input it has plenty of adjustable load range to achieve the best match of sound for your gear and/or your preference.  You should find that most dealers are willing to provide a discount when purchasing the turntable and phono cartridge together.  Same is true with the phono stage.  If you prefer to buy used product that is certainly a fine way to go.  You just have to be certain of the condition of the product and that it is exactly what you want.  For new gear Upscale Audio has some of the most educated sales staff, particularly on matching the right vinyl rig for your needs, your system, and your budget.  You can find them on a Google search.  They ship Nationally and are authorized for all they carry.  Find the Youtube on the the Rega Planar 6, done by Kevin Deal (owner of Upscale Audio).  He's fun to watch/listen to and he offers a very informative presentation on the product.  I hope this information helps you.
Enjoy the vinyl journey.
I appreciate all the great input. I've gone back to the blackboard and trying to rethink and reconsider expectations. It's amazing what I don't know about vinyl playback 

Spent some time with the owner of the only music store in this part of the state yesterday to get a feel for what's available in LP form locally. Pretty helpful guy and he gave me the names of a couple of guys within driving distance that are into turntables and do rebuilds etc. Planning a visit soon. A local rig would be pretty welcome. Mostly thinking I'm going to be buying blind which seems to be the way all gear is acquired anymore

I passed on the traveler and looking towards the prime, scout, etc, these are gonna fall outside of even an expanded budget. 

Considered a Well Tempered Labs Simplex MK2 with a low hour MP-500, might already be gone. Sucks when you have to plan a day trip in order to look at anything. Also considering Amadeus  MK1 as an option and just get a new cartridge. 

Seems to be low hour Planar 6 setups out there. Not really sure why they seem to be turning over. 

I'm sure more options as tables come up

dekay - I had wondered how to leverage the phone stage off the FMJ while I sort of a preamp. Helpful info

One other thing to consider - a record cleaning machine. 
For me this has made in most significant improvement in my lp system. I understand this will create another expense, but based on the benefit derived I think it is well worth it. I picked up a used VPI 16.5 years ago and it's still going strong.