Does a record player make that much of a difference??

Question for all you Audionerds - in your experience, how much of a difference does one record player make over the next compared with the differences that a cartridge, phone pre-amp, and separate head amp make in the signal chain?

Reason I ask: I just upgraded from a MM cart to a MC cart (Dynavector 20x2-low output). Huge difference - the Dynavector sounds much more alive and detailed compared with the MM. I find my current record player (a Marantz TT16) to be a real pain to work with - I have to manually move the belt on the motor hub to change speeds, and the arm is not very adjustable or easy to do so. But, aside from that, it's not terrible. How much of a difference can I really expect if I upgrade to a better record spinner vs the change I heard from upgrading to a better cart? 

My next acquisition is a separate head amp to feed the phono stage.

Thanks for all your insights!



One big difference is isolation. I tired of tiptoeing around 40 years ago. Not interested in building a sandbox on a shelf.

It all matters.  I my opinion the cartridge has the highest point of diminishing returns, but you need to have balance among all the components.

My TT is the least expensive part of the system, though no slouch.  Phono Pre cost twice as much as the TT and the carts cost another 33% over that.  But there really can't be any weak link in the system from source to speakers and finding that balance and synergy is key.


Dear @joshindc  : " I think the reason record-loving audiophiles put so much more attention and money on record players vs carts and phonostages is because there is more to look at. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting a cool looking turntable… "

Obviously that you are totally wrong and with al respect you have no idea what you are talking about but in the other side is that's what you think your OP thread has no sense because you already have the answer  ! ! ! 



Hi Rauliruegas. 

Thought the purpose of these threads was to have fun discussing our shared interest - audio. Or is it to prove how much smarter you are than everyone else?

Lighten up!