I need some turntable guidance

I am wanting to acquire a turntable but don't have enough information to make an appropriate purchase just yet. My two systems:

preamp-  Mac C2300 tube and has built in phono

Krell MCX 350 monos and PBN Audio KAS speakers

Mac MC275 tube amp and Klipschorn speakers with Volti upgrades

What price range should I be looking in? I want something that sounds great but is also appropriate for my level of gear. In other words, I don't want to under buy or over buy. What TTs would you guys suggest to me? 

You are going to get a lot of different and conflicting advice.  A few questions:
1. I assume from your question that this will be your first turntable?  
2. Do you prefer new or vintage?  Drive type: belt, direct drive or idler wheel?  

If this is your first time I would advise you to buy a good but not terribly expensive unit.  This is where a good dealer can be of great help. 

Turntables are like girlfriends.  You and I will almost certainly have different ideas of the perfect turntable.  You may not have (and should not expect) a lifelong commitment to your first turntable.  And turntables can be deceptively expensive.  I suggest making sure your first turntable is a cheap date.

My recommendation is that you decide on a budget you can afford and go to a couple of local dealers who can let you audition some turntables, and set up the turntables for you.

If that is not an option, buy something new and already matched up (Technics, Pro-Ject, Rega) and see if you can find someone local to help you set it up.
You can’t go wrong with new Technics SL1000R or SP10R
and if it’s too much then look for SL1200G
the GR is even cheaper 
Do you currently have a substantial record collection, or are you starting from scratch?  Will the TT be used primarily as a secondary source?  Do you want a plug and play table? 
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@br3098, LOL!  turntables can be like girlfriends!  Great analogy! :). The expensive ones are usually much higher maintenance.  The cheap ones don't necessarily perform as well, but are probably more reliable!

@Elizabeth, great advice.  Having grown up with turntables and the chore of changing records every 20 minutes, I welcomed digital as a new class of convenience.  Now, although I ave my 1,000+ vinyl collection from the '70s, everything I have is digitized and on my server.  I find it hard to go back to the old routine of picking the album side, cleaning it, putting it on the turntable, getting back up at the end of the side, and then trying to decide what the next side is that I will play.  Compare that to controlling all playback from my listening chair for as long as I want.  Oh, and don't forget the old problem of smoking some of Colorado's finest, falling asleep in your chair while the album is playing on the turntable and then waking up later with the needle still resting on the spinning album!  For me, a good digital setup is so much more convenient!
Elizabeth is spot on
Spinning records is not a media of convenience.
It takes a degree of enthusiasm and dedication.
Then after all that IF you went the cheap table and cart route you may well find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about as you most certainly will be underwhelmed at the sq.

Put simply , you will likely need to spend a fair bit more on a vinyl setup to achieve SQ that compares with a modest outlay on a digital setup.

The TT itself, the cartridge, the phono preamp, cables, SUT, record cleaning system.
All things you will look at and possibly spend money on down the vinyl rabbit hole.
You pays your money and you takes your chances.....
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Btw OP.
Please do not get the impression that anybody is trying to put you off.
Rather just make you fully aware of some of the downsides and what is involved to be SATISFIED with record playback.
I currently have a turntable but want to upgrade significantly.
I want a new one or at least a recent one.
I have a record collection.
I don't have a budget. I know where a supposed good deal is on a demo turntable for $10k. One of my questions is should I spend that kind of money or say are the differences marginal or great from a $5k to spending $10k? What do you get when you go up in price? Or what do you lose going down? Where is the sweet spot in higher end turntables? I think something matching to my system is where I should be but what price range would that be? 

I don't follow audio gear so I really am not aware of what my options are. There are no dealers in my town.
Maybe you could have opened with that information?

A lot more there for members here to now go to town.
Wemfan, I need to know a little more about your situation. Is your equipment stand (cabinet) on a wood platform floor or on a concrete slab? This will determine if you can use any turntable (concrete slab) or just suspended turntables (wood floor)
It would be helpful to know what you have but regardless, my recommendation would be to get an AMG Giro with Turbo tonearm. It will not disappoint.

You should be able to get a demo under $10,000 including tax.

Another option is the AMG 12, Airforce 5 or a Basis turntable. Those might not fit in your non-budget

I know where a supposed good deal is on a demo turntable for $10k. One of my questions is should I spend that kind of money or say are the differences marginal or great from a $5k to spending $10k? What do you get when you go up in price? Or what do you lose going down? Where is the sweet spot in higher end turntables?

it is really depends on a turntable, not just price tag, you can find a lot of mediocre turntable for insane price, you can also find cheap plastic belt drive turntables also for insane price for this technology.

My advice was to keep a brand new coreless Direct Drive from Technics, made in Japan. You can actually save a lot if you will stick to Technics new line of TTs. I’m pretty sure you can find a demo of Technics, so you can compare their top SP-10R to their cheaper but still nice SL1200GR. And if you want something in the middle there is an SL1200G (or GAE).

So many reviews online. With Technics you don’t have to spend a lot, but the quality will be superior to anything at the same price. And you can spend the rest on cartridge.

Technics is the answer to your question.

P.S. I don’t think you want to deal with vintage DD from the 70’s/80’s, but some of them are better than new Technics, you just need a knowledge to choose one. I am a big fan of vintage Direct Drive turntables and i have many. I don’t like belt drive technology at all.

One other option to consider is a used table that is fairly new so if its not for you your not eating the initial depreciation. Most good tables will hold their value once a few years old. 

I'm with chakster on this one though, for new, hard to beet the technics tables at the cost and they tend to hold their value. next IMO your into VPI, Sota, Rega and Project. there are others at more money but do you need a fancy looking table or one that works great oh that's the technics. 
From first hand experience I can highly recommend the new Rega P8 with the Alpheta 2 cartridge.can be had for 4K or a little less and it’s really nice.
preamp-  Mac C2300 tube and has built in phono

Krell MCX 350 monos and PBN Audio KAS speakers

Mac MC275 tube amp and Klipschorn speakers with Volti upgrades
It's very hard to believe you have the system(s) listed above, but you don't have basic answers already to the beginner-level turntable/vinyl question you're asking!  You're either pulling our collective leg, or else you've inherited these components, right?

But if you're sincere, and those are your  system components, I'd say budget minimum $15,000 for turntable, tonearm, cartridge, phono stage (better than Mac built-in), cable, set-up 

@Elizabeth, excellent advice.  I've used a Technics SL-1600MK2 since the early 80's.  I have 1200+ vinyl albums.  Earlier this year, I setup my first dedicated listening room and, while I still have the 1600MK2 in my rec room setup, I purchased a 1200G w/ Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge and a Parasound JC3 Jr phono pre amp.  I absolutely love the sound. 

To take my analog music to another level, I was planning to buy a Herron phono pre amp before years end.  I have a Herron pre-amp, Innous MK2 media player, Audio Mirrror Tubadour III SE DAC, NAD M22 v2 power amp, and Tannoy DC8 ti speakers. I can honestly say, my digital music sounds every bit as good as my analog setup - to my ears.  Many of my friends think it sounds better.

I'm 71.  Getting up and down to play vinyl isn't a chore, but lately, I spend much more time just relaxing and streaming Tidal or playing ripped CDs.  I considered selling my new analog gear and using the proceeds to buy a really good tube stereo power amp or some mono block amps.  I don't play vinyl enough anymore to justify the money I've spend on my new analog gear, but, at least for now, I just can't bring myself to sell it.

Time will tell :-)
   Interesting topic to which there is no end to opinions. I have owned a few tables. The one that I still use is a Pioneer PL-530 I bought new in the 70's. Simple maintenance has been done since I bought it. I was lucky enough to have a dealer close by that sells all the rest of the equipment in my system. Brought some of my favorite vinyl to their shop and auditioned tables such as Rega. None of them sounded superior to the Pioneer to the point that justified the large cost outlay of some of the new age tables.   Sure, there are other factors that influence sound...room acoustics and others. From my experience, the cartridge and stylus are the most important factors that affect the performance of a turntable assuming that the table has at least decent workings. Cartridge selection is almost as subjective as speaker selection when it comes to listener preference.
 It's very hard to believe you have the system(s) listed above, but you don't have basic answers already to the beginner-level turntable/vinyl question you're asking! You're either pulling our collective leg, or else you've inherited these components, right?

But if you're sincere, and those are your system components, I'd say budget minimum $15,000 for turntable, tonearm, cartridge, phono stage (better than Mac built-in), cable, set-up

What "beginner-level turntable question" are you referring to? I thought my posts made sense and I asked appropriate questions? 

So far in this life I have not inherited anything. I purchased with my own hard earned funds every piece of equipment I listed. I don't know much about turntables or audio equipment in general for that matter but I do like my music to sound good. Every once in a while I acquire a piece of gear or upgrade something but I don't consider myself an audiophile. Actually, my interest in music comes from being a musician. Maybe unlike a lot on the forum the gear doesn't interest me so much so I don't follow too closely what all has been made or is available. When I decide to upgrade something I ask for opinions and I read and consider each one until I find a direction that seems right to me and eventually that leads to some kind of acquisition. I live in the middle of the country, in the country, so there are no dealers close to me and I don't like auditioning things in stores anyway. Believe me, I am sincere and reading every post a number of times in hopes of increasing my knowledge so I can eventually pull the trigger on the appropriate turntable.

Your last sentence was helpful though. $15k or so was about what I was thinking. Of course, I'm still hoping I can do it for less...

The turntable will sit on a concrete floor covered in wood.

I believe the same thing. " it really depends on the turntable not the price tag." I'm hoping to find that table. I will look through the Technics line. THX

jrpnde,  It makes sense that the cartridge would be so important. That is where it all starts. I was glad you said that. Of course, learning about cartridges is next on my list and if I seem ignorant about turntables wait until I start asking about cartridges!
And next is an appropriate phono amp.

Guys I appreciates all of the responses. Please keep them coming. I'm looking the suggestions up and I have learned some helpful info.
Why I'm looking for a TT?
I have an old Luxman with a cheap cart that I've had for 20 years and I have enjoyed it. It is far from perfect but I have some records and do enjoy some of what is possible with vinyl with my modest set up. I love the liveliness and absence of so much compression and the general musicality (thats probably not a word) of my old turntable.

Not long ago I was invited to hear a very high dollar system in a treated room and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I've never heard music sound even close to that good, in my life. It really blew me away. It was just incredible. I don't remember which turntable it was but the preamp and amp were Audio Research and the speakers were Rockports. I never knew sound like that was even possible. It was an incredible, exciting musical experience.

The guy who took me there invited me over to hear his system and while not up to the level of quality the first system had, was still, by far, the second best system I've ever heard. ( do factor in I don't get to experience many systems) His TT was a $20k VPI. amp and preamp were Macs. The speakers were PBN Audio, which he was going to sell, so I eventually bought them. 

So, in the last 20 years these are the 3 turntables that I can remember hearing. My Luxman which is fun and has its good points and the two mentioned above which caused my socks to roll up and down all night. They were magical evenings. 

@elizabeth very good advice. I agree and have followed this approach myself. I got back into this hobby a couple of years ago and needed a new turntable for my 300-400 albums. I bought a U-Turn Audio Orbit turntable with Ortofon 2m Blue cartridge. I enjoyed it. As I have indicated in a past post on another thread, listening to records is more than just the music. It IS the ritual that you layed out. This is what I did when I was younger and first got into this hobby. So it takes me back to my youth. It gets me involved in the music playback process. After verifying that I still loved records and playing them and caring for them, I sold my U-Turn Audio setup and got a VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon 2M Black and a couple of appropriate level phono preamps to switch between for fun. 
Ok Wemfan, you can use anything you like as long as you have a sturdy platform. You should be able to lean against it without making the turntable skip. For 10 to 15 I would get a SOTA Sapphire, put a Kuzma 4 point 9 on it with an Ortofon Windfeld Ti cartridge. I think that should run around 12-13 and you don't have to worry how sturdy your platform is:) 
You would have to spend really serious money to do better than that. You are right at the point of seriously diminishing returns.

A few thoughts, (spending not much at first).

a. I suggest what you heard in other setups, were not only 'great' speakers', but speakers properly matched to the listening space. That, for any speaker, is far more important than all the esoteric 'improvements' in the world, and most often less than ideally achieved. I would spend some time making sure you are getting the best out of your existing speaker location.

A test CD, a Test LP, and a decent Sound Meter are good tools to have forever. Get familiar with them before trying refinement. Do not go for perfection, just find what is happening and any acceptable location that improves things. Personally, I ALWAYS toe my speakers in, and tilt them back a bit, to avoid woofer reflection parallel to walls, floor, and ceiling.

b. nest improve your existing TT: Physical setup is far more important than anything else in ANY TT system.

practice setup skills with existing cartridge, then repeat setup with a new 'good' cartridge with a new stylus (your stylus is worn I suspect). You will use the new 'good' cartridge for a while on existing TT, then move it to your new TT, then in the future probably upgrade the cartridge, keeping the 'good' one.

You need to acquire these skills, for any TT, existing or future. Practice for eventual setup of a new cartridge. Acquire templates, stylus pressure gauge, transparent alignment block with horizontal and vertical reference lines/grid

Level TT; re-align cartridge in Tonearm Headshell, Arm level/parallel with zero tracking force and zero anti-skate; Arm height when floating parallel. Leave anti-skate zero when setting tracking force, then add a matching anti-skate force last.

Then listen with Test LP, especially left right balance which indicates both proper stylus/groove interaction and proper anti-skate to 'float' the stylus left/right in the groove.


Now, when evaluating a new TT, concentrate on what makes you happy every time you glance at it, because, IMO, once a good cartridge is properly set up, improvements will be slight.

As you've discovered, there is indeed a wide range of opinion on what can be done.  I've owned your preamp and have years of experience dating from the early 70s with your amp and K-horns.  Here is some more food for thought:

Your C2300 has one of the very best phono sections ever made.  Good enough that Harry Pearson had one in his reference system for about a year.  A remarkable feat.  The MC section is especially good and features on-the-fly loading adjustment.  Use it and you won't be disappointed.

Your budget is huge and can accommodate the very best that's out there.  You will want to consider how you want your music presented.  My belief is that matching the cartridge to your speakers makes the biggest difference since they are the two fundamental halves of the transducer system.  The K-horns tend to be a bit bright and will benefit from good definition at lower frequencies.  Consider a high end Koetsu or Dynavector.  Note that both require very precise alignment to deliver rewarding results.  Figure on $5K.

To get the best out of the cartridge, you will need a tonearm that has substantial set-up adjustability and delivers rock-stable repeatability on those adjustments. I personally prefer arms that have VTA on-the-fly, but you may not. If so, look at Graham or Tri-Planar.  If not, consider SME or Ortofon.  The VTA OTF and tonearms all have lots of thread input here.  Figure on $6K, and more for enhanced models.  You will also need a cable.  Lots to choose from there and I found a Cardas Golden Reference that suited my needs for $600 new.  I would suggest not spending a lot on a cable until you have the other bits and pieces sorted out.

The turntable must hold the selected speed endlessly and silently.  It may also have to absorb environmental vibrations (e.g footfalls, nearby truck or rail traffic, etc.).  For me that meant SOTA, which has one of the very best suspension systems ever produced.  I also prefer belt drive for that reason.  If you don't have those concerns, VPI, Pro-Ject, Clearaudio, Basis, Thorens and certain vintage gear might be appropriate.  A brand-new SOTA Sapphire sells for $4K loaded.  Vacuum versions are about $5K.  The other brands also sell in a similar range for very solid products. Surf the forums here for info on whether the vacuum system may be right for you. 

FWIW, I believe the biggest improvements are to be found in the cartridge and tonearm.  They combine to control the point of contact, and that's where Edison's science happens.

Hope this input proves useful for you.  Keep us posted on your progress and enjoy the adventure; remember always this is a hobby.  Happy listening!
effischer, the Koetsu requires a considerably heavier arm than you would put on a SOTA. The Ortofon Windfeld Ti is very neutral, will match up with just about any system and is one of the best tracking cartridges you can buy. It handily out runs my Koetsu in that regard on the Hi Fi News test record. It also works well in a wider variety of arms. I would not consider a unipivot arm at all. If you look at Lyra's web site you will notice that they specifically recommend against it. The Triplanar and SME are excellent arm but IMHO the 4 point 9 is better and less expensive.
Wemfan, as you noticed people like to wax poetic about turntables, tonearms and cartridges. Just look at the finest, most expensive examples of each. All of the finest, most expensive turntables are belt driven, not direct drive and not idler wheel. Look at the SAT tonearm. Big stiff tapered tube and rigid bearings. Check out the cantilever of the Clearaudio Goldfinger or the Air Tight PC-1 Supreme. Tiny diamond glued right to the end of a boron cantilever. No excess material. Now look for those traits in more reasonably priced equipment. 
For set up you will need a good protractor. I like the DB Systems. A pocket mirror, a digital tracking force gauge, a bubble level and tools usually supplied with the tonearm. If you get a SOTA you can tell them what arm you plan on using and they will drill the arm board for you.

@wemfan Consider a turntable that has been at the forefront of analog for decades....the Linn LP12. You will find that this platform is not that popular anymore, simply because many folks owned the table back in the day and never had it set up correctly or for some other long lost reason.( but go and listen and let your ears decide!) Nonetheless, the LP12 offers an excellent upgrade path, so you can get into the system ( and that is exactly what it is) with not too much $$ and then bring it up to whatever state you like, funds allowing. Buying a new LP12 comes with the mandatory ’set up’ from the dealer...and once that is done correctly, that set up will last you for years. I think you will not get a better sounding table than the old fruit box Linn. ( particularly at your price points).
daveyf, the LP12 is way overdue for extinction and there is no way to upgrade it to make even remotely competitive it is so poorly engineered.
The SME, SOTA and Basis turntable are all excellently engineered suspended tables and so much better than the LP12 it boggles the mind why anyone would want one. It was not even a good table in it's day. It was just one of the only 1/2 decent turntables available then. It's like the Garrards. There are a mess of cheap ones around used so everyone is twisting a screw here and there then waxing about how much better the table sounds. When I was young I bought a used TD 124. It was a boat anchor and reliable. It also rumbled like an express train. I had no illusions that it was magically going to get better regardless of what I did to it. But it was all I could afford and it served it's purpose. The problem for these turntables now is that there are so many decent inexpensive tables out there now that outperform them. 
@mijostyn Kirk (RIP, BTW) at SOTA offered to set up my Series III for anything during the upgrade he performed several years ago and noted arm mass was no longer a consideration with the Series V suspension I had him install.  If I read the website correctly,  they're now on Series VI. I know my Phantom Supreme is no lightweight in any event and it works very well indeed. My preference is toward crisp with flat frequency response so I generally prefer DV.  The OP has speakers that may not be favorable for that balance depending on his preference, and Koetsu could be more appropriate. Ortofon is another option too.  As noted, this is a hobby and having fun is key.  That can often be found in the journey itself.  My two cents anyway. Enjoy the ride!
@mijostyn While I agree some idlers have flaws, I have to once again object on your blanket pronouncement that idlers are inherently sub-standard. I listened recently to a $125k Basis AJC Transcendence/Vector with a $10k MySonic cartridge, $15k Gryphon Diablo amp and $40k Rockport speakers.
Later, I played the same vinyl at home and notwithstanding the scale of the equipment, my admittedly tricked out Garrard 401 sounded far better. Bags more detail, color, timbre, snap and musicality. Without rumble!
Noromance, you have your system set up the way you want to hear it. It is what you are use too. On top of that audio memory is very short. On top of that we hear what we want to hear. So, I am afraid that kind of comparison has no validity. Hook your turntable up to an oscilloscope and measure the rumble. It will be much higher than any belt driven turntable 
that has an undamaged bearing. I never mentioned anything about sound. I only talked about rumble. There are four additional hard contact points in an idler wheel turntable. The motor bearing, capstan to idler wheel, the idler wheel bearing then idler wheel to platter. Each one is a source of noise. Idler wheel turntables are dinosaurs. Radio and DJ use has been transferred to the much better direct drive turntables but for audiophile use the belt drive reins. It keeps the motor as far away from the cartridge as possible and has no hard contact points between the motor and platter so you are only dealing with the noise of one bearing.
Effischer, I did not know that Kirk had passed. RIP. I was talking about the effective mass of the tonearm in relation to the cartridge. The absolute mass of the tonearm is critical to a suspended turntable which is why the SOTA's  compensate with lead shot added to the well under the tonearm board. You can compensate to a large degree but there are some arms like the 4 Point 11 that are simply too heavy to mount on a SOTA. You run out of lead shot to remove. I use my Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum on a 4 Point 14 and I get a resonance frequency of 8 Hz. You could add mass to the head shell of a lighter tone arm to get the desired resonance frequency but then you would lower the resonance frequency of the suspension. You would have to remove the arm board and remove lead shot. There is some lee way in the resonance frequency of the suspension so you can play around a bit without getting into trouble. 
Anyway the point is to make the music sound better and avoid situations that would interfere with the enjoyment of same. 
Enjoy the music!
@mijostyn. Your post above needs something added to it....these letters: IMHO.

let me ask you, when was the last time you heard a Klimax level LP12? Or, when was the last time you heard any Linn table...
Let me guess, you either have not heard a Klimax model, or better still, you heard (maybe owned!) a LP12... but it was twenty five years ago, lol.
While I agree with you that the Basis tables are superb, they are generally far more $$ than the Linn. The SOTA isn’t in the league of the Klimax LP12...and the old oil rig you mention...well that is no step up either....oh, yes, IMHO.
I am afraid Mike has blinkers on when it comes to anything else except a belt drive..
Having owned numerous belt drives and now LOVING the drive and energy from my 401 there will be no turning back for myself.

But I will not start criticizing belt and DD tables as a whole, because no matter what the science may say,  it is all.......


And nothing more.
you have your system set up the way you want to hear it. It is what you are use[d] too. On top of that audio memory is very short. On top of that we hear what we want to hear. So, I am afraid that kind of comparison has no validity.

Gibberish. My audio memory is superb. I hear in a system what sounds like the most accurate rendition of live music. If aural comparisons had no validity, there would be no point in any of this. Further, just because power is transmitted via belt does not mean you can ignore the drive contact points of motor bearing, belt on pulley, and belt on platter nevermind all the dynamic energy oscillating within the elasticity of the belt. 
@mijostyn SOTA no longer uses the lead shot. That's why Kirk said the new suspension could handle anything.

Haven't taken it apart to figure out the new system, and probably won't.  I've reached my satisfaction level with the table and arm combo.  I concentrate on the music now.
noromance, then you are a seriously superior human. Not only is audio memory extremely short in all humans except noromance but our perspective of sound is subject to psychological modification. We hear what we want to hear except noromance of course who is superior to the rest of us. A good example of this and this has been done, if you put an amplifier in a bland chassis and put the same amp in a fancy one just about everyone will think the fancy one sounds better. Michael Fremer is a really easy read. The more expensive piece will always sound better. noromance do you think TechDas could use an idler wheel drive if they wanted to? What about Walker or any of the other megabuck tables out there. ALL belt drive. What you talk about, dynamic energy and oscillation is fictional mythology. Uberwaltz likes his 401 because in his brain it is a cool piece so it must sound good. It makes him happy which is great. It still rumbles like an express train. daveyf is hung up on LP12s. davey, I have owned two of them and tried just about everything to make them sound better. You just can not make a silk purse out of a sows ear. I would certainly take uberwaltz's 401 before I would go near a Linn. The Linn is so bad I would give up vinyl forever and just play my hard drive. 
effischer, I'll have to look into that. The spring tension must be adjustible in some way. You have to keep the resonance frequency between 2 to 3 Hz with a very high Q. So you either have to keep the mass constant or change the spring stiffness. I dearly hope the new owners have not messed things up. SME gets away with it because their turntable is so darn heavy that any change in tonearm mass is insignificant. Maybe SOTA is now using a heavier platform. Anyway I know the SOTA will not handle a 4 point 11 because I called and asked maybe two years ago.
I think concentrating on the music is a brilliant idea:)


Dear @wemfan : This SME TT/tonearm is an excellent option for you:


or a choice of today top of the line very well regarded Technics:


In any case you need a cartridge with higher output level than the Ortofon MC named here and my recomendation is to go with Lyra line:


I used two different Lyra models with the SME tonearm and is very good match as will be the Technics.

Cartridges as the top Ortofon, Lyra, My Sonic Labs and the like are looking for a first rate phono stage for that cartridge could shows at its best, Your C2300 could be a weak link about but it's what you own and what you like.

All in analog is important but the source is of main importance and the cartridge is that source ( other than the LP. ), it's whom generates the analog signal: it's the transducer.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

Sorry Mike but way too oversimplified and generalized!

It might help your cause if you cease denigrating anybody and everything that does not fit into your perfect little world viewpoint.
It has bugger all to with " being cool so it must be cool and sound good"
I listen with my ears not my eyes ( spec sheets , it’s an idler so it just HAS to rumble etc).
Like I said, there is room for all types of TT in this hobby and I for one will not be found criticising anybody’s choice of replay if they are happy with it.

Anyway sorry to get off topic as none of this side discourse is helping the OP whatsoever so.....
Enough said.

@mijostyn  You're projecting! Not everyone thinks like that, nor are they so easily fooled, either by others or themselves. Anyhow, this is a false dilemma. It does not boil down to either a $4,000 Garrard or a $50,000 Tech Das AF lll. 
@mijostyn You owned two LP12’s..and tried everything to get them to sound better??? Like what? I strongly suspect the issue you had was like so many other naysayers, who really shouldn’t own a table that needs to be set up CORRECTLY like the Linn--and that is...you never had it set up properly in the first place...and then you tried yourself to adjust it...Yikes!

BTW, how long ago did you ’own’ the two tables? Too bad you have an opinion now that isn’t what many other  current Linn adherents have...including myself. BUT, it is an opinion that is far too common...and since your experience in the distant past is not what you liked...then you lump all of your future posts about the table into this experience. Instead, perhaps make a little effort to go and hear a CORRECTLY set up new model with some music that you know...just a thought!!!
No noromance you are fooling yourself. When I evaluate anything having to do with audio I am careful to place the evaluation within the context of my physiologic and psychological weaknesses. You obviously have no idea were your weakness are which means I have no interest in your opinion. You refuse to admit that the idler wheel drive has all but disappeared. High end manufacturers favor belt drive for a reason. 
Uberwaltz, everyone can enjoy any stuff they like for any number of reasons. Wonderful. Everyone is entitled. I am not denigrating you I am simply stating a simple fact that idler wheel tables rumble more so than belt drive. Apparently that is not an issue for you and the 401 has other qualities that you like. Great. But turntables do not have drive. The music may have drive. Good turntables just spin at a constant speed and hopefully sound like nothing. 
Nothing I said was oversimplified or generalized. If you really want to dig into specifics just download a book on neurology and look up the section on hearing. You do not listen with your your ears. Your ears are totally dumb microphones. They send signals down cranial nerves #8 (vestibulocochlear nerve) into the cerebellopontine angle where it then breaks into several pathways. Depending on what the sound is it will be interpreted by specific areas of the brain. Speech is interpreted in Wernicke's area in the left temporal lobe (if you are right handed). If Wernicke's area is damaged by a stroke the person will be able to talk fine but will not understand a thing. That is called a receptive aphasia. When doing brain mapping when the person is listening to speech Wernicke's area lights up. Interestingly when listening to music the whole brain lights up! Your brain is doing the listening and your intellect is interpreting what your brain is hearing. What you brain tells you is not only based on physiology but decades of training, learning and built in instincts. What your intellect hears can be modified by all of that. Try listening to Indian music. Most of us will wrinkle up our nose and say YUK. But Indian folks love it because their brains were trained to like it ours were not. God knows what John Coltrane was hearing. Our brains are very tricky devices far beyond the understanding of our intellects. 
This is why you get so many varied opinions about what something sounded like. Then there is ego. Which is often on display here.


Hey doc, you sound like the man who cut the tire to see how it worked. 
I'm taking the high road on this and bowing out as you are saying things I did not state. #gishgallop
@mijsotyn  What you state about how we hear and interpret what we hear is all very accurate. If you happen to hear a table that you don't like, because your musical expectation bias is not allowing you to hear what it is that the table brings, this is also very much accurate...in your belief ( after all, we ALL have musical biases). Doesn't necessarily mean that all folks will hear the same thing. I think that when it comes to the Linn table, there is a consensus that the new Klimax model sounds very good...and is close to SOTA. Whether you personally agree with that is another thing entirely. BUT to come on a forum and post absolutes like you did about the Linn table...without the additional aspect inserted into the post...that this is in YOUR OPINION..seems to me a little over the top.As noromance stated, you were projecting...and not making that clear to the reader. IMHO.
Set-up is critical.

A well set-up mid price rig will outperform a poorly set-up state-of-the-art.

That suggests buying from a dealer who is really good at set-up. They exist, but you have to search. Identify them by asking about azimuth, VTA, protractor, etc. You should make yourself familiar with the terms first, obviously.

Then, audition until you really like the sound. I like air-bearing TT and tonearms. Just my few cents’.
Everyone has their opinions/biases....go listen and play with the equipment.....you'll become attached.  If you can't live with it after awhile, consider it a mistake and move on.
Then there is ego. Which is often on display here.
Can't argue with that......