If you had $12k / £10k to upgrade your analogue front-end...

Hi all,

I am upgrading my system in my listening room bit-by-bit. This room is for focused listening of music only. No movies. In the future I will be looking looking to upgrade my analogue front-end and am thinking of a budget of around $12k / £10k for a turntable, tonearm, cart and phono stage/pre-amp. I listen to all sorts of music from electronic, bass-heavy vinyl, jazz, hip-hop, rock (new and old), ambient (Cinematic Orchestra, Nils Frahm etc...) and lots of soul/funk type tracks. So quite varied.

If you had $12k/£10k to spend, what combination of turntable, tonearm, cart and phone stage/pre-amp would you go for? I'm looking for suggestions to help with my research. I'm unsure what the balance should be between them. For example, should I go for a Rega Planar 10 with Aphelion 2 cart (£6,840) and give myself just over £3k to spend on a phono stage. Or spend less on the cart (Rega Planar 10 with Apheta 3 is £4,950) and get a more expensive phono stage.

Turntable brands I've been thinking of are Rega, Clearaudio, Technics, VPI, AVID, Thorens, Michell Engineering, VPI, SME etc... but don't really know where to start.

Any help would be much appreciated.



Sorry for my slow response @grislybutter . We had a burglary on Monday night whilst we were all asleep upstairs. They stole £10k worth of stuff so I guess there goes my analogue front end for a while. I'll need to save that back up.

Really interesting re: the AVID price list. I was thinking a 1/3 Turntable 1/3 cart 1/3 phono stage split. I definitely won't be buying a $250000 pair of speakers!!

Get the newest Technics SL-1200mk version.


no belts, no bs, just drop needle and enjoy for 40 years. 

use rest on a solid preamp. Parasound, Sanders, Bryston, 

use the rest on music & Scotch!

@grislybutter we're currently renovating our house so staying in a rental. We thought the landlord had insurance but informed us on Tuesday he does not. So we're 10k down unfortunately. At least the kids are safe. That's the main thing.

@arcticdeth I like your style!


yes, the kids first!

and I hope moving back to your renewed house will be a joy...