Money well spent

Keep my classic 1 and spent a cple g on a new cart.
or trade up to say a prime or even another type table( tran fi ) and run my benz ace for awhile until i upgrade that . Please keep your comments positive lol I'm not rich 
If your not some albums and be happy. 

If your not going to do that, then upgrade your cartridge. Your table still has alot of headroom and can bring out much more with better cartridges.

Oleschool, it depends on what you want to accomplish. You will get better sound either way. But I think you want to upgrade the table, I would almost certainly do the same given the choice.
Nothing in an audio system will have as big an impact on the sound as the two transducers in the chain - the cartridge on the front end and the speakers at the back end.

So if your looking for the biggest sonic improvement right now, go with the cartridge.  A new TT would only be marginal.
I have the same table. I would make sure I had the  BEST phonostage I could afford and go up a level with the LOMC.

The Classic is worthy of a more upscale cart than the Benz Ace.

I have used a Benz Glider, Sumiko Blackbird and Audio Technica OC9III/ART 9. To my ears, in my system, the ART9 is a winner.

The ART9 has remained on my table for over a year.
If you get maximum resale and only have to cough up the difference for the Prime, it may be a good move. 
I still would seriously consider phono stage/LOMC.


i have a musical fidelity mxvynl it can run any mc .my ace is a low ls . I would not consider selling my classic unless the price was right.Its the front mount motor and i truly like it ,its on 2"audiopoints and sounds great I do believe the cart is the next step of course if i stay put. The prime is at the top of the list with the trans fi if i go that route. the upgrade would be a g min. plus a cart so it will compound from there. 
I would be interested in the 2-3 k range for a  cart if i stay put with my classic .. thanks everyone for the imput 
This trans fi from vic just intrigues me . Guys just rave over that arm and the people using it are spinning on some serious tt. getting back to the upgrade i just am at the point were i feel i need to upgrade my cart, and think is this my best plan yannow..
Oleschool, I guess, you want to do both, just not sure what to start with. In any case, if you go with expensive cartridge upgrade now you do want to be sure it will work just fine in a new arm should you decide to follow up with the table/arm change. It just may be mostly a matter of taste and opportunity if you buy used. I would almost certainly start with the table, someone else with the cartridge and another one with separate phono stage, perhaps even tube one.
Tell us what you eventually have decided.
"It is the front mount motor and i truly like it ,its on 2"audiopoints and sounds great I do believe the cart is the next step of course if i stay put."

Are you using/considered the motor controllers?(SDS,Phoenix)  
Without it, you're not hearing 33.3. I would like to use one, but the version I have 
is the AC regen. Can't use without a VPI motor mod. 

I have and would like one , when strobed my table is very close . i just have always spent my money somewhere else.. At this point i really need to give some serious consideration as to my next tt as inna  said . The trans fi is an air bearing tangital tracker rim drive and the prime is the pivot of course , i hear so many positives about the new 3d . But people rave over vics trans fi 

      I may get a cart for now , my classic just keeps a steady value over the yrs .  
I would like
a dynovector xv1s
Znx airy 2-3  
benz micro lps
something along those lines used from a solid gon member . This would roll right into a prime . And keep my ace to setup a package tt deal to a freind or something next spring . The ace was a g retail imo i think if i take the next step i need to get up in the higher price carts. If i know the member i would have no problem snagging a 5k cart for 2500 bks . 
One more thought. Oleschool, I don't know what cables you use, but I just upgraded one excellent old Purist interconnect with another newest Purist which is three steps above it. Wow. It's like a big cartridge upgrade, not a turntable/arm though.
I know my cable choice will get the nod from some not from others . I love acoustic zen stuff . I have all reference mrk 2 matrix throughout tt to phono to pre . Including trans dac and satori spkr cables . Adagios spkrs and revalation audio lab psu and a/c on my nuvista . When i hooked up my az ref from tt to pre it blew me away . I had a spare pair of blue jeans i was using . It was such a drastic change i swapped again to check if i was crazy . The difference is huge in soundstage and bass . Honestly i have been spending to much dam time on this forum and am getting the upgrade bug lol . I cannot honestly believe the guy who say im done and happy where im at. My rebuttal to that is dont go listen to another system in a higher category or you have some serious cash locked in already . 
Not everyone has the new vac or brinkman with alexandras . Lol but if you hear it you will think about an upgrade at 4am . As of now i am headed to cart upgrade then i will keep that cart and off my classic as a complete tt with the benz. Its a great cart for what it is. I have had much better yrs back ..

   the single biggest change for under a grand i have ever enjoyed was room treatment, the changes were staggering and i am amazed at the people who spend massive money on gear and switching around this and that when they have not addressed there acoustics .
Some people, many I would guess, have their rigs in living room so acoustic treatment may not be possible or be limited.
Your cables should be up to what you want to achieve. We all have the upgrade bug, one variable is the degree of it and another that some know it and say it openly and others don't. I too want to upgrade but I prefer to do rare but very significant upgrades, and I just did it. But my next upgrade is going to be much more expensive, it will be either replacing the phono stage with a great tube one or replacing the integrated. Both would be thousands of dollars. Cartridge too at some point, again at least $2k new.
Yep . I will not step away from my modded nu vista until i go vac . As far as  cart 3-5   and tt  3-5 that may go down this fall . I cant see any spkr i want to go with under 15 k at this point gulp .. One mans floor is anothers cieling lol this hobby is just one of my obsessions lol like many here i have a separate ht room which takes $ too among my guitars and my hotrod and bike shop . And my family at the top yikes 
I too don't really feel the wish to upgrade digital, though I know that it can be seriously improved. So far my CEC belt drive player serves me well, but I don't listen to it often. When I do upgrade it or if it just breaks down and I wouldn't want to have it fixed, I'll probably go with used older Accuphase or Esoteric or maybe some higher level Marantz.
There is VAC Phi 110i top of the line integrated for sale on usaudiomart from Canada for less than $10k. New cost about $25k.
Oleschool, they almost never come up for sale.
Awesome thats my speed right there .. But alas i am being resonable at the moment , next yr maybe. I am a big fan of outboard power supplies with intergrated amps . My nuvista is also seperate. The vac is so next level and i think would be my last power upgrade its epic 
Don't forget that price for the Vac would be roughly Less 25%
since its in Canadian funds.

Ya its like 9k ish shipped and has a great phono section low mc ready . Probly the best intergrated amp around for the bucks .. It would be at home in almost any system regardless of price .  A dream amp for me , maybe next yr somebody is gonna be seriously happy 
If you put your analog front end upgrade on hold and sell your current amp, how much would it cost you compared to what you are going to do? Yes, you may never want or need to upgrade that VAC. Except for tubes.
Not much more really but it would be all at once instead of over time . I just feel like the time is not right for that big of a plunge for me . Oh i do love it , there are few amps at any price that are " better" as of now a cple k towards a cart this fall is in my wheelhouse . I will have a ref vac eventually i could sell one of my guitars but i dont go backwards in life anymore by choice atleast lol

I see. Yeah, it would not be in steps. Backwards - no, in a little more complicated way - perhaps.
I have the Trans-FI. It solves lots of problems. Cartridge straight to phono pre. Many have said, and they have much more experience chasing the ultimate sound than I, that the Trans-Fi Salvation combo at 4.5K was a step up over much more expensive rigs previously owned. I couldn't say, but some prominent posters on this site with much more cred than I, have said as much. I love mine. Once you own one, in using it over time one begins to realize what makes it such a nice deck/arm combo. The geometry begins to show it's value. The two rail air suspension is designed in such a simple but effective manner also.
Go to Dark Lantern website. 
Like you, I would love some VAC amplification. Some 70/70s are in my future if I'm lucky.

        I hear so many good things about the transfi .i guess the only downfall if it is or not ,that its not blinged out.The machining is practical and functional not as much for the eyecandy.I know terry here using two of the arms and like them also. If I may, what tables have you had before the transfi ? For the 3500 bks I hear it shoots way above its price and that vic is really a pleasure to deal with.
 Could you give me a quick review, and your experiences with it?
     And yes I have been thinking of the vac all night ,I know im 49 yrs old now because I think of being reasponsible,my daughter and wife ,few yrs back that friker be on its way tommorow lol
Oleschool, I hear you. As I said, I'd just bought a super cable. In fact, I need two, one for the phono and one for deck, and I could get another one but decided not to and wait for a year or so.
Hi, Oleschool ...

Go back and reread Tablejockey's post. He has it right. Here's a cost effective way to get where you want to be ... at least temporarily as the hobby goes.

1.  Buy a custom turntable belt from  This is NOT a subtle improvement, its major.

2.  Buy an Audio Technica ART-9 cartridge. As Tablejockey, Pani and Almarg will attest ... its a giant killer, beating many cartridges over 3K - 5K.

3.  Install Synergistic Research Black fuses in all of your electronics.

4.  Buy a ten-pack of Synergistic Research High Frequency Transducers (HFT's) and place them around your room in compliance with the directions in the box.

5. Buy a nice supply of adult diapers and don them prior to your first listening session after all of the above is complete. Yer gonna need them. :-)

My room is treated at this time , i have 4 fuses in my intergrated that 500 bks . I have decent fuses in there now , i am on the fence with 100 dollar fuses . And haven't heard the at I believe your comment but it is in the same price range im already in now 
I would like to try the fuses but the god awful long battles here on them is tough to read thru lol

I am considering the SR HFT's. Two considerations at hand are, how effective without the FEQ. I have several items on my audio things to get list and probable would have no problem swinging the HFT's but not both the FEQ and HFT's. At this point in time the other items would be more of a priority to me.  Since I have no acoustic treatment, the other consideration would be acoustic treatment vs. HFT's. Can you remember which of the two were more beneficial to your system.  I would probably consider corner traps and two first reflection panels on each adjoining speaker wall.
BTW I found your treads regarding SR Black fuses and Black PC very beneficial and educational; resulting in the purchase 4 fuses 2 power cords, with a couple more of each on my list.  I am thinking it would also be of benefit to install referenced fuse in my TT pre power supply and one in my REL sub.
Have you tried any of the PHT's. If so what did you think?

Brad - Tigard Oregon (Retired, but not a grandpa)

Its very debatable at a minimum that spending hundreds of dollars on fuses is money well spent. Especially when there are many high quality alternatives for a fraction of the cost. Still, some seem to think so and work hard to convince others. Is that enough? I think it depends on the person. Those who don’t care how or why something works or not might.. Others that do won’t.

At best, money is only well spent on any minor tweak like a fuse once one has all the fundatmental things that go into good sound that ARE easily explained and understood are in order.

Spending lots on any minor tweak prematurely thinking that might just be the easy ticket to better sound is just foolish IMHO. But yes, its a lot easier sometimes to just buy into hype than to actually try to understand what is really most important and why.

For example money well spent would be finding an amplifier capable of getting the most out of one’s speakers rather than leaving unrealized performance from one’s existing speaker investment on the table.  Or if starting with the amp, finding the right speakers to allow the amp to do what it can do best.

When it comes time to tweak, money will probably be better spent buying tweaks from companies that specialize in pro audio rather than those that market to high end home audio exclusively. The latter’s pricing reflect the desparation many audiophiles feel trying to always achieve "better" sound.. Cost more, must be better, right? Wrong. Maybe, but you’ll never know until you’ve tried the proven alternatives first.


Thanks for the reference to Gik Treatment. There seems to be some good educational information on there site. 
Room treatment, the biggest leap forward and usually the most neglected.
Gains can be modest to monumental for the cost of a few fuses and a power cord or two.

+1 on Room acoustics and +1 on GIK for effectiveness and value.

ASC also makes good products, very knowledgeable and nice staff but above my pay grade.


Its a website regarding the trans fi table  
gik did a great job for me 
but this thread was about a cartridge turntable thoughts lol
assuming your speaker setup/room is optimal, considering a serious cart without appropriate next level phono stage may be 
shortchanging your final choice in carts. 

My experience going from a good 1K level phono SS, to a $2500 tubed was profound. Naturally subjective, all tube just seems most realistic. I'm know SS at the same level is amazing,(and quieter) I prefer tubes.
Ya i hear ya . I have had amazing tube setups over the yrs .. I cant get that dam vac 110 out of my dreams lol ... It has an inboard 4 tube stage its bitchin for the bucks . I just have to many hobbies lol and my 20 mnth old daughter doesnt leave tons if listening time latley... I find myself playing my piano for her more or guitars for her : )
I have used the Transfi arm for 5 years (originally on a Michell Gyro) and the Salvation TT for 3 years. I have implemented all the modifications Vic has offered to arm and table. I will never replace the Terminator/Salvation combo my only caveat is that I am 63 years old. I think it is one of the best values in this crazy hobby. It is very straight forward to set up (really benefits from careful set up). It offers many DIY tweaking opportunities, ala Darklatern but Vic is the best tweaker so I leave it to him. Find someone close and see and listen to it. Good Luck
Thats what i hear again and again . Not to be vain , but how does the table look . I know from the pics its cool but does it look homemade. I know it shouldn't matter but i do like some visual bling lol   
It looks just like the pictures of the TT and arm on the transfi website. It may not provide the eye candy of some of some of the $25k plus tables but I think it looks very good and not "homemade" at all.  
I agree , vic has a great vision there .  His machining is purposefully chosen . It lowers the cost . Make no mistakes this is a serious " bargain in the tt world !