Need advice for upgrading my analog setup


I got into records 2 years ago and have been using ProJect Carbon Debut Evo with a Sumiko Rainier cartridge. It has served me great as my first table and a way to see if I would enjoy playing records. Well I do enjoy records. And my dad gave me all of his records too (he's a CD guy but never abandoned his collection when vinyl fell out of vogue).

Anyway, I'm planning to upgrade my entire analog setup and I'm very much a buy once , cry once kind of person. I'm looking at a SOTA Sapphire, Origin Live Zephyr tonearm, and a Soundsmith Zephyr Mk.III cartridge. Is this a good combination? Are there any other combinations of gear in the $6k range I should consider? I try to buy American as much as I can. I've looked at VPI but I like the look of SOTA much more.

Oh and I'm using a Darlington Labs MP-7 phono preamp that I'm happy with and don't plan on replacing.

Thanks for reading and helping me out.


Going with the SOTA eliminates a need for expensive or additional isolation.

I have a SOTA Sapphire with an Origin Live Silver tonearm and SoundSmith The Voice cartridge. Love it. The Silver is one step down in the lineup from the Zephyr tonearm.  I need to upgrade my phono preamp. 

@thefrator hello I also upgrading my vinyl system and I agree with @ghdprentice phono stage and cartridges are equally important just like the table. I tried over 10 different brands over the last 2 months (half of them auditioned in my own system) and I found Parasound JC3+ a good contender in its price range. Enjoy ! 

Your choices are excellent. I would also consider the upgrade of your phono stage also. Now do not forget to upgrade your cables to !! Good luck

I would not worry about the phono stage.

If it's no match for the new TT, you will start looking for one anyway.

How do you like the looks of the SOTA Sapphire?