Need advice on new TT

Hi all

I'm currently using a restored Garrarad 301 but looking to go for a modern TT. Budget is around 20k$
My short list so far is Brinkmann Balance, Kronos Sparta and AMG Viella. I'm looking only for a table to use with my current 2 arms - Reed 3p and Ortofon 309D.
Any thoughts you wanna share with me on this ?
Thanks in advance to all repliers.
As always: Brand new Technics SP-10R will be nice for Reed 3P if your arm is '10.5 or '12 inch. And you have half of your budget for a plinth. 
Thanks so far. Anyone compared the Technics to one of my short list ot any head to head between the Kronos and the Brinkmann ?

Anyone compared the Technics to one of my short list ot any head to head between the Kronos and the Brinkmann ?

Technics is a guarantee of quality and there are many engineers who have worked on this project; also Matsushita has plenty of money to support an idea up to the finished product.

Can we say the same for competitors? I have big doubts!
a used Wave Kinetics NVS is a great 2 arm turntable......and you can find one in the $20k range.

very low noise, great energy, and really great build quality. i’d view it as a step above those other choices you list.

i owned a restored Garrard 301, and own the NVS realize how big a step it is.
Interesting choice of tables. The wave Kinetic is a fabulous table but I am very nervous with used tables. It does not take much to damage a bearing.
Of the three you have chosen I think the AMG is the best. I do not like turntables with separated motors. The Kronos is a plain Jane turntable in a flashy chassis. The counter rotating business in the more expensive units is just plain silliness. You really should consider the SME 20/12.
It is one of the best isolated and stabilized turntables you can buy and has a build quality above the ones you have chosen. It also has a great record hold down system.  You can get a second arm board and switching between arms is a snap.  
Technics Sp-10R is the best you can get for the money, it can be used with two tonearms, for example you can look at OMA state of the art plinth for it. This is the best Coreless Direct Drive motor available today at any price. Read more at Artisan Fidelity. 

And BTW the stock Technics plinth designed for 3 tonearms

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Brinkmann fan here, have a Bardo w Triplaner on HRS base

The Tube power supply is excellent 

the AMG is also excellent:-)

have fun, enjoy your music and the quest
Tomic the Brinkman is an excellent  table however the Onkk is far more advanced design and is implemented beautifully.

The Onkks slotless motor and speed controller are absolutely state of the art.

We are looking to do the Florida audio expo if we do you should come in and take a listen.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
just curious - what don't you like about the 301?i am sure you know that SME is remaking them for 20k+
The Cue is the first table in years, maybe ever, that impresses me with the technology. Which it better be, to overcome the horrendous first impression created by the worst interview ever by Steve Guttenberg the alcoholic. Anyone interested do yourself a favor skip the first several minutes of that because the kid getting into watch making and the use of collets and how the ceramic bearing has zero play and needs no lube this at last is when you know this is the real deal.

The Technics strikes me as fine if you're into that sort of thing. Huge corporation, immense resources, design committees up the butt, it is no doubt the Honda of turntables, bringing Ferrari performance to Honda prices. I mean that as a compliment.

The next step up from that would of course be Porsche, but there is no Porsche in turntables instead we have the Onkk Cue which is the Konigsegg. No committee just one brilliant determined enthusiast not much interested in how its been done before but only in what is the very best way we can do it now.

Man I would like to get my hands on one of these! When I retire in 2 years if its not a new 911 it will probably be something like this. I wonder if they can make one in GT Silver?
can you Onkk Cue guys describe a one on one comparison with a specific known stock turntable and arm to give us a specific reference?

or post a link to a reference or review that gets specific?

until someone with a known reference that is not trying to sell us something hears it, it’s all hype.

google'ing Onkk Cue gets a bunch of HiFi show mentions and a price point of approx 25,000 Euros, but zero performance feedback.

this is like the tease phase.

not saying it’s not great.....but who has actually done a head to head comparison?
This Onkk is the winner in ugliest turntable design contest (imo). Those buttons, color, shape, tonearm .... looks like $200 usb turntable, but what is the dealers price? Something wrong in the industry nowadays, where did they get their designers? So ugly! 

Dohmann Helix 2.
Mark Dohmann was intimately involved in the production of arguably one of the greatest TT - the Continuum Audio Labs Caliburn. 
His Helix 1 and 2 are unique in that they incorporate a Minus K suspension. Actually, the tables are built around a Minus K suspension and use top quality materials. A very unique engineering solution to the biggest problem- vibrations. If you are looking for a top deck then you owe it to yourself to hear these turntables. I believe Dohmann will be represented at Axpona 2020- only a few months away . Mark will be on site to answer questions and explain his design philosophy. He is a wonderfully humble man who has a deep passion for vinyl playback. Worth the trip imo..
This Onkk is the winner in ugliest turntable design contest (imo)

I can only agree!
@audiotroy technology in the service of music matters, as does reliability and business continuity both well proven by Helmut Brinkmann long running company and reputation. Thanks for the Floridia invite but I am on the opposite coast. Do let us know when a West Coast dealer is established.

@millercarbon in two years they should have the bugs worked out of the 992

Do you purchase a piece of audio gear because you like the look of if it or the sound of it? The reality is that the turntable in person looks absolutely stunning, with the light up buttons giving the table a modern high tech look that makes the table seem alive even when it is not playing.

Also the light up buttons bring the turntable into a modern design aesthetic which mirrors what other modern components look like.

As per design, form follows function, a rounded chassis means that energy will not reflect off of the chassis surface any where as easily as a pure flat surface.

Every part of the Cue was painstakingly thought out, this is why it took five years before the table was ready to hit the market, the first version was shown in 2016, and it wasn’t until the speed controller was in its final version that the table was deemed perfect and put into production.

Mr. Lavigne, we really respect you as a reviewer and audiophile, however, you know something is very special when you hear something that totally makes you re-evaluate everything you know about the subject.

The Cue is brand new to the market and so there have not been any professional reviews as of yet, we signed up to be the Onkk importer on the spot after hearing the table at the New York audio show, the sound of the table was extraordinary it took a pair of speakers we never loved and produced a three dimensional sound field with deep propulsive bass with an almost non existent level of surface noise, the sound was captivating.

If you would like to review one we can arrange it, we are waiting for the Scribe tonearm before we send the table out to reviewers for a formal review.

The one thing we would say with vinyl is that is is an inherently simple process to get proper reproduction, the issue is how many designs over complicate this process.

You don’t need more motors which make more noise nor counter rotating platters, the key is the execution of how to make a table which doesn’t add any noise and therefore doesn’t mask detail.

The Cue is a perfect example of using superb materials, and then executing that design with remarkable precision.

Paul was smart enough to know that there are companies out there that are experts in precision manufacturing, that it is more prudent to farm out the sub assemblies to these manufacturers as the cost to setup a facility in house to build a Cue from scratch would push the retail price from $20k ish price range to a $100k per table.

The speed controller is from Rehishaw high end industrial electronics company, he bearing from a high tech British race bearing company, the sand casted   plinth is from a company who makes molds and metal parts for racing companies.

There is nothing radical here just a remarkable degree of engineering with a revaluation of all the constituent sub assemblies and how they need to function together.

Paul has looked at every aspect of the table, from the proprietary mineral filled sand cast aluminum plinth, the non parallel design of that plinth, a nearly indestructible ceramic bearing, a state of the art speed control and regulation system, a damped totally quiet platter and clamping setup, and a potent suspension system, allows for a level of sound quality not found at this price point from any of the other players.

For this reason we purchased the table on the spot, to hear a Cue is to find out just how remarkable vinyl can sound.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Look for our new company
Audio Intellect Audio Imports in 2020

I have the old Nottingham Analogue Mentor, which is said to be inferior to their new Dais. The NA Dais is near the top of your price range.

It is surprisingly close to my DIY air bearing TT. As to the big Technics, I was at the local launch, and they had a motor on display. When I held it to my ear and rotated the spindle, I could hear (albeit faintly) noise from the sleeve bearings. On this basis, not the audition (sounded God-awful to me, with the setup they had), I suspect that the Technics is inferior to a good belt drive.

If I were buying off-the-shelf, I would definitely consider NA. YMMV.
NA Mentor (and almost certainly the Dais) also goes very well with the Trans-Fi air bearing tonearm, perhaps the best bargain in high end. Uses standard parts and clever engineering instead of custom machining - keeps the cost down, ~$1K.
Dave and Troy,

best wishes with the Onkk Cue.

when you actually have a production product, and that end product has been compared directly against some credible competition, then we should all take notice. i agree on paper it looks promising.

and until you have a production product and have pricing, it’s not relevant to this thread. remote chance of this ending up close to $20k USD.

i think your efforts and communications here are premature.

we all benefit when a great turntable comes to market. so again, i wish you the best. i'll be at Axpona in April and RMAF in October and i will watch for it for sure.
we signed up to be the Onkk importer on the spot after hearing the table at the New York audio show, the sound of the table was extraordinary it took a pair of speakers we never loved and produced a three dimensional sound field with deep propulsive bass with an almost non existent level of surface noise,

How is it possible to indicate in Onkk all these qualities in an unknown environment such as that of an exhibition?
This sonic quality could be attributed to the whole audio chain!

Viryat, we would be happy to compare a Cue to the Dohlman any day of the week.

Belt drive turntables will never sound as good as a properly designed direct drive, all belts have slippage, and will wear over time. 

Another issue with the Dolhman is that its plinth is a solid piece of metal in a air filled metal box, the plinth incorporates a Minus K vibration system which is great to keep  surface borne vibrations from exciting the table, except that any vibrations being produced by the motor or bearing would be hard to remove with this design. 

A solid plinth filled with proprietary composites, means that the table will absorb any noise from the bearing and motor which makes a very quiet table with maximum information retrieval.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

best groove that is an excellent question. We are intimately familiar with the electronics used Merrill which are excellent and the loudspeakers which were Martin Logan's which one of our clients has so we know what both of these components sound like. 

So your point is well taken however, the same three dimensional sound field, the same gigantic sense of space, the same sense of dynamics and deep bass the same absence of noise was also present when we setup the table in our shop with completely different electronics, T+A Reference electronics, Manley Labs Steelhead phono stage, Paradigm Persona 9H or Alta Audio Titantium Hestia loudspeakers.

So if you hear the same qualities in playback with two completely different setups and both sounded fantastic and the only thing is common was the table that must mean the table is the cause of those similarities 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Of course it would be great audiotroy, because you are selling it. There is nothing special here except a different look and a plinth that is patently silly if you want to avoid resonance problems. All that you mention is marketing BS. Have fun selling it. The tonearm board is so small that the arms you can use on it are going to be limited. I would take any Kuzma table over it in a heartbeat not to mention any Basis, SOTA or SME. 
Chakster the Technics SP -10R is a dated design and it misses entirely several important issues such as isolation and mounting the record properly so that it is held tight and flat in a non resonating fashion. Very pretty though but if you buy turntables to look at you are in the right hobby for the wrong reasons. The Technics SP-10 and the Garrard's should be buried in the annals of Hi Fi history and appreciated for what they are, great designs in their day for their intended purpose which was really commercial radio stations whose last requirement, if even, was sound quality.
SOTA and SME are great companies to buy from because they are old and well established. Both have excellent customer service not to mention great turntables. Buying equipment from small, young companies is asking for it. Buying anything from Audiotroy who has a habit of popping in to sell stuff.... Never buy anything from a human who is trying to sell you something. They are way too dangerous. We are here to hash out these issues as hobbyists who are not trying to sell each other stuff and just want to try to understand the issues at hand. Audiotroy there are other very bright people who could easily try to sell their wares here but prefer not to on ethical grounds. They contribute to the issues at hand in a neutral fashion and I have the utmost respect for them and am way more likely to purchase one of their units.  
Mike the Onkk shown at the New York show is the final production version, the final price has been set at $21,000.00 the original price was $19k but due to the price of the control system going up right before the show we had to increase the cost to cover this price increase and add a bit to cover shipping.

We will be comparing this table to the VPI $30k direct drive table shortly we will advise you all of that comparison.

Any audiophiles in the NY Metro area with a really serious rig we would welcome the opportunity to compare.

We were there when the Kronos first hit the market, as well as Magico and YG, if you build a great product the market will usually find you.

Yes at this point a potential buyer would be an early adopter but as with Kronos, YG, Magico, Wilson there was always a first dealer, a first customer and a first review.

For anyone interested in purchasing the table now we will be including the $6,000.00 Scribe tonearm, for free as part of the purchase price this is only applicable for the first 10 units in production.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Mijostyn, your viewpoint is extremely limited. We have found new products by reading the forum and we have learned from others as others have learned from us.

All of life is a buying and selling proposition, weather it is for a job, a service a relationship, we are all buying and selling to one another sometimes we buy sometimes we sell.

Yes we are promoting a product because it is spectacular, but this is no different than any person who has heard or driven or tasted or tried any product that is really special.

As per Basis  or Sota, come on man tap on a plastic platter and even if it is damped by brass inserts and you will still get a sound, acrylic rings. 

As per anything new, wake up Mijostyn, there is nothing that is ever really new, Class D amplifiers came out in the 1950s, tubes 1920s even Magico’s lastest speakers are an evolution of there other designs and new drivers made out of Diamond or Ceramic are also evolutionary.

As per new companies yes there is a risk, however, a really well designed product should be quite reliable, most of the time a slot less motor will never break, nor should the bearing, the only parts that could fail would be the outboard controller, and both Renishaw and the speed controller builder are large well established British companies.

Remember this is from a watchmaker, if you study mechanical designs a Rolex, Patek,Breitling will all last a lifetime.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I would be remiss in not mentioning Basis as well, excellent and of course lauded the world over
But perhaps we should now touch base with our intrepid OP.... are we helping ????
Regarding the above, three things I would like to know:
1) What other table uses a ceramic no lube required bearing?
2) What other table uses a platter dished out to one quarter of a degree?
3) What do you mean, 992 bugs?

PS- Rolex is for posers. Grand Seiko Spring Drive. Now that's a watch.
Thanks so far to all repliers.
I swore to myself a couple of years ago to try and stick with "non-boutique" companies with products with good reselling value. That's mainly in mechanics based equipment like turntables and arms where you will not find parts when the company is down.
That's the reason I'm thinking of Brinkmann as a first choice and that's the reason i'm hesitant with [probably] great products as the Dohmann Helix and Wave kinetics. 
I know that's conservative of me.  I am from Israel and market here is small so not too many options to audition where is turntables auditions are very tricky as you need to have same arm and cart if you want to do it properly.
There is a Continuum Caliburn available here for $65K. A good value at this price!
Also a Thales TT and arm here for $11.5K. A demo from High End Zone in NM. That arm looks interesting!
I swore to myself a couple of years ago to try and stick with "non-boutique" companies with products with good reselling value. That's mainly in mechanics based equipment like turntables and arms where you will not find parts when the company is down.

I agree with your philosophy regarding boutique. My re-sell concern is there too - but only from my family's perspective.... when I can no longer be found.  

Have you considered Verdier? They have been in business a long time. Copied but never duplicated.

It's an "out of the typical audiophile box" play;  it's not plug and play, and comes with a learning curve. Like learning how to drive a Porsche 993. 

120 ? really ...

I see that as people age, they become more grumpy and mean. Complain more. Because of this, I can see my millennial fraternal twins putting out some kind of hit on me, long before 120. 8^0

The only wear items on my turntable is the silk string. Maybe an annual change if I feel like it. The motor is the size of mouse, I have a spare but I am sure Elon Musk will have some kind of alternative before it becomes an issue. As far as the natural repelling force of the magnets..... if they collapse on each other one day, this world, I think, will have bigger issues to worry about..  

Mike the Onkk shown at the New York show is the final production version

i’d pump the brakes a little and actually play it side by side with another better turntable before you get all carried away.

my understanding is that it’s not yet a completed product.

and btw, my understanding is also that it could be epic sounding on paper. so good for you if it works out. wishing you well with it.

i do think it’s style will be an issue for many in that tt price range. people will not buy it because they like the style, but in spite of the fact they don’t like it. so it has to sound very fine to be successful. maybe in person it might have some magic that photos don’t relate.

most buyers want elegant, not splashy.

if it is ready, hopefully you will find a way to have it at Axpona in April for people to actually hear.
I think the audio doctor needs his own forum.  Just because they are going to be dealers for the products does not mean it is the end all.   I would never take a chance on a new company where I would spend many thousands of dollars. I have been down that road before and got burned very bad.    Half of these companies including the new upstarts won’t be around in a year or two. 
If I am going to throw my money away, I would rather go to the poorest area of my city and give it to the poor.   At least I will feel good about it.  My advice to the OP is to stick with well established companies, and don’t get sucked in to all the BS here.  
@millercarbon no bugs means you are willing to forgo the warranty ? Wishing you the best in retirement- it is fun
Dohmann Helix Mk 2
Techdas Two Premium
AMG Forte
TW Acoustic Black Night

I am thinking about moving up myself. The above are the strongest contenders for me based mainly upon reviews, discussions with dealers and  the universal conclusions as to the nature of the sound (no such thing as dead neutral--there is always a perspective on neutral) each provides. I have listened to the Forte and it is pretty spectacular. The Techdas intrigues me because of the vacuum hold down, the founder's history and the likelihood that the company will last for years. I am also  intrigued by the Dohmann but have the same very slight reservations about the company's long term prospects.
As for Audiotroy and the Onkk, I heard it at the NY audio show and could draw no firm conclusion as to its sound other than it was at least good. The table certainly looks different than all other high end tables and it may not suit all. From looks, it appears that it may be priced at anywhere between 5k and 20k---but, of course very few of us care how it looks as long as it sounds great. 
As for Audiotroy's sales job, I have seen it on many occasions and it is tiring. Of course, he thinks highly of the table as he decided to distribute it in the U.S. and wants to sell it here. But he should stop selling his wares on Audiogon.
Maybe we can get Andy Singer to invade the thread to crow about the Dohmann, Bob Visintainer to laud the Techdas, a number of dealers to sell AMG and Jeff Catalano to ramble on about the Tw Acoustic ----all of which have been extraordinarily well reviewed and have demonstrated a history of sales to knowledgeable audiophiles.
But those guys have too much class to do that and they understand that this is not the place to sell. 
I stand with Mike Lavigne.

since we are now discussing turntables around $50k, i’ve recently added 2 of them to my system. i’m not suggesting anyone buy these (they require a bit of effort to acquire), but i am really enjoying both of these.

one is new, the air bearing, belt driven CS Port LFT1, with air bearing linear tracker. one is used, the idler Saskia model two.

i have not yet added information about these to my Audiogon system page, but i will post a link below to a thread on another forum about the CS Port LFT1 and pictures of my three turntables below.