Present analogue play back designs....Advanced?

In any price category, do you think manufactures of today's design have advanced analogue play back be it turntable, tone arm and phono stage?

If so, how far the step up do you think from vintage designs?
Turntables are much like the bicycle. The essential design architecture was cast some 75 years ago.

Now, we're mostly benefiting from improvements in material science, with interestingly (for me), the use of carbon based materials in both bikes and analog playback devices.

So, the answer lies in how important the little stuff is as far as being a necessary condition for being happy. In this sense, the answer is ... it depends.

Far a large majority of folks on this forum, there's no going back to 1950. For others, what was good enough then is good enough for today.

I think that much of the appeal of vintage 'tables relates more to what many mainstream turntables are doing wrong (names withheld to protect the guilty), as much as what many of the vintage 'tables are doing right.

I don't think anyone will argue that some areas of analog playback have improved dramatically in the past 20 years - specifically in the area of cartridges.

It's always puzzled me why cartridges lagged. I suspect that it was more a matter of economics than anything else. One would expect the opposite to have been the case - for cartridge quality to be more like vacuum tubes, where the best ones have long since gone out of production.

Thom @ Galibier.
Maybe yes, but I didn't found some.
What I found, is sometimes a technical overkill, but it didn't move the curtain.
(3x Continuum, 3x not working properly, or Goldmund Reference with its moving tonearm...). More or less it is the way someone else described some time ago:
From "you-know-who" :-)
"The market flooded with dozen and dozen different turntables. I’m perfectly fine with a large number of $200-$500 turntables. They do not pretend to sound neutral and they cost accordingly. However, what to do with an army of $1000-$75.000 turntables that sound identically to their $500 counterparts, cost hundred times more and accompanied with all imaginable ** about their irrelevant designs, the ** structured only to convince the gadgets-minded Audio Morons that they “should be” sounding better...."

We benefit from nothing, no better materials, no better tooling, that is all nice to read but at the end of day they all sound similar (average).
Engineered knowledge, knowledge in material structures, knowledge in material composites is somewhere else, but not in High end.
High End is on the way to be a Boutique product. Nice to look at, expensive but inside it is nothing special (=cheap).
I would not say, that Vintage is generally better, there are a few Designs I wouldn't touch, but you will find a few, where some thinking was done right.
How many of the Designs today have a suspension down to 4 Hz? How many have dampened Armboards, or multilayer platters? Or vacuum? Or some other designs to create a silent area for the needle?
Most today are nice to look at, they are heavy (that's cheap to make) and some are simply black. We, the customers, get what we deserve:-)
B&O, Thorens, Yamaha, Denon...of the old days vs my 20K rig. I can live with any one of those. Actually, I do. I still own them.
Dear Stiltsking: As Tom posted: ++ Turntables are much like the bicycle ...+++++

and yes the today TT take some advantage on " new " materials and the like but the real subject is that the today TT has almost no advantage ( quality performance ) against top vintage TT sample other than warranty and manufacturer direct support that are two very important factors.

If we take tonearms or cartridges the situation is almost the same: with out serious improvements on overall quality performance.
There are a lot of vintage cartridges that outperform many of the today top phono cartridges.

Where IMHO there is a real grow-up is on electronics: phono stage, line stage or phonolinepreamps or amplifiers.

The real thing is that IMHO we have a " shame " of audio high-end due that we customers are a " shame " of customers.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Is the SME 30 a vintage table? It isn't the cheapest, and it isn't the latest, and it may not be the best, but it has been near the top for 25 or more years and I read that they are still having trouble keeping up with demand.
With vintage tables I was thinking more along the lines of pure innovation, two come to mind the early Platine Verdier and Micro Seiki, brilliant designs.
Advances in materials, CNC manufacturing, and electronics should allow production of a more rigid, precise, and exact record playback system. The question is do you use these advances to make a better system? One you can produce for less but looks nice? Or one that looks uber fancy but doesn't offer real improvements? Unfortunately I think we have too many offerings in the last two categories - real innovation isn't easy.

My 30 year old Exclusive DD P10 is in the same ball park sonically as my TW Raven AC-3 - abeit slight differences in overall presentation.

Back in the mid/late 70's there was a lot more R&D spent by the big Japanese manufacturers than almost any small company today can afford.

I am sure folks using the upper models of technics, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo would agree the technical know how that have gone into those tables are on a different level to what is produced today by the smaller often one man (but very dedicated) ventures that make turntable now.

That said, we should be grateful that the smaller analog manufacturers are around,thriving and doing an outstanding job.

I do agree that MC cartridges certainly have been refined in recent years.