Recommendations for a modestly priced analog system

I have been listening to digital music only for a number of years. Now I am thinking of adding an analog system. I don't want to go nuts buying expensive components. I just want to get under the proverbial point of diminishing return. I have  Cary Audio 98P preamp, VAC phi 200 (planning) and Sound Lab ESL speakers. My budget from turntable to cartridge is $5-7K. I prefer buying used for the best bang for the buck. As I am getting older, I need a no fuss, durable and low maintenance system. Any recommendations?
Technics SL1200G seems to be a real nice no fuss table for $3K used. Adding Allnic H1202 or Heron Herron Audio VTPH-2A will complete the job. I was eyeing on Allnic H1202 at $2175 in Agon, but gee, it is already gone.
BTW, SP10R with plinth, arm, and cartridge would be $20K.

You have received some excellent advice and a great deal of suggestions and ideas to consider; I'm sure it can be overwhelming to try and digest all you've read.  The advice and recommendations you're seeking is a bit unique and intriguing to me -- typically when I've encountered a music fan preparing to "dip their toes" in the analog waters for the first time and enter the world of Turntables and Vinyl, they do so with a much smaller budget than the $5,000 to $7,000 range you mentioned.

I believe I may be as excited to follow your vinyl adventure as you are -- I've always enjoyed spending other people's money, LOL.  At that price point, the analog world may not completely be your oyster...but it damn well is close, it's got to be at least your mussels!  Please keep the Forum updated on your eventual decisions.  I know I'm not the only person truly interested in finding out how your journey continues.

Some turntables that fit your budget I would add to your list to consider include: VPI Prime, VPI Prime Signature, Dr. Feickert Volare, Dr. Feickert Woodpecker, EAT C-Sharp Reference Turntable, Music Hall MMF 11.1, Pro-Ject RPM 10 Carbon, Pro-Ject Xtension 12 Evolution, Thorens TD 1601, and finally, the Rega Planar 8 or Planar 10.

Happy shopping and reviewing, and keep us updated.  I'm anxious to find out what gear you decide to purchase, and what's the first slab of vinyl you play to christen the stylus.  

Have a Happy New Year and Cheers!

Allen Fields
Hello.  I think I went through a similar situation this year. I started pondering on the idea of an analog setup when covid hits.  I got rega rp6 with aria phono and a mm cartridge. It was surprisingly pleasant. I ended up with 300 to 400 records later and decided it was time for an upgrade. I started the second journey and looked at vpi and rega tables.   But eventually I found Brinkman Bardo with Benz LP S cartridge mc.  And I researched for a phono stage.  Best one that is reasonably priced was the allnic h1200. It had raving reviews that fit my needs. The result was nothing but surprises. I'm still breaking in and it sounds better every day.  If you need one, I highly recommend reaching out to

I also posted about John on this thread.

So the phono sets u back 3k.  So I guess you have another 4k to play with. I ended up with direct drive. You have to decide what kind of table features you need.  Like do you want to swap cartridges easily? Are you a person who enjoys tweaking?   Too many choices out there.   But I wanted one table that can be my last, I ended up spending 8k on mine.  But you probably wouldn't hear much difference between a 4k and an 8k.  I think roi is less when you get to that level.  I probably be fine with a high end technics in the 3 to 4k or a vpi in that range or even rega table or even a rebuild of a thorens. If you are interested in any of those, you may contact me since I already went thru the journey recently I still have some of my contacts. They have given me superb service and I wouldn't mind passing their info along to you. 
 I want to thank everyone for contributing to my vinyl journey. I would like to report back on what I decided. I purchased a very well maintained Sota star III with Sumiko premier MMT tone arm and Denon D103R cartridge. The gentleman who sold me this set up also included a phono stage that he built for this cartridge. All for a little over $2K. Now, I just have to get some vinyls. 

If you were to upgrade this setup, where would you start?
Dear @chungjh : Come on, why are you on a hurry?.

First than all you need to make the set up on what you bougth then after 20-30 hours make  the " fine tunning " job and after that listen it for at least 50 hours and then decide what you don't like it or what you think you could need as an up-grade. 

Anyway, is up to you.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,