Sota or Technics

Hello all, first time post here. 
I am in the market for a new TT under 2k. I've narrowed it down to the Sota Comet and the Technics 1200GR.
Going to use a $300 to $500 MM cart. 
System consists of NAD533 TT (currently). NAD pre amp, Cambridge Phono pre amp, Mac 240 amp, TDL compact monitors. 
Sota i like as it uses the 330 tonearm, is built in the states, solid rep, solid support, is pleasing to the eye.
Technics I like as it's built like a tank, seems more plug and play has a good rep and looks good too. (more bells and whistles, both positive and negatives there)
Obviously they are different in some ways. Direct drive vs belt etc..
Was wondering if anyone had an opinion either way on either deck. Greatly appreciate any feedback.
Thank you
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xdoyle3433
BTW - I have the same Beatles Collection sitting on top next to my components outside the normal record area......

What's the Beatles box on top?
There is nothing wrong with the arm on the Technics, objectively, based on construction and specs. It is very simple in appearance but it is also the result of many years of production experience. It sounds great to me when used with a suitable cartridge.   Of course there are better arms but they cost considerably more and many of them don't offer the flexibility and ease of use of the arm on the Technics.  When I was considering a new turntable a few years ago, it also came down to SOTA and Technics.  I ended up buying a Technics 1200G and am very happy with it.  Both are fine tables and you should be happy with either one, especially if all you want to do is play stereo LPs.  If you want to play 78s or use a mono cart occasionally, the Technics would be the better choice.
I own the Technics GR along with a bunch of super vintage MM and MC carts. This turntable is excellent for the price but if I had your budget I might buy the Technics SL-1200MK7 and use the extra money for an excellent cart. Technics all the way.
When I bought the Technics 1200GR (Jan/Feb. 2018), this is what I posted in another forum:

" I just recently bought the Technics SL 1200GR, which I paired with my Goldring MM 1042 cartridge. I change the the stock headshell with a Yamamoto Acoustic craft Carbon fiber headshell HS-4 HS-4 NEW that I bought from Japan. This TT replaced a Music Hall 5.1 that was paired with the Goldring cartridge.

You can only buy through dealers. My local dealer have both versions and I auditioned both models the G and the GR through state of the art speakers, cables, pre/pro, you name it. I also was auditioning speaker because I thought that my JBL L890 towers were too lowly. Two things happened:

1. After I listened the Technic SL 1200GR paired with my cartridge while listening to my mobile fidelity album of Santana Abraxas I knew right there and then that I did not need to spent $4000 on the 1200G, the difference is so minimal that is not worthy, unless you are too anal retentive. And when my unit came, and they assemble it, after the Yamamoto Acoustic craft Carbon fiber head shell HS-4 HS-4 was installed the sound got even better, so much better than the stock headshell that the owner of my local dealership, immediately ask me for a link of the Yamamoto dealer in Japan. Once at home I switch the stock platter mat with a Nottingham mat that I was using on my Music Hall. All I can say is that the sound stage open up so much that I could not believe it, and I had to call my wife and sat her in from of the system to verify if it was my brain playing tricks with me, she notice the difference also. So the 1200GR for me is all I need, I listened to other TTs brands as well (in the thousands of dollars). This TT is way, way better than my Music Hall.

2. I auditioned Focal, Bowers and Wilkins, Elac, and others ranging from 4000 to 15000 dollars, and yes, you can tell the difference from my JBLs ($1700 original price), but if was only after you are in the $ 8000 and up that I was able to discern such a change as to say: yes this is worthy. So I kept my JBls, because they sound so good in my system that there was no need to spent $ 8000 to 15000 to get some improvement. moral of the story: The JBls are not so lowly anymore after my snub attempt to trade up in speakers.

In closing the new Technics are very good. I also used to be under the impression that Belt Drives were better than Direct Drive; not anymore, not at all."
There are excellent examples of both belt drive and direct drive from various manufacturers, and poor examples of each.
To judge the arm quality however based purely on visual observation is absurd. Technics has a reputation for having made, and still making, some superb arms. The one in the new crop of 1200’s is no exception. The bearings are very high quality, and the geometry is spot on. It’s fine if one doesn’t like it, but at least give it fair test first. The motor systems are beyond reproach.
I personally have owned many excellent belt and direct drive tables. My current Technics tables include a 1200MkII, 1200GAE, and an SP-25 with an SME 310 10" arm. Cart is an Ortofon Cadenza Blue which I move between the tables. Past tables includes Michell Gyro SE w/RB300, Syncrodec, and some higher end Pro-jects and Thorens tables with their stock arms.

I also want to add that about 10 years ago I purchased an armboard (I forget the UK brand) made for Technics tables, to install Rega arms. The listening sessions ended after one week and I put back the 1200MkII’s original arm which I quickly deduced was far, far better than people give it credit for.

The one thing I can say is that the Technics tables don’t have that lush, soft, warm "vinyl" sound (or at least they have less of it). They sound much more immediate, with deep, tight and tuneful bass, and an extremely neutral midrange. The best of the bunch above is the 1200GAE, followed by the SP-25 rig (stock SH-15B3 plinth by the way). And, up until about 25 years ago, I worked in high end audio retail and sold SOTA. Nice tables. Well built, at least the bigger models. However if I had to pick today, the Technics wins hands down all the way. The 1200GR which I have used at trade shows punches way above its weight and exhibits all the sonic qualities I describe above.  It is the sound that appeals to my tastes, and technically it is a formidable player.