SOTA STAR Sapphire Turntable Care and Feeding

I'm seriously interested in a used SOTA STAR Sapphire Series III Turntable with Vacuum, Electronic Flywheel and SME Series IV Tonearm, that is close to me and a very reasonable price.  It would be a big step up from my current Pro-Ject X2B, but I want to make sure it is not too technical for my dinosaur brain before I pull the trigger.  How difficult it is to get set up?  Once it is set up, do you need to constantly fuss over it or just the occasional check?  I have an upgraded Joliida JD-9 phono pre-amp.  Would this pre-amp be sufficient for the SOTA  or would I need to upgrade that to do justice to the SOTA?  Any other quirks of this turntable that I should be aware of?  Thanks in advance for your advice.


John Cotner

New Ulm, MN


The listing for your next setup looks like an owner saying goodbye LP playback.

My guess listing isn't getting much traction, which is the reason for that drop in price. You're getting "better" than ALOT of new gear under $10K+?

The Grado is a budget model from the 90's/early 2000s? When you're ready, a $1500+ LOMC/ & $3K+(find something used 1/2) will be another leap in SQ. 

 Hit the buy now button and worry about the little details once it's in your room.

The final outcome will remind you it was worth it.


Tablejockey, if you’re referring to the Grado XTZ as a budget model from the 90s, you’re very wrong. In the 80s that was Grado’s best cartridge, and it retailed for near to $1K. More importantly, it was superb in SQ, and I’d rate it ahead of most MCs I’ve heard in the $2K to $5K price range. (But that’s only my opinion of course.) Of course, we don’t know the condition of the sample the OP might buy. Replacement stylus assemblies are available, IIRC.

yep….plus i see you live close enough to deliver it to SOTA for any needed significant service / upgrades….

Thanks for the continued input.  Since my stereo is in a small room, how far can the vacuum unit be from the turntable?  Space is a premium and if I can put the workings on another room it would save me some space.


Yeah, my reference is off! 

I'm thinking todays cost of things. $1K or so sadly, is "entry" into hearing what the fuss is all about with high performance LOMC.

Regardless, OP will have a SMOKIN setup compared to his current rig.