Systemdek IIX possible upgrades help needed.

Hi! I have a Systemdek llX table with a Alphonson Opal tonearm pair with a Rega Exact Cartridge. I was planning on buying a new table to upgrade but after much research found I proably wouldnt get much more performance in the table upgrade I could afford which was in the 1200 hundred dollar range. With that said in which direction would I stand to get the most performance in a upgrade. The table has the glass platter & a felt pad with no clamp. Should I upgrade the cartridge & matt? If so what is a good match for the Opal arm? The way I understand it the Opal is a very fine tone arm. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers Deanna
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Pending your answer to Viridian's question, I would say that the Rega cartridge line in general doesn't offer the best value. You could probably find a better cartridge in the same price range from Benz Micro, Denon, Clearaudio, etc. -- again, depending on your phono stage, system, tastes and goals. I would avoid a clamp on this table -- it could damage the platter and bearing. But a Ringmat or AQ Sorbogel mat might bot be bad ideas. All that said, if you have $1,200 to spend, it might not get you much brand new but it will buy you a very nice used Linn LP12 or Rega P25 or even an entry-level Avid, to name a few, and those should all provide a substantial upgrade.
I have a lot of experience with the Systemdek IIX. You were correct in your initial assessment that you wont likely find anything in the $1200 price range to beat it. When configured properly even the Linn LP12 and Upper range Regas wont touch it either. The very best upgrades you can do is to get rid of that glass platter altogether and get a Lexan platter. Next would be to put a simple Rega RB-250 arm on there. No mat or clamp should be used with this table.

As you might already know, Audio Note UK bought the rights to produce the IIx when Systemdek went out of business. They currently manufacture the same table that you have under the name TT-1. There is a two motor version that goes by the name, you guessed it, TT-2. So you can get a brand new Lexan platter through Audio Note UK, and any other parts that you might need as well. Changing the platter and arm will put that table into another level. And it does not sound bad at all stock! The IIx is probably the greatest and least known audiophile turntable bargain ever.

If you really want to bump it up another level, let Audio Note fit the Rega RB-250 with internal silver tonearm wire and silver leadout cables. And drop the stock counterweight and mount one of the Mitchell counterweights on there.

I have had many turntables. VPI, SOTA, LP12 over the years, and I can truthfully say that the one you have once it has the right platter, arm, wire and cartridge will outperform them all. Its hard to believe, because the base is so light and cheap looking, but there is something in these things that have soul. No other way to explain the sound.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

I also forgot to mention that with the Rega arm, the best sounding MM cartridges for this table are the Goldring 1042 or any of the Audio Note IQ series which are based on the 1042. If you can swing an IQ3, that is simply a stunning choice for your deck with the Rega arm.