Top turntables?

Which turntables bring out the most from our vinyls.
The presence ambiance, that "you are there" feeling.
I am looking to upgrade from an old tnt.
I concur with the praise of the Denon 103 and 103R, and nobody has heard it properly until they've heard it in an arm that can manage it properly. That said, I'm a bit surprised that the Tri-Planar is one of those arms. I would have thought high-mass, preferably 12 inches.

I've run both carts in the extremely heavy Ikeda IT-407 (12") arm with superb results. Now I'm running the 103 in the EMT 997 (also 12") arm and it's even better.

The 103s also performed well in the 9" Ortofon RS-212, and would probably do well in any other real Ortofon arm (which are all vintage - the current Ortofon arms out of Japan are actually OEM Jelco and just mimic the look of original Ortofon arms) - you're talking RMG 297, 309, RMA 297, 309 and RF 297 and 309... or the Shindo Meursault if you've got the bucks.

Another route would be the original steel knife-edge bearing SME 3012.
I agree with Partckamory, I have the same experience. My friend runs that one with this original SME 3012, another one uses the same heavy Ikeda Arm.
MUCH better than in a Triplanar, it works of course, but these Denons are better in Heavy Arms. I use them in a DaVinci.
Based on their low Price they are very often found in sub-optimal Set Ups.
Consider the Vyger Indian Signature or Atlantis as a real upgrade to the VPI..though you will need a good dealer to support it.

But if you are looking for a minimum hassle, music making classic, consider the latest incarnation of the Linn Sondek LP12 and you will not go wrong.
Hello Thomasheisig,

I find it very difficult to make these apples and oranges comparisons, although as each of us makes them, we learn a bit more and triangulate better on "ultimate truth", such as it were.

The only high-mass arm I've run my DL-103R on is my 18g Ebony wand Schröder Reference.

I detected no improvement over the Triplanar that I could attribute to mass. Surely, both arms retained their characteristics, and both were very, very good. The Triplanar did not come off as being too light however.

I think the Denon's compatibility range is wider than many would predict. I have no doubts that it will shine with a 3012R or an Ikeda as it did with the Schröder and the Triplanar.

Without trying to sound too self-serving, perhaps my turntables make up for what many are perceiving as being a shortcoming (or incompatibility) in tonearms?

Now, the 'table in question most certainly needs to be considered when any of us report, because many individuals are considering an arm change and not a 'table change.

Whether they should be focusing on an arm change as opposed to a 'table upgrade remains open to debate.

As Dave (Salectric) said (better than I've been ever been able to articulate), the tt hierarchy (tt, then arm, then cartridge) should most certainly be followed.

When I look at the functioning of a turntable, I think of an old Fred Astaire routine where he danced with a hat rack.

You'd swear that the hat rack took dance lessons (and quite a few of them). It seemed alive and responsive to his movements.

In the same way, an outstanding turntable can make otherwise pedestrian arms and cartridges sound much better than they have any right to do.

Please note that I consider the DL-103R to be a very fine cartridge on an absolute basis - not pedestrian in any way.

It's for this reason that I qualify all of my arm and cartridge recommendations. I may well be hearing them having an unfair advantage ... riding shotgun on a Galibier.

Perhaps this is what Flyingred, Salectric, and Palasr are reporting. I can well guess that this doesn't trouble them in the least, however (grin).

Thom @ Galibier
FWIW, I've had a friend's 103R on my TriPlanar/Teres and the thing had a presence, tonal honesty and the ability to make you believe and boogie all out of proportion to its price point. (Or perhaps it's the other cartridges which don't do this that are out of proportion.)

Would I give up my UNIverse or an Olympos, XV-1S or Orpheus for a Denon? Well, no. But since I could buy ten or twenty 103R's for the price of one of those and be set for multiple lifetimes, I understand the decision of those who have.

Sadly, I don't expect to be playing music on vinyl for multiple lifetimes, so I indulge a bit during this one...