Turntable Help


I'm about to dive into the audio world (but with a teacher's salary), and was wondering if you could help me out. I had been looking at the Rega RP1 with the Performance Pack as a somewhat affordable option for my first ever turntable, but I recently realized that there is now the Planar 1 which replaced the RP1. The Planar 1 is as expensive as the RP1 w/P2 but doesn't have as good of a cartridge (so the interweb tells me). Should I buy the RP1 with performance pack or the new Planar 1 without one?

OR should I buy the new Planar 1 WITH a performance pack (upwards of $670 total as far as I can tell) or a Planar 2? This would be really stretching the budget but somewhat doable.

Also, what online store is the best for buying a Rega?

Thanks for your help.
Spend the most you can on the latest model. You won't regret it down the road. No dealer nearby? Chat to the nearest and see if they ship.
Not to throw a wrench into the thread, but I’m looking to replace a table at some point and the non adjustable Rega VTA still vexes me. I get Rega’s reasoning, but I don’t know of any other table company that doesn’t allow tweaking of what seems to be REAL IMPORTANT (VTA), except for shimming the arm which just seems like a sketchy and possibly inaccurate band aid approach…if the p6 arm had adjustable VTA I’d buy one immediately as the platter and electronic speed control (in fact everything else about it) seem very cool.
If you have no dealer nearby, then google Music Direct or Needle Doctor.

I was not at all impressed with the RP1; it is very lightweight and does not have the 24volt motor that the Planar 1 and 2 have. And as you've mentioned, get the best cartridge offered.
Wolfgarcia, every cartridge doesn't require an adjustment for the VTA.  For reasons unknown to me "Lyra" always seems to need that adjustment.   Those tonearms in Rega are precise, meaning each and every one of them is identical; you could discover whether or not the cartridge will require that adjustment before you buy it.
Guys, I realize the budget constraints of OP, but advice here sets the bar very low. Adjustable VTA, not just once for the arm, but for every different thickness of LP is something you want to get the most out of your records. I'm sure those who don't adjust it due to limited equipment, laziness or indifference will chime in and say I'm being anal, but VTA adjustment is a big deal and if you can't hear it, then your system isn't performing at a high level. 
Even on a modest budget, OP will benefit as he upgrades speakers, amps, etc. years down the road, if he can adjust VTA easily. Perhaps a Pete Riggle device under the Rega arm will be a wise investment...or consider a better sounding table that accounts for it, like a modded SL1200. Cheers,

Hi, jaydough76,

I have a different take on starting out. I would consider buying the best entry-level turntable you can find for $300 or less and then buy a cartridge that stretches your $700 total budget. Here’s why...

Lately I’ve been listening to my trusty Music Hall mmf-2.1, which cost me $285 in 2005 and is considered a toy compared to today’s $300 ’tables, yet I’m still impressed at how good it sounds with a decent cartridge and phono stage. Nothing fancy but respectable; in my case a Goldring 1012GX ($275 in 2005) and Jolida JD9 ($450 in 2006).

So if you got yourself a moving magnet (MM) cartridge from Audio-Technica, Clearaudio, Ortofon, Goldring, or Sumiko in the $350 to $450 price range you’d have a fine sounding vinyl setup.

You won’t lose as much money if you decide you want to step up into the next major class of turntables (which is what I did when I bought my mmf-7) and you’ll have a better idea of what’s most important to you when it comes to a turntable and tonearm. Plus, the cartridge you buy now will compliment a more refined ’table if you decide to upgrade.

Right now is a good time to be buying a turntable. Rega, Pro-Ject, and Music Hall are all discontinuing perfectly fine entry-level ’tables so you can easily find something on sale for $300 or less.

Just a few alternatives to consider.