Turntable upgrade recommendations: SME vs AMG vs Technics vs other

I've recently upgraded most of my system, but I still have a Rega P8, with Linn Krystal cartridge, which I like, but I've heard that there may be better options.

I have Sound Lab electrostatic speakers, Ypsilon Hyperior amplifiers, an Ypsilon PST-100 Mk2 pre-amplifier, and am thinking about an Ypsilon phono stage to match with my system, and a turntable/cartridge.  I listen to almost entirely classical, acoustic music. 

Based on my very limited knowledge, and simple research, I've been looking at three brands, each of which is a different type of turntable: SME (suspension), AMG (mass), and Technics (direct drive).  
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of turntables, and of those in particular?



Vinyl has a few ritualistic disciplines, that are a Joy to behold when all are synched.

Developing the want for participating in the disciplines and acquiring the required lessons and equipment necessary to develop the skills and additional practices can be as much fun as the listening experience, even though a little more mentally challenging and less restful when taking part. 

Someone else mentioned Galibier turntables and I bought my kuzma tonesrm from galibier.  I’m here in Colorado about 45 minutes from them and the owner; thom mackris came down to my house and spent 2 whole days showing me how to set it up at no charge but the cost of the arm.  Then when I got a new turntable, a galibier, Tom came back down to help me do the arm and cartridge set up.  Anytime I have an issue with any piece of my gear, most of which I didn’t buy from galibier, my first call is to Tom and he always is willing to help - whether it’s noise out of a tube pre amp or setting up a real su and Tom always happy to help.  Never had a better experience than I had with Tom.  So im a huge fan of galibier.  And I love my turntable and kuzma arm.  With that said, of the 3 you mentioned; sme amg, and technics, there is a great dealer here in Colorado and he sells all 3- now I haven’t done a perfect comparison (different arms and carts) but I much preferred the sme and amg over the technics.  

@gasherbaum It is great to see there is a opportunity for yourself, to get out and experience different equipment without having to consider a long round trip.

In my experience there is no better way to evaluate a performance of a TT and supporting ancillaries, the actual being in the room with the equipment, is the best.

When a space to carry out the listening is carefully worked on, to enable a better presentation and listening experience, this is usually a much improved encounter over an encounter at a Big Event and can even be better than a home demonstration, as not all listening spaces in a home have a work carried out to improve the system/room coupling. 

Most importantly you was there, you have carried out an assessment and your evaluation is very relevant to the OP's query.        

Thanks Pindac.  I should say that the dealer who sells SME, AMG and Technics is Crescendo fine audio in Wheatridge Colorado and the owner there Matt is a great dealer.  Matt/Crescendo are super supportive of all the gear Crescendo sells and Matt will let you borrow almost anything (he even has shipped large Wilson speakers to someone for a test run).  He let me borrow his Ayre Amp and pre amp and take it to my house for a week to test in my system as well as an Aurender W20Se (which I bought).  similarly, Galibier, before i bought the turntable, Tom Mackris, the owner, brought the turntable down to my house and we spent an entire day comparing it to my turntable and actually swapped the arm and cart back and forth do a true comparison using my arm and my cart on both my turntable and the Galibier i was thinking of buying, before I bought it.  Too many dealers at least nowadays seem to just want you to buy stuff and if its more expensive they say it will be better (often not the case for me).  I like the dealers or in Galibier's case,  he is both a dealer of things like Kuzma and a manufacturer of his own tables, who will actually help you improve your sound and are not just trying to make the largest sale as quick as possible.  Also, if you are not in Colorado, but buy from Tom/Galibier, Tom will fly out to help you set up your turn table and I've never seen anyone better at turntable set up.  And I know Matt at Crescendo works with clients outside of Colorado, so anyway, if anyone is looking for a good dealer i would check both those out.    

@gasherbaum I have come to learn, with hopefully not sounding too critical, that there are many with a keen interest in equipment, that do not get out and create experiences for themselves.

It is very common today for an individual to use the available at fingertips searches and gain Knowledge of Equipment by observing different types of Media Presentation or through forums.

For many who use a HiFi System of as a Pass Time and a Luxury, the activity is a lone activity in general and can be quite insular. I can't help feel, the most common method used for creating a furthering of knowledge about owned or other equipment, is adding to the growth of insular equipment owners, with limited experiences of other equipment, especially being demonstrated in environments that are put in place to allow a system to perform at its best.

To take a owned device and have it used on another system, is a wonderful experience to undertake, and to bring a unfamiliar item of equipment into a owned system will have all of the same positive benefits. To achieve either of these outcomes, a dialogue is required between two individuals who share a similar interest, either of the individuals may have a much different set of experiences behind them, and shared information about impressions made can be a great way to share between each other. More importantly respect and friendship is developing and possibly even a whole new social interaction is only around the corner.

I have just described my own experiences and what possibly is a fair chunk of your own.

I am vehement toward avoiding any idea of being a lone participant, with very little interaction in undertaking experiences of equipment.

I like any other can write anything I like about an equipment not demonstrated, but cherry picking from writings from others. I wonder how an assessment would compare, if such a description was made following the outcome of a demonstration.   

For the record, my system is not in use at present, and in the past months, I have discovered devices, as a result of meeting with others and receiving demonstrations of equipment, that has left me with no other thoughts than these are needing a home trial, as the impression made in another system has been very good.