Upgrade Rega P25 to? Basis? VPI? Or?

I have a Rega P25 w/Benz Glider that I've really enjoyed using. But as I've had it for a few years, & have the "perpetual upgrade itch", I'm thinking of getting a better TT. I was always attracted to VPI gear, (partly because of the look, I admit). But a couple of years ago I put a thread here re: maybe upgrading to a VPI Aries, & just about everyone vetoed the idea as a poor cost/benefit idea--(does anyone have any new thoughts on that?). Or what about Basis, say a 2000 series? With my Benz Glider (or?). I figure I can spend $2K plus (altho I hate to dump my P25 for the used prices I'm seeing now).

My priorities are: 1. Ease of use & setup. Nothing too extremely finicky or hard to get service for. I live in MA so both Basis & VPI are within shipping distance if I need service. 2. A quantifiable sonic upgrade from my P25. 3. I may take some flack for this, but looks & build quality are important. As good as the P25 is, I think that's where part of my boredom lies. 4. As I have a pet (cat), I need something w/a good solid dust cover available.

Rest of my system, for now: B&W M802SIII speakers, C-J PFR, & VTL 2.5TL preamps, C-J MF2250 amp, Fanfare tuner, Cary 303-200 CDP. My phono pre is the one built in to my VTL pre-amp, which is very noisy, & I'd like to upgrade to a used C-J or maybe ARC unit in the $1K+ range (I realize that's something I need to do, regardless).

I may get responses advising me to keep my TT & upgrade my cartridge, or spend the extra $$ on more vinyl (& I welcome those), but assuming I want to get a better TT, what do you advise? And if you think I should hold out for a more expensive TT than my $2K+ budget, pls. advise.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

You are going to get a lot of advice with this topic, BTW.

I agree with the comment about "the Rega is a nice table, but..." (I think I would have been a bit kinder though, since you already own one!) I think it has a bit too much coloration for my taste.

I can tell you what I did, and have not been disappointed.
I purchased a Basis 1400, w/RB300 arm. I also used the Benz Micro Glider II cartridge, and it sounded really good, although a bit on the bright side for me. (I have the Revel Studio speakers which have a great high frequency response, and combining the two was just a bit much. Not bad, but just a bit too bright for my taste. As an analogy, kind of like a CD is just not as muscical as a LP.)
(Both A.J. Conti of Basis (Great guy, BTW!) and Brian at The Analog Room (our local Analog Guru, in the Bay Area), said that the RB300 mates very well with the Glider.

The Basis turntables are really plug and play types of turntables. Tweaking is not required. Also, it looks great! (My wife loves the looks!) The build quality is top notch as well, in fact the motor unit is utilized for the entire Basis line!) A.J. Conti, has been very helpful with both advice and service, so I can attest to Basis having a good reputation for service. (He is currently mod'ing my RB900 for use in my new TT.) However, the dust cover is rather expensive @ $300, although, I think you could build one for $100, and in fact that is what I think I will do at some point. One other nice point, is that it sounds best without a mat, so one less thing to worry about.

To let you know, I am also upgrading my 1400 turntable to the Basis 2001. (I wanted to upgrade to one of A.J.'s designs with a suspension. The 2000 does not come with a suspension, FYI, although it is easily upgraded to the 2001.) I am also upgrading to the RB900 arm, as I upgraded to a Koetsu Black cartridge (as the cantilever on my Glider was bent by a stray finger). Both Brian and A.J. agree that the RB300 was not quite good enough for the Koetsu. I hope to (someday) upgrade to the Basis Vector arm, as I hear nothing but good things about it, (even compared to the Graham 2 arms!)

Sorry to be so long winded, but I figure the more information I give you, the more informed decision you can make.

Good Luck and have fun making your choice!!
Let me see, you NEED a phono stage and WANT a TT. Yikes, what a dilemma you've handed us! I'll throw in my $.02.

$2500-2700 will get you one of these rigs new:
- Nottingham Spacedeck + Spacearm
- Teres 150 + Origin Live Silver arm
- Teres 160 + Origin Live OL1 arm
Research all of them and pick whichever one works for your needs and wants. Any of these will make a P25 sound like a toy, as Jsbail reported. Prepare to be astonished.

There's really no significant cartridge upgrade you can make without going to a lower output MC. You will eventually do this, because it's the only way to get the most out of the fine TT/arm combos mentioned above. Not now, however, because your present phono stage won't handle it.

Therefore, upgrade the TT/arm but keep the Glider for now. It probably has another year or two in it anyway. Drool over the new TT/arm while you save some more pennies. Then get a decent MC phono stage and a good MC cartridge. That'll set you back another $2K or nearly so. For a cartridge on any of the above rigs a Shelter 501 ($800) will amaze you. Others can suggest phono stages to suit better than I can.

That would be my plan. Enjoy the journey!
For a $2000 budget your best bang would be to upgrade the phono section first, and you obviously recognize this. Lots of choices in the $1000 area, both tubed and solid state. The next obvious upgrade would be the cartridge. I agree that MC is the way to go, but you probably need to spend between $500-800 to get the goods here. Some choices are Denon 103, Dynavector 20X-H/L or Karat, Clearaudio Wood, Shelter 501, etc.

So that brings you to about $1500-1800 - there's your $2000 budget. But if you recognize that these things are both necessary and in addition to your budget then you can get a truly fine turntable and arm for $1500-2000. The VPI Scout w/ JMW 9 arm pops to mind immediately. The Teres were great AND economical when they first arrived, but they've expanded upwards in both price and sophistication where I couldn't say the bottom end of their line is worth it anymore. Basis and VPI compete directly against each other and there are many people in both camps - I think it comes down to looks here. Then there's Oracle's and Mitchell's to consider, especially on the used market. They are definitely cool looking to boot. Nottinghams have a loyal following too, and they are also cool.

Sounds like you've got a lot of fun ahead of you in the research department. Don't forget the used market - there's lots of value to be found there.

Bob, the VPI Scout/JMW-9 is certainly another viable choice, but people who've A/B'd a Scout vs. a similarly priced Teres have consistently preferred the latter. Scout owners are even buying Teres motors to improve performance.

I don't understand what you meant by this statement:

"The Teres were great AND economical when they first arrived, but they've expanded upwards in both price and sophistication where I couldn't say the bottom end of their line is worth it anymore."

The three entry level Teres models have not changed in nearly a year, and the motor upgrade in late 2002 added very little to the cost. The 135, 150 and 160 are as "great AND economical" as ever compared to similarly priced competitors, which is all that matters.

Surely you didn't mean that a manufacturer's addition of high end models affects the viability of their entry level models? Are Toyotas less worthy because they also sell a Lexus? If that were somehow true, every TT brand we've discussed would be disqualified. They all make models priced far higher than $2K.

Seems to me what Bob is saying while the Teres tables are probably great they aren't exactly economical. Per their website the lowest priced model costs over $1,700 plus shipping from Colorado. The VPI Scout w/o tonearm is $800. The teres may very well be more than twice as good but it ain't cheap.