Your choice - TT, Arm, Stage, Cartridge - $5000 budget


So imagine you were just given ~$5000 and told to buy your ideal analog setup within that budget.

What would be your choice for turntable, arm, phono stage, and cartridge be? Any other accessories to consider?

How would you spend it?


Obviously I’m looking to upgrade my analog setup and am focusing on the essential components at this time. Curious how you would spend my money haha.

My current gear:
Amp - Primaluna Dialogue HP integrated w/ KT150 power tubes, Mullard and Cifte preamp tubes.
Loudspeakers - Tekton Design Double Impact

For sound,I like the idea of a balanced overall sound, and a big soundstage. But what I really enjoy most is the idea of exposing the holographic image in a recording.




128x128whacky
@tablejockey What do you like about the ART9? And what other carts did you try first?

The Whest phono stage can accommodate up to 72dbs gain I believe. So we should be good there. 
whacky-

I’ve used the following:
Sumiko Blackbird-overall nice sonics,but sometimes a little too much detail on the upper end.
Benz Micro Glider-too warm for my tastes,soft overall presentation discontinued now?
Audio Technica OC9III-great budget($500ish)MC, but shrill at the upper end, which was wearing.

These see traits may not be heard in other users systems/ears.

Check this thread out on the ART 9-
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/pani-new-art-9-up-and-running

The ART9 on my VPI Classic, thru my tubed phono, presents itself as a "goldilocks" cart. Not warm, not bright, just....
I would love to try several carts, but they are all $2K+!!
For the level of gear I have, the ART9 makes my system sing.

I wasn’t familiar with the Whest, after taking a peek at the website, looks like fine SS gear. I noticed they list the ART9 and AT50 as some of their test carts for their phono stages. That’s promising.

Your model has been superseded with the 40, but the specs are generally the same, so you have enough gain to consider an even lower output MC like the ART 7, which go for a couple hundred less.

Good luck weeding out the contenders


You can get a Technics SL-1200G for $3995.00
You can get a Cart and Phono stage for about $1500.00 A bit more but amazing.
I also have Luxman PD-171 with a tonearm and Koetsu cart. Store Demo at $5500.00
I also have VPi Prime with a fantastic Audio Research Phono Preamp and cart package for reasonable money.
626-966-6259.
www.sunnyaudiovideo.com

In terms of going second hand you have a wonderful selection available. 
For a 'big stage' a good phono stage is essential. I had an EAR 834P which has that big stage you are looking for. I own the original Whest phono stage on which I did a review over 10 years ago.
As to turntable... I think one of the widest soundstage you will get is the Michelle Orbe (famous for its wide soundstage) which is a great piece of kit and very arm friendly - a modified rega is often a very good buy. 
don't discount the idea of a good MM cartridge - they give a very bold full bodied sound and place less demands on a phono stage - raulrigas did a very long thread on this topic. I have an old Pickering that I got with a second hand Townshend Elite and was astonished with its' performance - very full bodied. Consider the Denon dl103 as well.