Tech 1200mkII's will set ya back about $400.....no cartridge or needle.....Looks like it could get expensive quick, but it's something that is a total investment. I'm in for sure. May have to buy it in pieces, but I'm in. What should I be looking for in a cartridge/needle?
Make shure you have a GOOD phono pre-amp....(RIAA EQ....)
and DO NOT skimp on the cartridge/needle.....
1200mkII's are the industry standard....direct drive....YEARS of use out of one.......I wouldn't consider it an "audiophile" grade component, but for the $$$ it's gonna be as close as you'll get without dumping over a grand.....
Hicks, thanks for those links! Shit looks dope. I'm assuming you'll be able to steer me in the right direction when I can save some scratch to grab speakers?
I would suggest not buying a new one, because as the newer versions came out the more features were added. And these features are made for DJ's mostly because it is one of the best tables made for DJ's.
Though it is a GREAT turntable, the "accepted" (from what I've read) turntable for audiophiles is a belt drive for the sole reason that it is quieter. Direct drives are generally more expensive because the direct drive design needs more durable, and higher quality parts.
And that is all I know about turntables.
And I'll just let Hicks do his thing. But I'm gonna put in my .02$, I love towers, so I would suggest getting towers for sure. I would suggest you get a 2 channels system if you are mainly going to be listening to music, otherwise surround sound (or any digital recreation) is kind of dumb for music as music generally isn't recorded in 5.1. I do like surround for one reason, movies. Otherwise I want the closest to all analog setup possible (if the amp has 2 channels, it should be analog). It's when you get all this 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 nonsense that you have a chip splitting up the signal into the respective channels. This can degrade the sound (depending how good the amp is) and give you a false representation of the recording.
But you should for sure shoot for towers if your budget allows it. Especially if you are going with a pure stereo system, because most towers (from what I've seen) have at least one tweeter, one midrange and one woofer.
Also my dad owns some Definitive Technology towers and they sound absolutely amazing! I love them so much, so if you can't for some reason find something from Hicks I would suggest them.