Turntable upgrade advice

Hi all-

I’m a newbie audiophile looking to upgrade from my current turntable, the AT LP120.

I’m also the proud owner of a new Sprout 100, which is powering Elac debut 6.2’s.

The top of my budget is $500. I’d appreciate any advice on the best quality upgrade in this range, and of course which TT would sound best with my set up. Obv, I’m want a clean table without the unnecessary pre amp and usb my current one has.

Thanks in advance!


Rega makes a good one at that price I believe.


I second that. I bought my son a Rega P2 for his birthday - it‘s a great turntable (if you are up to a belt driven TT). It sound phenomenal, has a good build quality, and can be upgraded with a better system over time.

An alternative path could be e.g. looking for a good used Technics SL1200 (direct drive). There SQ is underrated and these are great machines.

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I’m with boeuf on the Rega. Project also makes a few nice lower priced ones. The Rega could be an “all-in-one” solution with one of their factory installed cartridges.

Rega or Project, for sure.

Funny the Rega is the exact turntable I’m looking at… but I was focusing on the Rega Plenar 1 (I know the differences between that one and the 2), is that also a good option in your opinions? And thanks for the replies/raffirming my instincts!


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Quick follow up - it looks like the main competition for the Rega P1 is the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. Any thoughts on how the two compare and which is better?

Fluance RT-85 is pretty awesome at that price range.

I lean to the Rega as the Project tone arm tends to be a little wonky. Rega is known for their tonearms. Their moving magnet phono cartridges, well that’s another matter.

Thanks for the suggestion on the Fluance … it gets great reviews and has that stock Ortofon Blue cart…

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I have the same system. Elac 6.2’s, Sprout 100, Elac Sub and Rega Planar 1. Sounds great and works great. The Carbon cartridge on the Rega is ok to get started with but it’s the weak link in the system. I’m planing on upgrading to a Nagaoka MP-110. There is some good information on youtube on how to do this.

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Fwiw - I started out with a rega RP1 and steadily upgraded it to the ortofon 2m blue. I was happy with it for many years. The only trouble I ever had with it was the cueing lever, which I think was a rare occurrence. The stock platter is kinda cheap. I sold the rega to a friend (who fixed the cueing lever), bought two fluance RT-85s, and kept one of them for the HT room…but moved to a technics direct drive 1210 for its various adjustment features. Those fluance models have some very nice features like auto spin stop/start. The only negative I think of is the feel of the connection to the headshell. Just felt a bit flimsy. If you don’t change them out often it is of little importance, and it sounded great. The stock isolation is sensitive.

Would you recommend Fluance rt85 over the P1? I don’t care about looks btw

I would get a used Rega or Project with a decent cartridge. You can get a pretty respectable turntable for $500 if you go the used route.

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I agree with audiojan, really. Try to find something that’s awesome and used. Since my most recent experience has been with Fluance, which a friend with lots of vinyl experience pointed out to me, I can tell you that they give you 3o or maybe even 60 days to decide after purchase.

I will definitely check out the used market, but have to admit the more I read about the Fluance RT 85 the more intrigued I become.

Many thanks all for the great input. This newbie really appreciates it.

Might be a little out of your range, but I bought my son a recapped and restored Denon 47f for $595 with “at 120 eb cartridge”

Yup. Rega. A used P3 with a new cart if possible.