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A SOTA Comet with an S300 arm! I probablly will pick up the I-clamp too...
I had a Comet with the older tonearm (which IMHO) was the weak link. My Comet was very quiet and steady. Bill has the right idea about the feet and sandbox (unless you can wall mount).
I upgraded to a Sapphire/Graham and I enjoy the Sota 'sound'. It gets my feet tappin and I guess that's the whole point. I did purchase both 'tables used and got some very good deals, so the advice of looking used is a good one.
I did have a hum issue with my Grado Ref Platinum and the Comet, but it could have been the LMT tonearm. If you go with the Comet, get the I Clamp- it makes a noticeable difference. When the hum wasn't present, the Comet/Grado combo was pretty darn good. Fremer did a review of the Comet a couple of years ago in Stereophile.
Have a look at this page on their website. They have refurbished trade-ins for less cash. I have an upgraded Sapphire model.
There's a world of different between models that are suspended and those that aren't. Maybe a used one will be cheap enough to get you a suspension.
Even if it costs a bit more, you can save the cost of an isolation gizmo and still come out ahead on playback sound quality.
I used to own the Moonbeam which is the little brother of the Comet.
These tables are not suspended and can present problems with
acoustical feedback as well as issues with footfalls. But these
issues depend upon how bouncy your floor is and how close your
speakers will be to the table itself. I read some of your
earlier posts about sandboxes. I built a sandbox for my Moonbeam
which helped with the acoustical feedback and footfall issues. And
the sandbox also helped the bass response as well. The adjustable
feet on both the Moonbeam and Comet are crappy in my opinion. I
replaced mine with some of the heavy brass cones that Partsexpress
carries. The Comet is a very musical table especially with the
arm you mention. The OEM arm on the Moonbeam was definitely a
limiting factor on the table. The retail price for the Comet is
pretty steep considering what you get for your money IMHO. If you
can get one used, it would probably be a great table for the money.
Let me know if you would like to see some photos of how I change out
the feet on the Moonbeam. I still have some somewhere.
But I must say that the Technics 1210M5G I now own stomps the
SOTA Moonbeam in every area...IMHO. Don't let the naysayers
scare you away from looking at the Technics 1200 series tables.
IMHO they are serious contenders in the sub-$1K market.
Buy a damn CDP already. ;~) (Woody Woodpecker laugh.)
The next question would be... Would this CD player be safe
in your house Bruce?? In my house it would have teeth marks on it
within the first hour...
I would like some pictures, and maybe to know more about your Tech.
The problem is there is nowhere to get a good demo of a TT anywhere, and I have run the friggen gambit with what I have looked at. The only thing I am going on here is the contestant things I see throughout the descriptions of each table $1500 and under. It is actually discouraging.
of my old Moonbeam with the cone feet I added, setting on
the sandbox I built. Dig those crazy bouncy balls I used
for feet on the sandbox. :-)
I tweaked the SHIT out of this table before I sold it. I replaced
the power cord, the interconnects and the feet with the brass
cones. The feet, upgraded interconnects, and the sandbox
helped the most. Consider this though... I paid ~$700 new
for the Moonbeam with a Grado Red cartridge. Along the
way I upgraded the cartridge to a Benz ACE HO MC. I paid
$460 for the my Technics 1210M5G brand new and IMHO
the 1210M5G beats the Moonbeam in all areas.
Now which do you think is the better bargain?? I only wished
I had looked at the 1210M5G earlier...
maybe you can start saving your nickels, dimes, and $100 bills for that Wilson Benesch Turntable...
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