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Attempting to create a setup based on Nagaoka MP-110. Need suggestions!

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Hello! My first post here. I don't have any turntable yet, and am currently in my research phase. My research suggests that cartridge has the most to do with sound quality, and in that regard many recommend Nagaoka MP-110 as it can compete with cartridges many times its price. So I am thinking to create a setup around that.


As a student, money is tight. So what options do I have if I want to get a turntable which is solid in build quality, has a counter-weight, and doesn't have anti-skating issues?


I was thinking to get a U-Turn Basic, and then replace the cartridge with the Nagaoka. Anything wrong with that approach? Does U-Turn have anti-skating issues in general?


Any other turntable that you would recommend?


Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.


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2 hours ago, ajxd said:

1) Post a budget.


2) Basing a system off a $120 cartridge is... not a great move.

Budget can go as much as $500 including the cartridge.

I was thinking of LP120. But it seemed like removing the pre-amp will be too much hassle. Also, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon seems to have a IGD problem. So I am not sure where to start. One thing I sure know that I like how the Nagaoka sounds (from a number of Youtube videos). So Nagaoka seems like the only thing I am sure of, and other things not so much.

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Right, but let's put this into perspective. The turntable has multiple places of consideration for the cartridge. Tonearm. Mounting. You then step to the phono pre-amp. All of these parts are way more pricey than the cartridge. You'll like have a turntable longer than the cartridge; as the turntable doesn't really "wear out" as much as a cartridge. You're going to spend $400 to match a $100 cartridge?  What are you going to do in a year of use when you have a one too many Cokes and you bend the cantilever? You're bringing up IGD for a $100 cart; on a cheap table... there's going to be issues. Have you read about people using the Carbon with the Nagaoka? Or the LP120?


Ditch the whole idea of basing a system around a cartridge. Not saying ditch the Nagaoka, but don't make that the center point of the system.


Dropping $500 on a system is tough, unless you go used. Do you have speakers? An amp of any kind? Phono-pre?

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I agree. While swapping carts is fun, I've learned that the differences between them tend to be vastly overstated in reviews, discussions, etc. We are talking about very subtle differences in sound quality, with the main advantages of of higher-end carts being their ability to minimize distortion and produce a more accurate tonal balance. I've used a Nagaoka MP200 and loved it, and I'm sure the 120 would be a great cart to use. However, whatever turntable you end up buying will probably come with a halfway decent cart if you're buying new, and there simply isn't a reason to ditch that immediately.

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