When i got a turn table, i discovered that most processors/ receivers today do not have an input for turn tables anymore.. So, a preamp for the TT is a must.. I got a cambridge audio Phono preamp.http://www.spearitsound.com/Phono_Preamps-Cambridge_Audio_540P.html#!prettyPhoto
I tried to do a considerable amount of research on what turn table to buy…. I was about the same price point at you Brian.. I was planning on about 1,000$ for the turn table, and then whatever else for the preamp…
I found the TT that I wound up buying on Craigslist. The guy I bought it from had about 4 of them, and was a pretty big TT guy.. The one I bought was his “pride and joy”. I got a Dual CS 5000 for $300. I think it was manufactured in the 80’s or so.. It was a decent TT at it’s price point.
Brian, you may remember this thread.http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=360165&page=1
I think my total cost was around 4-500$