Did you know that turntables, tonearms, cartridges and phono stages all have the variance in sound of other components, like amps and speakers? Some tables sound very smooth, relaxed and warm while others are very lively, transparent and accurate.

You can picture it this way: A “family sedan” takes out the roughness in the road for a smooth and easy drive but doesn’t give you a feel for the road nor much in the way of ‘hi-performance’. Sports cars have terrific agility and relay the road conditions instantly but can be hard over rough road. Further, like other components, tables vary from not-so-great to excellent production value (parts quality, engineering design).


sovereign-turntable-home600-adj aa


Origin Live Sovereign MK3-1 Turntable
If you like an immediate, fast, nimble sound, like a “sport car’s ride” then consider a table like AVID. If you’d like a smoother, warm & weighty sound, more like luxury cruiser, then consider VPI or Sota. Both Origin Live and Well Tempered tables tend to be sonically in the middle road like a luxury sports sedan. This is a rough guide as there are other factors and nuances to consider as well as model variations within a brand’s lineup. Cartridges will have even greater variations than tables!


Question: How can you listen and evaluate the maybe 10 tables, arms or cartridges available in your price range with the same components and same acoustical environment to decide which deck is best for you? You can’t. That’s why it’s important to have a dealer to trust who does this day in and day out with a broad selection of brands to work with. If you visit a store and hear one or two tables and don’t get a chance to compare them to other tables with different merits you’ll never know what you are missing. You’d have to wonder did you just hear two tables that are both ‘family sedans’ or what?

Reed 3P Tonearm 4 400

Reed 3P tonearm
Audio Revelation carries 6 turntable brands, 5 tonearm lines and 7 cartridge lines. We currently have 10 turntables with 12 arms and cartridges setup for demo ranging from $2,500 to $40,000 (including arms and cartridges). We have a tremendous selection to choose from and are not limited to one or two lines that are supposedly “The Best” for everyone (that’s nonsense). Further, we frequently rotate the arms and cartridges on tables as that’s the only way to know what sounds like what and what works best together.


Ortofon MC A95 Phono Cartridge 7 1

Ortofon MC A95 Phono Cartridge

How to buy a table/arm/cartridge? Consider your preference for a soft cushy ride, a sports car ride or somewhere in-between. Then work with a dealer that knows the ‘market’ and can offer you honest advice from a full selection. And no, you can’t have it all!!!!! Even the very best tables have sonic signatures that vary between lively and warm. If someone says their table has it all then run, you’ve met a liar. (Ok, maybe the Continuum at $100,000 does it all; but I haven’t had that one in my store – yet!).


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Call us to work with a dealer that has extensive experience with over a dozen brands (honest) and can offer you valuable advice so you find the right fit. Just keep in mind, you can’t have it all!!!!! Even the very best setups will excel at some things but not do it all – just like a car. We look to hear from you!