Marantz TT15S1 Reference Series Turntable
The Marantz TT-15S1 has almost everything you could want in an audiophile turntable. It was designed by Marantz and Clearaudio. It has a precision-crafted aluminum tonearm, and a very dense low resonance platter and chassis. It's AC synchronous motor is completely isolated from the chassis via unique design, and drives the platter via silicon belt. It comes with a very good Clearaudio cartridge. Speed changes are manual via adjusting the belt on the pulley. A felt turntable mat and record clamp are included as well to ensure proper tracking, and further elimination of noise. At the price, although not cheap, you are getting all the elements of a much more expensive turntable with Clearaudio's careful engineering.
The soundstage created by the TT-15S is excellent, with good depth, and an overall balanced presentation of the audio frequency. So why isn't this the overall best pick? Well, it comes, essentially, as a kit which you assemble. All reports are that doing so is not difficult, and the instructions are thorough. However, you might be inclined to let your local audiophile shop do the work for you since getting cartridge overhang, and arm height can be a bit tricky. Even so, the TT-15S1 is still a bargain in the world of high-end sound.