I am using three DDs: Victor 101, Denon DP-100M, Brinkmann Oasis 10th Anniversary. My running belt driven tables are: Continuum Criterion, Micro Seiki SX 8000 double platter and Caeles II. The idler table is an EMT R-80 (Prototyp of 927).
all units are in a state of art condition wearing excellent tonearms and carts (see reports on this blog).
you may now ask me what is the best sounding table? Of course all have a specific sound and character. I am playing them all but my favorite at the moment are two vintage designs: the Denon DP-100M and the EMT R-80.
So it looks to me that we had no real progress in turntable development, which is not fair and does not reflect the many recent intelligent designs. Nevertheless we may have seen the golden period of analogue turntable design in the 60 to 70 ies of the last century.
Ralph mentioned in his comment that you cannot compare different units with parameters like tonearm cable, cartridges, phono pres, the tonearm itself etc. He is completely right on that. I am not a magazine writer who sometimes knows after years or months how a unit sounded or should sound in connection with other parts etc.
I use my system, tables and devices in different settings. Norman is right on the specific character a table has regardless the other units around it. Nevertheless you should keep a standard on the same level if possible.
My two preamplifiers, EMT 66 JP and the Accoustic Research 40, feed the WAVAC amps. I can switch both lines. Usually I use Chrystal Cable Dreamline or Ortofon Silver. The tables are running into these two pres, Micro Seiki and EMT, and on the other side the two DDs and Caeles II.
I have seen so many tables in my Audiophile life that I would need to build two more houses if I still keep them. Restless as I am I will not stick to a certain table and stop, instead my wife would like to convince me of this option.
I think I have quite a good assessment on the sound I hear and also on the tables. Nevertheless I always learn and I am surprised about new/old technologies like the Pioneer Super Tweeters.
when it comes to a statement on comparing units or tables you need to know about my system and my ability to do this. On this background, Ralph, my assessment was made.