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New Rega Planar 3 with Ortofon 2M Black MM

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Just wanted to share my setup experience with the 2016 Rega planar 3 and Ortofon 2m black.

Both brands have a long history and wealth of experience.

 

With proper setup the sound quality is amazing and I just can't wait to get home to listen.

The good thing about the 2016 RP3 is that Rega have included a lot of the tweaks and improvements over the years as part of the price.

The 2016 RP3 retails for $1249 without cartridge. I got mine from Klapp

In my opinion the Rega Elys cartridge is not good enough for a table of this calibre.

The 2M Black is the standout while the 2M Red and Blue are comparable to the Elys.

Here is the specification for the 2M black (approx.$700 from Ebay $999 RRP):

post-156413-0-51017600-1468379000_thumb.

 

Height Issue /Vertical Tracking Angle (20 degree)

To fit the 2M black you will need to get the 2mm Rega Stainless steel spacer ($50 each).

The reason is that the Rega cartridges are 14mm high while the Ortofon 2M cartridges are 18mm high.

Rega also make an adjustable spacer which will raise the arm by 4mm but they don't recommend it and they say it's unnecessary. I think the real reason is that the counter weight will hit the lid if the arm is lifted too high.

I was able to lift the tail of the 2m black another 2mm by getting a thinner mat then the stock Rega felt mat (3mm approx.).

The origin live mat is 1mm thick and looks great as well.

http://www.decibelhifi.com.au/origin-live-upgrade-mat/

By getting the height right I could hear more extended highs. Don't worry if it sounds bright because the loading capacitance will fix that, see my comment below.

Tracking weight

Ortofon recommend between 1.4g-1.7g

I used a digital scale and set it to 1.6g as Rega recommend setting it higher then the recommended 1.5g

 

Bias/Anti skate

I set it to 1 as this is about the middle setting. The Rega bias was never accurate like a string and weight setup so this is the best I could do.

 

I could not hear much difference between the settings but it's easy to try all the settings later until you find the best to suit your taste.

Alignment

I used a basic Alignment Protractor with mirror in addition to the Rega card that came with the table.

 

The 2M black doesn't have straight parallel sides so the additional protractor with mirror and clear grid pattern really helped.

 

Loading Capacitance

Now this is where biggest difference was made to the sound apart from the VTA.

I'm fortunate to have some adjustments on my phono stage.

When I set it to 47pf the highs were emphasized ie sounded bright and hard.

By decreasing to 20pf it was smooth and warm, really easy to listened to.

A lot of users have said that the 2m black sounds bright and lean but that may be due to higher loading capacitance on their phono stage rather then the true character of the cartridge.

Run-in

My 2m black was used so it sounded good straight away. If you have a brand new one give it time before you do critical listening.

Hope my ramblings can help someone, if in doubt read the Rega manual or hire a real local expert to help eg @@lovetube.

 

post-156413-0-84189200-1468378683_thumb.

post-156413-0-14469400-1468378699_thumb.

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Yhanks for the write up - you must have one of the first planar 3s in the country - congrats.I agree about the black - it's a big improvement on the blue.

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The Planar 3 have been available in Australia for about 2 months now.

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are you able to show us what kind of cartridge wires/clips they used please?

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Loading Capacitance

Now this is where biggest difference was made to the sound apart from the VTA.

I'm fortunate to have some adjustments on my phono stage.

When I set it to 47pf the highs were emphasized ie sounded bright and hard.

By decreasing to 20pf it was smooth and warm, really easy to listened to.

A lot of users have said that the 2m black sounds bright and lean but that may be due to higher loading capacitance on their phono stage rather then the true character of the cartridge.

Run-in

My 2m black was used so it sounded good straight away. If you have a brand new one give it time before you do critical listening.

 

Hi Soundwise

 

Good write-up mate.

 

I'd be interested in your findings on the 2M after a 100 hours or so to see if the loading at 47pf would be more palatable and perhaps the 20pf could be more dull sounding than warm?  Most carts can sound a little bright and edgy straight out of the box.  

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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are you able to show us what kind of cartridge wires/clips they used please?

 

Hi David,

I don't think they've changed from past Rega arms. They are very weak and delicate, you really have to be gentle and careful with them.

I can post pic this weekend.

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Hi David,

I don't think they've changed from past Rega arms. They are very weak and delicate, you really have to be gentle and careful with them.

I can post pic this weekend.

 

oh if that's the case the pic can be spared thanks.

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Hi Soundwise

 

Good write-up mate.

 

I'd be interested in your findings on the 2M after a 100 hours or so to see if the loading at 47pf would be more palatable and perhaps the 20pf could be more dull sounding than warm?  Most carts can sound a little bright and edgy straight out of the box.  

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

Will update you after 100 hours :thumb:

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The clips on the Planar 3 are the same as all other current Rega TT.

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Would be interesting to hear an A-B comparison between old and new decks.

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On 13/07/2016 at 1:04 PM, Soundwise said:

I was able to lift the tail of the 2m black another 2mm by getting a thinner mat then the stock Rega felt mat (3mm approx.).

The origin live mat is 1mm thick and looks great as well.

http://www.decibelhifi.com.au/origin-live-upgrade-mat/

By getting the height right I could hear more extended highs. Don't worry if it sounds bright because the loading capacitance will fix that, see my comment below.

 

Recently got one of these and read this post before buying. I fitted a Audio Technica AT150sa which I got cheap brand new. The AT is a bit shorter and the origin live suggestion above was all I needed. The planar 3 sounds fantastic!

 

Thanks

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edited - i thought i was in the classifieds!

Edited by RaoulJuke

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4 hours ago, danrey said:

 

Recently got one of these and read this post before buying. I fitted a Audio Technica AT150sa which I got cheap brand new. The AT is a bit shorter and the origin live suggestion above was all I needed. The planar 3 sounds fantastic!

 

Thanks

 

I'm also considering mounting an Audio Technica AT-OC 9 ML/II which is similar to the AT-OC 9 MK III and close to the 2M Black in height, so should fit the Rega P3.

 

IMO the original AT OC 9 ML/II easily betters the 2M black and is cheaper as well.

 

at.PNG

Edited by Soundwise

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I have the AT-OC 9 MK III, is nice :)

 

Playing with a Shure V15 mk III on a unipivot at the moment though.

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1 hour ago, Batty said:

I have the AT-OC 9 MK III, is nice :)

 

Playing with a Shure V15 mk III on a unipivot at the moment though.

 

What sort of differences do you hear between these two?

Is the AT-OC9 significantly better in your opinion?

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3 hours ago, Soundwise said:

 

I

IMO the original AT OC 9 ML/II easily betters the 2M black and is cheaper as well.

 

 

I disagree.

 

I own both carts and comparing the 2 on a Pioneer PLX 1000 TT thru a Linn Uphorik phono stage stage set up accordingly, the AT is more detailed and "refined" so to speak, but 2M Black is a little more "solid" with better bass weight..... IMO

 

Tase.

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2 hours ago, eltech said:

 

What sort of differences do you hear between these two?

Is the AT-OC9 significantly better in your opinion?

 Apples and Oranges, 2 totally different TT set ups.

AT-OC9 on a Roksan Tabriz (atm, usually a heavilly modified RB250) on the Townshend Rock II.

V15 with jico NeoSAS/SS on a GH228 unipivot (VdH rewire) fitted to a stiffened Luxman PD264.

Both fed into an MF X-LPS v3.

The Rock is dark sounding but still plenty of detail, whereas the Luxman is very fast and detailed.

Edited by Batty
Missed the 'o' in Townshend

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13 hours ago, Tasebass said:

 

I disagree.

 

I own both carts and comparing the 2 on a Pioneer PLX 1000 TT thru a Linn Uphorik phono stage stage set up accordingly, the AT is more detailed and "refined" so to speak, but 2M Black is a little more "solid" with better bass weight..... IMO

 

Tase.

 

My AT-OC9 ML/II is currently mounted in a SME 312S and it sounds very solid with excellent bass weight IMO. It really is a fantastic sounding cartridge and highly recommened :thumb:

 

IMG_6002 - Copy.JPG

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51 minutes ago, Soundwise said:

 

My AT-OC9 ML/II is currently mounted in a SME 312S and it sounds very solid with excellent bass weight IMO. It really is a fantastic sounding cartridge and highly recommened :thumb:

 

Agreed it is.....

 

I keep one as my back up cartridge.

It has been mounted to the business end of the said Pioneer PLX 1000 stock arm as well as one of Duc's Univector's and a Linn Ekos SE. 

I first noticed the slight 'lightweight" character when first mounted to the Ekos SE........The ML2 and the Univector were "OK" so to speak with the character being less prevalent when mounted to the Pioneer PLX....

 

Interestingly the 2M Black sounded great on the Univector..... 

 

Cheers Tase.

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Soundwise, thanks for the post! Very interesting info for me, since I have a Rega RP6 fitted with a 2M black and I do find this combo a bit bright-sounding.

 

Regarding the loading capacitance - which phono stage do You use?

 

Quote

Loading Capacitance

Now this is where biggest difference was made to the sound apart from the VTA.

I'm fortunate to have some adjustments on my phono stage.

When I set it to 47pf the highs were emphasized ie sounded bright and hard.

By decreasing to 20pf it was smooth and warm, really easy to listened to.

 

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30 minutes ago, stargazer_swe said:

Soundwise, thanks for the post! Very interesting info for me, since I have a Rega RP6 fitted with a 2M black and I do find this combo a bit bright-sounding.

 

Regarding the loading capacitance - which phono stage do You use?

 

 

@Soundwise

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I’m thinking of getting the Ortofon Black for my Rega Planar 3 - I currently have the Elys2. 
 

I wondered how much of an upgrade it was - what was your view after 100hrs etc?

 

Many thanks. 
 

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On 11/03/2020 at 6:38 AM, Stephen McNulty said:

I’m thinking of getting the Ortofon Black for my Rega Planar 3 - I currently have the Elys2. 
 

I wondered how much of an upgrade it was - what was your view after 100hrs etc?

 

Many thanks. 
 

I started off with 2M Blacks on my P9 and P3, coupled with Graham Slee preamps, so I can't comment on how much an upgrade they are, but they sound fantastic. I bought a spare and put it on my Planar 2! This was when the dollar was high - if you want one now I'd check out Aussie suppliers, as overseas prices are crazy now due to the weak dollar.

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