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hired goon

Turntable / Cart upgrade recommendations?

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I haven't been playing LPs much for the last couple of years (too much Bandcamping, etc) but a few weeks back I dragged the office system (Rega P3 turntable / ME-15 / ME-550 amp / Orpheus Aurora 3 speakers) into the lounge room and started playing my records and tapping my foot again. :lol:

 

But something needs an upgrade ... the sound isn't quite good enough.

 

There is a Nagaoka MP-100 cart on the P3 ... one I brought back from the USA many years ago. Seems like an entry-level cart. I also have a Sumiko Pearl cart lying around ... this also seems to be an entry-level cart. Not sure of the hours on either ... maybe a lot :lol: And I haven't really done much setup except to balance the arm on the P3, mount the cart (eye-balling it to get it straight) and adjust the stylus pressure to the mid-point of suggested range of 1.8g - 2.3g.

 

So I'm thinking definitely a new cart for starters, or maybe a new turntable + new cart? 

 

If going for a new cart on the P3 ... I'd be budgeting between $500 - $800 maybe (e.g. up to Ortofon 2M Black level).

 

If the P3 is limiting ... for a new turntable + card, budgeting up to $2000 maybe.

  

A quick sniff around the retailers showed a Pro-ject 2xperience SB DC turntable + Ortofon 2M Black cart for $1800 new ... could be tempting.

 

I had a Pro-ject 2xperience clear acrylic turntable in the USA that I thought looked super cool and sounded pretty good. Brought it back to Oz but it needs an Aussie power supply and a 50Hz pulley. Also needs a new perspex cover coz the original one got damaged in transit. So that's a possible repair pro-ject, if possible and economical.

 

I'd rather spend less than more so "good enough" is good enough here ... not chasing perfection (I still listen to digital mainly, and there's lots of camera gear that I still want to get).

 

Any recommendations appreciated.

 

--Geoff

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Thanks for the suggestions.

 

I think that I'll get a Rega Exact cartridge for now, and keep an eye on the classifieds for a Planar 6 turntable as a possible upgrade later.

 

--Geoff 

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I guess the Exact will work well enough for you.  I recall myself and others having a lot of fun with the Denon DL-110 that nobody seems to mention these days.  Worked fine on my then Rega P2 and someone elses Rega P25.  My recollections of it are of a very engaging "hey listen to this" sort of presentation.

2juki is probably the best price you will find for one.

Edited by ophool

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5 hours ago, ophool said:

I guess the Exact will work well enough for you.  I recall myself and others having a lot of fun with the Denon DL-110 that nobody seems to mention these days. 

 

Thanks for the recommendation ... but that's an MC cart and my ME15 preamp is MM only.

 

--Geoff 

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Maybe just upgrade the stylus to the MP200 or 300 stylus, it will fit the MP100 body.

I believe they have a boron cantilever which is very rigid, just what a cantilever needs to be.

Good sound can be had from the P3, I have an original 1978 Planar 3 that still rocks.

Edited by Batty

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I'm a fan of the 2M Bronze myself, if you can pick up a secondhand it's good value, musical and fun. 

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Geoff,

yes, it is an MC but, it is a high output MC intended for use with MM phono stages - I expected that your phono stage would be MM only when I made the suggestion.

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Guest DarkNark
On 16/03/2019 at 5:45 PM, hired goon said:

But something needs an upgrade ... the sound isn't quite good enough...

 

....And I haven't really done much setup except to balance the arm on the P3, mount the cart (eye-balling it to get it straight) and adjust the stylus pressure to the mid-point of suggested range of 1.8g - 2.3g.....

 

...I'd rather spend less than more so "good enough" is good enough here ...

 

Any recommendations appreciated.

 

--Geoff

I am not clear on the current cart setup. (I bolded the section that I am not 100% clear on) The cart was installed with no protractor? Or aligned to null points? Just eye balled? 

 

If that was the case, then I would be looking to either buy one of these or print out a paper one, before spending money on a cart or turntable or both.

 

If this is not the case and you are comfortable the cart has been set up correctly then I would suggest that you describe what you don't like about the current sound or what you think is missing. Then experienced members will be more likely to have something to go on when suggesting a cart.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I ordered a Rega Exact cartridge this morning ... hopefully get it tomorrow!

 

I'll keep a watch for the other other carts mentioned.

 

--Geoff

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23 hours ago, hired goon said:

I ordered a Rega Exact cartridge this morning ... hopefully get it tomorrow!

 

Nope ... didn't get it today. Camp Hill to Brisbane CBD ... about 5 kms ... "estimated delivery: two business days" :mad: 

 

Incompetents at Oz Post making me wait until Monday now. Grrr.

 

Telling myself that the anticipation makes it sweeter ...

 

--Geoff

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5 Km. I'd have walked Geoff.

 

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30 minutes ago, Batty said:

5 Km. I'd have walked Geoff.

 

I thought about going there myself but delivery to work the next day seemed the simpler option ... pffft!

 

Lessons learned for next time.

 

--Geoff

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I still play the Marillion records you sent me.

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On 21/03/2019 at 9:27 AM, Jebediah said:

I'm a fan of the 2M Bronze myself, if you can pick up a secondhand it's good value, musical and fun. 

I'm also a big fan of the 2M Bronze. I had the blue for several years, and briefly borrowed a Black to try out, but to me the Bronze is the one - a huge improvement over the Blue, and better suited to a wider range of music than the Black. The price is a bit easier to swallow also. Cheers.

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I would recommend you use a good protractor otherwise you won’t get anywhere near the full potential from your system. 

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Geoff,

How does your turntable compare to digital playback? I’d be using that as a reference to hear if something’s amiss. If your turntable sounds much worse, it’s the weak link. And check your cartridge alignment.

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Went to the hifi emporium yesterday and they put the Exact cart on the P3. So one can assume its properly installed now.

 

Will give it a while before commenting. 

 

BTW digital playback through Squeezebox on the same system is very noice.

 

--Geoff 

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On 26/03/2019 at 8:05 AM, PKay said:

I would recommend you use a good protractor otherwise you won’t get anywhere near the full potential from your system. 

Any protractors you recommend? Have been looking for one but having trouble deciding.

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The OP is running a Rega P3 with a rega cart, should have three point mounting screws and be aligned perfect just by putting the right screws in and adjusting counterweight.

 

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1 hour ago, McCvinyl said:

Any protractors you recommend? Have been looking for one but having trouble deciding.

I bought a "Best Tractor", it is made for your TT with your Arm and is serial numbered so if you need another of the same you can easily get one made.

Not flimsy plastic but mirrored glass.

 

Edit: I actually have 4 protractors the laminated one from Audio Origami gives a choice of Lofgren and Baerwald options.

Edited by Batty

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1 hour ago, McCvinyl said:

Any protractors you recommend? Have been looking for one but having trouble deciding.

If I was going to buy one it would be the Dr Feichardt - BUT it is expensive, although they do come up second hand. 

You could try and borrow one. 

 

I think the paper versions are too hard to use. 

 

https://sonicpurity.com.au/store/vinyl-care-accessories/dr-feickert-protractor-n

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5 minutes ago, Batty said:

I bought a "Best Tractor", it is made for your TT with your Arm and is serial numbered so if you need another of the same you can easily get one made.

Not flimsy plastic but mirrored glass.

Another great option. They are limited to a particular turntable and arm combo and more difficult to use.  These are an alternative to the Wally tractor 

Edited by PKay

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On 21/03/2019 at 7:30 AM, Gryffles said:

The Garrott carts get good raps round here

 

https://garrottbrothers.com/p77i-cartridge

 

 

 

Oh dear, I know from years of experience the Rega Exact really underperforms at it price. Love Rega turntable:s, dislike their cartridges. Way better off with an ortofon the bronze of black will kill the Rega in resolution & detail. 

 

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8 minutes ago, magical said:

 

 

 

Oh dear, I know from years of experience the Rega Exact really underperforms at it price. Love Rega turntable:s, dislike their cartridges. Way better off with an ortofon the bronze of black will kill the Rega in resolution & detail. 

 

And you're quoting me why? I didn't mention Rega carts

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