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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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Posted (edited)

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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Posted (edited)

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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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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