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Rega RP8 - whats next?


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Hi everyone

I have been running a Rega RP8 for about five years now. I use it in its skeletal form with an Ortofon 2M Black (this is my second 2M black) and a Blue Horizon turntable mat. I recently purchased a Rega NEO PSU for it which has been great for getting speed to be spot on. It runs through a Graham Slee Accession.

 

I listen to a broad variety of music on record and a lot of my music is rock/pop from the 60's through to the 80s'. Most of my albums are very clean (I use a Project RCM with Melody Mate fluid to clean everything). I use my digital front end for listening to most new stuff mastered in the digital domain.

 

I have recently been infected with a case of upgrade-it is to move up the chain from the RP8 especially after seeing some of the more esoteric decks at the Hifi show over the weekend.

 

Several decks which have interested me are the Michell Gyrodec SE for its great looks, isolation and seemingly robust build. The Mofi Ultradeck with the 10" arm and also the Linn LP12. I have experience with suspended tables as I also own and have repaired and serviced a few B&O tables and still own a Beogram 4002. (although it is consigned to its box right now because it just doesn't perform as well as an RP8) 

 

I was wanting to get some opinions on a few things, is the Michell or a basic LP12 an upgrade from an RP8 in terms of sonic performance?

 

Some people rave about the RP8 and claim it out performs much higher $$ decks. I checked out the Mofi the other day at a dealer and think it may be more of a sideways step in performance. I kind of like the idea of the Michell or the Linn as they give a bit of scope for tinkering... something I've never felt inclined to do with the RP8 aside from swapping out the TTPSU but do enjoy doing nevertheless with other gear.

 

Should there be other tables I consider in my search which people could recommend?

 

All help and thoughts welcome!

Drew

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LP12. Bit of scope for tinkering! I have a significantly tinkered LP12 and love it, but unless you are keen to sink some money into it, the majik level LP12 may not be much (or any) of an improvement. The arm is, I believe, worse than what is on your current deck, and the motor speed controller is pretty basic with only 33rpm. So, if you have any tendency to upgraditis, you will be lining up for the upgrades in short order. That said, if that is what you want, you can still get a pretty fine turntable at the end of it. 
Others I would check out are Avid and Kuzma in their relatively more reasonably priced models. Then there are clearaudio who make a huge variety of tables from cheap to the stratosphere. Or you could go up the Rega range.

Another thing you could do is get into MC carts, though you would need a step up transformer or head amp to use your phono amp. Though if you don’t have this bug already, maybe don’t go there!

Or just buy the equivalent value in the best records in the best pressings, and enjoy better sound that way.

happy hunting

Justin

 

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Weeell, Drew - how far does your desire to 'tinker' go?  :winky:

 

My avatar shows my 'SkeletaLinn' - which I developed when I heard Duc's 12" Univector arm on an SME 20 (at @cheekyboy's place) ... and fell in love with it.  It wasn't possible to mount a 12" arm on my LP12 (without butchering my new custom-made plinth) ... so I set to work to design:

  • a TT which used the essential Linn parts (bearing, springs and belt drive), and
  • which could take a 12" arm.  :)

The result has been more successful than I had imagined, when I started the process!  :thumb:  I could give you the plans, if you're interested in creating SkeletaLinn #3.  The only issue you have is ... you need to find someone who has a lathe, to be able to machine certain components out of brass rod.  If it interests you, you can set it up to have 2 arms - like the 2 existing SkeletaLinns.  And  2 motors, like have, by using Steve Tuckett's 'Number9' motor speed controller.

 

And re. your infection with 'upgradeitis' ... one thing you might like to consider is a phono stage upgrade.  :)  I see you're in Melbourne, so I could bring over my MM Muse for you to audition.

 

By all means come over for a listen to my SkeletaLinn - however, you'll have to wait a couple of weeks, till I get my Maggie bass panels back from re-wiring.  (They had started buzzing at certain frequencies because the wires had started to lift off the mylar - crap, 30-yr old glue!  :( )

 

Regards,

Andy

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2 hours ago, astormsau said:

Some people rave about the RP8 and claim it out performs much higher $$ decks. I checked out the Mofi the other day at a dealer and think it may be more of a sideways step in performance. I kind of like the idea of the Michell or the Linn as they give a bit of scope for tinkering... something I've never felt inclined to do with the RP8 aside from swapping out the TTPSU but do enjoy doing nevertheless with other gear.

a p9 or p10 would be obvious ways to go up the tree :)

 

just depends what chasing specifically.. ie side ways just some change for change sake, something instead of rega etc etc.

 

with rega's its usually the better design arm, plinth motor control that brings gains between the decks and usually easiest way of improving on deck have is to move up the ranks.

 

ive reached the p9 and been quite happy there for last 10 years or so ? content here and not looking for anything else ..but we are all different ...

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Certainly for me I’m looking for something outside the Rega stable this time.
@Andyr I think I’m more looking for an off the shelf table and then build on that rather than building my own. I think I’ve also heard that arm on evilc’s Linn [emoji16]

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1 minute ago, astormsau said:

Certainly for me I’m looking for something outside the Rega stable this time.
@Andyr I think I’m more looking for an off the shelf table and then build on that rather than building my own. I think I’ve also heard that arm on evilc’s Linn emoji16.png

well i chose my p9 after demoing both the mitchell gyro and linn alongside and preferred it over the others as lovely a decks they are .... but again each have their fans... head out do some demoing... try find something that hits the spot for you :) there are certainly retailers out there with quite a collection to choose from :) 

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Big problem here mate. Your reference is very high quality especially for the type of music you listen to.

A table that was better then the RP8 would have to have a lower noise floor for a start. Then you look at speed stability and compatible cartridge etc.

You would need to spend big bucks to get an overall better sound. Maybe nick over to Andy's place to get a feel of what hes on about. But at the end of the day, that turntable is his baby only. Seriously, I don't know how much you want to spend but maybe the new VPI direct drive would do the deed. I use to sell Linn, Rega and Michell over the years and I thought the Rega RP8 was better then the Michell ORB.

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@astormsau I really like the Mofi ultradeck, heard one and very impressive looks and sound wise.

I updated to a LP12 a few years ago and can highly recommend them.

I updated the Ittok arm by buying a Wand unipivot tonearm with a custom Wand armboard available for Linns.

That really elevated things performance wise!

 

Simon Brown from Design Build Listen has a new Wand turntable and that with a Wand tonearm would be very good,  unsure if better than a Linn with Wand but it is an exceptional design and looks very nice too!

 

A few to consider,  happy to give more info if needed. 😉

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High end second hand Japanese direct drives are a very good option

 

High end second hand idler drives are also a great option

 

 both are far better value than new and many of the best will appreciate in value 

 

after owing and up grading many TTs I tried a Yamy GT2000 and now have no desire to upgrade, to my ears it completely out classed a will set up and optioned Linn LP12

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I don't get all the hate for Linns.

Like Rega you have a very respectable deck stock standard and heaps of after market parts to improve performance. 

 

I used to have a Yamaha deck with virtually the same arm as the GT2000 and wouldn't put it in the same class as a LP12.

 

However I have made massive improvements with a wall shelf,  so minimized vibration and fitted Cirkus upgrade and external PSU.

That is part of the joy with Linns, the level you can achieve is very high.

I think their arms can be improved on, unipivot arms are often an excellent match with LP12s.

 

And how much is a Kuzma Ref 2 worth?

Around 20k?

 

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56 minutes ago, evil c said:

I don't get all the hate for Linns.

Like Rega you have a very respectable deck stock standard and heaps of after market parts to improve performance. 

 

I used to have a Yamaha deck with virtually the same arm as the GT2000 and wouldn't put it in the same class as a LP12.

 

However I have made massive improvements with a wall shelf,  so minimized vibration and fitted Cirkus upgrade and external PSU.

That is part of the joy with Linns, the level you can achieve is very high.

I think their arms can be improved on, unipivot arms are often an excellent match with LP12s.

 

And how much is a Kuzma Ref 2 worth?

Around 20k?

 

Nothing wrong with LP12's Evil. Great turntables. The Mother of good turntables and I've owned two Aristons as well. Just that I think the RP8 is up there with them☺️

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1 minute ago, Wimbo said:

 

Just that I think the RP8 is up there with them  ☺️

 

 

C'mon, W ... has "old timer's disease" set in?  :lol:

 

Andy

 

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LP12 is a nice deck and you can easily go nutz with upgrades.

 

Since you are in Melbourne I’d check out the Kuzma Stabi S with a Lyra Delos cart and suitable phono stage.  It’s a nice sounding combo.  Whole lot cheaper than a Ref table but not far off the sound.

 

You can do quite a few upgrades to the Stabi by mounting different/ multiple arms as well.

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9 hours ago, Wimbo said:

How dare he tell you that.

He was also on this forum for a day🙄

Which day was that?

 

I've owned an RP8, RP10, and P6, Linn LP12s in various forms up to the top spec Radikal, Keel, Ekos SE version, Michell Orbe with SME IV, Nottingham Ace Spacedeck, AMG Viella, Kuzma Stabi S and Kuzma Ref 2 and many others over the years.

 

The LP12 is at best a side grade and frankly I preferred the RP8 even to my $20k LP12 when I had them running side by side.

 

The Michell would be a downgrade. It's a nice looking deck but they really don't sound as good as they look.
 

The RP10 (and I believe the P9) may be considered an upgrade if you like the sound it produces, which is very different to the RP8. The RP10 and other ceramic platter versions produce a big, bright, tonally bleached sound which you may hear as an improvement or you may - as I do - hear it as significantly worse than the more natural sound of the RP8.

 

The only turntables which I have felt to be an improvement over the RP8 (apart from others which I haven't heard) are the Kuzma turntables. The Stabi S (with a Stogi Ref arm) was noticeably better than the RP8, and - as Hugo Wilco has said - the Kuzma Stabi Ref is a much better turntable than any of those I have mentioned.

 

That said, the RP8 is a cracker of a turntable, particularly at the price. I could easily live with one. The OP has a lot more scope to upgrade the cartridge and phono stage before thinking about a new turntable. And any turntable which was significantly better than the RP8 would definitely need a better cartridge and phono stage anyway. With the OP's system, a good MC cartridge would be my first upgrade, then phono stage, and only then a new turntable. I would also ditch the Blue Horizon mat (which I have also tried) and go back to the stock felt mat, have the arm re-wired and get the Rega heavy tungsten counterweight for the arm, all of which make noticeable improvements.

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10 hours ago, evil c said:

I don't get all the hate for Linns.

Me either...

1 hour ago, rossb said:

 

 

I've owned an RP8, RP10, and P6, Linn LP12s in various forms up to the top spec Radikal, Keel, Ekos SE version, Michell Orbe with SME IV, Nottingham Ace Spacedeck, AMG Viella, Kuzma Stabi S and Kuzma Ref 2 and many others over the years.

 

The LP12 is at best a side grade and frankly I preferred the RP8 even to my $20k LP12 when I had them running side by side.

 

albeit its been a few years since I've treaded the TT upgrade and finding whats out there in the TT world path I have personally yet to come across any TT to make Me part ways with my ( modified ) Klimax LP12....

Yes there's been some that have had greater tonal accuracy for example but none that have had  the qualities that the Linn has that I find beguiling...."speed" being one of them which translate to a "crack" rather than just being hit when listening to a snare drum for example....no other TT I have heard does this  as well as my LInn... not one ...szilch....

 

...as they say YMMV..

 

Tase.

Edited by Tasebass
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3 hours ago, rossb said:

Which day was that?

 

I've owned an RP8, RP10, and P6, Linn LP12s in various forms up to the top spec Radikal, Keel, Ekos SE version, Michell Orbe with SME IV, Nottingham Ace Spacedeck, AMG Viella, Kuzma Stabi S and Kuzma Ref 2 and many others over the years.

 

The LP12 is at best a side grade and frankly I preferred the RP8 even to my $20k LP12 when I had them running side by side.

 

The Michell would be a downgrade. It's a nice looking deck but they really don't sound as good as they look.
 

The RP10 (and I believe the P9) may be considered an upgrade if you like the sound it produces, which is very different to the RP8. The RP10 and other ceramic platter versions produce a big, bright, tonally bleached sound which you may hear as an improvement or you may - as I do - hear it as significantly worse than the more natural sound of the RP8.

 

The only turntables which I have felt to be an improvement over the RP8 (apart from others which I haven't heard) are the Kuzma turntables. The Stabi S (with a Stogi Ref arm) was noticeably better than the RP8, and - as Hugo Wilco has said - the Kuzma Stabi Ref is a much better turntable than any of those I have mentioned.

 

That said, the RP8 is a cracker of a turntable, particularly at the price. I could easily live with one. The OP has a lot more scope to upgrade the cartridge and phono stage before thinking about a new turntable. And any turntable which was significantly better than the RP8 would definitely need a better cartridge and phono stage anyway. With the OP's system, a good MC cartridge would be my first upgrade, then phono stage, and only then a new turntable. I would also ditch the Blue Horizon mat (which I have also tried) and go back to the stock felt mat, have the arm re-wired and get the Rega heavy tungsten counterweight for the arm, all of which make noticeable improvements.

@Ross B

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I like RossB’s idea of trying a nice MC cart and a comparable stage on your current Rega.

 

Best part is that if you still want to change tables after that you can keep the phono stage and cart.

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I think upgrade the cart and phono would be better upgrade than upgrade the TT because once you upgraded tt, you will also need to upgrade the cart and phono... rp8 can handle many higher grade cart than 2m black and with a good phono, you will be happy for a few more years or more?!

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I have a long time query. Why do Linn owners upgrade so much?

 

Do Linn actually make a fully upgraded deck that someone can buy outright and not HAVE to upgrade or is Linn's 'economic model' to get you involved with their product and then hook one into the expensive parts upgrade gravy train......a gravy train for Linn that is......because their initial product, at least to some, screams out to be upgraded, ie: is substandard to what they can actually and reasonably produce in the first place?

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12 minutes ago, stevoz said:

I have a long time query. Why do Linn owners upgrade so much?

 

Do Linn actually make a fully upgraded deck that someone can buy outright and not HAVE to upgrade or is Linn's 'economic model' to get you involved with their product and then hook one into the expensive parts upgrade gravy train......a gravy train for Linn that is......because their initial product, at least to some, screams out to be upgraded, ie: is substandard to what they can actually and reasonably produce in the first place?

They have the “klimax” lp12 for $50k-ish (?).

 

 

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I have a long time query. Why do Linn owners upgrade so much?
 
Do Linn actually make a fully upgraded deck that someone can buy outright and not HAVE to upgrade or is Linn's 'economic model' to get you involved with their product and then hook one into the expensive parts upgrade gravy train......a gravy train for Linn that is......because their initial product, at least to some, screams out to be upgraded, ie: is substandard to what they can actually and reasonably produce in the first place?


Rega is the same with the various sub platters etc. :)
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1 hour ago, stevoz said:

I have a long time query. Why do Linn owners upgrade so much?

 

Do Linn actually make a fully upgraded deck that someone can buy outright and not HAVE to upgrade or is Linn's 'economic model' to get you involved with their product and then hook one into the expensive parts upgrade gravy train......a gravy train for Linn that is......because their initial product, at least to some, screams out to be upgraded, ie: is substandard to what they can actually and reasonably produce in the first place?

There clearly are people out there who buy the top line klimax LP12, and never think about it again, as there are others who buy the entry level majik model and are happy. There is an attraction to being able to buy something for 1x dollars and being able to spend in increments when you can afford it to get to a higher spec, rather than having to pay 5-10x  at the outset. I am sure it works well for Linn, as they get people into their ecosystem, and many are happy to do it. A lot of it is the story of the deck, and the tribalism, more than simply just the sound.  I am sure if someone put $25000 in my pocket today, I would buy something else like a brinkman or a kuzma, but I don’t know if I would trade to ups and downs of the journey of owning the LP12. Probably I would like to have both! 
 

For the OP, I agree with the prospect of going MC- carts make a big difference- along with optimising the phono stage- you could talk to Wyndham audio about trying the MC accession.

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1 hour ago, furtherpale said:

They have the “klimax” lp12 for $50k-ish (?).

 

 

😲OK....I can see why some start lower and then build up from there.😄

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1 hour ago, dwbasement said:

I think upgrade the cart and phono would be better upgrade than upgrade the TT because once you upgraded tt, you will also need to upgrade the cart and phono... rp8 can handle many higher grade cart than 2m black and with a good phono, you will be happy for a few more years or more?!

Indeed I ran my p25 years ago with jubilee and arc phono stage and  both  took deck to different levels. But this like most decks

 

the decks are a basis ie foundation ...have a good one and bring out best from cart and phono stage which are what extract signal and where magic happens :)

 

but then op has been clear no looking at rega so not really relevant are looking at some other deck which of course will also benefit with updates of both cart and phono stage :)

56 minutes ago, astormsau said:

 


Rega is the same with the various sub platters etc. :)

 

I don’t think so. Can take a basic linn and build it up with bits to top line 

 

I don’t think a p3 going to turn into a rp10 without selling the p3 and buying rp10

 

ofcourse can buy aftermarket bits from rega or otherwise but I think linn are unique in their approach :)

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Has anyone got MC cart recommendations for the RP8?

Last time I replaced the black I was considering an Ortofon Quintet Black however as it necessitated a new phono stage I decided against it. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that decision.

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2 hours ago, dwbasement said:

I think upgrade the cart and phono would be better upgrade than upgrade the TT because once you upgraded tt, you will also need to upgrade the cart and phono.

This.

 

You will definitely make superior sonic gains in your system by upgrading your cart and phono stage instead and although I am not a huge Rega fan the RP8 is more than good enough to allow you to spend a decent amount of cash cash on a  phono stage and cart.

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Problem with Rega is you have limited choice of arms...hence limited choise of carts. 

Look beyond popular brands....there are plenty of better alternatives including arms, carts and Phonostages....

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1 hour ago, astormsau said:

Has anyone got MC cart recommendations for the RP8?

Last time I replaced the black I was considering an Ortofon Quintet Black however as it necessitated a new phono stage I decided against it. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that decision.

Ortofon Cadenza is a good match with the RP8. A Benz Glider or Ace would also work well. The Hana SL is a nice cartridge at a reasonable price.

 

However, a Dynavector 20X2 would be my personal preference. It is a great cartridge at an excellent price and well suited to the Rega.

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I used to have 2m black, and changed to mc30 super ii, then move on to 20X2, Cadenza blue m, now XX2.
IMO, ortofon and dyna carts are best suit rega TT.
I am happy with All the mc above on my rega.

Has anyone got MC cart recommendations for the RP8?

Last time I replaced the black I was considering an Ortofon Quintet Black however as it necessitated a new phono stage I decided against it. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that decision.
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19 minutes ago, Andrews_melb said:

I think someone was selling a 20x2 on here recently? Could be a cheap way to try it over a new deck

Yes.

 

Here you go.

Was thinking of buying it myself but I am saving cash for a future plan.

 

 

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Problem with Rega is you have limited choice of arms...hence limited choise of carts. 
Look beyond popular brands....there are plenty of better alternatives including arms, carts and Phonostages....

Yes that’s why I was looking at something like a Michell or Linn so I can do some experimentation [emoji106]
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4 minutes ago, astormsau said:


Yes that’s why I was looking at something like a Michell or Linn so I can do some experimentation emoji106.png

Go the Linn then mate. A lot you can do with that. Just need a bit of science to go buy. Cartridge/Arm resonant frequencies etc.

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Yes.
 
Here you go.
Was thinking of buying it myself but I am saving cash for a future plan.
 
 



Oh cool and being high output I wouldn’t have to change phono stage.

Is the general consensus that this is better than the 2M black?
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I had this before but LO version, I wouldn't say it is much better than 2M black but it is a bit better SQ with 20X2 being a decent MC. And 2M black is a very good MM cart.




Oh cool and being high output I wouldn’t have to change phono stage.

Is the general consensus that this is better than the 2M black?
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11 minutes ago, astormsau said:


Oh cool and being high output I wouldn’t have to change phono stage.

Indeed and that is why I thought it would be ideal.

 

I think the main difference here is that the 2M Black is somewhat forward in character and the Dyna is less so and IMO, more balanced. I do own a 2M Black so I am very familiar with it but being honest, I have only had very limited (recent ) experience with Dynas. Even so, I can say that they sounded better to me.

 

Others with better familiarity on both carts may (or may not ) disagree.

 

 

Edited by rantan
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