Question About to upgrade entire vinyl set up, all advice welcome! | Rega P6 & Equipment

kupoHiFi

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Jun 22, 2020
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Hey guys, I'll keep this brief. No-one wants to read a wall of text. I am about to upgrade my vinyl set up from all my barebones entry level equipment and want any advice from this wonderful community that I can get. In the grand scheme of things, this is not an end game set up for most of you audiophiles out there, but I am looking to complete a set up that will future proof me for a very long time. I love vinyl and I just want a set up made of well built, quality products that will stand the test of time and sound fantastic.

What I have now:
Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver
Sony PS-LX300USB Turntable
Insignia NS-B2111 Speakers

No, I never used a pre-amp. Yes, I had to crank my receiver volume. I used the built equalizer in the receiver to achieve a sound signature that I liked.

What I (think?) I will be purchasing:
Rega P6 w/ NEO PSU
Ania or Exact cartridge
Fono Mini A2D or Fono MC
Powered speakers

Basically I would have gone with the P3, but by the time I upgraded everything on the P3, I would have spent more money and time that was sensible, so investing in the base package of the P6 out of the gate is the best case scenario for me. Again, I really don't want to feel the need to upgrade anything except maybe some different feet for the P6 if I'm not happy with the base performance.

I am very conflicted on the cartridge/preamp situation. I have some rare vinyls that I love listening to and over the years, the USB feature of my Sony TT has been amazing. I really enjoy digitizing my collection. I know the Fono Mini A2D can give me this versatility without sacrificing the sound quality of my P6, but that means I will be locked into the Exact cartridge. On the other hand, I've heard the P6 can extract the full quality of the Aria cartridge and with the savings in a bundled kit from Rega, I see no reason not to bite the bullet and upgrade right away. Again, I'm not interested in making any more upgrades after my initial purchase of everything. The problem here is that I would have to buy the Fono MC preamp and will lose the ability to digitize my records. If anyone has any experience digitizing their collection without sacrificing sound quality, please let me know.

Last thing is that I would love to keep my set up as minimalistic as possible, so powered speakers are very enticing to me. Not having a receiver and adding another component that could possibly add interference to my chain would be incredible. Although I'm not sure if its recommended to have a receiver in a setup or not, I assume it would be beneficial as you have a much wider selection of speakers available at different price ranges. I wouldn't mind keeping my Onkyo in the mix if you guys think that will be the better move for me. Any recommendations on powered bookshelf speakers would be really great, people seem to love some of the Klipsch offerings.

Any and all advice is appreciated. I look forward to hearing what you guys recommend and please let me know if you have any more questions from me; it's a huge purchase so I don't mind answering anything that might help. Cheers!
 

Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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Personally I would love to see something like the P6 without a pre fitted Rega cartridge.
They can all be bettered for equivalent money, and stay well clear of Moving Coil cartridges...... :)
Don't know your budget but there are much better A2D devices available than that Rega
Such as this:-
 
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kupoHiFi

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Jun 22, 2020
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@Al ears Thank you for the advice! I have read to stay with the Rega line for most of my products to keep the “Rega synergy” so that’s why I was looking at both of their preamps. I do like the one you posted as well though, looks very nice, I’ll have to do some more research on it!

From the research I’ve done on cartridges, I wanted to stock with the Rega line because of the ease of installation and adjustment with the P6. Why are you hesitant on MC cartridges?
 

Al ears

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@Al ears Thank you for the advice! I have read to stay with the Rega line for most of my products to keep the “Rega synergy” so that’s why I was looking at both of their preamps. I do like the one you posted as well though, looks very nice, I’ll have to do some more research on it!

From the research I’ve done on cartridges, I wanted to stock with the Rega line because of the ease of installation and adjustment with the P6. Why are you hesitant on MC cartridges?
Regards the use of MC cartridges see my previous posts.
The idea of using one under £400 is not advisable because of the very nature of their construction and the need to also purchase a preamp that can deal with them because hi output mc cartridges make no sense.
If you are concerned with set-up then that may be an issue with future upgradeability of your system.
Sticking with Rega is not necessarily a good idea financially.
The only reason to buy a Moving Coil cartridge is to purchase a low output version and this means additional outlay for a phono preamp.
 
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kupoHiFi

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Jun 22, 2020
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Well @Al ears what would you recommend then if you were preparing to dive into a future proof setup from what I have? I'll take any recommendations! I would like to keep my budget in the $2000 range, but I am open to spending more since I'm viewing this as a one time purchase. Best TT for $1,000 - $1,500? Best cartridge? Best preamp?

Thanks!
 

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
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There are so many other good turntables in this price range that I would be looking at as well, e.g.: Pro-Ject, Clearaudio, Technics, Marantz, (as per my signature), is an absolute steal with the bundled cart. As you are quoting in $ I'm guessing you are in the US? What about US manufacturers, such as VPI? If you opt for Rega will you be stuck with their branded carts or does the P6 have adjustable VTA to accommodate taller carts?

As for digitising your LP's you'll need some good ADC kit to make it sound anywhere near as good as the original pressing.
 
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kupoHiFi

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Jun 22, 2020
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@DougK I’m actually very interested in the Marantz TT-15S1 as kind of a one and done TT/cartridge combo! What would you recommend from VPI? I didn’t think they made anything in that price range.

That would give me around another $500-1000 to get a preamp, ADC, and potentially speakers as well. I was going with the Rega P6/Exact because I figured it was great as is but also offered me some room for future upgrades if I ever needed it. As I said though, I’m not really looking to upgrade anything for awhile after spending so much money.

Thanks for responding and let me know if you have any other suggestions!
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Hello! I agree to All Ears' comments on the MM MC thing. Also, Rega TTs are good, but their MM cartridges are pretty mediocre at their respective budgets. My preferred carts are Nagaoka, so I'd look at a mp200 or eveb mp150 with a Simaudio Moon 110lp or Schiit Mani + Swagman Labs PSU phonostage. And buy the Edwards Audio little belter replacement belt from the get-go - it's better made than the Rega belts, which run fast and can often be uneven.

By the way, the P6 comes bundled with the Neo PSU.
 
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Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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Well @Al ears what would you recommend then if you were preparing to dive into a future proof setup from what I have? I'll take any recommendations! I would like to keep my budget in the $2000 range, but I am open to spending more since I'm viewing this as a one time purchase. Best TT for $1,000 - $1,500? Best cartridge? Best preamp?

Thanks!
The Marantz mentioned is a good deck, actually made by Clearaudio I believe
The Cliffwood by VPI is available for around $1000, always a good idea to source home-grown stuff should items need repairs and often for cost reasons. However this deck is very basic and probably not ideal.
I would suggest you at the very least get something where the VTA can be adjusted.
I have already mentioned the Furutech GT40a
If you are in the States look at the new MOFI decks and their phono preamp range.
The Studiodeck is £995 in UK, not sure of prices in US
Their cartridge range is supposed to be very good too, as you might expect, however I haven't heard them.
 
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daytona600

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Oct 5, 2012
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just add speakers





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kupoHiFi

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Jun 22, 2020
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@Al ears Thanks for continuing to check back in on this thread with your recommendations! I am completely rethinking my setup now which I am sure is common on this forum. The Mo-Fi StudioDeck+ looks wonderful.

@daytona600 I wasn't considering the Pro-Ject line at all but that X1 review you posted certainly sings its praises. I'll definitely dive deeper into that set up. Thank you for all of the links!

As of now, I am leaning more into the Marantz just because the cartridge is supposed to be so excellent; I really feel like that package is such a great value at its price point. I know people say its almost maxed out at its potential from the onset, but that potential is awfully high from what I can gather from reviews. I feel like it could take me a very long time to feel the need to upgrade any of the equipment that comes with it. But the reviews of the MO-FI StudioDeck+ have been rethinking everything again!

For a preamp, I discovered the Vincent PHO 701 and I am now leaning towards that. I've grown up listing to my father's vinyl set up which uses a tube phono preamp as well and I love the sound it produces. Combine that with the fact it has an on board ADC for digitization and it's got almost everything I need.

I am also still leaning towards a pair of active speakers just to remove the need for another amp, but I'm trying to find the best bang for my buck. Should I get more expensive active speakers or get cheaper passive speakers with another external amp to power them.....this is such a rabbit hole! From what I can gather, most active speakers seem to be studio monitors which produces a very neutral sound. I don't mind that because if I get the Vincent PHO 701, I'm hoping the tube will give some color to any music passing through it. But getting a small quality amp to power a pair of nice passive speakers is something that I haven't ruled out either.

Thanks again everyone, keep the recommendations coming!
 

Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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The Vincent PHO 701 is new to me but if it does everything you want then great, I will take a look at the details.
The Sudiodeck+ is certainly a good buy depending on how much it goes for wherever you happen to live.
 

kupoHiFi

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Jun 22, 2020
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The Vincent PHO 701 is new to me but if it does everything you want then great, I will take a look at the details.
The Sudiodeck+ is certainly a good buy depending on how much it goes for wherever you happen to live.
I’ve seen nothing but very positive reviews for the 701; I’m scared if I keep digging I’ll eventually find someone who will talk me out of it haha.

My main problem now is figuring out what’s the most cost effective solution in the next step of the chain. The Audio Engine A5+ seems to get wonderful reviews, and if I went that route, it would effectively finish my set up. The thing is, some part of me thinks that having a separate amp with passive speakers is the “right” thing to do. Can powered, bluetooth enabled speakers really be the best option? I don’t doubt the reviews, I just see them mostly testing for DAC’s and PC set ups, very little talk about their capabilities with Vinyl set ups.

No matter if I get the P6/Exact, Marantz/Virtuoso, or StudioDeck+/???, and run those through the 701, and then another amp, I want my speakers to do all of that justice. I know there will always be a weakest part of my “set up” chain, but it seems such a shame for that part to be my speakers.

If anyone can recommend a good amp/passive speaker combo to look into, please let me know. I would also love any opinions on the A5+!
 

kupoHiFi

Member
Jun 22, 2020
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@Al ears @DougK @rainsoothe @daytona600

Do you guys have nay recommendations on integrated tube amps? I have been doing more research and this seems like a great way to go. Still not sure if I need an integrated tube amp with a specific "phono in" option though - kinda confused on that versus other integrated amps with just normal inputs on the back. Here are some of the choices I am looking at, if there are others you know of, or think I should spend a little but more money for something of much better quality, let me know! I haven't mentioned this yet, but my listening room is medium sized and will most likely be using either a bookshelf set of speakers or a pair of Pioneer SP-FS52's.

Monoprice Pure Tube Stereo Amplifier with Phono input - $359.99
Vincent SV-200 - $799.99
 

Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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Tube integrated amplifiers are a whole new balllpark. Perhaps you might like to start anew thread on the subject.
Personally I would steer clear of anything cheap. Most cheap ones are poorly constructed, have limited ability to drive speaker, and are inherently unreliable. The quality of valves used in their design is often poor.
Don't get me wrong, nothing against them in general because heck my power amplifier is a tube amp.
Just forget doing it on the cheap.....
 
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kupoHiFi

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Jun 22, 2020
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Tube integrated amplifiers are a whole new balllpark. Personally I would steer clear of anything cheap. Most cheap ones are poorly constructed, have limited ability to drive speaker, and are inherently unreliable. The quality of valves used in their design is often poor.
Don't get me wrong, nothing against them in general because heck my power amplifier is a tube amp.
Just forget doing it on the cheap.....
Do you have a recommendation on where I should start? Like, what’s the base line model/price I’m looking at to get something you feel is good?
 

Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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Do you have a recommendation on where I should start? Like, what’s the base line model/price I’m looking at to get something you feel is good?
Depends on your budget.
The Vincent you mention is a hybrid and not a pure tube integrated.
Whilst the idea of a tube phono preamp is sound the added complexity of building a good integrated amp is completely different.
Do you really want additional costs of replacing the whole tube set now and again, it's not going to be cheap. Tubes have improved but they all still vary and decrease in ability over time.
They are also pretty much unable to drive inefficient speakers to any degree. Think 87dBm as a minimum if you need high volume levels.
Start a new thread as this is getting really away from your initial question.
 

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