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Clear audio Concept or Rega Plana 6

mjg060468

Well-known member
May 20, 2016
22
3
10,525
Hi guys, looking to upgrade my Project Xpression 1 turntable. I am looking at either the Clearaudio Concept or the Rega Plana 6.

my system is

NAD C352 AMP
NAD 542 CD
Monitor Audio Bronze speakers
Rega fono MM Mk3 phono pre amp

I am being informed that the clearaudio is the way to go, but would be interested in everyone’s views

cheers
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
850
527
19,770
I would suggest you take close look at both, physically. They strike me as quite different, and the way you operate them is quite different too.
Ideally you’d want to hear them, but I’m guessing you don’t have a nearby dealer with both?
Both are highly respected brands, and the Clearaudio might be a slightly easier going sound. A bit more compact too if I’m remembering correctly, but it might just be the neat styling. However the cartridge will make quite a big difference too. The Rega will probably have more ‘drive’ and excitement.
The Rega is more suitable for tweaking if that’s your thing. For plug and play the Clearaudio is better.
 
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James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
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I would suggest you take close look at both, physically. They strike me as quite different, and the way you operate them is quite different too.
Ideally you’d want to hear them, but I’m guessing you don’t have a nearby dealer with both?
Both are highly respected brands, and the Clearaudio might be a slightly easier going sound. A bit more compact too if I’m remembering correctly, but it might just be the neat styling. However the cartridge will make quite a big difference too. The Rega will probably have more ‘drive’ and excitement.
The Rega is more suitable for tweaking if that’s your thing. For plug and play the Clearaudio is better.
I don't know about the ClearAudio, but you'd struggle to get much easier, plug and play wise, than a Rega.
Even a P6 is pretty simple.
In fact, my P6 literally was plug n play, once I'd put the platter on.
Cartridge came fixed from the factory, and the dealer set everything else up.
Shimples
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,941
269
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Hi guys, looking to upgrade my Project Xpression 1 turntable. I am looking at either the Clearaudio Concept or the Rega Plana 6.

my system is

NAD C352 AMP
NAD 542 CD
Monitor Audio Bronze speakers
Rega fono MM Mk3 phono pre amp

I am being informed that the clearaudio is the way to go, but would be interested in everyone’s views

cheers
One potential problem with the ClearAudio is it doesn't have a lid. If that's important, it only comes as an option.

I also owned a Xpression 1. I even used it for years quite happily with the Leema amplifier. The Xpression can be improved with a better cartridge. I upgraded mine with a... ClearAudio Classic Wood cart. Worked a treat.

I now have a Pro-ject Classic with a ClearAudio Concept cart. I did demo a ClearAudio table alongside the Classic and demonstrated a slight improvement until I changed the cart to a Goldring. Now I'm back with ClearAudio Concept cartridge.

I suppose the point I'm making is your current table can be audibly improved without spending fortunes on a whole new turntable.
 

mjg060468

Well-known member
May 20, 2016
22
3
10,525
Thank you for all your responses. I am currently trying out the clear audio, to be honest I am sometimes struggling to hear the difference. There is more depth but depends on the type of music being played. The one thing I have noticed is that it really highlights the good produced vinyls and the not so good. Another thought is for the same money I could look at a 2nd hand LP12
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
850
527
19,770
Another thought is for the same money I could look at a 2nd hand LP12
They are a minefield unless you know what you’re looking for, and understand a lot about the history. Definitely worth buying from a specialist, or a Linn dealer as they’re very different to the ones you’re looking at.
 

mjg060468

Well-known member
May 20, 2016
22
3
10,525
Thank you, will have a look into. However I do feel that the concept has left me uninspired and wondering what I am forking out over £1,000. Need to listen to the Rega 6
 
You need to listen to a lot more. A basic turntable with a cheap cartridge is not going to improve much over your Project with a decent cartridge fitted.
don't let me stop you advancing it i s just that many of these supposed upgrade turntables are only as good as the cartridges they come pre fitted with which is a pity. Gone are the days people were happy buying a turntable and then selecting their own cartridges.
if you want a deck that will take future upgrades then neither is really going to be an upgrade over your Project .
 
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mjg060468

Well-known member
May 20, 2016
22
3
10,525
One potential problem with the ClearAudio is it doesn't have a lid. If that's important, it only comes as an option.

I also owned a Xpression 1. I even used it for years quite happily with the Leema amplifier. The Xpression can be improved with a better cartridge. I upgraded mine with a... ClearAudio Classic Wood cart. Worked a treat.

I now have a Pro-ject Classic with a ClearAudio Concept cart. I did demo a ClearAudio table alongside the Classic and demonstrated a slight improvement until I changed the cart to a Goldring. Now I'm back with ClearAudio Concept cartridge.

I suppose the point I'm making is your current table can be audibly improved without spending fortunes on a whole new turntable.
Thank you,
You need to listen to a lot more. A basic turntable with a cheap cartridge is not going to improve much over your Project with a decent cartridge fitted.
don't let me stop you advancing it i s just that many of these supposed upgrade turntables are only as good as the cartridges they come pre fitted with which is a pity. Gone are the days people were happy buying a turntable and then selecting their own cartridges.
if you want a deck that will take future upgrades then neither is really going to be an upgrade over your Project .
thanks again, I have done the £25 upgrade kit for the turntable plus added the audio technica AT440MLb cart. Do you have any recommendations to replace my current cart that would improve the performance, also any other things I should consider? Sorry to ask so many questions
 
I am not sure what £25 upgrade lightly refer to and indeed the AT cartridge is good. What more do you hope to gain by buying the Reaga or Clearaudio?
if you need to spend that sort of money you are really going to audition for yourself if you can.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,941
269
20,070
Thank you for all your responses. I am currently trying out the clear audio, to be honest I am sometimes struggling to hear the difference. There is more depth but depends on the type of music being played. The one thing I have noticed is that it really highlights the good produced vinyls and the not so good. Another thought is for the same money I could look at a 2nd hand LP12
Was this the ClearAudio turntable or the cartridge? If it's the former I would guess the NAD amp may not be up to the cost of the turntable.

When I owned the Arcam A65+ the upgrade in changing just the cart on the Xpression to a ClearAudio was very audible. Both the NAD and the Arcam retailed at a similar price when new. The NAD was £350 and the Arcam was £390.

I know £200 for a cartridge sounds a lot but having used Ortofon Red as well as the ClearAudio, the extra cost was worthwhile.
 

mjg060468

Well-known member
May 20, 2016
22
3
10,525
Thank you one and all. Think I am going to go with a cartridge upgrade at this time and then look at upgrading the amp and then turntable
 

Arsenio Erico

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2020
75
15
45
A Cartridge upgrade sounds like a very smart move. Even if you end up upgrading your turntable in the future, you'd still be using your upgraded cartridge. I recently bought an entry level TT with a very capable cart and the sound difference is massive thanks to the cartridge. If you decide to go that cart way, don't forget to give the new cart some hours before judging it (mine is somewhere around 20hrs and still has a long way to go before hitting the 70hrs suggested by the manufacturer).
 

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