Moon 110LP vs Rega Fono MM Mk3

montanasan

Active member
Oct 4, 2021
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Hi there,
First post so go easy...
I've be lucky to have been sent a couple of phono preamps to try out and was wondering where to start?
I don't have a big fancy set up - Rega P1(factory fitted MM cart), Trio KA-4002A from the 70's (which I love) and QED 3020i speakers.
Anyone been using either/both of these preamps care to share any insights?
Thanks in advance, Joe.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Welcome Joe.
You say you're wondering where to start.
Sorry if this is like "teaching Grandma to suck eggs" (has anyone ever seen a Grandma sucking eggs?)....but when you test them, just remember to put the output of each phono preamp into a line input on your Trio amp (and not one of its phono inputs - you wouldn't be the first to do that).

If I'm right in saying the Trio has an output of 18W per channel, then it falls a bit short of what Q Acoustics recommend as a minimum for the 3020i.
Such recommendations are only a rough guide and you say you love the Trio, but even so, a bit more power into those speakers might bring them to life.
(Presumably you haven't paid for either of those preamps yet - so I wouldn't rule out putting that money toward a higher powered amp, perhaps with its own, decent built-in phono preamp. Just a thought, but maybe you're too attached to the Trio).

I'm sure there'd be those who would say that either of those preamps would be overkill for feeding the Trio.....but, who knows? you could find a perfect match.
Enjoy the testing and let us know, as you will be the expert on how they compare.
 
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montanasan

Active member
Oct 4, 2021
7
4
25
Hi there. Thanks for the replies.
Yes the old Trio has phono inputs. Love the sound of the old amp more than some of the more modern hifi amps I've owned.
I was give n the opportunity to try out a couple of preamps FOC so that's why I have them. The Moon has certainly improved my listening quite substantially... as has the Rega (but in a different way).
FYI I am a full time musician/producer and have my own studio which has lots of high end pieces. But for some reason I love the mojo from the 70's Trio - in the same way I love the sound of my old pre-CBS blackface Fender Tremolux guitar amp. It certainly sounds like its putting our way more than the 18 watts spec.
Love to hear what you guys think of these pre's.
 
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I have only heard the Rega as the other is hard to find in the UK plus there is a £200 price difference between them.
In my experience an upgrade to the actual cartridge will benefit you more than the addition of a phono preamp, assuming the inbuilt one in the Trio is half decent, as that prefitted Rega cartridge is not up to much.
As you have both of these preamps I am curious as to why you want to hear what others think.
Your ears are your ears.
 
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montanasan

Active member
Oct 4, 2021
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25
My ears are my ears for a living. I'm not looking for someone to tell me which sounds best. No need. Was just hoping to hear from users - particularly of the Moon - any issues, quality control, happy stories, sad stories, conversation...
 
My ears are my ears for a living. I'm not looking for someone to tell me which sounds best. No need. Was just hoping to hear from users - particularly of the Moon - any issues, quality control, happy stories, sad stories, conversation...
understood, perhaps would have been nice if this was made clearer, if it is of any help I don't recall anyone on the forum has mentioned the Moon before or anyone that lists one in their signature.
Could very well be wrong though.
 

montanasan

Active member
Oct 4, 2021
7
4
25
In my experience an upgrade to the actual cartridge will benefit you more than the addition of a phono preamp, assuming the inbuilt one in the Trio is half decent, as that prefitted Rega cartridge is not up to much..
Any suggestions for decent cartridge upgrade for the P1? Thanks...
 

Paul Clarke

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2007
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My ears are my ears for a living. I'm not looking for someone to tell me which sounds best. No need. Was just hoping to hear from users - particularly of the Moon - any issues, quality control, happy stories, sad stories, conversation...
I have no idea if this will be of any help to you at all and we'll probably end up comparing apples and pears, but you asked for any Moon related stories.
I joined my nephew when he was auditioning a new integrated amp (See? Apples and pears!).
We listened to Bel Canto, Cyrus and Moon and Moon was by far the better amp in his system. It just brought everything alive. I was very impressed and he dug a little to go over budget to buy one. If all Moon products are tuned to a signature sound, I would imagine the Moon phono stage will bring that openess and weight that the integrated did.
As I said, I've no idea if this is what you're after. Good luck in any case.
PS. You mentioned cartridge recommendations. A rough budget is always helpful. There is an incredible wealth of knowledge in the forum, and details like that will always help others to help you.
 

montanasan

Active member
Oct 4, 2021
7
4
25
I have no idea if this will be of any help to you at all and we'll probably end up comparing apples and pears, but you asked for any Moon related stories.
I joined my nephew when he was auditioning a new integrated amp (See? Apples and pears!).
We listened to Bel Canto, Cyrus and Moon and Moon was by far the better amp in his system. It just brought everything alive. I was very impressed and he dug a little to go over budget to buy one. If all Moon products are tuned to a signature sound, I would imagine the Moon phono stage will bring that openess and weight that the integrated did.
As I said, I've no idea if this is what you're after. Good luck in any case.
PS. You mentioned cartridge recommendations. A rough budget is always helpful. There is an incredible wealth of knowledge in the forum, and details like that will always help others to help you.
Hi there,
I've been listening through the Moon for the last couple of days and the difference is quite something. Really cool listen.
As far as cart budget goes, I'd currently be happy to spend £250-ish.
 
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Hi there,
I've been listening through the Moon for the last couple of days and the difference is quite something. Really cool listen.
As far as cart budget goes, I'd currently be happy to spend £250-ish.
There are a few I could recommend but all will require the Rega shims to raise the tonearm height of this is possible on the P1, do you have these?
also do I recall correctly that the counterbalance cannot be moved further than a stop?

If so you are out of luck.
The simplicity of his deck is ultimately one of it's greatest failings.
 
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montanasan

Active member
Oct 4, 2021
7
4
25
Just to let you know where things have ended up... for now!
I'm keeping the Moon 110LP and I've managed to 'acquire' a lovely new Cambridge Audio CXA81 amp to help it along.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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Any suggestions for decent cartridge upgrade for the P1? Thanks...
It’s not designed for upgrades as the stylus pressure isn’t adjustable. I can’t guarantee it but I think I’ve seen some mention of swapping for a Nagaoka - presumably it weighs the same? It might be worth asking a dealer, but frankly, a Planar 3 would be a much better aim.
 
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