Moving Coil cartridge for Rega RP3 based system

Sopagani

Member
Dec 28, 2022
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0
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Hello all, hope you are enjoying the festive season!

I’ve had a few issues with my MM phono stage and when looking for a new one/upgrade I managed to get a good deal on a Rega Aria which will allow me to try MC cartridges too.

My set up looks like this:

Rega Planar 3 (2020)
Rega Exact cartridge
Rotel RA1520
PMC GB1i
Polyvection DAC32
and soon to be delivered Rega Aria

Could anyone help me understand what MC cartridge could work well with the RP3 and the rest of the set up please?

Moving Coil is brand new territory for me…

Many thanks!
S
 
Hello all, hope you are enjoying the festive season!

I’ve had a few issues with my MM phono stage and when looking for a new one/upgrade I managed to get a good deal on a Rega Aria which will allow me to try MC cartridges too.

My set up looks like this:

Rega Planar 3 (2020)
Rega Exact cartridge
Rotel RA1520
PMC GB1i
Polyvection DAC32
and soon to be delivered Rega Aria

Could anyone help me understand what MC cartridge could work well with the RP3 and the rest of the set up please?

Moving Coil is brand new territory for me…

Many thanks!
S
Stick with moving magnet unless you can afford to spend £500+ on a moving coil and are prepared to junk it if you do any damage to stylus / cantilever.
How much was the Aria and what can you afford to spend on a cartridge?
your amp already has an inbuilt moving magnet phono stage, or is this what you are having issues with?
 
Last edited:

camcroft

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
665
313
19,270
Hello all, hope you are enjoying the festive season!

I’ve had a few issues with my MM phono stage and when looking for a new one/upgrade I managed to get a good deal on a Rega Aria which will allow me to try MC cartridges too.

My set up looks like this:

Rega Planar 3 (2020)
Rega Exact cartridge
Rotel RA1520
PMC GB1i
Polyvection DAC32
and soon to be delivered Rega Aria

Could anyone help me understand what MC cartridge could work well with the RP3 and the rest of the set up please?

Moving Coil is brand new territory for me…

Many thanks!
S
Didn't I tell you the same on the other forum about if the stylus breaks. Just like Al ears says.
 

Sopagani

Member
Dec 28, 2022
6
0
20
No idea but let's have the OP come back with his financial situation and what he hopes to gain, might be a good idea.
Thank you both.
The Aria was 450 and substitutes a Rega Fono MM which I will sell. The Fono MM sounds better than the Rotel built in MM phono.

I’m curious about the diff in sound the MC cartridge could produce as so far I’ve only ever had MM cartridges.

I was not thinking to spend a further £500+ atm on so am researching.
Should that be what it takes to achieve a meaningful step up in sound I could work towards it.

Or would you improve other parts of the set up first?

thank you
S
 
Thank you both.
The Aria was 450 and substitutes a Rega Fono MM which I will sell. The Fono MM sounds better than the Rotel built in MM phono.

I’m curious about the diff in sound the MC cartridge could produce as so far I’ve only ever had MM cartridges.

I was not thinking to spend a further £500+ atm on so am researching.
Should that be what it takes to achieve a meaningful step up in sound I could work towards it.

Or would you improve other parts of the set up first?

thank you
S
Yes I would as you cannot really do moving coil on a budget unless you take a chance on second-hand goods, tricky when it comes to cartridges....
Ignore high output moving coils.
 

Sopagani

Member
Dec 28, 2022
6
0
20
Yes I would as you cannot really do moving coil on a budget unless you take a chance on second-hand goods, tricky when it comes to cartridges....
Ignore high output moving coils.
Understood thank you.
Which part do you think is the weaker link of the system at the moment?
 
Understood thank you.
Which part do you think is the weaker link of the system at the moment?
no idea about your DAC so would have to say the cartridge but basically it looks fine.
source or speakers are the usual items that offer most improvement when it comes to upgrading.
what do you think you are missing from overall sound?
 
Last edited:

Sopagani

Member
Dec 28, 2022
6
0
20
no idea about your DAC so would have to say the cartridge but basically it looks fine.
source or speakers are the usual items that offer most improvement when it comes to upgrading.
what do you think you are missing from overall sound?
Thanks both

I’m not lacking something in particular with the current set up, I like it.
But given the improvement in the phono stage I thought I’d try to understand what could bring about the next step up in sound performance from the set up. Given that MC options are available with the Aria, I wondered what to research and try next.

so far every upgrade I made brought about a meaningful improvement in sound clarity, stage and presence. If I had to describe the next step up it would bring about greater distinction between instruments and a more enveloping experience. The smallest diff probably was upgrading from Elys2 to Exact. I wonder though with the Aria (not yet arrived) how the Exact is going to sound?

as mentioned, I’m after the next step up in sound performance and thought MC cartridge could be it.

from reading about (but unfortunately not testing) I’m not sure that AT-VM95ML would offer that step up although it may sound diff from Exact. Overall I like the sound of my set up which is quite Rega dependant.
 
I feel sure the Aria will add another layer to your current set-up.
You can make further significant upgrades by moving away from Rega moving magnet cartridges rather than going moving coil which can be a bit of a minefield.
If you must head down that route the Denon DL-103R is a classic and one of the only really good moving coil cartridges below £500 however it will probably mean your tonearm requires shims to set correct VTA but this can be quite easily done.
 
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Sopagani

Member
Dec 28, 2022
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I feel sure the Aria will add another layer to your current set-up.
You can make further significant upgrades by moving away from Rega moving magnet cartridges rather than going moving coil which can be a bit of a minefield.
If you must head down that route the Denon DL-103R is a classic and one of the only really good moving coil cartridges below £500 however it will probably mean your tonearm requires shims to set correct VTA but this can be quite easily done.
It’s great to hear the Aria will already add a layer!
I’ve found this article which seems very useful (note ZU/DL-103 MK.II):


If not MC, which non Rega MM cartridges would you recommend?
Btw. Thx a lot for all your recommendations!
S
 
It’s great to hear the Aria will already add a layer!
I’ve found this article which seems very useful (note ZU/DL-103 MK.II):


If not MC, which non Rega MM cartridges would you recommend?
Btw. Thx a lot for all your recommendations!
S
interesting to see they don't think shims care necessary for the 103R.
the Goldring 1042 is excellent as are Nagaokas but they are now quite expensive for what they are.
You need to mention a budget.....
 
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Sopagani

Member
Dec 28, 2022
6
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20
Hi,

In the end after further research, I managed to find a Rega Ania Pro from someone upgrading and it sounds awesome.

So the set up now looks like this:
Rega P3
Rega Ania Pro
Rega Aria
Rotel RA1520
PMC GB1i

It feels like the P3/Ania Pro/Aria are maxed out until I upgrade the turntable.
Do you think the amp could do with an upgrade?
What would match the system well

still loving the speaker lots…so weary about upgrading as they match the space really well.

many thanks
S
 

Emark600

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2022
30
11
45
Thank you both.
The Aria was 450 and substitutes a Rega Fono MM which I will sell. The Fono MM sounds better than the Rotel built in MM phono.

I’m curious about the diff in sound the MC cartridge could produce as so far I’ve only ever had MM cartridges.

I was not thinking to spend a further £500+ atm on so am researching.
Should that be what it takes to achieve a meaningful step up in sound I could work towards it.

Or would you improve other parts of the set up first?

thank you
S
To me the upgrade from MM to MC was light and day, so much more detail, really brings out the best from vinyl. I went for the Denon anniversary cart, along with a Project phono stage preamp, this has massively improved what was already a superb turntable in the Clearaudio concept.

adding a decent DC power supply also helped hugely.
 
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