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Question Phono stage or PSU

James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Right, so let's see how this goes, or how much I get laughed at!!!

Let's say I had a Rega P3. Which I don't, yet. It's a 'what if' question.

Playing through an Elicit r, which I do have!

Now obviously the Elicit has a Phono stage. But I've heard some claim that bypassing an integrated Phono stage, and purchasing a separate one actually improves things.
So, a simple, or stupid, question.
Which of these, if any, would show the largest improvement in sound quality/ detail etc etc?

Fono MM
Or
Neo PSU

Perhaps you deem them both a waste of money?

Many thanks.
 

nads

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
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IF the phono stage you “buy” is better to your ears than the built in one then that is all you need to know. If it is not then......

ps buy records.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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An external phono amp is no guarantee of any improvement.
Your amp's internal one (and it's PSU) are already good.
Take the advice of the 2 posts above, there are more beneficial ways to spend your money.
 
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James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Obviously i wouldn't spend my last dollar on something, so this doesn't prevent me buying any records I so desire (some assumptions I haven't got any already)
I'm not quite daft enough to prevent myself buying records.

So basically, they may or may not do anything. I think that's what I'm being told.

Either that, or:
If you can't buy both, you must be a pauper, so spend your last penny on some records.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Right, so let's see how this goes, or how much I get laughed at!!!

Let's say I had a Rega P3. Which I don't, yet. It's a 'what if' question.

Playing through an Elicit r, which I do have!

Now obviously the Elicit has a Phono stage. But I've heard some claim that bypassing an integrated Phono stage, and purchasing a separate one actually improves things.
So, a simple, or stupid, question.
Which of these, if any, would show the largest improvement in sound quality/ detail etc etc?

Fono MM
Or
Neo PSU

Perhaps you deem them both a waste of money?

Many thanks.
Not a stupid question at all.

Firstly, the Rega Elicit has a fabulous phono stage, I would guess you would have to spend a suitcase load of money to improve on what is a very good in-built jobbie. Rega specialize in turntables and phono stages.

Can't comment on the power supply. If it was me, though, and wanted a decent upgrade, look for a better cartridge. Regas own is fine but can be beaten, and is only probably the weak link.
 
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James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Not a stupid question at all.

Firstly, the Rega Elicit has a fabulous phono stage, I would guess you would have to spend a suitcase load of money to improve on what is a very good in-built jobbie. Rega specialize in turntables and phono stages.

Can't comment on the power supply. If it was me, though, and wanted a decent upgrade, look for a better cartridge. Regas own is fine but can be beaten, and is only probably the weak link.
Ta for that. Yeah, the integrated Phono stage is pretty good on the Elicit.
My intention is to look at the Exact cartridge. So an upgrade over the normal Elys. Assuming I decide to splash out on the Planar 3. It probably depends on how much goodwill Rega have in them.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but the Planar 3 is 33rpm only? Unless of course you have the PSU, in which case I believe you can turn it into a 45rpm player.

With that in mind, and considering the praise heaped on the PSU on other forums, I think a PSU would be a good investment, if I do it. My father has a few 45 singles.
 

James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Neo PSU is £250 why not buy a project / technics with motor PSU one built in & £250 of records
Yikes! Sacrilege!
Nope, 100% Rega here! Plus I would need to be certain an integrated PSU was up to the same standard.
I either stay with my Planar 1 (and, taking everybodies favourite term on here- 'save money and buy records'), or depending on how I feel, purchase a Planar 3, with or without the Neo PSU.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Ta for that. Yeah, the integrated Phono stage is pretty good on the Elicit.
My intention is to look at the Exact cartridge. So an upgrade over the normal Elys. Assuming I decide to splash out on the Planar 3. It probably depends on how much goodwill Rega have in them.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but the Planar 3 is 33rpm only? Unless of course you have the PSU, in which case I believe you can turn it into a 45rpm player.

With that in mind, and considering the praise heaped on the PSU on other forums, I think a PSU would be a good investment, if I do it. My father has a few 45 singles.
The Planar also has 45 RPM, if you remove the mat and/or platter. So not sure what other benefits there is with a PSU, unless you play 78s.
 
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James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Well this is interesting. Elsewhere I'm seeing nothing but extremely high praise for the Neo PSU.
One person suggesting it gives a bigger uplift than any cart can. Well, I think that's what was being suggested.

Interesting about the 33/45 RPM manual change. Never knew of that.
But the PSU would make the change easier, if you still want an obvious benefit!! Lol

Yep, I'm lost. The difference in opinion between two forums is stark.

Don't worry, I'm used to this forums opinions of Rega carts!!
So I tell you what. Humour me. What would you go for instead of the Exact cart? Without going over the price of the Exact.
I'm intrigued. Afterall, how else does one learn!

I have come across an interesting proposition though.
A Planar 3 with Exact cart and Neo PSU isn't much less than a Planar 6 with Exact cart, and the 6 comes with the PSU included.
So surely one could say, a better upgrade instead of the PSU, is to get a Planar 6? Assuming using an Exact cart, of course.

This is getting further and further from a plug n play TT though, which could be fun!

Of course, all of this depends on Audio T and Rega showing goodwill for the Friday afternoon CD player supplied (Audio T have already showed a willingness in this regard).
I don't mind upgrading to a 3, (or even possibly a 6 instead of a 3 plus PSU), but they are expensive and I cant warrant any of the options at full price.
 
Last edited:

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Well this is interesting. Elsewhere I'm seeing nothing but extremely high praise for the Neo PSU.
One person suggesting it gives a bigger uplift than any cart can. Well, I think that's what was being suggested.

Interesting about the 33/45 RPM manual change. Never knew of that.
But the PSU would make the change easier, if you still want an obvious benefit!! Lol

Yep, I'm lost. The difference in opinion between two forums is stark.

Don't worry, I'm used to this forums opinions of Rega carts!!
So I tell you what. Humour me. What would you go for instead of the Exact cart? Without going over the price of the Exact.
I'm intrigued. Afterall, how else does one learn!

I have come across an interesting proposition though.
A Planar 3 with Exact cart and Neo PSU isn't much less than a Planar 6 with Exact cart, and the 6 comes with the PSU included.
So surely one could say, a better upgrade instead of the PSU, is to get a Planar 6? Assuming using an Exact cart, of course.

This is getting further and further from a plug n play TT though, which could be fun!

Of course, all of this depends on Audio T and Rega showing goodwill for the Friday afternoon CD player supplied (Audio T have already showed a willingness in this regard).
I don't mind upgrading to a 3, (or even possibly a 6 instead of a 3 plus PSU), but they are expensive and I cant warrant any of the options at full price.
Okay, I'll humour you. Did hear the one about the one armed juggler... sorry, not that sort of humour.

I've not compared PSUs, only heard them in shops... in isolation on fairly expensive tables.

Cartridges is a no brainer for me: ClearAudio. Currently own a Concept V2 and sounds great for a £200 cart. Also Goldring 1042 will sound the gonads.

Really and truthfully, the only way you will know about how effective a PSU is, demo one for yourself. Your ears won't lie.
 

Gonepostal

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Apr 26, 2014
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This question re the elicit r phono stage or the fono mm popped up on another forum. P Darwin from Rega asked T Bateman who was the designer for his opinion. He said that the Brio and Elicit are fundamentally the same phono stage but the Fono MM is better than both.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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This question re the elicit r phono stage or the fono mm popped up on another forum. P Darwin from Rega asked T Bateman who was the designer for his opinion. He said that the Brio and Elicit are fundamentally the same phono stage but the Fono MM is better than both.
There's a couple of ways of looking at this.
1) Because it's a guy from Rega talking to his designer is proof the the Fono MM must be better.
2) The cynic would suggest that he would say that to try and generate more business.
3) It is only a £200 stage, and I believe the difference in the real world of white noise (washing machine rumbling, neighbour cutting the grass, TV on in another room etc etc) there won't be any difference.

Perhaps on a more expensive table, such as P8 it'll be a worthwhile investment. Generally the built-in stages are very good.

There was a little difference with my Leema Elements stage but that's over twice the price of Rega's Fono MK3.

IMO the most logical upgrade, should James wish to take it, is a better cartridge.
 
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James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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This question re the elicit r phono stage or the fono mm popped up on another forum. P Darwin from Rega asked T Bateman who was the designer for his opinion. He said that the Brio and Elicit are fundamentally the same phono stage but the Fono MM is better than both.
Nice one. Much obliged.
If only to confuse things all over again!

Think if anything, this time, I will go with the Planar 3 plus Neo, or the Planar 6 (Not much extra than the former). Then later I may take the extra Phono stage if I get the urge. Which hopefully I won't!!

Got to work out if my parents deserve a late anniversary present as well!! As they currently have nothing on which to play their LPs. They could have my current Planar 1, and then I get the the rest of the Rega 1 setup for them.
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
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There's a couple of ways of looking at this.
1) Because it's a guy from Rega talking to his designer is proof the the Fono MM must be better.
2) The cynic would suggest that he would say that to try and generate more business.
3) It is only a £200 stage, and I believe the difference in the real world of white noise (washing machine rumbling, neighbour cutting the grass, TV on in another room etc etc) there won't be any difference.

Perhaps on a more expensive table, such as P8 it'll be a worthwhile investment. Generally the built-in stages are very good.

There was a little difference with my Leema Elements stage but that's over twice the price of Rega's Fono MK3.

IMO the most logical upgrade, should James wish to take it, is a better cartridge.
It is more your point 3 I'm going with.

Regarding a better cart. I'm afraid it won't be a cart this forum wants!! (Anything but Rega)
Not that I'm ignoring what people here say, but again, opinions differ between people, and elsewhere others mention different carts, So, is there a right answer? Who knows.
You can always get better, and nothing is ever perfect, but ease of use also has to come into it. With external carts seemingly coming in at a different height to the Regas, then that possibly leaves the tonearm at a different angle. Does that make a difference? Unsure. Am I fitting spacers? Nooooo!

So the aim is a Planar 3 or 6, with Exact cart, pre fitted at the factory.

Perhaps if someone wants to give me a TT on which I can play about swapping carts, but I don't want to screw up my main TT.

Some would no doubt say the 6 is wasted with the Exact, and I should get one of the MC carts, but then I obviously up the cost even more, especially as I do then require a separate Phono stage.
But I look at it this way, unless I'm talking rubbish, which is nothing unusual in itself!
A P6 with Exact (Neo already included as well) surely has to be better than a P3 with Exact and Neo, and you have to draw the line somewhere.
Lets see.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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It is more your point 3 I'm going with.

Regarding a better cart. I'm afraid it won't be a cart this forum wants!! (Anything but Rega)
Not that I'm ignoring what people here say, but again, opinions differ between people, and elsewhere others mention different carts, So, is there a right answer? Who knows.
You can always get better, and nothing is ever perfect, but ease of use also has to come into it. With external carts seemingly coming in at a different height to the Regas, then that possibly leaves the tonearm at a different angle. Does that make a difference? Unsure. Am I fitting spacers? Nooooo!

So the aim is a Planar 3 or 6, with Exact cart, pre fitted at the factory.

Perhaps if someone wants to give me a TT on which I can play about swapping carts, but I don't want to screw up my main TT.

Some would no doubt say the 6 is wasted with the Exact, and I should get one of the MC carts, but then I obviously up the cost even more, especially as I do then require a separate Phono stage.
But I look at it this way, unless I'm talking rubbish, which is nothing unusual in itself!
A P6 with Exact (Neo already included as well) surely has to be better than a P3 with Exact and Neo, and you have to draw the line somewhere.
Lets see.
The person who told me about a better cartridge is the owner of my usual dealer, Infidelity Hi-Fi in Hampton Wick. He used to work for Rega and a retailer for the brand.
 

James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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The person who told me about a better cartridge is the owner of my usual dealer, Infidelity Hi-Fi in Hampton Wick. He used to work for Rega and a retailer for the brand.
Oh, I have absolutely no doubt you will find better as far as carts go.
I also would assume a better cart would do more than the Neo. It seems like an interesting subject between Phono stage, PSU and cart, with different people saying different things.

Anyway, I've decided on Regas best MM cart (For ease of use) so I haven't skimped!!

Anyway, speaking to Audio T, he said the overall consensus (assuming he has also asked Rega) is that the Neo provides a bigger upgrade than the external Phono stage.

Now for the ever changing bit!
We agreed on a price for a P6 with Exact cartridge, with both Audio T and Rega providing some goodwill for the dodgy Saturn R I have got- See other thread!

But, as today has gone on, the CD player side of the Saturn has slowly decided to work perfectly.
I like to think I'm fair, so I have told Audio T, and agreed I will keep an eye on it. We both accept it shouldn't have taken this long though. Obviously.
If it decides to start playing up again, nobody will be taken by surprise and there is no quibble. We swap it over, and we have that agreed price on the P6.

If it keeps working now, then all is good.
We also have another agreed price on the P6.
 
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Gonepostal

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Apr 26, 2014
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There's a couple of ways of looking at this.
1) Because it's a guy from Rega talking to his designer is proof the the Fono MM must be better.
2) The cynic would suggest that he would say that to try and generate more business.
3) It is only a £200 stage, and I believe the difference in the real world of white noise (washing machine rumbling, neighbour cutting the grass, TV on in another room etc etc) there won't be any difference.

Perhaps on a more expensive table, such as P8 it'll be a worthwhile investment. Generally the built-in stages are very good.

There was a little difference with my Leema Elements stage but that's over twice the price of Rega's Fono MK3.

IMO the most logical upgrade, should James wish to take it, is a better cartridge.
I'm a cynic by nature and my first thought was that he would say that. Only one way for the OP to find out though.
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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This question re the elicit r phono stage or the fono mm popped up on another forum. P Darwin from Rega asked T Bateman who was the designer for his opinion. He said that the Brio and Elicit are fundamentally the same phono stage but the Fono MM is better than both.
That’s interesting because I’d be surprised if the Fono wasn’t the design inside the Elicit. Why would they redesign something so widely regarded just to include it in their amp? Maybe to reduce the size, but a Fono isn’t exactly large, nor crammed with costly components.

BTW, I owned an early Fono Mini - prior to the USB version - and later the Fono MM series 2, both very good indeed. The dealer who I bought the original mini from said he reckoned you’d need to spend £400+ to better it, and I have no reason to disagree.
 

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