Rega P3 alternative same or better SQ

dx052

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Nov 11, 2009
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I was looking into buying the Rega P3-24 which seems to get rave reviews, and seems to be good value for money however one thing I seem to see on forums which is putting me of the purchase is the setting up & cartridge limitations. I have noticed the Ortofon seems to choice of many but do you need to have spacers? I just want a hassle free turntable that I can align easily with a budget of £500 inc cart that will give me good results for the price. Surely this must exist!
 

respe

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Apr 16, 2009
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it is not really that hard to fit the spacers, and you only need do it once per cart anyway. If you get the deck and cart from the same dealer, they will normally do it for you.You can get the deck and elys in budget if you wanted, and you should at least be able to hear that pairing before you buy.

Beyond the spacer thing the deck and arm have the capability to carry some very good carts. I recently used a DV20XL on a P3-RB300 and it was a long way from being out of its depth.
 

dx052

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Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks. Am I right in saying that the Elys is a Rega Cart which dosen't require a spacer? can I also use any other types beside Ortofon?
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Fitting the spacer? Easy. Had to do it on my P3 for the AT440MLa when I bought one, and the minor hassle was more than worth the rewards reaped in the long run. Half an hour's effort maybe?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
dx052:Thanks. Am I right in saying that the Elys is a Rega Cart which dosen't require a spacer? can I also use any other types beside Ortofon?Yes, the Elys is a Rega cartridge, requires no spacer and is exceptionally easy to install.

You can fit any cartridge you want. The Rega instructions, unless time has tricked my memory, seem to indicate there's a fair latitude before you need to consider spacers.

Spacers, by the way, are just large washers which sit on the cartridge mounting hole. You disconnect the arm from the amp/preamp, undo the nut at the bottom of the turntable, withdraw the arm and cables, put the spacers in place them re-assemble. Aligning the cartridge and setting the tracking force probably takes longer.

You don't need to buy original Rega spacers if you don't mind the colour mismatch. You should be able to find the right size washers at your local B&Q.

Incidentally, the only cartridge for which I needed spacers was an AT120E, so maybe it's an AT thing given what the record spot says.
 

dx052

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Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks, that has eased a lot of my concerns. I might just start of with the Elys cart and get the whole Rega experience and see how I get on from their.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Rega make the spacers primarily for use on other manufacturer's turntables/armboards.

They don't recommend their use on Rega turnatables (compromises the mechanical integrity). Read what Rega say here...

http://www.rega.co.uk/html/spacer%20-%20adjustable.htm

If you use the 4mm spacer (or thicker) on a Rega you will have to either (a) remove the lid (b) buy the more expensive tunsten counterweight that has a smaller diameter. (About £60 I think.)

Over the (many) years I owned Rega P3 and P2 turntables I used Goldring, Audio-Technica, Ortofon and Nagaoka cartridges with no need for spacers.

Try it with the Elys 2 cartridge first. (Order it from your Rega dealer with the cartridge already factory fitted and aligned to save you from set-up headaches and save a little money.) It's a pretty good combination.

Otherwise I would recommend the Ortofon 2M Blue.



(My old one suffering no VTA problems on a Rega P2, and still not suffering from them in WHF forum member 'True Blue's system even as I write this.)

Put any extra money towards Rega's TT-PSU to go with your P3-24 instead. (That makes a significant upgrade and can be used with a P5 should you ever get one.)
 

dx052

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Nov 11, 2009
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Thats been very helpful. I just spoke to Rega dealer just a minute ago regarding the use of other cartridges and I got the feeling that they don't like to encourage the use of non Rega cartridges like you said as I was also interested in the Grado carts but may just stick with the Elys so its all ready out of the box so to speak. The power supply seems like a good upgrade! and seems there are many more.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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dx052:I just spoke to Rega dealer just a minute ago regarding the use of other cartridges and I got the feeling that they don't like to encourage the use of non Rega cartridges like you said...

What I said (and what Rega said in their spacer product page that I linked earlier) was that they don't encourage use of spacers on Rega decks. I have never known my local Rega dealer (or Rega come to that) to discourage the use of other brands of cartridges.

It's more likely that some dealers lack skills in cartridge set-up/alignment and 'encourage' the use of Rega cartridges because they can order them pre fitted and aligned.

Nevertheless the Elys 2 is a good cartridge and (if your dealer lacks skills in cartridge fitting and alignment) it could be a better option than having the fitting of a 'better' cartridge bodged.

The Elys 2 also continues the three-point 'theme' of the P3-24 (three feet, three point arm fixing) by having a third - threaded - cartridge fixing hole on it for extra rigidity and ease of set-up.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
On the spacer issue, there is a school of thought, to which Roy Gandy evidently does not belong, that VTA is extremely important so it's no surprise that Rega owners use them. In fact the RB300 owners manual mentions this in the section "Further adjustments for the neurotic/paranoid enthusiast."

Rega has always been idiosyncratic in how it does things, anyway. Their alignment protractor only gives one point for alignment, whereas just about everyone else uses two. Also, I believe Mr Gandy once commented that you don't need to clean records, the needle does it for you. The latter may be apocryphal, however.

I mention these things purely out of interest.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Grottyash:Mr Gandy once commented that you don't need to clean records, the needle does it for you. The latter may be apocryphal, however.

What they actually say (from current P3-24 instructions)...

"3.Don't use any record cleaner that works while the record is playing or any cleaners that use
water or solvents. If you keep your records stored in their sleeves, avoid touching the playing
surfaces, play with the lid down and keep all water and fluids away, cleaning should not be
necessary. Don't worry about visible dust on the record surface, this is brushed aside by the
stylus and any that collects on the stylus can be easily blown away. In general, record
cleaning is overdone and one should not believe all the claims made by record cleaner
manufacturers."


And this is largely true - in my experience - with the singular exception of having records cleaned on a well maintained Keith Monks record cleaning machine. (Our local second-hand records shop uses a twin platter Keith Monks cleaning system that is maintained by KM themselves.)
 

shooter

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May 4, 2008
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dx052:I was looking into buying the Rega P3-24 which seems to get rave reviews, and seems to be good value for money however one thing I seem to see on forums which is putting me of the purchase is the setting up & cartridge limitations. I have noticed the Ortofon seems to choice of many but do you need to have spacers? I just want a hassle free turntable that I can align easily with a budget of £500 inc cart that will give me good results for the price. Surely this must exist!

Pro-Ject RPM5 with speed box upgrade.

I had this deck for a few years with no issue's. A great deck.
 

respe

New member
Apr 16, 2009
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I have just fitted a Rega cart on my rega deck, and for the first time used the 3 point fixing. I had previously not used the 3rd screw and used the baerwald alignment protractor. Fitting the cart was a little easier, firstly you can 'hold' the cart in place with the 3rd srew untill you have the wires in place, then you only have the cart alignment to worry about, instead of messing around with 'overhang' as well. It kakes it a little easier, and to be fair I can not hear any mistracking. I had a previously said that I would not buy another Rega cart, but this one is absolutley singing its heart out.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The Rega P 3-24 and especially the one with an external power supply has no real competition in its price class.

It is a class on its own and equipped with a good cartridge, i.e. Benz ACE it is not easy to be much better.I have compared even with a Linn LP 12 - rega RB 301 and Benz ACE and it was not much better just a bit more bass which was however not so accurate than with the P3.

Spacer fitting is not a problem.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Edgar Eichmann:
The Rega P 3-24 and especially the one with an external power supply has no real competition in its price class.

It is a class on its own and equipped with a good cartridge, i.e. Benz ACE it is not easy to be much better.I have compared even with a Linn LP 12 - rega RB 301 and Benz ACE and it was not much better just a bit more bass which was however not so accurate than with the P3.Spacer fitting is not a problem.Possibly the arm was the problem with the LP12. You'd really need to compare with one of the Linn arms, and then I think you'll find the LP12 is far better. You'd also probably find that the Benz was being held back by the Rega.
 

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