RP1+ Sonos Port Cartridge upgrade

Rhbmcse

Active member
Feb 17, 2024
16
7
25
Visit site
Hi all, appreciate this has been discussed on many forums but I feel that my opinion and situation may vary.

I was gifted a RP1+ along with a Sonos Port at Christmas and have become something of an addict. This is how it starts, I've been here before albeit not with Vinyl.

Im a network engineer for a living so it is all physically cabled via Cisco infrastructure and have to be honest, for what it is, it sounds pretty good BUT to my ears there's little vinyl warmth here on many records and the top end can be a little accentuated and over bearing. I don't hear enough of the warmth from pad sounds on many of my albums and would like to solve this.

The deck comes with the Rega carbon as most will know. I've read people recommending the Audio Technica cart (I forget the model) but this is not much different in price than the Carbon and I therefore have my doubts as to how much better it would be.

Given that I'm listening through Sonos Ones as a pair in my main listening area I guess it's not worth going mad on a ridiculously priced cart. I'm also mindful that I don't want to waste money that could be put towards a better deck but again given the equipment that I'm listening through I'm unconvinced that I need a better deck than the RP1+


SO The question - in order to quell the essy top end and to add a little more warmth to the mid range, what would your recommendations be?

I'd also like to replace the annoyingly static slipmat which attaches to the vinyl every time it is removed. I tried an acrylic but sent it back as it raised the play heigh by a couple of mm and sounded awful as a result of the presumed lack of tracking force.

I don't mind spending but replacing the Sonos with Amps etc is not an option. I live in an apartment and don't have the space so we're very much working with what I have here.

Appreciate your input.

Cheers.

Rob.
 

Rhbmcse

Active member
Feb 17, 2024
16
7
25
Visit site
... And to further update my own post I just removed the felt mat as I'm sick of the dust and static despite washing my vinyl with a RCM. Thought I'd give it a try. My word. Bass is deeper and mid range improved I guess due to increased tracking force. It's still a bit essy and top end for me but improved.

As the P1+ is rated at 2g max tracking force this is right at the light end of what the carbon is rated at. Removing the mat altogether has definitely improved the sound for me.
 

jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
237
102
18,970
Visit site
... And to further update my own post I just removed the felt mat as I'm sick of the dust and static despite washing my vinyl with a RCM. Thought I'd give it a try. My word. Bass is deeper and mid range improved I guess due to increased tracking force. It's still a bit essy and top end for me but improved.

As the P1+ is rated at 2g max tracking force this is right at the light end of what the carbon is rated at. Removing the mat altogether has definitely improved the sound for me.
Just a tip about replacing the carbon with an AT cartridge.
It's fiddly, I know I've done it.
You need an alignment sheet (can be found online) and tracking weight scale I think they are called.
I wouldn't bother with the upgrade unless you are prepared to mess about a little.
Not sure you'd hear much improvement with the Sonos anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DougK1

jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
237
102
18,970
Visit site
Just a tip about replacing the carbon with an AT cartridge.
It's fiddly, I know I've done it.
You need an alignment sheet (can be found online) and tracking weight scale I think they are called.
I wouldn't bother with the upgrade unless you are prepared to mess about a little.
Not sure you'd hear much improvement with the Sonos anyway.
I did buy one of these, I liked the look, didn't make an difference to the sound but I wasn't expecting any.
Aesthetic only.
 

Attachments

  • 1000018822.jpg
    1000018822.jpg
    51.7 KB · Views: 4

Rhbmcse

Active member
Feb 17, 2024
16
7
25
Visit site
Yes, well aware of the fiddle, have done this before with a Technics deck but thank you.
Also tried an acrylic platter and sent it back as it sounded awful on my P1 due to the extra height the stylus struggled to track and sounded awful!
 

DougK1

Well-known member
Jan 4, 2024
272
361
770
Visit site
Unless you are prepared to go down the traditional amp and speakers route then I would stick with what you have. A cartridge change with your current kit isn't going to make any significant difference to the sound.
 

daytona600

Well-known member
I'd also like to replace the annoyingly static slipmat which attaches to the vinyl every time it is removed

£20 Record brush with ground terminal & ground to your phono stage to remove static
PRO-JECT BRUSH IT PREMIUM
Or replace felt mat with anti static mat




PJA  Cleaning - Copy.jpgtt88 ing-brush-p5864-36542_medium.jpg
 
I'd also like to replace the annoyingly static slipmat which attaches to the vinyl every time it is removed

£20 Record brush with ground terminal & ground to your phono stage to remove static
PRO-JECT BRUSH IT PREMIUM
Or replace felt mat with anti static mat




View attachment 6176View attachment 6177
Good point. However, in my opinion, it isn't the slip mat that induces static.....
 
A few points:-

Fitting thicker mats or no mat does not affect tracking force. However, removing the mat changes the vertical tracking angle, making the arm slightly ‘nose down’ and that will sound different. If you prefer that, great.

The Rega Carbon is a cheap (though surprisingly ok) Audio Technica, so swapping for another AT won’t change much. Possibly an Ortofon 2M Red in the new version mentioned above, but they’re £95. Nagaoka are expensive these days. Goldring E series are also Audio Technica, so you’re a bit stuck.

Don’t believe the mythology that LPs sound warm. But you may have a bit of mistracking, or pop records mixed to be ‘hot’ that sound scrawny.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rhbmcse and DougK1

daytona600

Well-known member
Only way to remove static is a clean the record on a RCM , place in anti static inner

LPs sound warm. anything from the last 45years will be Digital Recording , Digital Mastering & Digital preview on cutting head
1950/60/70/80s all analogue ( AAA ) Can sound warm
 
  • Like
Reactions: DougK1

Rhbmcse

Active member
Feb 17, 2024
16
7
25
Visit site
First of all - thanks for all of the replies. What a helpful forum of nice, like minded people - unlike others which I have attended (not hi-fi related). I have been out of the country for a couple of weeks so will resuscitate.

No animosity intended, I have to disagree with the statement that I should stick with what I have and that using the SONOS I will not tell the difference. They're not bad sounding at all - for what they cost, downright impressive (I have these in every room so no chance or space to replace) - accepting that they cannot be compared in the same league as what many others here will be running. They are simply amplifying what the deck as a whole is producing. Change the source, change the signal, change the tone from the speakers. If I'm a fool then sobeit but I have to try as the top end is just too harsh and the mid range isn't warm enough.

The Ortofon 2MR I've read bad things about on the REGA decks. Obviously I can't corroborate this as I don't have one and it seems like a very expensive rabbit hole to disappear down for potentially hundreds of pounds only to find that I don't like the result. There are several 2MRs available too - I guess the red is the entry level from what I've read. £99 is not in my estimation a lot to pay for a cart. Cost is not so much the issue but I have to keep a level head - we're only dealing with an RP1 here going through SONOS.

It would be good to hear from anybody who has actually done this on a REGA deck and eliminated that harsh top end and boosted the mids a little to give that warmth that is missing.

I appreciate what is being said about digital mastering of records. I'm a keyboard player of over 35 years with a home recording studio - I won't get into that - off topic - but I know a thing or too about recording music, having done 2 x albums. To bring it back to topic - I have several 80's albums (Pet Shop Boys spring to mind) which when listened to on a neighbours cheaper SONY deck and horrible amp / speakers gives a much warmer sound thus negating that this particular vinyl cannot sound 'warm' - it absolutely can, and does.

@jonboywalton75 - You're roughly the same age as me if 75 is the year of birth and seem to have a RP with the ATVM95ML fitted. How did it change from the Carbon for you ?

"Nagaoka are expensive these days. Goldring E series are also Audio Technica, so you’re a bit stuck."

I had considered the Goldring and heard good things about them. Can I ask why, because they're manufactured by AT now would that mean that they wouldn't sound different / better ? After all AT manufacture a wide variety of Carts. Again - please take this question as intended and not to be provoking.

In respect of the anti-static. I've ordered a zero-stat gun which I'll try and will either work, or go back ! The RP-1 as far as I can see, doesn't have a GND terminal. After wet-washing with my Spincare record cleaner and then a wipe over with the supplied microfibre cloth, I could stick them to my jumper like a party balloon !

To summarise:
Ortofon 2MR - anyone done it on an RP-1 ? Results ?
@jonboywalton75 - ATVM95ML fitted. How did it change from the Carbon for you ?
Goldring E-Series - anyone done it ? Results ?

What about a Rega Elys 2 ?...

Phew! - Thanks again all.

Rob.
 
Last edited:
First of all - thanks for all of the replies. What a helpful forum of nice, like minded people - unlike others which I have attended (not hi-fi related). I have been out of the country for a couple of weeks so will resuscitate.

No animosity intended, I have to disagree with the statement that I should stick with what I have and that using the SONOS I will not tell the difference. They're not bad sounding at all - for what they cost, downright impressive (I have these in every room so no chance or space to replace) - accepting that they cannot be compared in the same league as what many others here will be running. They are simply amplifying what the deck as a whole is producing. Change the source, change the signal, change the tone from the speakers. If I'm a fool then sobeit but I have to try as the top end is just too harsh and the mid range isn't warm enough.

The Ortofon 2MR I've read bad things about on the REGA decks. Obviously I can't corroborate this as I don't have one and it seems like a very expensive rabbit hole to disappear down for potentially hundreds of pounds only to find that I don't like the result. There are several 2MRs available too - I guess the red is the entry level from what I've read. £99 is not in my estimation a lot to pay for a cart. Cost is not so much the issue but I have to keep a level head - we're only dealing with an RP1 here going through SONOS.

It would be good to hear from anybody who has actually done this on a REGA deck and eliminated that harsh top end and boosted the mids a little to give that warmth that is missing.

I appreciate what is being said about digital mastering of records. I'm a keyboard player of over 35 years with a home recording studio - I won't get into that - off topic - but I know a thing or too about recording music, having done 2 x albums. To bring it back to topic - I have several 80's albums (Pet Shop Boys spring to mind) which when listened to on a neighbours cheaper SONY deck and horrible amp / speakers gives a much warmer sound thus negating that this particular vinyl cannot sound 'warm' - it absolutely can, and does.

@jonboywalton75 - You're roughly the same age as me if 75 is the year of birth and seem to have a RP with the ATVM95ML fitted. How did it change from the Carbon for you ?

"Nagaoka are expensive these days. Goldring E series are also Audio Technica, so you’re a bit stuck."

I had considered the Goldring and heard good things about them. Can I ask why, because they're manufactured by AT now would that mean that they wouldn't sound different / better ? After all AT manufacture a wide variety of Carts. Again - please take this question as intended and not to be provoking.

In respect of the anti-static. I've ordered a zero-stat gun which I'll try and will either work, or go back ! The RP-1 as far as I can see, doesn't have a GND terminal. After wet-washing with my Spincare record cleaner and then a wipe over with the supplied microfibre cloth, I could stick them to my jumper like a party balloon !

To summarise:
Ortofon 2MR - anyone done it on an RP-1 ? Results ?
@jonboywalton75 - ATVM95ML fitted. How did it change from the Carbon for you ?
Goldring E-Series - anyone done it ? Results ?

What about a Rega Elys 2 ?...

Phew! - Thanks again all.

Rob.
Not too sure where the Goldring is made by Audio Technica myth came from but the E series are excellent particularly the E4
 
Nagaoka are expensive these days. Goldring E series are also Audio Technica, so you’re a bit stuck."

I had considered the Goldring and heard good things about them. Can I ask why, because they're manufactured by AT now would that mean that they wouldn't sound different / better ? After all AT manufacture a wide variety of Carts. Again - please take this question as intended and not to be provoking.
AT all tend to sound on the clearer, brighter side or neutral at best. I’ve heard loads and own one. For most folks that’s great, but you’re looking for warmth or body and hence the 2M Red might be better.

Ideally one shouldn’t contrive a cartridge choice to change tonal balance. But it’s you’re best bet.
 

Rhbmcse

Active member
Feb 17, 2024
16
7
25
Visit site
AT all tend to sound on the clearer, brighter side or neutral at best. I’ve heard loads and own one. For most folks that’s great, but you’re looking for warmth or body and hence the 2M Red might be better.

Ideally one shouldn’t contrive a cartridge choice to change tonal balance. But it’s you’re best bet.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not looking for overbearing mid range, just slightly more than the CARBON gives and certainly less harsh on the top end. The CARBON is not a bad cart but to my ears, definitely missing some mid warmth and as detailed as it is - at the top end it's just a little too harsh. These are the problems I'm trying to solve. I can stream the same tracks from my TIDAL HIFI+ sub and the top end is distinctively different and less essy.

"Why not just use your Tidal sub?" - I hear you cry !!!

Because that's just not as beautiful as owning and listening to a piece of Vinyl. What I need is to get my Vinyl sounding right and I feel it's the CARBON cart that's doing it based on listening to the same tracks on TIDAL.

Thanks for the advice - maybe a 2M red would be the way to go - but does it definitely give more of the mid range and less of the harsh treble ? - This is the question :)

I've decided to bite the bullet and try an AT-VM95ML. It looks to me like this is going to be a lot of trial and error. Stylus protractor and scales ordered, I don't believe this cart will require shimming.
 
Last edited:
I've decided to bite the bullet and try an AT-VM95ML.
Good choice; I like mine very much, and it’s a clean as a whistle! I’m less confident about adjusting the counterweight on your RP1 as I understood it has one fixed setting for ‘plug and play’ convenience. However, I’m sure you’ll find a YouTube that shows you how it’s done.
 

Rhbmcse

Active member
Feb 17, 2024
16
7
25
Visit site
Good choice; I like mine very much, and it’s a clean as a whistle! I’m less confident about adjusting the counterweight on your RP1 as I understood it has one fixed setting for ‘plug and play’ convenience. However, I’m sure you’ll find a YouTube that shows you how it’s done.
Thank you for not shooting me down in flames! The counterweight isn't an issue as I understand it, just a matter of backing it off down the tonearm. Sure there are no markings for weight but it's rigid enough on the tonearm to sit where it's left if not pushed fully home to the 2g position. Plenty of people seem to have done this and it works.

I see my hi-fi obsession slowly creeping back in and can see several upgrades coming if only to listen to vinyl in the living room!
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts