Should rescuing vinyl dictate my amp choice?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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I have an original Rega Planar 3 with the R200 tonearm and its sounds fairly terrible compared to my CD player (Marantz CD7300). I am hoping to upgrade my amp (A&R Cambridge A60) and was going to go for something with a phono stage since I have a turntable (e.g. Rega Brio 3, Arcam Alpha 9). My speakers are Rega R3s and I listen to rock, blues, female vocal.

So, given that it may (will) take a bit of cash to get the turntable sounding half decent (probably a new tonearm, cartridge and a service) should I just ditch it and stick with CD? If yes, what amp should I consider (new or secondhand up to £400)?
 
A

Anonymous

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How many records do you have? If you only have a few, then stick with CD...however, if your collection is quite large, then I would look at sorting it out. Amplifier wise, I would check out the Arcam DiVA A85 with built-in-phono stage (£300 2nd hand)...it was and still is a very competent amplifier, but only a few have the phono stage integrated...you might want to buy an external one for around £60 otherwise.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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Rega's amplifiers are naturally a good match for your lovely speakers. The Brio is a good allrounder and the mira adds focus and better bass. It sounds more hifi than the former and imo not as musical. Two capable amplifiers rarely mentioned on this forum are Denon's pma1500 and onkyo's midrange and powerful digital products. Both different to the Rega's but no worse for it. Arcam's 9 really is long in the tooth now so I would'nt bother with it, reliability just being one reason. I've recently played around with Arcams new FMJ stuff and while the A18 is ok and has some decent facilities I would'nt pick it over the ones I've mentioned previously. As for your TT, only you know how much you'll use it and whether its justifiable to spend cash on it.

PS. Just received Antonio Forcione & Sabina Sciubba. A CD from the Naim label. Talk about vinyl being 'better' ...
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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I think you may as well buy a new Rega P2 given how many mods have been made to the regas now (plinth, arm, motor etc.) they are about £250 (or £300 including a Rega Bias 2 cartridge factory fitted and aligned)

The P2 with Brio 3 and your existing R3 speakers should benefit nicely from all that Rega 'synergy' and sound very nice.

I would have liked the Rega Brio 3 + Rega Radio 3 + Apollo CD, but that lot would have cost about way more than my budget and taken far too much space.
 
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Anonymous

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drummerman:Two capable amplifiers rarely mentioned on this forum are Denon's pma1500 and Onkyo's midrange and powerful digital products.

I agree, they are superb amps - but have a very aquired taste to them. The Onkyos are really, really good though - and Superfi do some great deals on them, but they are both a bit above your budget...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think you've currently got a good set up, the R200 is a decent arm, the AR amps is good still, I'd keep them both, just add a good phono stage, the little Creek OBH series go really well with the Rega then add a decent stylus from from AudioTechnica or Dynavector.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
silly:I think you've currently got a good set up, the R200 is a decent arm, the AR amps is good still, I'd keep them both, just add a good phono stage, the little Creek OBH series go really well with the Rega then add a decent stylus from from AudioTechnica or Dynavector.

...and give your records a nice, well, Autumn clean. Also, check your belt's condition.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Kirkview:
I have an original Rega Planar 3 with the R200 tonearm and its sounds fairly terrible compared to my CD player (Marantz CD7300). I am hoping to upgrade my amp (A&R Cambridge A60) and was going to go for something with a phono stage since I have a turntable (e.g. Rega Brio 3, Arcam Alpha 9). My speakers are Rega R3s and I listen to rock, blues, female vocal.

So, given that it may (will) take a bit of cash to get the turntable sounding half decent (probably a new tonearm, cartridge and a service) should I just ditch it and stick with CD? If yes, what amp should I consider (new or secondhand up to £400)?

If you upgrade the tonearm to the RB300, that's around £145 on its' own, factor in a new cartridge (£60-120) and the cost of the service and you have a new turntable. The P2 or Goldring GR2 (if you can find the latter) are worth thinking of, but it depends on your budget. They'll set you back around £250 or so, with the GR2 only available on a deal though it comes with a Rega P2 arm and a Goldring 1012GX fitted as standard both of which are very highly recommended.

Phono stages - all depends on you budget (as ever!) and your amp. Assuming you go for something which doesn't have a phono stage in the end, then Cambridge Audio's 640P at £60 is good, Graham Slee has one which is around £100 which is well rated too. On the used market, you'll pick up a Linn Majik with phono stage for £400 from a dealer which includes a 1 year warranty. Some of the newer amps have a phono stage too, but check the quality of that stage. Marantz are pretty consistent but this doesn't always apply across the board with all manufacturers, so do try to get clued up ahead of splashing the cash.

Comparing vinyl to CD is like apples to oranges however. Both produce music (not the fruit obviously!), but both go about it in totally different ways. I adore vinyl, both from the sound and for the packaging. Anyone who's bought a boxset of LPs or purchased Gilmour's On An Island will know what I'm talking about. The sound quality can be astounding on both - after that, it's horses for courses.
 

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