To Rega or not to Rega?

gigmagig

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2021
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Many moons ago when vinyl had almost disappeared I bought a Pro-ject Debut II turntable. I still have it, although it's spent time out from active play, all's working. Including the Ortofon OM 5E stylus. Recently though, while visiting Hi-Fi porn sites I've been tempted to invest in a Rega Planar 1 (the slightly updated version) has positive reviews (and would be a good match for my Rega IO amp.

But I paused, maybe just maybe my old turntable just needs some TLC, how about upgrading the stylus, I thought. I emailed the eggheads in Ortofon's Danish lab and they suggested going with the Ortofon OM 10. So I bought one. Then the 'not such fun' started.

On playing two particular, near mint and cleaned albums there was an un-nerving scraping sound, coming through the speakers. Hmmm. Checked the new stylus and no dirt or fluff.

UPDATE -> since noticed the stylus was not fitting correctly, gave everything a clean with alcohol and that allowed a proper fit, which put a stop to the 'orrible noise. Phew!

Back to the point-in-question . . .

Although there's much praise for the Rega Planar 1 and its Rega Carbon cartridge and stylus, is the difference in quality between that and my ye-ancient Proj-ect and Ortofon OM cartridge/stylus, of such difference as to warrant the expense of investing £275?

What do you folks think?
 
Last edited:
Many moons ago when vinyl had almost disappeared I bought a Pro-ject Debut II turntable. I still have it, although it's spent time out from active play, although all's working. Including the Ortofon OM 5E stylus. Recently though, while visiting Hi-Fi porn sites I've been tempted to invest in a Rega Planar 1 (the slightly updated version) has positive reviews (and would be a good match for my Rega IO amp.

But I paused, maybe just maybe my old turntable just needs some TLC, how about upgrading the stylus, I thought. I emailed the eggheads in Ortofon's Danish lab and they suggested going with the Ortofon OM 10. So I bought one. Then the 'not such fun' started.

On playing two particular, near mint and cleaned albums there was an un-nerving scraping sound, coming through the speakers. Hmmm. Checked the new stylus and no dirt or fluff.

UPDATE -> since noticed the stylus was not fitting correctly, gave everything a clean with alcohol and that allowed a proper fit, which put a stop to the 'orrible noise. Phew!

Back to the point-in-question . . .

Although there's much praise for the Rega Planar 1 and its Rega Carbon cartridge and stylus, is the difference in quality between that and my ye-ancient Proj-ect and Ortofon OM cartridge/stylus, of such difference as to warrant the expense of investing £275?

What do you folks think?
No, simply buy a decent cartridge for your existing turntable if it is perfectly serviceable.
Who exactly praises the Carbon?
That's a sideways move in my opinion and not worth £275
 
Last edited:
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nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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No.

If your turntable is otherwise working fine, you could get a great cartridge for say £150 that would be far superior to the RP1. Thats a great starter turntable just as yours was, but it pointless to swap them unless you’re bored with the colour!
 

gigmagig

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2021
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Many thanks to Ai ears & nopiano for the really welcomed advice, I take on board your helpful suggestions.

Although I like the idea of upgrading to a better cartridge, I wonder if that may not be an option due to the counterweight of the tone-arm being pre-set on my 2002 Pro-ject Debut II turntable. The weight turns but remains in the same position and has no markings, so I'm concluding the 'down force' is fixed.

Given the Ortofon cartridge upgrades open to me, the 2m Red/2 m Blue would that be a problem? WOuld not the counter-weight require some adjustment to match the new cartridge?

Then I read this:

"The most common mistake is to simply plug a cartridge in and screw it into the tonearm/headshell. In order to read a record groove as accurately as possible, the cartridge needs to be accurately aligned to the record groove, with no other forces exerted on it except the vertical downward force applied by the cartridge. To properly align a cartridge you will need a two-point cartridge alignment protractor – which are widely available across the internet. To set the VTA and azimuth (the two other most important settings), consult your turntable manual."

Hmmm.
 
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Deleted member 108165

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I see your point, gigmagig. There is a difference in cartridge weight between the OM and 2M series, (5gms vs 7.2gms), without VTF adjustment mounting the 2M on the arm could lead to problems. Stick with what you currently have as there's always the opportunity in the future to mount the OM20, 30 or 40 on the arm without the need for VTF adjustment. The styli profiles of the OM series match that of the 2M series.
 
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Aha, didn't realise this. Perhaps a decent Project dealer could change the tonearm for something that is adjustable but this may be too expensive an option.
as Doug K says there are other OM stylus to upgrade to but if a completely new turntable is what you want I would stick to something further up the Project ladder.
 

gigmagig

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2021
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Aha, didn't realise this. Perhaps a decent Project dealer could change the tonearm for something that is adjustable but this may be too expensive an option.
as Doug K says there are other OM stylus to upgrade to but if a completely new turntable is what you want I would stick to something further up the Project ladder.
Yep . . . I've decided to stick with for the time being and then upgrade to a new turntable.
 

gigmagig

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2021
34
4
45
I see your point, gigmagig. There is a difference in cartridge weight between the OM and 2M series, (5gms vs 7.2gms), without VTF adjustment mounting the 2M on the arm could lead to problems. Stick with what you currently have as there's always the opportunity in the future to mount the OM20, 30 or 40 on the arm without the need for VTF adjustment. The styli profiles of the OM series match that of the 2M series.
Sticking is currently the way to go :)
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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I hadn’t realised it was a fixed counterweight either - sorry. That’s usually an advantage that most Pro-ject have over the RP1 which is also preset. Some have enterprisingly found a better cartridge to swap in the Rega, but it’s another closed system, not designed to be upgraded.

I wonder if there’s a set screw or similar that can be released to permit adjustment. By the way, the quote about fitting the cartridge makes it sound harder than necessary, but if you’ve never done one, maybe better to ask a dealer.
 
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daytona600

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Oct 5, 2012
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Ask your dealer for a demo or home loan on a Debut carbon Evo & Never use alcohol on your stylus or your records
use a stylus brush or RCM

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo review | What Hi-Fi? (whathifi.com)

Ortofon does not recommend the use of solvents of any kind for cleaning of either the record surface or stylus. If necessary, records may be washed in lukewarm demineralized water with a dash of sulphonic soap. Remove dust carefully from record surfaces by using a fine antistatic brush or cloth before every use.
The use of solvents on the stylus and cantilever may damage stylus cement; interior parts of the cartridge can be affected seriously by the intrusion of solvents. The Ortofon Aftersales will not be valid in cases where such treatment has caused malfunction.
For cleaning the stylus, use the enclosed fibre brush a few times along the cantilever in the direction of the stylus, whenever you play a new record or change sides.
Record care should also be performed regularly and is of paramount importance to prolong the life and condition of the stylus. Because of this, a record cleaning machine may be considered for ease and quality of record cleaning.
 

gigmagig

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2021
34
4
45
Ask your dealer for a demo or home loan on a Debut carbon Evo & Never use alcohol on your stylus or your records
use a stylus brush or RCM

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo review | What Hi-Fi? (whathifi.com)

Ortofon does not recommend the use of solvents of any kind for cleaning of either the record surface or stylus. If necessary, records may be washed in lukewarm demineralized water with a dash of sulphonic soap. Remove dust carefully from record surfaces by using a fine antistatic brush or cloth before every use.
The use of solvents on the stylus and cantilever may damage stylus cement; interior parts of the cartridge can be affected seriously by the intrusion of solvents. The Ortofon Aftersales will not be valid in cases where such treatment has caused malfunction.
For cleaning the stylus, use the enclosed fibre brush a few times along the cantilever in the direction of the stylus, whenever you play a new record or change sides.
Record care should also be performed regularly and is of paramount importance to prolong the life and condition of the stylus. Because of this, a record cleaning machine may be considered for ease and quality of record cleaning.
daytonoa600 Thank you very much for that wise advice and information. I have taken note and shall restrict myself to consumption only :)
 

Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
35
8
45
Many moons ago when vinyl had almost disappeared I bought a Pro-ject Debut II turntable. I still have it, although it's spent time out from active play, all's working. Including the Ortofon OM 5E stylus. Recently though, while visiting Hi-Fi porn sites I've been tempted to invest in a Rega Planar 1 (the slightly updated version) has positive reviews (and would be a good match for my Rega IO amp.

But I paused, maybe just maybe my old turntable just needs some TLC, how about upgrading the stylus, I thought. I emailed the eggheads in Ortofon's Danish lab and they suggested going with the Ortofon OM 10. So I bought one. Then the 'not such fun' started.

On playing two particular, near mint and cleaned albums there was an un-nerving scraping sound, coming through the speakers. Hmmm. Checked the new stylus and no dirt or fluff.

UPDATE -> since noticed the stylus was not fitting correctly, gave everything a clean with alcohol and that allowed a proper fit, which put a stop to the 'orrible noise. Phew!

Back to the point-in-question . . .

Although there's much praise for the Rega Planar 1 and its Rega Carbon cartridge and stylus, is the difference in quality between that and my ye-ancient Proj-ect and Ortofon OM cartridge/stylus, of such difference as to warrant the expense of investing £275?

What do you folks think?
Hello , i just want to make a coment about the upgrading of some "recent" turntables and cartridges , i have a 90´s amplifier with what was suposed to be a good phono stage, but when needing a new stylus for my technics 70´s model ,i put to work a pioneer that came with a system ,the ES-2000 from 74 ,PL-ES is the designation but when conecting to the 90´s amplifier i notice a very flat or steryl sound but i remenber when in my early 20´s hearing records and the sound was very good ,this using the original cartridge a pc-50 and stylus pn-50 (that i in the 80´s bought new from pioneer, and almost no use), then i thought about getting the stereo receiver from pioneer that as no reference either than being from the system i refer, wich as not much power in watts r.m.s. but i had pair of cs speakers from pioneer that had a very high sound with this amplifier ,that was supposed not to have enough power to this speakers the ES stereo receiver ,all this to say that the turntable with the old stereo receiver had a incredible good sound and with some celestions ditton series and a real studio monitor from a brand i don´t remenber but maybe it´s altec (i know they were bought in L.A. in the 70´s ) and the technics when finding a new stylus for it ,i also conect it to a amplifier from pioneer but a 79 model with some mission speakers with low impedence( 4 Ohms) and the sound was even better. A friend of mine that has a A-676 amplifier from pioneer recentelly bought a pro-ject turntable ,those that are just the shape of a LP record and a carbon fiber arm and upgraded with a Sumiko stylus and cartridge that cost a bit more than 200€, when listening to his Pro-ject i had to laugh the sound was incredible bad ,flat with no dynamic and this turntable doesn´t come with pre-amplifier being expensive you need to buy one, he even claimed that was better than my "old" 8 turntables, that some were from my father and grandfather ,the most recent i had was from late 80´s a pioneer that was heavy but with two years of heavy use started to give problems ,i sold it and kept the others that the most recent is from 79 , and the brands are pioneer, dual, thorens, technics and a philips that surprised me for it´s 79 series but in 1980 i ordered this turntable wich is all made of plastic but it sounded good, when the stylus was a bit old i ofered the turntable, to resume, i tried a lot of amplifiers from a friend that owned a hi-fi components store and all sounded average with very good turntables , this to say that the main problem is the phono stage in new or recent amplifiers because chaging from a ortofon to a ortofon a litle better will not improve that much the sound , i saw a new turntable from technics that i found expensive and when reading the specifications i might be wrong but it seems just like a old SL-1000 mkII i own and about the pro-ject pre-amplifier you conect it and then you use a normal line as input instead of using the Phono, but when using a MC type stylus i had a pre-amplifier from technics that you use still the phono input and in a old pioneer amplifier you even have to choose from 3 diferent specifications and in the front a litle volume knob for mc cartridge and stylus .So, this new wave of turntables i call it lego turntables, this because when you ask for something that normally cames with the turntable they (Pro-ject) have for sale , i have two turntables i prefer ,the thorens and the technics ,all sound good but this two seem to have a more detailed sound and i´m going to get my fathers Revox system that the turntable as that rectangular huge thing you put on top of the record that inside is from ortofon the stylus and a very strange cartridge, when i was 20 i couldn´t touch it. Sorry for my confusing english but i´m portuguese and may sound diferent from what i´m trying to say in reality, but it´s just only want to say ,don´t spend money in upgrading from a good stylus to a even better stylus ,when in reality the phono stage from modern amplifiers (after 1990) is for sure the problem ,i tested most of them, normally the ones refered by what hi*fy? and a few more, regards
 

gigmagig

Well-known member
Apr 7, 2021
34
4
45
Hello , i just want to make a coment about the upgrading of some "recent" turntables and cartridges , i have a 90´s amplifier with what was suposed to be a good phono stage, but when needing a new stylus for my technics 70´s model ,i put to work a pioneer that came with a system ,the ES-2000 from 74 ,PL-ES is the designation but when conecting to the 90´s amplifier i notice a very flat or steryl sound but i remenber when in my early 20´s hearing records and the sound was very good ,this using the original cartridge a pc-50 and stylus pn-50 (that i in the 80´s bought new from pioneer, and almost no use), then i thought about getting the stereo receiver from pioneer that as no reference either than being from the system i refer, wich as not much power in watts r.m.s. but i had pair of cs speakers from pioneer that had a very high sound with this amplifier ,that was supposed not to have enough power to this speakers the ES stereo receiver ,all this to say that the turntable with the old stereo receiver had a incredible good sound and with some celestions ditton series and a real studio monitor from a brand i don´t remenber but maybe it´s altec (i know they were bought in L.A. in the 70´s ) and the technics when finding a new stylus for it ,i also conect it to a amplifier from pioneer but a 79 model with some mission speakers with low impedence( 4 Ohms) and the sound was even better. A friend of mine that has a A-676 amplifier from pioneer recentelly bought a pro-ject turntable ,those that are just the shape of a LP record and a carbon fiber arm and upgraded with a Sumiko stylus and cartridge that cost a bit more than 200€, when listening to his Pro-ject i had to laugh the sound was incredible bad ,flat with no dynamic and this turntable doesn´t come with pre-amplifier being expensive you need to buy one, he even claimed that was better than my "old" 8 turntables, that some were from my father and grandfather ,the most recent i had was from late 80´s a pioneer that was heavy but with two years of heavy use started to give problems ,i sold it and kept the others that the most recent is from 79 , and the brands are pioneer, dual, thorens, technics and a philips that surprised me for it´s 79 series but in 1980 i ordered this turntable wich is all made of plastic but it sounded good, when the stylus was a bit old i ofered the turntable, to resume, i tried a lot of amplifiers from a friend that owned a hi-fi components store and all sounded average with very good turntables , this to say that the main problem is the phono stage in new or recent amplifiers because chaging from a ortofon to a ortofon a litle better will not improve that much the sound , i saw a new turntable from technics that i found expensive and when reading the specifications i might be wrong but it seems just like a old SL-1000 mkII i own and about the pro-ject pre-amplifier you conect it and then you use a normal line as input instead of using the Phono, but when using a MC type stylus i had a pre-amplifier from technics that you use still the phono input and in a old pioneer amplifier you even have to choose from 3 diferent specifications and in the front a litle volume knob for mc cartridge and stylus .So, this new wave of turntables i call it lego turntables, this because when you ask for something that normally cames with the turntable they (Pro-ject) have for sale , i have two turntables i prefer ,the thorens and the technics ,all sound good but this two seem to have a more detailed sound and i´m going to get my fathers Revox system that the turntable as that rectangular huge thing you put on top of the record that inside is from ortofon the stylus and a very strange cartridge, when i was 20 i couldn´t touch it. Sorry for my confusing english but i´m portuguese and may sound diferent from what i´m trying to say in reality, but it´s just only want to say ,don´t spend money in upgrading from a good stylus to a even better stylus ,when in reality the phono stage from modern amplifiers (after 1990) is for sure the problem ,i tested most of them, normally the ones refered by what hi*fy? and a few more, regards
Sometimes, as the saying goes, 'Old is gold'.
 
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