Upgraded vintage Rega Planar 3 versus new turntable?

Crams76

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on impulse I have just bought a late 1980s Rega Planar 3 for £300. Just had upgraded 24v power supply, Rp 303 rewired tone arm new vmn540ml cartridge with 40ml stylus. New rega belt and replacement drive and pulley unit.

wonder if I should have bought a new turntable.

I think it will be in great condition. Going to pick up on Friday.

I have an EMPIRE edr 9 cartridge at home I could use too.

Did I land a bargain or will I regret it?

Any thoughts on this versus the new models?
 

DougK1

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New version would have cost over twice the price you paid, as to whether you've made a wise choice only you will be able to tell. How old is your Empire cartridge?
 

Crams76

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New version would have cost over twice the price you paid, as to whether you've made a wise choice only you will be able to tell. How old is your Empire cartridge?
Thanks. The Empire cartridge is from the 1980s , it was unused in its original packaging off eBay about 10 years ago for £80. I have put it on a project xpression turntable and used it for about 50 hours. I’ve seen them be highly prized since and going on eBay for over £300 so think they are good?
 

matthewpianist

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The Planar 3 has always been a great turntable, so I don't think you would have gained anything by going for a new one, especially giving the upgrades (as well as they've been done properly). The 24v power supply should enable you to add a TT PSU when you're ready. I'd recommend that as I found it to make a significant difference when I had an RP3.
 
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DougK1

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Thanks. The Empire cartridge is from the 1980s , it was unused in its original packaging off eBay about 10 years ago for £80. I have put it on a project xpression turntable and used it for about 50 hours. I’ve seen them be highly prized since and going on eBay for over £300 so think they are good?
Not sure how long carts last, I think it depends on the stylus suspension system. If it's rubber then that can perish and go hard. I don't know enough about these carts to offer much more in the way of advice but they do seem to attract praise. They appear to be MI not MM.
 

FMIB

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I had a well modified RP3 a few years ago. The upgrades consisted of a Groovetracer delrin platter and subplatter, Rega TT-PSU and upgraded pulley belt.
I eventually changed it for a Michell Orbe, mainly for the better vibration isolation which seemed a good idea(easy to test and confirmed), however, before selling off the RP3, back to back listening, to my ears, I could hardly hear any difference and even today i question the decision of the extra cost.
 

Crams76

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I had a well modified RP3 a few years ago. The upgrades consisted of a Groovetracer delrin platter and subplatter, Rega TT-PSU and upgraded pulley belt.
I eventually changed it for a Michell Orbe, mainly for the better vibration isolation which seemed a good idea(easy to test and confirmed), however, before selling off the RP3, back to back listening, to my ears, I could hardly hear any difference and even today i question the decision of the extra cost.
Thanks, I have the turntable now, very happy with it and now curious about upgrades. I saw the Delrin aluminium sub platter for about £200, a dedicated phono stage Rega MM MK5 for £200, the Neo power supply for £260 and a very highly rated Collaro Record mat for £99 (not sure how that makes such a difference!).

I have a phono stage in my Arcam SA20 and a quite old Rotel RQ 970BX dedicated phono stage. Both sound the same to me so i put the Rotel on ebay, for £140 but is has not sold yet.

Based on your experience what would you go for first / best bang for the buck?
 
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Revolutions

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Thanks, I have the turntable now, very happy with it and now curious about upgrades. I saw the Delrin aluminium sub platter for about £200, a dedicated phono stage Rega MM MK5 for £200, the Neo power supply for £260 and a very highly rated Collaro Record mat for £99 (not sure how that makes such a difference!).

I have a phono stage in my Arcam SA20 and a quite old Rotel RQ 970BX dedicated phono stage. Both sound the same to me so i put the Rotel on ebay, for £140 but is has not sold yet.

Based on your experience what would you go for first / best bang for the buck?
If your cartridge is in good order & you’re happy with it, subplatter will give you the most bang for your buck.

The phono stage in the Arcam will be pretty good, the rega fono won’t be any better. Power supply is probably most useful for the 33/45 options without moving the belt. It might lower the noise floor, but if that’s not a problem then it’s nothing to spend money to look for.
 
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FMIB

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Thanks, I have the turntable now, very happy with it and now curious about upgrades. I saw the Delrin aluminium sub platter for about £200, a dedicated phono stage Rega MM MK5 for £200, the Neo power supply for £260 and a very highly rated Collaro Record mat for £99 (not sure how that makes such a difference!).

I have a phono stage in my Arcam SA20 and a quite old Rotel RQ 970BX dedicated phono stage. Both sound the same to me so i put the Rotel on ebay, for £140 but is has not sold yet.

Based on your experience what would you go for first / best bang for the buck?
Sorry, difficult for me to answer that one for you as I went all in and did everything at one go without testing each individual item. All I can say is that I was very satisfied with the end result sound wise. I was using a Nagaoka MP-200 MM cartridge.
If I was doing it again, stepwise, I would have gone for the subplatter with the delrin platter first followed by the speed control.
 
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Crams76

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Sorry, difficult for me to answer that one for you as I went all in and did everything at one go without testing each individual item. All I can say is that I was very satisfied with the end result sound wise. I was using a Nagaoka MP-200 MM cartridge.
If I was doing it again, stepwise, I would have gone for the subplatter with the delrin platter first followed by the speed control.
Thanks, that's two for the sub platter! I don't change the speed very often and play mostly 33's. I'll save up and try the Delrin next. Guess I can always sell it on. Any thoughts on the impact a mat can have? The reviews were really good but I struggle to see how it makes a lot of difference.
 
Thanks, that's two for the sub platter! I don't change the speed very often and play mostly 33's. I'll save up and try the Delrin next. Guess I can always sell it on. Any thoughts on the impact a mat can have? The reviews were really good but I struggle to see how it makes a lot of difference.
It's going to make a big difference because bit is going to effect the VTA.
If the turntable didn't come with a mat then it doesn't need one.
If it came with a felt mat then that should suffice unless you want to blow money on a different one. If you do make sure it's the same thickness as the felt one.
Personally I think they make so little difference you might as well buy a new LP or two....
 

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