The Rega Exact sees to get little respect , I've seen it described as dull.
I live near Needle Doctor and was in there recently, an RP 3 with exact was playing. I was struck by how neutral and honest it was, just the ticket for the classical or jazz listener and very much in the same vein as the Rega speakers.
I also own a Rega phono amp and am pleased with it.
The REGA Exact is a great Cartridge and is NOT dull, in fact its the opposite of dull, lively,dynamic,punchy, great with rock and jazz. Also, for a little less money and an even better full range cartridge is the Dynavector 10X5 $450.00. This is a awesome match for the RB301 tonearm. Go with the RP3 and get some upgrades from Groovetracer. You can buy a clear or black acrylic platter AND a much better Subplatter and bearing....SUPER easy to replace. And you get a real spindle so you can use a nice record clamp. Also, for $120 buy the Isolation kit from Mapleshade.com it is well worth the money. And for a Phono Pre find a used or new Musical Surroundings Phonomena 2 , Used $350 new $600.....it is a real giant killer.
If you are gonna do all that just buy the cheapest Pro-ject that uses the 9cc tonearm and be done with it .
I was recently searching for a new MM cart to replace an aging Exact cart on my
Rega p3-24. I stumbled into the Audio Note IQ3 it is very good and a step up
from the Exact. Since you are already an Audio Note user IQ3 would be a natural
choice. If you are handy with a solder gun build the ANKits L3 Phono Pre and
then you would have some nice synergy.
Under $1,500.00 you cannot go wrong with Rega.
RP3, RP6, modified or not, they will give ANY other TT company a run for their money. Fast, detailed, with enough PRaT that will give Linn a healthy dose of goosebumps!
Better TTs out there? Absolutely! But for a lot more $$$.
As Schubert mentioned before, the Exact seems to get little respect. IMHO, excellent for the price. However, not better than the likes of DV 10x5, AT 150MLX, or Denon DL 103R.
Not a big fan of Pro-ject arms. Rega arms are, and always will be, the staple of affordable built tonearms.
Now, for classical/jazz, the extremely affordable Marantz TT-15 with included Clearaudio Virtuoso Ebony Wood cartridge is the way to go. Pair it with any $500.00 phono pre of choice and..........well, the rest is up to you.
Thanks to everyone for sharing your wisdom. This is really helpful. Thanks also for respecting my budget. The only remsining question for me is the phono stage. I'm thinking about going with the rega phono stage for a start and then replace it later when I can afford it. However, if anyone has experience with tube based phono stages for under $1000, I'd be grateful to hear from you.
Have not heard the Eastern Electric Minimax Phono Pre but used it would come under $1000. Got great reviews back in the day.
Most of my vinyl musical pleasure comes from small ensemble acoustic jazz ..... for me, to my ears, in my room, and within the context of my system, the Nagaoka MP-150 is a beautiful match for my Rega P3-24. I started with the Exact 2, but after the cantilever snapped off, I was forced to buy a new cartridge. The guys at Needle Doctor recommended the Nagaoka, and I am extremely happy with it. Please take a look at my system ..... The sound of music is sublime.
Thanks, I'd like to compare the AT 150 and the Nagaoka MP 150. The DV 10x5 is a moving coil and the phono stage might only support moving magnet.
A good tube phono stage probably costs $2000, so I will likely go with the Rega phono MM and replace it in 2-3 years with an Audio Note M2. My dealer has a used M1 but I hear that the smaller AN phono stages are underpowered.
PS I have more or less decided to get the Nagaoka mp-200.
I really like the sound of my system. Take a look at the footer link. It is more than $1000 for a new RP6.
Dynavector P-75 used, in the $400.00 range, would be a great place to start........and maybe finish:-)
Hi Fred .... I applaud your decision to go with the Nagaoka. It really matches quite well with the Rega arm, and it's a great pick-up for acoustic jazz, country, bluegrass and classical music. Please let us know how things work out. And a little piece of advice ..... once you're all set up and your system is singing its sweet songs ... forget about "all the stuff," and just sit back, relax, and enjoy the music ! Happy Listening.
Well said Adam18, you really have to sit back and enjoy the music, not the hype :-)
I played the Nagaoka MP200 on my P3/24 for almost a year. Beautiful sounding very nice for jazz IMO...It dosen't compare though to the dynamics, detail, energy, pace, timing, and synergy with the RB301 that the Exact or the Dynavector 10X5 have. The latter one being the better choice for less money. And Adam sometimes STUFF is good :-)
FABSOUND, The Dynavector 10X5 is a High output (4.0mv) MC that will work awesome with a MM phono stage.
Adam you spin a EXACT? so why are you telling him to get a $250.oo Nagaoka?
Correction Its a 2.5 mv Output which is still fine for 95% of MM phono stages.
Hey Matt ... I totally agree with your first 12/28 post. Yes, stuff is good ! I'm simply voicing my opinion that once "the stuff" is all set, then it's time to sit back and enjoy the music. In reply to your second 12/28 post, as you can see from the 8/12 entry on my system page, I'm now using the Nagaoka. I'm not implying the the Nagaoka is better or worse than any other pick-up ... I'm only saying that I am enjoying the Nagaoka as much as I enjoyed my original Exact, but for a lot less money.