Goldring 1042 or Rega Exact

I currently own a Rega Planar 3 turntable with a Rega Elys cartridge. It sounds okay, but my digital front end (CAL Delta transport and Musical Fidelity A324) kills it. I am thinking of changing the cartridge, and have pretty much narrowed it down to the Goldring 1042 or Rega Exact. I am leaning towards the Exact for obvious reasons (i.e., Rega, Rega) but have read good things about the 1042. Feedback from any 1042 or Exact owners is appreciated.

As a side question, I am thinking of purchasing one of these two cartridges from Hong Kong suppliers here on Audiogon. Their feedback is extremely positive. Has anybody had a bad experience with purchasing over seas that I should know about?

Thanks in advance for your input, and Happy Thanksgiving.

I own a G1042 & use it on my Origin Live Silver 250. It is an excellent cartridge that is very well suited to ALL REGA arms. I'm sure that you know that the OL Silver 250 is a major modification to the Rega 250 tonearm??
I'm sure that the Rega Exact is also a very fine match for your Rega tonearm but I can confidently tell you that the G1042 is also an equally fine match.
Smooth highs, rich midrange & plenty of bass slam. Sounds great right out of the box. Gets much better after about 50 hrs of play time - the highs get more extended. It is my personal opinion that the G1042 is one of the finest MM cartridges out there. Very well priced too.

BTW, you didn't mention which tonearm you are using? I just *assumed* you have a Rega tonearm! I might be wrong, of course.
Bombaywalla - thanks for the response. I have a Rega RB300 tonearm on my Planar 3. My Planar 3 is stock and about four years old.

I'm pretty certain that the G1042 is a very good match for the RB300. Maybe others who also have experience w/ this cart. reading this thread can also chime in.
Another suggestion for research is to go over to & search the vinyl asylum archives for G1042. Plenty of good stuff written on this cart. as it is very popular. Read the good & the bad on this as nothing is perfect. This MM does more rights than wrongs by a long shot in my books.
Your weak link is the turntable. Don't waste your money on a new cartridge. The glass and particle board TT's are touted as *audiophile* decks but when matched to a good digital rig they don't stand a chance. Main reason is their unacceptable speed/rotational stability, with vibration being a close second. Hear it in the attack and decay of percussion instruments. In your digital rig the attack will be fast, tight, well located in space and the decay wil be linear. In your Rega the attack will sound slow, blurry and the decay will waver. Get a CD & LP copy of something like Santana and listen to what I'm telling you...
Psychicanimal,you are correct when you say the weak link is the turntable,but there are ways around this.Firstly check the speed with a downloadable strobe from Extreme Phono's site.Planar 3's are usually 1-2% fast.To correct this, 2 equal spliced... length's of electrical tape wound around the rim of the sub-platter to widen it, cures this.Mine works fine.Experiment with the number of layers,testing with the strobe,and trim it.As regards a cartridge,both those MM's do not have a high enough frequency response.The Sumiko Blue Point Special or Denon 103 is ideal in this price range,if you can get a step-up or phono stage for MC.The Ortofon X5-MC is High Output MC and can be used in the existing stage.The platter can be easily replaced with an acrylic one,either bought off the web or you can have it machined cheaper.This table can go up against a $10,000 digital front-end when set-up right.stefanl
Stefan, such a light platter relying on AC speed regulation cannot counter static and dynamic stylus drag forces. Music will not sound right. Sorry...
I do use a form of mains power filtering I must admit, and have sat for some time with a stopwatch counting revolutions.My table deviates maybe, by about 3/10ths of a second per minute,perhaps with stylus drag it is right on the strobe looks absolutely rock-solid when I play a record.Rega believes 1-2% variation is ok.I hear more than about 1%??I saw somewhere the flywheel effect was the reason for the glass platter,but many companies market the acrylic version which is lighter, commercially,and I hear a better resolution from my machined acrylic one.Next week I will get a bigger one made to 14mm and play without a mat.A Conti of Bluenote Tables likes acrylic for its neutral character.There might be a trade-off but I think less resonance is better.VTA is all important.Stefanl

A. Conti of Bluenote 'tables????

AFAIK, AJ Conti is of Basis 'tables & Mauricio Azerini (spelling?) is of Bluenote 'tables.

BTW, I don't know that Basis made acrylic platters! None of them look like acrylic to me but I could be wrong!
That must be correct reference,sorry.It was off the top of my head from a thread I read on acrylic platters over at Vinyl Asylum, someone said that he had discussed the subject with Mr.Conti,who seemed to like the material.stefanl
While Psychicanimal is 100% correct, it's possible Mmowry may not have funds available for a TT at this time. If that's the case I can't imagine any TT, new or used, that would significantly better a P3 for the price of a G1042 or Exact.

His four year old cartridge may be due for replacement, depending on how many hours he has on it. If that's the case he should replace it before it starts damaging his vinyl. I have no experience with cartridges like these so I can't advise as well as you guys have.

If he's just seeking better sound and has only a few hundred to spend, upgrading his RB300 with a VTA collar, better wire, new end stub and new counterweight might give him more bang-for-buck than a different cartridge.
Dougdecan - Thanks for the response. Upgrading my turntable is not so much a funding issue as it is the fact that I have a wife. For the most part, I try to keep my audio purchases under the radar anymore (i.e., few hundred dollars here or there).

I was hoping to purchase a 1042 locally (although nobody seems to stock this cartridge in the Seattle area) and possibly purchase the Exact through Audiogon or Ebay. My Rega dealer suggested I purchase a Benz Micro Ace, but the cost of this cartridge is not under the radar. By the way, my Elys is about a year old. I previously was using a Sumiko Blue Point on my Rega.

I have also thought about doing the tone arm upgrades you suggested, but thought I would start with the cartridge. I also need to upgrade my phono stage at some point (Creek OHB-8SE).
You have no business having a wife in this hobby. Perhaps the "diamond for you, toy for me" approach is in order. :)