Help me improve Rega P2

Wondering about the most (cost) effective tweaks to improve my P2. Currently have a Goldring Elektra cartridge and feeds into a Creek OBH-8 phono stage and then into solid state preamp and amp. Speakers are Symphonic Line Legato. I would think that a new cartridge might provide biggest change but wonder what others would think. Considering the Rega Bias 2 or Elys 2 mostly for ease of installation and alignment as well as presumed synergy. Certainly I'm open to other suggestions. Other considerations would be a new sub-platter(the one from Argentina) or new mat. Should mention that I have the glass platter, white belt and thick felt mat. Don't really have a specific complaint about the current system except that I suspect it can sound better. Perhaps more full sound or better bass. Willing to spend up to $300 so not interested in suggestions to get a better TT.
Thanks in advance. Jim
There is not much you can do to improve the sound of your P2 for $300.00

Not a big fan of Rega carts but the general consensus indicates that the Elys 2 would be the way to go and yes, installation and alignment would be a breeze.

Maybe an Ortofon 2M Red/Bellari VP130 for about $350.00 would be an "upgrade" but then again, it may NOT be at all.

Big fan of DV P-75/DV 10x5 but it will bring the price to at least $800.00 for the combo.

Good luck :-)
When I had my P2, i saw the biggest improvement after doing the Incognito tonearm wire upgrade.

I don't know anything about an Argintinian sub platter, but I had great results with the one from groove tracer.
A cartridge will make the biggest single difference. Second the 2M Red or perhaps Blue; excellent values. Also worthwhile would be a good cartridge protractor and a large, strong bench magnifier. Pro-Ject makes a nice protractor that also has stroboscopic strips on the opposite side. Bench mags are available pretty much everywhere, but get one that is illuminated and has at least 5X magnification (not diopter) if possible.

Like Kiko, I'm also a Dynavector fan. A DV MR23RS in my Planar 2 kicked me into audiophile land. Worth every penny and then some. Something to strive for.

Good luck & happy listening!
"There is not much you can do to improve the sound of your P2 for $300.00"


JMG,Just change the bearing and sub platter system...This will make the table much quieter and will spin much more reliably. Lucky for you JMG, just go to and buy the sub platter upgrade for around $200-$250 and it comes with a new cubic zerconia ball bearing and sapphire thrust plate with steel spindle. Awesome upgrade. Your P2 has a great tone arm and your cartridge is good...the sub platter (plastic) and bearing are not (steel ball). This upgrade alone brings the table up a couple notches AND if you partner it with a good Isolation platform ( I use one from Mapleshade-$120.00) ,the P2 really shines. Once this is done you can think about changing cartridges.Happy upgrading!
The Electra is a bit of an underachiever so, as you suspect, a change of cartridge will be a big step up. There are very few bad cartridges left, and all of those mentioned, from Ortofon, Rega and Dynavector are easily recommendable.

We're it my money, I would pick up the excellent Nagaoka MP-150 off ebay.
Thanks so much for all of the replies. As usual, lots to think about.

With a non suspended table vibration is the evil enemy. My Rega P9 has made a solid improvement by replacing the stock feet with Foculpods. Everything is more relaxed and cleaner, for about $30 the risk is nil.
Try some different turntable mats.. I replaced my original felt mat with an Audioquest Sorbethane mat, this was back around 1991 and it was an immediate improvement.. I think the paper and cork mat from Ringmat... this is an audible improvement over the stock felt mat.
OK. Sell it and but a VPI
It will be improved

Seriously forget the tweaks and buy a new MC cartridge
Nice made some good choices. Like others and yourself have mentioned, the Goldie is the weakest link. I'm big Shure fan, so a vintage V series or the even the current 97 cart would be a nice upgrade. The 97 is on the mellow side so its not for every system. Sumiko blue point is also classic solid performer, as are Audio Technica, ortofon,etc. I am not familiar with Rega carts.
The best way to improve a Rega P2 is to:

1. Remove the power cord from the table.
2. Move the table top another location.
3. Move a VPI Classic 3 to the position originally taken by the Rega. Make sure VPI table is level.
4. Attempt to plug the power cord into the VPI. If it doesn't fit, use the VPI power cord.
5. Relocate the cartridge from the Rega to the VPI.
6. Enjoy the upgrade modification.

7. Optional: List the Rega P2 for sale with the thousands of Linn tables being discarded for the same reason.
Sounds like someone has not heard a top spec Linn LP12....

Neither the Rega, nor the VPI hold a candle to a top spec LP12.
Comparing a Rega P2 to a VPI Classic 3 is ludicrous!
If you choose to upgrade the cartridge keep in mind that you should consider how well the load capacitance the cartridge would see in your setup matches the cartridge manufacturer's recommended range of load capacitance. Your phono stage has a rather high input capacitance of 220 pf. I would guess that the phono cable and turntable wiring adds roughly another 200 pf or so to that, bringing the total to the vicinity of 400 or 450 pf or thereabouts.

While that will be a suitable match for many MM cartridges, it is too high to be sonically optimal with many others. Including the Ortofons that have been mentioned (for which the recommended load capacitance range is 150 to 300 pf), and the Shure M97XE (for which the recommended load capacitance range is 200 to 300 pf). And I would be cautious about choosing any cartridge for which the manufacturer doesn't provide a load capacitance recommendation.

The manufacturer's recommendation for your present cartridge, btw, is 150 to 400 pf, which is a wider range than is usually specified. Just speculating, but perhaps Goldring's standards in deriving that spec are not as stringent as those of some of the other manufacturers.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
@Ilik - That's the funniest post I've seen in years. LP12s are more colored than an art museum.
Look for a used BSR turntable. The model does not matter,
then update the cartridge from any model made by Radio
Shack. I guarantee the sound will be remembered. This will
set you back about $50 total
Jmg1949, for $300 I must agree that a better cartridge would be the best upgrade. I am sure you will find Als' post helpful. I would not spend much to improve the turntable proper until I felt the need to refurbish. I was born in 1949. Can’t help but believe allot of great “products” hit the marketplace in that year. Cheers!

Al, I knew when I sow your post here I was about to learn something. Given the roughly 200pF contribution of tonearm wire and cable, it might be possible that cartridge manufacturers take this into account when making preamp loading recommendations? I ask this because the Manufacture rec for the Blue Point No. 2 I own is 50-100pf. Just a thought induced by your post, as most do. Thanks.
Thanks, Mesch! I've seen numerous indications over the years that load capacitance recommendations for moving magnet cartridges are based on the total of all capacitances between the cartridge pins and the phono stage input (inclusive of the latter). Which would seem to make sense since the wiring capacitance can vary greatly depending on the particular cable type and its length. And if the turntable has a connector on the rear (which I believe the P2 does not have) it would of course be readily possible for the user to substitute cables and thereby vary the capacitance over a wide range. The 200 pf figure, btw, was just my rough guess in this particular situation, and substitution of a relatively short cable having particularly low capacitance per unit length (were that practical on the particular turntable) could easily cut that in half.

Also, I took a look at the brochure and the user manual for the Blue Point No. 2 at and I didn't see any load capacitance recommendation indicated. But I can't recall ever seeing a recommendation as low as 50 to 100 pf for any other cartridge. Also, the BP2 is of course an HOMC rather than a MM, and while I don't have a good feel for the sensitivity of typical HOMC's to load capacitance, I suspect it is likely to be dissimilar to that of MM's.

Best regards, and happy new year!
-- Al
Correction to my previous post: FWIW, I just noticed this somewhat ambiguous statement in the text of the manual for the Blue Point No. 2:
Note: If your receiver or pre-amp has capacitance loading capabilities, a Sumiko high output moving coil cartridges should be loaded with a value no higher than 200pf, and ideally below 100pf.
My guess is, again, that that refers to total capacitance including the wiring, but given the wording it's hard to say for sure.

Best regards,
-- Al
The DB Systems DB-6 phono capcitance kit is an inexpensive solution for those that believe that frequency response and capacitance are primary drivers of MM phono cartridge sound:

IMHO, much like calculations of primary tonearm resonance, capacitive loading of MM cartridges is of little use in practical terms. But we tend to focus on those things that we can measure, rather than those that we can't.
Thanks, Marty (Viridian). It should be noted, though, that the DB Systems kit, or any other similar kit, can only add capacitance, not reduce it.
But we tend to focus on those things that we can measure, rather than those that we can't.
True enough, in many cases. And I personally have never experimented with intentionally mismatching load capacitance of MM's relative to the manufacturer's recommendation, to see how much difference it would make. But I see it this way: Audio is a pursuit in which many people concern themselves with unexplainable, unpredictable, and often dubious minutiae, even in some cases to the extent of things like which way a fuse is oriented. Given that, why introduce an explainable, predictable, and known inaccuracy into the system, notwithstanding the possibility that it **might** be minor in degree, or perhaps even subjectively preferable? And if it should happen to be subjectively preferable, chances are it is compensating for a problem elsewhere, which ideally and hopefully should be found and fixed rather than compensated for.

Best regards,
-- Al
Al, happy New Year. You make some great points. I agree but have a somewhat different perspective.

Take the primary tonearm cartridge resonance. So much ink gets spilled on that one it's not even funny. That resonance, unless there is a severe mismatch, does not even fall within the audio band.

Secondary resonances within the moving system absolutely fall within the audio band. Just gently tap your tonearm with the cartridge in a non-moving groove to see. Those resonances are harder to measure, though Hi-Fi News used to do a good job of it. In the end they really don't get discussed and that's a shame since they are a far greater deteminant of the final sound that one is going to get.

I guess it all goes back to if the sound does not agree with the measurements, one is measuring the wrong thing.

I also don't subscribe to the concept of accuracy as it applies to audio gear. Oh yes, there are gross colorations, but the rest of it is so subjective. What is more accurate 2% second harmonic distortion or .5% seventh harmonic distortion? Some will argue that the later is the more accurate, but really who cares if the ear finds the seventh harmonic less consonant with the fabric of the music?

Far and away, I believe that measurements have taken the hobby in the wrong direction, particularly as they apply to amplification components. A good example is the harmonic distortion wars of the 70s where manufacturers ladeled on the negative feedback in ever greater attempts to reduce HD at the expense of all other paramters. It's a good case of the tail wagging the dog.

Loudspeakers, IMHO, are a different case. Where would we be without the work of Heyser and Toole at the NRC? Loudspeaker measurements seem to correlate fairly well with what we actually hear. Though there is certainly still room for art in the design of speakers.

But even there, the design of the acoustic suspension loudspeaker was the worst thing that ever happened to the reproduction of music in the home, even if it did make loudspeakers more domestically acceptable and thus brought music in the home to a wider audience. But it was pretty much the MP3 of its day.

I agree, in theory, with your statement about colorations, that it makes sense to find the root problem in the system rather than compensating for them elsewhere through complemenatary colorations. However, practically speaking, my experience is that we don't have the ability to go back and re-record the source material and most compensating colorations in audio gear are compensating for deficiencies in source material due to issues in the recording, and mastering, chain rather than other issues within the system.

A Denon dl 110 is a good upgrade. I've seen a Canadian retailer still selling them for 129. I would also look at the subplatter upgrade from well as the pully. That gets you under 300. Later on you can go with the tonearm rewire from brit audio.
Yes you can greatly improve that table by bypassing the factory feet. Put the table on 3 Cardas blocks, 3 same size cans you have in your pantry, etc.
Thanks Al for the response. I did not go back to the manual and went on recollection, which at my age is suspect. I am sure the ‘below 200pF’ is correct, not 100pF. Anyway, is seems logical that this low value rec would include that added by tonearm wire.
You will get large gains with the Mapleshade maple base and brass footers system ~ $115~$150. Money left over for rewire or mat
Thanks again for all of the responses. Picking a new cartridge is not nearly as straightforward as I would have thought. Capacitance matching certainly seems to throw a new wrinkle into this. More to think about.

Happy New Year to all.

I would call NeedleDoctor and ask what they recommend as matching the OBH. They sell several cartridges and phonostages.
Easy route...Hyper-elliptical stylus upgrade from Lp gear.
WOW! leave it up to you guys to make things COMPLICATED! This post has gotten way out of control, IMO. Upgrade the REGA P2 bearing and sub platter, and put a Ortofon 2M blue. Now your in vinyl bliss...REGA is all about being SIMPLE to use!
Matt, Rega may be all about being simple to use. But the unusually high input capacitance of the OP's phono stage makes the use of that phono stage not so simple, if one places any faith in the load capacitance recommendations provided by the cartridge manufacturers.

I doubt that any of us are in a position to characterize the degree to which sonics are likely to be affected by the capacitance mismatch which is almost certain to occur with the 2M Blue (to a greater or lesser degree depending on the unknown capacitance of the phono cable and turntable wiring). But as I said earlier, "why introduce an explainable, predictable, and known inaccuracy into the system, notwithstanding the possibility that it **might** be minor in degree, or perhaps even subjectively preferable?"

-- Al
Op has stated he has no real complaints with system...just "better sound"...and focused on the cart I don't feel the cap mismatch is a major issue in this circumstance...maybe in a higher end system...
Phasecorrect, the OP's present cartridge has a recommended load capacitance range of 150 to 400 pf. The 2M Blue that was suggested has a recommended load capacitance range of 150 to only 300 pf. My rough estimate of approximately how much load capacitance his equipment presents to whatever cartridge he uses was 400 to 450 pf.
... so I don't feel the cap mismatch is a major issue in this circumstance...maybe in a higher end system...
You may be right, or you may not be. I don't think any of us is in a position to say for sure. My point is why take a chance? There are lots of MM's and HOMC's out there for which the manufacturer recommends higher load capacitances than what is recommended for the 2M, as a perusal of the cartridge listings at and other sellers will show. The suggestion by Mesch to call them was a good one.

-- Al
2M Blue and Reference sub-plater will cost you $500.00 plus when you factor in s/h expenses. I still think that the 2M Red/Bellari is a much better option around $350.00 which comes closer to Jmg's budget.
Sound advice! pun intended...I was thinking more of his current set up...but if swap catridges who knows...back to my no brainer solution..upgrade the stylus... That will improve sonics with little monkey business
Why go through these expensive may be satisfied with the increased definition, cleaner lows, and midrange improvements by just putting the table on Cardas blocks.
Jim Hagerman has an interesting discussion of capacitance as well as some models and even a calculator here that some of you may find (ahem) enlightening:

Interesting that he refers to Grado cartridges as moving magnet, but I guess that's as close as one can get to moving iron.
Thanks Marty (Viridian). I happen to be very familiar with that paper. While it can often be useful and informative, it also oversimplifies and overlooks a number of things.

Relevant to what is being discussed here, it conveys the impression that what will be optimal for a MM is reduction of load capacitance to negligible levels. The rationale being that minimization of load capacitance, in addition to maximizing bandwidth, will eliminate what might otherwise be a resonant peak in frequency response falling within or affecting the audible range of frequencies. What that doesn't take into account, however, are the effects on frequency response of the mechanical characteristics of the cartridge. Specifically, as I understand it, for MM's elimination of that resonant peak will typically result in significant frequency response rolloff in the upper treble region. While if some amount of resonant peaking is allowed that rolloff will be "filled in" by the resonant peak.

At the same time, though, as he indicates too much capacitance can also cause premature rolloff, while also causing the resonant peak to be excessively large and to occur at frequencies that are excessively low. Therefore both too little capacitance and too much capacitance will, for MM's, result in uneven frequency response and/or premature rolloff in the treble region. Which is why the cartridge manufacturers provide, or at least should provide, a recommended RANGE of load capacitance.

Best regards,
-- Al
Al, I intentionally linked the Hagerman article without interpreting it as I felt that most readers would be discerning enough to know that spice simulations are very rough approximations of what is happening in the real world. And that they would be able to get a sense of how capacitive loading broadly effects frequency response and the inevitable HF resonance.

But now I too feel compelled to forward my, very different, interpretation of the simulations. You see my take is that flat response and maximal bandwidth are neither desirable, nor sonically consonant with the fabric of the music.

I pretty much think that any of those curves could be the preferred one in a given system and more importantly, with given source material, since that is where the violence is oft times done to the signal. So my advice to the OP is to use capacitive loading as the tone control that it is, or ignore it completely, rather than worry about flat response and maximal bandwidth.

Funny enough, Graham Slee slogs through the maths as well and comes to the conclusion that the effects of capacitive loading are sonically inconsequential:

Different perspectives all.
Thanks again for all of the thoughtful responses. At the risk of perpetuating a thread that seems to have taken on a life of it's own I'd like to be more specific about what's bothering me about my system. It's lack of solid bass. I don't have a test LP to give a precise frequency cut off but rather when compared to the same music on CD, Tidal or occaisonal high rez download. Also, my recall is that on my previous TT, an Ariston RD11s with Grace 707 and Shure cartridge, there was no shortage of low frequency info. Perhaps, looking back through rose colored glasses though. So in terms of improving bass performance, is one of the cartridges discussed above the way to go, or is this a more fundamental problem? I may end up getting a new phono stage in my Odyssey Tempest pre-amp in the next few months. I'm told this is the Symphonic Line stage with 150microfarad input capacitance.

Thanks, Jim
Not sure when you last listened to your old system... But bass...lack of or largely room /speaker dependent...also very recording dependent...I don't think the cart is the full culprit.
Well said Phasecorrect, too many factors and definitely NOT one culprit.
It's likely been over 10 years since my previous TT bit the dust. Certainly makes sense that multiple factors are responsible for good bass response. This is why I mentioned that when the same music is played from a digital source the bass is much more impressive with the same speakers, same amp, same room. Maybe it's the recordings. These are records I purchased in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Steve miller Band, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, CSN, the Band, etc. I don't own any of the remastered versions except American Beauty. Or was bass always kind of light in recordings back then. I don't rember it that way but it was quite a while ago. This will clearly be a trial and error process.
Thanks, Jim (oh and should have picofarad not micro in my previous response.
Sounds like you classic rock...never really bass deficient IMHO...but everybody has different ears...
What's your digital source?
Digital sources: My CD player is called Ah Tjoeb, which is a modded Marantz player I believe. Sold in the US through Upscale Audio. Also, stream Tidal via an old Macbook Pro then out through an Audioquest Dragonfly 2 to the preamp. Have downloaded a few files from HDTracks and playing via Audirvana but those files are pricey. I do like classic rock but actually own more classical records.
I'm not sure but there's probably the way to get acrylic platter instead of glass.
From my experience...Rega is known more for PRAT...than for ultra deep least at the P2 price point... But bass is highly subjective...what others might find bass might find adequate. And the other way around.
Phase, Btits tend to live in small rooms and are PRAT freaks
because deep base will just boom -boom them to death anyway.
Haha...all about the midrange