New Rega Planer 8 (P8) Turntable - Apheta 2 Cartridge Combo - Thoughts


Any Thought's on the "New" Rega Planer 8 (P8) Turntable - Apheta 2 Cartridge Combo

Any Rega owners / dealers / folks familiar with the table and/or brand have any thoughts / advise about this table / brand / combo? 

I am trying vinyl again... Tried it before without much luck. Table / cart / phono set up was too finicky for me and I wasn't able to get decent sound. I sold it all and am now giving it another try.

I also chose a Sutherland Duo phonostage to match with it.

Would love thoughts, advise, ideas or feedback. I have never owned a Rega product before. Going to set it up tonight but still waiting for my phonostage to be mailed to me. Would love some feedback. 

Thanks  

System info

Rega P8 Turntable / Apheta 2 Cart
Sutherland Duo Phonostage
Simaudio Moon Evolution P-8 Linestage
Pass Labs X250.8 Amp
Magico S5 Speakers (MK II's on order)




1528a8b5 9c9b 446d 85c5 0d31e7947394Ag insider logo xs@2xfsmithjack
Rega previous RP8 is on sale for $2000 Music Direct. $1000 off.               
This is with no cartridge.
What was the prior setup that was too finicky/tweaky for you (let me hazard a guess with VPI)? Either way, Regas have a reputation for being very clean plug & play platforms, so this seems like a solid choice. Your stereo setup is all such extremely high quality gear, and a new P8 could be a fine match for it - but certainly no lower, or it may risk turning you off vinyl again.

I think the new P8 happens to look really sweet. If you want to step it up from there, look at Clearaudio's Performance DC Wood and Ovation lines (stick with good rigid bearing gimbal arms like the Satisfy, Tracer, and Universal). And bear in mind that both of these brands require excellent isolation for their decks.
elizabeth
Thanks so much and yes I started out with the RP8 and came very close to getting one. They are offering great deals as you noticed.

I was thinking Rega all along because I wanted as simple as I could get setup wise but still wanted it to be good enough. I love my digital set up so I knew my vinyl needed to be decent enough. I have the Bricasti M1SE Dac and had the Bricasti M12 built in ethernet media player hard add installed at the factory into my dac so that was a huge bump in performance over USB.   

My Rega dealer offer me a great price on the New P8. It ended up only being a little more than a few hundred more for P8 so I said heck with it and went for the newer one. I know not all do but I liked the newer look a lot. Simple and cool looking IMO. 



mulveling

You hit it right on the head with the VPI guess.

I had actually tried vinyl a couple times and both times with decent but tough to set up units.

I under appreciated what it takes to get good sound out of these buggers. I know many say it is simple but I tried twice and struck out both times.

(1st time out)
was because I went with an odd and esoteric route. Not smart of me.

** VPI Prime with 
Haniwa Audio HCTR01 Cartridge and
HEQA01 Phono Equalizer 

These are $12,000 phono /cart combo set up. I paid $3500 for demo's so still not cheap but thought what the heck let's start with really good stuff. I just sold a couple amps and was playing with house money and took a shot. Yup - nice try... my fault :(

Needless to say the combo needed special IC's and special wires re-routed through the tonearm which I found out later. Sound was all rolled off and I just never could get it right. Got it better after trying a bunch of other cables but never worked right. Too bad because I am told this combo is great but that said my Bricasti digital blew it away and was so much better but only because I know I never got it right. I lost interest and sold / traded it all away to someone that could set it up and enjoy it because I didn't.

(2nd time out)
** VPI Aries 3D Special Edition (#47 of 100)
Mark Levinson No326s w/phono
Denon DL-S1 Cartridge

Same here. Sounded better but never right. I tried and tried and never got it right. I had an analogue guru. Super nice guy from agon felt bad for me and came over as he was local and he spent hours and re-mounted my cart and he decided the cart was bad and had to send back to dealer. 

Then month later tried another cart and that one had a problems also.

Bam, done and I jettisoned that system also. I really liked this system and kept the ML pre for a while because it was a great linestage also but the Simaudio P-8 is much better so i'm happy there :)

Well I thought, darn I spent a lot and bought a bunch of new records and really wanted a record player so though lets get a Rega table and a Rega cart and did my homework and found a great deal.

Then went looking for a good phonostage.

The Sutherland phonostage takes two IEC power cords so I made sure I got really good stuff for it also. I got (2) Audience AU24se Power Cables and a pair or RCA IC's that are Audioquest Fire. These are the power cables and the IC's the guy who sold me the phonostage was using and he offered me a great deal on the package.

I had such bad experiences in the past with phonostage IC's and the like that I wanted to get something I knew would work plus the seller totally hooked me up. He sold them all to me for less then they are worth because I bought it all together so I can't complain at all.

I could list them all for resale and make $1,000 but I have no interest in that I just want to play some records and my hope is they will sound as good - different then my digital.

I am hoping it sounds good enough to make me want to buy and get more records and enjoy this part of the hobby like so many of you guys do .That is hope. 

Sorry for the long response but wanted to answer your questions :) 

I went through similar problems with my Prime and lost interest in vinyl for a while.  My wife kept questioning me as to why I wasn't playing records when I spent so much on the Prime and accessories.  Took me a year to make a decision to move on to another turntable without the fiddly unipivot arm.  Very happy now.
Wow @fsmithjack ! Wonderful detail. The Aries 3 was actually one VPI table I really liked the look of, and had strongly considered for a time. But I wouldn’t have gotten a VPI arm mounted onto it. I feel that such unipivots are not a good starter arms - and I wouldn’t want anything to do with one even today. The Graham Phantom "unipivot" is an exception to this (it sets up like an absolute dream), but it’s really much more of a refined hybrid than a true unipivot.

I think the P8 is a good idea...I’m excited and hopeful you can come into the "vinyl first" (or at least 50/50) fold with us, from that model. The only issue is that if you stray from Rega cartridges you’ll possibly need to get shims/spacers to roughly adjust for VTA/SRA - but I don’t think that’s an insurmountable issue. I think the plug & play Rega cart bundled with the P8 is a good start, to see where your chips lie on this go-round. Phono stage choice looks solid, too, though I’m definitely a fan of tubed MM stage plus SUT. At this level a good solid-state MM/MC stage will give you best flexibility and low noise floor plus good resistive & capacitative loading adjustments to match your chosen cartridge.

AQ Fire cables - man, those are wonderful sounding cables! I sold off a couple pairs of those, and miss them. Happy new year, and fingers crossed for ya!

stereo5

Thanks for that glad I am not the only vinyl newbie not to struggle with getting set up with a new VPI table. What table/cart/phono did you end up going with?
mulveling
Thanks for all this great information. I really appreciate it. I read about those Graham arms. Those are amazing. I know what you mean about the tubed MM/SUT set up as I came really close to getting a Allnic 1201.

I had it down to that Allnic 1201. and the Sutherland Duo. I just could not believe the write ups on the Duo.

The main reason I bought the Sutherland honestly was because I met the nicest person I have ever dealt with for anything. I just knew I was dealing with a very kind and honest person and this was before I even knew his name. It was right before Christmas and come to find out his day job is a priest.

He hooked me up with the Sutherland Duo, Audioquest Fire RCA IC and 3 Audience AU24 se cables for such an amazing price. 

Here is all the info if anyone is interested. He will hook you up. Sold me gear for wholesale / dealer cost prices and way less than private sale prices so never mind dealer prices. 
http://sonarecoeli.com/

I know what you mean about the Rega and switching carts and maybe needing shims and all that. I want to avoid all of that at all cost. 

My dealer will give me 30% off discount on the Rega Aphelion. It is the only Rega update I can make. 

Do you think it is worth me to start saving for. I don't know enough about vinyl and want to learn more and get the best system I can for reasonable to use and money. The one review says the P8 table draws more from the cart than the RP10 and that is why they are re-doing the 10. Thanks so much for the help.


https://www.musicdirect.com/phono-cartridges/rega-aphelion-mc-phono-cartridge?gclid=Cj0KCQiAvKzhBRC1...



 

@fsmithjack, may I ask how many LP's you own? I ask because if you gave up on a table/arm/cartridge (twice), I'm guessing not many. Is acquiring a large LP collection an ambition of yours? An LP player and an LP collection go hand-in-hand.

You will need not just a good LP player, but a good record cleaner (at least a vacuum system, if not an ultrasonic), a willingness to clean the stylus between LP sides, and use of an LP cleaning brush of some type with every play (for dust removal). The LP is a demanding mistress! And not cheap; new LP's are almost always twice the price of the same album on CD. Going with LP's takes dedication, and attention to detail. A Vinyl Flat is also a good idea; many used LP's (a great source of a lot of music) have become warped from poor storage by ignorant former owners (not to mention their grooves damaged by poor handling and a cheap player) , and a fair percentage of new LP's are poorly manufactured. Be prepared to have to return LP's for non-defective copies.

Those who grew up with the LP as the only serious source of music learned the LP ropes little-by-little, the knowledge, collection, and player growing together. Learning about LP's (including different pressings of the same album) is fun and rewarding, but not carefree. If you want your third stab to be more satisfying than the first two, be prepared to put some serious effort into it.

A hi-fi retailer who is expert at LP player set-up is an excellent option. Where do you live? Even if you're not in Southern California, Brian Berdan at Audio Elements in Pasadena is as good as they come. I would give him a call and see if he can help you. He sells excellent gear, and is a world-class set-up man.

bdp24

Thanks so much for this great information. As far as my LP collection is quite small. I only have about 20 brand new MOFI albums and another dozen or so older but never used ones.

To put it in perspective I have about 60,000 tracks of pristine, immaculate quality digital and I have been honing my digital system with vibration /  Isolation / cable / tech / power supplies for years and have got it to travel to a very good place. 

The reason I know my last 2 tries at vinyl were wrong were because they sounded terrible.

Perspective, I have a $50.00 USB to RCA HRT Music streamer DAC that I used to use for my laptop and cheap desk top speakers. It is an impressive little bugger. Sort of like the Audioquest Dragon Fly which is a great little performing under $100 laptop dac. 

When I plugged this in both times it sounded much better than the $20,000 analogue front ends. One had cable and impedance  matching problems and the other broken cart problems so not fair to blame the rigs but wanted to show my main choice for a Rega table/cart choice this time around. 

I was planning on getting a record cleaner and am glad you jumped in with this great advice. Please let me know what you guys think I should get to get started.

So do I clean the Stylus after record side? I did not know that?

Can you please tell what brush to get to do this and how often I should do it.

Also how about the records. What brush should I get and should I do before each listen? Do i need gloves to do this so i don't touch the records?

I bought a Mobil Fidelity record cleaning brush. Is this one ok or should I get something else?

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_406MFLPB/Mobile-Fidelity-Record-Cleaning-Brush.html?awkw=566345858099&...

Please if you can tell me what Stylus brush and what record brush and how often and maybe some other things I need but have no clue about. This is the type of info I need to know and so appreciate this.

Thanks 
Also, this will show how much of a newbie i really am but what do i do about a record clamp?

One doesn't come with the P8. I own a 2.75 pound stainless steel one but don't want to use that.

Can you guys tell me what i should do for a record clamp and how come the P8 doesn't come with one?

They also don't come with a digital stylus force weigh gauge with like VPI. I ordered one - should i use it? Yes I am a newbie but i learn quick. Thanks for the time. 
I think you should not buy a turntable and sell the few records you own.


jperry

Yeah that's great buddy thanks for your great advice.

I know I am a newbie to vinyl and I guess should expect those kind of shots when I put myself out there asking for help like this but whatever.

I will push through and get my head around it and see if this vinyl thing is legit or not.

One my 2nd try I had this super nice person come over to my house and spend 4 hours trying to get my system right. He would not take a penny so I could not ask him to come back. I even offered him a $700 power cable for his time but he was too nice and would not accept.

People like him is why I am asking for some with some idea's on here.  






@fsmithjack Hey Frank,

It's good to see all your positive energy! I recall the same from some of your threads when you were working on your digital setup.

@bdp24 makes some great points, before investing more, just be sure you are truly excited about the hobbyist ritualistic aspects of getting good sound from vinyl. The way I look at it, it's more fun cleaning records than editing my metadata and backing up files, but just as important. 

I've got two strong suggestions for you:

1) Please don't spend $5k on a Rega cartridge! Especially any time soon. I would argue don't think about making ANY changes in gear until you have mastered a cleaning regimen, resolved any setup issues(e.g. grounding, hum, cartridge setup), learned about adjusting arm height for VTA to get the best from each LP. Don't sell what you have until you're confident you know what you already own is capable of. When you do consider a cartridge upgrade, few would suggest that particular item as being your best option at that price point.

2) Record cleaning is vital, full of widely varying suggestions. Many come from those who speak from ignorance, having not tried the most effective methods, happy to say "this works fine, my records look clean". Don't settle because SOTA results don't have to cost more than many spend on conventional vacuum machine solutions. Ultrasonic cleaning is a true game changer. Please read this article and thread and follow it's advice as your budget and preferences for manual/auto allow. 
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/rushton-s-diy-approach-to-ultrasonic-record-cleaning-publishe...
It will make a huge difference, even on new records, which often have crap in the grooves deposited during manufacturing. Clicks and pops are the result of dirty records and static. A great cleaning regimen, placing the newly cleaned LPs in a MOFI or similar sleeve, and a Zero-stat gun will eliminate the vast majority of clicks and pops and make a huge step towards enjoying your new rig or any that you try down the road. Cheers,
Spencer 

A record clamp is usually not used with Rega turntables Though if an old used record (not the op's!) are dish warped.. On a Rega they WILL almost stop turning... Then I use the weight from my Kuzma to hold down the LP. (So it turns with the platter properly) But otherwise no clamp.                             
The op also states : on the Rega Aphelion. It is the only Rega update I can make.  You can use ANY (compatible) cartridge. The Rega carts have three mounting points. others have two. The normal situation is two, You CAN mount a two point mount cartridge on a Rega. I use a Benz Glider.                        
Handle the record by the edges. IT can take a bit of practice to lift a record off a moving platter and flip it over and put back... Without dropping it, or touching the grooves. but to old LP users it is second nature.

sbank

Hey Spencer!
Thanks so much! Great info. I am going to read it all and follow this advice now and get a good record cleaner and some nice sleeves and do it the right way. Thank you

No I am not going to get the $5000 Rega cart anytime soon. My point was more that they offer no other ones to upgrade from between what I have. I got a really good deal in the P8 / Apheta 2 combo and an even better deal on my Sutherland Engineering Duo phonostage so I am excited about trying to get this right.

My hope for now is get it sounding good enough that I enjoy and want to listen more and then work on picking up 2 or 3 new records a week and see where it goes.

I have read about cleaning. I would like to start with something in the $500ish range if that is possible and go from there. Is that too low and those are junk or are they ok? I will also get the fluids if they don't come with it and some sleeves. 

So basically you wash the record then play it. Make sure it is dry of course.

Is there a stylus cleaner you recommend. I see there are those little brushes that you need to make sure you only rub the way the records goes. Then I saw those ones that you just drop the needle on and move a little and drop back down that the crud sticks too? What one of these do you recommend? 
Thanks   
elizabeth
Thanks Elizabeth, I was like oh no they forgot to pack the record clamp and stylus force gauge. Being a former VPI owner I thought all turntables had these things. Thanks for the info. 

I own one of these below in the link.

If at some point down the road I had a warped record I should try it or is it too heavy? I use it as a component wight as it is 2.75 pounds but its really just a heavy record wight? Thanks 

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/turntables-aluminati-stainless-record-weight-2017-07-29-analog?sho...



jperry
1,344 posts
01-01-2019 9:13am
I think you should not buy a turntable and sell the few records you own.

Posts like this is why this is a pretty lousy forum and why audiophiles come off as dorks.
@mcgowdog,

Take a look at the OPs experience. I do not think he will be happy with the Rega he selected, just has he has not been happy with either of his other turntables. If I were him I would not bother with vinyl, just like I don't bother with digital.

Dorks like you make it a stupid forum, when you criticize with no understanding.
smithjack OP
"Yeah that’s great buddy thanks for your great advice."

You are welcome. If I were you I wouldn’t bother. My honest opinion. You have a very nice system with a great digital front end. I don't think you will be happy with the Rega you selected as it will not better your digital front end. Your choice of course.

Don't ask for opinions on forums if you only want favorable opinions on your choices.

I hope it works out for you.
The point is records are a bit difficult. Endless numbers of music enthusiasts abandoned LP playback the moment CD came along!   
I own thousands of LPs... three turntables, Five phono boxes.. And usually play a few LPs once or twice a month.  Normally I am playing CDs eight hours a day... Every day.All these years I have never owned a record cleaning machine. I vacuum them off (yes a vacuum cleaner!) And wash them in the sink too if they are really dirty. I buy 90% used records..  No problem. 
I like LPs.. just not exclusively, nor better than CD.

jperry


I just wrote a really nice response to your post and when I submitted it froze and didn't go through. So very annoying.

Yes I hope it sounds ok but if not I don't care I will just dump it and get something else. I have owned so many different amps and preamps and speakers and cables its all good. I try if I don't like them I just get something else.

I think I need to get a record cleaner next .Anyone you guys recommend?

Wally has a new Okkie Nokki RCM with clear cover he will sell me for $470 shipped. Are these any good? Should I get this one?
Thanks 


I would go with a kirmuss. Ultrasonic  is where it’s at 
@fsmithjack Frank,
Read the article I posted earlier in the thread. There is your recommendation for record cleaning machine, the chemicals to use with it and links as to where to get them. Yes, you can get the whole deal like I did for about $500. This will far outperform the Nitty Gritty, Okki Nokki, the VPI 16.5(I used to own one and used it for years before discovering ultrasonic cleaning). This approach will get you 95% of the performance of the Kirmuss, the Audio Desk or the other four-figure machines. You save because you have to put a bit more effort into the cleaning process...like cooking a meal from scratch vs. popping restaurant takeout into the microwave and pushing a button. Cheers,
Spencer
A used VPI Classic blows away the RP8 at a similar price.  The rest of your system deserves a much better table than a rega.  The VPI fits that.  And if you can find a used VPI Aries, that would also be a great option.  

Just in full disclosure and to save others from taking up the flag against me, I am a known harsh critic of rega tables and can find no redeeming competitive qualities that other lower-priced tables don't have in more abundance.  I have owned a rega table and, as the saying goes, burn me once, shame on....  etc.

And as far as Sutherland Duo, it's an OK phono stage.  But why spend more on the Duo when a Herron VTPH-2a significantly outperforms it at a slightly lower price and provides much greater cartridge and loading flexibility.
bpolett
If you look at my virtual system you will see a bunch of pictures of a Brand New VPI Prime and a VPI Aries 3D Special Edition (#47 of 100). Dumped them both and moved on.

That said it wasn’t either of the tables fault. I had a real esoteric Haniwa cart that needed a 0.8 ohm setting for phono and that caused cable and phonostage issues so I dumped it.

The Aries 3D I had 2 bad carts in a row so I dumped that one also. I heard a Rega P6 w/Apheta 1 and thought it was great and better than the VPI’s. We all like different things I guess.

Also, I wanted a Herron VTPH-2a phono but there are none used and a decent wait for a new one. I got an amazing deal in my set up.

I bought my Sutherland Duo, 2 Audience Au24se 1.0M AC cables (it takes 2 ac cables) and Audioquest Fire RCA 1.0M Interconnect, Audioquest Niagara 1000 Conditioner and matching Audioquest Tornado 1.0M AC cable all for right around the price of a new Herron VTPH-2a .

The Audioquest Fire all by itself is a $3,000 cable.

Not sure I will like the AQ 1000 but we shall see. Might just use if for my phonostage. Plugging into the wall destroys every conditioner on the planet, Trust me when I tell you I did well with this set up. The loss or gain in audio is not in the sale its in the buy. That said I wanted a Rega. If I like it I will get the better Rega cart and then upgrade to the new P10 when it comes out. I like Rega, Granted I have never owned one before so we shall see. Maybe I won’t like it but I hope I do.

My buddy owns the Herron VTPH-2a and he said it is fantastic. It is a great preamp but he also said it is overrated. He loves it but he has others he loves also but he said all the fan boys of this pre is over the top.

It is a really good phono but nothing is that good. His words. I am sure I will try one at some point. I have seen them around $2200 to $2600 used so if I like my Rega I will take a stab at a used one if one pops up.

I mean if you buy one of these used I am sure you will get all your money back so its free to try because they are so well liked. I will def grab one down to road to see what everyone loves so much about it.

I gave up on tube line stages long ago but he said this phono is nothing like those tube lines so i would like to try one. I hate the bobble head VPI arm but to be fair they did fix that with their new double mod.
Congratulations on your RP8/Apheta 2 purchase.  I own the RP10 with the Apheta 2 and like it.  Originally, I purchased the RP6 with the Exact 2 cartridge and did not like that at all.  Ultimately, I bought a NOS Apheta for the RP6 and it sounds much better.

The Rega is easy to set up; just make sure the surface is level.  You just need a small level (left to right and then front to back).  The Rega has 3 adjustable feet that willl allow you to get the level correct.

While I like the Apheta 2, it is very particular when it comes to how much weight goes from the stylus to the record, and you can't rely on Rega's guide on the tonearm.  I bought an inexpensive stylus pressure gauge (scale), and run the Apheta2 right at 1.75 grams.  It sound very nice there.  Too much or too little weight will make the cartridge sound terrible, though.

I found a ClearAudio Smart Matrix Pro record cleaning machine for $750 on Audiogon, and have been very happy with that purchase.  I think it's among the best of the non cavitation record cleaning machines.  It lists for $1,600, but I have seen them generally under $1,000 on Audiogon.  So, I would increase your planned spending to get the ClearAudio.

When you install the Rega, make sure you put the power supply away from the table itself.  I run mine on the next lower shelf, about 2 feet from the table and it works fine.

During these dry winter months, be really careful for static electricity with the Rega-- make sure you mute your preamp before you mess with the tonearm.  I got a big blue spark on my old unit before figuring that out.

Lots of people don't like Rega's and I can't figure out why.  Mike Fremer from Sterophile gives the Rp8 or Rp10 an A or A- rating and says it does a good job on classical music, but less so on rock.  I tend to agree with that assessment, but I listen to classical on my turntable and rock on the CD player anyway.

Hope this is helpful.

sbank

Hey Spencer,
I read your awesome article. Amazing stuff really. When my collection grows and I finally crack this vinyl nut I am going to give this a try.
Thank you 
liamowen

Thanks so much for the info. That is great to know about the weight gauge. I bought one myself because I thought I would need one. I will get a level. I actually don't have one. Great idea.

I have a nice 19 x 15 x 3 inch thick maple block I will put under the Rega. I read they like a study base and though this would help. 

Great idea on muting the phonostage to watch out of static. Thanks 

There is a Kirmuss Audio KA-RC-1 BRAND NEW for $825

Kind of crazy to spend that when I have so few records but I am lazy and want to do as little manual labor as possible...lol

All the guys are saying I need to clean record every time I listen and ever brand new records so I guess I should get this one?

Do you folks agree?


Also,
Any particular stylis cleaning brush you guys recommend? Might as well gear up and go at this the right way. 

bpolett

Also, my table is the P8 and not the RP8? I don't if they sound that much different but the reviews say they do so wanted to add that. 

@fsmithjack, The Last Factory makes a couple of good stylus products; Last System Formula 4 Stylus Cleaner, and System Formula 5 Stylus Treatment.

Audiophiles have discovered an unlikely product for cleaning styli, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Do an Audiogon search to read all about it.

For the wet cleaning and vacuum drying of LP’s, there are a number of good options for around $500. The VPI 16.5 is the long-time standard (though it is now priced at $650, I believe), but it now has completion from similar models by Okki Nokki, Pro-Ject, and SOTA. As Spencer said, a DIY ultrasonic cleaner can be assemble for about the same price, but it will take some reading on your part. For $199 you can get the Record Doctor (a budget version of the Nitty Gritty-style cleaner) from The Audio Advisor.

One product you will need is a good tracking force gauge. The Riverstone Audio Precision Electronic one is available on Amazon for around $29 (free shipping). Also on Amazon for $20 is the new Audioquest Anti-Static Record Brush.

If you do your own cartridge alignment you will need an alignment protractor, and if your arm allows for azimuth adjustment there are products for optimizing that parameter. Discussions on all these products and topics can be found via a search on the Audiogon Forum.

A bit of advice if you are going forward, some of which is already in this thread.

1. Read the thread on using Magic Eraser as a stylus cleaner. You need Magic Eraser, a soft brush, and IMO a magnifier so you can see if it is clean. I use a 60x available for about $10 on Amazon or eBay. I usually dip in the ME a couple of times, then brush back to front.
2. If you only buy new records you just need an ultrasonic cleaner, but if you buy used records you also need a cleaner that will get fingerprints and dirt off like a VPI, project, etc. I would buy a used VPI to start, as you can resell it later at par if you bail on records.
3. Have the dealer mount your cartridge and set up your turntable.
4. You will need a stylus force gauge to double check occasionally.
5. Get a record brush to clean surface dust. Project has an inexpensive one that works fine.
6. Sit back and listen to an entire album side.
7. Don’t get too OCD and enjoy the music. It will sound different than your digital system and that is OK.

Great info and thank you all you guys for the great information.

I am so much better informed today than I was a week ago.
Thank you

My phono stage isn't going to land via FedEx untill Monday :(

In the mean time I hope to come up with both a record and stylus cleaner solutions. 

Normally, I would go and spend the $850  and get the Kirmuss Ultrasonic unit but that I think should a unit to buy a bit further down the road. You guys agree?

My records are all new so was thinking I might go with a starter solution and get me sea legs and put the funds into more records.

What do you guys think of these items? It seems like a good newbie starter pack? Any adds or deducts. 

- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Mobile Fidelity Record Brush
- Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab LP#9 Stylus Cleaner (brush and cleaner)
- MOBILE FIDELITY - Record Inner Sleeves (50Pk)
- Record Doctor V - Record Cleaning Machine 


Note:

I have offers for these New Unused in Box

- Music Hall WCS-3 Record Cleaning Machine $400
- OKKI NOKKI RCM MKII w/Clear Cover $469 shipped
- Kirmuss Audio KA-RC-1 Ultrasonic - Open Box - Unused for $725 + Shipping 

Would you get one of these instead?

Thanks    

 
Post removed 
You don’t need the lp#9 if you use Magic Eraser.

you do need a stylus force gauge, a soft brush, and a magnifier to inspect the stylus.
Oh yes thank you, I forget to mention right before Christmas I ordered a:

Audio Additives - Digital Stylus Force Gauge

I read this is a decent one. It was like $80 on sale for $50 but they said its a decent one for the money so I grabbed that. 

Great idea on the Magnifier. I will order one tonight. Any idea on a good ones you like? I am sure there are a zillion of them so thought to ask.

How about the soft brush? I ordered a Mobile Fidelity Record Brush but I think you may mean a different kind? I will order this tonight also.

Thanks again.

I am keep considering the Okkie Nokki still?    
The brush is just a soft makeup or artist brush to remove any loose dust and debris from the bottom of your cartridge and cantilever.

if you go to amazon and type in “loupe” or “60x magnifier” you will see some choices that work.

good luck and have fun

I would not get the Kirmuss. It operates at only 35kHz, too low a frequency imo. The bubbles produced are too large, and the force behind them too violent, not "gentle" enough. This is new information and opinion, which some may dismiss. Not I!

Some of the arguments Kirmuss makes for the design of their ultrasonic cleaner are outright false, others merely questionable/debatable. I’m planning on getting a tank that operates at 80kHz, a good compromise frequency; some of them operate as high as 120kHz. I would not get one operating at less than 60k.

For a vacuum cleaner, the Okki Nokki is a good choice, the Pro-Ject perhaps even a little better (all parts are metal). The Record Doctor is okay, but the Nitty Gritty (which the RD is a copy of) I had took a lot of revolutions to remove the cleaning solution (my VPI HW-17F does so in only one, sometimes two, revolutions), and even then left some drops around the perimeter of the LP. Also, I prefer to have a platter upon which deep cleaning of used LP’s can be better performed.

If you can find an expert turntable/arm/cartridge set-up man locally, I would take jperry’s advice and have him do it. Make sure he has the training and equipment to do it correctly and completely. Brian Berdan at Audio Elements was trained by the best there has ever been (ARC’s Bill Johnson paid him to do his), his late father Brooks. When you buy a player from Brian, its’ set-up is included in the price. He even runs in the cartridge, after which he again does the entire set-up (the cartridge suspension changes during break-in, which effects everything). That’s how an expert does it. Not only alignment, tracking force, and, if your arm provides for it, azimuth, but adjusting for minimum distortion, maximum channel separation, minimal crosstalk, etc., all observed via a computer program. I would give Brian a call.

fsmithjack-

been following this thread, curious of the outcome.

I'm envious of your position to acquire whatever is suggested to you. Haven't read a thread of someone going thru gear most would be satisfied with.

Have you heard a table system that's equal or better to your digital setup?

Something seems odd here...expectations maybe?


- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Mobile Fidelity Record Brush
- MOBILE FIDELITY - Record Inner Sleeves (50Pk)
- Record Doctor V - Record Cleaning Machine

Go cheap or used on the record cleaning machine as you suggested, then go for the DIY ultrasonic & Vinyl Stack when you get more LPs.

Magic Eraser is the bomb! Just be sure to lower the stylus into it. Don't hold it in your hand and scrape the stylus like you would with a brush. For convenience and safety cut a piece of Magic Eraser and affix it to a quarter. Store it in a box or ziplock bag to keep dust off it. Cheers,
Spencer

tablejockey


Thanks for the input. I understand what you are saying but there is more to the story with the other VPI gear I had earlier and why I moved on from them.

It wasn't really the table's fault vs problems I had with them and my wanting to flip those units for other gear rather than pushing through and sticking with them.

In one case I decided I wanted to re-cable my system and with the other I fell in love with idea of upgrading my speakers to the newer released model. Don't we all...lol 

In one case I had chose a really tough cart for a newbie to work with and the other i had a couple bad back to back carts. 

In both cases I bought the gear used and/or demo and moved them for the money I had into them and applied the money to other parts of my rig..

The cool part about this hobby for me is about 80% to 85% of my system purchases are all based on money I spent back in 2008/2009. I spent a good chunk back then when things were going pretty good and since then have kept my system fresh and evolving and keeping it current. 

You know buy an amp for $7000 but not by stroking a check for $7000 but by flipping a preamp for $4,200, a cart for $600 and a pair of cables for $1,400 and I end up stroking a check for $800 and get a $7000 amp. Take this example by most all of my audio purchases and you get the picture.

In both my table purchases and sales I had my beloved Bricasti M1SE that I love to fall back on and was happy dedicating my time with it as I am not sure there is anything better including vinyl.

Down the road if I am not crazy about the Rega I could certainly see myself taking this Rega P8 / Apheta 2 cart / Sutherland Due Phono / Audioquest 1000 / Audioquest Fire IC's / (2) Audience Au24se AC Cables and Audioquest Tornado AC Cable and putting all those sales together with my Pass Labs X250.8 amp and picking up a gently used $20,000 Vitus amp or such type of thing and then stroking a check of my actual money for about $800 or so as all of the above purchases are direct decedents at about 85% to 90% of what I spend back in 2008/2009. 

The key is to buy stuff that most people like and is semi reasonable. Nothing real esoteric and obscure so if the need or more likely I have the urge to move to something else then I am in a pretty good shape as far as having a decent liquid-able audio position so to speak.

You can see my feedback. I have flipped a decent amount of gear but always for good fair and on the low side price and I make a point to provide the highest quality service to my fellow a-philes. I believe in that. I try to buy right so I can sell right and I have made a lot of friends doing it like this. People appreciate a good price on a great item and a pleasant and professional transaction with friendly service and great communication. When someone buys an item from me I want them to enjoy the piece and the process.   

The loss of money is in the buy not the sell. You are buying it so you know what it will sell for. I try to be smart when possible and buy brands that is good stuff that I like and other people do as well. Brands like VPI, Rega, Magico, Bricasti, Pass Labs, Simaudio, Audioquest, Kubala-Sosna and that type of thing. 

I always put my audio sales back into my rig and I sometimes I sell a bunch of stuff and squirrel it away in my PayPal account for larger purchases. 

The other part of it is to not keep something too long where it drops in value too far.

See this is where Bricasti is amazing. If you bought a DAC from Brian back in 2013 then you just need to make sure to send it back to him every couple years for the very cheap cost of upgrades then you will have the same DAC as someone that buy it in 2018. How many other digital companies do that. 

It is the only component I don't need to worry about refreshing. I can just send into Brian and for about $500 bucks and it is the most current version. Everything else has a much shorter shelf life. 

Pass Labs before the .5 drops like a stone in a lake or Simaudio before the Evolution or Magico back before the switch from wood to metal and that type thing. Have to stay in front of those type of drops or the drop in value hit will hurt my ability to keep my system fresh while still maximizing my 2008/2009 spend.

All this said if I love something I am not afraid to stick with an older item either if it sounds great and I love it.

Case and point. My Simaudio Moon Evolution P-8 preamp. This was last a Stereophile Class A in 2012 and there is newer replacement current model but it is brilliant. I love it. It is better than my past ARC REF 5SE or Pass Labs XP30 so it is staying. Well for now that is..lol 

Sorry for the long winded response but just wanted you and the other readers to know I am not some zillionionier stroking checks all over the place for audio gear but rather someone that loves the hobby and actually is a pretty disciplined a-phile that approaches it in a way that may look like I am spending all this money with all this gear when really I am just recycling the money I put into my rig a decade ago with thoughtful and earnest buys.

This approach gives me the freedom to move on quickly without a financial penalty because I have taking the time to look at things pretty closely and I enjoy the process and really enjoy trying the gear and because I could never afford to actually just go out buy and pay for all this gear.

Each time I get a new piece it is like being a kid at Christmas except rather than Santa Claus it is the FedEx or UPS truck driver. My daughter is funny. "Dad the FedEx is here" because she knows how psyched I am to get it.   

My dumping those other VPI tables had nothing really to do with them or how they sound or digital vs analogue and more to do with my fluid approach to system building and rebuilding. 

I hope this makes sense and isn't just a bunch of mumbling. 

Thanks 



 
sbank
Thanks and I agree.

A brand new in box Okkie Nokki MKII for $450 shipped with optional clear top for it or Music Hall WCS-2 for $430 shipped.

See here is my point. I think at these prices if I later want to get the better ultrasonic what do I lose? Maybe $50 or $100 bucks?

That is why I am thinking about one of these guys because I definitely am lazy..lol. 

Plus I know I don't want to buy one that has been used because that seems kind of gross but maybe that is just me or not? It is just records so maybe not?? Thought would people buy one of these used?
I have had my P8/Apheta2 for two weeks and so far I am impressed.  The ergonomics are fantastic.  The sound is fresh, detailed and believable.  Still early on for sure though.  Tracking at 1.77 which I think is a little better than 2.1 (adjusted down once I broke out my digital tracking force gauge - 2.1 was based on arm tracking setting).  In function it is dead quiet.  No motor noise.  There is not a grounding wire and based on my experience thus far is does just fine without one.

I have it on an HRS platform which I think is helpful and running it through Ray Samuel's F117 Nighthawk phonostage which is also new to me and for its diminutive size really has some nice presence (comparison with Music Fidelity X-LP: it smokes the MF on detail, background blackness, and soundstage and is just plain better, which is not at all surprising.)  At its price, I think the F117 represent great value.

I love the simplicity of the Rega and the attention to design and manufacturing detail.  Even the tonearm holder/retainer has a set halfway preset which allows a quick half flip to secure/unsecure the arm while changing sides.  Sounds simple enough but I have not seen that before and think it is fairly brilliant.  Other Regas may have the same thing - never checked.

My previous TT was a Michell Gyrodec SE which was awesome in its own right but too busy in setup and use for me compared to the Rega.  I think the music is more solid through the Rega (different systems though).  For function and appearance I give it to the P8 over the Gyrodec.

I tried an EAT C-sharp for a bit and found it to have some motor and bearing noise that I could not tame (not feedback) and therefore returned it.  I also considered CA Ovation, Luxman PD-171A and Technics 1200G.  Very happy with my choice.  For me the P8 represented a perfect price point to sound quality ratio.  My next table will be in a much higher price/performance bracket and for that I will happily wait with my P8.

I'm not sure if the P8 is for you - only you can decide that.  But I bet there will be scores of people that land on the P8 and stay for a long while.



Fantastic information! Thank you !!! 

Any advise to a vinyl newbie with same set up? 

My Sutherland Duo phono stage may get FedEx deliverd today which is fantastic. I thought it was coming Monday.

My tracking force gauge has not landed yet? 

I also dont have a record cleaner yet? 

I have a half dozen brand new unopened MOFI records though. 

Do you think i should set tracking force via Rega manual without the digital meter or should I just wait until I get my gauge?

Also, do you think it is ok for me to try out my brand new records or should I wait until I buy a record washer and wash my new records first so I don’t hurt my stylus? 

People seem pretty serious about only using freshly cleaned records and I want to do this the right way but I will be excited tonight to spin some records if you guys think it’s ok to go forward?

 Thanks so much! 
Fsmithjack-
Your audio journey is understood.

Since I'm off the audio gear wagon, it sounds exhausting to me.

"Also, do you think it is ok for me to try out my brand new records or should I wait until I buy a record washer and wash my new records first so I don’t hurt my stylus?"

Arguably, your concern is just audio neurosis. 

Perhaps on some level it's picking up stuff being brand new, but a dip or two of magic eraser after play would remove it.

Someone will chime in with doomsday info if you don't preclean your new records. To each his own.
It’s definitely OK to play a new record before a cleaning, now and then (dry-brush off all the loose debris). Especially with a good stylus cleaning regimen based on the Magic Eraser and a dry brush. I’m of the camp that the M.E. needs to actually "scrub" something to be effective. I did the simple dip/lift for a while without satisfaction. Now I dip in a corner and *carefully* rotate around the stylus for a proper clean. But it can take some time to work up confidence for this (safe as long as you do no sudden movements; only use one-finger at a time for rotating). I even do this on my Koetsu Coralstone; the diamond still gleams like it’s never been played.

Got to say I’m not a huge fan of the MOFI pressings. I’ve gotten a real expensive dud or two (e.g. Megadeth "Countdown to Extinction" MOFI 2006) that turned me off. I think it’s a good idea and diversify; pick up some good original/vintage pressings too - often that’s where the vinyl magic can be found. Even the cheap stuff can be amazing! E.g. Al Stewart’s "Year of the Cat" can be found in $1-$4 bins and it’s excellent (I don’t even have the MOFI).

Excited for you to be getting your P8 setup together! Crossing fingers that it meets or exceeds your expectations.
It is a good idea to clean new records before using them as there is sometimes a small amount of residue from manufacturing process depending on manufacturer.  That said, I am not very fanatical about cleaning records and sometimes play new records without cleaning.  The may be in part due to my use of the Spin Clean, which is cheap and works but is some work to use and not very time efficient IMO.  My next cleaner will be similar in that regard but better in result I think: George Merrill's Gem Dandy hydraulic cleaner.  hifigem.com   Down the line I would like to get a Klaudio ultrasonic cleaner.  BTW, I always clean used records before playing and store in new sleeves and use an outer cover as well.  Make sure you store your records nice and vertical as well.

Go ahead and use the table to set tracking force and play away.  Recheck and adjust once you get your digital gauge.  I use a rega digital stylus force gauge that is terrific and worth the $.  I used to use an Audioquest carbon fiber record brush (the ubiquitous one) and I think it leaves small scratches and have read similar findings from others.  I switched to an AcousTech The Big Record Brush with grounding wire for static drain and its fibers are much softer and it excels at what it does without scratches as far as I can tell.

In the end, use what you have and enjoy.  Don't overthink it, but do remember that appropriate record care will lengthen the life of the record and stylus and improve the sound.  I would however avoid developing any habits that are so cumbersome that they eat into your listing time or experience or drive you away from enjoying the music.

tablejockey

When I first read your initial comments I thought I you were just another pot stiring, Joe negative jaded audiophile that probably shouldn't be bothering to read a newbie vinyl post who is asking for help about a subject he obviously doesn't know much about? A proper vinyl set up...

Unfortunately, Now I am thinking you may have seen this clearer than any of us?

I am a very seasoned audiophile other wise being a long time digital audiophile but thought that vinyl would be different.

Sort of hoped maybe sort of like tubes to solid state.

I went through years of loving tubes and now love solid state and prefer solid state but still appreciate tubes, what they have to offer and the unique difference between the two.

I know nothing is the same but I thought or had hoped vinyl would have its own like uniqueness. Don;t know if I would like it or not but wanted to find out myself and wanted to have at least a decent enough set up to make that happen. 

So I bought:

Rega Planer 8 Turntable 
Rega Apheta 2 Cart
Custom Traditional Clear Cover to cover everything vs odd oem one
19x16x3 Solid Maple Base with Solid Tech Footers
Okki Nokki MKII w/Clear Cover
Brushes, Weights, Gauge's, Fluids, Magnify glass, Misc
Dozen Brand New MOFI Records that have great user reviews
Sutherland Engineering Duo Mono Block Phonostage
Audioquest Fire RCA 1.0M Interconnects for phonostage
Audience AU24se LP 1.0M AC Cable for mono phono stage 
Audience AU24se LP 1.0M AC Cable for mono phono stage
Audioquest 1000 Niagara Conditioner (need 3 outlets for table/phono)
Audioquest Tornado 1.0M AC Cable for AQ Niagara Conditioner

This above is not a small $500 Project with built in phonostage but Also understand that my digital system is one that I have been refining over for over for a decade.

I have over $20k into my digital front end so yes I understand if it is better but I made a semi-substantial investment with the hope to get decent enough vinyl that I could at least appreciate the differences and the uniqueness of vinyl. 

God knows I've read a zillion times how much better vinyl is than digital. 

You seem to be the only one that knew what was going to happen with regards to my view on this? 

I listened to a half dozen records last night.

For starters it was by far the best sounding vinyl I have ever heard in my home and I was quite happy with this.

I am concerned that I set up my table without my digital tracking forces gauge because it won;t be here until Monday. I have not received my record washer yet, this system has not broken in yet?

I have not received  my Audioquest 1000 or Audioquest Tornado  yet so just using a cheap PS Audio Juice bar? People say that these tables need 20 or 30 hours to break in? My phono stage was only plugged in about 1/2 hour from getting from FedEx and all this said my hope is this is what is effecting the sound and it can and will get better?

Why do I hope all these things are effecting sound? Well because, I spend all the money to play with records and it sounds like mediocre digital at best?

Right now the best way to describe the sound is by memory and to put in digital terms.

Lets say I unplugged my Bricasti ethernet media player, my OCXO ethernet switch and LPS, all my other support linear power supplies and servers and removed my Bricasti M1SE DAC.

Then I replaced all this with a Cambridge 851 DAC and ran a regular consumer grade USB cable direct from Dell PC right into the Cambridge 851.

Now please understand. The 851 DAC is one solid little DAC and does a nice  job cleaning up the incoming usb signal and many people really like this set up but it in no way even remotely even approaches anything that resembles competing with my set up?  

I can only speak in terms of digital because it is all I know. 

Will break in, warm up, a record cleaner and digital gauge make that much of a change? I really hope so.

The thing that disapoibts me the most is not that it is not anywhere near as good as my Digital but there is noting unique or different about it?

All the things people say to desribe the very best analogue is what i hear with my Bricasti front end. The air, space, naturalness.

This set up I put together right now sounds like digital and not that good digital either. Not bad but no where near what I hoped?

Will it get better? Is there hope?


Do I need a $5000 cart and tube phonostage to get there.

Should I sell my Sutherland and power cables and pick up a Herron phonostage?

Any ideas?

I don't mind washer my records and stylus after every record as long as it sounds good?


Please let me know because vinyl has to be better than this? Maybe my system is too refined and I need really really good analogue to get to work? I mean the gear I bought is pretty good gear? 

What do you guys think?

Color me pretty disappointed :(

Not discouraged because in the end it is all fun to me. Heck it is audio and its my hobby so life is good. Just want to know what to do next?

Thanks 



Ok guys

I just put on MOFI - Brothers in Arms - Dire Straights and was like oh thank you - much much better.

This is more like it? This is a very nice sound and the direction i was hoping. So wow the difference between actual records is that much? That flat digital sound was gone and very pleasant sound was there.

I just realized that these’s are 45’s but the same size and not little ones like I thought they would be? Told you I am a newbie?

Anyways - this 45 sounds oh so much better.

I can’t believe the difference between records. I played a half dozen or so records and they all sounded similar and sort of crappy.

This sounded very nice?

Can you guys tell where I can get some nice sounding records like this?

I cant believe the difference in quality?

I guess my hope is with break in, proper tracking force set via digital gauge, record clean machine and  Stylus cleaner and some other records of this Brother in Arms quality or maybe better if possible then i might be able to pull this off?

Any recommendations on what records to buy and where?