Poor sounding analog?

After 25 years of not having a turntable in my system, I finally purchased a new rega RP3 which came with their ElysII MM cartirdge.

I pulled out one of the 500 or so albums in my basement that I used to enjoy, cleaned it thoroughly and was incredibly dissapointed in the sound.

I have a McIntosh 2300 preamp which has never had any burn-in for the phono preamp section. However, I cant believe that new tubes would sound this flat.

its a very simple unit to set up. Nothing tricky.

What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance for the help!
It could be that the table was setup incorrectly, VTF, VTA, etc., or it could be that the old LP's need better cleaning or care. We do not know how the LP's were stored or cleaned, so there could be mold issues that could require steam cleaning.
I agree with Jmc. Also, if the cartridge is new, it will need to break-in. Allow at least 40-50 hours for it to smooth out.
The Elys is a pretty disappointing cartridge. The Rega Exact is much better sounding. You may want to make sure the phono stage is on the MM setting, and if there is adjustable loading that it is set to 47k.
After looking at the manual for your preamp, it looks like there is a separate input for MM and MC cartridges. Make sure you have your tonearm wires plugged into the MM input. There is some adjustment for capacitance on the MM input. Try messing with that. It may help.
Suffice to say that if your LPs do not compete with your digital, something is amiss, assuming the LPs were of good quality to begin with; not necessarily perfect, just good should at least equal or beat your digital sources.
I also have a Rega RP3. It the elys2 cart sounds very nice on new albums but Is not very good on older albums that have been played a bit and it also is not a great tracker.. I am in the process of picking a new cartridge.

Best of luck
The Elys 2 is not a great cartridge, having owned one. But it does need break-in time and typically will sound very open and bright. The RP3 is an easy setup, so I would agree with the others to check the preamp settings; MM at 47K and capacitance between 100 and 300pF.

BTW, is your tonearm parallel to the record when playing?
Sarcher is correct. Verify that you have the table connected to the MM phono input and that you have set the correct capacitance for the tonearm/cartridge combo. Impedance on the MM input is fixed at 47K ohms.

My C2300 sounded magical with even with my antique Pioneer PL15D / Ortofon 2M Red right out of the box. It only got better with break-in and was immediately equal or superior to digital sources.

If you still have concerns after checking connections and preamp trim, then it's time for a chat with the turntable vendor regarding cartridge set-up and / or a possible warranty claim.
Excellent suggestions already posted above. Try a few more albums. Which one sounded poorly? Not all LPs are well recorded, as I'm sure you're aware. This is especially true in the rock genre, IMHO. In fact, there are lots of LPs from 25 and more years ago that will sound pretty terrible --- then and now --- even on a fine turntable.
I'm sorry but you've been Rega'd!

I never understood the appeal of a Rega anything. They're made from crap and sound the same. If you're an analog veteran your ears are telling you the truth. Don't waste your time playing with this toy, its not going to get any better.
Grado offers biggest musical bang for the buck in a MM. Give the Grado Black or the Grado Gold a try if you are missing mid range magic and it isn't a setup error.


The tubes in your pre section are important... most recent vintage pre tubes are junk for music playback. Any idea what brand and type they are?
Thanks t have believed it, butto everyone. Always appreciate the help received and offfered from fellow Agoners.

I wouldnt have believed it, but picked up a new LP and it turns out to be my old albums. New album sounds detailed with pretty good layering and soundstage.The cartridge is a bit bright as reported, but it could also be the new Gold Lions that have never been broken in either.

I had the albums in in the basement and although they looked clean, they probably have mold. I will steam a few and report back. Hundreds of albums, ugggh!

I also think down the road after break-in a new carrtridge might be in order, the basement but I have a while beffore makiing that deteermination.
I find that surprising.Even my generation back planer3 with upgrades consistently sounds better than the same CD reissue recordings and sacd on one.I hand clean my LP's with the mofi brushes and microfiber towels,sure there's better at a lot more money.Even with a few of my cleaned LP's the stylus can get caked up with residue and really detract from the sound.It's a gradual thing sometimes also,you don't notice all at once so I deep clean the stylus every listen with thick brush,just the light brush from the cleaner bottle won't do it.