I have a brand new Rega P3-24 with the Exact 2 cartridge. My dealer installed the cartridge onto the table's RB-301 tonearm using Rega's specified three point mounting system. The music sounds utterly fantastic !!
The main reason I opted for the Exact 2 over many worthy contenders (especially the Dynavector 10x5, Benz ACE, and Ortofon 2M Black) is that the "whole Rega synergy approach" makes sense to me, and I really like the idea of Rega cartridge, Rega arm, and Rega table all working together. To maximize this "harmony and synergy" I feel that the three point mounting system should definitely be used with the Exact 2 (and Elys 2 for that matter) on a Rega arm.
The glowing reviews of Rega tables in the audiophile press all seem to agree with this concept.
Congratulations on your new analog front end. You bought a beautiful set-up, and I'm sure that you'll enjoy it.
Good Luck, and Happy Listening !!
Hi Rick. Definately when using the rega exact cartridge on a rega arm the three point mounting is THE only way it should be set up. It does make a world of differance. Also when you mount it the third screw obviously goes from the top of the arm down. The back screws if you mount them with the nuts on the top side of the arm and the screws threads pointing upward it practically aligns itself as the nuts fit perfectly in the slots of the rega arms. The protective cover for the needle can then still be used by just breaking off the little tabs at the sides so it can slip right on . If the nuts are on the bottom side which I have noticed some do the protective cap for the needle can,t be used. Enjoy , you do have a nice anolog front end for being new to anolog and I am sure you will really enjoy this purchase as it is less fussy than some rigs and really delivers great sound for the price paid and then some for sure. My son is still using the rega p2 I bought in the late 70's and it still works flawlessly. Cheers!
Rick...............Has2be made a great point with the proper orientation of the screws for the mounting. Click on my "system" to see a good photo of how the screws are aligned, exactly how Has2be describes. By the way, what other components are in your system ?
Thanks for the responses! I just had my dealer re-install the cartridge using the template that comes with the table in addition to a digital tracking force gauge. Although, i just noticed that they have the screw heads on the top as opposed to the bottom. Looks as if it is lined up correctly. Is this going to be an issue? Also, do any of you use stylus cleaners such as LAST stylus cleaner or stylast on your Exact cartridge? I have already bought LAST stylus cleaner and Stylast, but I am not sure now if these solutions will damage my new cartridge.
My system consists of Wilson Audio Sophia's Series I,Velodyne ULD 12, Ayre Acoustics K1XE pre-amp, Mark Levinson 331 amplifier, Transparent Ultra cable throughout, Transparent powerwave 10 power conditioner, Apple TV for digital server, and a Meridian 562v for the the 20 bit DAC. I am using an NAD PP2 phone pre-amp, and am currently borrowing a REGA Phono MM. Most of my system was purchased used with the exception of some of the newer items and cables. Next upgrade will be a better phono stage. Thanks for all of your input! Analog is all new to me!
I have used Stylast on my Exact 2 and P5 for two years now, no problems, just touch it lightly to the tip.
Wow, my friend, that's a pretty awesome system !! My compliments !! I'm sure that it all works together to make some wonderful music. I'm glad that your dealer re-set your cartridge with the proper three point alignment, but I do not know if it makes a difference whether the two rear screw heads are upward or downward. Physically, it's a lot easier for the two rear screws to be "nuts up," and the front screw to be facing down, but I honestly cannot tell you if it makes an audible difference. It's probably not worth stressing out about this.....but it's definitely a great idea to go with the three point mounting. You should be "in audio heaven" while listening to your LP's.
I really hope that you enjoy your explorations of the "analog world." There's a ton of great music out there. Just remember.....keep it all in perspective. For me, I love BOTH my digital and analog music collections. I have around 700 CD's and 300 LP's, and it all sounds great. Let the music move you, my friend, and don't worry about all the crazy "audiophile details." If the songs make you happy, that's the bottom line.
Take it easy, and Happy Listening !!
Hi Rick - I also have the P5/Exact 2 combo, and I have really enjoyed it. I use the Mobile Fidelity LP#9 Stylus Cleaner after every listening session, and a dry stylus brush during the session after each side.
I have heard a few different phono stages with my set up - the Lehmann Black Cube in the store, my brother's Project Tube Box SE, and my own Bellari VP129. Of the three, I definitely prefer the Bellari - it has a bigger soundstage, the widest dynamics, and a much better (more realistic) resloution of instrumental and vocal timbre, especially in the midrange. I haven't heard the NAD or the Rega. There is usually a Bellari to be had here on audiogon, almost always for under $200, so I would recommend you try that.
I would keep your eyes open for a used graham slee reflex era gold for a phono pre. With the rega table and the exact cartridge you will have to pay alot of money to match how good that combo sounds. By the way Rick , don,t frett about the back screws not being inverted . The important thing is the three points are installed not two. The back screws as you have them installed will not change performance at all. The advantage of having the two at the back nuts up is so the protective cap can be used to cover needle when not in use and the accidental long sleeve getting snagged or some use a swiffer to dust. Get yourself some nice clean lps on that rig and just enjoy it.Oh I should say I use the last stylist cleaner(4) after playing five or six lps and when I shut it down. After each side I use a dry brush and then last stylist treatment(5). My first exact Cartridge still being used on my sons table with no problems for almost 3 years and just over a year for the exact II that I am using now. Enjoy!
The Rega cartridge alignment, using the three hole system, does not conform to the maths of the, commonly accepted, Baerwald alignment, the inner null point being moved closer to the lead out groove. Having owned many Rega decks over the years and using them with both Rega, as well as other, cartridges, I can say, without hesitation, that Baerwald alignment has been preferred by these ears in every instance. The first thing that I do is throw out the Rega paper protractors.
The reason that Rega installs cartridges nuts up is that the grooves around the mounting holes in the tonearm will snug the bolts so that it is easier to torque the screw heads without slipage. So long as your dealer used the Rega torque wrench, the installation should be consistant with Rega's preferred installation, nuts up or nuts down.
Thanks for all of the responses! I am now playing album after alum enjoying the music while the table and cartridge break-in!!! Thanks again!!
Just to add something to the responses, you can do plenty of searching the audio forums on the issue, and couple that up with your own personal experiments. My feeling is the Rega arms and cartridges sound best the Rega way (3 bolts and the resulting overhang that gives you, reportably close to Stevenson theory). For my Exact cartridge I tried Baerwald (Geodisc) with 2 bolts, and the Rega alignment with 3 bolts and preferred the Rega alignment with 3 bolts. Maybe with other cartridges and arms the other theories are better. Also of importance is the specified bolt torque for fixing the cartridge to the arm, which Rega also employs for its speakers. It is easy to get caught up in the important aspect of geometry for Lp playback and discount what I consider to be still more important- things like the mechanical interface between the cartridge and the arm.