Rega P25 w/orig Exact Cart - good? + mV question

Hi everyone, this is my first post and I'm getting the vinyl bug for some reason. So, I found a Rega P25 that has the original Rega Exact cartridge on it from 2001. The problem is that it's an estate situation and no one who is alive knows anything about the turntable, it's use, hours, etc. Obviously the remaining life on the cartridge would affect the value of the item.

How can I possibly tell if the cartridge still has a lot of life left on it or not? The turntable works, plays, and sounds great today and looks like it's been very well cared for.

And, what would you guys be willing to pay for a Rega P25 with an Exact cartridge on it, not knowing anything about the cartridge?

Also, I've been reading about different cartridges having different mV outputs, and so that raises another question. For now, this deck, if I buy it, would be going into a Yamaha RX-V3800 which has a 3.5mV input sensitivity spec and a 60mV maximum input voltage spec. Is this cartridge a good match for my receiver?

The P25 is a nice entry level table. If you get the table first replace the drive belt. You can do that, easy to do. The P25 I would offer no more than $250 since you do not know the cartridge life left - plan on getting another cartridge - say a Dynavector 10X5. Since the owners know nothing about the table you may be able to get a sweet deal - offer them $100 initially. For your receiver I would plan on getting a phono stage to run the P25 through - if your Yammy has a phonoo stage it is probably pretty basic at best. Good luck and let us know how you do.
$250 for a P25 with an exact? That table + cart would be around $1800 new

That table + cart is worth about $8-900 I would say, if you can get it for $750 you got a steal
Thanks. I'm inclined to agree with Goatwuss here. I was implying the owners know nothing about the cartridge life, not the whole thing. They do know that it's an expensive turntable because it's found it's way to a hi-fi shop. They don't normally deal with turntables, so they're willing to deal a little here. If I had found the estate itself, I may have been able to get a whole slew of really nice stuff cheap.

Asking price was $950 originally and they have offered it to me for $800. I'd like to get it for $700 not knowing about the remaining life expectency of the cartridge. I'll let you know what happens!
$700 seems fair IF it's in pristine condition. They sell here for around that in 9/10 shape. I would pretend the cartridge isn't included, honestly - you have no idea if it's even viable - I would budget for a new one.

Truth be told, I would budget for a new cartridge even if the Exact were brand new... not a huge fan of Rega carts. I run one of their tables and love it - their carts, not so much.

Slap a Shure M97x with a Jico SAS on it and you'll have everything you need.
So, discussion about which cart is best aside, how can I know if the existing cart is viable once I have the unit? Seems to me you'd need a microscope and someone who knows what they're looking for.
I went back and took a closer look at the unit and I'm really not sure on the value of this package now. The guy who could make a decision wasn't there so it gave me a good opportunity to come back and chat with everyone on the board one more time. Here's the package.

- Rega P25 with EXACT cartridge (8/10 rating EXCEPT: original platter is missing...)
Instead, the unit comes with the following:
-Sheer Audio Acrylic Platter
-Funk Acroplat Platter

Also comes with:
-JA Mitchell aluminum/silver colored record clamp
-Tranquility Base 1 (can't find any info on this isolation base anywhere).

The missing Rega platter is about a $135 replacement part, so do the other platters offset that in your opinions?

Also, if I remove the platter and the belt and free-spin the subplatter, it stops rather quickly. I don't even think it makes two revolutions on its own. Is that normal? I was thinking it would have less resistance.

I'm still thinking $700 might be a fair offer for both parties, but I'm looking for some guidance here. -Thanks!
First, if you want to look at friction, remove the belt and replace the platter, so that you are spinning the actual moving system, the platter on top of the sub platter; the same system that the belt drives. I think that it will spin much longer and you are fine.

I don't care for plastic platters much, but monetarily the platter and mat easily offset the cost of the original platter. Overall, $700.00 is a great deal and I would pay $800.00. There is a hidden benefit here for you as well, shipping turntables can be very problematic and purchasing one locally is really a benefit. Buy it, don't mess with it and just enjoy the music. I think that lots of Audiogoners get focused on the right price at the expense of buying the right piece of gear.

BTW, I bought the P25 that's on Audiogon right now and am going up to Olympia WA to pick it up this weekend. I'm jazzed!
The aftermarket platter is an upgrade. So think of it as the owner did you a favor of adding the platter. Forget buying an original.
The subplatter is very light, and Rega comes with a thick bearing oil. So it should slow down pretty fast.

I own a Rega P5.
The Funk Firm Acroplat platter is amazing! It's not as heavy as the OEM glass platter or the Sheer Audio platter, but sounds incredible.

I agree with NOT bothering with the original glass platter.

Those extras, (to me) would be worth the extra $100 from your $700 offer. $800 is a pretty good deal for this table with the extras.

I have a fully blown, upgraded out the butt P25 and LOVE it. I have done every mod/upgrade available to mine and will never sell it. It really is an excellent table.
Thanks everyone for your help!

I brought the table home today and think I got a good deal! And the original glass platter was there after all. It was just hidden under another platter and I didnt see it at first.

I ended up paying $750 for the Rega 25 (with Glass Platter), Exact cartridge, Funk Acromat, Sheer Audio Platter, a Ringmat, JA Mitchell Solid Anodized Aluminum Record Clamp, and a Tranquility Base 1 (which I can't find any info on, but it's nice). I got all the paperwork and original receipts for everything (no boxes unforuntately but I can't gripe at $750).

I think I did pretty darned good!!!! I'm stoked to get it hooked up -- hopefully my Sunday project.

The cartrige install protracter is missing and so is the original felt mat.

Since I got the Ringmat, do I need the felt mat or is the Ringmat a suitable replacement? The Ringmat isn't as large as an LP so I don't know if I really like it. Is the Ringmat a good enough barrier between the platter and records??? I'm thinking I'll order a new felt mat.
There is a fellow on Audiocircle, 'Wayner' who makes a very nice set-up guide and protractor. It's made of laminated card stock and is quite inexpensive. It's far superior to the simple grid that comes with the TT. Check it out.
You can download either a Stevenson, or a Von Baerwald Rega protractor from the vinyl engine for free.

Since you have all of this stuff, why not try the glass platter with the Ringmat and compare that to the Sheer Audio or either with the Acromat? Seems simple.
You got a great deal, congrats. Just as a FYI - the acrylic platters are designed to be used without a mat.
@Viridian: I actually misstated a little. I don't have an Acromat. I have a Funk Acroplat Platter. The only mat I have for the glass platter is the ringmat. The original mat is gone.

@Slanski62 and Viridian: Thank you for the information on where to get a protractor.

@Goatwuss: You say the acrylic platters are designed to be used without a mat. How about the Acroplat Platter?

It looks like I have several options:

Glass with Ringmat
Acroplat Platter alone
Acrylic Platter alone

Does it make sense to also try the Acroplat Platter and the Acrylic platter with the Ringmat?

Finally, what exactly am I listening for when I try these different platters? Is the difference going to be obvious with casual listening or is this a difference I'm only going to pick up when listening to the same track of music on the different platters consecutively while sitting in the sweet spot at the ideal volume level and my ears freshly cleaned out?
Smhyde - at this point I wouldn't worry about it too much. Try a couple different things, just listen casually. If you can't easily tell the difference, just pick what looks best and focus your energy on cartridge setup. : )
I agree with Goatwuss. Actually I agree just because I like his handle. I wish that I had thought of that one.

I did pick up my P25 this afternoon. Took about 30 minutes to unpack it, get the 2MM spacer on the arm, clean it up, mount my Shure V15Vmr and get playing. I think that you will be very, very happy. I am.

Sure, I have other, more ambitious, cartridges to try, but I'm in no hurry. The Rega organizes the music like one of those crazy ladies on the cable shows organizes houses, only it doesn't insult you in the process.
So far I'm very happy. Took me a little longer to get mine set up because I had to fish some wires, but I'm very happy so far. I think I put 6 hours on it today! Broke out a wide variety of stuff I hadn't heard in years. Elvis, Al Hirt, Spyro Gyra, Herb Alpert, Stan Getz... I'm lucky to live near one of the greatest record stores around, so I think I'll be spending some time there soon.