Rega P3-24 / Exact combo

Hello to all, need some opinions.

I have a warmish interconnect between my pre-amp and amp (AZ Matrix II). Speakers and amp are a little on the forward side, so that’s why I’ve got the AZ Matrix II in the system.

The sound of my system via CD playback is to my liking. I use the AZ Silver Ref II to connect CD to pre-amp. This combination (Silver Ref in front of Matrix ref) seems to be pretty popular and it works for me. Plenty of detail (but not too much) with some bloom.

The problem is the sound I’m getting from my turntable. I have a Rega P3-24 with Exact cartridge and optional external power supply, feeding into a Simaudio LP5.3, and find the combination to not have enough detail and air on the top end (way less than my CD rig) and to be too bloomy. Interconnect between the LP5.3 and pre-amp is neutral.

If my CD playback sounds fine, I can only conclude that my turntable rig, as compared to my CD player, is lacking in top octave air.

Has anyone else found the Rega P3-24/Exact combo to be lacking in top octave air and/or overly bloomy? Would a better turntable/cartridge setup be able to overcome the effects of the warmish interconnect?

How old is your belt? What do you have the P3/24 sitting on?

The two things that would tighten up the bass and overall presentation would be a less elastic drive system (tighter belt, rim drive, or direct drive) AND better resonance control. The RB301 is an undamped tonearm; wrap some teflon pipe thread tape around the wand. You might experiment with better mats, aftermarket feet or brass cones, and a vibration absorbing platform (e.g., butcher block cutting board).

You may also need a new belt. The external power supply may be compensating for a loosening belt which is still revealing itself with a tubby presentation.

I have a Technics SL1210 M5G with Audio Technica AT150MLX cart. It has some additions to dampen and control vibrations and resonances (better mat, fluid damper, tonearm wrap, brass cone footers, butcher block platform, gel pads underneath). The tonal balance and clarity is very similar to the CD, but with the more organic presentation and wealth of air and detail that comes with LP.