I would say the improvements rank just like you have them listed. TTPSU - best improvement
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Get a P-7 No Joke!
I owned the P-5 with all the upgrades you listed above
and they made a very good improvement to the P-5.
The Acrylic platter however was brighter then the stock
glass platter and this my not be good in some systems.
When I went to the P-7 the improvements were even greater
then the modified P-5. If you can do it, sell your P-5 and
go straight to the P-7.
If you don't want to do this then get the power supply
sub platter and clamp first. Get the tone arm weight and
acrylic top platter later.
Thanks Eldon. Later when I go for the P7 and attempt to modify it someone will say go for the P9. It is unfortunate the P5 comes with the plastic subplatter which was a bit of a compromise compared to the P7 and P9. Most likely I'll just get the TT PSU and be done with it, since I currently have only less than 10 LP's in my collection.
Anyway, out of curiosity may I know what are the sonic differences between the upgraded P5 and the P7? From a technical perspective, the differences between the stock P5 and P7 are in the subplatter and platter in that the P7 uses a higher quality subplatter constructed to tighter tolerances and a ceramic platter. Other than these two aspects the P5 and P7 share the same plinth and RB700 arm. Hence my suspicion is the P5 will sound close to(if not better) than the P7 with the TT PSU, upgraded subplatter and arcylic/ceramic platter. Anyway all these upgrades will eventually bring the value of the P5 closer to the P7 so you may be right there in that one might be better off going for the P7 instead of spending $$$ on upgrading the P5.
Ryder: Don't under estimate the Ceramic Platters sound
improvement over the P-5's glass platter. The P-7 also
has a superb bearing housing and sub platter.
You can change the subplatter on the P-5, but not the
bearing housing. This is the part the sub platter fits
in to. The bearing housing on the P-5 is crap by
comparison to the bearing housing in the P-7 and P-9.
The P-7 and P-9 have the dual belt drive system. A big
improvement over the P-5 which can have speed problems
over time due to the single belt system it uses.
I had both my modified P-5 and a P-7 in my system at the
same time with the same cartridge and while the P-5
was very good, it was no match for the P-7.
I, too, owned a P5 prior to my P7 - not a subtle difference betweent he two. I was flabergasted by the difference and i thought the P5 was a superb table to begin with. By adding the above listed 'upgrades' you will be close to the cost of a P7. I traded my P5 back to my dealer for the same amount paid and handed him $650 cash to balance the deal.
Hey Ryder............I just noticed a small, yet incredibly important line in your post...."I currently have less than 10 LP's in my collection." My friend, my advice to you is simple. Spend some $$$ and buy more LP's. Right now, your "stock" P5 is a fantastic table. Leave it alone, and try to expand your record collection. Buying more music will be a much better investment than tweaking your table. There are about a zillion great LP's out there. Have fun, opening your ears and soul to the beauty of analog music. Buy the tunes now, and worry more about the equipment later on.
I have about 300 LP's, and I just upgraded my Rega P3-24 by adding the TT-PSU (more about this, folks, in a separate post.) My system sounds absolutely incredible, but it wouldn't be worth a dime if I didn't have the great collection of music to enjoy !!
Miner42 said, "I traded my P5 back to my dealer for the same amount paid and handed him $650 cash to balance the deal."
Your dealer took quite a hit if he gave you that deal. It's $2,695 for a P7 and a total of $1,795 for a P5 with the optional power supply so there is a $900 dollar difference which is significant. If you paid $650, your dealer cut the suggested retail price by a lot, and that's assuming you had already purchased the power supply for your P5 before you traded it in.
I have begun upgrading my P5, as listed above and have the TT PSU, the Groovetracer counter weight and sub Platter and the improvement is incredible. It is quieter, more detailed and I am able to use my Decca record brush, without stopping the platter from spinning with even the slightest pressure. The question I have, is anyone familiar with the Funk Firm Achroplat Acrylic platter for the P5. I would rather have the Groovetracer, but it is unavailable, with no availability date in sight. The Acroplat is in the same price range, so that is not an issue, but I have not been able to find anything from anyone with experience using it with the P5. Any information will be appreciated.
I too own a P5 REGA and agree with some of the opinions, however I do not see much feedback concerning the cartridge being used by various people. I opted for the "EXACT" cartridge, largely due to the fact that it fell within my cost restrictions. I also spoke at length with the US distributor prior to purchase, which steered me toward the REGA cartridge. I had thought about going to a more sophisticated/expensive cartridge but found that the REGA arm goemetry is not well suited to using other brands of cartridges, though I know many people do. The thing the distributor warned me about was cartridge alignment. With the REGA cartridges the alignment is a "slam dunk". Unfortunately the REGA aligment protractor is not designed for other cartridges. Then comes a bit of a controversy as to which protractor will yield the best results. Also, there may be an issue of VTA with different cartridges, which REGA doesn't make much allowance for. So, I decided to try the "EXACT". I agree that the P5 is a very ggod table for the price point. The "EXACT" has proven to be a "GOOD", but not "GREAT" cartridge. Took a couple of hundred hours of break in, to really notice a sonic difference. Even then my only discontent has to do with complex orchestral recordings. There is always a sense of "stridency" in the high frequencies; especially acoustic instruments such as violins. I have read a great deal about the reported character of the EXACT and the higher priced MC cartridge above that. The reviews seem to agree that even though they feel that the "high priced MC cartridge" is in a class by itself, they also agree that both the EXACT and the "high priced cartridge"(I forgot the name) share this slightly strident character in reproducing high frequencies, even on the finest, pristine recordings. I actually went to the trouble of borrowing a different brand table with a ORTOFON "KONTRAPUNKT "C" installed. "OUCH" - - - what a difference. All of the congested, veiled and strident character dissappeared. Now this is what fine vinyl recordings are supposed to sound like. Unfortunately, the table/cartridge package, was (4) times the cost of my P5 set up.
I have heard the P5/P7 tables side by side, and frankly the sonic improvement, to me, is too slight to justify the cost differential. So, I agree ! Get the TTPSU if you don't already have it and live with it, until you can afford to go up to the "big time". I think you have better have a 1000 record + collection to justify, the "big time". The P5 is a good package, and the P7 is slightly better, but they have their limitations. Be sure you or a dealer knows what they are doing before attempting to retrofit a different brand of cartridge. The distributor "REALLY" doesn't recomment it.
I'm on a similar wavelength to Orpheus10.
I tricked out my 35 year old Planar 2 to the point it's not really a Rega any more - except for the lid and the power switch :-)
in order of best bang fro the buck
- Soundsmith modified Denon DL103
- Audiomods Tone arm with one piece loom
- metal Sub-platter & cereamic bearing
- Acrylic Plater - 1"+ thick
- Plinth (there are several brands all better than the Rega)
- Upgraded motor (did not really notice any difference)
If I had to do it over today I'd get VPI