Holy cow, you've got a lot of questions in your head. Granted, they make some sense (but don't agonize). I owned a 5, but have no experience with the new 6. If you're the kind of guy who needs the "latest", get the 6. If not, you'll love the 5.
Yeah, the 6 seems to trade off the RB700 tonearm for the subplatter and platter goodies.
I personally wonder if the new P6 subplatter and platter can be retrofitted to the P5.
(I own a P5)
The one big difference in appearance is the plinth is one piece in the P6, Where the P5 has that 'frame'.
So if you like the frame, get the P5. If not, get the P6.
Some of the colors the P6 is in are pretty cool also.
No one can comment on sound, as the P6 is a brand new table just released.
I used a Dynavector 10x5 on my P5 with GT subplatter, dual white belts, and TTPSU. I didn't like the table at all. VERY cheap feeling (seems like a toy) and harsh sounding to me. Terrible build quality for something in that price range. Why not look at Music Hall or Pro-Ject? I had tables from each of those and were better than Rega.
Hi - P5 owner here. As Elizabeth noted, we can't really comment on the new table and arm, as they have just been released. The RB-700 arm is significantly better than the RB301, however.
I would strongly disagree with Vortrex. Rega's sound quite a bit better than the Music Hall's and the Pro-ject's. Better soundstaging in particular, and also better resolution of instrumental and vocal timbres. It is not a harsh sounding table at all. Both the Music Hall and Project tables are brighter in comparison. I would rate the Music Hall's above the Project's, but the Rega's quite a bit above both, especially set up the way the Rega intended, which it sounds like Vortex didn't do. Rega's are designed very carefully with regards to the weight of each part and how they interact. Alot of people screw with them and then wonder why it doesn't sound good anymore.
If you do buy the new one, it would be interesting to compare them.
The table was definitely setup properly. Even so, you cannot deny the terrible build quality and cheap materials used in the P5.
Vortex, I don't own a P5, but I do own a P7 and have had both a P25 and a Plannar 3, and I can say without hesitation that Rega's products are well made; cheap is not a word I would use to describe Rega's turntables.
I agree Nanbil - Regas are very well designed and built. I have never had even a hint of an issue with my P5. Too many audiophiles think that cost=performance. Me, I judge by what I hear, not by what I see. Rega's design works very well.
Vortrex, the reason I commented on the set-up issue is that I believe that the subplatter you mentioned adding is significantly heavier than the stock one, and you say you use two belts. Rega's carefully balanced design is not intended to have that extra weight. Sometimes an "upgrade" isn't one really.
There is an unbelievably good and varied aftermarket for Regas that enables you to upgrade as budget allows: Rega TTPSU and upgrade belt, Funk F-XFR II (old pillar) and Inspire X100 (new pillar) tonearms, Groovetracer platter, subplatter, counterweight, etc. Hint: think about the more solid, better looking, probably better sounding plinth on RP3 & RP6.
I've enjoyed the Rega tables I have owned (P3-24, P5), have not enjoyed the Music Hall turntables I have owned (MMF-5, MMF-7.1), and simply love the table that has been the center of my system for the last 3 years, a Pro-Ject RPM-9.1.
So, I guess to each his own!
Learsfool - the subplatter was definitely an upgrade, you should try one. still, not the performance I would expect from a table of that price.
Hi Vortrex - I guess another thing I was trying to say is that I personally wouldn't spend time and money "upgrading" a product. While I realize a great many people in this hobby like to do it, I am not a tweaker; I prefer to buy something that already sounds good that I don't have to mess with. Unless you like to tinker with stuff, I really don't see the point of buying something that requires it, like for instance all these people who buy a table like the Technics 1200 and then proceed to modify the heck out of it, in many cases spending more than the table retails for to do it. I did alot of research and listening to tables in that price range before I chose the P5. It sounds great as is, because it is a great design. It still sounds as good and works as well as when I bought it four years ago now, and I take good care of it. I'm sure I will eventually need to replace the belt and the cartridge, but that will be the extent of it for me. It's not really about the gear itself for me, it's about the music. The gear is just a means to that end, and the sound of it, rather than the design, is my top priority. As has been discussed on a couple of other threads here recently, I think too many audiophiles lose the forest for the trees.
It's difficult to hear similarly priced Rega, Music Hall and Pro-Ject turntables side by side with the same cartridge and system. How many shops do this?
I fortunately have heard this. The Regas esaily sound the best IMO. The Music Halls look like they're better built, but according to that dealer, they're easily the worst. They dropped the line because they had too many come back to them. Replaced it with Pro-Ject, and haven't had any issues. Seeing as how Music Hall and Pro-Ject are made in the same factory and share a lot of parts, I deduce that the Music Hall stuff have design flaws.
Just what I've seen/heard.
Hi Clayton, Well we've seem to have had the same questions 1 year apart. A year ago in December I ordered the P6 from my local shop 7 weeks later I gave up and canceled as they were delayed and I was tired of waiting. So luckily I found a brand new P5 with ttpsu for 1200. I am a tweaker so since then have added the sub platter, counterbalance and dual belt pulley. To this point I love my table and doubt a plastic cross brace on a P6 could touch it. For me I would grab the deal play with it and have some fun. Oh and the savings could be used on a great cartridge. What ever you do it will be the right choice for now and go and enjoy some amazing music.