Rega R250 upgrade
I have been slowly but gradually upgrading my old NAD/Rega turntable throughout the past year and have just finished the project by replacing the counterweight with Michell Tecnoweight and rewiring with Incognito re-wiring kit. I thought it would be good to share some of my experience. Here are the summaries in cronological order and comments:
1. Replacing the MDF/felt plate with clear acrylic plate - a subtle gain in sound definition but definitely a major cosmetic face lift. My initial problem with acrylic is that is it is slippery with warpy LPs. And that lead me to the next step.
2. Replacing old belt and added clearaudio clever clamp. This really help bring out the potential quality of the acrylic plate by maximize the contact surface of the LP to the plate. A really big bang for the buck! The sound has more presence and punch. I have no problem with sibilance as some people have with acrylic.
3. Replacing the old stock Goldring Elektra cartridge with Dynavector 10X5 high output MC cartridge. VOW! This is one major upgrade. It changed my whole LP listening experience. It's a quantum leap from mid-fi to HiFi with closer to realism and the third dimension.
4. And perhaps the biggest bang for the buck is spent on $7 purchase on those blu-tac adhesive putty and used them under the table's rubber legs as vibration insulator. I made three disc out of them placed them like coasters for sound separation from my shelf and the effect is tremendous. Bass and treble are more defined and the soundstage is more three dimensional.
5. Using Michell Tecnoweigh in lieu of the stock weight. I was impressed by how the placement of a counterweigh could change the sound quality by adding more presence, definition and punch. And there is a relaxed power to the sound perhaps because timing is more accurate and the tunes are more stable.
6. The icing on the cake is the complete rewiring with Incognito rewiring kit. I did it myself and it took some patience and practice to get the wires in place and solder those tiny bits of Litz wire to the clips. The gain of this upgrade is all about definition and clarity. One closer step to reality.
It's been a highly rewarding experience. After this upgrade, I feel like I am participating right in the music making as a musician rather than just being a bystanding audience. I listen to mainly classical music and the whole experience now is more like conducting. Not bad at all for an armchair conductor!
NAD 533(Rega R250) table upgrade as mentioned above,
Jolida JD-9 tube phono amp. with EH-gold tubes(great tubes)
Jolida 1501 hybrid integrated amp. with EH-Gold tubes
APC H10 Power conditioner
Rega Apollo CDP
QUAD 12L2 speakers
DIY cat5 speaker cables
DIY Cotton/silver interconnects with Eichmann bullets
DIY Venhaus flavor 2 powercord