Rega RP8 Clearaudio Concept Wood or...?


I ended up with an RP8 in kind of a round about way. I was looking to put the 808 tonearm on my Technics 1200 (replacing an SME arm that had happily lived there for a number of years) in what can only be described as the kind of unnecessary any-ness that occasionally causes me to get rid of gear I love.

I tend to have some heavier/lower compliance cartridges (like the Zu 103 and AT 150MLX) that made a heavier counterweight necessary. I went with the Groovetracer. But, it would not work on the 1200. So, I ended up with the rest of the RP8 and then a DV 20X2L, and have honestly never been that happy with it.

I have the 1200 now with a Jelco arm and the Zu 103 in the second system, but keep kind of dragging that back in because I just have not found a happy place with the Rega (which, as a side note, I really want to like).

So I have been looking around for a replacement. I'm thinking about the Clearaudio Concept Wood with the MC cartridge. I'm wondering if anyone out there has heard that and the RP8.

I briefly had a Pro-Ject 5.1SE with a Sumiko Blue Point in my house for a bit (I had found it at an estate sale and offered to a friend before listening to it) and found it to be totally enjoyable and a steal at the price I found it. Going thinking seems to be that the Pro-Jects weaken as you move up the line, but I would love to hear if anyone has had good experiences with their nicer decks.

Any others in that $3000ish range are more than welcome recommendations.

The rest of the system:

Rogue Audio Sphinx
Musical Surroundings Phenomena II Phono Pre
Wyred4Sound DAC
Mac Mini
Kef LS50s
Zu Undertone Subwoofer
Mostly Zu cable
tjnindc
Tjnindc, "Going thinking seems to be that the Pro-Jects weaken as you move up the line, but I would love to hear if anyone has had good experiences with their nicer decks."

I am not sure who is thinking this, but I think the Pro-ject Extension 10 and 12 are great turntables for their price, and real bargains that get overlooked.

If you like to change thinge things up and you like low compliance cartridges, the Extension 12 will take a 12 inch Ortofon tonearm, which is a match for many low compliance cartridges, especially the SPU cartridges. Sometimes the Extension 12 will show up on Audiogon as a used or demo item.

You have a bice system. Good luck with your search.
Yeah, I'm really curious about the Xtension tables, especially the 10. I like their cartridges and clearly enjoyed the 5.1. Hard to find a place to hear them, but maybe a road trip is in order.
Or the Pr0-Ject 10.1 for that matter. Anybody heard the two?
I am running a VPI Scout with the JMW 9 arm and the ZU/DL103 cartridge. It sounds wonderful going through a Bob's Devices SUT and my Audible Illusions Modulus 3B Tube pre.
I recently purchased the Xtension 10 with the Sumiko Blackbird cart that comes with the "Super pack" option, because I needed the whole shebang and the bundle seemed like the best value for me. This is my first high end turntable so unfortunately I probably won't be a whole lot of help because I don't have points of reference to compare/contrast. What I can say for sure is that what you may have read about this model's excellent bass performance is true.

And that the Beatles have never sounded so good on any system I have ever had. But that's probably due to the fantastic Mono box set mixings than to my new hardware. But the Pro-Ject is certainly up to the task! It's not a weak link in my system and I have some decent electronics.
i've run a Pro-ject 2 Xperience acryl, 9c arm with a Shure V15 Jico SAS on it for years. So far, I've found this to be a great affordable quality table and it gives terrific sound. I added a heavy puck-it record weight and a Speedbox S, which both helped a little (the puck more so).

But I find that by far, the quality of record pressings/recordings determines sound quality more than any tweaks or cartridge choices I have made. New 180g or 200g reissues yield almost completely silent surfaces and fabulous results. I have not yet been convinced to throw any more dollars at this system, or buy into a higher specced system. I'm putting my money in new vinyl.

I've tried a Grace F9 ruby cartridge, some Grado, Sumiko. All yield different but not better results than the Shure.

Since you enjoyed the 5.1SE....why not own that model?
Sumaato, your post is a model of truth and good sense.