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

Showing 1 response by sumaato

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?