This was a nice, informative review. Much better than most others I've been reading. Good job.
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My experiences with some Rega Planar2 turntable mods. Everyone seems to write about mods to the Rega arms but nothing is written about the mods for the turntable itself.
I've replaced the glass platter on my older Planar 2 with the Iron Audio Acrylic Platter, makes a huge improvement in detail, I'm hearing thing on recoeds that I never noticed before. The characteristics of the high frquencies changed, they became more liquid sounding, much smoother yet more detailed with a definite lack of harshness, sibulance was reduced as well.
I also replaced the plastic sub-platter and SS bearing with a DeepGroove machined metal sub-platter and an industrial ruby bearing. This made improvements in areas I didn't expect, There is less noise between tracks, the soundstage is wider and deeper, the music seems to be I think it's called "darker", and of course faster start-up times and better speed stability.
My next mod was to upgrade to the new Planar2 motor mod kit. This is a redesigned motor and regulation circuit that reduces motor vibration without a clipping circuit. This unit is glued directly to the plinth using double sided acoustical tape. This was a definite improvement over the old suspended motor design. This combined with the sub-platter resulted in eliminating transmition of motor vibrations thru the plinth and signifigantly reduced wow & flutter.
I use a Magnepan Unitrac 1 arm with a Denon DL 103S and Denon DL304 instead of the stock Rega arm. This tonearm cartridge and table combination work great.
I think with the mods done to the turntable, I'd certainly put it up against a P25, and wouldn't be surprised if it sounded better.
Check out this tweak. It worked wonders on my planar 3.
Great review .. I'm interested in trying the Dl160 when my Linn K9 dies. I used to use a Rega Super Bias, but the (used) K9 is much better. This makes me suspect that Rega cartridges are not all that great.
I had the Rega Elys and, at $225, it was a very big disappointment. In fact, I think the $40 Grado Black not only sounds better, but tracks just as well. And by the way...the Rega Elys hummed on my P2, though not as badly as the Grado.
Plus, people have told me they distrust Rega's 3-point mounting scheme and, using various alignment tools, confirmed that cartridge geometry was off and couldn't be properly obtained until they removed the third screw, defeating the purpose of spending the extra money to go from the Super Bias to the Elys. I can't say whether that's true because I used only the Rega alignment jig to setup my Elys.
The DL-160 is an excellent choice for any Rega table. Best cartridge I ever had -- I bought two of them in the past four years. Tracking is outstanding, the stylus is fantastic and long-lived, and the square sides make it an easy 10-minute job to set up -- on my P2, all I had to do was square the front of the metal balancing plate with the straight leading edge of the RB250's headshell. A few tiny adjustments with a protractor and that was all -- perfect alighnment of all cartridge sides and cantilever. It fits beautifully on the RB250, like they were made for each other.
By the way, the Rega cartridges aren't bad, just dull in my opinion. If you want a great MM, try the A-T 440ML for $99 -- it beats up on anything in the Rega line up to the Elys for less than half the price, plus it has a better cantilever and stylus. I also like the Ortofon OMB10 for about $60 -- far better value than the Elys but a little hard to align. Finally, I'm using an Ortofon X1-MC right now and, though not as livelely or detailed as the Denon DL-160, it was a steal at $110 through Needle Doctor and very neutral.
For anybody that's really interested, I posted (long-winded) reviews of the Elys, DL-160, Grado Black, Stanton 500e MkII and X1-MC here on A'gon.
I'd imagine it's true the DL-110 and DL-160 are close in performance. But here, the difference between the two models is only $40USD so I never considered the DL-110. Maybe I will when my Ortofon is due for replacement later this year.
BTW--Have you heard Denon's new turntable? My local dealer has it but it's not set up. It looks awesome. About four years ago I had its predecessor, the DP-47F, and it changed my mind about direct drive.
Everything stated about the Rega Planar 2 is quite accurate. I have been using mine now for close to three years. A better turntable buy I cannot recall. I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever concerning performance. I have modified mine with XLO Signature cabling at the output. This one adjustment yields a major improvement in the ovreall sound of what was a very good table to begin with. I use a Sumiko Blue Point, have been using Sumiko in this and other tables for at least a decade. Previously used the Blue Point in a Yamaha PF-800. The performance in the Rega is definitely better, although the XLO cables might be a factor here. The tonal balance is excellent, top to bottom. And what could I say about the tonearm that has not already been said? Bottom line, you would have to spend much more to yield significantly better performance.
IMHO(who am I kiddng my opinoin is never humble)the rega's modest appearence gives audiophiles the wrong impression. It is worhty of insertion in the finer systems and deserves a much better cartridge than denon. It is by no means an entry level device. It does reward those with a limited budget and space. The money you save can be invested in a exotic cartrdige and preamp.
Well, even after 4 years since the last post here, I am sure that some more comments on the P2 cannot be outdated in any way, even if the P2 has been replaced by the RP1 etc.....
I have to agree with everything said in this review and imho everything is valid even today.
Why am I saying these 4 years later? Well, first because I'm a new member here and just read this review,and second , because I was lucky to buy a nos p2 and a nos p3-24 at prices I couldn't resist.
I have very carefully listened to both and "against" my usual Thorens TD160HD/RB300/ZYX YATRA/NVO SPA ONE phono preamp.
OK,the TD160HD is the better turntable for me, but the surprise came from the p2 rather than the p3-24.
Both the regas were fitted with shure v15 type III and SAS styluses , a good match for both.I won't waste your time by saying how the two regas compared,but I'll just say that my final opinion as to why the p2 has been discontinued is (imo of course) because it was too good (especially at the price but also compared to more expensive regas)and had to go.I don't consider the p3-24 or any "upgrated" p2 with "special sub-platters or platters etc....) to be better sounding than the stock p2.Different?Yes.But not necessarily better sounding.
For those that own a p2 and perhaps find its sound a bit warm, there is a cheap way to make it sound a bit livelier and clear,and that is a wool/carbon fibre ,humble mat from TONAR. I have one and in case I need to hear some more "clarity or tighter bass" it only takes a few seconds to put that on p2's hdf platter.This happens very rarely,which for me somehow confirms that the stock p2 is already a great turntable, one of those cases where matching low cost materials,results in great success , that even for the designer can be a.....not so welcome thing eventuall