Thinking about upgrading your Rega?
This message is intended to help those, who like me, already own and are happy with their Rega turntables/arms. I purchased my Rega Planar 2 and RB250 over 15 years ago. I debated on whether to upgrade/tweak my unit, or purchase a newer, more upscale table/arm. There are many opinions regarding the merits of both, but in the end, I decided to upgrade my existing unit. I did make some mistakes in the process, however. Hopefully, this message will help keep these mistakes from happening to you.
I approached my Rega dealer regarding the Planar 2 motor upgrade, wiring, vta, counterweight, and cartridge. We agreed on the Rega products, namely the Elys cartridge, the Incognito wiring kit, and the Icognito vta. Since Incognito did not offer a counterweight (one of the main upgrades according to several articles on the subject), I suggested that an Expressimo Audio Heavy Weight be installed. After waiting for 2 months, I received a call informing me that my unit was ready. When I picked it up, I noticed that the counterweight had been installed on the plastic end stub (stock with the RB250) instead of the required metal end stub sold by Expressimo Audio. Also, several of the wires were bear near the cartridge clips. Once I set the unit up at home, I was unable to play any albums. I could not get past the first selection of any album that I tried. I was dismayed due to the fact that I did not have this problem before the upgrade and due to the fact that I had spent a considerable amount of time and money in the process.
To make a long story short, I contacted Expressimo Audio, who offered to undo the mess if possible. I sent them my arm and they were able to correct the tracking problem in one day. They also replaced the vta and counterweight with new parts due to the marring and scratches that were the result of the original dealer's attempt at the upgrade.
Points to consider:
I am very happy with my old setup. It has a new lease on life and the sound quality is wonderful. If you are still happy with your original purchase, then by all means consider upgrading it. There are those that would recommend that a newer or upscale model be purchased instead. My experience has been that the RB250 can be improved with the right upgrades.
Let someone that knows about these upgrades do the work. There are a lot of people out there that will attempt to the upgrade without the slightest knowledge of what they are doing. Those that know what they are doing can evaluate your arm and recommend alternative solutions if necessary. In my experience, Expressimo Audio exhibited professionalism and offered complete customer satisfaction. If I had it to do all over again, I would have sent Expressimo Audio my arm for modifications to start with. I would have saved over $200.00 if I knew then what I know now.