I would definitely get one with VTA adjustment, I have only used the 300 and that was some time ago but it was very good. I don't see any point is using any arm besides one of the Rega family; it matches the table and there is no real competition at any price close to it. The VPI VTA is better than than the Michell but more costly. The Grado should be fine.
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I have a Roksan Tabriz Zi, and a Clearaudio Satisfy arm which are both Rega geometry. I like them both better than the Rega (which I once had). They are more user friendly and adjustable (which was my primary issue with the Rega). I have them mounted on Pink Triangle tables and the Rega RB300 arm didn't get along with the the OT tables.
All that said, they are more money, and if I were putting it on a Panar 3 I'd be tempted to stick with a Rega arm.
Some prefer the Rega RB250 to the RB300. Less money too. I agree in that I wouldn't start screwing around with non-Rega arms on a Rega table. You may start getting into issues with the depth of the other arm, or the wiring may bind up for some reason. Not worth the hassle, especially when the Rega arms work so well.
According to Rega, the RB301 is an improved 300, but I don't think they sell it separately from the P3-24.
There's no difference between a Moth and an OEM Rega. Rega supplies their arms to a number of manufacturers and allows them to put their name on it. The Michell Tecnoarm is a different story. It's a modified RB250 that's significantly better than an OEM. Read about it here.
The standard RB300 and RB250 are nice arms that can't be beat for the price. Either one would be an easy drop in without changing the mounting hole. There's a lot to be said for that if you haven't mounted an arm before. I agree with others to stick with Rega. There are lots of tweaks and upgrades that can be done to the 250 and 300. Michell makes an excellent counterweight called the TecnoWeight. It's a significant upgrade that improves the low end. They also makes a VTA adjustment sleeve that works well. I've never seen the VPI version Stanwal mentions.
An Origin Live is unquestionably better than an RB300 or 301, but you'll pay 3 or 4 times as much.
If you own the Grado Platinum, live with it for a while. There are plenty of alternatives when the upgrade itch hits. Focus on getting the table together first.
I always miss something in these threads. Why should one tonearm be better for one turntable than another? It simply doesn't follow logic. Get the best tonearm you can afford, and put it on the deck you have. I suppose that if the turntable in question was a springy type, one too heavy wouldn't be optimum, but how could it matter otherwise? You buy tonearms to suit cartridges, not turntables. A turntable is merely a device intended to quietly spin a record at the exact speed without imparting anything detrimental to the outcome. If it does that, it has done its part.
Mosin, it does matter. What you have missed is the last 30 years of turntable design. Some arms work better with one turntable, some with another. LOGIC would tell us that all turntables which revolved at the correct speed should sound the same. That is what they thought in 1960, you haven't just parachuted in from there , have you? Turntables, arms and cartridges are mechanical devices which have complex interactions and sound quite different. Turntables themselves produce their own sound apart from arms or cartridges, "Anything detrimental to the outcome" can mean many different things, but whatever it means is far from simple.
Of course, it is always the old "garbage in, garbage out" scenario. I don't contest that. I do challenge the concept that a turntable can be good, and still not let a tonearm that fits do its job to the fullest extent. If that is the case, a new turntable is in order. Also, I fully agree that many things are at work in a properly designed turntable. It is never as simple as it appears, but good turntables are flexible without sonic hits due to their operation and makeup. Whether the tonearm is any good is another question, altogether.
Thanks for all of the responses. I was looking at the moth MK1 aka the rega RB 251. Acadia audio sells this arm with options for an incognito rewire and vta adjustment. I am inclined to go this route because the table I purchased was monted with a higher priced rega arm that used the 3 point mounting method which this new rb 251 also uses. They claim this is a more stable mounting method and sells for around $220.00 without mods. Is the rewire worth the extra cost?
Mingles, my budget is around $300.00. I was hoping to find a used arm here for around that price.
Mosin, you never said anything about a turntable being "good', you stated clearly that the only design parameters for a turntable was speed accuracy. I tried to point out that "Without imparting anything etc. " could cover almost any conclusion you wish to draw. All turntables and all arms have their own ideosynceries and "logic" will tell you that some will match up better than others.
I suppose the "without imparting anything detrimental to the outcome" part should have been emphasized more. Anyway, you are correct in that speed alone isn't the end of turntable design. It should be in there, if you want to get the overall design right, though. So, I concede that a great many turntables should have some tonearm that is somehow matched to them for sonic reasons, but I maintain that those turntables are flawed when that is the case.
When I post a response about a product I sell, I identify myself as a dealer. from the following email I received:
Well, logic tells us that a turntable can be designed that will allow a tonearm to strut its stuff in an unencumbered way. I build such a deck, but I suppose some things just don't have much stuff to strut. Maybe you should upgrade, if your components fall into that category. ;)
It appears that he is a turntable manufacture, and it is apparently his position is that if you don't agree with him your equipment is defective. I have used tables in the past like the TNT and Basis Ovation and have returned to being a VPI dealer, currently using their tables. They are good, but I would never say that they were perfect or equally good with all arms and am suspicious of anyone who makes such claims. It may reveal my ignorance but I don't know what perfect table he is the maker of, but I am sure he will tell us.
Actually, I don't know if the perfect turntable will ever be built. I do know that the interaction between the device and the associated pieces should be as minimal as possible, no matter who makes it. I don't believe I am the only turntable builder who believes this should be the case. Sorry if you are somehow offended, but those are my beliefs on the issue. I told you I made a turntable in an e-mail because you treated me as if I were a novice. I never intended my status as a manufacturer to cast a shadow in the conversation, which is why my correspondence to you was offline. It was you who published that private correspondence, but carry on.
And it was you that implied that if I did not agree with you that my equipment must be at fault. When you jump into the middle of a discussion on how to help an individual in a particular situation with sweeping assertions that all accepted ideas about turntable design are incorrect you must forgive me for assuming that you are misinformed. I try never to argue with designers about the merits of their designs anymore than I dispute parents assertions about the incomparable virtues of their children. I also understand the difference between logic and science in the investigation of phenomena; logic can tell us what ought to be true, science what is true. Your status as a manufacture becomes relevant when you start to criticize the work of other manufactures while posing as a disinterested observer. This has gone on far too long , the OP was satisfied long ago, the members of the audiogon community who are actually motivated by giving helpful advice having preformed their function. I will file anything further under the "useless theoretical dispute file".
Come on guys. Enough. Let's get back to Skipper320.
Personally, I wouldn't consider the 3 point mounting design of the RB251 an important consideration. I doubt you'll hear any difference between a 251 and a 250. I see an RB250 with a Michell Tecnoweight in the classifieds right now that's close to your price point. In my experience, the Tecnoweight was a more significant improvement than the rewire.