Upgrade cartridge or something else?


Here's a friend's turntable:

Current model Rega P3 with the RB330 arm. It has been upgraded with the Groovetracer Reference sub-platter, the Rega tungsten counterweight, the Rega white belt and the Rega Neo PSU speed controller along with a linear power supply upgrade.

The first cartridge was the Rega Elys 2. The Elys 2 was replaced by the Clearaudio Performer ($400 at that time), which was a definite improvement in sound quality.

Do you think that this table is where it should be or should the Clearaudio Performer be upgraded and if so, what would the practical dollar limit be in this case? Should he consider doing something else instead?

Thank you for your input.
Ag insider logo xs@2xmwh777
I want to add a little clarity to the "something else" question. What I was after is, where is the smarter expenditure? Should he upgrade the cart or  do something else to this turntable or move up to a higher level table? 
suggest a benz glider
Teo audio CBP.

As for expected qualities, that is up to the person trying it out to discern.

They have a 30 day trial, where you return it if you don’t like it. Monies refunded.

A first for phono cartridges.

I’m happy to be able to say...Not a single one has come back.

Batting a thousand, So far.

Thus, there’s gotta be something going on in there ...that makes it work.... 

Even better: you can change the stylus out to  a shibata or microline yourself, at an insanely low price, with zero captive pricing or service issues. User replaceable. buy the Shibata/ ML stylus from anyone.  Where, at that point you'll be equal to or in the same area as the best MM's on the planet. Depending on your analysis, you might find it to then be, with the better stylus..to be the best MM possible.  

What's not to like?
Wow, nice ad. No shame whatsoever..........
When you have a product as good as the Teo Audio CBP cartridge at the ridiculous price and a money back guarantee that they are selling it for, it would be shameful not to bring it up. Just sayin. enjoy the music
With turntables it's the whole front end, which includes the phono stage, which you didn't mention. 

Another very important one you don't mention is how and what it is being used with. No not the music. Is it on a rack? Shelf? What have you done to the arm?  

None of this would matter, except that your question is, "what is the smarter expenditure?" If what you listed is what you have then almost always "the smarter expenditure" is to upgrade what you have, and not by replacing it but by making it better.  

A set of Townshend Pods under that table will be at least as big an upgrade as you are talking about with cartridges. The Benz Glider jjss49 recommends is a fine cartridge, loved mine, but you will get pretty much the same level of improvement with Pods. The difference being the Glider wears out and gets tossed or sold off. The Pods get used pretty much forever. That to me is the smarter expenditure.  

Another good one, fO.q tape. This stuff is crazy expensive, as tape goes, $60-70 for two sheets. But it is absolutely amazing how effective it is, which makes it cheap in terms of results. I cut a tiny little piece to stick on the headshell of my Origin Live Conqueror arm, so the Koetsu mounts to it instead of the headshell. One small strip about 1/4" wide runs along the under side of the arm tube. Several more small bits are stuck onto the arm base. Altogether this is only about 10% of one sheet but the improvement is like going to a whole new cartridge!  

Could do more but I like to hide it. Look at picture #40 on my system page to see what I'm talking about. You cannot see this stuff at all in any of the other photo's. No one will ever notice it. Arm looks totally stock. It does not sound stock! Tweaks have elevated this rig way beyond anything you would ever expect just to look at it! https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367 Anyone can do this. You can do this. Almost always "the smarter expenditure" way to go.

Unless there is something you don't like about your Clearaudio, which you didn't mention. My view is never go shopping for anything until you know what you want, and how it will be not only different but better than what you have. The advantage of the upgrades I've mentioned is they won't really change the sound you have now. They will mostly make it a whole lot better. Pods will give more and better bass, and a bit smoother more natural top end. But they will not change the character the way you will notice if going to say a Benz Glider. 

It you are tired of the CA sound and want richer and warmer and more refined, a sound that draws you in more, then a Glider is a great way to go. But if you like what you have now and just want "more" of it then Pods and tape will get you there too, and for less.
When you have a product as good as the Teo Audio CBP cartridge at the ridiculous price and a money back guarantee that they are selling it for, it would be shameful not to bring it up. Just sayin. enjoy the music

So going forward, this is the gold standard for advertising in the discussion forums? I'm glad you said something so now I will just hawk anything I have for sale in here. tooblue said it was ok.......


Oz



@ozzy62 , I didn't know we needed permission from anyone to have an opinion, but I will check with you in the future so not to offend the people policing these things. Enjoy the music
 I didn't know we needed permission from anyone to have an opinion, but I will check with you in the future so not to offend the people policing these things. Enjoy the music
@tooblue You missed the point entirely. But thanks for playing.........
@ozzy62 , So please enlighten me to what your point is.
The point is it’s in poor taste for a dealer or manufacturer to offer up unsolicited ad copy in this forum. No matter how much you or anyone else thinks it’s a “ridiculous” price.

Consider yourself enlightened.......
@ozzy62 , So I really didn't miss your point did I. Now you can get back on duty to policing the forum and thank you for your service.
You had your opinion about manufacturers advertising in the forum, and I had mine. How does that make me the "forum police"? 

If you can't accept that, you might not internet well.......

ozzy62
"
The point is it’s in poor taste for a dealer or manufacturer to offer up unsolicited ad copy in this forum."
Why would you say that this forum is open to all under the rules, polices, and guidleines established for the group it is not for you to establish and determine who can participate here and attack those who you think "don't belong."
Audiogon would certainly prefer he buy an add. My own adage is , never buy a cartridge from a cottage manufacturer. You have AT, Grado, Clearaudio, Soundsmith, Goldring and others making MM/MI cartridges.
There is no reason to buy cartridges from questionable suppliers who may not be around in a year. When you hear "money back guarantee," alarms should go off. 
As for the OP, He should get a Clearaudio Maestro. That will get him to the highest level this turntable justifies. It will make a noticeable  improvement in tracking, high frequency performance and transient response.

Why would you say that this forum is open to all under the rules, polices, and guidleines established for the group it is not for you to establish and determine who can participate here and attack those who you think "don’t belong."
Ok, where do you draw the line. If a manufacturer can advertise what he has for sale in THIS forum, why can’t I. Why can’t you?

Slippery slope.....

BTW, your definition of "attack" and mine differ ever so slightly.



There is no reason to buy cartridges from questionable suppliers who may not be around in a year. When you hear "money back guarantee," alarms should go off.


Be careful, you'll be accused of attacking.......

ozzy62
"
Ok, where do you draw the line. If a manufacturer can advertise what he has for sale in THIS forum, why can’t I."

It is not for you, me, or other registered users to this site to "draw the line" that is for the moderators to decide, establish and enforce. The same rules apply to all here as best as I can determine.
FWIW the dealer is running an advertisement on that product mentioned as well as others on this site. I don't believe it works in my interest as a potential buyer and user of a product for a dealer to have to sit on his hands to keep from clapping about something that is as good as the hype, after all I bought one and am blown away with it and for one would like to see others enjoy this product, again money back guarantee on a cartridge. Just sayin.
@mwh777 - having gone through the constant and $$$expensive upgrades to my own Rega Planar II - I would recommend replacing the turntable before you get too far into those upgrades

Some might say that is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but you can get a reasonable price for your Rega to help fund its replacement.

I would recommend a Music Hall product - anything from the MMF-3.3 and up..

If you can afford it - go for the MMF 7.3
- the features are excellent
- comes with the Ortofon 2m Bronze
- will satisfy for years to come and
- will keep sounding better as you upgrade other related components/cables

music hall mmf-7.3 turntable, pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge (musichallaudio.com)

I like my turntable now, but the only thing that is still Rega is the plexiglass cover, the motor and the ON/OFF switch
The biggest improvement was upgrading the arm to an Audoimods Classic arm - it uses the Rega Arm tube, but that is where all similarity to a Rega arm ends.

Hope that helps - Steve
First, thanks to everyone who actually stayed on topic.

Next, just a reminder that the table in question is a friend's table, not mine.

I appreciate those who have been able to respond with simple answers to a simple question instead of wanting to get into a more holistic view of this. I will leave that for another thread.

So far there are a few more votes for cart replacement than table replacement and none for additional upgrades. I would vote for either cart or table replacement. 

Thanks to millercarbon for the suggestions. Friend Jim is a far less sophisticated audiophile than those at your level. He is near the polar opposite of the analytical purist. While he is learning that improvements to the "sound" will propel his appreciation of the music, for him the music (musicality) will always be the focus.

Let's not start getting into what musicality means. There will never be any agreement between what it means to the analytical purist and what it means to his polar opposite. (I happen to be on the other side of the fence from the analytical type.)

To mijostyn, The Maestro cart is in the running. My personal cart is a Maestro V2 on a very upgraded Linn LP12 and an Audio Origami arm.

To williewonka, food for thought for sure.