Hi Adam - I know you have said many times you love the Rega sound. Many people who do are not fans of the VPI. I should say that I have no real experience with the VPI tables, and many people love them, this is just what I have heard from many who do like the Regas. So if you really like the Rega line, then I would say move up in it. Early reviews of the new P6 are good. It is the replacement of the P5, as you probably already know. You could also easily find a used P7 nowadays within your stated budget.
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IMO The RP-6 is more of a sideways step from the P3-24. If you wish to stick with Rega I'd either wait to get the RP-8 or a used P-7 , P-9. Other than that Going VPI will be a different flavour change but since the Traveler is again in the same budget range as your P3-24 was or an RP-6. It's not a major change, but different and there is noting wrong with going different. If you are looking for a bigger step up in performance IMO you need to go beyond the $2000 range.
But both the RP-6 and Traveler are great tables, IMO maybe not worth dumping your P3-24 over.
You have assembled a very nice system at that price point. IMO, upgrade the cartridge to a Lyra Delos and you will really hear the difference. If the Delos is too dear, consider the Goldring Eroica LX for about half the price. With the Delos, you will need a couple of spacers under the arm, but that's no big deal. The Rega arm can handle both cartridges just fine.
Thanks for the responses so far. Keep your ideas and thoughts coming !
Hi Aaron ... Nice to hear from you. Looking for a P-7 may be a good idea.
Les ... That's just what I was thinking. A "sideways move" my not make sense.
Chayro ... Thanks for your kind comment about my system. Your ideas about a new cartridge gives me something else to think about. Very cool.....
Okay, it's 8:15 Sunday morning. Wife is still sleeping, and the dogs are both fed. Time to go downstairs and listen to some music. Perhaps some Miles and 'Trane ...
You should also check out some other MCs. I think Benz also works well in Rega arms, but I'm not an expert. I will tell you, I upgraded from the Exact to the Lyra Argo and the difference was night and day. The only time it doesn't pay to upgrade the cart is when the arm can't handle it, but that's not your situation. Enjoy.
I am now thinking of keeping my table and upgrading the cartridge. For now, I'll stay with the built-in MM phono stage of my Rogue Audio Cronus (non-Magnum.) So,....... I'd like to hear more ideas about cartridges that will provide excellent synergy with my system. Anyone know about the new ClearAudio Ebony line ? My dealer is telling me that the $600 "Artist v2 Ebony" would work very well, and be a significant improvement over my Exact 2. What do you guys and gals think ?
Hi Adam , If you are still using the same glass platter/plastic sub platter with brass and metal bearing system with your stock P3/24,you should look at the Groove Tracer upgrades!Platter and reference sub platter $450 for both, this will lower the noise floor of the table substantially, and give you a much higher quality bearing system (sapphire & zircon). I lay my records on the acrylic platter directly (no wooly mat..YUK) with a JA Mitchel clamp and there is no VTA spacer needed. I use a Nagaoka MP200 cartridge. And the bottom line is, I would have to spend $5,000 to get better sound. This is an awesome table and won 2 awards from stereophile in the same year. Best analouge source and budget component winner! And the exact2 is tough to beat. I would look at a ortofon 2mblack.
I have the cronus magnum. If I were you I would seriously look at a new phono pre. A new cartridge will not be given justice running through the built in phono pre. I really wanted to elimenate the extra phono pre and ran the built in for a little while after getting the cronus, it was okay but not great. When I hooked back up the Bottlehead Seduction I couldn't believe I'd used the built in for so long. In my opinion the built in is one dimensional and grainy, you can do a ton better for not much more money. If I ever have to send the cronus back for anything I will have them bypass the phono so I can free up the input. Also, I ran a Rega P3 for a while and now a p7, it's a nice step up. If you stick with the p3-24 think about upgrading the sub platter as well, it is a nice and noticeable upgrade. Hope this helps!
On my original P5 I had an Exact cartridge - I liked it. When Iupgraded to a P7 I added the Dynavector DV20XH - WOW - I was not expecting the improvement I got. A very good HO MC cartridge. I got another WOW moment when I stepped up again with a P9 & Lyra Delos. You have a good foundation with your P3-24. I suggest a cartridge upgrade and a phono stage. Also consider a platter and subplatter upgrade.
In this hobby especially vinyl playback its so easy to get captivated by other turntables that you do not own but may like. It's easy as turntables demonstrate visual character that other components often do not. Turntables see among the widest range in pricing from new tables costs $100 or so up to models into the high five figure and even six figure range. Many of these are visual and engineering delights.
I have found my almost always wanting for ever new models has been strong at times. It's so easy to spend one's money in your own mind. But thankfully for me I stand back and let the urge pass. Not always as I have bought a few (5 since 2003, none too expensive though) turntables since getting back into vinyl over 10 years ago. But today I've come to settle with my Rega P3-24. Its sitting on a doubled up granite slab system with both spikes and cut down hockey pucks adding much damping from floor made vibrations. This has improved the solidity of sound the Rega gives. I have a Denon DL-110 on it all running through my Cambridge Audio 640p phono preamp. The RB301 is a great all around tone arm that gives the user full confidence. However I made a change as I am amassing more mono LP's and wanted to be able to run a hot swap of cartridges between my stereo and mono cartridges. I chose to go with the Jelco SA-370H as it's a nice arm and has the detachable head shell. Mounted with full Rega specs as a drop in to the P3-24 and ta da it's up and running. The Jelco is an impressive arm and I have not yet tried the oil damping. Maybe I will maybe wont. But it's a superb arm and the fidelity I get from it with my DL-110 is truly impressive to my ears. I'm all too happy with my P3-24 and have little urge to switch it out. Oh one day I likely will but really my set up here really pleases me. Now that I can easily hot swap cartridges I may invest in other cartridge choices to enjoy each cartridges flavour of sound.
I may also now switch from coveting another turntable and save to buy a better phono preamp, not that the 640p is not a stellar unit give its price.
Well, I love my Bottlehead Seduction. It's better than the built in Rogue phono, Cambridge 640P, Nova phonomena II and the Jasmine phono that I've tried, the Bottlehead easily beat them all. It's only downfall is it's not terribly flexible. Mine has 40db of gain with the upgraded power supply which has been fine for the carts I've used with it, which include the Ortofon Blue, AT150MLX, denon dl160, dynavector 10x5 and the clearaudio virtuoso. I did just finally pick up a SUT so I could try out a low MC though.
Actually - before you do anything, I would try a Herbies mat. On my old music hall, it made a dramatic difference. The sound was much richer and fuller and it made the tt sound much more expensive. On my Linn, it was a bust. But Herbie offers money-back, so you're protected except for a few bucks shipping. You might not believe a mat can make that much difference, but it does. The problem is, you never know if it's going to be better or worse.
The white belt upgrade certainly sounds intriguing. There are many posts on vinyl engine.com about it ... some say there's a tremendous improvement, while others don't hear any significant difference. But for sixty bucks, it's not too much of a gamble.Since my table is four years old, I should probably consider replacing the belt anyway, and the price difference between black and white belts is not too significant. Worth a try ??? Maybe ???
Anyway, Music Direct has it ....
REGA - DRIVE BELT UPGRADE
The white belt seems to have more supporters than detractors. My belt is most likely over a year or two old so it is a no brainer. This plus the Groovetracer Subplatter would be a nice upgrade. I'm going to do both. Upgrading the table should come before filling my home brew (audio note) phono pre with boutique parts...
I haven't had a Rega in a while but I think the addition of the Audiomods Classic arm would be a worthwhile upgrade. You get a much better arm and VTA without spacers. If you are handy you can do the kit for around $500. You can then sell the arm you have to help fund the purchase. I have one mounted to my VPI and think it is a very good upgrade. A few guys at Vinyl Engine have some things to say about it.
That's what I've been thinking. Is the white belt causing the improvement ? or is the fact that the belt needs replacing causing the improvement ? The way I'm looking at it, since my belt is over 4 years old, I probably should replace it, and for the extra $ 20, I might as well buy the white belt instead of another black belt. But anyway, Coltrane's "Way Out West" LP still sounds pretty darn good !
Sebrof ...... I beg your pardon. Rollins, not Coltrane. You are correct ! Today, with all the great NCAA basketball on TV (with the TV obviously on mute) I've been listening to great jazz all day long. I've been spinning LP's by Miles, 'Trane, Rollins, Webster, Brubeck, and Mingus. Also, a little Grateful Dead and Neil Young thrown into the mix. Ahhhhh ..... it's all good !
How about a new arm, or sub platter, or platter, or bearing or...
Scroll down to the section on Turntable and Phono at this page
It has links to all of the manufacturers site that I got the various parts from
Audiomods also does a killer arm based on rega arms - several different levels/costs
I had a lot of fun and could take my time upgrading - you can feed the fever one mod at a time :-)
Ok Adam ,Here it is in a nutshell. The P3/24 table is the WEAK link. The RB301 is awesome arm..Upgrade the Belt It is way better than the cheesy black belt.The stock Subplatter bearing system SUX, noisy, a lot of friction. Upgrade for $250 to the groovetracer ref subplatter,last but not least the Platter get rid of the glass wooly mat combo for a groovetracer acrylic. Beautiful! Now your table is ready :-)
Got the Groovetracer Reference Subplatter yesterday for my Rega table. It finished what the White belt started. The White belt made a difference by getting rid of most of the warble and solidifying the images. The subplatter drops the low frequency rumble and further solidifies things. Funny, I didnt even notice how much low rumble was present until it is now absent. As I listened to many records, I noticed added detail and ambience that was previously obscured. I can sum it up as a much healthier, bigger sound. If you are thinking of upgrading your subplatter, I would advise getting the White belt or at the very least a new belt before you do the subplatter. Lots of improvement with the white belt alone. This table stomps all over my Ayon CD player. Vinyl is sounding so good, I am thinking I don't even need to add expensive caps and resistors to my homebrew Audio Note phono pre.
Tripg, The Subplatter is an upgrade that doesnt change the character of the Rega's sound and I am still enjoying it. Recently I changed from the Rega Exact cart to an Audio Note IQ 3. The Exact has a natural synergy and the Audio Note does as well. It also works very well with my hacked home brew Audio Note M3 Phono Pre. The AN guys use Rega arms on their turntables. - Enjoy! Jet