Didn't we have this same question yesterday? I guess everyone wants to upgrade their Rega tables!
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The upgraded Rega has been compared to the Sota Star Saphire by someone who owns a Sota Star Saphire and it came out a draw. Since you have the rb600 arm, it is absolutely worth it to you. Not only that, but Rega is better for jazz than Sota.
I'm a jazz fanatic, and I have a P-3 24 with every Rega tweek known to man.
I would calculate the costs of the upgrades vs the cost of a new table minus the sale of your Planar 3. Inna's comments aside, Rega builds very nice turntables-so the Planar 3 may indeed be worthy of an upgrade, especially since you have already upgraded to the RB600 arm. Things I would upgrade in order would be:
1. New 24v motor and PSU
2. Groovetracer subplatter
3. Groovetracer plater
These upgrades will significantly raise the performance of the Planar 3 to almost P5 levels-the main issue, as I see it, is that you will still own a Planar 3. I had a similar decision to make regarding my P25-I decided to buy a used, but well taken care of, P7. I made the right decision.
Orpheus10, that would be almost a new turntable, and it probably cost you another $1k or so. I would just see no reason to do that, nor would I trust a company that makes "junk" in stock form, be it turtable, car or whatever.
By the way, I keep looking for something to post in that video/music thread. Nothing so far.
I dont know whos review or what model of Sota Sapphire or upgrade Rega you are referring to, but I have owned a Sota Sapphire III and Rega P3, both using RB300 arms and the Rega isnt in the same league, not by a long shot, whether you are comparing bass, quietness, speed regulation, isolation from external vibrations, PRAT or any other item. Its just a better made and performing turntable. Have you actually owned and compared both?
Manitunc, the Sota Sapphire is a fantastic table with a good suspension. The person who made the comparison was someone who had tweeked the Rega with the same tweeks I made. That should be here on the "Gon". When the tonearm wire is replaced with "Incognito" and the sub platter which uses a "Sapphire bearing", plus acrylic platter, plus "Techno heavy weight" arm balance, plus the P-3-24 motor; which is much quieter than the stock P-3 motor, you have an entirely different P-3.
I only record, and I use my Rega on the concrete basement floor. This negates the need for a suspension.
I agree with your statement in regard to the stock P-3 and the Sota Sapphire.