Turntable Dilemma

I currently have the very good Rega Planar 3/Elys2 (latest version from 2016) which I use with the Rega Fono MM phono stage.

To be honest, I don’t play vinyl that often and tend to use my Naim streamer (ND5xs through Chord Hugo DAC) into my active ATC system (ATC SCA2 preamp and ATC SCM 40A speakers).

Until quite recently, I have not really played vinyl for many years and I was wanting to rediscover many artists that I don’t have on digital and for the nostalgia etc.

I have about 300 LP’s and don’t really see myself buying many more records ... I’m more likely to stick with ripping CD’s and networking the digital streaming side etc.

But .... for the ‘rare’ (due to busy family life and kids!) occasions that I can listen to records, I want the sound quality to be at the same level as my digital source - otherwise I will be less than satisfied with the sound quality....... hence the reason for wanting to change the turntable.

If I am dissatisfied with the sound, then I won't really enjoy listening to it and simply won't want to bother playing records.

As good as the Rega Plannar 3/Elys 2 is (latest version bought September 2017), it simply doesn’t inspire me to keep playing records, because my Naim/Chord Hugo sounds much better.

Back to the point and a bit of a dilemma...

I’m wanting something much better sounding than my current turntable, to play my existing collection of 300 or so LP’s ..... as opposed to investing in lots more new vinyl (though I may buy the odd few records) and it needs to sound as good as my digital source  .... which with the Chord Hugo, to my ears sounds better than the bare NDX.

I’ve considered VPI, Linn, Rega (models above the Planar 3), Gyrodec, Clearaudio etc and still suspect that the VPI Prime with a good MM cartridge, might be the best option ...... unless you guys have any suggestions and solutions.

I had also considered the Linn LP12 (Majik), but consider that it may become a 'money pit' with the constant 'temptation' to keep upgrading, in an effort to get the best from it.

I simply want something that sounds great now and can be pretty much left alone, on which to play my existing collection of LP's ... without the need to spend silly money on cartridges etc;

Incidentally, here in New Zealand, dealers tend to only deal with one manufacturer in respect of quality turntables (e.g. Linn dealer or a VPI dealer) ... so its impossible to compare different makes at the same store - which doesn't help at all.

I did listen to a Rega 10/Apheta 2 today and whilst it sounded great, I have no way to compare it against anything else at the similar price point (e.g. VPI Prime).

Cheers 

Mark

Original Post

I think you're going to have to trust your won ears and if you find a turntable that you're happy with and sounds as good as you'd like it to, just go with it.
I have an LP12/Lingo1/Ittok/DV20X and for the times I use it, I prefer the sound over my HDX streaming. More involving and exciting and musical.

About 3 years ago I purchased a used LP12 with Cirkus upgrade.  I then added an Ittok and a Mk1 Lingo and after a professional service  this all came in at less than £1,500 and part from changing cartridges I have not touched it since.  You do not have to keep spending money on an LP12 just keep it simple and you will have a truly excellent deck.  As good as the Rega is for the price it isn't even comparable it was like a fresh light Chardonnay where as the the LP12 is like a rich deep purple/black Malbec.

Mr Frog posted:

Incidentally, here in New Zealand, dealers tend to only deal with one manufacturer in respect of quality turntables (e.g. Linn dealer or a VPI dealer) ... so its impossible to compare different makes at the same store - which doesn't help at all.

I did listen to a Rega 10/Apheta 2 today and whilst it sounded great, I have no way to compare it against anything else at the similar price point (e.g. VPI Prime).

I agree, it's quite a dilemma, especially when you're limited on any direct comparisons at dealers. Plus you have a hybrid of a system with regard to the various manufacturers. Still nothing the average TT buyer isn't up against. In your position I might try to focus on the components of the vinyl replay chain (aside from the TT) and see if any of those jump out at you. Do you tend to like a MM cart versus a MC? Can your dealer swap phono stages during a demo so you can hear that difference?  Does switching the interconnect matter?

Take along one or two of your own LPs that you know well to demo at the shop. Determine which elements of your current vinyl replay are lacking compared to your streaming replay, and try to discriminate among those during demo. Limit the field within your budget and then start reading reviews of contenders for some general guidance. While reviews are one person's preferences versus your own, so are the suggestions you'll get here. Hopefully you'll glean some meaningful, recurring values that matter to you. 

Quality vinyl replay has as much to do with the TT as it does with the cart, the phono stage and how these synergize with your system, room, and ears. You'll ultimately have to commit to a purchase then make your own best tweaks from there. Like all things hi-fi, no cookbook answers exist and there are no shortcuts involved in the process.

Good advice above but also be aware the signal chain starts with record itself.  With a better vinyl set up Great recordings/pressings can sound better but bad ones can sound really bad. 

The best across the board sounding TT I owned was the Linn Axis whatever you put on it sounded great. 

I'd look to change the cartridge and see if that meets your requirements. I have a Roksan Xerxes with a modified RB250 arm with, until recently, a Goldring 1042 (a model I have owned for many years - going back to my Thorens TD160 / SME IIIS days). Last year it needed a change and I purchased a much more expensive (UK£700) Audi Note Q3 (a 1042 derivative). It is noticeably better in all departments. I was listening to some records just the other night and the additional detail is almost shockingly good. See what's available - you might be surprised.

Bob the Builder posted:


 ...As good as the Rega is for the price it isn't even comparable it was like a fresh light Chardonnay where as the the LP12 is like a rich deep purple/black Malbec.

Bob, I assume you're referring to the Rega Planar 3/Elys 2 here rather than the RP10/Apheta 2.  

The RP10 is something else entirely and for sound competes at the highest level.  I now use one in my big Naim system, along with a Superline phono stage.  I would highly recommend this combination, and with the best vinyl it certainly bests either the Naim DAC or the Hugo for engagement.

I understand your situation, having updated my LP12 to Cirkus & Kore sub I find myslef looking at Tangerine black stilletoes, Ekos II & Kiseki Purple Hearts, if only...

Sure a Rega RP10 would fit the bill, is it possible you can take some or all of your system to demo at the dealer to compare your ND5xs with your potential next turntable ?

 

I guess you could always bring your own TT to demos? 

Like others have indicated my guess is you need to update all parts of the TT and upgrading say pickup and riaa will only get you as far. That said we all have different ears and you could at least try to demo eg an rega aria with your current TT.

I newer owned a rega wall shelf but I understand many are happy with it, ime the foundation of the TT is another important factor to consider.

Richard Dane posted:
Bob the Builder posted:


 ...As good as the Rega is for the price it isn't even comparable it was like a fresh light Chardonnay where as the the LP12 is like a rich deep purple/black Malbec.

Bob, I assume you're referring to the Rega Planar 3/Elys 2 here rather than the RP10/Apheta 2.  

The RP10 is something else entirely and for sound competes at the highest level.  I now use one in my big Naim system, along with a Superline phono stage.  I would highly recommend this combination, and with the best vinyl it certainly bests either the Naim DAC or the Hugo for engagement.

+1. I use the Rega Aria phonostage on my RP10/Aphelion. I do now have the Superlumina interconnect and I found the Isotek Optimum power cord dropped the noise floor to inky blackness. It’s a fit and forget TT, and if you buy it with a Rega cartridge there is no fit and a price reduction on the separate price of the two. Fit and forget is important if you are not near a dealer.

It is certainly better than my digital from nDAC + XPSDR, and maybe as good as the nDAC with CD555DR PS I hooked up today.

Phil

Richard Dane posted:

If you do go for an RP10 then be warned - you will be spending lots and lots more money on more records. 

And don’t forget the Record Cleaning Machine which improves SQ by letting the stylus make full contact with the vinyl rather than fine particles coating the vinyl particularly in the peaks and throughs.

Phil 

Buy a Michell Gyrodec se, Technoarm with Ortofon Blue with a Graham Slee Reflex X Phono Stage, sounds excellent through a 272/250dr into Proac D20R's.

No tweeking, mythering over upgrades etc.... it just works brilliantly.

I thought about buying an LP12 for a long time and then was lucky enough to have a Michell dealer close by where I could listen to a Gyrodec against a LP12 and I bought the Gyrodec...it looks good to.

Robiwan posted:

Stop with vinyl! You not gonna buy an expensive LP12 with a collection of only 300 lp's. It will NOT sound like Naim, vinyl always sounds different.

Only?? 300 lp’s sounds like a very useable number to me and certainly worth upgrading for.

Drewy posted:
Robiwan posted:

Stop with vinyl! You not gonna buy an expensive LP12 with a collection of only 300 lp's. It will NOT sound like Naim, vinyl always sounds different.

Only?? 300 lp’s sounds like a very useable number to me and certainly worth upgrading for.

300 pieces is not much, 3x kijken en je draait telkens dezelfde. 

The Strat (Fender) posted:

Was at a demo a little while ago with NDS/Statement when the NDS was swapped for a RP10 - all agreed the vinyl was superior.   

Even a 282+SuperCap DR and 300DR sounds very good with RP10 particularly with full SL loom. The 555DR PS improves nDAC no end making it as good as NDS. 

Phil

Take a look at the Audiomods arm . Superb value and works very well with a Goldring 1042 . I have it on a Michell Orbe SE. I definitely recommend taking your existing TT to the demo so that you can assess the difference to your current setup .

I've had my RP10 with Apheta 2 and Fono MC stage for a fortnight now on a 282/250/HC combo and it is absolutely fantastic. Better than my CDX2 and that's got an XPS DR  and Hi Line too! Haven't touched a single CD since getting it. 

Unfortunately, it now means that every new album that comes out from my favourite bands I have to buy on CD and vinyl! CD to rip for the car and vinyl to listen to on the hi Fi. Just the best piece of kit I've ever bought. 

 

hi Fi. 

Hi Adam

Yes, I heard an RP10/Apheta 2 for the first time at a demo in Auckland yesterday ... very impressive.

The dealer doesn't stock Linn, so I was wondering how your RP10 compares to your LP12?

Since the RP10 is so good, I'm now wandering about checking out the RP8/Apheta 2 and would be interested n any views from owners of the deck.

I currently have the Rega Plannar 3/Elys2 (2017) with the Rega Fono MM phono stage - but it is no match for my Naim ND5Xs/Chord Hugo into my active ATC system (ATC SCA2 preamp and ATC SCM 40A speakers).

Having not really played vinyl for many years until recently, I was wanting to rediscover many artists that I don’t have on digital and the nostalgia etc

I have about 300 LP’s and don’t really see myself buying more records ... I’m more likely to stick with ripping CD’s and networking the digital streaming etc.

But .... for the ‘rare’ (due to busy family life and kids!) occasions that I can listen to records, I want the sound quality to be at the same level as my digital source - otherwise I will be less than satisfied with the sound quality....... hence the reason for wanting to change the turntable.

As good as the Rega Plannar 3/Elys 2 is (latest version bought September 2017), it simply doesn’t inspire me to keep playing records because my Naim/Chord Hugo sounds much better.

Perhaps the RP8/Apheta 2 may be the answer 

Just to be pedantic - I acutally use RP10 with the Aphelion cartridge - it was a worthwile improvement over the factory-fitted Apheta 2 (my Apheta 2 suffered a left-channel failure in the first month and my dealer replaced it wth an Aphelion cartridge). This brought the RP10 to a much higher level - gone was the slightly mechanical sound of the Apheta2 and engaging, organic magic  of an Aphelion started to come through.

How does RP10 compare to my LP12? 

Both are fantastic decks - LP12 is fluid, warm and just brilliant . RP10 is fast, engaging and has that something special to it. 

Mr Frog posted:

Thanks Adam, so I guess it's difficult to choose between the two.

What spec is the LP12 (PSU, Arm, Cartridge etc) .... just to give me an idea of where it sits comparatively to your awesome RP10/Aphelion?

 

 

full lp12 is near 20k....you will be always tempted by upgrades.  

Absolutely ... it is interesting that Adam enjoys the sound equally, from both his turntables and that the RP10 can hold its own against the much more expensive LP12 set up.

I just need to weigh up as to whether the RP8/Apheta2 will give me the sound that I am seeking (on par with ND5XS/Chord Hugo) 

Any takers?

Personally, I couldn't justify such an expensive outlay on an analogue source - with my mere 300 LP's.

Though I fully respect people who do - good for them. They probably have far more LPs to enjoy, than I.

Hence the reason why I want something comparable to my current digital source and enjoy both vinyl and streaming, equally.

I would rather save the funds and continue to upgrade the digital source 

 

Mr Frog posted:

Absolutely ... it is interesting that Adam enjoys the sound equally, from both his turntables and that the RP10 can hold its own against the much more expensive LP12 set up.

I just need to weigh up as to whether the RP8/Apheta2 will give me the sound that I am seeking (on par with ND5XS/Chord Hugo) 

Any takers?

with a good phono stage it may be even better.  Rega fono is perhaps not enough....

Mr Frog posted:

Personally, I couldn't justify such an expensive outlay on an analogue source - with my mere 300 LP's.

Though I fully respect people who do - good for them. They probably have far more LPs to enjoy, than I.

Hence the reason why I want something comparable to my current digital source and enjoy both vinyl and streaming, equally.

I would rather save the funds and continue to upgrade the digital source 

 

A mere 300 LP's will take a very long time to listen to. It's not quantity that matters, it's the quality.
I've not counted my LP's but suspect I don't actually have many more than you but, I LOVE listening to them on my system.

Mr Frog posted:

Absolutely ... it is interesting that Adam enjoys the sound equally, from both his turntables and that the RP10 can hold its own against the much more expensive LP12 set up.

I just need to weigh up as to whether the RP8/Apheta2 will give me the sound that I am seeking (on par with ND5XS/Chord Hugo) 

Any takers?

With a good phono-stage I’d hazard a guess it will.

I too only have a few hundred LPs amassed over many years...but when I listened to vinyl... which is often..on my LP12 / tigerpaw / aro deck ..I find myself reaching for the same thirty or forty favourite one's time after time along with new offerings from the likes of rag and bone man / ed sheeran etc  ...just me I suppose..

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