Turntable Dilemma

Mr Frog posted:

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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?

That depends on how you judge them (i.e. how you weigh up your aural preferences).

That cartridge is holding you back as is the phono pre-amp.   I would describe both as "fine."  Is "fine" worth your time?  I'll just answer for you--no, it isn't.  I think 300 records is more than enough to throw some cash at this.  There really is no other way to do it other than to try it in your system and see if it appeals to you.  I can't speak to the RP10/Apheta 2 that is getting so much love here, but I had the RP6/Exact 2 for a while and it was also just "fine."  It collected a lot of dust.  The combo sounded blurry and sloppy to me.  I subsequently upgraded to non-Rega tables and cartridges and they embarrassed that Rega combo as they should I suppose given the cost.  I recently had the chance to pick up a new Rega P6/Ania and it's an entirely different thing from the RP6/Exact2.  This cartridge is quite quite good.  I now have the sound that I thought I'd have with the RP6/Exact 2.  It's a very nice combo, especially if you don't want to stretch much beyond $2K USD.  HOWEVER, you also absolutely need a quality phono pre-amp.  By all accounts the Rega Aria is quality.  I personally endorse Sutherland.  You need something at that level, else I'd say don't bother with this exercise.

French Rooster posted:

agree with you, i always found that the phono preamp is , as individual part of the turntable chain reproduction, the most important.  

The phono preamp as most important, really? The cart tonearm combi is most important and belt or DD gives you the character you like or not.  

Robiwan posted:
French Rooster posted:

agree with you, i always found that the phono preamp is , as individual part of the turntable chain reproduction, the most important.  

The phono preamp as most important, really? The cart tonearm combi is most important and belt or DD gives you the character you like or not.  

from my experience, i don’t say it is the truth, i always found the phono stage to play a fundamental part in sound quality, a little bit more than a better cartridge or arm.

A great phono stage with a little cartridge will sound, for me, in most cases, better than a great cart with a budget phono pre.   All is also relative.

Okay, thanks for all the replies and I've been listening to various decks - albeit at different dealers, which is the problem here in NZ.

Despite my previous reservations about the 'upgrading treadmill', I did rather like what the LP12 Majik did for its relatively 'mid price' outlay.

It certainly sounded better than my Rega Planar 3/Elys2 and also better than the RP6/Ania .... which is the whole purpose for changing my turntable - to try and match the sound from my Naim ND5xs/Chord Hugo digital source.

So, at this stage I have pretty much narrowed the choice down to either;

1. Linn LP12 Majik ….. using my existing Rega Fono MM Phono Stage for the Adikt cartridge
2. Rega RP8/Apheta 2 ….. changing to a Rega Fono MC for the Apheta 2 moving coil

 

 

Once again, there are difficulties in this part of the world doing a direct comparison.

with a rega phono you will never compete with a nd5x/ chord hugo, i am quite 100% sure. If you have not the budget for a minimum rega riaa phono/ apheta/ rp8, i would better put an apheta with rega riaa on your existing rega p3 combo.  

But just my feeling, try first at your dealer place. You heard the linn majik, what was the cartridge and phono?  the electronics were equivalent to yours?

Mr Frog posted:

Okay, thanks for all the replies and I've been listening to various decks - albeit at different dealers, which is the problem here in NZ.

Despite my previous reservations about the 'upgrading treadmill', I did rather like what the LP12 Majik did for its relatively 'mid price' outlay.

It certainly sounded better than my Rega Planar 3/Elys2 and also better than the RP6/Ania .... which is the whole purpose for changing my turntable - to try and match the sound from my Naim ND5xs/Chord Hugo digital source.

So, at this stage I have pretty much narrowed the choice down to either;

1. Linn LP12 Majik ….. using my existing Rega Fono MM Phono Stage for the Adikt cartridge
2. Rega RP8/Apheta 2 ….. changing to a Rega Fono MC for the Apheta 2 moving coil

Once again, there are difficulties in this part of the world doing a direct comparison.

Did you listen to the RP8/Ania with the Aria phonostage stage? The Fono MC is a good match to the RP6/Ania but may not be up to the Apheta. Spend the money saved to put toward the Aria phonostage stage at 3 times the price.

Phil

If you liked what LP12 did, I would recommend going for that solution. But with a better phono-stage - perhaps one of Linn’s own? It’s always a neat and easy solution to use the same turntable and a phonostage (at least to begin with ).

The obvious advantage of an LP12 is that it can be upgraded step-by-step, as appetite and disposable funds grow

Yes it was the Aria, more expensive mm/mc phono amp.

i could perhaps stretch my budget if that would be a huge improvement.

I guess it would work well for either the Apheta 2 mc if I choose a Rega and equally fine with the Linn Majik with its Adikt mm 

Try a Graham Slee they have a number of Phono stages running from about £200 - £,000's their website is very good

I tried a number of phono stages including Tricord Dino, Rothwell, Arcam etc... when I needed to change from a stage line when I switched to  a NAC N272. The reason for the change was due to needing a power supply to power the Stageline costing nearly £1,000

 

FWIW, I upgraded my Fono to pre-loved Aria, for my 15-ish-year-old updated Planar3/Exact.  I did not hear much difference — I always liked the Fono.  I bought it to set the stage for a new turntable and MC cartridge one day soon, more than seeking any immediate performance lift.

Nick

NickSeattle posted:

FWIW, I upgraded my Fono to pre-loved Aria, for my 15-ish-year-old updated Planar3/Exact.  I did not hear much difference — I always liked the Fono.  I bought it to set the stage for a new turntable and MC cartridge one day soon, more than seeking any immediate performance lift.

Nick

Most of the cost of the Aria goes into the MC circuits. It can be convenient to have one box for two turntables. I have a Thorens TD124 Mk 2 with my RP8 arm fitted. The intention is one day to use the original TP14 arm with a mono cartridge.

Phil

NickSeattle posted:

FWIW, I upgraded my Fono to pre-loved Aria, for my 15-ish-year-old updated Planar3/Exact.  I did not hear much difference — I always liked the Fono.  I bought it to set the stage for a new turntable and MC cartridge one day soon, more than seeking any immediate performance lift.

Nick

perhaps because the exact is an mm cart. With a mc cart, the aria should give the difference, as well the mc cart.

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.

Yes of course and I have toyed many times with the idea of swapping my LP12 for a Rega RP8/Alpheta which I heard in front of a 252/300 at a dealers and it sounded excellent so I can imagine that RP10 is an excellent sounding deck.

I do have a bit of an emotional attachment to my LP12 but if it ever got to the point where I was considering upgrading sub chasis and top plates then I would seriously consider selling up and investing in either an RP8/10.

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?

I have owned an ND5XS/Chord 2Qute and a Cirkus LP12/Ittock/Dynavector 10x5 at the same time,  so whilst not exactly the same close enough I think to warrant posting my own view. Whilst the ND5/Chord was an excellent machine that sounded very clean and tidy and would be more than enough of a source for me on it's own the LP12 was in another league. I keep trying to describe the sound of a decent record player against an equally decent digital front end but can't describe it adequately but the record player just sounds fuller, bigger and weightier in comparison whilst sounding very clean especially with High Res streams the digital player just doesn't have the same presence.

Mr Frog posted:

The moving coil section of the Aria v's Fono MC?

Is there a huge difference?

It’s been explained that the the Aria is 3 times the price and most of the cost is in the MC section. You also need to keep the Aria and MC cartridge well away from any other other boxes. Just experiment and start near the maximum the leads allow. 

Phil

Decision Time ......

I've listened to both the Rega and Linn .... albeit at different dealers - which makes a realistic comparison (here New Zealand) very awkward or should I say, impossible.

I like the sound of both and have decided that the phono stage will definitely be the Rega Aria (both mm and mc), so that the turntable isn't held back.

On the basis that both with cost exactly the same; which is the better deck?

1. Linn LP12 Majik (Project Tonearm and Linn Adikt mm cartridge) 

2. Rega RP8 with Apheta 2 mc cartridge

I am aware that the Linn is infinitely upgradable, but have no intention to upgrade it - so that certainly doesn't leave the Rega at a disadvantage, compared to the upgradable flexibility of the Linn.

This will be my last turntable (for my existing 300 LP's) and I do not intend to invest in any further vinyl ... especially considering the somewhat poor quality of modern recordings/pressings.

As stated before, I simply want a great turntable, which sounds as good as my digital source and I will concentrate any future upgrades on the digital, streamer side of things.

I understand that the tonearm and internal Majik power supply are perhaps the limiting fact of the Linn (in its Majik level format), but definitely have no intention to start changing things (Lingo etc).

Either the Linn Majik or the Rega RP8 (both with a new Rega Aria phono stage) are available to me at exactly the same price.

So the dilemma is whether to get the Linn (in the knowledge that the it probably isn't the best version of the LP12) or the effectively 'plug and play' Rega?

Also, living in New Zealand, I don't have the luxury of Peter Swain's (Cymbiosis) expertise to set up the Linn ... so I would never know if the Linn was actually performing at its best. Perhaps that in itself, makes the Rega the safer option? - especially with its moving coil cartridge and great tonearm!

I guess it's Linn Majik v Rega RP8 

On a slightly different note, would the more expensive RP10 (I know Richard Dane loves his), outperform the Linn Majik?

the rp10, aphelion, top rega phono is on the same level, just different, as the full lp12, which costs nearly twice the price!

I would go without hesitation on the rp8/ apheta 2/ aria, vs the linn majik. To have better, the linn ekos/ lingo/ linn mc cart would be the choice, but much more expensive trio.

Rega apheta 2 cart is much better too vs the linn adikt....

other choices: kuzma stabi s, vpi prime....

I did a direct home demo side by side of an LP12 Majik and the RP10 that I actually bought. Both working off a Rega Fono MC and the same Apheta 2 cartridge. There was no doubt in my mind or the dealer's mind that the RP10 was better. And he's one of the top LP12 guys in the country so is inherently a Linn fan. It goes without saying that you're comparing the bottom of Linn's tree with the top of Rega's but I considered the Rega to be all I'd ever want from a turntable without the constant never ending expense of upgrading the Linn for ever decreasing marginal gains. The dealer said that an Aria would push the RP10 up further a notch as it's a far better stage than the Fono.

Interestingly, my first audition in a hi fi shop was an RP8 v RP10 v Gyrodec. I liked all of them. The RP10 was still the best but I'd quite happily have lived with the other two and bear in mind the RP8 was half the price of the RP10. 

I'd be tempted to save up and go for the RP10 if you can with maybe the Fono stage to start with. I intend to buy an Aria when I've paid this lot off but that will be a better combo than an RP8 + Aria, albeit more expensive. 

It took me 4 months from first audition to it arriving but it was fun trying them all. 

 

 Mr Frog,

although I would personally buy the Linn you do need a dealer reasonably local for set up and servicing. You need to trust them and perhaps have a service every 5 years. If this is not the case I would go the Rega route. At least you liked both so should be an easy decision.

Couple of things.

I used to own the Rega Aria, and much as I like Rega (I have two of their t/ts), I prefer the sound of the new Arcam rPhono which is half the price (and certainly better than the Fonos), so you might want to hear that too.

Rega are about to announce a new turntable which I expect is the next version of the 8 (Planar 8). So you might want to wait a month or three, or get a better deal on an RP8...

Salmon Dave ..... I asked the dealer directly about whether they anticipate a replacement for either the RP8 or RP10 in the near future.

They are totally unaware of any such moves.

I haven’t seen anything in the HiFi press and am interested to know where you got the information in respect of Rega “announcing a new turntable”

Obviously if they are, I’ll wait a little while longer

 

French Rooster - the P6 with Neo PSU has been out for quite a while. Are you talking about a different finish option, other than black?

Christopher_M and Salmon Dave - I’m not disputing what you may have heard, but it seems rather strange that no dealer in New Zealand has any such information..... unless they are just wanting a quick sale before any new release from Rega .... which would be a little unfair and not a great customer experience

Notnaim Man - thank you. I've looked at the Bristol Sound and Vision site and that really helps.

"The Sound and Vision Show 2018 will be the showcase for a world exclusive reveal of a new Rega turntable. This brand-new product will be a welcome addition to an already multi-award winning range. Be the first to hear this new turntable with a complete Rega system".

This suggests another additional model in the range, as opposed to a replacement .... but equally, it could be a replacement to the RP8 or RP10.

Maybe I ought to wait until after the show and see what is released, before committing to a new purchase at this time.

Mr Frog posted:

French Rooster - the P6 with Neo PSU has been out for quite a while. Are you talking about a different finish option, other than black?

Christopher_M and Salmon Dave - I’m not disputing what you may have heard, but it seems rather strange that no dealer in New Zealand has any such information..... unless they are just wanting a quick sale before any new release from Rega .... which would be a little unfair and not a great customer experience

it will be difficult to find the information. I was on the rega site and saw the announcement of the rp6 neo psu, but i didn’t know it is already on the market.

Perhaps you can mail to rega support in England.

What do you think of a rega rp10 second hand?  or demo from a shop?  you would in that way have the budget for rp10/ apheta 2/ aria.

notnaim man posted:

The Rega website has a news entry dated 9th January referring to exciting new products at Sound and Vision (aka the Bristol Show).

An email today promoting the show says "REGA SECRET NEW TURNTABLE LAUNCH AT BRISTOL"

on the Michael Fremer site, Analog planet, i read an article of a high end rega turntable to come, in the 20k-30k range.  Perhaps it is this one?

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