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Rega P2 - Best TT under $600-$700???

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Looking to possibly update my turntable (AT PL120) and after extensive research both here and elsewhere is seems most roads point to the Rega P2. I must also admit its simplicity is appealing. I really just want to get a solid TT that I can hook right up to my amp w/phono stage and play. Obviously I am hoping for a nice SQ upgrade over my AT.

Am I missing any other great players in this range? Ideally I want a TT that comes with a cartridge already installed. I did one already on my AT and it was a pain in the butt.

Thanks...
post #2 of 73
It might be worth the 200 extra to get the P3-24. I think it has the better motor (same in the P5, P7 and P9) as well as the better tonearm (RB 301). I think the plinth is even a huge upgrade. It also comes with a decent cartridge. If you don't want to spend that kind of money, I would drop down to the P1 instead of a P2.
post #3 of 73
Does it have to be new? For that money, I'd buy a used Rega Planar 3/P3 and a Groovetracer subplatter.

Cartridge alignment can be agony, but you might find a seller with the tools and skills to do it. You could ask for installation and alignment to be part of the purchase.
post #4 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmiley View Post
It might be worth the 200 extra to get the P3-24. I think it has the better motor (same in the P5, P7 and P9) as well as the better tonearm (RB 301). I think the plinth is even a huge upgrade. It also comes with a decent cartridge. If you don't want to spend that kind of money, I would drop down to the P1 instead of a P2.
The cheapest I could find a P3 with cartridge was just over a grand. Do you know where they are selling them for under 900?
post #5 of 73
What about the MMF-5? I have found this to be superior in every way to the P2. I have the Pro-Ject version (better arm, worse stock cartridge, worse plinth set-up) and think value for money there is amazing. BUT... the price is going up really soon to a couple hundred outside of your price range.
post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
The cheapest I could find a P3 with cartridge was just over a grand. Do you know where they are selling them for under 900?
My fault..you're right. The cartridge is a 200.00 upgrade. Don't let the no cartridge installed stop you though. You're going to have change cartridges (or the stylus at least) eventually, and it's not all that difficult. Also, some dealers will let you pick out a cartridge and set it up for you..especially if you're buying a 900 dollar TT from them.
post #7 of 73
Go until the P3.
post #8 of 73
I'd recommend seeing if you can demo a Rega with your amp and headphones if you can and see if you like the sound. I know that for me, I just didn't like the Rega sound. I ended up liking the Pro-Ject much more, but this was year's ago, and I'm pretty sure they don't make the Pro-Ject 1.2 anymore. My guess is they can be found for not that much money on the used market though. I still use mine with a Grado Gold cart as my primary headphone source, and that combo falls well within your price range. (But I will say getting the Grado setup was/is a pain in the butt, but the couple of hours it takes pays off big time.) Good luck in your search!
post #9 of 73
Thread Starter 
Wow I am surprised by the the replies. It sounds like the Rega P2 is not widely regarded.
post #10 of 73
P2 as a package is known for having a great arm (RB250) but the table itself has lots to be desired. Indeed the only way to find out whether any TT is suitable for your taste would be a demo and do some comparisons to similarly priced packages. If I were you, I'll look at good used units.
post #11 of 73
I'd take a technics 1200, sony ps-x70 or denon direct drive table over this P2, all have better build quality and far better sound for the buck. They will all out spec the rega and they were built to last. Used all (well maybe not some denons) are in or under your price range.
post #12 of 73
Thread Starter 
I am also looking at the Pro-Ject Xpression III, any thoughts on this TT?
post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
Looking to possibly update my turntable (AT PL120) and after extensive research both here and elsewhere is seems most roads point to the Rega P2. I must also admit its simplicity is appealing. I really just want to get a solid TT that I can hook right up to my amp w/phono stage and play. Obviously I am hoping for a nice SQ upgrade over my AT.

Am I missing any other great players in this range? Ideally I want a TT that comes with a cartridge already installed. I did one already on my AT and it was a pain in the butt.

Thanks...
The Technics 1200/1210 MKII is the most solid turntable at your price.The Rega and Pro-Ject tables actually have nicer tonearms but the tables themselves are not very substantial and leave no upgrade path short of selling them. The Technics is popular and well supported and has an impressive upgrade path so there would never be a need to ever sell it. BTW,I don't really enjoy changing cartridges either but this is part of the fun of owning a turntable. Setting up a turntable is something that all owners should learn how to do. I am more of a listener then a tweeker and I tend to leave things alone once I get everything working a tracking correctly.
post #14 of 73
Pangaea, I have a couple of questions for you.

Are you mainly using this with headphones, or is it for a speaker based system?

Will you be getting it online, or from an audio shop?
post #15 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
I am also looking at the Pro-Ject Xpression III, any thoughts on this TT?
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniperlater View Post
What about the MMF-5? I have found this to be superior in every way to the P2. I have the Pro-Ject version (better arm, worse stock cartridge, worse plinth set-up) and think value for money there is amazing. BUT... the price is going up really soon to a couple hundred outside of your price range.
The Xpression III is the Pro-Ject version of the MMF-5. If you have a cartridge already (a good one), get the Pro-Ject. If you don't have a good cartridge, get the MMF-5 (it comes with a $300 Goldring).

MMF-5
- Better Cartridge
- Better Plinth
- Comes with a clamp

Xpression III
- Better Arm
- Less $
- Better Platter
- Lame cartridge stock.

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