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The REGA P3/24 Project - Page 2

post #16 of 73
Thread Starter 

 

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Some quick shots from my Blackberry. The board was meant to be a extra shelf but came out to be perfect size for my table and only about 3/4" thick. I think I'm gonna pickup one of the Michell clamps, should help with the warping. There's still a whole bunch of tweaks I'm planning to do, but I already love it so far. 

post #17 of 73

Very nice!

post #18 of 73

The platform the turntable stands on has a large impact on sound which is why people spend stupid money on isolation platforms, and in my experience chipboard is not a good platform, for me it cheapens the sound (for want of a better explanation, i think it kills the transients).

A cheap way to test this is to see if you can borrow a glass or granite chopping board and put it under the turntable. If you like what you hear then you can a step further by placing half-cut squash balls under the board to further isolate it.

I personally used sorbothane in place of the squash balls under a granite board, i found glass to be too bright but still preferable to chipboard. I also tried hardwood which was too warm for my room, but worth a go.

 

Or, if you're feeling experimental, try widening the gap between the supports and suspend the table or the platform with string...

 

post #19 of 73
Thread Starter 

Interesting. I know the chipboard isn't ideal, it was more of a makeshift kind of thing. I'm wondering if I should just get the Rega wall mount since it seems like a lot of work to build the right platform. Also whether I should change the feet too..problem is the mount isn't perfectly level either, so i'm using tiny sheets of paper to level it off. 

 

I couldn't find a granite or glass board but I went a put my wood chopping board underneath to help stabilize it a bit. It's nice because it already had these rubber feets underneath it. I'm not sure I hear a difference but it does sound a little more analog and less edgy with just the chipboard underneath. what are your thoughts on aluminum or brass? i think they would be good for damping vibrations too no?

 

pic1.jpg

pic fitted with the new DV-20X2L cart. 


Edited by SemiAudiophile - 12/18/11 at 12:24pm
post #20 of 73
Thread Starter 

How's that Garrard 301 of yours? Sounds like a legendary table from what I've been reading. I've been listening to some youtube videos on turntable setups and I'm thinking maybe I should have saved some money and bought a VPI table instead. Those seem to sound so much more smoother and analog, while the Rega I think almost has a "digital", peaky sound to it.

post #21 of 73

Not to butt in, but... I found it funny (I guess) to read that you're interested in a VPI table.  I went from a beat up Garrard (no idea what the model was, it was my mom's) to a Sota Moonbeam ($350 at the time, now it's twice that) which it seemed to want to be a Rega P3, to a VPI HW-19 Jr with an upgraded platter and the JMW 10 (first in the series) arm.  That's what's in my avatar picture.  But I've always wondered just how lively the Rega tables were because I always felt the VPI combo was on the soft side.  Two completely different approaches to music reproduction.  VPIs are heavy and clamp the record to a heavy acrylic (among other materials) platter whereas Rega uses hard materials, like glass or ceramic with a felt mat and no clamp and don't weigh much on their own.

 

I'm envious of your ability to buy inexpensive products and play your records.  I have this weird thing in my head that won't allow my to play records anymore unless it's being done so as if every play were its last.  The record wearing out thing got to me a long time ago, and that's why I've been on a vinyl vacation for many years.  I'm having such a hard time deciding what phonostage to get now, it's silly. 

 

Going back to the difference in approaches, what really bugs me about Rega is that the ultra high end manufacturers use the super heavy materials and record clamp approach.  I can't think of a single one that uses that same approach Rega does... and I'll admit, I'm very interested in the Rega RP6... like I should be even reading about turntables when I have a nice one sitting here without a phonostage so I can use it...  rolleyes.gif


Edited by Eee Pee - 12/22/11 at 4:34pm
post #22 of 73
Thread Starter 

That's interesting. I figure with that Grado Sonata, you should be getting some pretty thumping sound. When I was watching the youtube videos, the VPI setup was so clean, smooth and effortless. It definitely sounded more "hifi". Whereas the Rega setup sounded more edgy and a bit more "in your face". 

 

I can hardly tell a difference between the DV20X2L and the AT440Mla, I'm thinking maybe I should've got the higher output verson since I'm not sure the V-LPS can handle it. Then again, my current setup is probably not optimum for me to hear the difference and the micro details that are being retrieved in the cart. As much as I love vinyl it can be so frustrating to setup sometimes with all the compliance, VTA, output problems etc. I wish there were more information out there as far as getting setup as there is for digital systems. 

 

Too bad you're all the way in Ohio. I'd love to trade you tables for a week and compare. happy_face1.gif

post #23 of 73

 

Yeah the Sonata is good, by all means.  I don't think I've complained about it ever.  I always figured it was the best part of my music chain.  I paired it up with a Rega Brio (the first one) and B&W DM302 speakers.  That was about 15 years ago, actually... 

 

But yes, remembering correctly hopefully, the VPI/Sonata is smooth, but smooth doesn't always work.  My buddy has the same table, but with a Graham 1.5 arm and a Benz cart (Ruby 2 maybe?) that was $3000 back in 1997 or so, and multi thousand dollar Spectral gear paired with Thiel 1.5 speakers.  I think I got all that correct.  But anyways, smooth his was not, but his had the ability to startle you going from blackness to excellently defined leading notes, it was amazing.  I haven't heard that again until I bought Senn HD 800s.  To go from his stereo to mine was quite the letdown for me, but he assured me he enjoyed the differences my system presented.  Mentioning it's much easier to listen to than his and got his toes tapping instead of picking apart the recording.  A good compliment, and that seems to be how I feel about listening to Senn HD 600s compared to the HD 800s.

 

Interesting about hardly telling a difference between the two.  What I've read, though it's not been much, there seems to definitely be a tonal difference.  Keep listening.  biggrin.gif

 

Your RB300 arm is what would be bugging me with its lack of adjustments.  Though my JMW uses the weird wire twist for anti-skate, but it being a unipivot everything else is infinitely adjustable.  I even got the VTA on the fly early version.  You're welcome to come to Ohio.  biggrin.gif

 

Just keep tinkering, it's part of the fun.

post #24 of 73
Thread Starter 

I'm having the hardest time looking for granite blocks for my platform. Tried hardware stores like Home Depot, etc. Only way seem to be to get remnants from their supplier but they don't have any precut, nice looking sizes. Anyone know a good source to find them in the U.S.?

 

My other option is looking at the cutting boards they sell on ebay, amazon. Their sizes are smaller and a bit pricey too. 

post #25 of 73

I purchased one of these for my p5.

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?accsrack&1329665535

Extremely nice for $100, recommended. 27# 3" thick.

Why spend $300+ at Mapleshade?

 

D3 inch Maple block.jpg


Edited by bacobits - 12/28/11 at 1:18pm
post #26 of 73
Thread Starter 

Found granite, made a new mount!


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At last...looked up craigslist and was lucky enough to find a local supplier that lived just up the street from me. He even cut it out and polished it within a couple hours, nice guy. Came out perfect. The granite cost me $50 which is still a pretty sweet deal I think. I went straight back to Home Depot to pickup some MDF this time just do make things right. And had them cut out the exact dimensions. They both happen to be 3/4" thick which came out to fit perfectly. 

 

Didn't have any sorbothane with me, but I had these little rubber feet so used that instead. This time I lowered the mount a little just so I could redo the leveling and make a more secure mount. That must've been the hardest part especially when I didn't have anyone to hold the boards for me while measuring. In the end the level was still a tiny bit off, but I think it's because of the brackets, they're not absolutely straight to begin with. Will probably change them later. 

 

After setting it all back up, I already noticed quite a bit of change in sound. Runs quieter/silent and the dynamics have more punch. I hear more depth and texture. I think I'm finally starting to hear what the P3/24 with DV-20X2L is capable of. Before it kind of sounded like a good dac but now it sounds a lot more like a real turntable spinning records. Sounds pretty darn good in stock form! I'm glad I redid the mount. It's gotta be the first and one of the most important aspects of setting up vinyl IMO. 

 

Now waiting for the adjustable Rega ISOfeet to come in..

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Next...Groovetracer subplatter! very_evil_smiley.gif

 


Edited by SemiAudiophile - 12/28/11 at 9:28pm
post #27 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bacobits View Post

I purchased one of these for my p5.

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?accsrack&1329665535

Extremely nice for $100, recommended. 27# 3" thick.

Why spend $300+ at Mapleshade?

 

D3 inch Maple block.jpg


bacobits, I read your impressions on vinylengine. Glad to hear that block is working well for u. I think I might give that a try sometime down the road too maybe. 

 

I see you're using the GT acrylic platter? how is it? I was thinking about getting that too. You're using their subplatter as well? 

 

post #28 of 73
Thread Starter 

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I realized that my VTA wasn't setup correctly after awhile when I would lift the tonearm and sound would keep playing, there wasn't enough clearance. So I went and installed the adjustable spacer from Rega and set it to 2mm, came out to be perfect height. Strange though because Rega insist that there shouldn't be a need to setup the tonearm and that VTA doesn't seem to be that important from their website. 

 

Quote:

Adjustment is rarely required on Rega turntables,...

Note: On all Rega turntables spacers should not be necessary, unless using another manufacturers cartridge.

Arm Height or V.T.A adjustment can be a controversial subject. Rega believes that the integrity of the arm fixing onto the arm mounting board is much more important than the questionable facility of arm adjustment: The arm should be reasonably parallel to the record surface or slightly lower at the mounting. The only time a spacer is necessary to raise the arm height is if the rear of a cartridge is hitting the record whilst playing.

I think the sound did improve a little with the correct height adjustment. I should've known better when using different cartridges that it would be necessary. 

 

Bad news though...the cantilever snapped on my dynavector cartridge while reinstalling the tonearm. The needle caught on my shirt. frown.gif

I was pretty pissed, but got over it and reinstalled the AT440mla. Going back to this cartridge now, I find that it really is not a bad sounding cartridge at all. In fact it sounds pretty darn good except for maybe a little tipped in the treble region. But it sounds very good with rock material. And the treble seems make it sound very detailed. 

 

So I guess I'll have to send the dynavector to soundsmith for retipping later, but I'm in no real rush because I'm pretty happy with the AT440mla. 

I also went and bought some more records to add to my collection. I'm lucky to live where there is a lot of good local record shops with good selections. I'm broadening my horizons as far as music genres go. I think anything just sounds better on record. I've been pretty much neglecting my digital system ever since. Soon I'll have to find more storage for all these records. happy_face1.gif

 

edit: oh yeah, forget what I said earlier about Rega tables sounding too edgy or digital. They sound amazing, I think "lively" is a better word. Brilliant engineering. 


Edited by SemiAudiophile - 1/2/12 at 11:13pm
post #29 of 73
Thread Starter 

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The long awaited V-PSU II has arrived. As well as the IsoKinetik ISOFeet.

 

This is where it starts to sound interesting...and impressive. 

 

With the PSU in place, sound is noticeably cleaner, none of that fuzziness. I can finally hear space around instruments and voices instead of a wall of sound. Dynamics are more lively. Placement is noticeable, imaging clearly improved. 

 

Add the ISOFeet. These were kind of a b**** to install. Didn't come with instructions or anything. But clearly straight forward. I realized I needed to drill 3 tiny holes into the plinth for each foot to screw them in. Made me nervous because I didn't want to damage the table. But after some time and patience it came out quite successful. 

 

As for the sound? In combination with the newly added PSU, it has been a fantastic and clearly audible upgrade from before. The aluminum feet allow me to accurately adjust the level of the table as well as provide improved control and stability to the table. Because of that the ISOFeet allows me to hear better soundstage depth and more clearly defined bass notes. Crunchy bass, only vinyl records can replicate. 

 

I've come to really like the V-LPS / V-PSU II combo, I think it's a great sounding phonostage for the price and super versatile compared to what else is out there. It gets along with all the carts I've used so far quite nicely. 

 

The ISOFeet I highly recommend for all Rega owners. There's no better way to keep your table perfectly leveled. The sound improvement is a added bonus. Just remember to remove the platter and tonearm before installing though. ;)

 

Groovetracer subplatter ships next week...stay tuned!


Edited by SemiAudiophile - 1/14/12 at 5:33pm
post #30 of 73
Thread Starter 

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The subplatter arrived a week ago. It was hard deciding which model to get considering the $60 difference, but I decided on the Reference just because I knew I would wonder what difference it would've made. So I saved the trouble and got the best for my table. :)

 

At first listen, I thought it made things sound thin and sterile. I switched back and forth between the Grado Black1 and AT440mla cartridge, a few tweaks later, and after letting it run in for a while, it now sounds right. It's hard to describe every tweak/upgrade I have done, but one thing I've noticed consistently is that with each one, the sound has become noticeably cleaner, clearer, and more dynamic. With the subplatter, what I would point out specifically is in the pitch and timing of the music. 

 

Next upgrade on the list would be TTPSU. But I've decided to take a break and focus on getting a preamp for my system specifically the CSP2+. The one thing I noticed is that vinyl records really come alive when driven by quality tube amps. Unfortunately, the Taboo alone, could not provide the oomph, power, and drive to deliver the sound I want. Here's to hoping for a big tax return! beerchug.gif

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