Rega Arm Lift Height Adjustment

I recently acquired a Rega RP6 to use as the base for a custom turntable project. Upon setting up the deck, it became immediately apparent that the arm lifter, (the small plastic device used by the more heavy-handed among us as a way to avoid manually placing and lifting the stylus), was unable to raise the arm enough to allow the stylus to clear the top of a thicker vinyl pressing.

A quick search around the net for a set of instructions on how to correctly adjust the lifter resulted in several forum posts detailing various methods of adjustment, using various tools, with varying degrees of success. As, to my knowledge, Rega don’t offer any official instructions on this procedure, I shall enlighten you with a tried and tested method which I have successfully used myself and can vouch for.

First of all, you’ll need a 1.3MM Hex key, more commonly referred too as an Allen key. It is at this point I ask you – does anyone else wonder just who this famed Allen guy is? The man must be a genius. Surely one who can create yet another type of screw, the head of which looks awfully reminiscent of a torx screw, which due to its 6th ‘point’ for want of a better description no torx driver will fit must be rolling in the cash. But i digress.

(note; a quick internet search will reveal that the name ‘Allen’ does not originate from the Hex Keys famous creator, but is in fact a registered trademark originated by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Connecticut and now owned by Apex Tool Group, LLC.)

In the front of the small plastic lift arm of your turntable, you’ll find a tiny set screw, in the area where the lift arm adjoins the lift shaft. Adjusting the height of the lifter simply involves loosening this set screw, lifting the lift arm to the correct height, and re-tightening the screw whilst holding the arm in place.

I’d advise performing this procedure with the lifter in the raised position, as it makes accessing the set screw easier, and allows you to inspect the height of your arm before tightening. Also note that the screw, and indeed the lift assembly itself is exceptionally fragile, so care is advised.

And there you have it – your stylus will now clear the top of thicker vinyl pressings. Or at the very least, you’ve learned a thing or too as regards the origination of the name ‘Allen Key’… Or perhaps, of course, you simply skipped to this paragraph and have gained nothing at all. Either way, until next time…

By Ashley

I founded Audio Appraisal a few years ago and continue to regularly update it with fresh content. An avid vinyl collector and coffee addict, I can often be found at a workbench tinkering with a faulty electronic device, tweaking a turntable to extract the last bit of detail from those tiny grooves in the plastic stuff, or relaxing in front of the hi-fi with a good album. A musician, occasional producer and sound engineer, other hobbies include software programming, web development, long walks and occasional DIY. Follow @ashleycox2

11 comments

  1. I have given up trying to adjust the cueing lever height as the hex key required seems to be a special, I bought a 1.3mm one as others recommended but it does not work it’s too small, a 1.5mm is too big, try getting a 1.4mm which appears to be the required size, impossible. Have fitted the 3 point Rega arm Height adjuster and set it at its lowest 2mm setting but even at that lowest setting I’ve had to put small pads at the back corners of the plinth to slightly raise the lid, without it the counterweight touches the lid and I don’t like playing records with the lid up or removed. Ideally 4mm lift would be better for accurate vta but would make the lid problem even worse.
    I’ve sorted the problem to my satisfaction by substituting the standard wool mat which is 3mm thick with the Origin Live Upgrade mat which is only 1mm thick, this gets the cartridge vta spot on and has given me that little extra clearance with the cue lift. I’ve used the mat on 2 previous turntables and found it gave an improvement in sound quality over stock felt mats, so it’s a win-win for me. The person who has problem with no cue lift at end of side has probably got some dished pressings, that can be solved with a weighted puck or record clamp designed for the P3s short spindle, hope this is helpful.

  2. I have got a new 2016 P3 and want to adjust the lift height as I’m using a Nagaoka MP110 which is quite tall, I tried a 1.3mm allen key and it is too small, as you turn it there is just the slightest bit of binding, rang Rega as you can’t email them, the guy I spoke to said he “thought” it was 1.5mm, so I bought one, that is too large to fit, obviously the correct size is 1.4mm or 0.055″, try getting one that size, it’s totally non standard, what are Rega playing at ?

    1. Interesting. I’ve yet to see one of the new P3s so can’t confirm the correct size. You can find a 1.4MM key Here. It says it’s a preorder, may be worth contacting them to check stock. If not, try asking Rega for one, or ask a dealer if they can get hold of one. You could also try one of those large security bit sets that you can find in pretty much any tool shop. Most come with 50 or so bits and a small screwdriver. If you buy a precision set you’ll probably find something in there will fit.

    2. Hi

      I’ve got my hands on a 2016 Planar 3 as well, same as you with an MP110 from Nagaoka.

      The Styles just about clears 1-2mm above for the outer tracks, but towards the middle, i can’t even lift if off anymore with the lever.

      Has this method of adjusting tonearm height worked for your RP3 or is it RP6-specific?

      But just to get it straight: Loosen only the inner most screw that holds the whole tonearm structure or loosen all 3 of them and then adjust height?

      Thanks for any help/inputs! 😉

      Cheers!

      1. Hi Roger – the method for arm height adjustment is the same on all Rega tonearms I believe, besides the original Japanese R200. That said it’s not the screws that hold the arm base you want to adjust, but instead a tiny screw in the arm lift mechanism itself. If you look at the lift platform on which the arm sits, where the platform joins the pillar on which it raises and lowers, you’ll see a tiny grub screw in the front of the platform. That is the screw to adjust. The three screws surrounding the arm base secure it to the turntable and should not be removed.

        1. Hi Ashley

          So I’ve tried a 1.3mm and a 1.5mm Allen and neither of them worked to loosen that screw, so I’m unsure as to how to do it, since I can’t seem to find a 1.4mm one either, like another commenter here already stated as well.

          The is of course the Rega Height adjustment 2mm spacer that raises the whole thing by 2mm, which would work too, but apparently that entails that the counterweight then hits the lid when closed, so there would be no closed-lid playing of my records.

          The third way would be trying a thinner slipmat than the one provided with the Planar 3, but i don’t think that would be enough, since the needles doesn’t even lift off the record at all with the mechanism, once it’s past the half-time mark of a record.

          Kinda dissapointed and unsure what to do. Any suggestions on what would be the best option to take to fix this problem?

          Thanks for the quick answers and support! 🙂

          1. You could try a small jeweller’s screwdriver or one of those multi-bit sets used for working on small electronics. Alternatively take the deck to a dealer, or give Rega themselves a call. Their customer service is among the best in the industry and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were willing to send you the required key or tell you where one could be obtained.

    1. I don’t know what the official specification is, I usually set them so that the stylus hovers between 3 and 6MM above the record. It needs to be set so that the stylus will clear records of varying thicknesses and those with minor warps, but not so high as to allow the stylus to drift as it lowers.

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