TangoSpinner Rega RP6 Modifications Review 79


The time has come to once again modify our Rega RP6 turntable. In previous instalments, we’ve explored a range of sub-£20 cost-effective upgrades including a belt replacement, bearing and counterweight dampeners, and new oil. We’ve also touched on tuning the motor for quieter operation, and optimising the TTPSU to reduce its grounding hum.

In this post, we’re going to cover the TangoSpinner upgrades. Originating from Argentina, the aptly named TangoSpinner range includes belt, sub platter and pulley upgrades designed for Rega turntables. They also offer a range of record clamps, adjustable turntable feet, and a range of upgrade kits.

The kit on test here is the D´ARIENZO upgrade kit for the Rega RP6 turntable. It consists of a metal sub platter, triple brass pulley and 3 silicone belts. Being from the UK, the model I received was the 50HZ model; it’s worth noting that the belt and pulley sizes differ slightly between the 50 and 60HZ models, and that you will receive the model appropriate for your location at the time of ordering.

Shipping time from Argentina to the UK took just over a week. I’d also like to take the time to thank Gus from TangoSpinner, as the customer service I received throughout was truly exemplary. The upgrade kit arrived in a deceptively small box, well wrapped and secured. Inside, the products are well packaged, in multiple layers of bubble wrap and protective plastic.

We’ll explore the products in the order in which they were packaged. First up is the sub platter; fashioned from 6061-T6-grade aluminium with a low carbon extended stainless steel spindle, the replacement sub platter is surprisingly heavy. 2 silicone rings adorn the top, and are used to protect the underside of the main platter and help to isolate it from vibration. The record spindle is longer than the stock Rega spindle, allowing the use of record clamps and weights; most of which cannot be used with a stock Rega turntable.

The sub platter is the same height as the combined 2-piece Rega sub platter so VTA adjustment is not a concern. The sub platter is supplied with a hardened steel ball bearing, designed to complement the hardened steel spindle. Both the bearing and spindle are rated for 80,000 hours (lifetime) use. Full instructions are also provided, though the process is simple and takes a matter of minutes.

First off, the old sub platter must be removed. It simply lifts from the bearing housing; at which point both the old sub platter, and the bearing housing itself, should be cleaned. I recommend obtaining some isopropyl alcohol for this purpose. Once cleaned, the existing ball bearing must be removed; an extendable magnet is the most effective way to lift it from its trough at the bottom of the bearing housing, though it can also be removed with a standard thickness drinking straw. Once removed, the bottom of the bearing housing must also be cleaned.

Next, 3 drops of the included oil (or another oil of your choosing) should be applied to the bottom of the bearing housing; at which point your new ball bearing can be dropped into place, and 4 drops of oil applied atop that. 6 drops should be evenly distributed along and around the axel of the sub platter, before it is placed into the bearing housing and allowed to slide down, the pressure of which will evenly distribute the oil throughout the bearing housing.

The brass triple pulley is, as its name suggests, a pulley allowing the use of 3 belts to drive your sub platter. Use of such a system results in greater speed stability, higher torque and a smoother-running platter.

The triple pulley is a 33 RPM-only unit; as the RP6s speed is electronically controlled via the RP6, there is no need for a pulley supporting 45RPM speeds. It features a rubber insert, designed to grip the shaft of the motor which is a nice touch and a clear advantage over the Rega method of gluing the pulley in place.

Removing the existing pulley can be a hit and miss operation. Rega pulleys are held in place by a drop of glue which can require softening, and are also pressed tightly over the motor shaft. However, I was able to remove my pulley by wrapping the ends of 2 flat-bladed screwdrivers in standard electrical tape, and, having carefully slotted them beneath the pulley at either side, using them to evenly and gently lever the pulley up and off the shaft.

Once removed, I was left with a clean motor shaft on which to install the new pulley. It’s important to note that installation of the pulley will require you apply a significant amount of pressure to the top of the shaft. As the Rega motors are held in place using only a double-sided sticky pad, it is necessary to remove the motor cover beneath the turntable so as to support the underside of the motor as you press down to install the new pulley. Failure to do so will result in the motor becoming dislodged or the thin layer of plinth being cracked by the pressure.

With the pulley installed, the 3 belts can be placed around it and the sub platter. My kit was supplied with 3 red 50HZ silicone belts, which are a tad longer than the standard Rega belts. Initially I encountered a problem whereby the belts would fail to grip the sub platter, often dropping from the bottom edge as soon as the motor was powered. I soon discovered that the solution was in the pulley height; and, after some trial and error, I was able to adjust the pulley so that the 3 belts rode around the middle of the sub platter in operation. This worked flawlessly.

The effect these upgrades have on the RP6 is far from subtle. The noise floor drops considerably, the rhythmic timing is vastly improved to the point where sudden musical crescendos are startling, and the speed stability is rock solid. Such alterations mean you’ll hear more of the music (and along with it, more of the vinyl imperfections), but this does not detract from the fact that these modifications take the already exceptional performance of the RP6 to another level.

Not only do these modifications have a profound affect on the sound, but they also remove the 1 weak point of the RP6. For me, the combined 2-piece plastic/aluminium sub platter always appeared cheap and flimsy; as if it were the last part part of the turntable design, and the one which incurred the most cost-cutting. Adding the TangoSpinner sub platter, in particular, removes this weak point and gives the excellent glass platter of the RP6 the solid, dependable base it should’ve had from the start. The pulley and belts are the icing on the cake. Highly recommended.


About 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

Share Your Thoughts

79 thoughts on “TangoSpinner Rega RP6 Modifications Review

  • Robert Wielinga

    Bought a second hand P3-24 a few months ago. Seemed to be fine, but had issues with the speed, even though it also has a TTPSU. Found out that the platter was not sitting tight on the sub platter. The hole on the plattter was more than 1 mm bigger than that of the plastic sub platter. Also the sub platter didn’t seems to be straight, it was wobbling a bit. Speeds issues appeared more to the middle of the record, inner grooves, so I decided on a new Astor sub platter from Tangospinner. Got it shipped to the Netherlands within one week, great! And boy, does it make a difference. Not only the speed issues I had are gone. Example: Janis Ian – Photograph on the Night Rains record is finally worth listening. But a really big improvement in dynamics and bass notes seem to start and stop much faster, there is more space in between. Bass seems to go deeper as well. So, all in all, it is money very well spend.

  • Nigelactus

    Hi Ashley,
    Had the Exact fitted in the end and was refunded the difference. It’s not got the detail the Goldring had but it’s not far off and certainly is warmer like I wanted. No harshness/sibilance either and it’s s bit more forward the the Elys which I like. The hum has virtually gone too. Making a better job of The River album that the Goldring did; the trade off, I suppose , is a little less detail (though not much) for a warmer, more listenable sound. Better in surfacs noise. Pleased now!

    • Ashley Post author

      Excellent! Glad to hear they finally sorted it. Rega cartridges naturally do work very well in Rega arms, and as previously stated it completely removes any room for error in setup which is the main cause of bad sound. Hopefully the Exact will give you many years of enjoyment, happy listening! 🙂

      • Nigel

        I’ve pulled speakers out a bit from wall too which has given a bit more treble definition. Surprised at the detail the Exact is getting out too!

  • Nigelactus

    Hi Ashley
    Just an update. Hiya. Update. Left deck and cartridge with Audio T. They phoned me yesterday. They think splashiness due to the cartridge being too good for my tweeters (Wharfedale 220) and that the sound signature is leaner anyway and not as warm as the Elys I’m used to. They tried an ortofon bronze which they said was smoother and had more drive in bass but not warm as such like the Regas. Up to me – I either live with it; go with ortofon for same money or have cheaper Rega exact – they are happy to do whatever I want. My son dropped it off so haven’t listened to bronze so going to tell them today. I think the safest option is the Exact – I loved the openness of the Goldring and the extra treble/detail but so splashy/sibilant. During the last few plays it sounded less splashy but it’s a financial gamble to persist and assume that the cartridge is breaking in, I think.

    • Ashley Post author

      A cartridge being too good for a speaker’s tweeters? Well, that’s a new one! They are at least right in that the bronze is a dry, smooth sound. You’re probably right in that the Exact is the safest; not least because it would be difficult for them to set it up incorrectly! Correct setup for an Exact is with the three screws, 1.75 grams tracking pressure and no spacer.

      • Nigelactus

        Hi
        They don’t seem to accept that it’s been fitted incorrectly and say that it’s fine through their stuff( £2000 worth of amplification though). Yes, the Exact should give the detail and warmth I’m after.
        Will phone them later.
        Thanks for everything.
        Nigel

  • Nigelactus

    Hi Ashley,
    Just an update on cartridge woes!! Home visit from audio t – in fairness he spent two and a half hours making adjustments and ended up increasing arm height ( he’d already used a spacer). The hum is still there but I can live with that. Initially I thought it was better but some records started to skip, and I noticed the anti skate was pushed all the way in. I put that on same setting as arm weight and seems ok now. However, when arm is lifted it seems to move slightly to the right and the stylus doesn’t look completely vertical ; the cartridge looking like it’s ever so slightly lower than parallel to the record in the right side. Hence the sound is still a little splashy and has become a bit bass light. He used the rega card and a geodisc but I still don’t think it’s right. I can’t be bothered with it anymore; just can’t face the hassle. I might ask the guy at my local record shop to take a look as he knows his stuff. The only question I’d ask you now is will the slight angle of the stylus damage my records. I was surprised by the use of spacers as many say there’s no need with the 1042. I think should have gone with my instincts and yours and Mark’s suggestions that an Exact would have been fine. The 1042 , with its current set up, isn’t great with surface noise room either., so the sibilance and noise I had with the Elys 2 (which I’m beginning to think wasn’t all that bad!) hasn’t been reduced. Never mind, you live and learn. Thanks for all your advice.

    • Ashley Post author

      You’re absolutely right, the 1042 shouldn’t require a spacer. In fact the only time you really need a spacer on a Rega deck is if the cartridge is so tall that the body hits the record when playing which is very unlikely. Rega have written a white paper on VTA which you can read here. Don’t believe the VTA myth! The angle of the stylus shouldn’t harm your records but it won’t provide optimal performance.

      Next, re anti-skate. Anti-skate all the way in is incorrect for a 1042, it should be somewhere between the first and second markings on the slider. You can check this by placing the stylus on a record about a 3rd of the way in, and observing the movement of the cantilever in relation to the cartridge body. In the up position, the cantilever should point forwards in a straight line and be central of the body. When you place the stylus on the record, the cantilever should remain in the same position; that is straight within the cartridge body as the cartridge tracks. A slight tilt of the cartridge is called Azimuth and is not user-adjustable on a Rega arm.

      Thirdly, protractors. Did he use the Rega card and the Geodisc simultaneously? This is incorrect, as both align to completely different geometries. That is to say that a correct alignment on one will be incorrect on the other and vice versa. If you tried them individually one at a time then the alignment should have been correct, but attempting to combine the too would produce poor alignment.

      Go back to Audio T and have them exchange the Goldring for the Exact. It gives you a plug and play solution and removes the chance of them cocking up the alignment as the alignment is preset. Frankly I wish better training were provided on the ins and outs of tonearm geometry and proper setup, but if anything it makes self-help sites like this more popular so I guess I shouldn’t complain though I hate to see customers disappointed. Out of interest, are you anywhere near Moorgate Acoustics in Sheffield?

      • Nigelactus

        He used the geodisc initially ; then when it still didn’t sound right- which he acknowledged from the start- he used the rega protractor then altered things as he felt it needed to be moved a millimetre. No, nowhere near Moorgate about which I’ve heard great things. I haven’t played anything yesterday and today as I’m a bit cheesed off about things but, as long as records won’t be damaged, I’ll have an extended listen this weekend. I’m starting to think it’s me and that I’m expecting too much. As I said I reset the anti skate so it’s not skipping, at least. With the hum, I think it’s the Rega but it’s only an irritation when the record isn’t playing. The groove noise covers it even at the ridiculously loud volumes that I use! Sorry to keep posting for advice but I know it’ll be honestly given on this site, which I enyoy very much.

        • Ashley Post author

          That sounds fine. The Rega protractor would have placed the cartridge straighter in the headshell, parallel with its straight side and would have moved it backwards 1-2 mm or so. How high is the spacer(s) lifting the arm? Some cartridges can be sibilant during break-in, but it shouldn’t be so much that it is clearly audible, certainly not on a cartridge like that. It can sometimes be how the cartridge interacts with the phono stage, but the 1042 is a pretty easy cartridge to load and the A19 should match with it. You’re certainly not expecting too much to think a £1K turntable and £300 or so cartridge should produce records without splattering and sibilance, a £500 turntable correctly setup should do the same let alone yours. I’d almost be tempted to suggest you find yourself a cheap old turntable that you can mess about with to teach yourself tonearm setup, which will be invaluable in adjusting your own turntable to perfection. Skipping would indicate that the tracking force may also be slightly too low, I don’t think I’ve ever made a cartridge skip on a Rega with a high anti-skate setting. Low tracking force causes the cartridge to mis-track, which is basically when the stylus can’t follow the groove especially during loud, heavily modulated passages. This in turn causes it to bounce around out of control and can sometimes cause it to jump out of the groove.

          • Nigelactus

            Hi Ashley,
            Not sure about arm height- he put one 2mm spacer under it in the shop and he increased height at my house , presumably with another spacer. His rationale in the shop was the arm might touch a 180gm record during play and that the arm didn’t appear totally parallel without a spacer. I don’t know the physics but I’d assume not having a spacer would get the fine line stylus further into the groove. I’m sitting here working up the interest to play something but am struggling to do so because of the inevitable disappointment! I know I should so that I can ensure that it really doesn’t sound correct but I’m sure I’m right. I’m worried now that getting an Exact might rob me of a little detail that I’m hearing now, albeit in a less than bassy fashion!! Not sure where I stand consumer rights wise either but I think Audio T are pretty good and keen to get things right.

            • Ashley Post author

              I believe the 1042 is roughly 17MM in height. A 3MM spacer would probably get you closer to being parallel, but I don’t think it’s necessary. When you adjust VTA (the height of the arm), what you are actually adjusting is the vertical angle of the stylus tip relative to the groove. Small increments in tracking force will achieve the same effect. Again, see Here for Rega’s take on this, which I would completely agree with. Unlike many they are able to back up their claims with simple mathematics and science. The point about the cartridge scraping a 180-gram record may be true, but I don’t have a Rega arm nor a 17MM cartridge to hand so I can’t verify that.

              • Nigelactus

                Thanks for that. I’m going to have a good listen today and tomorrow ( I’d lost heart through disappointment!) then if I still feel it’s not right , I’ll let them have the deck for a few days so that they can try it without spacers. It does sound really good tonally but some records just don’t sound right. I’ve stretched my opaque belt in transit from Gus , which now runs slightly slow while my white belt runs slightly fast; things that haven’t improved my mood! I shouldn’t have left platter on I know for a car journey! I presume you’re suggesting then that altering vta via spacers accounts for the less than perpendicular angle of the stylus on the record? I’ll sort it one way or another this week; even if it means going to an Exact like you suggested, which should lessen the electrical buzz/ hum I’m getting. Sorry to sound like a technical oaf- years ago I’d have played about with it myself but haven’t got the confidence or the dexterity to try now.

                • Ashley Post author

                  The turntable should never be transported with the platter or counterweight installed, doing so can cause significant damage to the main bearing and bearings of the tonearm. This is why being able to at least set the tracking force is necessary as the weight should be removed before the turntable is transported anywhere.

                  If the angle of the stylus you’re referring too is from left to right (I.E a tilt as you view the cartridge from the front where one side of the cartridge body is higher), this is not altered by VTA. This is called Azimuth, and cannot be altered on Rega arms. It can certainly be out if the arm was incorrectly adjusted from the factory or mishandled, and traveling the deck with the counterweight installed could certainly cause things to become out of adjustment too. VTA is the ‘back to front’ angle of the stylus in the groove, which will never be perfect.

                  • Nigelactus

                    Thanks. The Eys 2 I had was at an angle as well so I don’t think I’ve caused that in transit. In fact when he fitted cartridge initially it was completely perpendicular and the arm stopped coming up at an angle when lifted too. I’m starting to think he’s not the most competent. Have listened to s lot today and lot of sibilance on different records- quite shrill too on some. I’m going to play same records on by brother in law’s Denon tomorrow and if they play ok , I’ll know it’s not me or the records and I’ll ring them. Like I said, o wish I’d just stuck with the Elys 2 which was less sibilant and splashy than what I’ve got now.
                    Cheers

                    • Ashley Post author

                      Likely an angle from the factory then, or perhaps your platter isn’t level; certainly seen that on a few Rega’s. I’m not sure what else to suggest short of finding an old table and learning cartridge alignment, it’s easy when you get the hang of it.

  • Mark Pearce

    Tango, the only thing I know about reducing hum is to make sure that the phono stage is as far away from the TT as the lead will allow. There shouldn’t be any sibilance or splashiness from the cartridge. Make sure you’re tracking at 1.7g exactly and that the cartridge is aligned correctly using the paper protractor Rega supplied. By the way, CBS and A&M records from the 70’s are very sibilant in character. Listen to my demo of Janis Ian singing Watercolours on YT. You’ll see what I mean. I think I used the 1042 for the demo. I’ve seen Janis Ian live and she does have a lisp which exacerbates the problem somewhat. If you are getting more splashy sibilants than this, then something is wrong with the set up. Check in this order: 1.Anti-skate and tracking force set to zero. 2: Float the tonearm so that it moves laterally a couple of mm above the platter with the cueing lever down and the stylus guard should be removed. There shouldn’t be any up and down movement and the arm should appear level. Be careful!! 3: Set the arm on its rest and clip it into place. Use the torch on your phone if necessary to dial in 1.7 on the tracking force gauge. 4: Get the paper Rega protector supplied with the deck. Follow the instructions carefully to align the cartridge. You’ll need to use the Allen key supplied with the cartridge to loosen the boltsjust a fraction if the cartridge is misaligned. This so that you can wiggle the cartridge so that when the stylus tip is on the plus sign the cartridge is parallel with the lines on the protractor. It’s not difficult but be careful as it’s another job that needs to be done with the stylus guard removed. 5: If you needed to adjust the cartridge alignment, tighten up the screws with the Allen key. 6: Use a record with a blank groove (such as Paulo Nutini’s Caustic Love) to adjust the anti skating. With the a-s set to zero (e.g. Pulled all the way out) when you place the stylus midway on the blank record it’ll swing towards its rest. Be careful! Stop the arm before it swings too far! Now push the slider all the way in, and the opposite will happen – the arm will swing to the centre label. Pull the slider out just a fraction and try again. Keep pulling out the slider by wee small amounts, every time lowering the stylus halfway through the record, until the arm stays put for a few seconds. It’s a blank groove, so the arm won’t stay there indefinitely but it should appear stable for 10 seconds or so before it starts wavering, wondering whether to go towards the inner or outer edges of the record. Anti skating is not crucial and if you don’t have a blank record side, you can just pull the slider out about a quarter of the way. Remember, with the slider out, it’s at zero, pushed all the way in it’s about 3. The idea is that the tracking force and a-s should be the same. So the 1042 tracks at 1.7g and the a-s should also be set to 1.7g. Rega provide notches on the slider for 1 and 2g but they’re hard to see. Aim a torch and go for the 2g marking. It will be fine. I say again, the 1042 is a very smooth sounding cartridge- if anything the treble is slightly warm and rolled off. Anything other than this means you’re not set up correctly. Keep calm, good luck and, uh, be careful!

    • Nigelactus

      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for that! Nick from Audio T is actually coming to my house to check things out. Thought it was my imagination or just the pressing of So by Peter Gabriel, which is sibilant anyway, but listened to lots now and it does seem too sibilant to me, far worse than my Elys 2 – one of the reasons I upgraded was because of this! IGD is much better with 1042 though , which seems odd, given the sibilance. Certainly has a very engaging sound, though: everything much more alive, but it’s not smooth at too end so I think you’re right re alignment. I played about with the cables and the hum is better- not gone but far less noticeable until really high volume.
      I appreciate your time and advice.
      Nigel

    • Nigel

      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for all your advice a few months ago. You and Ashley have been a great help. Finally went for the Exact and its been great , especially now it’s broken in. Much sharper , more treble and detail , with a warmer, more vinyl like sound than the gold ring which I felt had a CD sound quality. Anyway, very pleased and the goldring is never worth £100 more than the Exact. Thanks again.

  • Nigel

    Hi Ashley
    Went for the Goldring- first impressions are of sharpness and clarity. Bit sibilant like the Elys too but perhaps break in will take care of that. Have had to email audio t though as I’m picking up an electrical buzz that wasn’t there with Elys. Audible too and worse as arm nears end of record. Can’t believe it.

    • Ashley Post author

      Good to hear you got a cart fitted but sorry to hear you’re having issues. Firstly, check the wires are firmly in place at the rear of the cartridge. Unfortunately Rega turntables in particular can suffer this issue owing to the grounding setup. I personally think it’s a daft arrangement, other turntables produce a tiny hum at worst and my Technics is completely silent with my amplifier maxed. Sadly it’s something that can occur with Rega cartridges too; in fact I’m surprised you didn’t notice it with the Elys2, as it can be an issue with that cart too. It’s partly to do with the grounding of the arm / cartridge, and partly to do with electromagnetic interference from the motor. See if Audio T have any suggestions before I offer any further advice. With regards sibilance issues, it could be break in time but could also be alignment and tracking. When they aligned the cartridge, did they use the Rega-supplied paper protractor or did they use another gage (a Geodisc for example)? Where are your tracking and bias adjustments et?

      • Nigel

        Hi Ashley,
        I think sibilance was only on So Peter Gabriel- Sledgehammer is pretty sibilant anyway. No the used their own record size protractor and scales. Waking hours by Del Amitri is sounding incredible- like the best of record with a cd too end. Yes, I’ll see what they say at Audio t. Detail and clarity are great, though. Will probably have to live with him if it can be done. I’ve read there are things you can do re grounding, but wouldn’t On know myself. Slight touch of sibilance if this album too , now I’m listening through. Thanks for your help- it’s definitely the sound I want and it’s yet to break in. I assume it’ll get a bit warmer as it does?

        • Ashley Post author

          I thought they might. I don’t understand why retailers can’t use the tools supplied by the manufacturer. I could be wrong but I imagine their protractor aligns to a Lofgren alignment, resulting in the cartridge being slightly twisted in the headshell? Rega went to the effort of optimising their alignment geometry, so why people don’t use it is beyond me. The scales are sensible, but you can achieve a ‘good enough’ result using the dial on the arm or get yourself a set of scales for less than a tenner on eBay. I also hope they don’t encourage the turntable travel with the counterweight attached… A car journey with a heavy counterweight on the back of the arm is a daft idea. I’d advise you read our cartridge alignment and Turntable Setup guides and, if you’re confident, optimise your setup. I’d personally be using the Rega protractor and sticking with the Rega alignment. Place the paper protractor atop a record of medium thickness for best results. You’ll need good light, an hour or so of spare time and to be in a good mood, but it’s best to learn this stuff as you’ll at least then know it was done properly!

          • Nigelactus

            Thanks, Ashley. It’s not just So by Gabriel: the ‘s’ sound is really accentuated on a lot of my records, new and old. Nick from Audio T is coming to my house to check things sometime this week. It’s a shame as I like the sound; it’s given me the extra detail and treble but I feel it’s not worth it if at the expense of sibilance, which grates on me! The hum is better after me moving cables and fiddling-not noticeable when playing now , and only loud when volume at full and no record playing. Mind you, reviews of my Arcam a19 say how quiet it is! Hope this can be sorted this week- don’t really know what my options are, if not. A birthday-Xmas present from my wife so I dare not make to much fuss: she thinks I’m OCD as it is! I noticed he adjusted weight with counterweight rather than the dial in the side and used scales. As you infer, it must have been a geodisc of some sort. Fingers crossed, though I’m not optimistic. I’m not confident enough to try and adjust things myself so relying on Audio T.
            Thanks again for your time and advice.
            Nigel

            • Ashley Post author

              OK. Two things;

              Firstly, that dial on the side of the arm is linked to a spring which applies a constant downforce to the arm, allowing it to track warps in the records. The correct procedure to set the downforce on that arm is to set the dial to zero, adjust the counterweight until the arm floats, then set the dial to the desired tracking number, and then (if desired) use the scales to check and adjust the weight slightly using the counterweight if necessary. If the arm was floating perfectly in the same step, the dial should be pretty much accurate. I assume if they didn’t use it that your dial is currently set to either zero or three? Many believe that setting the dial to three, which supposedly disengages the spring, offers better performance; this is incorrect. It is a part of the arm’s design and as such should be used, even if you’re using scales to help accurately set your tracking force.

              Secondly, alignment. I’d ask that the cartridge be re-aligned using Rega’s protractor to see if that makes any difference. As the protractor is thin card it is sometimes advisable to place it atop a thin record as a more stable surface, but this is not absolutely necessary. I believe that Rega’s is the best geometry for that tonearm, and a decent alignment will help. Incidentally, it should be the cartridge body that is aligned, not the cantilever. Rega’s arms have a certain amount of fixed bias which can pull the arm back if the stylus is on a stationary surface with no counteracting force. Aligning the cantilever in this situation can result in a mis-aligned cartridge. If you align the cartridge body, when playing a record the cantilever will follow the body, much like a caravan does when being toed by a car. When aligned correctly in a Rega arm, most if not all cartridges should appear straight in the headshell. I hope they manage to get it sorted properly this time!

      • Nigelactus

        Actually, Ashley, playing Fragile by Yes and Roundabout is very splashy and vocals are very sibilant ! Bit of a nightmare this is. I’ll alter tracking weight in morning and see how it goes.

  • Nigel

    Hi Ashley. Back on cartridge trail again this summer! Hadn’t played a record for a month or so (DIY) but listened to RP3 and psu today and everything is so much clearer and peppier since psu and tango spinner Astor. Very much leaning to Exact now for ease of fitting/ synergy etc. In your recollection is it decent with IGD- this would be the only barrier I think to me getting it? I know it’s better on surface noise after having listened to it some weeks ago. As ever I appreciate your advice. Much as I’m tempted by Ortofon, AT, et al,I don’t want to veer to far from the sound I’ve got. My RP3 , elys 3, Arcam A19 and Wharfedale 220s sound really good; just want a bit more treble and detail perhaps.
    Thanks,
    Nigel

    • Ashley Post author

      Hi Nigel – The exact is very good for IGD. I have a copy of Halestorm’s ‘The Strange Case Of…” which is a very loud pressing and has bad IGD even at the beginning of the side (most notably side 2). The exact is one of the few sub-£500 cartridges capable of tracking it perfectly. You’ll need to allow it some break in time (50 hours or so), but it should offer the sound you’re after and I’m confident will sound excellent.

      • Nigel

        That’s great , thanks. I’m pretty sure I’ll go with it then. An very happy with system generally but some IGD with Elys 2, not always. Otherwise I’m happy- system is kicking at the many moment. Like I said in previous posts if I can get to somewhere near RP6 level with upgrades, that’ll be it for me barring better speakers if I can ever afford them.

        • Ashley Post author

          The Exact does have a few advantages for you; the ease of fitting and compatibility with the arm, less IGD and a stylus replacement discount when it wears out (500-1000 hours roughly depending on the condition of your records). Get yourself a Vinyl Passion DustBuster and you can extend that a bit. The Elys2 in my opinion isn’t great for IGD, I’m not sure what size elliptical they’re using but I can get a £25 AT95E to track better. The Exact is a good cart though (for me it’s where the Rega line starts), take care when setting the VTF and Bias as the line contact styli are more susceptible to setup and you’ll be rewarded. If you want to get a good idea of how an Exact performs, see this channel on Youtube Here. Mark (its owner) writes for us sometimes and has several videos of the RP8 and Exact, and all are high-quality direct transfers.

          • Nigel

            Hopefully I’ll get audio t to fit it. As long as I get my modest aims- better tracking, bit more treble and less surface noise I’ll be happy. I’ve heard it on RP6. Having it for my birthday end of July so will update you then. Thanks for helping.

            • Mark Pearce

              Hi, Ashley referred me to this thread as I’ve owned the cartridges you’re considering. If you find my channel MarkPMus on YouTube you’ll be able to hear both of them in operation. It’s a bit hard to describe the differences between the two as I owned them on different turntables. I used the 1042 on my Rega P5/TT-PSU and the Exact on my RP8. A few weeks ago I upgraded the Exact for Rega’s new budget MC cartridge, the Ania. Your dealer should fit the cartridge – I believe that they have an agreement with Rega that they will do so, so that takes away the slight complication with the Goldring, in that it will need to be aligned with Rega’s protractor, as it doesn’t have the third screw. There is no issue with VTA – both the cartridges are about the same height. Of the two MM’s I think that if I had been able to try the 1042 with the RP8, I’d undoubtedly have preferred it over the Exact. It has a smooth, yet extended treble, and powerful bass, and really makes you want to dance. The Exact is perhaps a little less refined but via the RP8 supremely quiet in operation, and the leading transients of notes are a little more etched and precise. I have to be careful not to describe the differences between upgrading the turntables, it’s very hard to tell. Let’s say, you won’t be disappointed whichever you choose. Both have upmarket stylus tips – the Exact has a Vital tip and the 1042 a Gyger S tip. I’m not sure of the differences between the shapes. Upgrading the Exact to the Ania MC brought about a lot more believability in stereo imaging, and much more detail. I though the Exact did great bass extension, but the Ania betters it. Believe it or not, my mono reissues of classic albums sound absolutely great with this cartridge – there’s good instrumental separation and superb front to back depth. Despite its relatively downmarket Elliptical tip, it’s also a quiet performer and has the advantage that it’s not as much of a dust magnet as either the Exact or especially the 1042, which always appeared to have trails of dust dangling from it. If you could stretch funds to the Fono MC and the Ania, I’d definitely recommend you go for that. Otherwise, get an Exact and a few good records. It’s a great cartridge.

              • Nigel

                Hi Mark,
                Thanks for that; I’ll listen later. Your comments have given me much food for thought but I’ve promised myself I’ll make up my mind by Friday, as I’ve been faffing about for months. I’m very interested in the Exact but I demoed it in audio t and listened also to an Elys 2 in an Rp6 and , apart from a little more detail and less surface noise, I didn’t find a world of difference but perhaps the RP6 was getting more out of the Elys? This is why I might go to the Goldring. Given that you and Ashley suggest the differences are minor I’ll probably go with the Exact (or the Goldring!!). All I want is a by more detail and less IGD really, which I’m sure I’ll get with either.
                Cheers,
                Nigel

                • Mark Pearce

                  The RP6 was probably getting the most out of the Exact too. If anything, the Exact on my RP8 wasn’t doing the RP8 full justice. My theory is that you could probably use a cartridge worth two thirds of the price of the turntable and then no one component would outshine the other. Hence the “correct” cartridge for my RP8 is probably the Apheta 2 but I can’t afford one of those at the moment. Probably the better of the two MM’s is the Goldring, but bear in mind that your phono stage had better be good, and I think that you’ll be happy with the Exact and some more records to play.

                  • Nigel

                    That’s great, Mark. I’ve got an Arcam fm a19 which is reputed to have an excellent, purpose built phone stage and Wharfedale Diamonds 220s. Audio t say both cartridges are good with similar tonality but recommend the Goldring if cost isn’t an issue, though if it’s marginal I might go with Exact. Read some stuff about the Ania-sounds interesting, I did, in a flight of fancy, consider the dynavector 10×5 but too expensive really.
                    Nige

                  • Nigel

                    Hi Mark
                    I’ve listened to your Sledgehammer on YouTube with Exact and Rp8 and compared with my Elys2 it’s all so much snappier and defined( might be the TT though?). Also listened to p5 and Goldring playing thriller which was superb as well!! No IGD I could hear either which is going to be a factor for me though I didn’t hear any on Africa with the Rp8/exact combo. I think I’ll make my decision at audio t tomorrow but I’ll probably go with the Goldring if it’s as good a tracker with IGD as the Exact. Thanks for your advice; I’d appreciate any last minute observations. You, Ashley and Nick, at Audio t suggest Goldring , and , sonically, it has similar rega sound , to my ears, which I don’t want to deviate too far from, just want more detail, treble; less IGD and sibilance.

              • Nigel

                Hi Mark
                Need to pick your brain. Audio t fitted the Goldring and the sound is sharper, more detail, tighter, etc, disappointing a bit sibilant ( break in time?) . However? I’m picking up quite loud electrical buzz now which wasn’t there before. Worsens when arm nears centre of record. I play music loudly and I’m aware of it. I’ve emailed audio t but wondered if there’s a fix as I won’t be able to live with that. Irritatingly loud when music not playing too. Exactly same set up -Rp3, psu, Arcam a19, 220s

                • Mark Pearce

                  Nigel, the only thing I know about reducing hum is to make sure that the phono stage is as far away from the TT as the lead will allow. There shouldn’t be any sibilance or splashiness from the cartridge. Make sure you’re tracking at 1.7g exactly and that the cartridge is aligned correctly using the paper protractor Rega supplied. By the way, CBS and A&M records from the 70’s are very sibilant in character. Listen to my demo of Janis Ian singing Watercolours on YT. You’ll see what I mean. I think I used the 1042 for the demo. I’ve seen Janis Ian live and she does have a lisp which exacerbates the problem somewhat. If you are getting more splashy sibilants than this, then something is wrong with the set up. Check in this order: 1.Anti-skate and tracking force set to zero. 2: Float the tonearm so that it moves laterally a couple of mm above the platter with the cueing lever down and the stylus guard should be removed. There shouldn’t be any up and down movement and the arm should appear level. Be careful!! 3: Set the arm on its rest and clip it into place. Use the torch on your phone if necessary to dial in 1.7 on the tracking force gauge. 4: Get the paper Rega protector supplied with the deck. Follow the instructions carefully to align the cartridge. You’ll need to use the Allen key supplied with the cartridge to loosen the boltsjust a fraction if the cartridge is misaligned. This so that you can wiggle the cartridge so that when the stylus tip is on the plus sign the cartridge is parallel with the lines on the protractor. It’s not difficult but be careful as it’s another job that needs to be done with the stylus guard removed. 5: If you needed to adjust the cartridge alignment, tighten up the screws with the Allen key. 6: Use a record with a blank groove (such as Paulo Nutini’s Caustic Love) to adjust the anti skating. With the a-s set to zero (e.g. Pulled all the way out) when you place the stylus midway on the blank record it’ll swing towards its rest. Be careful! Stop the arm before it swings too far! Now push the slider all the way in, and the opposite will happen – the arm will swing to the centre label. Pull the slider out just a fraction and try again. Keep pulling out the slider by wee small amounts, every time lowering the stylus halfway through the record, until the arm stays put for a few seconds. It’s a blank groove, so the arm won’t stay there indefinitely but it should appear stable for 10 seconds or so before it starts wavering, wondering whether to go towards the inner or outer edges of the record. Anti skating is not crucial and if you don’t have a blank record side, you can just pull the slider out about a quarter of the way. Remember, with the slider out, it’s at zero, pushed all the way in it’s about 3. The idea is that the tracking force and a-s should be the same. So the 1042 tracks at 1.7g and the a-s should also be set to 1.7g. Rega provide notches on the slider for 1 and 2g but they’re hard to see. Aim a torch and go for the 2g marking. It will be fine. I say again, the 1042 is a very smooth sounding cartridge- if anything the treble is slightly warm and rolled off. Anything other than this means you’re not set up correctly. Keep calm, good luck and, uh, be careful!

      • Nigel

        Hi Ashley
        Final query as I’m getting cartridge early next week. I was dead set on the Exact but am leaning towards a Goldring 1042, which, seemingly, has a similar sonic character but more detail. Audio T suggested Exact if it’s about budget but say that Goldring is far superior. Do you know much about this one? As stated before, I’m after a similar musicality to Rega Elys 2 but less sibilance, less IGD and surface noise ( though I believe the Exact is quiet?) and a bit more detail/ too end. Audio T has both in stock and I’m deciding by Friday!
        Thanks,
        Nigel

        • Ashley Post author

          See Mark Pearce’s comments above as he has owned both. My preference would probably be the Goldring for sound, the Exact for ease of installation and setup, but ultimately either is a great cartridge.

  • Nigel

    Hi
    Just one final query. Do you think an AT440 will outperform an Exact then? I listened to the same albums when I got home after auditioning the Exact and comparing with Elys and I’m thinking that I’ve mistaken a more controlled bass/tighter sound for a narrower soundstage. Exact was certainly clearer and quieter than the Elys. I’m tempted to get it as there is no way of auditioning AT 440/150 ( and I’ve no doubt it will be well matched with the arm) but I’m also thinking I should plump for the At 120 for the broken bias for the Rp1, assuming the wobble is sorted, and perhaps one of the other two you suggested for my RP3 instead of Exact. Could you give me an idea of the tonality of these? Wouldn’t want to lose the rhythmic/musical nature of the Rega house sound but wouldn’t mind a bit more detail/top end. If there isn’t a great deal of difference I’ll get the Exact though.
    Sorry about this-anxious to get this right. Your advice has been very helpful and is much appreciated.

    • Ashley Post author

      The AT440 would certainly match the exact and probably better it in many areas. AT carts are usually for the most part quite tonally neutral, certainly a little more top and and bags of detail. Superb trackers too, when setup correctly I have never heard an AT, even the AT95, suffer from ESD. There’s a reviewer on Amazon who’s using the AT150SA with a 2016 P3, I think he may have a VTA spacer too but I can’t remember for sure. I used to run an AT150MLX on the RP6 used to create this very review.

      • Nigel

        Thanks for all the help, Ashley. Been running in the psu and starting to hear the difference (unless it’s a placebo effect!); my room is boxy and the arcam with my 220s can sound a bit boomy but things seem to be tightening up and the separation between speakers and stability of notes is better, allowing me to hear more detail. More cohesive and refined too, strangely, and it’s certainly more like the RP6 I heard the Elys and Exact through yesterday. Probably not £200 worth of difference but I’m sure with new cartridge- whichever incarnation that will be- the set up will really improve. Played for about two hours with really good sounding LPs and sounding impressive, I assume it’ll get better as it runs in. If this is the case, I’ll keep it. I’ll read review of AT now.
        Thanks again.
        As an afterthought, with the sound quality regas can produce their QC seems almost criminally negligent?

        • Ashley Post author

          You’re absolutely right, that becomes even more true the higher up the range you go. I had an RP10 with the Apheta2 cartridge which was one of the best vinyl replay systems I’ve ever heard. It ended up going back due to a loose bias assembly on the arm, a noisy motor and (I think) some cartridge issues. Got the replacement with a fixed arm and seemingly working cartridge, but the mounting on the back foot of the outer frame was misaligned resulting in the corner of the deck being lifted up whenever the dust cover was closed, and the dust cover was scratched. The motor was still noisy too. Small things, but ones that shouldn’t be happening with a 3.6k deck. They are some of the best decks around when they work, but ultimately I went back to my 35 year old Technics 1210. The 1210 has had some issues, but those were the result of having a drink chucked over it by the previous owner. I stripped and cleaned every last part, gave it a full service and it’s been running perfectly ever since.

  • Nigel

    Just received the opal silicone belt from Gus-free upgrade as the belt he sent was too big-and it’s improved sound even more and cured the grinding start up noise the TT had( it went back to rega but still remained). On a separate note, my son’s rp1 has got a bit of platter wobble. Still under warranty but was wondering if subplatter from Gus would solve issue. I might try my old one from RP3 in the meantime if audio t can’t sort.. Are they the same as rp1?
    Thanks for any advice given.

    • Ashley Post author

      Great feedback, thanks for sharing. Re the RP1; yes, the sub platter is the same as that of the RP6 so you should be able to swap them. The new 2016 P1 I believe uses a different sub platter. If it’s under warranty I’d have Rega sort it, not the first time I’ve heard of quality control defects with Rega decks and it won’t be the last.

      • Nigel

        Hi
        It’s a shame as they are such good sounding decks, aren’t they? QC can’t be very good! Am auditioning cartridges at audio t tomorrow ( as we previously discussed). As stated previously, leaning toward do Exact which they are playing through the new P3 (similar to my RP3) and an ortofon bronze. Hopefully I won’t get this wrong! Ideally I want one that is good with IGD and surface noise- feel my elys 2 struggles here though it sounds great with the TT, to my ears! They’ll look at the RP 1 as well. They fitter the PP three weeks ago which my son is pleased with but the arm started jumping at end of tracks! He altered bias and it seems ok now.
        Regards
        Nigel

        • Ashley Post author

          That they are, very sound engineering too. I personally think that the issue has more to do with demand than engineering or manufacture mistakes. THey’re producing so many products and have targets to hit, so things are naturally overlooked. If it were me I’d get rid of a couple of the electronics lines and focus those resources on turntable manufacture, or employ a few more people. The exact and bronze is a great comparison, both very good cartridges. If they have one, see if they’ll show you an AT150 or even an AT440 as well, or perhaps one of the new VM series cartridges from Audio-Technica though they are quite new. As for the RP1, unless the bias was significantly out I don’t see it causing the stylus to jump. Mis-adjsuted bias causes the stylus to lean unevenly in the groove, but unless it was an extreme case it wouldn’t cause the stylus to jump the groove. Have you checked the tracking force, ideally with a digital scale?

          • Nigel

            Hahahaha.
            No ; I assumed they would. Just leaving now but , you’re not going to believe this, I swapped subplatter- my old rega and the Astor – to see of that solved the wobble ( it didn’t) . As I was doing this my jumper caught stylus and bent cantilever to the left. My son hadn’t left guard on so unless it’s repairable ( I don’t think so) I’m going to have to buy a new bias 2 after buying performance pack a month ago!!

              • Nigel

                Just back. I couldn’t hear a great deal of difference between elys and Exact on the RP6, rega amp and b and w speakers while there, though now I’m home think it was more controlled and bit more detailed. I didn’t buy it, though I’m demoing the psu. Some difference so far but I assume there’s a run in time. Doesn’t seem as immediate or pronounced as the subplatter upgrade. He couldn’t audition ortofon bronze because of the fitting time so I’m stuck now. I felt that the Exact had s narrower soundstage than the elys if better on noise and detail. Like you, they recommended AT 120 for my son’s rp1 and father-assaulted rega bias!! Sending it back to rega re platter wobble but they think it’s within rega tolerances. Will need to think-,I did like the familiar rega sound of the Exact though. The guy said a dynavectot 10×5 would be a huge change- well out of my price range. Also, rega only do trade in on like for like cartridges so no £40 off any potential purchase anyway!

                • Ashley Post author

                  Interesting feedback. Yes, you’re right in that there is a run in time but I would’ve thought any demo unit would be well into that, it’s usually 50 hours or so. I’m glad they recommended a 120E as a bias replacement, I’m personally not a fan of the Bias and think it can be easily matched even by the £25 AT95E and the AT120E is a step above. You could try a higher end AT cart on your P3, there are a couple of models in the new VM line equip with microline styli which would give you a nice upgrade. Or grab an AT440MLB while you can still get hold of them for £130.

                  Regarding the platter wobble, that should not be normal. It wouldn’t surprise me if they claim it to be “within tolerance”, but in my view it is unacceptable for a deck at that price. Pro-Ject’s bottom of the line models have perfectly still platters, as do Chinese OEM decks such as the AT-LP120, AT-LP5 and the Reloop Turn 3. If those platters don’t wobble, a Rega’s certainly shouldn’t.

                  • Nigel

                    Thanks, Ashley.
                    Yes , I’m a bit concerned as before I went ( which is why I damaged stylus), substituting the rp1 sub with my old RP3 sub and the Astor did not cure the slight wobble( I’ve read that machined ones normally solve the problem and Gus says that his diet things out too) so I’m anticipating rega trying to fob me off with ‘it’s an entry level TT’ , something the audio t Guy said- it was the second rp1 in this week and rega had said something akin to this. I’m beginnIng to wish I’d not bought regas now, given the initial issues I had with mine( mentioned previously). My son says the sound is pretty stable since he had the upgraded belt though, so don’t know what to think. Went for rega owing to its reputation: wondering if I’ve made a mistake. I bought an rp1 for my nephew at same time but he’s hardly played it as he’s back living with his mam while saving for s house. By the time he moves, his warranty will have elapsed. Psu is brand new, not a demo- can take back or psu over phone of o want to keep. Hi fi is just a murky minefield, I’m thinking!

                    • Ashley Post author

                      Hi-Fi can be a bit of a minefield. I tend to recommend the more mass-produced products these days, usually anything made in China or Japan is a safe bet despite claims to the contrary. I like to support British manufacture, but there is no excuse for instances of poor quality control happening time and time again. It’s simply a matter of too many products being pushed out the door resulting in a lack of attention to detail during manufacture. That’s when mistakes are made. The cost of labour here is high, and companies avoid employing more staff even when it is clear that they are needed. As a turntable is largely mechanical when you get a working unit they’re worthwhile and don’t generally go wrong, but you do sometimes have to fight your cause, and some hi-fi dealers don’t help as they’re far too quick to accept the manufacturer’s resolution.

  • Nigel

    Don’t quote me though!! It was just one of the four there, not all of them. I find them very good. Perhaps he was just trying to get him a cheaper deck, as the customer was new to hifi and was looking for the best deal. I was surprised that another one suggested the 2m red as an upgrade from an Elys 2 though. He did say that if I find the RP 3 lively i wouldn’t want an ortofon.

  • Nigel

    Sorry, Ashley: have been emailing you direct. Just a question for you and others. I’m hoping that along with the subplatter, an Exact cartridge( to which I’m leaning) and possibly psu for my RP3 I’ll get performance near to RP6 standard. Will that be more or less the case. That’s me done then, apart from upgrading my speakers from wharfedale 220s- but I do love these.
    I enjoy the reviews.

    • Ashley Post author

      Yes, more or less. The RP3 and RP6 share many similarities, the main differences being the addition of a metal ‘top hat’ to the RP6 sub platter (which you’ve rectified), the TTPSU, slight alterations to the plinth material, a different platter, and higher tolerance bearing and arm. I feel that once you’ve upgraded there would be little in it.

          • Nigel

            Ok, thanks Ashley. Audio t said I could home demo a TT psu when they get one in . I’ll try that when I can and probably go for the exact I’m the summer. Will ask wife to get me psu for birthday in summer if it makes a difference!!
            Great advice

            • Ashley Post author

              Nice one. The TTPSU has just been updated, you may be able to get an outgoing model at a reduced rate if you phone around the dealers if you wanted to save a bit of cash.

  • Nigel

    I’ve just fitted the Astor subplatter to my RP3 from Gus and am using it with the rega white belt. The one supplied was too long and slowed the TT’s speed down noticeably. However , Gus is sending me an upgraded replacement so can’t complain. His interest in his customers is heartening and the service is exemplary. The sound definitely improves ; the noise floor is lowered and, while hard to pinpoint, the music is more alive and clear. Bass is tighter and at the top end the clarity moves nearer what you’d get from a quality CD player. Overall, the sound seems more cohesive and upfront.
    Speed stability is better though my RP3 was pretty good with the white belt.
    It’s hard to quantify exactly how much of an improvement it’s made, particularly in the world of diminishing returns that upgrading is, but I’m pleased with the outcome and it’s got to be better than paying £200 for a groovetracer. It arrived in the U.K. in 6 days too.
    Excellent product.

    • Ashley Post author

      Great feedback. If you find the replacement belt is also too long, you can either stick with the white belt or move the motor back a bit, though the latter is a lot of work for minimal gain and you’ll need a replacement sticky pad. Rega’s white belts are however very good, and a lot goes into making them.

      • Nigel

        Yes, I’ll be interested to see if the shorter opal silicone belt Gus is sending me works better than the white belt, Ashley. I was surprised at the difference the subplatter made. The more I listen the more I’m impressed. Regas are weighty and upfront anyway ( mine is , at least) but mine is even more so now , though seeming to be more controlled at same time. I was thinking of a psu in the summer too but not sure if it’d make the same impact. Does the psu genuinely make a significant difference? Change of cartridge when mine wears out and that might be it as far as upgrading goes!

        • Ashley Post author

          The PSU does make a difference, resulting in a quieter noise floor and a more solid sound, it’s difficult to describe. Depending on your current cartridge, a cartridge upgrade will more than likely give you a more immediately noticeable difference, particularly if you upgrade to something with a more advanced stylus profile.

          • Nigel

            Hi Ashley
            Still mulling over a cartridge change in summer for RP3 and would like some more objective advice. Read many forums now with people claiming ortofons are better bets than the exact about which they are often scathing. I bumped into a local record dealer (full linn system!) and he says better cartridges about (cited ortofon blue/ bronze) for the price of an exact, and that he could get me a good discount. However, so many users mention high surface noise with these and other ortofons. Ideally I’d like to keep the rega sound but if there are better value cartridges( with similar sound and good on surface noise) I’d consider them. What do you think? Other reviews suggest the exact and my arm is a perfect match. Given that there is a trade in discount like you said with rega (£40 I think), I’m minded to think an exact for £200 ish- I already have £15 credit with audio t and with the trade in -seems good value. Would appreciate your input as so difficult to audition a cartridge.Thanks in anticipation,

            • Ashley Post author

              I think that people on hi-fi fora should be held accountable for their comments, and should be required to provide factual evidence or at the very least details of their personal experience to back up their claims. Very little of the information offered by some on this sites is factual or based on personal experience. Most of it is simply people passing off what they’ve read as their own view, or discrediting a product because they dislike the brand or those who use that brand. Sadly all this leads to is yet more people being misinformed. People will say anything behind a keyboard.

              That said, Ortofon cartridges are very good. Whether they’re better than an Exact is subjective. The Exact is designed to work with your arm, offers simple alignment and tracks extremely well. I have never countered any excessive surface noise with an Exact. I’ve had a few with channel balance issues direct from the factory, but those have been rectified by Rega who offer some of the best customer service in the business.

              I can’t say I’ve ever encountered any excessive surface noise with my AT150SA cartridge or any of the many other Audio-Technica models I’ve owned. Then again, I’ve not noticed it with Ortofon cartridges either; aside from the 2M red which I couldn’t get to track without sibilance and end of side distortion either.

              Surface noise doesn’t just depend on the cartridge. A good stylus profile will help keep surface noise to a minimum. However, a good stylus profile will also ‘read’ more of the record so it is essential that you keep your records clean with a proper cleaning system. Also, setup accuracy will make a big difference. I’m sure Audio-T could let you hear something like an RP6 with an Exact, and possibly some other cartridges too to help you make a decision. And don’t believe what you read on the internet, particularly on some of the ‘audiophile’ websites, and remember that some dealers are simply interested in selling you the product with the highest profit margin. Even after giving you a discount I suspect an Ortofon cartridge would still make the dealer more money than an Exact.

              • Nigel

                That’s great, thanks, Ashley. I’ve got the Project vcs so records are clean. I get what you been about internecine warfare on hi fi fora-it’s a barrage of assertion and opinion conveyed with self-righteous certainty. Audio t have been great with me and recently checked my stylus, which I thought I’d damaged, while they fitted a PP on my son’s RP1 but , while there, a guy came in and they weren’t half pushing project decks, one guy implying that a debut carbon would outperform the new P3 because of its 2M red. I originly had one of these from RS but took ot back oeing to electrical hum, and my RP3 is in a different league. In fact, another guy suggested the 2M red rather than an Exact! I’m sure they’ll be more considered in the summer when I go for the change. I’m pretty sure the Exact is tbe way to go, though, but we’ll see. Glad to read that the Exact handles IGD and noise well; that’s the one issue I have with the Elys, as it seems to not handle either brilliantly well, though it’s in no way desperate.

                • Ashley Post author

                  That is laughable rubbish. A Debut Carbon will in no way beat a P3. The 2M red is frankly a horrible cartridge. I like Ortofon, and Pro-Ject, but I’ve never managed to get a 2M red to track acceptably on any turntable. I’ve never understood the hype surrounding the cartridge, to me it represents endless hours of frustration trying to cure the IDG issue. The £25 Audio-Technica AT95 is a million times better. Ortofon’s range starts with the Blue, for me. The Debut Carbon is a good deck for the price, but the P3 is almost twice the price and has a better arm, bearing, motor, platter and plinth, essentially every part of the deck. I’d very much like to see Rega’s response if they knew what their decks were being compared to by their dealers. The Pro-Ject VC-S is one of the best cleaners on the market currently. Anyway, best of luck with the change!

  • Mark nettleton

    Just wondering how a dual motor would work using 2 triple pulleys,I am currently using this with 2 dual pulleys with 2 belts per side and would like to know if the additional belts would give better sonic improvement.regards mark

    • Ashley Post author

      In theory, more belts = greater torque and thus more even speed. That said with a thin sub platter, my concern would be that the extra belts may not fit; you’d certainly have to experiment to get the pulley heights right. I’d also be willing to bet that the speed variation on your current setup is inaudible and measures so low that the sonic differences would be inaudible and probably almost immeasurable. Do let me know how it goes if you decide to try it.

      • Mark nettleton

        Thanks for the reply Ash,this my delima,would it be worth it to buy a thicker after sales sub platter that’s thick enough to accommodate ,with 6 belts in total,using 2 triple pulleys,how much of a gain? By the way using 1 motor wth dual belts is quite notable ,when you use the 2 motors with dual belts I would make the comparison like bi amping,,more broader soundstage,making the 1 motor sounding thin and boring to the point. Regards Mark

        • Ashley Post author

          Factoring in the price of a replacement sub platter, I doubt the sonic gains would be worth the cost. I’ve never considered a dual motor setup, are you using an RP6 or an entirely custom turntable?