Turntable upgrade: Rega Planar 3 or Pioneer PLX-1000

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 4011021, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I've been using a Pro-ject Debut Carbon for five years now. I'm currently using a Nagaoka MP-110. I'm now experience three issues related to TT-cartridge:

    - motor hum from the turntable. This is a famous problem of this TT. I managed to reduce it and it's only audible if I stay very close to the TT and not at all if I use headphones. So I can live with that but I know it's there.

    - electronic hum. I also managed to reduce it to a level I can only hear it if I crack up with no record playing. The volume level I use is not enough for the hum to appear. With headphones however I can hear that every time music stops. I can also live with that but it annoys me more than the motor hum.

    - lack of high frequencies. This is the main problem. My cartridge is well known for very good bass and middle, which I experience and enjoy, but also for a top end roll-off. When playing along with guitars with distortion, hi hats and cymbals simply disappear in some songs and are very subtle otherwise. As a drummer myself this bothers me so much. I have the same problem if I use the internal phono stage of the integrated. The same integrated playing digital has no problem. So it must be the TT-cartridge and most likely the cartridge. I know some roll-out the highs is reported as a signature of vinyl records but I heard samples and full needledrops that are much better.

    This tells me that I need to change the cartridge and look for a more flat reproduction. I appreciate any advice.

    But I keep thinking that maybe it is also time to get a new TT that could better handle this upcoming new cartridge.

    If I chose this way, which is likely, I have two good options where I live. Pioneer PLX-1000 and Rega both Planar 2 and 3. Pioneer and Planar 2 are about same price and Planar 3 is almost twice that price here. But I can afford it. So I would not hesitate in getting a Planar 3 instead of 2, 2 is out of my radar. But I wonder what would be the best considering also the PLX-1000.

    Any opinions would be much appreciated specially if someone had experienced both turntables.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  2. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    You really cannot lose going to any of the machines you mention, although the Planar 2 is definitely the lesser compared to the Planar 3. If I were buying a Rega, I would stretch those extra dollars to get the Planar 3. However, I own all belt-drive models and am personally intrigued by DD, the PLX-1000 being a well-reviewed model at a very attractive price. So, for me, of those three it would be between the Planar 3 and the PLX-1000, of which I would choose the PLX-1000 because it's DD and allows easy cartridge swaps. Herb Reichart from Stereophile gave the PLX-1000 extremely high praise as an audiophile-worthy machine, FWIW.
     
  3. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa God save the Village Green!

    Location:
    Dayton ohio
    You’ll need the belt upgrade for the RP3 but it is a great table
     
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  4. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    I understand the easy cartridge swaps as an obvious advantage but I know very little about the debate between DD and BD. You say that being DD is a factor in favor of the PLX -1000, why?
     
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  5. Wngnt90

    Wngnt90 Forum Resident

    Rock solid speed control...low wow and flutter...quiet..etc...etc.
     
  6. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I'm being hypocritical when I say that I want to get a DD machine at some point, because even with my budget belt drive machines, I have not heard W&F. I argue that W&F specs are not as important as some claim, for me, given that I cannot hear W&F on machines with pretty lousy specs for same. Still, I'm intrigued by the high-quality DD machines for the knowledge that they spin with extremely low W&F and the ruggedness of their design. I feel as though I could potentially replace my Marantz TT-15, a solid and respectable belt drive with good specs, for a PLX-1000, and essentially never think about the machine again. No belt, no worries, and the ability to change cartridges in a minute or two. I have found myself fiddling with cartridges quite a bit and sometimes wish all of my turntables could accept standard swappable headshells.

    There are many, many big-time fans of Rega machines though, and you cannot go wrong with a Planar 3. Great machines, can be upgraded endlessly and they have their own reputation for great sound. I was simply offering a little of my own personal insight in the hopes that it might add some information to your decision making process.

     
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  7. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Yes, I thank you for that. Everything you said makes total sense to me.
     
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  8. decontrol2

    decontrol2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    portland,OR
    I have only heard a rega on a friends system once so I'm not very familiar with their sound but I did upgrade my pro-ject debut esprit with 2m blue to the plx 1000 with 2m bronze and am much more happy with it. I must have been very lucky because I never had any problems with excessive motor noise or hum but the plx is still better in every way. I also made sure to initially bring the blue over to the plx to see if there was any difference and immediately notice the sound is much beefier with deeper, tighter lows and higher highs. I never really realized either how much I disliked how long the pro-ject took to get up to speed until I got the plx too. I love pressing the start button, dropping the stylus and being done with it. Right now I'm using the lp gear zupreme headshell with bronze and 1200 version funk firm achromat and have absolutely no desire to even think about other turntables. hope that helps and makes sense....haven't had coffee yet haha
     
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  9. decontrol2

    decontrol2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    portland,OR
    Oh, also forgot to mention I sold my first plx to the friend with the rega p3 (had a financial disaster) and after comparing the two he sold the rega, so there's that too. The second one I bought a few months later and the first one also had no play in the bearings which you read about a lot on the forums.
     
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  10. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Of the two you mention, I vote for the PLX. Admittedly, I've not heard either, so my vote has minimal value!
     
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  11. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    VTA adjustment without having to use spacers seems like an advantage too.
     
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  12. Hendertuckie

    Hendertuckie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Henderson, Nevada
    The Pioneer PLX-1000 which I have never heard but read a lot user comments in the forums. I use a SL-1210 and it has a an arm with removal head shells for quick cartridge changes and most other fine tuning adjustments can be done without the use or cost of special tools. The PLX-1000 is pioneer trying to fill the void left when Technics stopped production of the 1200 line of TT's, based on what I've read they have done well.
     
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  13. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Planar 3.
     
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  14. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
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  15. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Same here. However, I have friends that own both. My buddy with the Planar 3 complains about speed issues. My buddy with the Pioneer is happy as a clam. I should also add that the PLX-1000 owner had zero experience setting up and aligning a cartridge and did it easily (and accurately) via the owners manual and internet resources.
     
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  16. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I got to tell you that I have been contemplating buying an RP3/P3 for a long time (I love the sound), but every time I think about having to buy and use spacers to adjust VTF so I can mount a better cartridge than an Elys and then obsessing about the speed issues, I convince myself that my SL-1200 MK5 is the better table. With mods it will still be cheaper than the P3 and will probably sound just as good. So I am in the Pioneer camp.
     
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  17. With already having experienced the toy store turntables, the Pioneer would be a great upmarket move. I'd had problems with other upper-end turntables being capable of passing through higher frequencies. Playing the discrete quadraphonic CD-4 records, with a carrier frequency of 30khz, they just couldn't cope. My CD-4 Shure cartridge has a frequency range of 10-50khz and with a special test record and oscilloscope, the high-end audiophile turntables could barely pass through the upper-20khz's. Surprisingly, the much maligned AT-LP120 could handle the upper frequencies very nicely, so that is the turntable I chose. If I didn't also need the 78rpm speed, the Pioneer PLX-1000 would have fit my needs quite well. There are reasons to go for the Asian turntable clones.

    What you will like about the Pioneer, besides higher frequency capabilities, the universal headshell is easily removable. And as an added benefit, as all records are not created equal, you can have alternate headshells with other cartridges mounted. A simple swap and re-balance is all you have to do. Also, not all records were cut at the proper speed, so a built-in variable speed control is invaluable. With other rubber-band powered turntables, an expensive variable speed control would be necessary.
     
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  18. Mrtn77

    Mrtn77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    European Union
    Like others, I've never heard the Rega tables you mention but do own a PLX-1000 and can say that, sound quality considerations apart (which are difficult to transpose to someone else's system) it's very easy to live with and a joy to use. After three years of so of using a Pro-ject Carbon, being able to remove the headshell, not having to lift the platter and move the belt to change speed and seeing it start to spin at full speed at the press of a button is a true blessing.

    My table, manufactured in October 2016, didn't have loose bearings. Perhaps this was only a problem with an early run ?
     
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  19. andybeau

    andybeau Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    OK I'm coming from a different direction. I had a Rega P3-24 and a Technics SL1210. With the same cart I preferred the Rega. I still have the Technics in my daughters room('her' turntable) and upgraded to RP8 for me. When I upgrade I listened to the new Technics SL1200GR, but preferred the Rega. The moral of this story is only your ears can tell, so if you can audition both tables.

    PS
    Both my Rega TTs speed ran spot on and stable
     
  20. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Unfortunately I can't audition. I can only send it back if it has some flaw. I'm not too worried with speed stability since I read a lot of users saying they don't experience this problem. Any more elaborated idea on this preference? Sound quality would be an important factor of course.
     
  21. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brazil
    Why?
     
  22. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    I haven't owned these tables but I think one thing to think about is if you like to upgrade progressively, or bit by bit. Based on what I've read, I think the P3 has potential to out perform the PLX, but starting off I'd imagine they are fairly equal but different. But the P3 has so many upgrades available, which may be appealing if you like progressive upgrades. I would imagine a fully loaded P3 with upgraded pulley, platter, sub platter, counterweight, etc etc should fairly easily outdo the PLX. But I could also be totally wrong. Obviously with the PLX you have a couple KAB upgrades you can do as well, and carts/headshells to no end. Something to consider.
     
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  23. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Because it sounds better. The RB330 tonearm is on another planet compared to the Pioneer tonearm. The P3 is capable of using cartridges that cost more than the table does. I am using a Dyna 202H cartridge and it sounds pretty damn good. That is a 1k cart in the US. You could also go up to the Karat D3 or use one of the new Hana carts. Now, these would require a better phono preamp, but the table/arm combo is capable to use this level of cartridge.

    The new P3 is very good at keeping speed. Its much better than the older versions. If you have perfect pitch, you can buy the new Neo power supply later. The P3 is just at another level than the Pioneer. At, least if the rest of your system will let you hear it.
     
  24. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I have. Ultimately I think the PLX-1000 is a better table. The Rega has a better arm. That's it. In stock form, overall the Pioneer is the better of the two. Better built, better sounding, and less expensive.

    You can get a Rega and modify the daylights out of it. You could also turbocharge a Chevy Sonic I guess. It'd be faster, but it would still be a Sonic. I went the upgrade route with my P3, and I learned something. Leave the P3 as it is. If you want something else, buy something else.
    Turbocharging a Sonic doesn't make it a Corvette.
     
  25. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Personally having heard both and having spent sometime with the PLX I'd choose the new P3. It's a step up from the old RP3.

    The PLX isn't an SL1200, I've compared them and still have my old 1200 in the closet. No matter how it looks or what people say. Pioneer or,more accurately, Henpin don't even pretend it is with the specs. It's a good table and much better than the entry level tables from Pro-Ject or Rega but once you hit the 1K range you would be better off going and listening to both.

    If you were comparing the PLX to the old RP3 I'd tell you that they each do certain things better and that is still true to a certain extent. Though now the only areas I feel the PLX offers a slight improvement over the P3 in is ease of speed change and less susceptibility to vibration. If you suffer from perfect pitch you won't be able to live with either table. The P3's much better arm and bearings allow it to give you much more detail and a better soundstage. Though I do have a suspicion that it is running a touch fast like all Regas tend to do but not as fast as the old RP3s I've heard.

    If you get the P3 with the Exact cartridge you'll have a nice set up and you could the external power supply later and have a table most people could live with for a long time. That said if I were in your shoes I'd keep my MP110 and save up and get the new SL1200GR which I think is the best table under 2K.
     
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