Planar 3 With Ortofon Blue/What Amp?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by NeilV, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. NeilV

    NeilV New Member Thread Starter

    Tulsa, OK
    I'm about to turn 50, so I've got a window of opportunity to upgrade and update my Realistic Lab-400 and Sansui 4000.

    I do have a budget and two boys who every day are getting closer to driving and college. So I can't go too crazy. Also, I want something that will last.

    I listen to mostly clsssical and some Americana and rock.

    I'm thinking of buying an open box/returned Rega Planar 3 with no cart. I would take my Ortofon Red cart from my existing TT and upgrade to a Blue stylus.

    Is that a reasonable plan? Would I hear a real increase in sound qualty? (Right now I have distortion at the ends of records despite correct alignment, and it's driving me bonkers.)

    Should I consider a different TT?

    If that's a good plan, what amp would be a good match? I need at least 45 watts per speaker (2). I'd really like to be able to stream music from an Android phone to the receiver/amp as well.

  2. NeilV

    NeilV New Member Thread Starter

    Tulsa, OK
    Also, I forgot to ask: Is the AT LP7 a viable alternative to the Rega Planar 3.
  3. rich100

    rich100 Forum Resident

    Middle of England
    I have a Planar 3, an old one c 1980's but they are still very highly rated decks.

    For what it's worth, my return to vinyl was via a couple of more budget decks before getting the rega second hand. I had a Pioneer PL30 and an ATLP120, both ok for the price. Whilst I had those I upgraded to an Ortofon red followed by a Blue. The red I had lots of trouble with, mainly inner groove distortion and the Blue was better. I then decided to change to a Denon DL110 and am still amazed at how good that sounds on the Rega, not just the sound as much of that is subjective but I've found things like IGD and sibilance have gone and a well pressed clean record just sounds pristine, minimal noise floor.

    I doubt the AT deck would be a match for the Rega in my opinion. Specifically it has a preamp built in, even when bypassed some of the electronics are still in the circuit and you can hear noise, I removed the amp on both my cheaper desks and the quality improvement was noticeable as it was just a direct feed from the cartridge.

    As for amps - I'm no expert but I have both a Marantz 5005 and a Pioneer a30-k, both have good phono amps, I don't drive speakers with these but the sound feeding through to the main surround amp sounds good to me.
  4. On_the_dunes

    On_the_dunes Member

    I have rega planar 3 with ortofon blue and marantz 5005. As a pre I have DJ art and a croft micro from 1986.
    Marantz phono is awesome; is the same of art DJ pre with its A/C power supply
    Art DJ pre with 12v gel battery sounds better (more airy and detailed)

    Pm5005 has a wonderful headphones stage too..
  5. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    No, not on the same planet. You never mentioned budget for your amp, but I am going to recommend the Yamaha AS501 integrated amp. A strong 85 Watts, built in phono and a dac. Streaming from the phone isn’t my area of expertise, but I think Yamaha sells a Bluetooth adapter. The built in phono is the weak part of the amp but it’s as good as any others in its price range. It will serve you until you can afford a separate preamp.
    Ken Clark likes this.
  6. rich100

    rich100 Forum Resident

    Middle of England
    Yes the 5005 drives my AKG's very well, I got rid of the Schiit Asgard as couldn't really hear the difference and the 5005 has the advantage of the remote :)
    On_the_dunes likes this.
  7. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Best Coast USA
    Yes, and yes.
  8. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    Been in your shoes, it would really help to know your budget.
  9. NeilV

    NeilV New Member Thread Starter

    Tulsa, OK
    Hopefully, $1,000 after subtracting what I can get for the TT and receiver, which are both in working order.
  10. Crabcakez

    Crabcakez Member

    Baltimore Maryland
    So I upgraded from a debut carbon to a RP3 a little over a year ago. I loved the sound of the 2M Blue I had on the DC and wanted an upgraded one for the RP3 so bought a used Bronze from a friend. The RP3 took it but I had to put spacers under the arm base because of how low the Ortofon cartridge dropped. Because of this, I ended up selling the Bronze and picking up a Rega Exact which was a painless install. I’m super satisfied with everything about it.

    If you were to go the Rega route, I would just get the Elys 2 unless you’ve already got the 2M Blue. The Blue stylus will run you $160-$200 and if you get the RP3 with the Elys 2 on it it’s only $200 more. The Elys 2 by itself is $250-$300.

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