Rega mm mk3 phono stage.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by frimleygreener, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Kristofferabild

    Kristofferabild Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denmark
    I still really love the sound from my Fono MK3! Deep bass and natural sound and lovely voices. :)
     
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  2. Lt.

    Lt. Active Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I took delivery of the Rega yesterday and installed it that night. I have been letting it "cook" for about 10-12 hours and have just started to really listen to it in my system. So far, and I know it is early, but I am liking what I hear. Overall, the music seems more "alive", and while I have played mostly female vocals and piano pieces as I find those two to be great "illustrators" of what to expect, I am not disappointed, especially at this price point (I was able to buy a demo piece for $320 USD shipped). I will write more later as things progress.
     
    Kristofferabild likes this.
  3. Conster

    Conster Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Curious to know how the newer fono MC sounds especially compared to the older version. I had a fono MM2 and was shocked by it's stellar performance
     
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  4. Lt.

    Lt. Active Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Hi,
    Well, I am into night number 2 with the Rega Mk.III and while I am afraid I will not be of much help since I have never owned the Mk.ii or heard it in a long while, I can definitely say that the Mk.iii is damn impressive. I have a recording of the soundtrack from "Oblivion" and played that tonight. Oh my! While it is a rather new age / electric music "hybrid" somewhat like you would expect from Hans Zimmerman, it had me pinned to my listening spot! I did not want to move for fear of missing something and I am not even using my best interconnects yet (I am using WireWorld Eclipse 7 interconnects while I am waiting on a pair of Amadi Masters - the Amadi cables are silver and whatever Mr. Amadi does to his silver it has all the positives of silver and non of the negatives). I also played my master pressing copy of Eva Cassidy's "Songbird". Her voice was pure, spin-tingling, emotionally charged bliss. And I barely have 24 hours of run-in time on this unit. What is so surprising to me what this small black box is capable of producing; a "wall wart" power supply, a box that weighs barely a pound or two and it can raise goose pimples on the dead. My acid test is this: my wife rarely comes in and listens to music with me. If she comes into the room and sits with me, then I know that I have either done something good, or something bad. She loves Eva Cassidy singing "Over the Rainbow", and she (the bride) has been known to shed a tear or two when listening. Tonight the waterworks were on in full, and she asked me to play the track again. When it was all over, she told me she cannot recall a time when "that song was so good, and so powerful". What more can I add to that, other than cymbals have a nice "shimmer" to them, the piano feels deep and "wooden" as it should, recording venues have width and depth (if it is in the recording), dynamics are strong but not overpowering feeling balanced and feeling as if they are presented the way the engineer intended.
    Sorry to be so long winded but I am really shocked at how good this is for the price. There is a YouTube video in which a man compares the Mani from Schiit Audio to the Rega, and other than for bass presentation and speed (I think) he basically trashes the Rega. I guess he heard what he heard, but I have listened to a lot of audio for the past 30+ years, and to me, the Rega is a remarkable performer for its price, and a great synergistic match with my RP6 and Exact cartridge.
    Time to shut up....
     
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  5. Lt.

    Lt. Active Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Zimmer, not Zimmerman. Damn auto-correct!
     
  6. DoF

    DoF Less is more...

    Location:
    Poland
    How long does it take for Rega mm mk3 to burn in?
     
  7. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I like mine a lot.
     
    DoF likes this.
  8. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    Is it also better than the internal phono stage of the Elicit? The reason I ask is that I have an Elicit.
     
  9. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    That's hard to say. If you have the original Elicit, it was very good. I had a lot of experience listening to the Cursa and its phono preamps, which look similar to the old Elicit, although maybe not identical. I haven't compared it to the new Elicit-R, which also sounds very good. The Elicit-R appears to have its phono section based on the new Aria style design. That is also a great sounding stage, like the Cursa, but with more transparency to the sound. I really find their better phono offerings all excellent and the larger factor is the cartridge used into them. The only stages that I can say for sure are scaled back a bit more are the Elex and Brio stages as they don't have the budget for the larger layout. With the separate phono preamps, you of course get separate power supplies. Maybe I'll take a peek into a latest version Fono MM and see how it is now laid out. In the end, it's the sound rather than the design that matters, but the design does hold some clues there.
    -Bill
     
  10. DoF

    DoF Less is more...

    Location:
    Poland
    Bill, how long does it take for Rega mm mk3 to burn in? Thanks, Adam
     
  11. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I am not a proponent of burn-in of solid state electronics. Certainly phono cartridges and speakers experience run-in as they are electro-mechanical devices. Likewise, vacuum tubes experience more physical change due to the heat generated through them. Solid state devices however are pretty consistent from when they are new until they begin to show signs of aging. At that point, component values drift and the design becomes less stable. What does help with lower power devices like preamps, and the Fono mk3 is no exception, is warm-up. So rather than call this burn-in, I prefer to address it as warm-up time. Because they have very low idle current, you don't really need to turn them off. Every time you turn on one from cold, it might takes days, literally, for it to reach a stabilized operating temperature. Certainly some change will occur in an hour, but it still takes many more hours for the chassis to become warmer than ambient and so keep the internals at a stable and warm temperature. When that occurs, the circuit becomes very stable and it takes on a softer and warmer sound, more effortless and natural. Before that warm-up is complete, units such as line stages and phono stages can sound more sterile and artificial. So I will advise to just leave it on and enjoy it. After a day or two, it will sound a bit better, but you don't have to wait to listen to enjoy it. These devices don't ever get really hot. It'll sound almost as good from the start and then really shine after it finally warms up a bit.
    -Bill
     
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  12. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I had a look into a Fono mk3 and indeed it does look more like the Aria and Elicit-R than it does the older generation of stages. The main difference in layout is the use of surface mount devices in the new designs, which really shorten the signal path. The design still uses discrete transistors for the gain stages but the look is more tidy than the older hole-through component designs. I can't see a true side-by-side with the Elicit-R stage but they do share some family resemblance.
    -Bill
     
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  13. DoF

    DoF Less is more...

    Location:
    Poland
    Thank you very much, Bill!
     
  14. Netnomad

    Netnomad Forum Resident

    OK based on the positive posts of the Rega Fono I think I will take my current Schitt Mani into my local Rega dealer and compare the two. I feel the Mani lacks a little in the mid range but I have no real complaints about the overall performance of it. Will I be swayed to swap? Watch this space!
     
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  15. DoF

    DoF Less is more...

    Location:
    Poland
    I have:

    PRO-JECT Tube Box DS
    Rega Fono MM MK3
    Cambridge Audio 651P

    All great, but Rega is mostly used :), it's bright, detailed, love it. Can't wait to hook it up with my new tube amp. Good luck!
     
    Netnomad likes this.
  16. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I went from the Mani to the Fono MK3, much lower noise floor with the Rega.
     
  17. Netnomad

    Netnomad Forum Resident

    Apart from the lower noise floor does the Fono MK3 sound better than the Mani?
     
  18. Netnomad

    Netnomad Forum Resident

    OK I now have the Rega Fono MM MK3 in place of the Mani and with my Ortofon 2M Blue cart it was a bit on the bright side. Changed the cart to a Rega Exact and it all snapped into place, good(not as good as the blue) highs, sweet mids (which were lacking on the Mani/blue combo) and nice deep bass and good soundstage. This combination is more musical to my ears, just listened to David Sylvians 'Dead Bees On A Cake' and really enjoyed the smooth balanced delivery. Just ordered a upgraded sub platter for my RP2 which will do me until I can save enough for a P8 or P10.
     
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  19. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Nice album, that's the RSD issue? I need to get a copy of that, though the CD has always sounded very nice too.
     
  20. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Good plan!

    The Exact is a little warmer than the blue but I think it is much better balanced. Actually a far better cart. Congrats.
     
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  21. Netnomad

    Netnomad Forum Resident

    It is the Black vinyl 180gm release with the different cover to the RSD release, Sounds very good.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Fizbin

    Fizbin New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Boy, am I glad I found this thread. I am considering purchasing the Rega MM Mk3. I currently use a Rega Brio. Can anybody tell me where I would plug it into. Would I plug it into the phono line (which already has a pre-amp) or another line in? Thanks for this.
     
  23. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I believe I had the MM MK2 (MAY have had the 3, I can’t recall), but I don’t think I was convinced that it was better than the one I had in the Brio R, which I think has a stunning section. (do you have the R or the older brio?).

    I ran mine with a mid-spec LP12 and either an Ortofon 2M blue or Black. I also had a Schiit Mani. There was no comparison at all between the Mani and the Rega unit - the Rega unit (whether in the Brio R or the Fono) was substantially better in every way.

    Judd
     
  24. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Turntable / cartridge > phono stage > line level input.
    -Bill
     
  25. Fizbin

    Fizbin New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Rega Brio, not the R, Judd. I'm running it with the Planar 6 and exact. Thanks.
     

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