Upgrading From My Rega P3(2000)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Bruce Burgess, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    It has been nearly 15 years, since I first purchased my Rega P3 (2000). It has proven to be a very reliable turntable. With the help of Groovetracer upgrades, this turntable tracks almost flawlessly and there are no speed issues. However, since that time, I've upgraded my speakers, amps, power cords, interconnects and everything else. I am now looking at getting a better sounding turntable.

    What I am looking for is a vinyl rig with greater clarity and detail, that is easy to set up and does not have any speed control, tracking, humming or RFI issues.

    Some of the models I am considering are the Rega Planar 6/Exact 2 combo, the Music Hall MMF 7.3/Ortofon Bronze combo, the Technics SL 1200GR and the VPI Prime Scout.

    The Rega Planar 6/Exact combo is probably the best value for the money. In Canada the retail price is $2499(Canadian). It often comes up on sale for $1999, which is the retail price for the turntable by itself. I almost got the Rega/Ania combo last year for $200 more. However, I read so many negative comments from members of this forum that I figured I was safer getting the Exact 2. Everybody seems to like that one. From what I've read, the turntable itself is lightyears ahead of the P3 (2000).

    The Music Hall MMF 7.3/ Bronze combo retails for $2199 Canadian. I know that the Bronze is a great cartridge. Some like it better than the more expensive Black. However, I'm not sure how the turntable would compare with the Planar 6. It has gotten some great reviews.

    The Technics 1200GR is a great turntable but is overpriced in Canada, where it sells for $2499 (Canadian), which is what the VPI Prime Scout sells for. Unless, it is clearly superior to both the Planar 6 and the MMF 7.3, I would probably be better off with one of them.

    The VPI is perhaps the best of the lot but I understand it is tricky to set up properly. This would be a very strong contender if I had a high end dealer nearby, who could set it up for me. Unfortunately, none of the dealers in my area sell VPI turntables.

    Right now, I am leaning towards the Planar 6 or MMF 7.3. However, I would be open to getting the Technics if it were clearly superior. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
     
    Echoes Myron likes this.
  2. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo!

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Planar 6 all the way!!

    justification: 1) You are already used to, and like, the Rega sound. 2) The Sale price of $1999 is great deal. 3) The Planar 6 is great table.
    4) Rega- No fuss, no muss.
    You cant go wrong with the Planar 6......a suggestion would be to put put a Dynavector cart in it.
     
    bluesaddict, Maltman and Hifi Kenny like this.
  3. Maltman

    Maltman New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver Canada
    The P6 with Exact was on Amazon.ca for $1999 from an outfit in Quebec. I put one in my cart and then went back to looking for a suitable phono stage to go with it. Next time I checked my cart it was $2499. I need to get something soon as my Linn Axis is doing that thing where it won’t start up without a push. I still think the P6/Exact combo is the best
    option and the best deal at $2K.
    BTW, it was suggested to me that the Denon DL 103R is a good fit and match for the P6 if you wanted to go MC.
     
  4. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    If I decide to go the P6/Exact route, I'll have to a wait a few months until it goes on sale again. Since my P3 is still working, I'm not in any rush.
     
    bluesaddict likes this.
  5. chromewaves

    chromewaves Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I've also got a P3-24/Exact that I will be looking to upgrade some point in the near-to-medium future. My shortlist is a P6 w Ania or Exact, or a Clearaudio Concept. Any reason the Clearaudio isn't on your short list?
    btw a lot of retailers will probably have the sale price on the P6 until they're sold out. when I was there this Summer, Audio Eden in Aurora had a stack (several stacks) from the same promotion at the end of 2017 that they were selling at that same price since it reflected what they paid for the them.
     
  6. Maltman

    Maltman New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver Canada
    Thanks for the tip. I’ll check some other Rega retailers.
    My reason for avoiding Clearaudio is the lack of a dust cover. We live in a dusty world these days. Same applies for VIP turntables.
     
  7. chromewaves

    chromewaves Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    ah I see. yeah I budgeted the price of the dust cover into my calculations, but its cost and absurd size are definitely strikes against the clearaudio.
     
  8. Maltman

    Maltman New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver Canada
    Yeah, that’s the rub. I prefer an attached, hinged cover to a removable monstrosity. That way there is no chance of it getting stepped on or sat on.
     
  9. plastico

    plastico Forum Resident

    Location:
    ontario canada
    Your position is what mine was Bruce. I too had a P3 2000 with all the upgrades. But I went a different route. I changed the plinth, got a Audiomods arm, 24v motor and bingo! A better table in every way! And a lot cheaper than getting a P6!
    Cheers, Doug
     
  10. gumsrave

    gumsrave Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tokyo
    I recently went from a Rega P3-24 with GT mods to a Technics Sl-1200G and I’m incredibly happy. I think all of your criteria would be met, and then some, with the GR.

    However, I live in Japan where the Technics tables are cheaper than in the US, not more expensive, so that will be a factor.

    I think if you are wanting a table with more adjustability (tonearm height, leveling feet, torque controls, 78rpm, interchangeable head shells) then the Technics might be worth the extra expense. You seem to make a purchase to keep and use for many years (me too) so the initial extra cost may be justified.

    If you’re happy to stay in the Rega ecosystem, I’m sure a P6, discounted RP8 or the new P8 would fit the bill too.
     
  11. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    I did check with Audio Eden this afternoon and they still have the P6 with the Exact for $1999. I have dealt with Audio Eden in the past, purchasing the Rega Elicit with the MM internal phono stage.

    I decided to order the P6/Exact combo because it represents the best value for my money in Canada. I hope I made the best choice regarding the cartridge. It seems that most professional reviewers recommend the Ania. However, it has gotten mixed reviews from owners on this site. Also, I like the idea of being able to plug my turntable right into the amp, without the worry of hum or radio frequency interference. My experience with the Graham Slee 2SE has made me very reluctant to take a chance on external phono stages. I know there are excellent stages without this issue but I won't know which one until I get it home. Anyway, I'm sure I'll be happy with the Exact 2.

    I didn't include the Clearaudio turntables because I had read that they were very tricky to set up and very finicky about where they are placed. I like a simple set up.
     
  12. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    The P6 will sound great with the Exact. The Ania has a long break in period, most folks that didnt like it, didnt let the cart settle in. I am talking 75-100 hours. It is a stunningly good cartridge once it runs in.

    A great upgrade for your next cartridge would be an Ania into a Sutherland phono stage. Not sure who carries them in Canada, but Music Direct is a dealer. Sutherland stuff is dead quiet, no noise of any type, and they sound exquisite. The way that Sutherland phonos minimize surface noise is uncanny.

    In the meantime, enjoy your P6. The new foam plinth Regas are game changers.
     
  13. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Just a thought but are there any new, stock, previous model RP8/Apheta’s left on sale e.g. with Music Direct ? I got mine over here in the transition to the new model a couple of months back, and I think there were some sweet prices in the US too. Price was about the same as for a new RP6/Ania.
     
    Echoes Myron and Pythonman like this.
  14. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Planar 6 or the old Planar 8 (RP8) which as noted, is available at a steep discount right now through Music Direct. Stick with belts.
     
  15. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    The RP8 is listed at $1995. I would take this over the new Planar 6. The Planar 6 in my mind isn't a huge jump from the Planar 3. The major upgrade is mostly the subplatter that you would otherwise have to buy buy aftermarket. Buying a Planar 6 is a just a better value offering with the inclusion of the Neo PSU. If you are going to get the Planar 3 and eventually get a Neo and a GT subplatter, you should just get the Planar 6. Stepping up to the RP8 would get you an improved arm, subplatter, the TTPSU, a perimeter weighted platter and the skeletal plinth. For similar pricing, the RP8 is a no-brainer choice over the Planar 6. While the TTPSU is a slight downgrade from the Neo, I think Rega matches or tunes the TTPSU to the RP8.
     
    aarsonbet, SandAndGlass and willboy like this.
  16. willboy

    willboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wales, UK
    I'm not familiar with Rega tables, more of a Pro-ject man myself, :hide: though I did once own the same Rega model as the OP. That said, and for what it's worth your preference for the RP8 over the new Planar 6 would be my choice too.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  17. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Same for me, moreover I think they ship the rp8 with the neo psu now !
     
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  18. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Perfect timing to jump on a clearance RP8 and put an Exact on it.
     
  19. ashulman

    ashulman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utica, NY
    I moved to tecnodec after my p3, for similar reasons you are seeking. The regal sound to me is very musical but not first in detail and clarity. I assume up the line that improves. But I'd think about a design that has either a more massive plinth or suspension.
     
  20. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Willboy, I don't think there is anything wrong with Pro-Ject decks. In the '90s when I thought SACD was dead and decided to go back to vinyl just so I could buy some new music, I got Music Hall MMF-2.1. Pro-Ject didn't have much of presence in the US and Roy Hall was championing the new Czech turntables. I think they are well made and offer very good products at the price points. I also had, in fact I still I still have and use the P3-2000. I upgraded to the P5 as it was discounted when the RP6 was about to be released. So, at this point I'm fully entrenched in Rega. The RP8 under $2000 is very tempting to me. But as I've upgraded my cartridge and stage this past year, so I'll leave the deck upgrade for a later date. With Rega updating decks every 3 or 4 years, it seems likely I'll get a shot at a discounted P8 at that point. I'm in no hurry. Right now I've got the P5 to sound the way I want it.

    My upgrade from the P3-2000 was a big upgrade with the much better arm in the RP700 and the 24V allowed me to add the TTPSU. So I'm pretty happy with it. I did recently upgrade the subplatter and that for the most part was enough to revitalize my P5. I don't think a Planar 6 would be much of an improvement as I think the subplatter was the only fault with the P5. With the newer Rega designs, I just don't think Rega is leaving much for incremental upgrades. And the P5 being older has allowed me to explore that path. So, my next Rega, if there is one, is to the 8 series. I don't really want slightly better. It'd have to be significantly better. But I'm also a bargain hunter for gear. I prefer to spend my money on records. At this point, it's maybe next time. But the an $2K RP8 is a bargain if you want to approach the upper tier of light and rigid turntables.
     
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  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I had wondered about the upgrades for an RP3 also.

    I have an RP6, which has the upgraded subplatter and belt.

    I see an RP3 that has been upgraded with a better subplatter and TTPSU to be close to the RP6

    I see an RP6 tht has been upgraded to be close to the stock P6.

    So I don't really see that going from an upgraded RP3 to a P6 as being that significant of an upgrade as it should be for the money involved.

    I would prefer, for the $1,995 involved to upgrade to a RP8. Realizing that the P6 is closer to an RP8, I would still opt for the RP8.
     
  22. Linto

    Linto Mayor of Simpleton

    P3 owners should watch this, even if they already know it, new video by Grahams HIFI
     
  23. willboy

    willboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wales, UK
    I'm more than happy with my Pro-ject 2Xperience Classic. No complaints with fit & finish. Sounds very nice too, I'm running it with a Hana EH.
     
  24. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Actually, a P6 is a massive upgrade over a P3. I know, I had a current P3 for over a year and traded it for the P6. The plinth material on the P6 has been used on the new P8. The biggest difference in the tables will be the tonearm. The new 330 arm is very good, but still not as good as the 808. I have heard an RP8 several times and it is better than the P6, but it’s not huge. The P8 is going to be a monster though.

    That being said, getting a close out RP8 for 2k is a hell of a deal. The P6 is close enough I would not spend 3k on an RP8, but for 2k the older table wins
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  25. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    I'm sure the RP8 with the Neo is a better turntable than the P6. However, even at $1995 (US), it is still considerably more expensive than what I paid for my P6. The Canadian dollar is worth about $.75(US). For about $1500 (US), I got a P6 with an Exact 2 cartridge, which I believe goes for about $595(US). I did consider the RP8 or P8 but figured that in order to do these turntables justice, I would need to spend over $1000 for an appropriate phono stage, such as the Aria, and over $1000 on a suitable cartridge. This would have been well over $4000 (US), which was well above my budget.

    The Exact2 and the internal phono stage on my Rega Elicit are certainly adequate for the P6.
     
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