Help - Best bang for my buck upgrade - Rega users look here..

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Evening all,
During a thread and discussions between Self and @FootHealer I'm wondering if my proposed TT upgrade to a RP3 & Exact is my best option. I'm possibly moving my system downstairs room 4.5 x 3.5 x 2.5 which may provide a positive change in sound in itself, at least for a while
.
System is NAD C556 (Rebadged RP1), Rega Fono MkII, Denon or Rotel CDP, Yamaha WXAD10, Rega Brio, B&W 606.
Music source now 40% Stream & Vinyl and 20% CD. I've no desire to burn CD's to a NAS, no Raspberry Pi "projects" I want something straight out of the box, and I don't want a new source i.e. SACD.

So given my initial budget circa £900 for the Rega, what could I spend that on to best improve my sound ?

More than happy with the Amp so I suspect Speakers or if budget is increased a "better" streamer as well.

Over to you experts....
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
What cartridge are you running, I would suggest looking at the AT VM95ML as a cheapish boost if you are running a carbon or similar. £129 if you shop around and the stylus will last three times as long as a stock elliptical so £/hr the same as the VM95e but significant jump in quality.

The WXAD is a good streamer but the omission of a digital output hampers it, a WXC50 should be a step up but you are paying for a lot of functions you would not use Otherwise it is a node2i or CXN, unless you can find a cheap streamer with digital out and then add a Topping E30 or Smsl Sanskrit 10th mk2.

A lot of guys on here like Kef with their Rega amps, a SH pair of R300 or possibly R3 might be worth a listen as well.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Evening all,
During a thread and discussions between Self and @FootHealer I'm wondering if my proposed TT upgrade to a RP3 & Exact is my best option. I'm possibly moving my system downstairs room 4.5 x 3.5 x 2.5 which may provide a positive change in sound in itself, at least for a while
.
System is NAD C556 (Rebadged RP1), Rega Fono MkII, Denon or Rotel CDP, Yamaha WXAD10, Rega Brio, B&W 606.
Music source now 40% Stream & Vinyl and 20% CD. I've no desire to burn CD's to a NAS, no Raspberry Pi "projects" I want something straight out of the box, and I don't want a new source i.e. SACD.

So given my initial budget circa £900 for the Rega, what could I spend that on to best improve my sound ?

More than happy with the Amp so I suspect Speakers or if budget is increased a "better" streamer as well.

Over to you experts....
Hey,

One of the best things I did when I got my turntable was upgrade the stock cartridge. Wow...it was like a whole different turntable. If you have the stock cart that came with the NAD C556, I'd suggest upgrading that first. I started with an Audio Technica AT95e and upgraded to a Goldring E3 for £99. Was very pleased at the different £70 can make.

Since you do a lot of streaming, how about upgrading that little Yamaha? I know next to nothing about streamers, but the Bluesound Node 2i comes well recommended.

That's a good £650-700 or so. I'd buy music with the rest ;)
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
@Ugg10 - “The WXAD is a good streamer but the omission of a digital output hampers it”

Is that an issue as my amp is all analogue ?
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
You’ve got a cracking amp so glad that’s staying. I have the WXAD 10 and it’s all the streamer I could ever want or need. Easy to use and set up, I have no issues with the app and it sounds great. The WXC50 is an amp and/or streamer. Into the Brio, I doubt you’ll hear any difference between the two Yamahas. The NAD is tweaked RP1, and there’s nowt wrong with that. I had a P1 and it’s a terrific turntable. I’ve now got a P2 which is better but not night and day.
Does the £900 include what you’d get for selling your current kit? If not, that £900 could be £12-1300.
Do you like the current Rega/B & W sound or is something missing to you?
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
@Costello - the £900 is without selling as may build 2nd system.

the first idea of changing upgrade came with the idea of upgrading the cart on the NAD/RP1.

Agree with you on theWXAD10, it just works, I’m wondering if the Node II would offer an improved sound ?

I’m not 100% on the Rega - B/W sound but reckon that’s due to lack of playing of late.
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
@Costello - the £900 is without selling as may build 2nd system.

the first idea of changing upgrade came with the idea of upgrading the cart on the NAD/RP1.

Agree with you on theWXAD10, it just works, I’m wondering if the Node II would offer an improved sound ?

I’m not 100% on the Rega - B/W sound but reckon that’s due to lack of playing of late.
Fair enough. I’d probably recommend the new cartridge and speakers route.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Cheers - the cartridge is a pretty easy and cheap option to start with along with the possible relocating of the system
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi. Personally, I'd be upgrading the speakers. ~£1000 will get a significant bump on the B&W's. Your Brio will happily drive most speakers in that price bracket as well.
I'd agree with changing the cart as the other good option.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
@Ugg10 - “The WXAD is a good streamer but the omission of a digital output hampers it”

Is that an issue as my amp is all analogue ?
The obvious update for a fairly budget streamer would be to update the DAC which would provide a small increase in performance, but the wxad does not have this option. However, changing the speakers and cartridge will give the biggest differed (may not be an improvement but a difference, hopefully both).
 

martinhenry

Active Member
Good to hear from you again ! You may remember from my previous threads that I was in the process of upgrading my primarily rega based system ..... its moved on a bit over the past year and hopefully my experiences might be of some use .

Firstly the initial major upgrade I made was in the speakers from Q Acoustic 3050's to a second hand pair of Spendor A6's ...... they are good enough to build my new system around them and if floorstanders are too big I would wholehearted recommend buying something else second hand ...speakers are long living ( mine are 10 years old ) and you can make substantial savings ,,,, mine cost £700 , about 40% of their initial retail value.

I started with a P1 deck , and have moved through the P2, P3 and now on a P6, and yes they do improve with the extra cost ! The P2 with the Bias cartridge would be a major step up ( needs modding on anti-skate), but the step to a P3 is even greater and arguably you would never need to go further when paired with the Brio. It also has a good upgrade path, but you would need a better cartridge than the Elys , I have an Exact which I still use on the P6, but there are a number of other cheaper cartridges people on this forum recommend. You can buy a second hand P3 for about £480 ish , (but suggest a new cartridge always ).

This will give you a very capable system ...... and I suspect your listening to vinyl might well increase at the expense of CD's :) .

It really depends though on how far your upgrade wants to go .....
 
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TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
The P2 with the Bias cartridge would be a major step up ( needs modding on anti-skate),
Doesn't the revised p2 (2021) have an adjustable anti-skate now? Getting rid of that 'automatic bias adjustment' that is not automatic in any way.
 

martinhenry

Active Member
Doesn't the revised p2 (2021) have an adjustable anti-skate now? Getting rid of that 'automatic bias adjustment' that is not automatic in any way.


Might well have ...I sold mine in 2019 . If that issue is sorted the deck with the Bias is rather good !
 

moujik

Member
I would listen to P3 with Exact and if you don't find it absolutely 'perfect', I would consider keeping Elys 2. I could not remotely justify the price gap when I demoed the two.

P2 is undeniably better than P1 with the same cartridge, and maybe P2 with Elys 2 is not too far away from P3 with Elys2.

I am in a process of upgrading the speakers and it's so much less linear than the source. You know P3 will be better than your NAD, but I hear 606 are decent, so it won't be as easy to improve on them..
 

Apollo83

Active Member
@Ascotbilly
First of all, you have a pretty nicely balanced system, so my first recommendation is pause...
I agree with you that the Record Player is the first thing to go after and I'm sure the planar 3 with brace, RB330 arm, improved motor and exact cartridge would be an upgrade...
But before you do a question:
If you listen to the same song on vinyl and then on streaming/CD through the same speakers what is it that you think needs improving? The vinyl needs more 'something' (e.g. clarity/dynamics)? Or both need more 'something'?
It could be that a speaker upgrade might give you an improvement over 100% of your listening for the same price as a record player upgrade for 40% of your listening?
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
@Apollo83 - Many thanks, I've also concluded the speaker upgrade will likely give the best improvement.

Have just spent a great afternoon listening to Ashcroft / The Verve and there's nothing wrong with the system at all aside from upgrade-itis.

By chance called into a local dealer on Friday who was demoing a set of Dali's, I liked the look and sound of them and the fact that they are Euro manufactured is a major sell to me...
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
@Apollo83 - Many thanks, I've also concluded the speaker upgrade will likely give the best improvement.

Have just spent a great afternoon listening to Ashcroft / The Verve and there's nothing wrong with the system at all aside from upgrade-itis.

By chance called into a local dealer on Friday who was demoing a set of Dali's, I liked the look and sound of them and the fact that they are Euro manufactured is a major sell to me...
You seen the new QA Concept 30? I'd be really curious to have a listen to them.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Not seen them, although the 300’s I’ve just googled are a little out of my budget 🤣
 

daddy999

Active Member
If you are looking at the Rega P3 turntable, the best upgrade is without doubt the Neo PSU. I have the Elys cartridge, I was sceptical that the PSU could make that much of a difference, bit the bullet and it transforms the deck into something truly superb….. and you can change speeds at the push if a button!
 

FootHealer

Active Member
By chance called into a local dealer on Friday who was demoing a set of Dali's, I liked the look and sound of them and the fact that they are Euro manufactured is a major sell to me...
Hi...I believe the more affordable Dali speakers are not manufactured in Europe, but in China, and that only their higher end lines are made in Denmark.
 

martinhenry

Active Member
If you are looking at the Rega P3 turntable, the best upgrade is without doubt the Neo PSU. I have the Elys cartridge, I was sceptical that the PSU could make that much of a difference, bit the bullet and it transforms the deck into something truly superb….. and you can change speeds at the push if a button!
I had the P2 with a Bias 2 cartridge and liked the combination . The P3 is however a major upgrade ....though I would strongly advocate skipping the Elys which I found really dull and going with an alternative cart ........ the Exact is very good but then deserves the Neo PSU upgrade to become a true entry audiophile system ...... but you are then into spending a thousand pounds and need to be both committed to vinyl as your main source . ( And you would arguably want / need to upgrade your speakers as well ).

Been there , and done it ....... and definately worth it if budget allows . :) . The problem is how to stop ...... cos the P6 is unarguably much more accomplished then the P3 ....and so it goes on .......

I would however again recommend looking at a 2nd hand set of speakers ....... they are usually heavily discounted and last for many years ....so you can buy with an eye on future upgrades as long as the Brio is able to power them .
 

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