Picking The Right Turntable for ELAC FS 409 speakers

peterujhazi

Standard Member
So I am considering making the first steps towards listening analog. I am however lost in all details of the available selections, even though I found great Information on this forum on the different option, which I wanna go into detail now.

Here are my options (and offers) that I have until now:

1.) Pro-Ject 2Xperience SB S-shape DC with Ortofon SPU #1

I know it's a great player, but I have concerns for its personal fit for my music taste. (I have a very good deal for this however at around 1800 USD with Cambridge Audio's ALVA Duo)

2.) Pro-Ject X2 model

3.) Rega Planar 6 model
However, it is harder to get in my region on a reasonable price. I love the design however!!

4.) Cambridge Audio Alva TT
My friendly supplier offered me this product, not sure however as I don't see many good reviews of the device. Also, I don't need the bluetooth function.

5.) other alternative ELAC, Acoustic Signature and Technics turntables as my local audio dealer offers these brands


Music preference:

  • 25% electronic
  • 25% classical
  • 20% rock
  • 15% RnB and Rap
  • 15% HQ pop

I know, it's kind of everything, but that's the thing, I probably need something that is this versatile as my music taste. I also prefer a darker sound signature with tight and powerful basses.

My setup, which I intend to extend now:

  • ELAC FS409
  • Primare i32
  • Primare NP30
  • Primare NP5
  • Vertere Pulse-X mini cables all alround
  • ISOL-8 powerline powerstation


I got one specific question:

Do you know anything about the differences between the two cited project players, the 2Xperience and the X2? I can get really good deals for the 2Xperience, but I don't find any info what is the difference and which is better.

Also, what do you think about my options? Which would you pick?

Thanks in advance for any contribution.

Peter
 
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BT Bob

Distinguished Member
If it helps, I have a Rega P6 with the Rega Ania (MC) cartridge that I run into the CA Alva Duo phono amp.

It's a great combination with a lovely clean sound and, even though it's not adjustable, the Alva seems a very good match to the Ania's characteristics. The bonus of the built-in headphone amp is a nice touch.
 

peterujhazi

Standard Member
If it helps, I have a Rega P6 with the Rega Ania (MC) cartridge that I run into the CA Alva Duo phono amp.

It's a great combination with a lovely clean sound and, even though it's not adjustable, the Alva seems a very good match to the Ania's characteristics. The bonus of the built-in headphone amp is a nice touch.

yes, indeed it does help, thank you! I am also very much leaning towards the Rega table now, love the concept, love the design....

May I ask why did you go for the Alva Due and not for the original Rega phono preamp? I heard both are very good, but if I'd go for the Rega table I'd probably choose the factory preamp. However I love the fact that the Alva Due does have the headphone jack...!
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
May I ask why did you go for the Alva Due and not for the original Rega phono preamp? I heard both are very good, but if I'd go for the Rega table I'd probably choose the factory preamp. However I love the fact that the Alva Due does have the headphone jack...!
I had the Schiit Mani previously, used with a Rega RP1 and Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge - a great combination.

When I upgraded the TT to the P6/Ania, I was able to use the Mani, but I always felt the MC performance was lacking. When I looked at the figures, the load values didn't match the Ania.

So I started looking for a new phono. I tried the Trichord Dino, but it had a dreadful hum, that I just couldn't shift, so that got sent back.

I was doing some more research, and still liked the option of a combination MM/MC stage but couldn't justify the cost of the Rega Aria.

As part of my research, I spotted an open-box Alva £75 under list (I had, and still have, the C CXA61 integrated amplifier so was already familiar with the CA design). The Alva matches the load value of the Ania and the gain was OK for me, so I decided to take the plunge and try it.

I really like it - the noise-floor is lower than the Mani (not that that was bad), and there's a nice warmth to the sound that, again, was lacking in the Mani.

The headphone amp is great - I've never had a dedicated headphone amp, so only have the headphone output of the CXA61 to compare to - it has a clarity and "cleanness" compared to the CXA61's output.

I still have a niggle in my head to try the Simaudio Moon 110LP, but for now, I'm very happy.

Rega's UK pricing is very-much targeted at "bundles" with the TT and a cartridge together. This makes the Rega cartridges very good value. I think if you get them as "after-market" purchases, they're more expensive and there's probably better value for the money. I don't think this applies in the US - I think they're all sold without a cartridge, so the world's your oyster.
 

peterujhazi

Standard Member
I had the Schiit Mani previously, used with a Rega RP1 and Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge - a great combination.

When I upgraded the TT to the P6/Ania, I was able to use the Mani, but I always felt the MC performance was lacking. When I looked at the figures, the load values didn't match the Ania.

So I started looking for a new phono. I tried the Trichord Dino, but it had a dreadful hum, that I just couldn't shift, so that got sent back.

I was doing some more research, and still liked the option of a combination MM/MC stage but couldn't justify the cost of the Rega Aria.

As part of my research, I spotted an open-box Alva £75 under list (I had, and still have, the C CXA61 integrated amplifier so was already familiar with the CA design). The Alva matches the load value of the Ania and the gain was OK for me, so I decided to take the plunge and try it.

I really like it - the noise-floor is lower than the Mani (not that that was bad), and there's a nice warmth to the sound that, again, was lacking in the Mani.

The headphone amp is great - I've never had a dedicated headphone amp, so only have the headphone output of the CXA61 to compare to - it has a clarity and "cleanness" compared to the CXA61's output.

I still have a niggle in my head to try the Simaudio Moon 110LP, but for now, I'm very happy.

Rega's UK pricing is very-much targeted at "bundles" with the TT and a cartridge together. This makes the Rega cartridges very good value. I think if you get them as "after-market" purchases, they're more expensive and there's probably better value for the money. I don't think this applies in the US - I think they're all sold without a cartridge, so the world's your oyster.

Ahh alright, I understand! I love the Schiit product, wow..!

Yeah, the CA alva duo is really an interesting bit of kit for this interchangeable MC-MM amping stages plus the HP jack, which alone is very appealing to me.

I am auditioning a Planar 3, a 6 and an 8 tomorrow, really looking forward to it!

Preamping is still a question.
 

peterujhazi

Standard Member
Alright, so I auditioned the Rega Planar 3 with the Exact MM, also listened to the Planar 6 with Ania MC and the Planar 8 with the same Ania.

Speakers (Chario) were completely different to my Elac's though, it was very hard to tell how it's gonna sound like at home...

What I am looking for is something warm, something with good lower ends and strong midrange to compensate the rather bright sound signature of my Elac FS 409.

As I am reading on this forum, the P6 with the Ania MC is not this type of a player that I am looking for, but I really don't know at this point. What do you guys think?

I would greatly appreciate any contribution of this forum to help me pick the right TT for my setup.
 

peterujhazi

Standard Member
The Planar 3 was the only one with the MM cartridge. That was also the first TT I listened to. Stepping up to the P6 with the ANIA was a huge-huge difference. Soundstage opened up greatly, and vocals and other higher frequencies became much more prominent. Lastly the P8 was played, with the same cart as the P6. Honestly, with the Chario floorstanding speakers I couldn't tell any difference between those two. Maybe if I had listened through my own speakers and apms, I would be able to tell stg. Also the dealer said that there is not much of a difference between the 6 and the 8, and he even advised me to look at the 6 as that is a better value he claimed.

I am however really lost between the available option here. If I decide to go with the Rega P6, should I look at a more warm cartridge in it and replace the ania? Should that be the ania pro or stg different like the Hana SL. Or should I at this point rather go with another TT?

The thing is that Rega offers these great packages all in one. Like the ANIA cart officially is a 350-400 Euro costing cart and in the package I get it for 200. I can't really get anything better at that price. But how will it sound in my system, will the ANIA lack the very much desired punch that I long for with my Elac speakers? Will the ANIA be too bright for my also bright Elac speakers...?
 

madfiddler

Active Member
The ania and ania pro (both MC) to some extent is going to show up bad recordings or records not well kept, in this respect many i gather still prefer the Exact MM on the p6 as it’s more forgiving. It’s possible as it is kind of warmer that this will be a good fit with your speakers. I don’t know enough about chario to comment, maybe someone her has heard them or used them?

the ania pro I understand has a different stylus shape (less surface noise revealing) and has some components of the alpheta cart and addresses some complaints about the original ania. It’s worth doing a Google about them. I think it’s an option for the P8 but unsure about p6

I think the p8 will likely be more revealing and dynamic with a better cart, but the difference between p3 to p6 agree you are likley correct that the differences are not as great Between p6 to p8

I own none of these by the way so bear that in mind, but recently have been reading a lot myself of different opinions and think p6 for me would be the way I might go (also why I’m watching this thread!)...the cart question kind of remains unanswered for me though personally.

The only definite way is to get a home demo, which I guess is not so easy right now. Maybe the dealer has demo carts he could fit to your preferred deck, and then when you are happy you could stick with that or swap out for something different, a new one of your choosing?

could you also perhaps take your speakers along to the dealer for a comparison? There are obviously other variables going on here but it might set your mind at rest.

I think everything you are considering is of a quality to get you great results, but it will come down to your preference and your pocket. Given all the lockdown shenanigans, not sure I’d be forking out up to 2k or more (p8) without more comprehensive demos, but that’s your call I guess.
 
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peterujhazi

Standard Member
Yes, indeed, a home demo would be best.

Actually, the P6 ANIA clarity struck me while listening to the demo as well. Also listened to some comparisons on youtube, I don't know how realistic those videos are, but clarity is really good on the P6 as I heard. I hope just it won't be too straight forward with my Elac speakers...

The good thing about this combo is that I can upgrade easily with the Aria preamp + the ANIA Pro, the dealer proposed me to help me in that in the future, which is good and easy.

Probably go and bite the bullet on this deal, as I trust this is gonna be a good and easy start for me with turntables.
 

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