Rega Planar 3/Elys 2. Advice needed


Novice Member

My Rega p3 has started producing a strident sound when the stylus first touches a record. This nasty sound never lasts longer than 5-7 sec after which everything gets back to normal. I may be listening to music for a day or two without any problem, then all of a sudden this problem starts over again. Sometimes I need to lower the stylus several times before it goes away. Or, side A may sound as it should, then when I flip a record to side B the distorted sound reappears.
Any ideas why this happens? It is really a pain the neck.
Thank you!


Distinguished Member
Well the first thing to do is verify that the Turntable Ground Wire is connected. Though, to be fair, that is not likely the problem.

In fact, verify that all your connections are Clean and Tight.

Then Verifty that the Tracking Weight is set properly.

Verify that the Anti-Skate is set properly.

Verify that the Turntable is DEAD LEVEL.

You can get a 2-way spirit level for cheap -

Or a circular level -

Also, to the extent that you can, give us a better description of the sound you are hearing.

Also, consider Static Electricity, is the air particularly dry when this happens, as it would be if it were exceptionally cold at the moment.

Again, with some sense of the sound you are hearing, it is hard to determine what the cause might be.

One though I had is that you are missing the Lead In Groove, and for a second or two the stylus is ridding on the edge of the record before it drops down into the groove. That seems like a slim chance, but with the information I have it is really kind of impossible to determine.



Well-known Member
Sounds like a faulty stylus with a dodgy connection somewhere.

Do you have another cartridge that you could try?



Distinguished Member
Following on with what HeadBanger has said, look very very closely at the Stylus, make sure it is not damaged or dirty.

Scroll down a this link to see a before and after stylus cleaning photo -

[Review] Missing Link VP DustBuster Stylus cleaner - [English]

What you are seeing in the photo is not random lint that has collect. Literal CRUD can build up on the Stylus and effect its performance.

The easiest and cheapest way to clean this crud is to simply lower the Stylus into a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser a few times. Magic Eraser is fine micro-abrasive, and will not hurt the Stylus UNLESS you move it side-to-side. Just lower the Stylus straight down into the Magic Eraser a few times and it will be wiped clean. Most grocery and hardware store will have Mr Clean Magic Erasers.

I think the patent might have expired on the Magic Eraser, so you can buy other brands now. But Mr Clean is the original.

By the way, to clean my Stylus, I cut a small sliver of the Magic Eraser, I use about 1/10th of less of a single Magic Eraser pad, and that should last me a lifetime.

One Magic Erase could be cut into 1/2" Squares and provide Stylus Cleaners for 10 or more people.



Novice Member
Hello again,

Steve, HB, thank you very much for your prompt responses to my query.

The turntable ground wire is not connected. Although I don’t think this might cause a problem, I’ll see to it.

All my connections are clean and tight. I don’t think there’s a dodgy connection somewhere.

I did my best to set the tracking weight properly. Hopefully this is not the cause of the problem. I will check it again.

The Anti-Skate is set properly. Again, I’ll double check it.

The Turntable is DEAD LEVEL, I used a spirit level to set it right.

I cannot give you a better description of the sound I am hearing. I am currently not anywhere close to my turntable, hence this delay in writing. It would be best to record the sound and send the file to you for inspection but probably this is not an option.

The static electricity is one of the prime suspects as the air in my apartment is very dry because of the central heating.

I don’t think that the lead in groove might be a problem as the distorted sound is heard not only when the stylus drops down into the groove and a record starts playing, but also when I lower the stylus into the middle of a tune.

A faulty stylus is something I thought about in the first place. But then again, the sound was clear during the first several weeks of playback. My Rega (and stylus) are brand new, purchased just two months ago. No need for cleaning yet, as I understand it.

There is also something I did not mention in the beginning. When I started playing Rega first I noticed that the cartridge wires were quite low. They were not touching a record, but seemed the way too low for me. So I pushed them up a bit. Could this cause any damage?

No, I don’t have another cartridge that I could try but I will get it eventually.


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