Rega planar cartridge

Fergalno1

Active Member
I’ve recently came into ownership of a Rega Planar 3 produced in 1996. I’m pretty certain it’s still got on the original cartridge a Rega Elys 1, I’d like to replace the cartridge for something better and I have no experience with turntables.
What cartridges can anyone recommend me buying, budget wise around £100 or there abouts.
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
Could have one of a few cartridges especially including the Bias also. I will chuck my apeth worth in and suggest Nagaoka MP110. Price does fluctuate can be anywhere from £90, which I paid, up to £130. Just need to time your purchase.
 

harkpabst

Active Member
An obvious replacement would be the Rega Elys 2, of course, retailing around 125 £.

The Audio-Technica AT-VM95EN would b e another option, available for less then 105 £.
 

Fergalno1

Active Member
An obvious replacement would be the Rega Elys 2, of course, retailing around 125 £.

The Audio-Technica AT-VM95EN would b e another option, available for less then 105 £.
I am now leaning towards the Audio-Technica AT-VM95SH after reading many reviews.

I have been reading that many people do not rate the Rega Elys 2 for the money that it costs, I just hope its not to much trouble fitting it, hopefully the tone arm wont need shims.
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
Rega's cartridge pricing, in the UK at least, makes them pretty uncompetitive, I think, unless purchased as a bundle with a turntable.

I'd certainly be looking at the AT VM95 range. They have the huge advantage that they're the same depth as Rega cartridges so the height of the arm isn't an issue, which I could be if you went for another make. They're pretty easy to align as well - mount it as far forward as you can in the head shell, tweak the counterweight and you should be pretty close.

You can download an alignment protractor double-check from vinyl engine (either Stephenson or Baerwald) - just take care to check the scale lines when you print them to make sure they're the right length.
 

harkpabst

Active Member
When the first (green, now long discontinued) Rega Bias came out, I was massively disappointed. Much later I had the Exact in my 1. gen P9 and found it to be ... OK, but a little pricey. I like the concept of the rather high output voltage offered by the Rega MM cartridges snd the third fixing bolt surely is a good idea. But all in all my personal favour swings clearly towards the AT.

Honestly speaking I haven't even heard any VM95 cartridge yet, but I'm currently using the VM540ML in my Planar 8 and find it to be a great match. The VM95 series is a little cheaper than the VM series, but should come close. It offers the additional benefit of inset fixing nuts, so fixing to the headshell is a piece of cake. Also, all needles are interchangeable. You could even start with a cheap model and upgrade to the ML or SH version at any time.

The P3 should have come with a printed version of the Rega protractor. If you still have it, use it. Otherwise follow @BT Bob's advice when printing a universal protractor yourself. Rega are aiming for Stevenson alignment, but that doesn't mean you have to. My personal favorite is the Schön protractor (as it is the only one taking mounting and production tolerances into account), but it is looks like the price tag is a little hefty in the UK.
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
I have tried the AT VM 95ML not the SH, but still prefer the NAGAOKA. Have had a couple of Rega cartridges and found to be very so so to say the least. As in all of this these are my findings.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Haven't heard the rega carts, but can 2nd the Nagaoka MP110 as an option. It replaced an Ortofon 2M Blue and was, to my ears, much better at a much lower cost.
Has a slightly warmer, more "vinyly" sound. In AB testing vs Qobuz, I found that the blue had a very similar sound signature to the streaming site, whereas there was a definite difference between Qobuz and the Nag.
Not saying the Qobuz sound is bad (I like it very much), I just want there to be a difference.
Hope that makes sense.
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
The P3 should have come with a printed version of the Rega protractor. If you still have it, use it.
The only issue with the supplied Rega protractor is it's only single-point. So it's fine for checking that the cartridge is square, but doesn't allow any forward/backward adjustment like the dual-point ones do.
 

musicphil

Active Member
I can certainly vouch for the VMN95ml it's a great tracker. Nice bass and HF is not on the bright side. But it's slightly above your budget but it takes some beating under the £200 bracket of MM cartridges
 

Fergalno1

Active Member
I’ve actually pulled the trigger on the AT-VM95ML today and it will be here tomorrow, hopefully I’ll get it set up tomorrow or Friday, looking forward to hearing it.
 

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