Upgrade stylus or new turntable?

daddy999

Active Member
If he can afford two then I’m sure he could afford to let you have one on permanent loan 🤣
Yeah I suggested that......err I’m still with the Rega p3! 😂 One day the kids will bugger off and I will have money again......then oh yes, the Xerxes will be mine!
 

peter312

Active Member
Thank you all for your thoughts so far. Having done a little more research, I think that if I am going to buy a better turntable, I probably need to spend around £1,000 or so to get a decent improvement. The Rega 3 + PSU + Exact cartridge is certainly one good option.

Another is a choice between 2 Pro-ject decks, the X2 and The Classic (with Evo sub-platter upgrade). Both are a similar price with an Ortofon 2m silver (or Pro-ject equivalent) although I would be tempted to upgrade to the Bronze (if I stick with Ortofon).

Does anyone have any thoughts on how those two Pro-ject decks compare with each other?

Many thanks
 

daddy999

Active Member
Thank you all for your thoughts so far. Having done a little more research, I think that if I am going to buy a better turntable, I probably need to spend around £1,000 or so to get a decent improvement. The Rega 3 + PSU + Exact cartridge is certainly one good option.

Another is a choice between 2 Pro-ject decks, the X2 and The Classic (with Evo sub-platter upgrade). Both are a similar price with an Ortofon 2m silver (or Pro-ject equivalent) although I would be tempted to upgrade to the Bronze (if I stick with Ortofon).

Does anyone have any thoughts on how those two Pro-ject decks compare with each other?

Many thanks
I’ve not heard the x2, but another brand in that price range to look at and is linked to Project is E.A.T.. I heard the B-Sharp, It was really good, well worth checking out. I did own a Clearaudio Concept, which I personally think sounded better sound than the E.A.T and probably the X2, but, it didn’t like wooden floors and the wife wasn’t changing decor! Hence, I ended up with the a Rega P3, which I am really happy with. Good luck with whatever you choose.
 

RugbyAl

Well-known Member
Not sure how the 2 Projects compare tbh, but I've always liked the looks of the Classic. At that level of turntable cost I believe a 2m silver (which is a modified 2m red) is selling it short. A £950 turntable with a £100 cartridge in my experience is out of balance as the cartridges is so fundamental to the decks performance.

A Bronze however is a much better proposition. Please let us know how you get on...
 

oscroft

Member
Not sure how the 2 Projects compare tbh, but I've always liked the looks of the Classic. At that level of turntable cost I believe a 2m silver (which is a modified 2m red) is selling it short. A £950 turntable with a £100 cartridge in my experience is out of balance as the cartridges is so fundamental to the decks performance.
I agree. A bonded elliptical stylus just doesn't seem good enough to me at that level. I'd want a nude elliptical (eg Blue) as a minimum, but ideally a fine line stylus (eg Bronze) of some sort.
 

daytona600

Active Member
Roksan Xerxes is the best turntable I have ever heard and by some distance, so no, Rega do not make the best turntable in the world.
Agree the Roksan is a superb turntable happy owner of a Xerxes 20+ for many years
recently changed to a Vertere from the same designer of the Xerxes & this is one of the greatest TT ever made
 

martimu

Well-known Member
You could do things in stages. Get a few upgrade hits along the way, which is nice. I started with a P3 with an ortofon cartridge ( can't remember model but was about £150) upgraded the phono stage first which made quite a positive difference. The rega then happily took a dynavector 10x5. This was a big upgrade and I had that combination very happily for ages. I kept the cart and phono when I last upgraded the TT and have no desire to change. Sounds brilliant.

Each time I had real enjoyment of the upgrade and then again a year or two later.
 

The Grandfather

Active Member
Over the years I have had many different turntables and cartridges and have fond memories of Ortofon cartridges. For my ears they have been good.
If your budget will stretch to it then a Rega Planar 3 would,I reckon, satisfy most people’s needs and expectations. OR how about something even further up the ladder by buying secondhand from a good dealer - yes I know that’s not possible right now but the internet is your friend and we won’t be locked down for ever - God willing.
Years ago I bought a Linn LP 12 for a knockdown price. Lucky, right time right place. Like the previous poster (martimu) says step by step upgrading is really a good way to go.

Oh and beware grandchildren can be EXPENSIVE etc but after all remember that they are Gods gift to you for not wringing your own children’s necks when they drove you up the wall!! or so I was once told.

Good luck. Nick
 

kikiso

Active Member
For what its worth its also worth looking at what the rest of the system is capable of. A few months ago I decided to make a significant investment (for me) in upgrading to MC cart and preamp. I can route the sound through two different amps, each amp has its own set of speakers. I get two very different results. Both amp/spkrs sound better than my starting point, but one system sounds very significantly better. The sound from one system justifies the upgrade, the other one is marginal and I would have regretted the expense.

What I'm trying to say is that whilst the source is the most critical link in the chain, all the other components need to be capable of taking advantage of the upgrade.
 

The Grandfather

Active Member
What I'm trying to say is that whilst the source is the most critical link in the chain, all the other components need to be capable of taking advantage of the upgrade.
[/QUOTE]

Absolutely. 👍
 

peter312

Active Member
Firstly, thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread. Second, I thought I should let you know what I decided to do.

I decided to undertake some selective upgrades to my existing Pro-ject Debut III S Audiophile turntable. I already had a Pro-ject leather turntable mat and have now added an improved Pro-ject power supply and replaced the stylus with an Ortofon OM20 stylus (in the original Pick-It 25A cartridge body). The result is really pleasing. I’m really enjoying the sound it makes through my amp’s phono stage.

I’m very settled with my new system which has taken pride of place in my living room.

Next up... I might look to build an second hand system in my office :)

Thanks again.
 

Aldwight1

Novice Member
I have the Project Debut iii s audiophile and was thinking of the same upgrade ie an om20 stylus on the pick-it 25a cartridge; noticed a later post where you were selling the om20; did it not improve the sound on the turntable as you first thought?
 

peter312

Active Member
Whilst the OM20 brought a fair bit more clarity, I found after a while that the sound was too bright for my tastes (I seem to be quite sensitive to bright sound). Oddly enough, I now have an Ortofon 2M Blue (on a different turntable) and even though it‘s allegedly the same thing underneath the skin, it’s not as bright.

Perhaps the silver wires in the Pick-it cartridge emphasised the treble frequencies too much for me.

The new owner of the OM20 seemed pleased so all is not lost.
 

Aldwight1

Novice Member
Thanks; so it doesn't sound as if you'd recommend it as an upgrade (sound wise) for the pick-it 25a and I guess it is relatively pricey in comparison to the price of a Pick-it 25a stylus. I quite like the sound of the pick-it 25a just wondering whether The OM 20 would significantly improve it and justify the outlay on an OM20.
 

daytona600

Active Member
OM30 & 40 styli also can be used fine line & line contact much better sound & double the stylus lifespan
 

peter312

Active Member
Thanks; so it doesn't sound as if you'd recommend it as an upgrade (sound wise) for the pick-it 25a and I guess it is relatively pricey in comparison to the price of a Pick-it 25a stylus. I quite like the sound of the pick-it 25a just wondering whether The OM 20 would significantly improve it and justify the outlay on an OM20.
IMHO, I would suggest that the Pick-it 25a cartridge and stylus are well matched as they are and that the OM20 stylus wasn’t a good match to the Pick-it cartridge. I can’t comment on the OM30 or OM40 but would wonder if they are overkill for this particular turntable. After all, it is at the cheaper end of the Pro-ject range.
 

Aldwight1

Novice Member
Thanks, I get your point about the OM30 & 40 you might as well buy a new turntable given the price in comparison to the project s audiophile; just wondering what you thought wasn't matched between the om20 & Pick-it 25a as it's very similar to upgrading from an om10 to om20 which people do seem to recommend?
 

peter312

Active Member
As I say, whilst I found the OM20 stylus added clarity, I found the sound little too bright. It is apparently a slightly bright sounding stylus anyway but I think it was too much combined with the silver wiring in the Pick-it cartridge. (I find silver wiring also adds a little brightness compared to copper).

You may like the sound. I can only speak from my personal experience And of course, everyone has their own preferences.
 

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