Upgrade turntable or cartridge

Gforceuk

Active Member
Hi

I have a rega Elex-r and Audio technica LP3 with Dali Oberon 5’s .

I’m looking to upgrade the cartridge to possibly an ortofon red or maybe bronze . Should I notice a big difference or should I just go for a new turntable . I don’t want to be spending a fortune especially if I’ll notice a decent difference just with the cartridge change.

Thanks for any assistance
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Hi

I have a rega Elex-r and Audio technica LP3 with Dali Oberon 5’s .

I’m looking to upgrade the cartridge to possibly an ortofon red or maybe bronze . Should I notice a big difference or should I just go for a new turntable . I don’t want to be spending a fortune especially if I’ll notice a decent difference just with the cartridge change.

Thanks for any assistance
What I know about turntables you could write on the back of a postage stamp, but have you tried swapping between the turntables phono stage and the amps just to compare
 

madfiddler

Active Member
Depends on budget i guess. You have a nice amp with what might be considered entry level turntable and it’s cart is pretty cheap, less than £30. however I’m sure it would stil benefit from a cart upgrade ad do you more good service from there. I’d consider something like an AT-VM95EN or something a little different which I think you will find warmer, like a Nagaoka MP-110

I think if you are serious about your vinyl, sooner or later you will want to upgrade the TT and cart again. I keep telling myself this but then I am still running a project debut 3 (upgraded as much as possible) and I’m still enjoying it even though for how much I listen to vinyl I really keep telling myself I should just bite the bullet and replace. It owes me nothing! …but it feels like a member of the family now 🙂

I am sure other AT owners will chip in shortly 🙂
 

Kapkirk

Well-known Member
You do not state why you are unhappy with the sound as it is. But I significant upgrade would be the vm95ml, it can be bought as a plug and play item with the headshell for about £170.
If you diced to upgrade the turntable later you can alway use the new cartridge in the new deck.
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
I would say don’t bother doing less than getting a AT VM95ML. The VM95ML is about the best value for money cartridge you can buy and just the sort of thing for that turntable.

My experience with the 2M Red is not good. Bronze/Black are altogether different and both lovely.
 

Gforceuk

Active Member
I would say don’t bother doing less than getting a AT VM95ML. The VM95ML is about the best value for money cartridge you can buy and just the sort of thing for that turntable.

My experience with the 2M Red is not good. Bronze/Black are altogether different and both lovely.
I did find a comparison between the red and another AT cartridge, wasn’t sure which I preferred at all to be honest .
 

oscroft

Member
I did find a comparison between the red and another AT cartridge, wasn’t sure which I preferred at all to be honest .

You should ignore YouTube comparisons, because you're not listening to just the cartridges - you're listening to a whole line of digital manipulation, compression, sample depth and bit rate adjustments, and all sorts of nasties... it does not sound like the cartridge does in real life.

Yes, you can hear some differences, but typically only when they're big differences - you might get the superior resolution of an ML stylus, for example. But in my experience, the tonal balance of a cartridge that you hear on YT (and its tons of digital electronics) is not representative of real life playing a cartridge into a simple phono amp.

Oh, I'll just add that you're also listening to whatever the YT maker used to digitise the cartridge sound in the first place.
 
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Khankat

Well-known Member
Great advice already given by previous posters, so follow that. All I can add is, it depends on budget. For a relatively nominal sum, upgrade the cartridge from those mentioned above. If you have funds to get a better turntable, then do that. But you would still need a decent cartridge.
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
I would avoid Ortofon Red/Blue - they are OK and have a modern sound, but I also think they are both a bit sensitive to sibilance and surface noise. At the price range, I would consider something in the AT VM95 series.

Ortofon 2m Bronze however is excellent with a nice balanced modern sound that I find tends to work better when you have become used to modern streaming etc - ie less of a difference when you listen to a stream then switch to vinyl. Some cartridges I find seem like a vintage time warp with the high end being drastically reduced compared to what many are used to these days with streaming.
 

sha66y

Active Member
I have 4 cartridges of varying colours that I use on my Audio Technica TT,

some don’t like the 2M red for various reasons but I love it, it’s very detailed…
you can always upgrade the styli to a 2M blue later when you eventually change the LP3 …..and you no doubt will !
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
@Gforceuk - Theres an Rega RP3 for Sale in the Classifieds on here, looks in great condition and very good price. I have no connection with seller simply passing on some info.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
@Gforceuk - Theres an Rega RP3 for Sale in the Classifieds on here, looks in great condition and very good price. I have no connection with seller simply passing on some info.
Was tempted by that myself, need a new receiver first though.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
Looks like I’m being swayed towards a Rega planar 2
If you get a p2, make sure its the latest version (2020 rather than the 2016 model), as it had a slight tweak, getting rid of the fixed auto bias on the tonearm. Think at that price I'd be looking at saving a bit more and getting the p3, as it has more improvements and allows for future upgrades such as the neo power supply.
 

oscroft

Member
If you get a p2, make sure its the latest version (2020 rather than the 2016 model), as it had a slight tweak, getting rid of the fixed auto bias on the tonearm. Think at that price I'd be looking at saving a bit more and getting the p3, as it has more improvements and allows for future upgrades such as the neo power supply.
That, definitely. Be sure you get the newest version of the arm with variable bias. (And I'd also second saving for the P3 if you can - I think the P3 is a sweet spot in the range.)
 

moujik

Member
The big question now is which turntable . Rega planar 2 or the project carbon
Rega Planar 2 is a bit overlooked, but it is much better than Planar 1. P3 however is a top seller, so there should be a fair deal of P2s trade ins, that you can get almost at the price of P1.. you'll be upgrading the cartridge anyway, so the fact that it's used is immaterial.

Upgradability is nice, but I've no plans to fork out for Neo PSU for my P3. If P3 platter is too heavy for the original motor, they should've stayed with P2 platter.
 

Gforceuk

Active Member
Rega Planar 2 is a bit overlooked, but it is much better than Planar 1. P3 however is a top seller, so there should be a fair deal of P2s trade ins, that you can get almost at the price of P1.. you'll be upgrading the cartridge anyway, so the fact that it's used is immaterial.

Upgradability is nice, but I've no plans to fork out for Neo PSU for my P3. If P3 platter is too heavy for the original motor, they should've stayed with P2 platter.

I got the 3 with exact cartridge
 
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oscroft

Member
Good man. Now save up for the NEO PSU, it really does make a difference and is worth every penny, it elevates the P3 again, more than I ever thought it would.
When I got a Neo for my P3, I thought I was paying a lot of money for probably not a lot of benefit, but it was an itch I had to scratch. I was wrong, and very pleasantly surprised by the lower noise floor and improved resolution.
 

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