Advice on set up

Hi all, new here so please be patient with … im a bit clueless.

I have a Nait 5i 2, unitiserve and Naim streamer (nd5 xs??) and have just bought the rega planar 3 50th anniversar. I already had a musical fidelity phono stage ( x lps v3) all through some linn majik 109 speakers.

Im v happy with the sound but the vinyl sounds fairly ‘muddy’.

Im using decent phono to phono cables but what am i missing? Am i connecting to the amp correctly (into tuner or av via phono)? Is the phono stage just not goid enough? Is the rega exact cartridge a poor match for the rest? Somewhat flummoxed!

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Seems to be a c. £300 cart…? So shouldn’t be too shabby.

Assume you bought the P3 ‘new’ …? If so… contact the dealer who sold it… :slightly_smiling_face:

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Does the Anniversary come with cables? If not what make/model of cables are you using between it and the phono stage? If they’re good cables, but not specifically for turntable use, I wonder if they’re high capacitance and causing issues because of it.

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It may be worth borrowing a Rega Fono phono stage from your dealer to try. It’s a perfect match for the Exact.

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The cables are permanently attached to the tonearm. Presumably Rega made them adequate to the needs of their cartridges.

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I’m sure they are then! Sorry, I did try (albeit briefly) searching online to see if the deck came with phono cables or not, thanks for confirming.

Is the phono stage setup correctly, mm/Mc selector in the “out” position? Stylus free of fluff!? VTF and bias set correctly?

Whilst I agree that getting your dealer involved is the best advice, starting at the stylus and working up the chain at things you can check doesn’t hurt - best of luck working it out!

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From your MF phono stage into your tuner input should be fine.
Is your vinyl new or old? Is the sound muddy on every record?

The Musical Fidelity Phono stage might be the cause/contributor…

(firstly though I’d be looking at ‘Vinyl’ in general… check against steps given above to ensure everything is solid)

The X line of musical fidelity was something I bought a fair bit of; inspired me to do a quick net search (ensure no tubes in your phono stage etc); and from a few web pages hit- they were not the best for MC carts, and your high power output MM cart might not be a great match (?maybe), but the age of the component (phono stage) might mean it is a candidate for service anyway (a few people have upgraded the power supply etc over the years).

Given they had mixed fans even when they ruled the market (some passing on them quickly, some ‘loving them’ deeply…) the consensus that equivalent money (or more) spent on a part that is more capable might lead to the best audio improvement that the setup could yield.
otherwise- I agree with your ‘basics’- that the phono output goes to the phono stage, the output from the phono stage can go to any regular ‘line’ input on your amp, and you should be up up and away.

the age on the old MF X phono stage, might means it is ‘out of caliber’ and/or the exceeding output capability on the Exact cartridge (Rega make it sound like it is a high output MM cart) might prove of poor compatibility with the present phono stage being used.

Sure cables could be stifling it etc,… and glad you brought your question to the forum; it can be frustrating knowing you are doing everything ‘right’ but that clearly something just isn’t correct.

maybe look up the Musical Fidelity part and check if the MM cart specs it expects are a range that the much newer Rega Exact (MM) cartridge outputs.
You wouldn’t be the first person to have mismatched phono electronics to meet their actual needs

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It is old vinyl and, yes, every one ive tried. Also, i noticed that the rh speaker seems significantly louder that the left? Alignment? Or something else?

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Thanks, that hadnt occurred to me

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Added to the muddy sound I think that suggests something definitely isn’t right with some part of the deck or phono stage. Are you able to involve the dealer to rule the Rega in or out?

Does the behaviour follow if you use a different line input to the NAIT? Just to really try and rule the amplifier out

Yes other inputs sound fine

Leave it plugged into one of these inputs then.
Suggests fault with the tuner input on your amp.

Can I check, the Rega via phono stage sounds better through the other line inputs? Or other line sources sound ok through the other inputs? If you try the Rega through another input and it still sounds muddy then it’s a bit more evidence pointing to the turntable, trying to narrow things down. Hope that makes sense?

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Yes. Turnatabl sounds the same trough all line inputs.

Other sources through line inputs sound fine

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Could be a cartridge/ stylus issue.

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What are the tracking force and the anti -skate (or bias) set to on the Planar 3?