I’ve been considering a turntable for some time and as I had a spare tube amp that wasn’t being used since I built the Aegis (6 months or more). I have quite a lot of 12" vinyl and albums from my youth that I miss playing and would like to add my favourite classical, jazz and blues albums.
Long story short… I’m going to trade in the amp for the turntable, cart & phono stage that will connect to my Auralic VEGA G2.2. I want to keep it to around £2600 (before trade in) and decided on 2 options after reading quite a lot here and elsewhere.
- Rega Planar P6 with Ania Pro and Aria MK3 MC
- Rega Planar P8 + Ania and Fono MC MK4 with the view of moving to the Aria MK3 MC or equivalent later on.
I think I’m leaning more towards option 2. Upgrading from the Fono MC seems like a lot less faff than trading up the turntable later on as I feel something like the P8 could be a long, long term TT.
I guess my question is does this seem sensible, or, would I be better off going for the P6 and better phono stage. It just seemed like it would be easier to upgrade cartridge and phono stage.
I would go for your option 2 if it was me.
Another option might be to go for a second-hand LP12 but that way could lead to bouts of upgraditis. If you think you might succumb to this and would rather avoid it then buy a new Rega as you plan.
Yes, it would be nice to avoid any serious temptation
I think part of my logic with the P8 is it could quite easily be an end game option (for me anyway) and only leave cartridge upgrades in the future once I’ve sorted out the phono stage.
I’m sorted in terms of the amplifier and DAC so a TT that is very capable means I can just look to adding vinyl and tubes… plus single malt of course, while putting my feet up and enjoying the music!
A-Fin, I think you are making logical choices but I would favor the P8 option. I was also going to suggest an older used LP12 but I think you have made the case for why that would not work for you.
Both Regas you mention are good but the sweet spot in the whole range in my view is the P8. It takes quite a step forward over the P6.
My gut is saying P8 but I’ll be taking a final listen before walking away with the TT etc so we’ll see.
I pulled my vinyl out of storage a week or so ago and i’ve been checking them over. I think a couple are going to be retired, it would seem my younger self wasn’t quite as careful with vinyl as he could have been. The rest also need a clean!
Other than that, I’m looking forward to this. I’m not sure what to expect in terms of sound quality compared to the VEGA but it’s not just about that… it’s like shooting a manual camera, it’s a bit more involved… more interaction!
I did the same thing a couple of years ago after 30 years without vinyl. However, all my vinyl was damaged from my partying days of my teens and twenties. I went with an RP 10, with Musical Fidelity Vinyl phono stage.
After spending nearly $800 dollars on 19 albums, I decided it was not for me.
It sounded good, but I think I was trying to re-live my youth. It turns out I missed that time in my life, not the work involved in acquiring, and playing records…plus cost.
I have since sold it all, and focus on streaming only.
While I’m looking forward to hearing some of the rare white label house / dance from years ago, I think it’s more about adding classical and jazz etc.
Because I’m trading in an amp, I’ll only be putting in a small amount of additional really. Which is all i want to do as I want to feel happy if it’s not used all the time. If I haven’t spent too much on it I’ll enjoy it when it is used.
I feel I’m fortunate to have the rest of the system as i want it so nothing is spoiling or been left out… if you see what i mean
Did you consider/shortlist a Technics SL-1200GR out of interest?
If nothing else gives you a removable headshell for swopping carts quickly/easily.
A few folks find the P8 / P10 too analytical and prefer the P6 but no doubt this is somewhat system dependant as well as personal taste of course.
I very much enjoyed the P10 when I had one at home for a brief period so nothing against it myself and it wasnt too analytical in my vintage Linn/Naim setup. Just stressing the benefit of a dem if possible in case you are one of the few that prefer the P6.
I get it, I went through buying a Kallax shelving unit to store my newly acquired records. A cleaning solution, which I went with a spin-clean.
But I found myself just playing records to justify the money I had invested. I did enjoy going to a couple local record stores with a buddy, digging through the racks of vinyl.
In the end it was a PITA getting up to flip records, compared to selecting something on my IPad.
Hopefully you enjoy the experience a bit more than I did.
Sounds reasonable to me, if you wanted approval
I still have the odd session where I listen to my old 12" house/dance/trance/techno etc. and have a gradually growing selection of new releases, used vinyl from discogs and the odd search round a second hand store. It’s fun, some of it sounds alright, some of it sounds great! But it’s all fun to play and listen.
I went the Technics route for a new TT at least in part due to its role in playing music in the clubs of the 80s and 90s. Might be worth a thought if you want to get really sentimental 8)
The GR (v2 ideally) and G are also very good decks and a significant improvement over the Mk2’s of old (I went through a few pairs myself)
Nothing against the suggested Rega options, I’ve got a 3 and 6 here myself but if I was starting over and wanted to avoid any obvious money pit options (LP12 obviously) then I’d be taking a serious look at a Technics in any shortlist evaluation.
Totally agree, I have the G and chose it after auditioning the Gyrodeck SE and Origin Live Aurora. It’s a very good deck.
Thanks for the suggestion… and @gthack about Technics… i’d looked at clearaudio and Nottingham Analogue but i know they do stock Technics as well so i can ask for a listen when i get there.
I’ll be running it through the VEGA analogue pre and into a tube amp. I have quite a selection of tubes to fine tune the finished sound
I think it gives you a lot more headroom with cartridge choice as well, makes it more fun.
The Rega decks default to behaving best with Rega cartridges, often being factory fitted as such, a Technics can accomodate a vast array of carts to suit your musical tastes and setup.
It’ll be interesting to see what you find, and also what carts they suggest or let you hear with the technics.
I’m sure others can chime in with suggestions to that end. There’s a lot of deck/cart bundle deals to be had as well if you look around the usual dealer networks.
Option 2. Go for the P8.
Equally as important, I would recommend buying a Humminguru ultrasonic record cleaning machine. They’re very reasonably priced, do a fantastic job deep cleaning records, and are easy to operate. Mind, you do benefit from a separate space for the machine, as it has a high pitched sound that while not loud is a bit irritating. I’ve cleaned a couple hundred records on mine and if it got hit by a truck (unlikely lol), I’d order a new one the following morning.
I’ll probably stick to a more basic cleaner to begin with but if I find myself adding a lot of pre loved vinyl I could see myself with something like that.
As for the P8, yeah, that’s what I decided on in the end. Just ticked more boxes for me in the end so I placed my order. Hopefully it’ll not be too long before it arrives at the dealers for pickup
I’d go for a used LP12. You know you want one…
I would spring for the better turntable. It will have a greater impact on improvements to MC and phono-stage when you upgrade them later.