Playing with the Rega P8

Ok so I decided to set up my Rega P8 again now it has a good few hours on it

So I got my two channel scope out and my hi-fi news test record
And after checking all the usual stuff like all level etc I was running the trackability tests on side two (tracks 1 / 4 / 8)
Now 1 and 4 were fine on the scope …but 8 was breaking up on the inner left grove
I could just get rid of this by pushing the antiskate to 2 (the maximum)
Now tracking weight for the Apheta 2 cart is set to 2gms so I guess 2 on the antiskate should be right…but when you put the stilus on the none groved section of the test LP (side 1) the needle makes a dive for the outside of the record (ie too much antiskate)
After much faffing about I eventually tried setting the tracking weight to 1 …but …moving the counter weight in to give 2gms on my digital scales
I then reset the antiskate to just over 1 (about 1.5)
Result! No break up on the scope…and no dive to the outside on the blank track

Now why this is I don’t know? But thought I would throw this out there and share…

The recommended weight for the Rega MC cartridges is 1.75 -2.00 I believe. A low tracking weight can allow the stylus to bounce around the grove, which will damage your vinyl in time! Make sure the balance weight is balanced with 0 on the tracking weight and the platter is level. Within the recommended tracking weight range try to find a weight that gives the best SQ.

The Rega antiskate is unreliable. I believe the trick is to make sure it is set to stop movement when the arm is lifted at various points across the LP. This at least ensure you can cue accurately.


You’re basically mixing two different ways of exerting downforce. The Rega usually works by using the counterweight to balance the arm with the dial at 0 and then using the dial to operate a spring to give dynamic downforce. However, there’s an alternative preferred by some, which is to set the downforce dial to 3gms, which effectively deactivates the spring and then use the counterweight on its own to set downforce. There are pros and cons to each method, but it seems you’ve found something that works using a bit of both. Cool.

p.s. the anti-skate is best set by ear and also by eye, looking at the side force on the stylus.

Filipe I think you have misunderstood what I have done…
Try reading again

I think Rega are very risk averse and avoid the idea of recommending using a scales with the risk that the cantilever gets bent!

I’ve remember you suggesting looking at deflection of the cantilever using the wire for the stylus guard set central as a guide. I’ve never seen much at all, or leastwise not within the accuracy with which I can keep my head still.

I will however try listening to different anti-skate settings. But shouldn’t it just keep the arm steady across the LP?


It seemed you ended up on 1 gm, which seemed outside the recommended tracking weights. I suppose a test record is designed to indicate by sound whether the left or right channel is too dominant to enable anti-skate to be adjusted.

Have I misunderstood something.


Yes…you definitely haven’t read correctly

Better tell me what you ended up with.


As above

Did you not find that the arm could be balanced with the counter weight? The ear is the final test of SQ. It takes lots of listening to find what sounds best across a range of music.


Except that Rega make and sell the Atlas, one of the better stylus scales on the market?
One way of setting bias by ear, not guaranteed perfect, use a mono record and adjust so that the sound come centrally between the speakers.

I found the bias not well calibrated as others have found so I set it to ensure I can cue properly. Is this not a good idea? The only limitation of resting on the cueing up/down bar is the friction but if the anti-skate can exceed the friction then surely there is far too much/little anti-skate force?

BTW I have RP10 that is 3 years old. The new P8 and P10 maybe better.

With an £3k Aphelion cartridge I’m not keen to bend the cantilever! That is why I believe Rega recommend a simple method.


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