Rega P3/RB303, 82, 250-2, best mm cartridge

Pretty much as said above. I have spoilt my hearing by running the P8/Hana/252SCDR/300DR for the last number of months. This evening I’m running some A B comparisons between the P3/ Node and a Nak CD player. The P3 sounds pretty flat. I’ts feeding the 82 via Naim MM phono cards. I’ve tried the carts I have left - a Grado gold and my venerable and much loved VMS20E/cap210. The cd and node are way above the sq of the P3.
The question then is which modern MM cart is going to get me closer to the digital openness and layering that the node and even the elderly CD player is giving me? I do have a spare MC fono sitting around so a low cost MC could also be a contender?

All suggestions welcome.

I could happily go back to a Goldring 2400 (moving magnet) which offers tight as a drum, MC-like performance for low-end MC money.


on the P3 maybe a Linn Adikt - sounds great with the Naim 52x boards, another option would be a rega Ania if you have an MC phono you can use which would work well on the RB303 arm…

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in my personal experience, when I owned a P24 I fitted a Rega Exact on RB600 arm and I was really surprised of how fine it was and how well it tracked!


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Try an Exact. If you really want to try a MC, an OC9-XML is pretty reasonable pricewise and very good sounding, at least through a Aria Mk3.

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Generally considered the top MMs are I think the Nagaoka MP-500 and Ortofon 2M black (LVB). I currently have both the Ortofon 2M Bronze and Nagaoka JT-1210, and love them both so would definitely consider the steps up.

On this particular forum the AT VM750SLC seems to be more popular, so perhaps a better match with Naim?

One thing to consider is that most Naim MM phono preamps have a 470pF input capacitance whereas most (modern) MMs are designed for the lowish capacitance as most currently sold phono preamps have. So if you can find one which likes a higher one that would probably work better for you.

See also this post (entire thread really): How good is Stageline N? - #56 by Romany


I suspect it’s the case that whatever cartridge you put on a P3, it will never be enough to sound that good through a 82/250: the deck itself is the limiting factor. I wonder if, as you have the 8 with the 252, you really need a second TT? Maybe one 10 would be even better.

I have an Ortofon 2M Black on my 8, and it works really well into the SN3 phono stage, which I believe is the same spec as the much older phono cards in the 82 etc, but I wouldn’t go putting a Black on a Rega 3.

All good points and I have thought of ditching the P3 and relying on streaming in the study. I do sometimes find myself of a night sitting in there with some paperwork catching up and then the vinyl comes out. I would like to maximise the sq before I give up on it though.

In that case, maybe try a 2M Bronze. It’s taller than a Rega cart, so you may want to get a 2mm Rega spacer if you want the arm to be more level.

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Maybe not modern but Goldring G1022x is basisically a Linn Adikt.
When I ran G1042, I thought it was very good.
Same body, different stylus.


A bit of a departure from the most common recommendations on here, how about a Denon DL-110 high output MC cartridge? I had one of them fitted to a RB300 arm on a Michell Syncro and it sounded fabulous. In fact I preferred it to the Dynavector 10x5 that replaced it.

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Regarding Naim MM phono cards (assuming they are similar in their design to Stageline N), high capacitance presents a problem for sure. For that reason, I ended up returning the Stageline and for now went back to using MoFi Ultraphono. I also don’t know if high capacitance will present a problem with Grado Gold cart since it’s a moving iron design.

That aside, in my experience, something that truly brought the vinyl sound character closer (and probably surpassed it) to the openness, layering and detail of a quality digital stream is GS Accession MM preamp. I’m unfamiliar with other Slee dedicated MM preamps, but this one sounds UNREAL! Not sure if there is another one that can best it. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks under GS loaner program and about to send it back. Will likely get one myself in a future.


Yes, a good shout I have a damaged (by me) DL 1110 sitting in a box here :slight_smile: I used to run this on an older planar 3.

Thanks all. A 50 hour Hana eh has just come up and I am going to give that a try.

I’ll update when it arrives.

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I promised an update on my search for more openness, so

Hana EH arrived and fitted to the P3/82 mm phono cards (522) and it was disappointing. Yes it is a lot clearer and has more separation than the grado gold, but it is still along way from the openness I expected from a MC cart. I thought perhaps the 522’s are at fault so I swapped in a nac 32.5 with recently rebuilt phono cards (Darran). Not much better. Finally I swapped in the Goldnote PH-10 from the main system. A revelation! Set at mm 47k ohms, standard RIAA, 0db gain. Everything opened and sounds superb. The question then is what is going on here? The Naim mm cards not a suitable match for high output mc’s? Perhaps its just that modern phono stages are better designed? Whatever it is I now find myself searching down the back of the sofa for another 1000 poundish for a phono stage for a P3 :-).

OK, so a Hana EH is a high output Moving Coil cart, with an output of 2mv. And costs around £400…? (new). I have run DV10X carts for a long time - another high o/p MC - output 2.5mv - so a bit higher… Which costs around £550 (new). So similar…

I have always run these with either Naim 322 or 522 MM boards - and they all have been lovely - since a long time… (1982…)

However… I have just swapped out my 522’s in my 82, with a set of 523 E boards.
Boards were around £70 on the Bay thing. Rework to E spec, at Class A, was £25.

Its another option…


I did think of speaking to Darran to see what magic he can work.

You need a set of 523 somethings - S or K - as a starting point (mine were S).
Do not believe the 522 will rework to 523…?

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OK, I have been playing. I set the Gold Note to MC and found a setting that worked with the EH. I now have put a spare Rega Fono MC in the study with the EH connected and set to 100 ohms loading. At this there is some loss of bass but a good mid range and no treble clipping at normal volumes. I will live with this for a while and see how it goes.