Rega tonearms

To all rega owners of Rega tonearms how do you balance yours do you go with scales or do you use the dial or even both, or do you have your own preference to doing the job off setting it up

I turn to max (no spring tension) and then use a balance - the Technics SH-50P1. Very good (this type was used by Naim in testing Aros), and a wonderful bit of classic hifi kit.


So basically you go to 3 on the scale, then use the scales and the weight to get the desired result, what do you set your anti skate to then Richard??

I set the bias to what sounds best on a high level cut. If it starts to mistrack on one channel or other you adjust the other way. Looking at my RB2000 right now, that seems to be with the plunger pulled out by somewhere between one and two notches.

Richard, could you explain please? I read that using scales rather than the spring might be best. But isn’t 0 where there is no spring? Surely if it’s balanced at 0 and then you turn the dial, more spring is used the greater you turn? I use the dial at the moment.

1 Like

It must be the max setting (3) on the dial, as that one would let the arm follow gravity without interference of a spring.

1 Like

As to the OP’s question, previously I used one of the cheap digital scales you find on Amazon from many brands (and in some hifi vinyl shops too). It was precise just fine, but the area where the stylus rests is slightly lower, so the cartridge body can touch the plastic rim around it, changing the reading if you are not careful.

For my new P10 I thought what the heck and purchased the (rather outrageously priced) Rega Atlas Mk2. That is easier to use as the stylus can rest without anything getting in the way.

With both scales (the cheap one was with a P8), the scale reading is quite a ways off from what the dial says - and I did my best to get the arm in the proper balance first. So I’d recommend to use a scale, it’s much less faff and gives you to option to use Richard’s method.

The spring works in reverse - when set at ‘0’ it applies maximum tension to holding the cartridge end up. The more you adjust the setting ‘up’ the less spring tension is applied.


I use both the dial and a scale. First I set the weight with the dial, then check the reading with a scale (an analog type Shure something), and finally adjust the weight with the dial according to the reading on the scale. Works OK, but after reading former posts I’m now thinking about using only the scale. And getting the Atlas… :sweat_smile:

Must admit that’s what I thought hh, it’s a tad confusing with rega arms they recommend the dial setting method no scales then others use scales

Well they do sell a scale

Yep they do, but if you read the rega print out on setting arms no mention off scales it’s just balance arm set dial then anti skate then done unless my dislexia is getting worse

1 Like

Sure, I read it. It’s just that a scale is not required. “They recommend the dial” sounds a bit as if they preferred it over a scale, which you probably did not intend to say, though.

But it should be obvious that a scale is more precise than using the dial, because with the dial the result necessarily depends on the initial arm balancing with the weight, even if the dial itself was very precise

The dial is ok for getting an approximate mid range of the VTF recommended for your cart, then adding small amounts of VTF if tracking issues appear.

The problem is the spring is said to be detrimental to SQ and that’s why some disable it (by turning it to maximum) then use scales to set and check VTF.

Nigel, the idea is to remove the action of the spring on applying dynamic downforce. Setting at maximum supposedly defeats it. However, there’s a theory that a dynamically balanced arm can ride and replay warps better, whereas defeating the spring means you lose a source of possible resonance.

1 Like

I shall be trying/faffing around tomorrow so I’ll see if it makes any difference from what it’s set to now

I am writing with out going near a tone arm so if it is wrong apologies.
Arms can be adjusted by Static Balance or Dynamic Balance i prefer a really tiny amount of one and finish off with the other. Spring pressure or C/W gravity pressure chooses the above.
If the arm is in balance via the C/W gravity is in effect Nil. You can then choose to apply downward pressure via the C/W or you can interrupt nature and use a spring to pull the arm down the higher the Number the more non natural force.
If you start installation with arm force at 3 you now have to move the C/W much further back to overcome this Plus the weight of the cartridge,
This means the horizontal and vertical arm movement now has a greater Dynamic this is the exact opposite of what you want.
I can not really be sure if Richard or anyone does this as it is a bit fundamental perhaps just a mix up hope i not get it wrong because to lazy to go look at a arm.

See T/W.

Sorry I can’t follow. You seem to make an assumption that the spring pushes the cartridge end down. However, …

Most Rega arms, RB300 included, have a curious way of setting downforce. There is a dial, graduated in grams, that operates a spring. However, the spring does not add downforce. On the contrary, it pushes the front of the arm up, assisting the counterweight. Thus at 0 grams the spring is at maximum tension, and at the other end of the scale, slightly above 3 grams, the spring is not exerting any force.

On korfaudio dot com, blog entry #19

The guy then goes on to measure Richard’s method:

There is a widely held belief that disengaging the spring and setting the downforce only with a counterweight improves the sound. Supposedly, the spring “rings” when coiled, and setting the downforce dial to maximum gets rid of this ringing. Is there anything to these claims? Let’s find out