I’m pretty sure I have outgrown my Rega RP3/Exact setup and am looking to upgrade to something that better suits the rest of my gear. As it is now, my Analog experience is seriously lacking. Digital sources are Chord Qutest Dac or nDac into a Supernait 3 and PMC Twenty.24 speakers. I’m also considering ditching the Rega phono pre and getting a Stageline or even using the built in phono of the Supernait so MM cartridges are a possibility as well. Any thoughts?
What is the budget and what do your local dealers stock?
There are so any good turntables out there so I think first you need to shortlist based on what is available and what items of that you can afford.
Yeah let’s know what your budget is…
Something to think about if you like the Rega house sound is to max out your budget on Whatever is the best Rega deck that buys and keep the exact into the SN3’s excellent MM phono…. I’d give the Stageline a miss to be honest it’s no better than the MM stages you have and if your looking to go for an MC there are significantly better options at similar money
Does the RP3 have the Neo power supply? I upgraded my 80’s Rega Planar 3 with the 24v motor and a Neo PS. Running an Exact into a Rega Fono into a 552/300 and it is pretty good. Thinking about a Heed Quasar phono as I can run it off my beefy Heed Obselik PX power supply.
I’d max out the RP3, or jump up the range as far as the budget goes.
There’s a lovely “Rabbit Hole” with a sign outside saying Linn LP12 are you BRAVE/FOOLISH (delete as appropriate) enough to venture in?
A well looked after, decent spec second hand Linn LP12 with Ittok or Ekos is the most obvious deck to aspire to. As always, the key is to find a good dealer to give you advice and guidance - do you have a good dealer close to where you live?
Or of course you could buck the trend and plump for a Technics DD turnable (with tank-like build quality), although it’s debatable whether this would be an improvement on your existing Rega.
Have you considered Technics? I have the 1200 gr with Hana moving coil and Rega aria phono. This is an excellent combo at a fraction of the price of a Sondek with very dynamic sound quality. Also built to last and no tweaking necessary. I think you will be surprised at how good they sound.
I went from RP3 with a uniti to RP6 which I found a meaningful upgrade. Then went to P10 with SN3. Demoed vs entry level LP12 and preferred the Rega. The need to spend another 15K to max out the Linn may have influenced that preference! Spent all afternoon yesterday listening to the P10 through my newly acquired 552/500 - sounds beautiful.
Depending on budget how about a Vertere, heard the DG-1S at the Running the grove tour and was very impressed… and the further up the ladder you go the better they get.
If I had not invested in the LP12 it would be very high up my list.
How about a Michell Gyro SE. You could use the arm and cartridge from your current deck, then if you chose to upgrade them put them back on the P3 and sell it, and use the funds for a TecnoArm and Ortofon cartridge. I love the 2M Black LVB on mine.
The obvious choice for you is to move up the Rega Range: you already know the so called “Rega Sound”, Rega are a good company in that they are still run by the founder, and have not “sold out”, and they continue to remain true to the design criteria set out at the start of the company, and continue to develop and design with engineering advancement in materials. A company to stick with, and one that has honest pricing policy, and a future.
My advice for what it is worth - which is nothing - is to stay well clear of Linn: without considerable experience, and deep pockets, you will find the task of Linn ownership too much trouble (not to mention Linn pricing policy).
There are plenty of other good turntable manufacturers in the UK (and elsewhere of course), and where you look depends on how much you want to spend.
You say “…my Analog experience is seriously lacking…” so it seems to me to stay with Rega turntables, and the Aria is a fine phono stage, at least while you gain “Analog experience” and then, later, your experience (and further expenditure) will determine the path of your system development.
I might add (again for what it is worth, still nothing) we all do well to learn when our systems deliver sufficient and recognisable quality to be content with what the system delivers, and to have confidence we have reached the end of the hifi development journey. Not easy if you follow most of the content of various forums, or indeed are susceptible to advertising.
(the same is true for our choice of cars perhaps… another topic of course)
There’s no need for the OP to fret about the lastest upgrades. A circa-2002 top spec deck at the time with Cirkus/Lingo 2/Ekos 2 works very well as a complete package without spending mega bucks. Probably looking at £3.5k for one in superb condition.
I really enjoyed the P10 as well, with different strengths and weaknesses, but also very engaging.
Just become part of the Naim family with a Nait XS3 and upgraded to a Rega Aria phono stage and Hana SL MC cartridge on my vintage Gyrodec and it’s a beautiful sound. My Naim dealer didn’t even bother to suggest the Stageline tbh and the Aria works well with a range of decks and carts. Had the opportunity to listen to the Rega 8 which was impressive so perhaps go up the Rega turntable if you enjoy that sound.
Budget matters - there are lots of choices after all.
Imho, even a bit below &3K a s/h LP12 is a serious option.
So too are Rega P6, P8 and P10 depending on budget. They are excellent VFM, especially s/h or ex-dem, but so are the more affordable decks from Vertere, Michell, Avid and Well Tempered. The people praising the direct-drive Technics are not wrong either.
Which you pick will depend most on how they sound to you, but you also have to live with how they look in your living room.
I’d also agree that staying with your internal phono stage is a good option. OTOH, I was bowled over by the VFM and SQ of the Dynavector P75 mark 4 - a great choice for a £500 cartridge or a £5K+ cartridge and imho better than the excellent Rega, Vertere and Trilogy options.
Nevertheless, if you are spending less than about £3.5K in total, I would vigorously encourage considering non-new decks, and would actively recommend a good MM and no separate phono stage.
Finally, despite what Linn advertisements suggest, few turntables are at their best on a sideboard or a book case. Spending £100 -£200 less on the TT and getting a wall bracket is well worth considering.
Running a P3 24v with rb303 arm, hana eh cart in to an 82 with e cards. It is the best I have heard it, (Second system)
I also have P8/ Hana SL/ GoldNote phono stage. It is so much clearer, almost as good as digital. (main system)
I think the Rega tt’s are excellent value for money.
I went from a Rega RP3 to a Technics1200G and have never looked back.
You know you said what I was thinking from the start of this thread but holding back. The performance on the latest range of all the Technics decks is just astounding value for money. Despite the DJ looks, they really are serious audiophile decks.
It’s difficult isn’t it
I think it’s good to give posters all the options, and if in the past maybe the majority of recommendations were for Rega/Linn then hopefully posting a few nice alternatives gives people pause for thought. Not that the usual suspects make bad turntables, but they’re not the only manufacturers making good ones.
I was very impressed by the quality of the Origin Live Aurora I auditioned along side a Technics and Michell, the Encounter arm in particular was very very nicely made.
Given the rest of the OPs kit, I think a 3-4k GPB turntable, arm, cartridge and possibly phono stage seems like a sensible budget point, in lieu of one being mentioned. At which level there is lots of choice… and your point about limiting it to what you can see and listen to at a local dealer becomes very good advice on all sorts of levels.
Thanks for all the fantastic responses. I have a lot to consider. I’m in Toronto, Canada and have access to pretty much everything that was recommended and am seriously considering a move up the Rega Line-up or one Technics high end decks. I should have mentioned that I’m looking for a minimal hassle with setup and maintenance so would a direct drive table be something to consider for that reason alone?