I hate Rega because it prevents me from upgrading the TT. Too good at its price.
Any upgrade from a any external powered Rega is an arm and a leg more.
I have a new P3-24 with the Denon DL-A100 which is a special select 103R with a translucent body. Thought I have a great sound at about USD 1,600.
A P9 came up cheap. Transfer the Denon to the 2 year old P9, so much quieter. So much more music, more everything. The RB1000 squeezed the juice out of the cart.
A great deal on the Alpheta came up and oh my god, this is a great combo esp after about 50 hours of play. It blooms. Since sold my Denon and use my P3-24 as a mono rig with a Miyajima Be Mono (still running in).
Does Rega measure to any of the "super decks" which are at Super Prices. Probably not. But EVEN at half to a fraction of their price, you get 90+% assuming both are properly matched and setup.
Rega will never be as refine as some others running the same everything else. It will never be as quiet/black as some other deck regardless of how you try to isolate it or whatever mat/clamp/counterweight combo you use; I used Herbie mats and JW counterweights.
BUT Rega will never be AS EXPENSIVE. Great involving sound, if you like it, you can live with it for a long time.
The Rega may be simple but it is not simple to get it dead flat and get your setup perfect; damn MDF. Let your cartridge run in then play around. You will be surprised. I refers only to those with the external power supply and get a good power cord; mine is a Furutech Power Flux for the P9. I plan to replace the wall wart of the P3-24 power supply.
P9 is lovely, it is just that most people who had higher end (read expensive) stuff will not have a "cheap" TT. Also I realized not many great cartridges are mounted on the P9 or P3-24. The RB301 fully deserve a much better cartridge (forget about the Rega MM) even up to the Alpheta. The RB1000 will let your cartridge do magic. My next target will be a top-end Koetsu (any of the Platinum range) or Dynavector (sorry not the 17D Mk III, the RB1000 deserves better).
The Rega P9 and P3-24 has the potential to be great.
I have sort of "unbalanced" system according to my friends. Hovland HP200MC with NOS GEC and Telefunken, Pass Lab 350.5 and Thiels 3.7 and with cabling that cost a bomb but still experimenting whenever I get the chance.
Planning to add a second phono stage, either Herron VTPH-2 or Lehmann Silver Cube; yes one full tube, one full SS and both phono stages claiming similar attributes but taking a different path. I think a NOS out Herron may be a interesting listen.
BEST THING IS I CAN BRING MY P9 TO A FRIENDS PLACE FOR A SHOOTOUT BUT THEY CANNOT BRING THEIR 50kg RIG TO MY PLACE.
And isn't that really what owning a Rega is all about? Performance that makes you look at the simple device sitting on your rack and say "Wow! How does it do that?" You also don't have to spend a lot of money to get that performance. Sure, you can buy a P7 or a P9 and have a fantastic table. But I've myself heard a P1 and an old Planar 3 that made such fantastic music.
All turntables play records.
Rega's make music.
A no brainer!
Sandbah 92 wrote:Socktown, I much appreciate the last 2 paragraphs of your post. When I was researching an entry level table 3 or 4 years ago, one Rega consumer said, "Buying a Rega is a no brainer." That statement kept coming back to me, so I bought a 1 and did about a couple of hundred in upgrades including a better cart. I have a great, little, very musical table that is performing well above my expectations.