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New Rega P2 fails initially - Kenwood KD-2070 back on line

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New Rega P2 fails initially - Kenwood KD-2070 back on line

Postby chris21 » 01 Aug 2010 02:34

So, after much attempting to make the Rega P2 sound as good as the Kenwood KD-2070 with the Benz MC20E (including changing mats and adding 5gm to the head shell which all helped improve the unit), it has been relegated to my office which has a concrete floor and smaller loudspeakers.

Here's the real life review with input from very adept analogue children (boys 9 and 11):

1) On the usability front the Rega just plain sucks mud. The mechanism to cue the tonearm is not positive and the tonearm falls back down from its apex after activating it making you think its going to damage the disc. Its also not high enough off the media surface.

2) But first you have to lift the dust-cover without pulling it out of its receivers on the main body! Totally cheese-ball set-up. I would pay $10 USD more for spring loaded hinges which are actually connected to both main elements of the unit.

3) The thin wool mat is a joke. My dog ate it. I would pay $20 USD more for 5 pieces of hard rubber mat I could stack to set the VTA (four with just a small hole for the dick and one with a big hole for the label) or a combo of rubber and and the wool.

4) The anti-skating adjustment finally drove me to take the unit out of production last night. I delayed my dinner and set the Kenwood up just to ensure my ears weren't messed up. The idea of taking a $500 USD plus unit apart to fix the anti-skating AND check the tonearm clamping was just too much for me.

5) In contrast the Kenwood has an excellent dust cover arrangement, the cueing is excellent, the stock rubber mat is at least ok. The strobe and RPM adjustment work well and you can play a 45 without surgery. The unit is effing heavy and has very good feet and most of all the Benz absolutely rocks in the thing.

From the audio side the Rega is at a disadvantage in my main listening area. I have an old house made of wood. Though my solid wood entertainment structure fully loaded with an HD CRT and all the other electronic bits is substantial, the Pioneer HPM-100's go down to 35Hz and I like to listen at slightly higher than average levels which inevitably drives vibration to the furniture and then to the turntable

When the Rega was the best I could get it, without pouring it its own concrete-to-earth pedestal, I could feel the main body vibrating fairly significantly at normal listening levels where the Kenwood was a rock. It also never achieved the "magic" I had with the Kenwood and the Benz. I literally NEVER sat down and smiled and made two hours melt away spinning discs.

In the end I believe that the Rega P2 is a basis for spending another $100 plus USD to tweak (read "Hobbyist") but only off you have a house with a concrete slab and a piece of furniture to help the Rega be isolated. I also believe that it needs a cartridge which works well in a light tonearm. I can see where it could deliver excellent performance in a semi-rarified environment but as a turntable which out of the box could deliver the goods for the average folks dusting off their LP its a complete joke. Buy a used 70's Marantz, Kenwood, or whatever, put a good cartridge in it, set it up and go. (sssssssss-shaped tonearems, remember?).

I re-set the Benz in the Kenwood, got it dialed in, took the screens off the HPM-100's, cleaned up the toys and spent two hours smiling and wondering what I was going to listen to next, which is the point I guess.

I am open to cartridge suggestions for Rega P2.
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Postby cafe latte » 01 Aug 2010 03:23

A nail driven through a bobin of cotton :D :D Just kidding, the anti skate in it is an rb200 arm will have a rubber toothed belt which will have dried to broken pasta and is a sod to change. I would be changing the arm if that is the case. A friend has a P2 and i am going to be nice and just say it is not my cup of tea. I lent him a dl160 cart and the P2 still sounded err horrible. Why not pass it on and move on, see if you can get a p3 which is far better, or anything for that matter
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Postby Alec124c41 » 01 Aug 2010 03:28

I believe that is a P2, with an RB-250 or 251, not a Planar 2, which had the R200.

Cheers,
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Postby cafe latte » 01 Aug 2010 03:44

Need to read it properly first.. Bit of Sundayitus :oops: If it has an rb250 I didn't think they had problems with the anti skate??
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Postby chris21 » 01 Aug 2010 08:47

It has a 251 but the adjustment scale on the anti-skate means nothing and it is my opinion too harsh in either direction. The string and lump on the Kenwood is more compliant it seems and for some reason the whole package is warmer and more enjoyable. Maybe my ear is trained for what I had but I can't ignore the facts of total mass and then tonearm mass, let alone what they sit on.

All I can say is that a turntable is part of a system and its quite possible that the room and the furniture the table sits on, as well as the loudspeakers are as much a part of the program as the turntable and cartridge.
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Postby desana » 01 Aug 2010 11:42

Think your going to have a hard time getting the benz mc20e to sing good in the rega arm as the specs for it is 4g and compliance of 10 sugest you would need a heavier tonearm for that to work out.
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Postby chris21 » 01 Aug 2010 16:31

Yes, isolation seems to be the logical reason for the poor performance. I can actually move the turntables and the pre-amp (CA 640p) to the wall and get a longer interconnect from pre-amp to amp. I will do that this morning and report back.

In my detached home office I have NHT Super Ones which move much less air and are set up like a mixing desk. I rip old bootleg cassettes and now vinyl to MP3 and Apple format out there. The Rega was supposed to displace the Kenwood and relegate it to the office.

On a separate note through all this I tried an Empire LTD400 with new stylus in the Kenwood as well and the Benz is better.

Off to Home Despot!
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Postby safe1 » 02 Aug 2010 13:36

chris21 wrote:It has a 251 but the adjustment scale on the anti-skate means nothing and it is my opinion too harsh in either direction.


You are right on this. Anti-skating implementation on the RB250, 251, 300 (at least) is poorly designed.

There is always some anti-skating force applied even if you pull the adjusting knob full away from the pillar .

I did some modification on my RB300 and after that (sad but true) i managed to apply correct anti-skating force using HFN test record which had significantly audible improvement.

I wonder why Rega makes things difficult...The only thing they had to do is to allow more travel of the magnet (in opposite direction to the arm pillar - e.g. away from it).

It''s not rocket science especially for them...
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Postby chris21 » 02 Aug 2010 16:23

I installed a shelf on the wall and this improved the Rega immensely. I need to use something other than thick plywood. I have the shelf floating on thick rubber weatherstripping but the wood is fairly resonant.

I put my AT120E with new stylus in the Rega as I am tired of swapping the Benz back and forth. Performance wise the Rega with the AT120E is within 10% of the Kenwood with the Benz.

Still though the Rega's base reacts to vibration far more than the Kenwood's even on the shelf. Has anyone just added more mass to the Rega's base? Different feet? I know heavier platters are available.

I have to say that even though you have to buy the cartridge with it at $875 you can have a Music Hall MMF-5.1 with a Goldring MM cartridge, record clamp, 3.75 lb platter, two speed motor and far more substantial dual-plinth etc. from Audio Advisor. Anyone want to buy a barely used Rega P2?
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Postby desana » 02 Aug 2010 16:54

chris21 wrote:I installed a shelf on the wall and this improved the Rega immensely. I need to use something other than thick plywood. I have the shelf floating on thick rubber weatherstripping but the wood is fairly resonant.

I put my AT120E with new stylus in the Rega as I am tired of swapping the Benz back and forth. Performance wise the Rega with the AT120E is within 10% of the Kenwood with the Benz.

Still though the Rega's base reacts to vibration far more than the Kenwood's even on the shelf. Has anyone just added more mass to the Rega's base? Different feet? I know heavier platters are available.


For me a 3mm thick bitumen sheet at the bottom off the plinth did the trick for curing vibrations on my P5, cheap and easy upgrade that can be removed easy if needed
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Postby chris21 » 02 Aug 2010 17:53

Thanks desana. I happen to have a roll of that stuff leftover from a construction project here at home!

Thanks again for all the advice. Wonderful.
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Postby satanfriendly » 02 Aug 2010 17:58

Anyone want to buy a barely used Rega P2?


What? After your glowing report, you gotta be joking.

In all honesty I am rather glad someone has found the attraction for a P2 to be rather negative. I've always thought as a quality product they really are somewhere down at the bottom of the pile. I think the original with the R200 was a much better conceived product with more appeal.

Never a great Rega fan and after reading your thoughts, I remain the same.
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Postby vidguy » 03 Aug 2010 06:03

I've given up on REGA, just too flimsy. Everything under the P5 seems rather cheaply made for the money. The Sub-Platter is a complete joke.

Yes I know, you can buy a new sub-platter, blah, blah...

I thought about it, struggled with my Rega.

Bought myself an Sl-1200MkII, dropped my Rega Arm on it.

Now WHY didn't I do this before.......
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Postby chris21 » 17 Aug 2011 20:56

Just to follow up on this fiasco, I boxed up the P2 and brought it back to Brian at the Analogue Room six months after getting it. I told him that the anti-skating was defective and that it was a POS in general and he should never have told me it was better than my Kenwood. He eventually came around with a store credit and I upgraded my Benz MC20E to a high output Benz Silver, got a fresh copy of Steely Dan's AJA, and darned of he didn't sell me a killer Bach's Fugue in D Minor from his own stash (not a trivial stash by any measure). Also got some dough back. Brian's a great guy and has a great store.

The Kenwood works fine.
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Re: New Rega P2 fails initially - Kenwood KD-2070 back on li

Postby dmorgensen » 30 Mar 2012 22:40

I purchased a near mint KD 2070 about a month ago for $150.. It had a AT Pro13e cartridge whichs sounded good but to bright for me. I replaced with a Shure M97eX and I am very Pleased.. I really love the KD 2070.. Rock solid, no vibes and it sounds incredible.. Next upgrade will be to a SAS styli.
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