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Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

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Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

Postby stuartm » 18 Feb 2018 17:39

I now have a “bitsa” Planar 2 – an early Planar 2 Turntable with its original Phenolic Platter and Sub-platter, Edwards Audio blue drive band, cork/rubber and neoprene sandwich mat; fitted with a RP300/301 Inspire OEM hybrid Tonearm on which is mounted an AT100E Cartridge tracking at 1.4g and with approx. 0.8 bias.

Whilst I am happy with the result I am undecided as to whether I should add any upgrades.

The most “popular” upgrades appear to be:
1. Aluminium sub-platter
2. Glass (or Acrylic) Platter
3. 24v motor
4. Underslung counterweight
5. MC Cartridge

Most (but not everyone) say that some (or each) of these results in an improvement.

At 74 years old I am well aware that my hearing is far from perfect, so I wonder if I would notice any REAL difference as a result of the “improvements” that are claimed for these various upgrades (together with others not mentioned). I would also add that there are limited funds available – so I am thinking that perhaps I should just use the money to purchase more vinyl to enjoy on my "new" turntable!
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Re: Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

Postby JohnMichael » 18 Feb 2018 18:22

My personal order of improvements giving the best sound would be;

4 the underslung counterweight which would allow for better tracking and less surface noise.

3. the 24V motor for better speed stability creating a broader soundstage and more solid imaging.

1. a machined subplatter, which while an improvement, to my ears is not as great as the first two I have mentioned.

Good luck and I have certainly enjoyed tweaking my Rega through the years.
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Re: Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

Postby Alec124c41 » 18 Feb 2018 19:05

I found that a new metal subplattter raised the performance of my old Planar 2 from terrible to excellent.
Take the platter off, and gently hold the point of a pencil to the side of the rotating subplatter. If it does not feel perfectly smooth and round, make the subplatter your first priority.

Cheers,
Alec :old-git:
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Re: Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

Postby stuartm » 20 Feb 2018 11:02

Many thanks for your recommendations so far.

Yesterday I spent some time with a Test Record to ensure that I had the optimum set-up for the AT100E cartridge. I was somewhat surprised to find that increasing the tracking weight from the recommended 1.4g to the manufacturers maximum of 1.8g, with a bias of 0.8, gave a significant improvement. However, I was even more surprised with the improvement in the reproduction of music when I replaced the cork/rubber and neoprene sandwich mat that I had been using with the original Rega felt mat - more bass and better "clarity" - I will continue to experiment!

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Re: Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

Postby stuartm » 20 Feb 2018 12:14

I have had suggested to me that I would find an improvement if I replaced the Phenolic platter with an original glass one - is there anyone in the UK who has upgraded their Rega 2/3 and has one of these which is currently "gathering dust"?

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Re: Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

Postby james73_2008 » 22 Feb 2018 02:14

I have a 1990s-era Planar 3 glass platter that's "gathering dust" mate, yes....



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Re: Planar 2 - to upgrade or not, that is the question!

Postby stuartm » 23 Feb 2018 08:15

James73 - PM sent.

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