Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

on level ground
Treguard
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Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by Treguard » 10 Mar 2018 19:45

Hi everyone. Well I ended up upgrading from my Project Debut Carbon DC to a Planar 3 and I'm wondering if the shop have set up my cartridge correctly.

Basically they added on a 2mm spacer, however the tonearm is at the same level as the record even when the tonearm is raised (with the lever). Do you think it was a mistake on their part using the spacer, or is there something on the turntable causing the platter to be raised up so high?

Thanks in advance

Edit:- On the plus side, the electric buzz sound with the Project has pretty much gone, and the MP110 sounds eerily clearer on the RP3

Edit:- Hazard a guess that I need a 4mm spacer for this cartridge perhaps?

Alec124c41
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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by Alec124c41 » 11 Mar 2018 01:34

The lift should have been set to work with a level arm. This would indicate that the arm is a bit low, so a 4mm spacer should work.
Please note that the level reference on a Rega arm is the line down the side, not the top od the tapered arm tube.

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by MetalT75 » 11 Mar 2018 09:26

I think you can adust the height of the tone arm lifter quite easily. I remember seeing instructions somewhere here. It was something like loosening the small hexagon screw of the lifter column, raising the column a bit and tightening the screw again.

I wonder if they have done height modifications to the new Planar 6 tonearm height. It seems that with Exact cart the tonearm is sloping downwards towards the cart end of the arm. I’m looking at the underside of the arm not top. When I lift the tonearm with the lifter so that the arm is parallel with the record there is a gap of several mm between the stylus and the record. That would mean no spacer would be necessary with higher carts. Of course I’ll check it again whenever I’ll replace the Exact with something else. It just seems weird to add a spacer in a situation like this.

Treguard
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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by Treguard » 11 Mar 2018 21:35

Thanks both for the replies. Looking at the tonearm, it appeared level when playing. I'd spoken to the store, and they seemed adamant that it's the cue lever I need to adjust (and that a 2mm spacer is correct - changing to a 4mm could angle the cart).

Only other thing I noticed is that it skipped (back one groove repeatedly) about half way through an LP that should play fine. From what I remember, they'd set the anti skate to a smidge lower than the tracking force (2.018g) and it was suggested to decrease this a little.

It's a lovely turntable otherwise, and certainly better than my debut carbon. I just need to now sell the carbon and the spare Else 2 cartridge which I don't plan to use.

I was tempted to keep my rubber/Cork composite mat, however the shop reckoned the thicker felt mat is a lot better. Not sure I agree or disagree

Edit:- Looks like I buggered up the grub screw. I only tightened and loosened it a couple of times, but now I can't seem to get it to turn. I've had to make do with putting a couple of washers on top of the spacer. The cartridge is definitely level still, and the tonearm is practically parallel too. I didn't think to look if it wasn't angled properly before.
Lesson learned - get the shop to actually test an LP after they've set the damp thing up. Not a good experience (Audio T)

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by Alec124c41 » 12 Mar 2018 03:45

Decide for yourself which mat sounds better. Your ears are the only ones that count.

Cheers,
Alec

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by fudgemaster » 12 Mar 2018 19:26

Have you had a close look at the stylus when it's sitting in the groove of records (it doesn't need to be turning)? Is it vertical when viewed from the front of the cartridge, and also when viewed from the side? I think that it should be vertical from ahead, but around a degree or two from vertical viewed from the side, but am uncertain as to whether it should be leading (toward rotation direction/arm pivot) or trailing (following rotation direction).

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by Pikey » 12 Mar 2018 22:01

If you go to the 'Tools' page ... link at the top ^ .. you'll find a copy of a real handy Heybrook gauge than can help with this! Print it out and trim up carefully and ...

38086

That said, when I was using an MP110 I was happy with the sound with 2mm so I'd stick with it if it sounds good! Give it time to 'break-in' too!

Treguard
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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by Treguard » 14 Mar 2018 18:43

Many thanks for the replies. Just to let you know that I'd swapped back to my old cork/rubber composite mat which sounds better to my ears.

Regarding the spacers, originally I'd added three washers on taking it to 4mm. This seemed to angle the tonearm a bit much, so I eventually settled on just the one extra washer which is about 0.8mm. 2.8mm gives me just enough space to clear the LP by about 4 or 5mm when cueing, but has the tonearm mostly level, but off by a smidge - maybe a degree.
It's so much clearer now, and everything is so well defined that it's almost like a different turntable. It certainly blows my old debut carbon out of the water.

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by fudgemaster » 14 Mar 2018 20:24

Yes, it's amazing how much difference small changes can make. My RP3 also sounds much better now, following some mods, and now I'm reluctant to change anything else in case it makes things worse.
Of course, I may make things even better, you never know, so I'm just enjoying my music for a while.

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by fudgemaster » 03 Apr 2018 20:14

Re my previous comment, I have changed tracking force from 1.83g down to 1.7g, which has revealed much more fine detail, without loss of bass.

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by DSJR » 03 Apr 2018 22:28

The MP110 is derived from the old MP11 I believe. These cartridges had slightly too much rake angle as was normal then (not sure about now) but the VTA of the diamond itself may well be nearer to 30 degrees than the usual 15 to 20. Without a proper shadow-graph, it's difficult to check. I always found with a Rega that leaving the arm where it is and having it slightly tail-down never affected the sonics at all and in fact, adding spacers back in the day could make the sound worse, althoiugh Rega supplied them. In the days of the three-screw fixing, this may be different.

As for the cueing height, the platform is adjusted by means of a small Allen key which needs to be unlocked, the platform height with lever raised set and then the platform gently locked into position. The initial height is set for a Rega cartridge and this is often too low - something a supplying dealer should have checked - you did have the dealer set it up for you, didn't you? - we never sold Rega decks in factory sealed boxes... Looks like you've been 'at' the deck though with various add-ons, so maybe you fitted the cartridge yourself? In that case, setting cueing height and adding spacers won't be difficult.

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by fudgemaster » 04 Apr 2018 19:15

This is my MP110 stylus, how does it look re VTA, please? I have a Rega adjuster, and it's on the highest setting.
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I'll try to get a current view, if needed.
Just noticed, it looks like there's only one fixing bolt, but there should be both there.

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by DSJR » 04 Apr 2018 21:09

The cantilever always did poke downwards at a steep angle and the diamond also appears to dig in (rake angle) and it should, preferably as near to 20 degrees as possible I gather. Are you using spacers on the arm pillar? Remember the tube is tapered back to the front so the underside of the arm should always appear to 'slope' down towards the back even if it isn't in practise. The Nags of old actually had better VTA of the diamond itself with the arm slightly down at the back, but I know how some people feel about that.

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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by fudgemaster » 06 Apr 2018 16:49

I have a Rega VTA device, which I recently fitted, and am currently using the highest setting, which has the arm looking fairly parallel with the platter or disc. A photo taken now seems to me to show the stylus at 90 degrees to the LP surface? I know it should be angled slightly, but am uncertain in which direction. If, as you suggest, the arm should be slightly pivot end down, this would point the stylus in the direction of rotation downstream (trailing), rather than into the direction of rotation (leading).
So, using a lower VTA setting would correct the stylus VTA?
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Re: Rega 3 with Nagaoka MP110 issue

Post by willboy » 07 Apr 2018 13:27

Treguard wrote:Edit:- Looks like I buggered up the grub screw. I only tightened and loosened it a couple of times, but now I can't seem to get it to turn. I've had to make do with putting a couple of washers on top of the spacer. The cartridge is definitely level still, and the tonearm is practically parallel too. I didn't think to look if it wasn't angled properly before.
Lesson learned - get the shop to actually test an LP after they've set the damp thing up. Not a good experience (Audio T)
Not a bit surprised that happened. Those grub screws are pathetically small and are easily rounded, especially if the allen key is not quite the right size...and it's all too easy to use the wrong size with grub screws that small.
One would think the dealer would have raised the arm-lift to suit when they installed the cartridge. After all they probably made a nice little profit selling the table to you. Service of a low order methinks!

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