Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

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MacTeagle
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Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 13 May 2018 21:53

My old Rega Planar 3 (1982 vintage) has had a number of moves and has been with me since 1993. Over the past weeks I have enjoyed rebuilding it to solve the following problems:
Speed wobbles were solved with new drive belt and motor suspension belt
Declining speed after 30 minutes play solved with new capacitor and resistor on motor circuit.
Rumble sound solved with new main hub and subplatter.
Dropping left channel solved by building a new high quality output cable from the R200 tonearm base to the amp.
Fuzzy sound (especially on inner tracks) solved with cartridge alignment.

My rebuild has cost be around £48 in parts! Good result!!

I'm all pleased with the results.

I'm running an Ortofon 510 MkII stylus and connecting my Rega through the build-in phono ports on my Arcam Alpha 5 Plus amp powering Tannoy E-11 speakers.

I may need a new stylus. Should I go for a repeat of what I have? It sounds pretty good to my ears. Or would you recommend something different for my setup? I am also considering if I would benefit from a separate phono stage instead of the Arcam internal phono amp. Any one with knowledge on this?

Helpful information - I've got good ears so I can tell the difference in detail from true improvements. I have an electronics degree so I'm not afraid to tinker and I'm not rich so my solutions often are creative, second hand or self-built.

Many thanks.

MacTeagle
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 14 May 2018 00:53

Oh, perhaps I should add, I have an Audio Technica headshell installed. It is either the AT-LT13a or AT-MG10. (They look very much the same to the eye).

MacTeagle
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 14 May 2018 12:46

Looked up on the internet mass stats for my Ortofon Cartridge (6g with stylus). My headshell assembly weighs in at 16g so I have the AT-MG10.

larrymann
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by larrymann » 14 May 2018 13:21

When I replaced my 30year old planar 3 I also had to replace the antiskating control.This was a toothed belt which broke in three places, cause by age. You might want to check your toothed belt located under the antiskating adjustment.Good luck.

Alec124c41
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by Alec124c41 » 14 May 2018 14:34

That sounds like a pretty heavy headshell to be using with an Ortofon. If you find the bass a bit thick, try a lighter headshell.

Cheers,
Alec

MacTeagle
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 14 May 2018 17:28

Alec124c41 wrote:That sounds like a pretty heavy headshell to be using with an Ortofon. If you find the bass a bit thick, try a lighter headshell.

Cheers,
Alec
Thank you for the response. I get pleasing detail particularly in acoustic guitar picking but I do indeed find the bass a bit thick. I've had this cartridge and headshell for a long time. I think my original Rega headshell developed a crack (probably overtightened screws at some point). This headshell is 10g (16g total with cartridge attached).

I've been learning from this excellent forum and looking around at what to do next to improve my system. I've had the Ortofon for a long time now so I don't mind a total refresh of headshell and cartridge (below or around £120 preferably). I was looking at the Goldring 2100, a lower compliance cartridge and possibly more satisfactory for my setup, maybe teamed with a new headshell so I can keep my current setup as a spare.
Last edited by MacTeagle on 14 May 2018 17:33, edited 1 time in total.

MacTeagle
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 14 May 2018 17:31

larrymann wrote:When I replaced my 30year old planar 3 I also had to replace the antiskating control.This was a toothed belt which broke in three places, cause by age. You might want to check your toothed belt located under the antiskating adjustment.Good luck.
Thank you for the reply. I had a look in the bias belt when the tonearm was on the bench. Mine was perfect! No sign of damage or brittleness. This puzzled me because of the age of the turntable, unless my R200 is a replacement arm and therefore not the same age as the turntable.

I left well-enough alone since it was still working fine. I may rewire the internals of the arm at some later point so I can do those two jobs together.

DeepEnd
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by DeepEnd » 14 May 2018 20:02

When I had a R200 arm I used an ADC LMG-1 headshell. Much much stiffer than the Rega and only 6g without wires being magnesium) this worked extremely well.

They still crop up on auction sites from time to time.

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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by fudgemaster » 14 May 2018 20:03

I used a Dynavector 10x4 in my 1983 R200 arm, until I upgraded to a Nagaoka MP110, and upgraded a couple of years ago to an RP3, keeping the Nag.110.
Were I you, I would enjoy your TT for a few years, until you're ready to move up;I found my RP3 an improvement, and the latest Planar 3 is even better, apparently.
And, should a your antiskate belt fail, details on how to strip the arm bearing can be found on this site, or you could send the arm to j7, at Audio Origami.
Good listening.

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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 14 May 2018 21:48

Thank you DeepEnd and fudge master. Those are both very helpful replies. I've made a search for the ADC headshell and found one on eBay at a reasonable price (so far). The Nagaoka MP110 was in my mind also as an option for a better cartridge for my deck. I notice there is a Nagaoka MP110 packaged already mounted in a headshell: https://www.juno.co.uk/products/nagaoka ... 567649-01/
It looks good, a bit dearer than the Goldring 2100 but already mounted in a quality headshell, so that removes a second cost (and hassle). Also, from what I can tell replacement styli are cheaper for the Nagaoka.

I can have confidence the lower compliance of the Goldring 2100 (Dynamic Compliance at 10 Hz
16 mm/N) will be ok for my tonearm. I'm not so sure of the Nagaoka because I can't figure out the specs of it (I've seen it quoted as Dynamic compliance: 6.0 x 10-6 cm/dyne but I've read that figure is measured at 100Hz, do I more or less double that for a 10Hz number?).

For my tonearm with a 9-10g headshell my current Ortofon with a compliance of 25 is well outside the green zone on the vinyl engine resonance calculator so I will be changing to one of these two:

The Goldring will just about put me in the green zone, if I am right with the figures the Nagaoka will comfortably do so. The Nagaoka will be £32 more expensive but will come on a headshell. Additionally, replacement styli will be be a lot cheaper for the Nagaoka (under £65 each compared to the 2100 at over £100 each). Reviews suggest the Nagaoka is better so with all the analysis above, I think it is the one for me.

Is my logic correct or have I got the wrong idea here?

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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by DeepEnd » 15 May 2018 05:21

Hi just bear in mind that the headshell with the item listed is again around 9.5g so the extra 3.5g over the original Rega needs to be added to the arms published effective mass as well as the cartridge and fasteners when using the calculators. Even though mounted on the headshell it will probably still need to be adjusted/aligned on the Rega arm.

Yes the styli for the Nagaoka are not too expensive (mine was £32 out of Japan). It seem to be more compliant than the figures suggest so I would still be tempted to find a lighter headshell.

Interestingly the Goldring 2100 is made for Goldring by Nagaoka

MacTeagle
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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 15 May 2018 10:16

Thanks DeepEnd. I adapted the stated R200 effective mass figure from the standard 16g with original headshell to 19 to take into account the heavier headshell. Now, one thing that wasn't clear to me: when I use the resonance calculator on vinyl engine do I enter that 19g figure or do I include a further 6.5g for the cartridge and fittings so entering 25.5 in the box for effective mass? I see the columns in the chart have columns for that cartridge mass; is that where it is taken into account? I've tried to find this out and some say the tonearm effective mass number doesn't include the cartridge mass.

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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by DeepEnd » 15 May 2018 12:33

The effective mass entered is usually the manufacturers published figure with their headshell. Normally you then used the combined weight of cartridge and fasteners (about 8g for MP-110 with aluminium screws) in the table.

The problem is with the additional weight of the headshell is that unlike the cartridge weight which is assumed to be at the end of the arm a proportion of the weight is only 2/3rds along the arm so an extra 3.5g might only add 2.5 or 3.0g to the effective mass.

I would use 18g for the input (16g plus 2g of the extra 3g) and then 8g column for cart/fast.

Given you will be using a “guestimate” for the compliance of cartridges quotes at 100Hz is should close enough.

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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 15 May 2018 22:34

DeepEnd, Thank you for your help on this!

I can't wait to hear the difference in my Planar 3 from the new cartridge. It already sounded a little better with my higher quality output cable and hub (not to mention the other improvements on rotation consistency and getting two channels instead of one). I have some brand new 180g vinyl on order so the new cartridge will get a good test on some quality product.

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Re: Old Rega Planar 3 rises and lives again. Some advice?

Post by MacTeagle » 18 May 2018 11:59

My thing of great beauty!
IMG_3478 (2).jpg
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