Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatters

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Brant W
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Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatters

Post by Brant W » 25 Jun 2018 16:18

Many here have reported that replacing the Rega plastic sub platter has produced some of the most noticeable sound improvements.
Since 3 options are available I was hoping people will chime in on their experiences with one or all three in this thread.
Hopefully this will also help others in choosing in the future.

Unfortunately, for me, Groovetracer is out of my price range.
This leaves the Tangospinner and Fidelity Designs subs.
The Fidelity Designs is the right price but I have a few concerns.
First off Fidelity Design's choices for the original Rega Planar 3 is a bit confusing.

Here are some captures of all 3 options.

https://i.imgur.com/wvVmD0p.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/bv0ZWCJ.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/3YFAwbm.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/eQRdbXV.jpg

While both the Groovetracer and Tangospinner seem to have some extra traction and presumably isolation (see arrows) the Fidelity Design option doesn't.
Also, with Fidelity Designs when I click on the option for the Planar 3 I get the picture with the fixed bearing.
To me Fidelity seems to promote this new fixed bearing more of a convenience over sound improvement in their description.

As I said due to my budget restraints I'm leaning towards the Fidelity Design option but I'm concerned that many of the great reviews for the Groovetracer would be greatly diminished with a sub platter from anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 the price.

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

kb007
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by kb007 » 25 Jun 2018 16:58

IMHO the bearing used is most of the gain in SQ from any sub platter. I would not buy a sub with a captive bearing, as it limits your options. My GT Ref sub came with a very nice ceramic bearing which def improved the noise floor.

If the GT is too expensive, consider the TS as it allows you to use another bearing (not sure what bearing it comes with. If you go the TS route, also think about their bearing well, it's made from an uber high tech polymer that replaces the std brass that Rega uses.

Brant W
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by Brant W » 25 Jun 2018 18:22

Thanks 007.
I'll contact Fidelity to see if their only option is the fixed bearing.
I believe I've seen ceramic bearings sold separately.

james73_2008
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by james73_2008 » 25 Jun 2018 19:23

I think Fidelity Designs are also selling a bearing sleeve that's made from Delrin.

http://www.fidelitydesignsltd.co.uk/sub ... ve_320.JPG


Also, it doesn't look like this version has a captaive ball bearing.

http://www.fidelitydesignsltd.co.uk/sub ... peek_s.jpg


James H

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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by struttincool » 25 Jun 2018 21:24

Edwards Audio and Nimak offer Rega subplatters.
My Fidelity Designs is not a fixed bearing.


atomlow
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by atomlow » 25 Jun 2018 22:53

Whatever you decide I'd make sure to test with an app like platterspeed which gives wow and flutter readings. You'll need an old iphone and a test record but I'm not convinced other sub platters offer better wow and flutter performance than the stock Rega.

I've tested my Reference Groovetracer and it does improve the performance, but for the cost the original sub platter was just fine. This might be a unpopular statement but you'd be better off using the money on a Rega Neo that allows you to fine tune the speed or a better cartridge (needle upgrade).

I have a p25 which has the stock phenolic sub platter and it plays just fine. Sure, if I put the Groovetracer on it the wow and flutter improves a few ticks but to most people's ears they'd never notice the difference. The Groovetracer looks great but I sort of miss the low profile spindle of Rega subplatters.

I'm surprised Rega hasn't started selling their own sub platter upgrades.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Brant W
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by Brant W » 26 Jun 2018 02:10

Thanks Atomlow.
All opinions are most welcome :)

I'm actually contemplating just getting a ceramic ball and accompanying oil.
My Planar 3 is around 30 years old and I'm not positive the oil's ever been changed.
I replaced the cartridge about 15 years ago and was unhappy with the results so I just boxed up my turntable and continued with CDs and the odd SACD.
It's been only within the last year or two that I discovered a lot of my vinyl doessound better.
Especially now that I replaced the cartridge with the AT 440mlb.

There appears to be so many things to consider like whether my new white Rega belt will fit after (learned it could be a problem from the link I posted) along with a Mitchel clamp I'm considering in the future.
I've always had a problem with my Rega sounding/running too fast in North America until I bought the white belt.
It may not be accurate but at least I can no longer hear the increased speed.


The reason why I ask a lot of questions here is because I'm handicapped (therefor unemployed) so I need to weigh carefully what I do.
I can't afford testing things on my own through trial and error.
Any upgrade might mean incorporating the odd peanut butter sandwich into my routine. :)

Cheers.

Alec124c41
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by Alec124c41 » 26 Jun 2018 02:55

Here is the one test you need to do.
Take the platter off, and, resting our hand on the base, hold a pencil, and touch the point to the side of the rotating subplatter. If you feel any vibration or movement, replace the subplatter.
BTW, are you near me? If so, I have a GT sub you could audition. Sorry, it's not for sale.

Cheers,
Alec

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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by struttincool » 26 Jun 2018 03:07

My Rega white belt and stock black belt work great on my Fidelity Designs subplatter.

Brant W
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by Brant W » 26 Jun 2018 05:41

Alec124c41 wrote:Here is the one test you need to do.
Take the platter off, and, resting our hand on the base, hold a pencil, and touch the point to the side of the rotating subplatter. If you feel any vibration or movement, replace the subplatter.
BTW, are you near me? If so, I have a GT sub you could audition. Sorry, it's not for sale.

Cheers,
Alec
Thanks for the kind offer, Alec.
Unfortunately I see you're in Toronto and I'm in Alberta.

But when you say "any vibration or movement" shouldn't be detected are you suggesting the subplatter should feel like it's notactually spinning?

Brant W
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by Brant W » 26 Jun 2018 05:44

struttincool wrote:My Rega white belt and stock black belt work great on my Fidelity Designs subplatter.
Great to know...cheers.

Can I ask what bearing you use and did the change make a difference for you?

regabob
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by regabob » 26 Jun 2018 14:08

TBH - When I had my P25, I went for the GT sub platter at great expense to me at the time. After reading all the rave reviews, expectations were high, and I have to say although it was a fantastic piece of engineering, the sound difference was not as big an improvement as I hoped. As far as bang per buck, I wish I'd have gone for the better value for money Tangospinner...

Alec124c41
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by Alec124c41 » 26 Jun 2018 14:13

A smooth, round, and centered subplatter will not cause vibration in the pencil. I suppose that a feeling of smooth paper might be acceptable, but nothing more.
My old Rega sub had developed roughness that affected the music, making it intolerable to listen.
A machined metal subplatter eliminated that problem, corrected the speed, and improved the quality of the sound beyond my expectations.

Cheers,
Alec

atomlow
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Re: Groovetracer vs Tangospinner vs Fidelity Design Subplatt

Post by atomlow » 26 Jun 2018 15:14

Brant W wrote: The reason why I ask a lot of questions here is because I'm handicapped (therefor unemployed) so I need to weigh carefully what I do.
I can't afford testing things on my own through trial and error.
Any upgrade might mean incorporating the odd peanut butter sandwich into my routine. :)
You can try the pencil test as Alec has suggested. The reason I bring up using an app like platterspeed is you'll be able to tell very quickly if your turntable is having any issues. Yes, it's a lot of work finding an older iphone/ipad if you don't have one, then a test record with the correct test tone. If you don't have an older phone I wouldn't even bother with the Platterspeed app. I have two iphone 4s I'll keep forever knowing I can use them to test my turntables. Platterspeed has been a very valuable tool that has saved me a A LOT of money.

Since you are unemployed I wouldn't try to fix anything that is working to spec. Save your money. You could also save more money by just buying a Rega replacement subplatter. http://www.analogueseduction.net/rega-u ... embly.html

By all means change the oil and make sure everything is cleaned up if your turntable is 30 years old.

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