What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

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farmstar72
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What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by farmstar72 » 09 Feb 2019 17:45

This tonearm seems to not get much respect and considered entry level.
Besides the counterweight and stub, which is easily corrected, and maybe the wiring - what's to look down on?
Mine has a Michell Techno-weight with 3 weights and has worked well with every cartridge I've put on it. Granted my system is somewhat modest.
What are your experiences and complaints?
Just curious

Scott

Legrace
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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by Legrace » 09 Feb 2019 18:04

The stock 250 offers areas for improvement, as you have noted. Which is exactly what one finds in several aftermarket upgraded models. You may want to consider one of these.

farmstar72
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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by farmstar72 » 09 Feb 2019 21:21

Thanks for the replies.
I agree that a removable headshell is a convenience and preference but not necessarily design flaw or improvement.
I have another tonearm that I want to switch to,at least for a while, just for the removable headshell.
I owned an Audiomods series 5 with all the options and decided I'd rather have the $750 I sold it for than any noticeable improvement over a stock Rega arm.

As a side note,I use the RB250 as part of my RCM philosophy.


--if you don't have a record cleaning machine, you don't need an arm better than an RB250--

Scott

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by Woodbrains » 09 Feb 2019 21:37

farmstar72 wrote:
09 Feb 2019 21:21
Thanks for the replies.
I agree that a removable headshell is a convenience and preference but not necessarily design flaw or improvement.
I have another tonearm that I want to switch to,at least for a while, just for the removable headshell.
I owned an Audiomods series 5 with all the options and decided I'd rather have the $750 I sold it for than any noticeable improvement over a stock Rega arm.

As a side note,I use the RB250 as part of my RCM philosophy.


--if you don't have a record cleaning machine, you don't need an arm better than an RB250--

Scott
Hello,

Wow, you had an Audiomods and sold it! Well it is your choice, but it does highlight something significant.

A standard RB 250, aside from the counterweight stub, is not really worth upgrading. Now it is a fine tube and theoretically is capable of stellar performance, so upgrading should be the way forward. But the cost of all the mods, doesn't make sense. By the time you add say, a Michell Technoweight, a re wire and some form of VTA adjuster, you have spent the same order of cash as an Audiomods V but still have the loose bearings and rattly anti skate. Some things are best enjoyed as they were intended.

Heck, though, if I had an Audiomods V, I doubt if let it go for a standard Rega.

Mike.

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by Legrace » 09 Feb 2019 23:47

I also sold off an AM5 micrometer and ultimately replaced it with another standard Rega, ie a RB700. As you move up the food chain they get a lot better.

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by Woodbrains » 09 Feb 2019 23:52

Legrace wrote:
09 Feb 2019 23:47
I also sold off an AM5 micrometer and ultimately replaced it with another standard Rega, ie a RB700. As you move up the food chain they get a lot better.
Hello,

I didn't mean the upper end Regas, when I said standard, rather the 250 and 300 we had been discussing. Didn't mean to confuse.

I don't have any experience of the 700 and above, I'm sure they are great. But the principle is the same, don't spend money on expensive upgrades for the 250, it will cost the same as a better arm.

Mike.

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by ripblade » 09 Feb 2019 23:54

Biggest problem is the wand is not damped. Unlike other rigid arms the shell is part of the same casting, so it acts as a resonator, exacerbating the problem. The end stub and counterweight mods damp the back end of the wand despite the unorthodox application. A similar damper applied to the shell will improve same but with an unavoidable increase in mass.

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by Legrace » 10 Feb 2019 00:02

Woodbrains wrote:
09 Feb 2019 23:52
Legrace wrote:
09 Feb 2019 23:47
I also sold off an AM5 micrometer and ultimately replaced it with another standard Rega, ie a RB700. As you move up the food chain they get a lot better.
Hello,

I didn't mean the upper end Regas, when I said standard, rather the 250 and 300 we had been discussing. Didn't mean to confuse.

I don't have any experience of the 700 and above, I'm sure they are great. But the principle is the same, don't spend money on expensive upgrades for the 250, it will cost the same as a better arm.

Mike.
Sensible advice. I put a bunch of upgrades into my RP6 that ended up overall costing same as if buying a RP8. But never ultimately reaching a matching performance level. #-o

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by analogaudio » 10 Feb 2019 01:25

I've never owned one, these are some of the reasons why:

Uncalibrated balance weight: get out the scales to change downforce
uncalibrated anti-skate: !!!!
non-detachable headshell: cart changes "with tears" even before the wires break off

it is a stone age tonearm that matched perfectly the stone age turntable it went with.

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by farmstar72 » 10 Feb 2019 04:54

Wow, you had an Audiomods and sold it!
Full disclosure ....... I got married, moved in with wife, wife had baby , priorities changed a bit. So, I traded sold my Primaluna separates and bought a Primaluna integrated..... I downgraded from a VPI Super Scoutmaster to an HW19 with Classic platter, but kept my ZU Soul Superfly's

Scott

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by Woodbrains » 10 Feb 2019 11:06

farmstar72 wrote:
10 Feb 2019 04:54
Wow, you had an Audiomods and sold it!
Full disclosure ....... I got married, moved in with wife, wife had baby , priorities changed a bit. So, I traded sold my Primaluna separates and bought a Primaluna integrated..... I downgraded from a VPI Super Scoutmaster to an HW19 with Classic platter, but kept my ZU Soul Superfly's

Scott
Hello,

Well congratulations on that! =D>

Mike.

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by Woodbrains » 10 Feb 2019 11:30

analogaudio wrote:
10 Feb 2019 01:25
I've never owned one, these are some of the reasons why:

Uncalibrated balance weight: get out the scales to change downforce
uncalibrated anti-skate: !
non-detachable headshell: cart changes "with tears" even before the wires break off

it is a stone age tonearm that matched perfectly the stone age turntable it went with.
Hello,

You have decided you don't want to own one for your own reasons, and that is fine. So then comments on the arm's performance have no validity. They are by no means 'stone age', the die cast arm tube is extremely a sophisticated and well thought out design. There are many arms which I would consider 'stone age' before these; any that still use a bit of bent aluminium tube, with a wobbly SME type headshell at one end and the other glued onto a counterweight stub.

Yes, the counterweight is uncalibrated, but who doesn't have scales? Even the calibrated ones get measured with scales once you have them. It's moot anyway, since many change the counterweight stub; one of the worthwhile and inexpensive mods. The anti-skate is actually calibrated.
The fixed headshell has been talked about before, it is a valid objection if you do lots of cart changes, or are ham fisted. There are lots of super hi end arms with fixed headshells, (some even based on the Rega arm tube) because performance wise, it is a good design.

I can understand why people choose different arms, some have more money to splash out, so this high performing low price arm wouldn't cut the mustard. But looking from the other perspective, what arm in its price bracket is a better alternative? If this is your budget this is probably the best arm.

Mike.

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by hedgehog35 » 10 Feb 2019 17:30

can understand why people choose different arms, some have more money to splash out, so this high performing low price arm wouldn't cut the mustard. But looking from the other perspective, what arm in its price bracket is a better alternative? If this is your budget this is probably the best arm.
Have to agree with Mike here. For the money, there is no competition to match them.
They are very cleverly designed arms which achieve the best performance possible within the constraints of a tight budget. I also think it's important to remember that Roy Gandy and his engineers at Rega, design the arm to be part of a complete package where each part complements and enhances the other components. If you listen to (as opposed to reading the hype of other manufacturers), the Rega planars 1, 2 and 3 probably outperform most other turntables in their respective price bands.
I owned a Rega 3 for many years and it was a totally dependable machine. I do however, have to agree that the lack of VTA and azimuth adjustment was a bit of a pain, and I was never totally convinced by their unique method of earthing their arms - got a hum loop when I tried a new Planar 6 at home recently, having had no problems with other turntables in my system.
It is interesting to note, that many people feel that the method of adjusting tracking force is better in the the RB250 than the spring mechanism of the RB300 and all the variants that came after.
Probably the greatest complement to the Rega arm is the large number of companies that have combined the Rega arm with their own turntable, or have used the Rega as a basis for their own modifications. I am sure respected companies such as Avid, Edwards Audio, Sota and Acoustic Signature would not use Rega - derived arms if they didn't consider them to be excellent products that complemented their turntables.

I do think the situation is a bit different when you move up the price scale where there is much greater competition for the more expensive Rega arms from the likes of Jelco or Origin Live.

I also agree that you can get useful improvements from some carefully chosen modifications, but as someone said, you can end up spending more than you would on a better arm. If you are interested in modifying the Rega arm, then there is probably no one better than Audio Origami here in Bonne Scotland!

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by retrofan » 11 Feb 2019 04:46

Its a Rega!

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Re: What's wrong with the Rega RB250?

Post by goatbreath » 11 Feb 2019 10:15

I have a fully Upgraded RB250 and a Non modified one..
Sent away to Incognito and Rewired,New Counterweight and Counterweight Stub..
If anything the non modified one is actually better sounding and tracking..
I know I won't be popular for saying that,but there you go.
I have both to compare,must admit,I was a bit shocked..
I had my Modified one get a new arm tube and bearings from Audio Origami too..
Mine came with the fingerlift removed..It Got a 100% clean bill of health from Mr Nielsen..
I agree about Brilliant Work,he put new PU7 bearings in and rewired my Syrinx PU 3..
Brilliant work..
The Original RB 250 still seems to track better etc after further mods..
The Unmodified Rega RB250 is actually a really good arm and I own a few more expensive arms..
I think it is mainly snobbery because they are so common.
The SME 3009 had the same problem 30 years ago..
The original RB300 knocked a lot of arms from that era of their perch originally..
People were getting rid of their 3009s and replacing them with Regas.
Strange watching the opposite happening now..

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