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  1. #1
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    P3/24 Upgrayedds?

    Yesterday morning wifie and I took a spur of the moment trip over to Brooks Berdan Ltd. to check out the $1 record bin. When we got there we very surprised to see they had knocked down an interior wall to the next unit and are expanding. Good for them. Brooks now has a room for his museum. How often do we see hi-fi shops expanding these days? So, good for them.

    Anyways, onto upgrayedds. I asked about options for the P3/24 and beyond the obvious cartridge upgrades at some point, I was told most other options, new bears, acrylic platter, were pretty much pointless on this turntable. One thing they said they did do, often, was to upgrade the wires in the tonearm to high quality line and then terminate at the back of the table so I could then run whatever interconnects I'd like instead of the Rega ones attached. I liked the sound of that, but was a little unhappy w/ the $350 price quote. Though I suppose good labor isn't cheap, and I could see it taking a couple hours of work.

    What do you all think about upgrade options for this turntable?

  2. #2
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Do you feel you have maximum isolation right now?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Funny you should ask

    http://www.gcaudio.com/cgi-bin/store...duct.cgi?id=83
    This is a good price if you can do the work yourself.

    http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73946
    This mod has helped improve tracking so much. Even Grados will now perform in a Rega arm.

    The precisely machined subplatters are an improvement for the Rega's. Helping with pace and speed acccuracy.

    The ceramic bearing I purchased is also an improvement over the steel ball.

    When I have more time to talk about other mods will be glad to do so. Off to work yet again.
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 05-16-2010 at 04:54 PM.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  4. #4
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    $350 sounds very reasonable if the wire costs over $200.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Adam I am a fan of quality wire to carry the low output signal of a phono cartridge. The original wiring harness of my RB250 contained three different thickness of wire and four solder joints. The cartridge clips were soldered to the headshell wires. Right behind the headshell was a solder joint connecting the headshell wires to the thinner wires in the tonearm. The tonearm internal wires were then soldered to the cables that became the rca cables. Of course more solder at the rca's. The Incognito wiring harness is continuous Cardas wire from cartridge clips to rca plugs. The low output of a moving coil cartridge will not have to travel through the different wires and solder.

    In the same vein of thought I would not want rca plugs on the back of the turntable to use different cables. If you can have the signal travel from cartridge to phono preamp with continuous unbroken wire so much the better. No need to worry if that additional set of rca plugs need to be cleaned with contact cleaner. Each time you add a variable problems can arise.

    I have a Ringmat record mat you might like for your glass Rega platter. I like it better than the felt mat. Of course I prefer my records sitting directly on my Funk Firm Achroplat platter instead of the glass. Oh and I love the record weight with the Achroplat.

    The Michell Technoweight is a great tweak that allows the weight to be in the same plane as the stylus and the record. This tweak greatly improves tracking ability and the reduction of surface noise and distortion. An incredible value for the improvement offered.

    Be careful with the feet and I have tried different cones and find I keep going back to the original feet. One cone by the back foot and motor helps drain any motor vibrations away. The Rega's in the front can keep the sound from becoming hard.

    Antiskating is free to adjust. I know you had a shop to set it up and I set mine by ear. What sounds best is not as much as Rega recommends.

    Enjoy your table!
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  6. #6
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    JM - Thanks for the advice.

    I see your point about upgrading the wire because of all the solder spots and just plan quality for the original wire. What I would wonder though, is, with the termination at the table, and higher quality interconnects from the table to phono amp, doesn't that give the signal a better chance to degrade less before it hits the photo amp. I mean, the Incognito wires are only so good, per say. Would you run them as interconnects between your amp and pre? You know what I mean?

    You use a record weight? Interesting. I've heard they can be hit or miss depending on how much vibration is sent up through the spindle. I don't have one, but maybe I can get a hold of a cheap on and give it a test.

    I've email about the Achroplat.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    The lower the output the more fragile it is. If you can avoid soldering the wire to the rca's and then the disimilar metals of the rca's soldered to the wire of the IC's and then another set of rca's on the other end of the wire connecting with the rca's of the phono preamp you will have a better pathway for that tiny signal. Once it has been amplified by the phono preamp it is more robust.

    For example

    cartridge clips soldered to headshell/tonearm wires
    tonearm cables soldered to female rca jacks on table
    IC with male end connecting to female rca on turntable
    in IC wire soldered to rca's at both end (2 solder joints)
    end of IC connecting with phono preamp

    Incognito

    cartridge clips soldered to tonearm wire
    tonearm wire soldered to rca jacks
    rca jacks connecting with phono preamp

    I think the place to enjoy changing IC's is between phono preamp and preamp or integrated amp.
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 05-17-2010 at 02:56 AM.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    JM - Thanks for the advice.


    You use a record weight? Interesting. I've heard they can be hit or miss depending on how much vibration is sent up through the spindle. I don't have one, but maybe I can get a hold of a cheap on and give it a test.

    I've email about the Achroplat.


    The argument about vibration through the main bearing I think has more to do with a direct drive turntable. A direct drive table the spindle is the motor shaft. The weight will reduce the record surfaces vibrations which I think is more audible than the bearing vibrations. The ceramic bearing is very smooth and highly polished and I think must help reduce vibrations.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
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    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  9. #9
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    I think additional weight also reduces flutter. I tried listening for this with a test record and a cocktail glass centered on the label and I think I heard a difference.

  10. #10
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Adam I'll pack a DIY weight with your box. The center hole is larger than the spindle, and therefore makes no contact. Simply center it on the label and enjoy.

  11. #11
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Adam I'll pack a DIY weight with your box. The center hole is larger than the spindle, and therefore makes no contact. Simply center it on the label and enjoy.
    Awesome thanks!

  12. #12
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    JM -

    Appears there will be an Achroplat II soon.

    From Danny at The Funk Firm -

    "Secondly as part of the above matter re the website, for 2010, every single product in the Funk line has been fully updated and you will be completely unaware of the fact that Achroplat is now Achroplat II.

    To satisfy many queries and to make more universal for other decks as well, it is now a revised higher inertia construction with even better enery transmission which produces even greater transparency and with considerably weight tot he sound."


    But he said they were no longer carrying Funk Firm products. Though I'm was a little confused. Sounds like transition and web redesign. But he pointed out the FXR tone arm upgrade. Anyways, when it becomes clear I'll post.

    He said some guy named Stewart was handling the Achroplat in the US and forwarded my email off to him.

    So, seems like there are six upgrades to try.
    1) Achroplat II ($?)
    2) Sumiko Blackbird Cart ($900)
    3) Cardas rewire ($200+labor)
    4) Michell TecnoWeight ($179)
    5) Funk Firm FXR tone arm ($?) or Michell TecnoArm ($?)
    6) Record Weight ($free - thanks PC!)

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    JM -


    So, seems like there are six upgrades to try.
    1) Achroplat II ($?)
    2) Sumiko Blackbird Cart ($900)
    3) Cardas rewire ($200+labor)
    4) Michell TecnoWeight ($179)
    5) Funk Firm FXR tone arm ($?) or Michell TecnoArm ($?)
    6) Record Weight ($free - thanks PC!)




    The Michell TecnoArm is based on the RB 250 with upgraded wiring and the TecnoWeight. They also perforate the arm casting and fill the arm with foam. I would not upgrade the wiring and buy the TecnoWeight if you are considering the Michell TecnoArm. I am not sure of the pricing of the TecnoArm but I would think modding your current arm would be cheaper. The upgraded wiring opened up the high frequencies and the sound became more musical. On the other hand I would say the TecnoWeight's ability to reduce surface noise and improve tracking was probably a bigger bang for the buck.

    I found the Michell arm in Pounds at 424.95. Using a currency exchange site that is about $615.74. Again this is based on the RB 250 tonearm.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  14. #14
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Can I say something here? Do you guys love Rega THAT much?!? With all the upgrade and the original cost of the table, you could probably have a low end VPI or Clearaudio.

    My question is, how much upgrading is enough, before you should simply upgrade to a more capable table?

    Also, John I'm surprised you haven't upgraded your arm, even within Rega's line.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Can I say something here? Do you guys love Rega THAT much?!? With all the upgrade and the original cost of the table, you could probably have a low end VPI or Clearaudio.

    My question is, how much upgrading is enough, before you should simply upgrade to a more capable table?

    Also, John I'm surprised you haven't upgraded your arm, even within Rega's line.


    Poppachubby when I first bought my Rega it was $450. After various cartridge changes one of the clips broke so at that point I had the arm rewired. Better wiring and better clips lead to better sound. Then as I learned about other tweaks to further improve performance I added them to the turntable. My turntable is over 10 years old and sounding better than ever. I have never spent more than $300 in a year on a mod so the cash outlay has been low and over a long period of time. Would I buy a Rega and all the tweaks at once probably not. When I bought my Rega the vinyl world was slowing down and there were not many tables between the cheap plastic ones and the ultra expensive tables. Today there are many more midrange tables then ever before with the greater interest in playing records.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  16. #16
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    poppaC I am just wondering the same thing. But I suppose its just part of the hobby. Its just plain old fun I suppose. Even with my cheap table, which I cant do to much with, but am wondering how I can tweak it out a bit. Im just trying to get back into tables after being without for 20+ years...im learning now, but from what I have been reading online, the better the table and its many parts, the better the sound. Im reading on line about how some of the more expensive tricked-out tables sound better and clearer than some CD players. Im wanting to hear that for my self. With my 2.1 I have better bass than any CD or SACD than i've ever heard. Im just wondering if its possible to get better mids and highs from a table and its many parts.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  17. #17
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Also, John I'm surprised you haven't upgraded your arm, even within Rega's line.



    My arm is upgraded. All Rega arms except the one on the Rega P1 is a cast arm of high quality. The internal wiring of my arm is the Incognito wiring harness and the wire is Cardas wire as are the cartridge clips. The TecnoWeight further improves the arm since it locks on to the arm and with the lowered geometry improves the tracking. Many prefer the RB 250 because it does not use the spring to set tracking force. Springs can stretch and resonate so some find a modded RB 250 as a better sounding arm. So I am upgraded.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
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  18. #18
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Poppachubby when I first bought my Rega it was $450. After various cartridge changes one of the clips broke so at that point I had the arm rewired. Better wiring and better clips lead to better sound. Then as I learned about other tweaks to further improve performance I added them to the turntable. My turntable is over 10 years old and sounding better than ever. I have never spent more than $300 in a year on a mod so the cash outlay has been low and over a long period of time. Would I buy a Rega and all the tweaks at once probably not. When I bought my Rega the vinyl world was slowing down and there were not many tables between the cheap plastic ones and the ultra expensive tables. Today there are many more midrange tables then ever before with the greater interest in playing records.
    John...with the way you tricked out your table...I would not think its midrange...at least not in sound. How does it compare to the sound of the SA8001?
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    John...with the way you tricked out your table...I would not think its midrange...at least not in sound. How does it compare to the sound of the SA8001?


    I prefer to listen to the turntable. Vinyl sounds more musical to me but the SA8001 is a good cd/sacd player. I listen to cd's when I am doing things around the place such as now. When I listen to vinyl I am focused on the experiencs and music. When vinyl is spinning I am in my chair and oblivious to the world. Of course if I want to listen to a piece of music I only have on a digital disc I will sit and concentrate on the music but the enjoyment factor is not as high.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
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  20. #20
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Well im starting to feel the vinyl after being away for years. There is a certain realism or should I say "texture" I get when listening to vinyl that I don't get with digital. I still do enjoy digital... vinyl is more of discovery for me now. But I've noticed the texture of vinyl....I don't feel that with digital. I'm now trying to figure what cart would sound best in my system. PoppaC is sending me one for more discovery...but I believe it will take much research to get it all figured out. My limited research seems to indicate that Rega tables may be more "user friendly" and just a notch above Pro-Ject tables. VPI seems to be about on the same "user friendly" level as Rega....so in the distant future my plains seem to indicate one of the three tables....if I decide to continue down the vinyl path which seems promising now.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  21. #21
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Can I say something here? Do you guys love Rega THAT much?!? With all the upgrade and the original cost of the table, you could probably have a low end VPI or Clearaudio.

    My question is, how much upgrading is enough, before you should simply upgrade to a more capable table?

    Also, John I'm surprised you haven't upgraded your arm, even within Rega's line.
    PC - that is exactly what Brooks' son was saying to me. At a certain point, just get a better table.

    I can't say I love Rega that much. I certainly would have preferred better construction at the PSU and of the Interconnects. But, all that being said. If I upgrade the platter/wires/weight/ those all seem reasonable. The step up in cartridge can (and will) come later, and it can be moved to another TT at a later date as well.

    Here's the truth, and maybe this is more to the point. Another, better TT will sound good, and different. But I've yet to hear anything I think is awesome except for things in the $10,000 range which is obviously out of my current budget. I'm more curious about what the upgrades will change w/ my current sound than dissatisfied with my current sound and feeling the need for change. You know what I mean? Maybe I'm too curious and have a hard time settling. Which is why I said I'd never get married, but that went out the window......

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Can I say something here? Do you guys love Rega THAT much?!? With all the upgrade and the original cost of the table, you could probably have a low end VPI or Clearaudio.

    My question is, how much upgrading is enough, before you should simply upgrade to a more capable table?




    Me again, I think of the mods as similar to what some folks do with their car. When you can not afford the high performance car of your dreams you buy a car and look for aftermarket parts to raise the performance. At the time the Rega was the best I could afford and since I have the satisfaction of raising it's performance to the current level I do not want to part with it. One day I may buy a new table but will always keep the Rega.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  23. #23
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael

    I found the Michell arm in Pounds at 424.95. Using a currency exchange site that is about $615.74. Again this is based on the RB 250 tonearm.
    Looks like you are keeping your eyes on GBP/USD exchange rate as well. When I found out that Techoarm can be had for a bit over $600, $1200 in US sounds like a complete rip off. It might be an upgrade for you, but you may want to consider a aftermarket counterweight, such as Groovetracer. I haven't tried it myself, but have read great reviews. Rewiring should offer better sound, but probably nothing to rave about.

    But all in all, I'm not sure if tonearm/turntable mods will give you the bang you are looking for. For what you can spend on upgrade parts, I would rather spend my money on where it impacts more such as a different cartridge or preowned phono-pre. If I was going to spend close to a grand on analog related gear, I would try out a phono pre by Allnic, Audion, Audio Research(used PH-3SE?), Audio Horizon, or K&K Audio phono kit. I'm still baffled to why people want to purchase any new phonopre in sub $1k category. The way I see it, you are most likely paying for a fancy box to mask cheap components. Whatever your decision may be, I know you aren't afraid to tryout different gear so I'd be looking forward to read your posts.

    Have Fun,
    JRA

  24. #24
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Looks like you are keeping your eyes on GBP/USD exchange rate as well. When I found out that Techoarm can be had for a bit over $600, $1200 in US sounds like a complete rip off. It might be an upgrade for you, but you may want to consider a aftermarket counterweight, such as Groovetracer. I haven't tried it myself, but have read great reviews. Rewiring should offer better sound, but probably nothing to rave about.

    But all in all, I'm not sure if tonearm/turntable mods will give you the bang you are looking for. For what you can spend on upgrade parts, I would rather spend my money on where it impacts more such as a different cartridge or preowned phono-pre. If I was going to spend close to a grand on analog related gear, I would try out a phono pre by Allnic, Audion, Audio Research(used PH-3SE?), Audio Horizon, or K&K Audio phono kit. I'm still baffled to why people want to purchase any new phonopre in sub $1k category. The way I see it, you are most likely paying for a fancy box to mask cheap components. Whatever your decision may be, I know you aren't afraid to tryout different gear so I'd be looking forward to read your posts.

    Have Fun,
    JRA


    I already have the Incognito rewire and the Michell TecnoWeight so I do not think the TecnoArm would offer enough improvement to justify the purchase. The main reason I am watching the currencies is in 10 days I am going to Paris. The Euro is dropping which pleases me. But back to audio. I have been very pleased with the transparency and dynamics of the Graham Slee Fanfare preamp. I think it loads the Benz well and has enough gain. I may think differently with a different cartridge. I am of the age where integrated amps, preamps and receivers had phono input. Buying an external phono preamp still seems a little alien.

    I wished I lived in an area where I could listen to different phono preamps. I think until then I will be cautious about spending over $1,000. I like Michael Fremer but I can not afford the phono preamps he is excited about. Since I could not compare preamps I chose the Fanfare because I liked Graham Slee's ideas and attitudes about phono preamps. The combination of modified Rega, Benz MC Gold and Fanfare preamp creates a musical experience. Of course you are welcome to visit and hear the system as I would enjoy hearing yours.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  25. #25
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I already have the Incognito rewire and the Michell TecnoWeight so I do not think the TecnoArm would offer enough improvement to justify the purchase. The main reason I am watching the currencies is in 10 days I am going to Paris. The Euro is dropping which pleases me. But back to audio. I have been very pleased with the transparency and dynamics of the Graham Slee Fanfare preamp. I think it loads the Benz well and has enough gain. I may think differently with a different cartridge. I am of the age where integrated amps, preamps and receivers had phono input. Buying an external phono preamp still seems a little alien.

    I wished I lived in an area where I could listen to different phono preamps. I think until then I will be cautious about spending over $1,000. I like Michael Fremer but I can not afford the phono preamps he is excited about. Since I could not compare preamps I chose the Fanfare because I liked Graham Slee's ideas and attitudes about phono preamps. The combination of modified Rega, Benz MC Gold and Fanfare preamp creates a musical experience. Of course you are welcome to visit and hear the system as I would enjoy hearing yours.
    Hey JM,

    My mistake. I thought Adam was the one looking at the Tecnoarm.
    I've been meaning to hear your system. After all it should take no more than 3 hours to your pad. I really want to make it happen soon. Perhaps we can meet sometime in early June?

    Send me a PM with your schedule.

    Have Fun,
    JRA

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