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Replace Cartridge, upgrade or upgrade deck?
#1
Hi,
I have a Rega P3 that I upgraded about 7 years ago with a TT PSU, a Groovetracer alloy sub platter with zirconium ball, P6 feet and an Exact cartridge.
The rest of the system is a Devialet 250 with Atom GT1-SE speakers, REL T-Zero subs (stereo), Atacama stands and a Mac mini/Audirvana Studio digital source.

Recently I've been finding that my LPs sound muddy and lifeless compared to the digital source. Not dramatic but enough to put me off playing them. The Exact probably has about 1200 to 1500 hours on it, so I think that's the likely source of the problem. A replacement is about £300.

Wondering if I should move up to an MC (the D250 integrated digital phono stage supports that) - Ania Pro or a lightly used Apheta 2 (£6-800) - my deck is more P6 level than P3, or just wait and get a P8 + Apheta 3 new or ex-dem next year for £2500-2800, selling the P3.

I enjoy playing my LPs and have some nice classic rock first press ones from the 70s in good condition, though mostly I use the digital source for convenience (which does sound superb - typical D250, very clear, open sound stage, well separated instruments, smooth precise bass, very low sound floor). I prefer the classic LPs on Vinyl as that's what they were recorded and balanced for and it just sounds 'right'.

I know I should listen, but time etc..
What would you do?
Devialet 250 FW 9.0.1
Atohm GT SE1. Atacama stands filled with atabites. Granite speaker stand plinths.
Sources:
1. Mac Mini 2021 M1- USB
- Qobuz/Audirvana Studio/ Audirvana app on iPad (Via Mac mini)
2. Vertere DG-1 with Magneto upgraded to fine line stylus

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#2
Two years ago I upgraded my Project with a Hana SL (from a Sumiko Pearl) and while I improved in detail and “life”, I lost a lot in terms of hiss control.
Please note I have a 120, whose phonostage is officially inferior to the one of a 220/250.
I solve the problem with a 1:10 step up and now I’m very happy.
Sometimes, though, I think that going with a high output MC could have been a better call.

So, not to complicate your choice but that’s another option to consider.
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#3
Actually, I've been looking at Rega alternatives...
Vertere DG-1 with Magneto cartridge, and Funk Firm LSD.
There ares some good offers on ex dem P8 at present and the DG-1 has just been replaced by the DG-1S so ditto that....

Anyone any experience with Vertere? Quite funky and looks a good visual match with the Devialet!
Devialet 250 FW 9.0.1
Atohm GT SE1. Atacama stands filled with atabites. Granite speaker stand plinths.
Sources:
1. Mac Mini 2021 M1- USB
- Qobuz/Audirvana Studio/ Audirvana app on iPad (Via Mac mini)
2. Vertere DG-1 with Magneto upgraded to fine line stylus

Reply
#4
I went for the Vertere DG-1 in the end. Huge improvement on the Rega.
Devialet 250 FW 9.0.1
Atohm GT SE1. Atacama stands filled with atabites. Granite speaker stand plinths.
Sources:
1. Mac Mini 2021 M1- USB
- Qobuz/Audirvana Studio/ Audirvana app on iPad (Via Mac mini)
2. Vertere DG-1 with Magneto upgraded to fine line stylus

Reply


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