Rega Planar 3 with RB200 best bang for my bucks - diyAudio
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Old 21st October 2011, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default Rega Planar 3 with RB200 best bang for my bucks

I have a Rega Planar 3 that was purchased new in 1979 that has the what I believe is the RB200 S shaped arm on it. I would like to spend at the most $300.00 on it. What would be the most bang for my buck? I am presently using an Ortofon MC3 Turbo cartridge. I have not touched the antiskate as I am aware of the problems assosiated with it. At the moment I really do not have any problems with the sound or function. The tonearm is loose on the plinth but I have been hesitant to do any adjustments due to the antiskate issue. I am getting on in age and my ears are not the best but I still appreciate good sound. I primarily listen to a lot of classic rock but I appreciate clear well produced music and have always taken the best of care of my albums. I am totally open to suggestions and am not afraid of soldering so if an antiskate fix and some new wire is the answer I am ready, but I am also willing to attempt a completely new tonearm.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 01:02 AM   #2
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Those Ortofon turbos have an awfully high tip mass. May I suggest a Stanton 681EEE, or an A-T or Nagaoka? The low-mid end A-T moving magnet carts like the AT3482, AT92E, AT120E, AT95E and others preform well above their price range. Don't get me wrong, they're not exactly Koetsus, but they're good to the point to take seriously for someone with your budget. The AT440MLa can be found for around $150. I'd highly recommended it if it was still going for $100 like it used to, but now I'm not so sure. If you don't mind rolled off highs I'd recommend the Shure M97.

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Old 22nd October 2011, 01:27 AM   #3
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but I am also willing to attempt a completely new tonearm.
A re-wired RB250 (or 251) would be a logical step up from what you have now for under $300. Of course, it won't be a "new" arm.

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Old 22nd October 2011, 01:05 PM   #4
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I do like both of these ideas but cannot afford both at once. To be honest I have been looking at the tonearms all the time on ebay and have always been just a little hesitant. Is it a fairly easy job to mount a new (or new to me) tone arm as long as it is from another Rega? I dont want to start a wire war but am I really going to hear $150.00 worth of Cardas wire or should I just focus on the other mechanicals of the arm? I do also have an old Ortofon MC20 that I was told was worn out years ago but could never throw away. Could I have a jeweler look at it under his loupe or whatever and clean it ultrasonically?
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Old 22nd October 2011, 05:35 PM   #5
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Well what about a OEM Rega 301 tone arm. aka Moth?

MOTH 301 tonearm (Rega OEM301)

Brian will supply a mounting template and provide advice, the 251 is even cheaper, but get the 301 if you can

Last edited by data; 22nd October 2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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Is it a fairly easy job to mount a new (or new to me) tone arm as long as it is from another Rega?
All Rega arms share the same mounting distance (222mm), but the newer arms have slightly different mounting requirements. The arm pillars are probably a little bigger than the old R200 also.

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I dont want to start a wire war but am I really going to hear $150.00 worth of Cardas wire or should I just focus on the other mechanicals of the arm?
It's my understanding that the newer arms (RB251 etc.) have better wire quality from the factory. It's just the older ones that came with cheap wire. There is litz wire available from the UK that is just as good as Cardas, and about $140.00 cheaper. It's just a pain to solder.

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I do also have an old Ortofon MC20 that I was told was worn out years ago but could never throw away. Could I have a jeweler look at it under his loupe or whatever and clean it ultrasonically?
You need more than a loupe to inspect the stylus. A microscope with 100x mag. with a strong light would be nice.

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Old 22nd October 2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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What about something like this? Price seems reasonable although it has original wiring. I am not in a huge hurry so I could pick this up and then a rewire kit and then a cartridge. I would not install it till I had the arm all ready to go.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Moth-Arm1-Re...item56467e3fd3
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Old 22nd October 2011, 08:17 PM   #8
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What about something like this?
Should be fine.

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Old 23rd October 2011, 06:07 PM   #9
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Other than the higher quality wire is there any other optional items that I should look at purchasing at the same time that would make the installation easier or improve the sonics?
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Old 24th October 2011, 12:47 AM   #10
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The only thing that pops into my tiny mind are spacers to adjust arm height, or VTA.

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