Options for a Rega R200 tonearm. - diyAudio
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Old 5th February 2014, 08:30 PM   #1
parkman is offline parkman  Ireland
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Default Options for a Rega R200 tonearm.

Hi, I have a Rega Planar 3 with an R200 arm as originally fitted, with a Shure 95 ED [I think that it is an ED] cartridge.

I am wondering whether some-one could suggest which way to go, as regards improving or replacing the tonearm, or indeed whether there is any point in doing so. Perhaps a change of cartridge, or stylus, may be the most economic way to go.

The deck is working fine at the moment, it is just about 20 years or so old, and I have never put a new cartridge, or stylus, in the arm. It is a bit difficult to tell how good or bad the reproduction is, as I have nothing to compare it against, but I am presuming that there has been quite an amount of deterioration in the sound quality.

So, any suggestions would be appreciated. I know that this is a wide ranging question, but maybe a couple of suggestions may prove to be enlightening.

parkman
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Old 5th February 2014, 08:48 PM   #2
Bibio is offline Bibio  Scotland
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a good service and a new stylus/cart will do wonders.

start by oiling the main bearing, a new belt and a drop of oil in the top and bottom of the motor.

next up get a new stylus or cart.

if you still want to keep the deck then an arm change would be in order.
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Old 5th February 2014, 09:13 PM   #3
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Has it belonged to you during these 20 years?

Rega tables are extremely durable and don't need much service.
1- new belt.

2- remove the hub assembly, and clean it thoroughly with kitchen paper cloth and alcohol. The bearing housing clean with a cotton swab, then dry with a dry one and leave it covered with a piece of paper for one or two days to allow for complete drying.
Speak with a rega dealer regarding oil quality and quantity, there is a specific amount of oil for it to work correctly.

3- new stylus or cartridge, a 20 year old stylus or needle will certainly be not performing to its best condition, specially if use was intensive. What is your budget for this? MM or MC?

4- if you wish to improve and have the budget, there is a 24 motor used in new rega tables that can be retrofitted and there is indeed a kit for the planar 3. It has reduced vibration and noise.

5- if you go with the new motor, get the ttpsu for it, also makes a nice improvements in stability and noise.

If you do all the above the rega will give you another 20 years of enjoyment without problems!

Ps: I would suggest getting the needle mounted by a dealer.
My rega dealer tunes all the parameters with test disc and osciloscope to make sure it is producing the least amount of distortion. It makes a huge difference!
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Old 5th February 2014, 09:22 PM   #4
Cobra2 is offline Cobra2  Norway
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The R200-arm has one weak spot: the (internal) belt for anti-skating breaks easily at this age. A good guy in UK marked replacements at fleabay from time to time. But it is a few hours work changing it... or; AudiOrigami (UK) can do a full service on it.

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Old 5th February 2014, 11:22 PM   #5
Bibio is offline Bibio  Scotland
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Audiorigami is top notch service but your looking at 100's of pounds. the R200 arm is not the best and the RB arms would be a better option, you would have to add 2 o'rings 23mm x .5mm to take up the play, or get a sleeve made up from some ID,23mm x.5mm tube but the arm is essentially a straight drop in regarding mounting distance.
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Old 5th February 2014, 11:25 PM   #6
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At some point it would just make sense to purchase a new rp3 or a lightly used p3-24 or even p5.
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Old 6th February 2014, 10:13 AM   #7
parkman is offline parkman  Ireland
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Default Options for a Rega R200 tonearm

Hi, thanks a lot for all the responses, I am very impressed with all the opinions.

I have had the deck for all the 20 years, although I bought it as a trade for a Dual deck, from a dealer in Dublin. I knew the guy who sold it in the first place, and he hadn't had it very long when he decided to sell it.

I have used the deck on and off recently and it plays fine, at least I think it does, but the stylus is old and I suspect that replacing it may be a good idea. Incidentally, the tracking problem does not appear to be apparent with the arm, but again, I am not an expert at all so I think it works OK.

I am using an Arcam Alpha 8R amp and from reading various articles on the 'net most opinion suggests that MM cartridges are the best value for performance. I am nor sure whether I have the budget to fit an MC cartridge, and also whether an MC cartridge would work with the Arcam amp, due to their apparent low power output.

I wouldn't go to the stage of buying a pre-amp if I don't have to.

Again, some of the advice is a little above my level of knowledge of Hi-Fi. You have to understand that I am now over the doddery old 60's age so most of my experience is with wind up record players rather than technically improved turn tables

And, yes, I still have an original HMV wind-up record player and some 78's that work on it. Mind you, Alice Cooper doesn't sound too good on it

I don't think that I have the budget to send the deck to a main dealer to get a new arm fitted, as I would think that I would be into hundreds of pounds, so I was hoping that I could just replace the stylus, which I think is an SME type - it has a screw ring at the end of the arm and the cartridge pushes in and the ring is then tightened up. Perhaps I am wrong with the description - SME - and if so maybe some-one could correct me.

So finally, what would a reasonably priced replacement cartridge cost, and what would be a general consensus be in relation to a new cartridge ?

parkman
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Old 6th February 2014, 11:11 AM   #8
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Do you have a rega dealer nearby?
You certainly won't need a new arm. What you do need is main bearing cleaning and lubrificating (15 mins work for an experienced person), a new belt, should be 10-15, a new stilus.
The stilus should be MM to work with the arcam amplifier.

I'd say even if you don't live near your rega dealer, try to find an hifi shop nearby and talk with them. They might do the servicing for you and help with a new stilus or cartridge.

A new tone arm or motor will also help, but at this point you'll be better off buying a whole new deck.
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