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New stylus / cartridge for my rega planar 3


michel1969
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Moderate priced:

I like the Sumiko Blue Point Special ($300, I think) Fairly high output, for a moving coil; might not need a step-up device.

Also, the Denon DL103 - a classic, more laid back (?) sound.

Grado makes nice low-priced cartridges, many of which don't require step-up.

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Moderate priced:

I like the Sumiko Blue Point Special ($300, I think) Fairly high output, for a moving coil; might not need a step-up device.

Also, the Denon DL103 - a classic, more laid back (?) sound.

Grado makes nice low-priced cartridges, many of which don't require step-up.

Yep, Sumiko Blue Point, that's it!

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I'm happy with my Rega Elys. I like the three screw fixing. Not tried anything else though.

i've been using these for years, and am delighted with them (now on my 3rd i think). fixed to a rega 300 arm on a systemdek IIX, naim amp and rega ela speakers. the rest of the stuff hasn't been changed for 15 years or so, the cart is probably 3 years old now. the Elys comes in at around £110/ €170, so right on burdget, and built to go with your TT...

i know you asked for alternatives, sorry. i like the rega stuff.

Edited by alanmck
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On my old Thorens I mounted a Sumiko that worked and sounded pretty good.

May I ask your budget?

Thanks to all ! Porcy, my budget is 100-200 Euros, a little more if needed.

If you are able to mount the cartdrige by yourself, and if you choose an american or japanese manufacturer, like Denon, Sumiko or Grado, have a look at on-line shops based in U.S. like Acoustic Sounds and MusicDirect. Usually better prices then E.U. distributors. At least in Italy it's cheaper to buy interconnect, cables and cartdriges overseas (all the stuff that doesn't need any assistence beyond the warranty), pay the import duty, and still save 20% of the total. Euro rules, for the good and the bad. ;)

edit. Overall, if I were you and I could afford it I'd go for a Sumiko Blue Point, MC, high output.

Consider that with MC the stylus is fixed, so you have to change the whole cartdrige, that would be a reason to ask to french distributor/sellers if they have some discount about cartdrige replacement. On the other hand, as I said above, over here I could save 20% from overseas online sellers. It might be that buying a brand new cartdrige overseas could cost the very same of the retipping/replacement by official national distributor/seller.

Edited by porcy62
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I noticed a huge leap in performance on changing my Rega Elys for a Denon DL-103R moving coil cartridge (£200). Admittedly I also rewired (Incognito? £140) the RB300 tone-arm on my Rega P3 deck at the same time. I am very pleased and have found all sorts of albums sound better in all sorts of ways, less distortion, better bass , generally clearer. Even rough pressings sound much better and far more listenable than previously. Having said all that prior to the demise of my Elys I was quite content with it......so easily satisfied...

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I noticed a huge leap in performance on changing my Rega Elys for a Denon DL-103R moving coil cartridge (£200). Admittedly I also rewired (Incognito? £140) the RB300 tone-arm on my Rega P3 deck at the same time. I am very pleased and have found all sorts of albums sound better in all sorts of ways, less distortion, better bass , generally clearer. Even rough pressings sound much better and far more listenable than previously. Having said all that prior to the demise of my Elys I was quite content with it......so easily satisfied...

When you switch from a MM to a MC that is what you got: better sound.

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I noticed a huge leap in performance on changing my Rega Elys for a Denon DL-103R moving coil cartridge (£200). Admittedly I also rewired (Incognito? £140) the RB300 tone-arm on my Rega P3 deck at the same time. I am very pleased and have found all sorts of albums sound better in all sorts of ways, less distortion, better bass , generally clearer. Even rough pressings sound much better and far more listenable than previously. Having said all that prior to the demise of my Elys I was quite content with it......so easily satisfied...

When you switch from a MM to a MC that is what you got: better sound.

That's a good rule of thumb, but YMMV greatly depending on your phono preamp. Matching to your phono pre should be an important consideration when selecting a cartridge.

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I noticed a huge leap in performance on changing my Rega Elys for a Denon DL-103R moving coil cartridge (£200). Admittedly I also rewired (Incognito? £140) the RB300 tone-arm on my Rega P3 deck at the same time. I am very pleased and have found all sorts of albums sound better in all sorts of ways, less distortion, better bass , generally clearer. Even rough pressings sound much better and far more listenable than previously. Having said all that prior to the demise of my Elys I was quite content with it......so easily satisfied...

When you switch from a MM to a MC that is what you got: better sound.

That's a good rule of thumb, but YMMV greatly depending on your phono preamp. Matching to your phono pre should be an important consideration when selecting a cartridge.

It's true, but there are a lot of honest phono pre at decent prices out there...and few great ones at big prices.

Since most of the cheapest hasn't any loading's variable switches, one rule says to match the cartdrige with the phono: a Linn with a Linn, a Rega with a Rega, etc.

Or ask to cartdrige manufacturers wich is the suggested loading for that specific model, and match with the correct phono stage, some of the cheap, and good, can be order with a specific loading.

However I noted that sometimes I liked more a different loading rather then one suggested by cartdrige manufactures.

Right now I am listening with a borrowed 100 euros NAD phono stage, my mono Lyra Helicon (that cost twenty times more), it's not a "nirvana sound", but for 100 euros it sounds good.

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I forgot this one: highly reccomeded http://www.ttvj.com/index.php?main_page=pr...products_id=765

I think Sidewinder has a Dynavector on his tt, he's very happy with it.

and this http://store.acousticsounds.com/browse_det...m?Title_ID=9442

In the States, the Dynavector is the cart that is usually mentioned when the P3 is mentioned. I love mine!!!!!

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I think Sidewinder has a Dynavector on his tt, he's very happy with it.

and this http://store.acousticsounds.com/browse_det...m?Title_ID=9442

Yes - I use a Dynavector moving coil. I recommend the Dynavectors - the moving magnets are also recommended, and work out good value considering performance/price.

Edited by sidewinder
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  • 2 weeks later...

Question for those of you with the Elys 2, was there a break in period and how long? I've had mine a couple of weeks and frankly, I think this sucker is quite harsh on the top end. Not on every platter, but on some where I didn't feel that way with my old tt/cart set up (Philips 212/Grado Green.)

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Question for those of you with the Elys 2, was there a break in period and how long? I've had mine a couple of weeks and frankly, I think this sucker is quite harsh on the top end. Not on every platter, but on some where I didn't feel that way with my old tt/cart set up (Philips 212/Grado Green.)

I loved the Super Elys (the purple one) when I ran it on my P3. I was worried about stylus wear so I bought a new Elys 2 as the Super was discontinued. The Rega rep I e-mailed swore it would sound the same as the Super, and would be a better tracker (my one complaint about the Super).

I found the harshness of the Elys 2 to be unbearable. I had the same question about break-in time but decided I don't have the patience to wait. I still find it a little odd that the carts would be that much different, but after much tweaking of the setup I just couldn't get it to be tolerable in my system.

I've since purchased a Shure VX15VxMR and find it to be pure heaven with the vintage phono stage in my trusty old Marantz 7.

Try a Dynavector 10x5. I used one on the P3 for a while and it was a great match until I switched to the vintage preamp, which doesn't seem to like MC carts.

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Question for those of you with the Elys 2, was there a break in period and how long? I've had mine a couple of weeks and frankly, I think this sucker is quite harsh on the top end. Not on every platter, but on some where I didn't feel that way with my old tt/cart set up (Philips 212/Grado Green.)

I loved the Super Elys (the purple one) when I ran it on my P3. I was worried about stylus wear so I bought a new Elys 2 as the Super was discontinued. The Rega rep I e-mailed swore it would sound the same as the Super, and would be a better tracker (my one complaint about the Super).

I found the harshness of the Elys 2 to be unbearable. I had the same question about break-in time but decided I don't have the patience to wait. I still find it a little odd that the carts would be that much different, but after much tweaking of the setup I just couldn't get it to be tolerable in my system.

I've since purchased a Shure VX15VxMR and find it to be pure heaven with the vintage phono stage in my trusty old Marantz 7.

Try a Dynavector 10x5. I used one on the P3 for a while and it was a great match until I switched to the vintage preamp, which doesn't seem to like MC carts.

Agree about break-in time, expecially with expensive gear. Let's take esoteric fully tubed preamp, my personal experience. I mean the seller will not borrow you a costly preamp for a couple of months until it will reach his top performances, so what's point? How can you buy a $$$$ stuff hoping that after 300 hours it will match with your other components? Freaking crazy.

Cartdriges are even worst, nobody will get one back because of break-in time.

Bad commercial politic. They should have demos to audition in your system, quite impossible for expensive stuff over here.

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