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My LP12 compared with Rega P7

Discussion in 'audio' started by samz, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. samz

    samz pfm Member

    I have just has a demo of a Rega P7 and have compared it with my existing LP12

    Set up as follows:
    Rega P7, RB700 and Exact Cart
    LP12, Valhalla, pre Cirkus, Basic Plus Arm, Ortofon 2M Blue

    What did impress me, with the P7 is great sense of timing, clarity, detail etc. I was expecting it to outperform my LP12 which is a modest set up but I couldn't say that one was overall better than the other, they just scored points off one another in different areas.

    I still prefered the sound of piano and drums on the LP12 but the P7 was a little more detailed i.e. following bass lines a little better on the P7.

    The P7 is a different presentation to my LP12 and where the P7 really excelled was it produced much less surface noise.

    My questions is as follows:-

    With regards surface noise what could be causing my LP12 to loose points in this area, would it be the arm and cartridge ? Is the RB700 and Exact that much better than my Basic Plus and Ortofon 2M Blue ?

    Rest of the kit used:-
    Project PhonoBox SE
    Naim 122X Naim Nap 150X - Naim Flatcap 2X - Naim CD5X -
    ProAc Tablette 2000 Speakers
  2. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    What you need is a Ittok/troika

    I have a similar spec Sondek, it used to have a fancy RB300/Dennon 110, when I moved it to the above....WOW
  3. muzzer

    muzzer Numb Nut

    Esco Troika arriving in two weeks.:D
  4. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Rega and Ortofon MM cartridges sound very different - I mean not subtly different.
    If you wan't to properly assess the TTs they need to have the same cartridge fitted, and preferably with the stylus swapped between them.
    You can argue that the arms should be the same but the Rega is effectively an integrated deck and the Linn has one of its own arms.

    On the surface noise, the Rega MM has a big suckout in the upper response and the Ortofon is pretty much flat. One will push HF surface noise including ticks further back (Rega) while the other (Ort) will not. Lots of other factors such as what the tips are doing.
  5. Errol

    Errol pfm Member

    Is the LP12 in a good state of tune? in particular the arm lead must be dressed properly and the P clip very tight. A loose P clip can affect surface noise.
    As an aside, have you tried the 2M blue with the Rega arm? I am thinking of fitting a bronze to my RB600, 401.
  6. avole

    avole The wise never post on Internet forums

    I'm inclined to agree that it's the cartridge that's making the difference. I don't know the Rega but my experience of Ortofon is that they tend towards the analytical/clinical side (neutral, really) and surface noise is a touch higher than with other cartridges.
  7. andyr

    andyr Registered User

    It's spurious to try and compare decks when you have different arms & carts on them. ;)

    I presume you played the same LP on each? Given the 2 arms were plugged into the same phono stage, I would suggest it must be the cartridge that is making the difference in surface noise.

    Then again ... was the VTA on each arm set up correctly? A too-high VTA will exacerbate HF - ie. surface noise. :)


  8. andyr

    andyr Registered User

    Can you elucidate, Errol, how the tightness of a P-clip can affect surface noise?


  9. misterc6

    misterc6 Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did

    Assuming that your LP12 is 'on song' its weak point is the arm. Have a look for a good second hand Ittok as your first move. Budget around £300 and get some of that back by selling the Basik+.
  10. andyr

    andyr Registered User

    The arm may well be the weak point in the OP's TT setup but how does an arm contribute to surface noise? :confused:


  11. samz

    samz pfm Member

    I intend getting the LP12 set up and serviced etc. Given my concerns regarding surface noise what cartridges in your experience are good at eliminating surface noise.
  12. sonddek

    sonddek pfm Member

    There are many ways in which an arm allows reactive movement of a cartridge in the time axis of the groove (a bad thing). Grit attached to the record surface can cause extremely high amplitude and extremely rapid stylus displacement. Such a high energy impulse is likely to excite several of the arm's resonances and undesired mechanical movements, viz.

    - bearings are never perfect and introduce distortion due to play and resonances of their moving parts
    - arm tubes flex when under strain, and resonate
    - headshells flex when under strain
    - arm mounts flex and resonate when under strain

    All of these unwanted reactions allow sudden high amplitude oscillations on the disc to move the cartridge rather than only moving the stylus. The effect is to time smear the sound of the grit, by prolonging both the attack and the decay of the sound it produces. Often, what bothers us most about the clicks and pops in surface noise is not how loud they are, but how quickly they start and cease. As a consequence of this, arms with much better bearings, and which resonate less after high frequency impulses, often seem to lessen surface noise by resolving it more accurately, and ending its cadence very quickly. They also have the benefit of resolving musical information with better timing too, so that high frequency details are reproduced accurately. This can have a dramatic effect on timbre, for example, the texture of a note on a violin.
  13. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    If you see any at that price, will you let me know please? I'll have them on here in the Classifieds for £400 as quick as you like. Most traders are pushing them out at about £450. The last LP12 I sold had an Ittok, I couldn't move for people wanting me to split off the arm.

    I think there are better options for £400 on an LP12, FWIW.
  14. samz

    samz pfm Member

    Would a Nima be a better option ?
  15. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Imagineer

  16. samz

    samz pfm Member

    I am now considering Nima tonearm as an option, would my 2M Blue cartridge be suitable and would the overall combination help minimise the surface noise in the same way that the RB700 and Exact cartridge did on the P7?
  17. Have Fun

    Have Fun pfm Member

    it may prove useful if you put up a needledrop of your surface noise so we can determine how bad it is - acceptance levels are different to each of us
  18. Jack Barriere

    Jack Barriere Me, you and them

    The Rega Exact on a Rega arm on a Rega table.MMMMMMM P-7/Exact on the Rega wall shelf perfectly level. Plays LPs with zero sondeking around.
  19. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I think this is a good choice, and it's compatible. For surface noise, I dunno. Some are better than others but I haven't done enough testing to know which or why.
  20. __mark__

    __mark__ Is SET

    RB700's a good arm!

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