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Cable Monkey

Rega Planar 2

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I have long harboured a liking of Rega's budgetturntables. For a born tweaker like me their simplicity and the ability to pull them apart and put them back together in moments is a great draw. Last year I picked up an immaculate example at well under market value on eBay and it remained in its box while I hatched my plans. 11 months later the resulting Planar 2 on steroids has been spinning discs for over a week and I have to say I am quite taken with its charms.

P2021.jpg

The full list of upgrades is as follows:

Audio Origami rewire of RB250with RB300structural upgrade.

Rega P5 motor, Rega PSU.

ISOKinetic ISOsub subplatter with ruby bearing.

ISOKinetic ISOplatter 25mm platter.

Damped plinth.

280mm record weight.

Denon DL110.

Iwent with the above because the bits were easily available. The motor and PSU from these forums,a second RB250came from here too. ISOKinetic items came from the webpage or eBay. The record weight and Denon were already in my box of bits, as was the damping material. J7 obliged with a rapid turnaround of theWam sourced RB250 after a quick visual inspection revealed it was the better suited of the 2 for his TLC.My remit was to produce a table of significant ability for that oft quoted figure of £500. So many people have Planar 2 or 3's in the loft, it would be nice to produce an example of what might be possible on their returnto vinyl without going throughthe pain of researching and obtaining a worthy replacement. The only thing I might have done differentlywas go for the Rega upgrade motor but the P5motor and PSU was too good to pass up. It did howevermake a mess of my budget!

Eachmod adresses the perceived issues that limit the Planar 2's performance. Motor and subplatter address its obvious speed issues, Audio Origami mods release the potential of the RB250,the platterreplaces the glass original and thelaminated particle board plinth istreated with bitumen damping panels. The acrylic platter is a strange one because I am not that convinced that its inclusion is an improvement. It certainly changes the overall presentation. Anyway I shall return later to give my opinion on performance.

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Well if you remove all of the old Planar 3 foibles regarding speed and pitch stability, that pretty much sums it up. The acid test for pitch stability, good old piano music now sounds believable.

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sir, could you post pics of the bitumen damping?? i dont know how to do it, really..or where to get that stuff.

also..the clamp and that bubble level looking thing on top of it..where did you get that?

I want one!

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Hi Ted,

this is the sort of thing from a UK site:

http://www.impactaudio.co.uk/product.asp?ref=774

Mine came from a source used to make computers quieter and worked out a fair bit cheaper:

Maplin.co.uk item no. A48AK

Also Dynamat is a popular product which I think is readily available in the US, that should be available from car parts outlets. It should be a stiff bitumen type substance, quite heavy that you cut to shape, unpeel the back and simply stick on. If it is not right, it can be removed before it sets too firmly, and even after it has set it can be scraped or peeled off then cleaned up with white spirit.

The record weight is one of the unsung bargains on ebay, however I don't know if they come with markings for 60hz working. I use mine with a hand held strobe so it does not need to be the same as mains frequency. I have 2, silver and black. You have to order from China but they are cheap and both arrived within a week of me hitting the buy button.

NDD01 is the black one, NDD02 the silver. Item 350275170399 is an example listed in dollars.

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I needed 3 sheets of 330 x 160mm from the Maplin pack. Obviously cut outs of arm, bearing and motor/pcb mounts are needed, as are holes for the various things screwed to the bottom (feet, p clip etc.) I also salvaged the label with serial number before applying the damping.

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Cable Monkey wrote:

I needed 3 sheets of 330 x 160mm from the Maplin pack. Obviously cut outs of arm, bearing and motor/pcb mounts are needed, as are holes for the various things screwed to the bottom (feet, p clip etc.) I also salvaged the label with serial number before applying the damping.

thanks so much CM.

going to tweak the piss out of it(even more) and compare to my new sota comet.

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Guest Umberto

johnnyesox wrote:

How many sheets of that damping material did you need Henry?

You gonna tweak yer Planar 3 even more Johnnie?

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Right,

I have avoided coming back to comment before I had given the deck a thorough assessment. I have been trying to fix bass issues for a week. Then I had a brainwave and gave the VTF a couple of 10ths extra. Fixed!:oops:

The sound is relaxed and full of character. I have not yet determined if the presentation is due to colouration introduced by the acryllic platter but I have come to the conclusion they are like Marmite. However, I like what they do. Timing is now spot on and I understand PRaT better now. Bass is special, deep and with real impact. The Audio Origami arm is a real star. It is beautifully balanced and does not have the fiery character of my old TecnoArm which could occasionally over illuminate treble. I put that down to the fact my RB250 has retained its thick coating which has some dampening qualities on top of which we have foam damping added.

Overall I am very impressed with the package. The combination has been able to allow a 2M Black to show itself in the very best light and I have been quite easily able to resist going back to my main table.

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