December 23, 2009

Rega Turn Table Upgrade Kit, By Asia Sound Equipment.

Here are two affordable upgrades for all those Rega turn tables out there. These items are in house engineered and precision made locally by Asia Sound Equipment. Since I am a Rega turn table user, Eddie Tan thought I should try them out on my P25, of which only 2,500 units were made to celebrate Rega's 25th Anniversary in year 1999. I some how seem to be an easy sucker for Anniversary audio products. Hmm.........

The acrylic platter up grade option by Asia Sound Equipment.

First up is an acrylic platter, designed as a drop in replacement for any of the standard issue Rega glass platter, for the P1, P5 and the various versions of P2 and P3 turn table. In comparison, the acrylic platter is slightly thicker and feels heavier than the original supplied glass version. It seems to be designed as a perfect fit for the current versions of the Rega turn tables. The various earlier versions of Rega turn tables, like my P25, will require a slight height adjustment to the inner plastic sub platter to fit the acrylic platter. This is easily done by fitting some light plastic extensions on to the sub platter, to extend the height a little so that the new acrylic platter will lift off the plinth, instead of resting on it.

The Rega standard supplied glass platter on the resting plastic inner plastic sub platter.

The acrylic platter for comparison.

I must also caution that doing so changes the VTA(Vertical Tracking Angle) of the cartridge, which is non adjustable on a standard Rega turn table and tone arm package, though there are plenty of after market VTA adjustments kits on offer else where. In the philosophy of Roy Gandy(Rega's founder and boss), I chose to ignore the importance of the VTA adjust ability aspect, but the actual sound result may be attributed to the influence of the changes of VTA too. You may choose to either use the standard Rega supplied felt mat or not, a matter of preference, I think. I much prefer the resulting sound with the felt mat in use, so do note this when reading the review further down. With that taken care of, let's start listening.

Immediately, upon the drop of stylus on to the LP groove, I noticed lower LP surface noise. LP hiss is almost eliminated too. But best of all, I heard less high mid sibilance so prominent on glass platter ed Regas. The acrylic platter also tidied up what ever so slightly splashy high hats and cymbals on drum tracks. The mids are now more solid with good body density, great focus and definition, solidly anchoring the singer(vocal) to the ground. Bass is more articulate and tightened.

Acrylic platter in used with the Rega supplied standard felt mat.

The acrylic platter up grade lifts the hifi performance perimeters of my Rega P25, while manages to keep it's best virtues of the signature musical flow and tempo. In short, there's practically no down side to spending the extra RM$400.00 on the acrylic platter up grade, irregardless, which ever various versions of the glass platter ed Rega turn tables you have or planning to buy new. I would have bought this acrylic platter up grade my self, if not for a pending turntable up grade on the horizon!

The high quality brass LP clamp, with bubble level built in on the top surface.

Next up is a brass LP clamp, with a bubble level inserted in to the top face of the clamp, for easy indication of your Rega turn table's level setting. The clamp is quite weighty and looks very well made. Like all record clamps, all you need to do is place it on the center spindle of the platter whilst playing an LP, and any changes in sound will be heard.

Sitting on the LP, thru the centering spindle.

In use, I thought the level of performance improved is very, very subtle, compared to the acrylic platter up grade. When used together with the acrylic platter up grade, I found that the LP clamp made little differences, if at all to the sound of the Rega turn table. It is only when I reverted to the original Rega supplied glass platter, I taught the subtle sonic changes more worth while. I found that the high mid sibilance that came with the glass platter to be more subdued with the LP clamp in used. Other wise, all other musical and hifi performance perimeter of the Rega turn table remained unchanged. In fact, come to think of it, the LP clamp can be used for any other turn tables, as all the center spindle is of the same size. Not bad for a well made product costing RM$55.00/pc!

The acrylic and LP clamp in use as a package.

In summary, one may choose to get both items as an up grade kit for their Rega. I personally feel the acrylic platter up grade brought along more meaningful sonic results, with or without the brass LP clamp in use. If you choose to continue using the Rega supplied glass platter, then adding the brass LP clamp is a less aggressive option, only if less rewarding, sonically speaking. No pain, no gain! As with all things turntable, set up and cartridge to phono stage compatibility will invariably influence the sonic out come and as I will put in caution my usual caveat, your mileage may vary.

Rega is sold by Asia Sound Equipment, contact Eddie Tan, tel: 03-79552091


Y.C. said...

Big E,

Nice writeup on the local acrylic platter and brass LP clamp!

Having owned and used items similar to these on my P5, I'd say the acrylic platter brings about 'refinement' to overall sound but its downside is it reveals the shortcomings of all Rega tables which run faster than speed required and its result, the lack of and/or details-smearing. A precision machined subplatter would be answer to such woes. I'd say the locally-made acrylic platter is in fact lighter than the stock glass platter, not heavier as reported. There is no way a 24mm thick acrylic platter could ever match the mass of Rega's 12mm glass platter. A bigger mass would be much preferred.

IMO, the LP clamp should be of certain mass but not too heavy to wear off the main bearing of Rega tables. It basically damps and improves upon the sound but again, a sight loss of PRaT again is audible. Your choice!

Merry X’mas & Happy New Year.


Big E said...


I kinda knew this would bring a response from you.

I like the acrylic platter a lot, and like you said, I think it's best to upgrade the sub platter too if one is travelling down this path.

As for the record clamp, like all things, some like it and some don't.

Season's Greetings to you too!