Where to go next with the turntable

I've been a long time owner of a Rega P7, and I feel like investigating an upgrade, I'm ot sure if I want to stick with Rega (P8 or P10) or try something else? Currently using a Soundsmith Zephyr MK III cart and Hegel V10 phono stage,

What I have now sounds good, but some more bass/warmth would be welcome. 


I have owned a Rega P9 RB1000 turntable since 2012. Started with an AT OC9 MK2 then upgraded to a Goldring Legacy while keeping my Allnic H 1200 phono preamp. Have also upgraded the standard feet to a set of Spiral Groove footers and have added a Herbie’s Audio record mat/HRS record weight. These upgrades have softened the slight aggressiveness and added a level clarity and cohesiveness. My advise would be consider the P10 or even the Naia, upgrade the Hegel then add a Koetsu Rosewood or Hana Umami Red to add warmth and full bass.

Get thee a tonearm with removable headshell! 

You can get the few inexpensive tools and gather the skills to align a cartridge.

Then, Stereo MM; Stereo MC; Mono; other alternates, hear friend's cartridges on your system, ....

dayglow, thanks.

Actually I just upgraded to the Hegel from a Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ which is quite a bit better. 😀
I may look at a Herbies mat again, but the last time I tried a record weight on the Rega, it was not an improvement (on this particular table). 
FYI I do have the table sitting on a IsoAcoustics ZaZen platform which got rid of the groove noise. 

There is a whole world of exceptional turntables out there. Particularly if you can push to around $5K or higher. Performance takes a big jump. I would look at a VPI Prime for instance. Linn has the advantage of allowing you to start at nearly any level and slowly upgrade on subcomponents at a time to the very top level audiophile. There are many high end choices offering exceptional performance.

’My advise would be consider the P10 or even the Naia,"

If the OP likes the Rega philosophy of "just play records", P10 is reasonable. New Naia at double the cost, relative to the rest of the system-not so much.

Naia does look interesting, is it now available? MSRP for what you’re getting seems high? Probably will sell though.

"I may look at a Herbies mat again, but the last time I tried a record weight on the Rega, it was not an improvement (on this particular table.)"

Any additional aftermarket doo dads defeats Rega design. Spend that dough on good records. Isolation base good move.


Rega philosophy also rejects cleaning records. Any aftermarket tweak can improve the SQ of any turntable which also includes Rega.

Don't clean records? Madness. Presumably Ivor never witnessed what a good RCM could do and was worried about kitchen sink damage.

My Linn dealer in the 80s said to only let the needle do the cleaning. I did that for years until I eventually started cleaning and, obviously, have not looked back.

I’m pretty sure that was Linn that said not to clean records

Not clean records?


Removable head shell, adjustable tracking force and anti- skate arm. 

' O' ring drive, external speed adjustable motor. Oil lubricated bushing for platter. Not ball bearing.  Choose your own manufacture. 

You will be shocked at how much better your records sound!

I like my Rega P8 and recommend listening to it and other tables.  I like the simplicity and set it and forget it aspects.  

Certainly the LP 12 is an option and I was impressed with the Luxman turntable as well.

Enjoy the music!

Rega are great turntables for what they offer.  However, having moved on from Rega after having both a Rega P3 and P8, I would suggest trying a turntable with more leeway, namely one that allows installation of different tonearms, and one that subscribes to one of the two main categories of turntables: mass or suspension.  However, keep in mind that the deficiencies that you are hearing may not necessarily be from your turntable, but could be a defect of another component, such as speakers, amplifier, or pre amplifier…

I think going from the low-mass Rega design to a high mass VPI would likely do two things: 1) Give you the warmth and solidity you're looking for and 2) Put you in the unique - and enviable - position of being able to speak authoritatively on the differences between the two very different design philosophies. 

@traudio I feel a good place to start is not to steer you away from your current set up in a direction that comes with considerable cost.

Firstly your V10 has a range of Capacitance Settings to be used with the Mk III Cart', 47-367pf to be reasonably accurate.

Making adjustments across this range of settings will have an effect on the Mid's to High Frequencies.

If the V10 is with default setting the Mid and High frequencies are most likely most prominent, as soft furnishings will absorb these, so avoiding the any concerns voiced about sounding 'rolled off' are calculated for using the default. 

The coherence across the frequencies can be attempted to be addressed by using the Cap' Adjustment, there is a possibility the Bass may come forward as having a little more prominence.

The area I am unfamiliar with is that in general as a description the V10 is suggested as being revealing and insightful, such traits would suggest a very honest bass note with a well defined decay (transparency). Such traits will be difficult to describe as having a tone that leans toward being warm.

So far no costs are to be incurred. 

If Cap' Adjustment does give the Bass a increment of being present in a more perceivable way, there are methods to add a little Richness in Tone.

One method experienced across a variety of systems in the homes of other audio systems is the use of a Cable that has D.U.C.C wire as the signal path. This wire has been proven in use to remove nothing that is recognised and valued in a recording, it delivers with a slightest of underpinning to the Vocal and Notes, which can be referred to as a Hint of Richness. This might be the level of transition from transparent to rich that is to your satisfaction.

I would suggest these in use, at the shortest length usable, as TA >Phonostage and then swap as Phono'> Pre-Amp'. If something is found to be if an attraction in both placements, I suggest buying in a second pair and Cart' Tag Wire using the same wire. 

A careful hunt could get all cables, 'if wanted', acquired for approx' £200 

Additionally, another method used, but from my experiences had, not proven to be ubiquitous, is the use of Platter Mats. 

I have many in a variety of materials, to date I have found Ceramic and Forex Foam to be very noticeable for adding a perception of a Rich Tone, with 5mm Thick Forex Foam being the most noticeable, it has real attraction, as it does not remove any valuable info being extracted from the recording. It has proven in use to be more attractive than the same material in a 3mm thickness.

Forex is very cheap, I acquired mine for approx' £5 per mat, I have gifted this material to other BD TT users who have been thoroughly impressed during their demo's received. 

I feel confident based on previous experiences that the use of a Forex Foam in conjunction with the option to Cap' Adjust will bring a eyebrow raise, even a big smile.

Cables can remain as a curiosity and intended luxurious purchase, leaving the investigation being suggested a very inexpensive pursuit.        

A long time Rega user, my thoughts always stray toward Linn when considering future options.

Removeable headshells add resonance and are a weak link in a tonearm. Convenient but lower performance. 

"Not clean records". A legitimate audio manufacturer said that???


I've had a couple Linn LP12 tables prior to this and they sounded good, but I really got tired of the fiddly nature, and paying the guy at the Linn dealer that was 2 hrs away to do an occasional tune up. 

I also owned VPI Scout and Scoutmaster. Absolutely HATED that arm! Hard to set up & adjust. Unipivot always seemed to always be wiggling along with the grooves. Never settled after dropping the needle on the record. It looks like they are better now, but I don't know if I'm willing to give them another shot. 

pindac I checked with Soundsmith about capacitance setting since the web page merely says N/A, They told me it does not matter where the phono pre-amp is set as capacitance does not affect the cartridge. 

"Removeable headshells add resonance and are a weak link in a tonearm. Convenient but lower performance."

It's a weak theory that limits optional use of cartridges for so many. Limitations of features of tonearms on sooo many TTs today is one of my pet peeves. 

Why then did the SME 3009 and 3012 reach such prominent success and they continue to maintain desirability?

All the Technics highly regarded 1200's have removable headshells.

Ease of precise height adjustment ought to be a main concern when choosing a tonearm. Rotation of arm/headshell is another consideration regarding ease of azimuth adjustment.

Micro-Seiki 505s were/are wonderful arms. The fitting on the end of the arm that fastens the cartridge can be adjusted for azimuth, a terrific feature.

Or a headshell with built in azimuth adjustment feature:





Pre-mounting a cartridge on a loose headshell is far easier than mounting to a fixed arm.

Continue to play MONO lps with stereo cartridges due to limitation of fixed arm? Avoid terrific MONO LP's from the era when so many greats made their reputations? 

Stick with a single cartridge choice, that's a damn shame.

I could go on, I've used fixed or removable on and off since 1966, removable/arm features is the way to go!

Other than that, I have no opinion on the matter.



"More bass warmth" is a speaker/room/amplitude issue. All the best cartridges are very close in amplitude response striving for a flat curve from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. They are all within a dB of each other. 

As far as turntables go the real issues are less noise, both internal and environmental, better interface with the record and accurate speed control. The Thorens 1600 is the next step up from Rega. It is a fabulous turntable for the money adding a good suspension for environmental isolation. Form there you are getting into the Sota Sapphire with a Schroder CB or Kuzma 4 point 9. This adds a magnetic thrust bearing for less rumble and much longer bearing life. Adding Vacuum clamping and Sota's excellent mat gives you the best record interface. Moving up to the Sota line to the Cosmos gives you incredible speed accuracy, a 1" thick aluminum chassis, a constrained layer tonearm board, and vacuum clamping. Then you are off to megabuck tables like the Dohmann Helix, Basis Inspiration, Avid Acutus and SME 30/2 and 12.   

I don’t know turntables at all anymore, but it’s true that adding mid-hi frequency absorption and diffusion will help the bass emerge.

Also, a highly resonant room can benefit from bass traps, further improving the bass so that unnatural accents are gone.

You might want to listen to some digital and see if you feel you have the same bass / balance issues.

Thought I would throw in the Dr Feickert Volare as an upgrade.  I love mine!!!

I bought the P3 and added an RB300 to it and it’s still a cheap particle wood/pressboard plinth with Formica-like skin and a non adjustable VTA -(unless you buy some third party shims). Depending on what non-Rega cartridge you want to pair with it you will possibly have to add the shims to it. I don’t like Regas proprietary approach to their turntables but I’m sure there are many out there who are very satisfied with them. I don’t mean to disparage anybody’s fondness for those products but I regret taking that path and now overlook anything Rega. There are better choices out there for sure.

The room is custom built to be a listening room and there are room treatments. Digital sounds just fine, so no adjustments to the room will be needed. 

Don't get me wrong, the sound is great and the Hegel is a big improvement from what I had, We're talking just a bit of warmth along the level of a cable change (which is also something to consider). 

There are corner traps behind the speakers as well as treatments at the first reflection points as well as diffusers on the wall behind me. Guess I could stand to update my profile :-)

you might want to try changing the cartridge 1st, then later the TT, use the new cartridge on the new TT's tonearm.

The best bass I ever had was a combo of the Thorens TD124’s 9lb platter, SME 3009 tonearm (with removable headshell) with Shure’s last V15vxmr cartridge with beryllium cantilever. Wonderful in all respects, until I broke the brittle cantilever. I now have a new stylus: Jico SAS on boron, in that Shure body. Jico has a brush, but it is not damped like Shure's were.

I have found, the stiffer the cantilever, the better for bass. New, I buy boron cantilevers (not the stiffest, but darn good!). Occasionally I buy low-use used, like a Sumiko Talisman S with a sapphire cantilever that sounds terrific.

I also have VAS re-fit a broken cartridge, the latest is simply un-available without re-building: AT33ptg/II MC MONO Body, new boron cantilever, new advanced tip.

And Shure's 97xe with factory damped brush with new boron/ML stylus for the occasional warped LP.

And, of course I could not do any of this with ease if using a fixed arm.


In my experience with Linn, it was very sensitive to the shelf it was placed on. In fact, my dealer who installed it was shocked at the difference in sound between the standard wood shelf on my wall shelf and the Neuance platform, which unfortunately are no longer made. I don’t know about Rega, but you might try some different platform options before changing. Even a simple wood shelf with Vibrapods could bring it closer to what you’re looking for. Or not. 

I have wood headshells, magnesium ones...aluminum ones. Each specifically linked to a cartridge type. You can open up access to many more cartridges with a removable headshell.

The turntable has survived all these years because of constant and relentless improvements. The formidable connection integrity of my 1200G (Technics) headshell to tonearm inspires a lot of confidence.

Give it a try.


@traudio The Link will show a Sound Smith explanation of their High Output Moving Coils and how pf loading can effect them. 

The D.U.C.C Tag wires are unfortunately restricted to Luxman Headshells only. This is unfortunate as this would have been the mist cost effective method to experience the Wire in the signal path.

Learning where to source Forex Foam or the equivalent material in the US, is more than worthwhile an an endeavour, as the cost incurred to experience it and the potential end result is real bang for buck. 

As I have seen you are long term associated with Linn TT's, the Forex Foam improved a Heavily Upgraded Linn in one system, to the point the Mat exchange was seemingly like a new TT was in use.  



There always better table out there just come with the price, try mass loaded table will give more bass tighter like VPI classic with their gimbal arm. or try something else with suspension. I have both kind, at the end just the cartridge will get me the sound I like for different music taste .

TT have so many variables that need to work together for optimal...personally listening taste = chassis, feet, platter, motor, tonearm shape/design/material, unpivot/gimbal, too many to name for cartridges. A slight change in any part of the chain can make a difference to synergy of the system. Are you going to pick each part of the chain yourself or want a one-and-done set up? First - I would offer to go with a TT manufacture that has great support...can not emphasize this enough. Myself - I started as a "pick each part of chain type system. It resulted in a constant need to change this or change that; I was always tinkering. Over the yrs...ended up with a VPI...they have treated me very well; they stand behind their products. This time...my last & final TT purchase is a complete system deigned to work together from the get go. One of the biggest changes I noted was moving from a unpivot to gimbal design...wish I had done this first...so much simpler. The second was moving to an upgraded tonearm  = their "fatboy" tone arm which came with their own branded cartridge ( a rebranded Audio-Technica with some upgrades). The synergy of the tonearm and cartridge will likely have the most bang for the buck if you are only wanting to upgrade components and not an entire new TT.  The final thing I added was a ring clamp...mostly chosen to save on cartridge wear...but it too made a subtle difference. The system just works...works every time without having to tinker...built like a tank...simple & easy to use. I wish a could find the same setup for my digital side...always tinkering with that still. 

@OP, the Linn LP12 epitomises bass warmth - but you've had a couple of those. Given that and the fact that you've had VPIs, take a listen to a Technics SL1200G and the latest Regas to see if either floats your boat. The Technics has really excellent bass. It its a little grainy in the upper midrange but only in comparison to more expensive turntables.

if you want new TT, try technics SL1200G (GAE). DD system there pretty much the best you can get! Belt driven systems have significant speed fluctuations. Older restored Technics SL1000MK2/3 also are very good, EPA100 (MK2) arm can be dialed for specific cart. New SL1000R is nice, but pricey! 

The new MoFi MasterDeck turntable here seems to be a sonic bargain, the optional cartridge upgrade seems like a bargain as well.  


I've seen the MoFi tables and love the way some of them look. Haven't seen many reviews of them

Is the bass adequate when using a digital source?

The reason I ask is that I had the opportunity to audition a couple of power amps in my main system. One was an older  Lexicon, another was a fairly expensive Chord, and I threw in an older Jeff Rowland I use for video.

Result?  None had the bass richness of my usual power amp, a Conrad Johnson Premier 11a from the 1990s.

Phono cartridges will also offer a range of bass reproduction but I'd suggest that before looking there, you first confirm whether any bass shortcomings might not be due to the amplification train.



The bass is fine with digital. Hegel H390, 250wpc, Magnepan 3.7i and a pair of SVS SB-3000 subs. 

I'm pretty sure that was Linn that said not to clean records

@traudio It was Roy Gandy of Rega who said that. It was even printed in the Rega TT manual (don't know if it still is).

During a period of time where the idea of cleaning Vinyl was quite new, but the use of Cartridges was very popular, as well as being a potential product, that was as result of high volume sales creating the life blood of many Companies. It make total sense that a entity with a real interest in sales of a product that would have an extended life through the usage of cleaned Vinyl would be inclined to make the remark about not to clean Vinyl. 

Putting the period into a more focused context, well established Audio Companies were now sharing space at Commercial Exhibitions alongside the New Upstart Record Cleaning Device Companies.

Companies advising on Record Care could hardly use preserving the LP as a reason to spend on their products, as the Vinyl in nearly all cases was very cheap and very easily replaced. There are exceptions to this, as some Radio Stations may have had out of pressing Archive medium needed to be kept in Top Quality Condition.

New Incorporated Companies advising on Record Care were very direct in their descriptions to the general enquirers about getting the benefits of additional hours of usage from a Cartridge. Using the additional hours of usage from the expensive Cart's as the beneficial offset cost savings, which were able to be homed in on, to justify buying into record care devices.

Additionally, Record Care Companies new very very little about the importance of a Cleaning Solution being totally removable form the LP.

Where some solutions being promoted were very capable of leaving the Groove embedded with a new crud, that would have never been present unless deliberately contaminated through the new adopted cleaning methods.

Distilled Water and IPA were not only the bases of solutions, other additives have been encouraged as a 'word of mouth' reveal, or the under the counter (join out secret club) through this secretive products. 

For myself, I am certain, the PAVCR Guidance for a Cleaning Solution and the Manual Method has surpassed any previous used method and removed all old cleaning method solution residual substances from the LP's Groove.    


You are entirely correct about the LP 12 being a PITA. The suspension is a terrible design. Please do not let that sour you on suspended turntables. They will have superior bass due to the absence of environmental rumble. Your subs will like it also. A system Like yours deserves at least a Sota Sapphire. You can set a bomb off in front of a Sapphire and nothing will happen, even if it is sitting on a folding table! David Fletcher pioneered the design now used by Basis, SME and Avid. The chassis is hanging from the springs instead of sitting on them, a much more stable approach. I am extremely familiar with 3.7s. I have set up a bunch of them. Good for you using subwoofers. If you are looking for more punch and more forward bass. The Clearaudio Charisma will do it. You can also work with your subwoofers. Chances are you are using the low pass filters in the subs?? If so that is an AWFUL thing to do, much worse than not cleaning your records. The 3.7s benefit from removing at least 80 Hz and under from them. The problem of matching subwoofer is impossible to do well by analog means. It is impossible to get the timing and phase perfect by ear. I should know. I tried doing that for 15 years starting in 1979. You need digital bass management. With it you can make your bass sound however YOU want. The best way to do it is with a digital preamp like the MiniDSP SHD or Studio with outboard DACs (Benchmark uses that approach), The Anthem STR, the Trinnov Amethyst and my favorite the DEQX Pre 4. The Pre 4 will not be available for about 6 months. It's big brother the Pre 8 is being released just now. The only difference is the Pre 8 has a full 4 way crossover in it. You could tri amp the 3.7s and run your subs. It is about 3 K more dear. You subs you would cross at 80 hz 8th order (48dB/oct). You could actually push it to 100 Hz without getting the subs into the midrange. You will get another 6 dB of headroom, a cleaner midrange and the improvement in bass WILL blow your mind.

Having said all this, you will still benefit from an improved record playing device. If it were me with your system I would get a Sota Sapphire and put a Kuzma 4 Point 9 on it. I would use the Clearaudio Charisma or if you should go the route of the digital preamp the Soundsmith Voice. 

The SME looks interesting. Honestly that is a brand I'd forgotten about. 

As for the speaker set up: I'm sticking with my integrated Hegel H390 so doing all this crossovers, digital preamp and tri-amping is not going to happen. It's too much gear, and I'm retired now with a limited budget. 

I have the MiniDSP UMIK-1 and a couple different apps on my iPad to assist me on the sub set up. The maggies are running full range and start to drop off at 35hz in my room and the subs are crossed over around there (I don't remember the number without looking at the app) with a 24db slope. I used the measurement tools to get the sub phase to blend with the speakers so I have a nice flat response.

The subs are doing very little apart from picking up where the Maggies leave off. 

I’ve seen the MoFi tables and love the way some of them look. Haven’t seen many reviews of them

Both the MoFi Studiodeck and Ultradeck were designed by Allen Perkins of Spiral Groove turntables fame. Reviews for the Ultradeck here, here , and here. The MoFi Masterdeck is new so reviews are scarce, but building upon the success of the Ultradeck I’d expect quality performance.

VPI - I too am not a fan of unipivots. I purchased a used VPI Avenger rim drive that came with 2 VPI unipivots arms (which I’ll get around selling), then subsequently purchased a 4point, s Schroeder CB-L, and a Schick tonearm.

The Ultradeck is ~3k, the Masterdeck is 6k. SME starts at 10k. What’s your budget?

As a general rule, high mass platters are known for having good bass. 


Unfortunately I read some owner's reviews also and there seems to be some QC problems with these tables. Most common complaint I saw was with the queuing lever, not letting the arm come down.  

@traudio ,

Which is not a whole lot. The lowest note on a 4 string bass guitar is 40 Hz. 

Play a 20 or 30 Hz test tone, turn the volume up and put your hand on the panel. You will feel it vibrating. That vibrating distorts everything else. If you only listen to string quartets at low volumes it does not matter. If you use a turntable even just the records themselves generate rumble exacerbating the problem. A flat response does not necessarily mean a detailed performance. A system can do a short sine sweep beautifully and sound terrible. You are familiar with MiniDSP. The SHD is $1500 with the UMIK 2 and it will do everything you need including a digital two way subwoofer crossover which will allow you to take the crossover point up, cleaning up the Maggies. MiniDSP also makes a stand along crossover.

If the Sota Sapphire is too big a bite I encourage you to look at the Thorens TD 1600.   


I use an Hegel H390 integrated amp. No way to use this DSP thing without changing my gear, or using my integrated as an amp only.
Sticking a $1300 digital pre-amp in front of my system, I'm afraid would degrade the sound in spite of improving the bass. 

Might look at the Thorens

This is tough.  I have owned Rega, Thorens, Linn, ProJect, AVM, VPI, Gold Note and SME tables.  My experience is that low mass tables like Rega are always going to leave a smidge to be desired in terms of bass.  Moving up may not give your more of what you are looking for.  

Linn certainly requires maintenance.  Thorens requires less tweaking but is not immune.  I feel the same way about VPI arms as you.  The least amount of maintenance I have seen on a table is SME.  They are very much set it and forget it.  You might find a Model 6 or 12 will be low maintenance and deliver what you want in terms of bottom end.  Big issue is the price as they are not inexpensive.  Depending on the arm these are $8k to $13.9K options.  

Gold Note and AVM are less expensive and higher mass alternatives.  They could be interesting choices.  

Full disclosure, I am a Thorens, Gold Note, AVM and SME dealer.  

Turntables are a very personal thing. Again like everything in Audio you can listen to opinions, and at the end of the day, it is what the equipment sounds like in your listening space. My main table is a Marantz TT-15S1 Which is a clear audio table to be honest. I spent some money on a Jeff Spall Series six tonearm from England, With good quality toner cable. I then bought a Goldring Ethos MC cart. At present I am looking to upgrade to a new Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua MC Cartridge. After speaking to the tone are maker, he assures me that his tone arm and the new Dynavector cart are a great match. At current, my TT and phono stage combo are killer. Incredible detail and full range of frequency.