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jcasady1
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Rega P1 pitch stability

I've noticed a certain amount of pitch instability on my
Rega P1 which I've also read about in some reviews. Just wondering if anyone knows of any way to help with this. Maybe a different cartridge? Any input or thoughts on the matter would be appreciated. Thanks.

Buddha
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Hi, and welcome!

If it is "pitch stability" you are concerned by, the cartridge is not the problem; it's speed variation.

After 35 years in vinyl, I just this past year learned a cool trick from my buddy who helped when I had a similar problem.

Try a mild "talc-ing" of your drive belt and see if this helps with speed stability.

Also, I have always found putting a half twist in the belt can be a big help. Be sure the "twist" is in the downward direction on your platter motor relationship.

Don't change anything else and let us know what you find!

Post again in case I was, as usual, too obtuse.

jcasady1
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Hi, thanks for the reply. What do you mean by the twist being in the "downward" direction? Thanks again.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

It's been awhile since I've even seen a Rega table but I remember them having a round belt rather than a flat belt like a Linn or Thorens. So, there's likely no twist you can put on the Rega belt.

By speed instability are you referring to the speed accuracy? All Regas tend to run slightly fast. Most price conscious tables run either slightly fast or slightly slow. Some are closer to correct than others. The 0.5-1.0% extra bit of speed tends to give music a touch of excitement that might otherwise be lacking in lower priced electronics and speakers which will be the most common pairings with the P1. A friend bothered by perfect pitch wrapped tape around the subplatter of his Rega to alter the speed until it satisfied him. I can't recommend this technique but it worked for him.

If you are referring to the actual stability of speed when playing sustained notes, then you are in the wrong ballpark for that quality. This is an inherent tradeoff of a budget priced belt drive table. You can spend more money, either on an accessory motor controller or on a higher quality table. Both will give greater speed stability and accuracy. You can also try a direct drive table which will have better speed stability but will typically lack some, if not many, of the musical qualities the Rega has. The talc on the belt will help a bit and would be the place to begin. But if you are listening to sustained piano chords or the like, you will probably have to make a decision whether you can deal with the inherent inaccuracies of the Rega to gain the better qualities of the Rega sound or else just spend more money on a better quality table or motor controller.

jcasady1
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Thanks to both Buddha and Jan Vigne for the input. I think I'll just deal with the pitchiness for now, and save up in the mean time for a 'table upgrade. It's not a huge deal, but it does distract somewhat on those sustained notes. I may try a speed controller, any recommendations? Thanks again!

Jan Vigne
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

I believe Rega sells a unit that would be appropriate for the P1. Otherwise, check with your dealer for options.

How long have you had the table? Are you certain the main bearing is sited correctly and has sufficient lubrication? There is a steel ball in the bottom of the main bearing housing on every Rega table I've seen. Are you certain this ball is in place on your table?

Buddha
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability


Quote:
Thanks to both Buddha and Jan Vigne for the input. I think I'll just deal with the pitchiness for now, and save up in the mean time for a 'table upgrade. It's not a huge deal, but it does distract somewhat on those sustained notes. I may try a speed controller, any recommendations? Thanks again!

Hi, again.

Can you describe what you are hearing a little more?

Maybe we can home in on it a little better for you.

Is it like a constant warbling of the tone?

Is it that you hear a steady pitch with intermittent deviations?

We may as well see what we can see if you're keeping it!

jcasady1
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Hi again! On any kind of sustained note or chord there is just this little bit of what you might call wobbling in and out of tune. Like if you pluck a guitar string and twist the tuning peg just slightly back and forth. It's not all the time either, just sometimes. Obviously, I notice it more on a solo piano recording than a pop or rock record. I guess it must be a slight inconsistancy in the speed of the motor. I did buy it used, slightly, it was about 3 months old when I bought it in March. I haven't taken a look at the ball bearing yet.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Unless the previous owner allowed the bearing to run without lubricant, lost the ball bearing or damaged the bearing/shaft in some way, this slight warbling is what you should expect from a budget belt drive table. If you haven't checked the bearing for proper lubricant, that would be something to consider also. You might want to have a listen to a favorite LP that exhibits this problem on a Rega dealer's P1. Compare the results and determine whether your table has a problem or is within spec for this design.

Mono
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

I've run across this before.

Sometimes the small motor pulley gets loose and causes slipping. You can pull it up off the metal shaft and super-glue it back on.

Also, if the belt is stretched, a new belt can help. They're not expensive.

If the bearing cup is really dry and dirty it might benefit from a cleaning (don't lose the bearing!)

IIRC, Rega bearing oil is gear oil, but you might want to double-check that.

Hope that helps!

PaulVG
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

I returned my P1 to the shop where I bought it, due to this problem. It took the importer 2 (two!) months to fix it. So last week I got my P1 back: speed stability is acceptable now, but now it makes a humming sound when the motor is running, so it will go back to the shop. To be continued...

Buddha
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Too late for a refund?

Sorry to hear what you've been going through.

PaulVG
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Since I'm living 2 kilometers away from the Rega importer, I was allowed to visit them, instead of going to the shop where I bought my P1.
I received a new P1, which had been tested that day by the importer. Apparently my original P1 was one of the earliest they made, and some of them have been returned due to speed problems.
Looking at the serial numbers of the old and new P1, I might do a wild guess about the number of P1's produced in the first year, which could be somewhere around 3000.
I setup my new P1, speed is OK, no more humming from the motor, and - same as with my first P1- the wobble of the platter can be reduced by turning the platter on the hub until it fits best.

VinnieVeedivicki
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Re: Rega P1 pitch stability

Sounds like you need a "speed box" to send a tighter regulated current to the motor. These are available for many tables even some not so expensive models. My Pro-Ject 9 was making me crazy by wobbles when somebody sustained a piano chord. It sounded like a warped record.

I bought the entry level power supply upgrade which came with a new wall wart and a quartz clock regulator. Wow. What an improvement in stability! Plus you probably won't believe this but EVERYTHING sounds better all the notes sound much much cleaner and more real.

At least it is something to consider if you have checked bearing setup and lube, made sure the drive belt is perfectly tensioned and the motor, if movable, is positioned in the most stable place for pulling the platter.

Try all the free stuff first. But remember I said the speed controller things are no joke.

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