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bierfeldt
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Getting ready to but turntable #2

Post holiday there are a bunch of deals on tables that are either opne boxes or demo's and I am getting ready to pull the trigger and get deck #2. I just can't decide what I want.

I have two systems, one with a Rega Brio R driving Revel Performa3 M105s and one with a Marantz Pre/Pro and Power Amp driving Sunfire HRSs. I currently have a Rega P3-24 with an Elys2 attached to the Brio R. I want a second turntable for my Marantz home theatre and will either upgrade the P3-24 and move it to the Home Theatre or just buy a table for the Home Theatre.

Here are my options:

Rega RP6 with Exact2 (Demo) for $1499
Clearaudio Concept with MM for $1460 (no dustcover)
Marantz TT-15SI (Demo) for $1199 (made by Clearaudio and includes a Virtuoso MM cartridge)
Rega RP3 with an Exact 2 for $1290
Rega RP3 with an Elys 2 for $995
Music Hall MMF 2.2 with an Ortofon 2M Blue for $649

With the exception of the Music Hall table, the new table would replace my Rega P3-24 in the Rega Brio R system. The Music Hall Table would just get inserted into my Marantz system.

What would you do?

commsysman
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TURNTABLE

I would recommend that you go with the MMF 2.2, which I think is a very good turntable.

I recommend the Clearaudio Concept V2 cartridge, which is $250, so the total price would only be $700.
I have that combination in one of my systems and it is very good.

The others you mentioned would only be a small step up from that combination, and most are much more expensive.

In my no-holds-barred ($25K) system, I have the MMF-7 with a Micro Benz Ace cartridge and the Musical Fidelity M1-ViNL phono preamp, which is excellent, but that would run around $3500 or so.

Regardless of what you go with, I strongly recommend that you consider putting $450 into a Musical Fidelity M1-LPS phono preamp, which will give you a significant improvement over what you are using now.

bierfeldt
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Thank you commsysman

That feels like a very strong recco. Particularly around that Musical Fidelity M1-LPS. Doing a little digging on that, that seems like a mind bogglingly good value at $450. Every time I demo a Musical Fidelity product I am more and more impressed with that company.

I made a couple of calls today and the feedback I got was interesting. I walked away thinking the RP6 is darn nice and would be a small step above the RP3 but I am not going to get a big step change until I step up and go to a MC cartridge and a setup in your range. The Clearaudio and the Marantz will deliver better bass response but are less musical if you listen to Rock & Jazz. Additionally, they are much more sensitive to vibrations than the Rega or the Music Hall and it was indicated I should consider a wall mout for the Clearaudio or Marantz.

Thus I am torn between the Music Hall and the RP3. The RP6 is just a luxury that if I had the extra cash lying around and had nothing else to do with it, why not. However, I could get the Music Hall you suggested, the MF V-90 for my Marantz system and the MF M1-LPS for my Rega system for less than I would pay for the RP6 and would probably have the best possible outcome. Decisions, decisions.

Again, thanks for the post. This was thought provoking.

commsysman
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TURNTABLE

Good luck and enjoy!

bierfeldt
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I completely get why you love the Music Hall 2.2

I spent about 3 hours at a dealer yesterday listening to the Music Hall 2.2 and a 5.1, not with the Concept V2 but they were confident I would get a very good idea of the sound of the table. I have listened to the Music Halls dozens of times, but never critically.

They sound different than the Rega's. Really, really good but different. Certain songs, certain styles of music just sound better on one or the other. What shocked me most was that I did not hear as much of a difference between the 2.2 and the 5.1 as I expected. With Rega, you hear a big difference between the RP1 and the RP3. With the Music Hall the difference are much more subtle. A bit more detail but the same balanced sound. The RP1 sounds flat compared to the RP3.

That being said, I found a dealer that has an RP3 set up with an Elys2 and an Exact2 and I am going to listen today with the same records. They got a return from during the holidays and said I could listen to the open box. I have an appointment today. Should be interesting as I have really wanted to hear the RP3 with the Exact2.

Will make my decision after.

bierfeldt
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Am listeing to the new table now

I went with the RP3 with an Exact2. I really, really liked the Music Hall. I love the Rega. There is something about the airiness of the highs that I just love. In the end, it may come down to what I am used to. I am really used to the Rega sound and just find it hard to deviate.

I listened to the Elys2 vs the Exact2 and you absolutely can hear a difference. The Exact2 is clearer. The bass response is dramatically less muddy. I feel really good about this and now I need to get myself two of those Musical Fidelity M1-LPSs and I think I am done for a while.

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