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Finally . . . LP12/Moth RB301?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Bob Edwards, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards pfm Member

    All -

    OK, last in the paroxysm of Bob's summer vacation buying . . .

    Very pleased with the Rega P6/Ania, and it should be even better with the Aria Mk3 that I should be able to pick up Wednesday.

    However - I've also been thinking of an LP12, as I grew up on them, so to speak - starting with LP12/Valhalla/BasikPlus/K9 and taking it to Lingo/Ekos/Cirkus and then Armageddon/Aro. And as I wrote on another TT thread, LP12s seem to bring an inner life to music.

    So: Been perusing LP12 listings and saw the one with a custom plinth, Valhalla (claimed to be refurbed; who really knows, right?), and a Moth RB301. It's the last that makes me pause - I've always understood Rega arms to be basically bulletproof and untouchable for value. Does Moth do anything to it other than rebadge it? And is it a good match for an LP12? Back in the day, it *seemed* anathema to see an LP12 with a Rega arm, although I've read of many people here who have done it.

    And it might be hubris, but I'm not worried about setting an LP12 up, having learned from Rick Duplisea at the Audio Alternative (one of the very best - people send him LP12s from all over the world) and having had the official Linn factory LP12 training (yes, a long time ago!). And it is comforting knowing if I get in over my head, Rick is only an hour drive away . . .

    Once again, I'd be grateful for your thoughts!
     
  2. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    The Moth 301 arm was basicly an OEM RB301, but with better inner cables
    (very important with lower Rega arms imo)
    and the old bias system from the RB300, not the new style from the 700.
    But the bias system was well adjusted instead, as the one
    from the 300 was notorious for not reaching far enough by far.
    So, basicly they did the elementally important stuff & the arm was 300$ a pop new,
    which means s/h it should not add significantly to the bill in comparison to a deck w/o arm.

    SQ you can expect it to be good to very good, so in the territory roughly between old Akito and late Ittok / Ekos I.
    So, all in all very good in relation it doesn't cost anything much.
    If you like it's sound ..is very much up to individual taste.

    I heard a similar configured one, but on a non-suspended deck similar level to LP12
    and I was very positively surprised & thought it was great.

    For the money you can't do much wrong..if one starts asking unicorn price tags bc Moth etc,
    I'd pass though.. :)

    And you can hang MCs in there up to 2K without serious headache, but in relation I would think an AT33PTG or something in that direction would suit very well.
    I know in fact that one sounded excellent with the 250 I heard by then..
     
    linnfomaniac83 and Bob Edwards like this.
  3. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards pfm Member

    Thank you!

    That's good to read, as I bought the table in question - it's a (mostly) LP12 with Valhalla, Cirkus, and the Moth arm. Custom made plinth, which made me a bit hesitant, but it was $1005 USD for the complete package. I'll probably put the AT VM95ML I have coming on it (ordered for a Revolver TT I have).
     
    torstoi likes this.
  4. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    Yeah, well..with the 301's 3 point mounting you have no hight adjustment as in eg Linn arms and so on.
    So if you want the arm level at play (with changes with every different cart hight)
    you need either shims or you put a platter mat on to raise the LP a little.

    I very much like cork mats on the LP12, for my taste that stops the platter from singing along quite well, which in my opinion it does & puts away with the static prob of having the felt mat stuck to the LP every time.
    Others swear by the falt mat...a matter of taste, but for hight adjustment a 2 or 3 mm cork mat can come in handy.
    $1000 isn't really absurd for a nice LP12, depending on it's state and the plinth could be a nice catch..?
    Cirkus kit already in, that's a + ...all in all sounds not too bad ! :)
     
  5. Miss Ariel

    Miss Ariel pfm Member

    Your in for a treat with the AT95ML Bob.I use one at the moment with my LP12 (Karousel) @ Akito with Aria.
    I thought the AT95Ml was mighty fine before - but the Aria 3 really makes it shine.
    Looking forward to hearing how it all sounds Aria - LP12 - AT95ML.
     
    Bob Edwards and torstoi like this.
  6. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    ps: the decent thing to do with that deck will probably be to settle on a mat you would like,
    ie decide if you finally want to go cork, achromat, felt or whatever
    and start with a feeler gauge under the armbase then to get level
    & order the specific Rega shim in the web..
     
    Bob Edwards likes this.
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Rega arms work fine on the LP12. They have a cleaner, warmer sound that Linn arms so can sound a bit dull but nothing that can't be fixed with system matching and tweaks. I went from an Ittok to a stripped and rewired RB300 and didn't regret it. Apart from the looks, man the Ittok is a gorgeous arm!

    I'd be surprised if you needed to shim the arm but if you do it's no big deal. Pain to do though as Rega arm cables are not detachable so you need to re-dress the arm cable to fit a shim. Unless you cheat by cutting a section out of the shim... shush, I didn't say that.

    Talking about cable dressing, it's harder with Rega arms. On a Linn arm the cable exists at a right-angle to the pillar so is pointed the correct way. Rega cables point straight down so you've got a problem. Some people cable tie the cable to the arm pillar but that's not right either as it loops the cable upwards. The best option I've found is to use a tie to make a loop it the cable just below the pillar. You can undo the grub screw holding the bung in place to let you turn the bung so the cable points the right way.

    The Rega cable is also softer the Linn cable and is two separate cables where as the Linn cable has the two conductors joined together. Just makes it a little harder to get right. You can tie the two cables together but I don't think it's necessary.
     
    Craig B and torstoi like this.
  8. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I've tried a few mats on the LP12 and always came back to the felt. Yes, some other mats offer more detail but the Linn mat has a cohesion the others don't. And that's why you buy an LP12 in the first place! Think of all the other upgrades that Linn have done to the LP12. Don't you think there may be a reason they've stuck with the felt mat?
     
    Charlie_1 and Miss Ariel like this.
  9. joe9407

    joe9407 actress/activist

    No doubt. Can't contest your reasoning on sonic grounds, but the Linn mat just looks so... sad. Often misshapen and lumpy, sticking to records like, in the words of the late Art Dudley, a cattle rancher to the federal teat. There are so many lovely LP12s out there and pretty much every time, the mat lets the side down in the looks department.

    I got a nice blue Rega mat for my LP12/Aro and think it looks the business! No lumps, either. I think it sounds pretty much the same.
     
  10. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I like the look of the black felt mat, doesn't draw attention to itself. Only time it looks lumpy is if it's old.

    I wouldn't use a standard Rega mat on the LP12 as it's thicker than the Linn one and doesn't sound as good. The mats are designed to work with a particular type of platter. The Rega white mats on the P10/RP10 are really thin because the platter is ceramic and doesn't ring like the glass ones do. The thicker Rega mat on that platter kills the sound. The Linn mat is not as thin as the Rega white one but it is thinner than the standard Rega one.
     
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  11. ff1d1l

    ff1d1l pfm Member

    I always liked a ringmat...if anyone remembers them?
     
    torstoi likes this.
  12. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Yep, I liked the Ringmat, I used it on a Rega Planar, TD160B mk2, STD305m, Gyro, Voyd and Hyperspace, it replaced the stock mats on the first three and I much preferred it too the clamp on the Gyro, it helped an awful lot to banish the 'nasal' sound of the acrylic platter of the Voyd and made flipping records on the Hyperspace much easier, I think it made less of a change on the Hyperspace, no doubt due to the platter material and mass. I must treat myself to another at some stage.
     
    torstoi and ff1d1l like this.
  13. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    IIRC, the Moth OEM RB301 retained the old grey RB300 lead. Of course, that isn't to say that Bob's hasn't been rewired at some point, or that Rega hadn't upgraded the OEM cable along with their own branded changes.

    According to Origin Live, the only difference between Rega and OEM branded RB models are the badges and the warranty, the latter of which is with the OEM reseller. A quick Google image search will reveal that some OEM RB301 with the original bias outrigger were fitted with the thicker external lead; Avid, for example.

    Moth OEM RB301:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
    torstoi and Miss Ariel like this.
  14. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I had a Moth RB250 replaced under warranty but it had to go via Moth.
     
  15. lencotweaker

    lencotweaker Mostly dreaming of record players

    Having built a few LP12s with Rega arms this year (with another one the way soon) I’m a real advocate for them on the Linn. Much better VFM than the lower tier Linn arms. You need an Ekos to better them.

    I’ve needed to shim both of the RB303’s by a lot for correct VTA. One was done with the Rega shim kit which is just a single shim that you rotate in steps at the 3 point fixings. Clever and very cheap. The second was using the Michell VTA adjuster for 3-point arms. Much more expensive than the cheap plastic Rega thing but has fine adjustment.
     
    torstoi and Darren L like this.
  16. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    I'm sorry if the info I gave was in parts wrong or misleading..it was as far as I knew, or rather said..thought I knew, as Craig's picture shows I was either partly wrong or there were perhaps more than 1 version over time ?

    Either way, the grey outter cable reminds me of the one fitted to the Ekos one or early Ittoks and is probably not very good.
    The Klotz they used on the later ones was very good though.

    How far you take the outter cable largely depends on which cart you're aiming to use,
    with some MMs from ADC or Goldring IGC I had to focus on capacitance first off,
    with MCs a very good shielding is worthwhile.

    I had a VanDam on the LP12 for a long time which was ok-ish, but I could still make an audible positive difference with a DIY 1 meter length of well shielded cable from the better Sommer one's.
    (it's yellow and you need a Jelco 90°plug to get them fit in, but then: result.)
    It's absolutely not necessary to carpet bomb the entire hifi with such kind of cable, I could not make out audible differences anywhere else, but between arm and phono-pre..with a good MC it was a positive surprise to me.
    (Between Pre & PWR amp astonishingly a Klotz was much better instead to my ears.)

    Also I wonder if it's possible to fit a DIN-socket into a Rega arm -during the process of a re-wire ?
    Bc I think probably to be able to use an SME style 90° plug would be probably a good thing
    in an LP12 or say a 160 as well ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
    Bob Edwards and Mr Pig like this.
  17. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Sorry torstoi, I didn't mean to rudely step on your post there.

    I think you are correct, in that the Moth Group appear to have been offering versions with Incognito copper and Incognito silver wiring, at a price.

    They appear to have been referring to their OEM RB3xx offerings as Moth Mk3 Tonearm (vs. Moth Mk1 for their OEM RB2xx based offerings).

    What surprises me is that they have what are billed as OEM RB808 and OEM RB3000 on offer (dubbed Moth MK808 and Moth MK3000, respectively). I wouldn't have thought that Rega would have offered these as OEM.


    Craig
     
    Bob Edwards and torstoi like this.
  18. w00fer

    w00fer pfm Member

    This all sounds very exciting! Would be very interested to hear your impressions of the LP12/RB301 combination in due course, esp. compared with your recollection of earlier LP12s.
     
    Bob Edwards and torstoi like this.
  19. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    No..you're right, I rather stand corrected before I post bs info & nobody says a word.. :)
    So thx..everything fine !
     
    Craig B and Bob Edwards like this.
  20. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Yes, looking forward to @Bob Edwards' 'How I Spent My Summer Vacation' report.
     
    Bob Edwards likes this.

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