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Lacklustre sound

Discussion in 'audio' started by forks, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. forks

    forks New Member

    Hi All
    Would love some advice please.
    Just hooked up a rega p3 with a new goldring 1042 through a 72 & 250 and the sound is 'poor' in comparison to the cd 5.
    Thinking about getting a stageline (which one?) or a rega phono.
    We want better sounds...
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Regas are exceptionally fussy about what they stand on, so if you have it sitting on top of a heavy rack or whatever your money may be better spent on a good wall-shelf. There is nothing wrong with the phono stage in a 72, it isn’t the weak link here IMHO.
  3. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    I have had a 1042 and I know they have their fans but I much prefer a MC cartridge. A humble Denon 103 was a much more fun and alive cartridge compared to the 1042. An advantage of using a nac 72 is that changing the phono boards is simple and fairly cheap.
  4. RichShortland

    RichShortland pfm Member

    I totally agree with Tony's input here.
    I have had various Rega decks pass through over the years - Planer 2, Planer 3, P1, P2 and they can sound very flat with a poor set-up.
    (They can also sound great when right!..)

    It would help if you could describe a bit more in what way is the sound 'poor' to your ears.

    But, in the meantime, in terms of things to try:
    - check the cartridge setup - a 1042 on a Rega arm may need spacers under the arm to get it the right height. In my experience of the 1042 it really does not like being tipped back at all (sounding overblown and dull) and I've got much better results with a little 'nose down' in terms of VTA bringing out the treble sparkle :). I'd also check the antiskate and tracking force aren't too high - again, these can deaden a 1042.
    - As Tony says consider what it's sat on - Rega's really love a wall shelf. Anything like a heavy weight table is usually bad.

    Keep going though - it should sound great when working well.
  5. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    You could also try a new Ikea Lack delivered to your door for about 20 quid (off ebay as I recall). Just to see if a lightweight support makes a significant improvement.

    New AT VM95E is amazing value for money at £43 and sounds anything but lacklustre - don't presume for a second that a more expensive cart will be more musically enjoyable. If you can fit yourself then it won't cost much to compare.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  6. Konteebos

    Konteebos Traitor Re-joiner

    Same here - I've always preferred moving coil cartridges, you could always try a high-output one without changing your phono stage.
  7. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    Not a fan of the 1042 and would describe it exactly as you say - "lacklustre".

    Stick a more exciting cartridge like an Audio Technica on it and enjoy your records again.
  8. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    by poor you mean softer? blurry? lacking defenition? The 1042 is a good MM IME, and def is not poor sounding so it's either what Tony suggested (wall shelf) or your cartridge installation isn't quite spot on. I'd start there since that's free! Go back to the arm mount, check all is well, re install the cartridge. Check VTA and start level (Its a Rega so your limited here but level is best to start...if you are 'down at the back' when the cartridge is in the groove and arm is viewed from the side, you would expect a 'duller' warmer sound), and make sure you are tracking heavy. My 1042 liked to be just 0.15 down from the makers max tracking weight at 1.85g. Final hint...warm it up. Best heard at around 22-25c.
  9. PBB

    PBB pfm Member

    Are you saying that your compact disc player sounds better than vinyl and that cannot be?
  10. DavidS

    DavidS pfm Member

    As stated many times a Rega deck needs a stiff lightweight support to perform at its best.A high mass support will kill the sound stone dead.The previous suggestion to buy a lack table to test the water is a good one.
  11. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    If the cartridge is brand then you might want to put some hours on it before doing any critical listening. I cannot speak intelligently about the Goldring 1042 since I have not tried it, but every cartridge I have tried has improved to some extent after a few days use, some in subtle ways and others quite markedly.
    Snufkin likes this.
  12. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    Why is that? I get that Rega uses stiff, lightweight plinths, but how does the support affect the sound assuming both are stable and level?
  13. Neiro

    Neiro pfm Member

    The Goldring 1042 is very fussy as regards VTA/SRA. Rega don't really do VTA/SRA i.e. arm height is fixed unless you get into spacers or after market adjusters. I basically think that when people say the 1042 is not very good what they have heard is a poorly set up example. When properly set it is a very good cartridge, they have been making them for years, they know what they are doing.

    My guess is that in the std Rega set up the VTA is either too high, which gives a flat aggressive sound or too low which gives a laboured, thick sound. Either way the only solution is too get into arm height adjusters. I'm sure the 1042 has been used succesfully in many Regas over the years.

    Lastly check the basics, alignment and tracking weight. The rega gauge is fine, the tracking weight can be a bit tricky with a Rega depending on model. Goldring recommend 1.75g and I have found that to be correct. Stylus scales are the best way to set. An over heavy tracking weight can give a thick sound.
    Strictly Stereo likes this.
  14. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    I needed a spacer under my Rega arm when I used a 1042. Its a long time since I heard one and remember it as being a smooth cartridge but a bit dull when compared to an MC.
  15. forks

    forks New Member

    Hi All
    Thank you.
    I've got a rega wall rack, I'll get the drill out Saturday. The thing is level and at a weight of 1.70g.
    Its sitting ontop of the cd5 ontop of a shitty Ikea little cabnet with the rest of the black boxes on the two shelves below....I know..
    I'm using Dylans 'Tangled up in Blue' for sound comparison.
    CD- Brighter, wider, sharper, clear, more depth/bass and faster, plently of jinlge jangle. One quater of the volume nob.
    Rega- Calmer, not the depth more narrow more muddled but easier on the ear....Volume nob at midday

    Theres just more with the cd.....cant be right?
  16. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    I have had a long period with a mismatch between my Benz Micro Gullwing SLR and various MM-stages + SUT. It is only after I received an SS phono stage this week that the veil, the lacklustre sound and the subdued tonality lifted to reveal a whole other full-bodied, controlled and finely etched tonality. Now my vinyl sounds better than my computer play-back.

    There simply has to be a mismatch or something unaligned in your set-up.
  17. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    The RP3 I had in the early 90s was quite flat sounding and it didn't take long for me to tire of it and move it on, but that was always on a heavy cabinet rather than a wall shelf or lightweight table. Wish I knew then I wasn't giving it any help to sound good.

    For six quid* for a Lack table it seems a no-brainer to me to try it out - I have one under an LP12 that was previously on a wall shelf with naim fraim cups and glass and it works very well.

    *Plus the £100 you'll spend on stuff you didn't know you needed
  18. DavidS

    DavidS pfm Member

    High mass will hold energy , low mass will dissipate energy quickly.
  19. Taff63

    Taff63 pfm Member

    The importance of set-up and siting cannot be overstated. Just been hit with a set-up problem on my Systemdek 111. Came back from the dealer after having a Nima and ESCO 103 fitted. Playing with the tracking weight yielded better sound but whilst doing this I noticed that the cart wasn't quite parallel to the arm. In addition, getting out the Roksan protractor showed that alignment on one spot put the other out by about 5mm........!
    At this point i checked my Pioneer PL570 alignment and that was smack on both alignment spots.
    Cue a load of fiddling before the cart was aligned according to the Roksan protractor and better sound again.
  20. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    When i read the title of the thread i was about to recommend Naim amps. Turned out to be the source. Well, I used to own the Rega P5 and it sounded great with an Audio Technica AT33PTG if I got that right.
  21. Konteebos

    Konteebos Traitor Re-joiner

    Check that the CD isn't just a bit louder, if the volume control is at the same position every amp I have owned will play the CD louder than a turntable.

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