[Purchase Advice] Bluenote or Rega

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dastinger, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    That’s what the Bluenote retailer for here in the US. Probably a lot cheaper in Italy. Plus lots of Italian gear tends to have a pretty substantial mark up here. I wouldn’t base my decision off of retail prices.
     
  2. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I find that markup relating to import or labor costs doesn't usually translate to a performance difference. In other words, two products retailing for $1K in the states, whether manufactured in China or the U.K, will tend to have comparable performance.

    My table was manufactured in Germany but sonically, it outperforms the VPI I had that retailed for nearly the same price.

    IME, one generally tends to get what they pay for when it comes to audio gear, regardless of country of origin. There are a few exceptional bargains out there but I don't really find any correlation with origin. It's not like domestic gear usually sounds better than imported European gear at a given price point. Many times I've found it the other way around.
     
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  3. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    You might want to compare the RP3 price with the 6/Exact, which should come with the Neo as part of the package if you do want a PSU.
     
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  4. dastinger

    dastinger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    I don't like Pro-jects either.

    The 1500C goes for €999. It's pretty good imo and probably a match with the P3. You'd go with the Technics over the P3 + Neo?

    After reading the review you posted, and believing what it says regarding specs, I'm sure the Bellavista wipes the P3. The care they had with the motor, the 0.03% wow&flutter, the 0.1% speed fluctuation... I just wish there were reviews about the Borromeo tonearm, but can't seem to find any.

    The P6 + Neo + Exact goes for €1399. P6 + Neo with no cart goes gor €1150. It's not much if we consider that the P3 + Neo goes for €950, but I wasn't planning on spending that amount at once. I was gonna get the P3 (€690) and the Neo in the future.
     
  5. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    It’s your call. To me the RP6 is the first Rega deck that justifies the Neo. Over here prices are around £650 for the RP3 and £1450 for the 6, so not dissimilar to yours, but some very nice 6’s can be picked up nearly new for around £1000.
     
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  6. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Hi @dastinger, looks like you are soon going to be the owner of revealing and good amplification and speakers. Is vinyl going to be your main source of music? How good a sound do you want, or putting it another way, is your next turntable going to be a stepping stone to what you really want, or your final purchase? Do you have a good relationship with your dealer to hear a top turntable and some good, but cheaper models.

    Unfortunately for us, especially with turntables, a manufactures best sounding product is usually the most expensive, ignoring cost for a moment, you need to find a turntable that doesn't get in the way of playing any records you want to play: this level can be very different from individual to individual. If you buy something and don't use it, it is a waste of money! If you buy something that costs more than you ideally want to spend, unless it really is financially unobtainable, you will never regret investing in a product that brings pleasure every time to listen to music.

    I learnt this myself the hard way, but also selling hundreds of turntables over a number of years my advice was always don't buy something that you don't really want as you will have buyers remors. But this is your money and the investment you want to make for your enjoyment of music. You are obviously putting a great deal of thought into this, which is excellent, but it is often quicker to hear what makes you happy than typing a post here!

    If you can listen to a top turntable, a good mid range one, such as the Technics SL1200G and a Rega Planar 6 you will very quickly narrow choices down.

    If you prefer the Technics, why buy a Planar 3?

    If you prefer the RP6, is the improvement over the RP3 worth the extra investment? I personally don't think the Neo is too good for the Planar 3, BUT, the RP6 will always be better. How much better and Rega / Technics, or whatever else is, totally your call, but you need to hear for yourself. As you are already used to a fairly good sound with the RP1, I think you will have a much clearer idea of the direction you want to go with a good, but reasonably short demonstration. To buy now, or save for something better in the future will quickly become abundantly obvious.

    Happy listening!
     
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  7. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    I personally don't believe the Neo is too good for the latest Planar 3, but totally agree the Planar 6 / Neo is another level again.

    To explain this, back in 1990 I added a Moth Flutter buster to the then Rega Planar 3 to improve pitch stability and my favourite upgrade to a Linn LP12 was the Lingo. I'm sure a lot of love for the SL1200G is not down to absolute speed, very few have perfect pitch, but rock solid pitch stability that comes as standard which brings so many other musical benefits, which cartridge upgrades, for example, cannot ever bring.

    Although I no longer use records myself, I try to listen when I can, the products that have greatly impressed me (and of course others may not share my preferences and agree with my opinions), are the Technics SL1200G, the Rega Neo and Linn Lingo 4 in comparison with the previous Lingo 3 - all for exactly the same reasons.
     
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  8. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    I would definitely give the Technics a listen and I would personally take it over the P3 with Neo, especially since you are looking to run cartridges other than a Rega.

    I also wouldn’t believe the manufacturers specs on the Bellavista.
     
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  9. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    tinny sound - standard

    not a big fan of rega either but the love for technics tables here is strange. I have never heard one that was better than OK.
     
  10. englishbob

    englishbob Its a s*** business

    Location:
    Kent, England
    No tinny sound here. The heavyweight rubber mat is a must though, not a slipmat.
     
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  11. dastinger

    dastinger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Wow, what a nice insight. Thank you so so much for sharing your acquired experience over the years, it certainly helped a lot!

    Yes, vinyl is going to be my main source at least for the coming years. I really want to invest in a nice analogue rig before I start spending money on digital.

    You're definitely right. I always felt that a lot of people on the hi-fi world often forget why we're all here. To enjoy music in a way we like to. And it all comes down to listening. That's why I, inexplicably for some people, still want a Rega even after my experience with the P1 wasn't the best. Unfortunately, the Bluenote Bellavista is in one store, the P3 and P6 in another and the Technics in another. So I will not be able to make a straight comparison between them.

    But this brings us to your last paragraph. I don't know if in 5 or 10 or 15 years I'll feel the need to upgrade but, if possible, I'd like to buy something that would last me as much as possible. I'd obviously like to buy something that could be my turntable forever. I'm not sure I'll be able to for €1k, but that's something to find out about later.

    I have been thinking about the P6 and I'll probably add it to the list. I'll talk with the Rega dealer next week about it. See what are my options and make a decision in the next few weeks.

    Again, thank you!

    I'll try and see if the Technics dealer has a test unit of the 1500C.

    Regarding the specs on the Bellavista, it does seem too good to be true, doesn't it? Oh well, it doesn't help. I'll probably also go there next week and ask to have a listen and compare with the P5 (which I'd say is close to the 2016 P3).

    Thank you!
     
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  12. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    @dastinger, let us know how you get on. I have never heard, or seen a Bellavista, though unipivot arms often perform well.

    The Technics and Regas are very good turntables, so you will get a big upgrade from your P1 whichever way you go.

    Despite the speed issues previously discussed, I've always enjoyed listening to a Rega Planar 3, but if you can go to the Planar 6, you are in a different performance level: the updates were pretty extensive! Rega Planar 6 vs. RP6
     
  13. dastinger

    dastinger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    I will let you know as soon as I make a decision and go ahead with the purchase. I'll check the Bluenote out this week, but I'm 90% confident that I'll end up getting the P6.
     
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  14. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    It really doesn't. That's just a typical assumption from the types who believe belt-drives are incapable of matching or exceeding performance of a direct-drive.

    I have a belt-drive table that maintains accurate speed to well within 0.1% - verified by a KAB Speedstrobe. It's very possible that the Bellavista meets the claimed specs.
     
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  15. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    I just calculated unadjusted a mean speed to 0.117% (3153.7 Hz) to fast. And I can and will adjust it rather easily better if I bother. :)
    (Running 0.039 RPM to fast is nothing to get upset with. But I will dial it in to perfection when I get home from my vacation.)

    And this test is done while playing a test record with a 3150 Hz track. The great thing is that is just exactly simulating the same conditions when playing a ordernary LP. It is a LP with it's normal wight (not something heavier or lighter) than we use when playing LPs. (Yes you can of course add your favourite clamps/mats to see if that has any impact) :agree:

    And also adding the drag of the stylus in the grove. So it is the same situation and usage as when we play records. No deviation. ;)

    I believe it is one of the best and most accurate ways to measure platter speed.
     
  16. dastinger

    dastinger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    What exactly is the process? Which record do you use and what measuring equipment?
     
  17. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    The app have been removed from the app store. I do not know the reason. So it is at your own risk.
    (It is generally a slightly higher risk when not installing from the app store)

    Search for "platterspeed android". I do not know if it is available for other OS:es.
    App icon:
    [​IMG]

    I have the V2.1.1. The app have a manual.

    You also need a test record with a standard wow & flutter test track. More precise a track that only have a tone/frequency at 3150 Hz.
    (It is good to have one test record at home anyway, for different reasons)

    Just start the app and it will listen for the 3150 Hz tone. When you start to play the track the app will automatically start to record the speed and give you if you are in the ±0.2 zone of fluctuations in the "speed indicator".
    It will also give you a "frequency" readouts.
    And speed in rpm.
    Plus a "frequency chart".

    When the track ends the meassurments ends automatically. You are able to name your measurements and store it. And of course reloading it later.

    The same track is played at 45 RPM. And the app knows that it is 4253 Hz that it is locking into.

    The speed indicator is great. When you do the fine adjustments. You can exactly dial in during the time you play the track.

    I am also thinking of measuring if the fluctuations are less in the chart or if there is any changes with different clamps/mats/accessories for just your individual TT..

    Good luck with your optimizeing your TT! :righton:
     
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  18. dastinger

    dastinger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Thanks a lot! I had never heard of that app before. Just wondering if depending on a mic on a phone isn't bad for the test. Still, it's really a good alternative to expensive equipment. Time to get a test record with a 3150Hz tone on it.
     
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  19. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    In the info in the app there is info about that scenario. But on the other hand there is several devices around us to use, IF you against all odds should have any issues.

    "
    • If your device fails to catch up the correct frequency, it might fail due to a poor microphone. If so, please try to use a 1000 Hz track instead of the normal 3150 Hz track.
    • On Honeycomb tablets, there might be problems with correct frequency detection because of echo/noise cancellation. If so, please try to cover the 2nd microphone."
    :righton:
     
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  20. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    A good alternative to expensive equipment is a piece of tape on the platter as a reference and a watch / clock.

    Simply count the number of rotations!

    1 minute should be 33 1/3 revolutions.

    3 minutes 100 revolutions.

    9 minutes 300 revolutions.

    Obviously you can do this under load (playing a record), or no load and work out your exact speed with simple maths.

    Is this less accurate than using a tone, or strobe? Good question.

    Over the twelve years, or so I was in retail, I came across dozens of strobe discs and a fair few test records. It is evidently difficult to manufacture a strobe disc that is flat with the hole perfectly centred. The same applies to a test record, where on several you were hearing the variations in the record and not the turntable - some were unusable.

    If there is a very slight deviation of speed under load, is this, the same on an outer band in comparison with an inner band? I honestly don't know what the, hopefully minute variation is, but two different records with the test tone on different bands, have the potential for a very small variation BUT, we are trying to measure very small variations.

    Strobe frequencies are often derived from the mains 50 / 60 Hz. Without measuring it and throughout the day there are (very small) variations so are the turntable strobes, or light bulb sources actually 50.00 / 60.00 Hz?

    I only mention these things in passing as before quiting to sell Hi-fi, I was an electrical Calibration Engineer and would be told without standards, measurements are meaningless.

    For many years I used the same Linn strobe disc which was actually flat and judging by the perfect concentric circles, the hole was perfectly centred. Partnered with the Linn battery operated strobe LED (Linn speed checker, which operates at 300 Hz) , you could adjust speed to 0.01%. As out of hundreds of turntables customers around six ever commented about absolute speed - one played in a well-respected orchestra, how far out does speed need to be so it is noticeable?

    Which measurement is correct?



    I would expect the dealer to fit and align the cartridge and set the speed on the Planar 6.
     
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  21. dastinger

    dastinger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Quick update:

    Went to the store to check out the Bluenote and, oh my, it is a gorgeous turntable. It has VTA, Azimuth and anti-skating adjustment and a super sturdy construction.

    But, I asked one of the guys in the store to measure the speed. He used his iPhone which is fine by me, but not very professional imo. Anyway, it was running slow (33.04RPM both times). With the stylus on the record, it would be even slower probably. When I asked the store owner what could be done to fix it he answered "you could change the belt, but the price is for this turntable with this belt...". I honestly hated the answer and immediately started having second thoughts regarding the Bluenote. If I was dealing with a consumer that was selling his own turntable, I wouldn't see an issue with it, but I was at an hi-fi store.

    I decided to contact Goldnote (ex Bluenote) and they told me I'd need to replace the pulley and the belt which would add another €100 with no guarantee whatsoever that it would fix the issue. I'm 99% sure that it would, but after the way the owner replied, I was honestly scared that they wouldn't own up to it in case the turntable had any other issues.

    So, the P6 was already the strongest contender and I guess it got even closer to be my next TT.
     
  22. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    The P6 is an excellent table. I love mine. Pitch stability with the P6 is dead on. Don’t underestimate Rega’s higher level carts. Though by looking at your system you don’t have MC capability at the moment. The P6/Ania/Aria combo is outstanding. The P6 is good enough to see you through drastically upgrading every other component you own.
     
  23. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    How can they answer like that?
    They're not interested in selling something that is performing as it should. And they are just interested in getting this of their hands and then it is your problem to trying different belts..

    Looking at Bellavista specifications it is stating:
    Speed: 33⅓ and 45 ±0.1%

    So even if the app is not the most accurate it so off so it is clearly out of specifications.
    33⅓ ±0.1% is a speed between 33,299 rpm and 33,366 rpm.

    So you can say that that specific table is defective when it is outside of specifications. And needs be fixed but not by you like the store wanted. :agree:
     
  24. dastinger

    dastinger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Yes, I decided to first upgrade the source because I know that if I upgraded the amp, preamp and speakers, the flaws on my P1 would become a lot more noticeable.

    Eventually, that's precisely the way I'm gonna go. The Rega ecosystem seems really interesting to me and I'll most probably go with the Ania/Aria combo after I buy my uncle's system.

    Yeh, they clearly just want to get rid of it and take no responsibility whatsoever for any issues. Obviously, if it was a new turntable, they would answer differently, but it is still unacceptable imo. With that kind of answer they just probably lost me as a customer at least for this turntable.

    That's why I love the Rega rep in my country. His principle is having satisfied customers and he works hard for that. His store has 5 stars reviews in a lot of places by a lot of different people and it's easy to understand why. Always kind and ready to help. I'm sure he would never say something like that to a customer. And call me crazy but that is another reason I'm staying with Rega. The level of customer service is that good.
     
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