Rega Planar 6 - Exact or Ania?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by kdl6769, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    The mains frequency and the motor frequency are one and the same. The AC motor is just an extention of the AC line, and is driven by the 50hz frequency of the AC distribution in the UK. What happens with any moving magnet cartridge is that its tiny magnet is effected by the stronger magnetic field of an AC motor system. The cure is to shield the motor or cartridge from that field. It's cheaper to shield a cartridge than a motor due to size of the materials, but either method can work. It adds cost and isn't necessary for most cartridges, so it isn't done on all AC motor implementations. It probably should be done on all MM cartridges, but some makers report that it damps the HF response of the cartridge, effecting the transparency of the reproduction. Grado is most often mentioned but Rega and others also prefer not to install shields in their cartridges.

    Hum is very low for both of these cartridge designs and most people who like the sound of them choose them without even noticing any sort of hum, or finding it below the level of Lp surface noise or environmental ambient noise, so it is not an issue for them. Grado carts transmit more hum than other designs and I have sold that brand for years. I have had customers come in who state that they have read that Grado cartridges hum on Rega turntables, and I have just happened to have such a pairing for them to listen to. I haven't done that in a while, but it sounds very good and is fun to watch those who have read about it actually experience it. I have heard pretty much the same response from many people who have experienced such a system here but my favorite memory of that is as follows. A guy comes in who is looking to buy a turntable. He wants a cartridge installed on one as well. He happens to be an EE. I think I havd 4 or 5 turntable / cartridge combinations set-up on demo then and after finding out what his budget was, I walked him over to the Rega P3 with a Grado Platinum on it. After I told him what cartridge was on it, he stated that he had heard that they were incompatible due to hum. So, I demonstrated the phenomenon to him, moving the tonearm all the way over to the very end of the record groove and cranked the volume for him to hear the hum that was blowing up the internet. He laughed out loud, and said "That's what they were complaining about?!". I said, "Yeah.". After that, I played him the first track and then the last and with the arm down, needle in the groove at the end of the Lp, I again cranked up the volume so that he could see just how loud the music was in comparison to the hum at the same position. He loved the sound of the rig and bought the deck and cartridge just as it was. OK, that's one guy, but that's not the end of the story. So a few weeks later, another guy comes in and tells me that he is the business partner of the EE who bought the Rega/Grado combo and that he was also an EE (they design and sell specialty wiring harnesses to the military and aerospace industry) and that he had been over to the other fellow;s house and heard his new turntable and cartridge. He had a similar budget and was so pleased with the sound and value that he wanted one just like it. he also bought the same pairing. So the moral of that story is, I suppose, that one first hand experience can be worth a thousand repetitions of a rumor. Yes, there is noise, there will always be noise in any and every system, and that noise is expressed in a ratio called SNR. The thing that matters is what are the other sources of noise and how does each effect the listening experience. Since such a hum is at so low a level, and is a constant, it is perhaps the least intrusive of all noise sources. I make more noise leaning back in my chair...

    So the point of that wasn't to convince you or anyone else that all cartridges are just fine on any table, it was just to put into context what we are talking about. Most people would find that the sonic qualities and benefits of these pairings outweigh the trade-off in a slight low frequency hum. That is, by listening. Now rationalizing that in someone's mind is another thing entirely. My concern is always enjoying listening, not rationalizing a concept to myself. if such a slight hum bothers someone, there are other cartridge options. I also sell the Ortofon cartridges whos MM versions are shielded and do not hum. AT as well. These sound different from the Grado and Rega versions, whos designs are both a bit warmer sounding on average. So the consumer can decide for themselves. If they want to try a MC cartridge, then any of those from any make should not reproduce AC motor noise due to their larger magnet structures and thus their own greater magnetic fields. What they do not like however are steel platters.
    -Bill
     
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  2. RafalLukawiecki

    RafalLukawiecki New Member

    Location:
    Ireland
    Thank you, Bill @KT88 for your very comprehensive answer, which I appreciate, very much, as it gives me a first clear sign that an MC cartridge may be the way to fix this issue—and hopefully not to create many new ones. :)

    I agree that this level hum, at normal playback levels, is very much part of the resulting sound and does not usually elevate above it, with the significant exception of listening to quieter passages towards the end of a record, mainly in classical recordings, when it is audible. However on several other records, unfortunately, I can hear the hum’s effect as a softening and a warming up of low bass. I tried playing a record on a different turntable in a store (a Thorens) and I did not hear the hum on it, but neither did I like the overall sound as much as on this Rega.

    Thanks again for the feedback. I will see if I can get a loaner of a P6 with Ania from my dealer to see if that combination works better for me than the P6 with Exact, which I really like in every other respect.
     
  3. Mateo Sanboval

    Mateo Sanboval For me, the action is the juice.

    That hum sounds like a wild issue. I've heard of that before with Rega turntables, but I thought it had been squared away with the Planar 6.
     
    RafalLukawiecki likes this.
  4. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    We are just addressing shielding issues here between cartridges and the motors EM field. Some cartridges are shielded and some are not. Some are more well shielded than others. Pro-Ject also uses mostly AC synchronous motors on their decks. So some cartridges will just operate more or less silently on different tables, depending upon their shielding, without regard to brand.
    -Bill
     
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  5. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Unstable Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I've had my P6 for about a year now and started out with the Ania and am now using an Exact, so I thought I would add my 2 cents. I really liked the Ania after about 30 hours of use. Well balanced. Just got out of the way of the music. Good in the bass, midrange and treble. I just couldn't find a fault with it. Nothing blew your mind or stood out other than excellent sounding music. I have another good table running an Ortofon Bronze and that's a good cart, but I preferred the P6/Ania in that it was quieter, more dynamic and more forgiving of surface noise (I am a fan of the Bronze). Well I bent my Ania and had to replace it. I went for the Exact to save a few bucks off the Ania, and so far I find it to be superior. It is less resolving and has less high end detail. But the midrange of the Exact is just terrific. I keep trying to listen to the Cart and analyze it and I keep drifting off into the music because it is just so involving. I do think most people going from an Exact to an Ania would find the Ania to be an upgrade as it has more high end sparkle (in a good way). But the warmer presentation of the Exact fits my resolving B&W speakers so perfectly. You don't notice the bass or treble quite as much with the Exact, but it is there in adequate amounts. But the midrange magic puts in ahead in my opinion. Both are perfectly matched to the P6 and I could live happily with either one. The Rega synergy is real.
     
  6. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    It's interesting to hear from someone, who's experienced both cartridges. I bought the P6/Exact combo last year because my phono stages did not have LOMC capability. I now have the Aria, which has both LOMC and MM capability. One of the things I really appreciate about the Exact is that does not seem to pick up as much surface noise as other cartridges I've used. How does the Ania with the Exact regarding surface noise?
     
  7. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Unstable Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I think the Ania and Exact are similar in regard to surface noise. I don't hear much of a difference and both of them are more forgiving than my Ortofon Bronze.

    After spending more time with my Exact, which may be a lemon because it rides VERY low and close to the record while my Ania did not. I am going to have to say the Ania is superior. On some recordings the exact sound excellent, on some it sounds too veiled and dark for my tastes. I thought the Ania sounded great on everything (and if it didn't the pressing was inferior or exposed). While with the exact some records I love it and some I do not. I should have known to wait to write a review for longer than 20 hours on it. I now have about 150 or so hours on the exact and I'm not a big fan of it. I love it and then the next record I dislike it. I never felt that way about the Ania. My next step is to get the Ania re-tipped by a guy who claims that he can make the Ania sound like the Aphaeta for $450. I figure that's worth the gamble since that is less than the exact and I have some friends giving the guy positive reviews.

    I would probably prefer my Bronze over the Exact at this point. The exact has a better midrange and is better on surface noise. But this sound is just too veiled and the highs are too rolled off. It's not a bad cart, but I don't think it's worth $599, even though I paid less. The Exact does the job and if you prefer silk tweeters to aluminum it may be the cart for you. But I like high frequency detail, and the exact simply can't deliver that on my system.
     
  8. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hamilton, Canada
    Thank you for that information. My experience with the Exact is similar to yours. Some records sound great with the Exact and some sound veiled. The Exact seems to really shine with older records. I still have my old P3/Bronze for the records that don't sound so great with the Exact. I will be looking at the Ania, once my Exact is used up.
     
  9. CMT

    CMT Forum Resident

    In case you're considering other options, and FWIW, I have the Planar with an Ortofon Bronze 2M and I'm very happy with it (Outlaw Audio rr2160 integrated amp, KEF R3 speakers).
     
  10. Car

    Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uk
    I've got a planar 6 with exact. I've not tried a 'better' cartridge with the turntable so I can't provide expertise, but the exact is a wonderful cartridge, lovely sound, bass is good, mids are awesome, and highs are good. The mids are what makes this cartridge. They're revealing and force one to foot tap...
     
  11. Ivand

    Ivand Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Is there a cartridge that delivers the attributes of both the Exact (Bass, warmth, great midrange)
    And the Ania (clear, detail retrieval, airy highs) that can be used with the P6?

    Based in my experience with both, moving from the Exact to the Ania is not necessarily and upgrade. I find them different. Exact is great for rock. Ania does a nice job with Jazz records.
     
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  12. ns2357

    ns2357 Active Member

    Location:
    nh
    Hey any chance you can tell me who this guy is that you're using to retip the Ania (and if you've done it yet, how's it sound)? Asking mainly because I'm considering having mine retipped (though not quite yet, mine's just over a year old so it should have plenty of life left in it) from Sound Smith (likely going with either the Ruby Cantilever / Nude Contact Line Diamond or the step up to the Ruby Cantilever / Optimized Contour Nude Contact Line Diamond, slightly less than the $450 you were quoted and seems to be a good option. I believe the Ania Pro uses a Vital stylus, which they claim makes it very close to the Apheta, but the nude contact line sounds like it could be a great option as well based on Sound Smith's description).
     
  13. cbl117

    cbl117 Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm wondering the same. I have a P6 / Exact2 / Fono MM Mk3, and considering the Ania Pro and Fono MC.

    Does anyone have any experience with whether the P6 can handle the Ania pro? Or would that be putting too much cartridge on that table?

    I've read that the Fono MC was made for the Ania, but would the Fono MC do the Ania pro justice?
     
    Ivand likes this.
  14. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    The Ania was designed and made for the P6, so it will surely fit the P6 well
     
  15. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    The Ania Pro works great on the P6! As a matter of fact, there are 2 factory mount options with the Aria Pro, the P6 and P8. So Rega feels it's a good match.
     
    Echoes Myron likes this.
  16. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Have you much familiarity with the sound of the Ania Pro? Does it lean closer to the sound of the bog standard Ania or does it have some of the sound characteristics of the Apheta 2? I'm curious since Rega handed down some of the features from the Apheta 2 like the tapered cantilever and I'm not sure but the stylus as well or is the stylus' geometry unique to the Pro? It would be interesting to have an idea of what the Ania Pro would sound like on a Planar 8, though I'm almost definitely in line for the Apheta 3 in the coming months, ( it will be the third cartridge on this turntable) a savings of nearly $900 is worth looking into although I should receive a sizable credit for my used Apheta 2 via Rega's trade in policy as I did with the previous Apheta 2. The difference is a little less striking when that is considered.
     
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  17. Lowgroove

    Lowgroove Forum Resident

    I have a 2mm shim on my P6. You can close the lid but it touches the counterweight - doesn't lift the stylus out of the groove but reduces tracking force. So I would say it only just touches - maybe there is a tolerance variance between our decks and for some P6's it touches and others it does not.

    Not an issue for me as I do not play records with the lid on.
     
  18. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I can go up to 3.5mm on my rp8, the lid still closes.
    I could never try 4mm, the screws aren't long enough.
     
  19. Mookielagoo

    Mookielagoo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Exeter

    Yeah, my P2 with Exact does it too.. Tried repositioning amp, speakers and nailed it down to the motor.. I'm living with it.. Its no bother.. Lovely TT's but very odd that rega research haven't sorted it!?
     
  20. Pmds55889397

    Pmds55889397 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Scandinavian
    FWIW my "go to" cartridge is Goldring G1042.
    Great allrounder even I have others.
    When listening to similar priced, even more expensive this is the cartridge to own.
    Require carefull setup.
     
    Ivand likes this.
  21. reeler

    reeler Forum Resident

    Pretty sure Rega, and also Grado cartridges don't have shielding. They will pick up things that shielded cartridges don't. As far as those companies are concerned there's nothing to "sort", it's part of the design philosophy.
     
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  22. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I had an exact on my RP8 and did not have any hum issue, when i sold it to purchase the Alpheta, the buyer had a lot of hum on his old turntable.
    I told him he can send it back to me for refund as i did not experience any hum and would be happy to take it back.
    He later told me he rewired his arm and did not have any hum anymore ...

    Is that possible ?
     
  23. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Sure. Arm tubes need to be shielded or the wires within them can pick-up noise from external sources. Some ground connection there was either broken or missing.
    -Bill
     
  24. CharHen

    CharHen Member

    Location:
    Bay area
    I have the p6 with ania cartridge and been really happy using the rega mc fono. I recently upgraded my pre amplifier to a McIntosh c70. Would you recommend I still use the rega Mc fono or Just use the c70 mc stage?
     
  25. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    It seems kinda silly to ask others when you can just listen and decide for yourself. I'd try both and if the Mac was better, or even just as good, then I'd sell the Rega unit. If the Rega is better, then I would continue using it. It's also quite possible that one stage will sound better with one cartridge and yet worse with another cartridge, so what you will be comparing now is simply your present cartridge into both stages. When you change cartridges, if you decide on trying another brand or model, then you can try both phono preamps again to see which is the best mate for the new cartridge, should you keep both stages.
    -Bill
     

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