Ortofon Blue Vs LP Gear A3SV on Planar 3?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheRedMantra, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. TheRedMantra

    TheRedMantra Member

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    I’m about to pull the trigger on my first proper turntable. I have decided on a Rega Planar 3, Cambridge Solo Preamp, Audioengine A5+ Speakers. The plan is to start with a table worth keeping for the forseeable future. I can upgrade to a proper preamp, amp and speakers eventually.

    The cartridge is where I am not decided. I have it narrowed to the Ortofon Blue or the LP Gear Vessell A3SV. The pro of the ortofon is that I can purchase the entire setup from my local shop. I know I can order it all online but I like the idea of supporting local and having local support.

    Does anyone have experience with either of these cartridges on this table? From what I’ve read the LP Gear carts are very nice and can be upgraded more economically eventually. I’m itching to finalize my purchase. Any input would be appreciated (as long as it isn’t ‘have you thought about trying blah blah blah’ or don’t get that garbage, you need a blah blah blah’).

    Thanks!
     
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  2. blujay

    blujay Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t heard the Vessel, but the Blue is the gem of the 2M lineup. I’d rather have it than the Orange. If you can get it at a discount from the dealer on your package deal it’s a great choice.
     
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  3. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    I've heard a lower Vessel cartridge. Go Ortofon.
     
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  4. TheRedMantra

    TheRedMantra Member

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    Yeah. The Vessel seems like a gamble. I haven’t heard many complaints about the Ortofons. Seems like a safe choice. I can ask for a discount but this is a relatively low end purchase for my local Rega dealer. They’re super nice and very knowledgable so I like working with them. Asking for discounts on luxuries can be difficult.

    I don’t have the budget for a tremendous system so I’m trying to be sensible. Something to keep me happy for a few years and then a solid base to upgrade down the road. I went and listed to some nice speakers yesterday and I’m ruined... but for $400 the Audioengines will make a nice starter set.

    I’m an overthinking ‘keyboard-jockey’ and I’m sure I’ll be happy with the blue. I’m just intrigued by the Vessel and would love to hear some first hand accounts.
     
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  5. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    The top end is rolled off on the Vessel vs. the Ortofon 2m Blue. The 2m Blue is a safe bet. You'll need the dealer to install a 2mm shim under the arm to raise it to the correct arm height with the Rega.

    I know you specifically said no other suggestions, but I have to point out the Rega Elys 2. They are made to work together right out of the box.
     
  6. TheRedMantra

    TheRedMantra Member

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    I listened to a stock rega cart and it is nice. But I like the idea of a customized system. I’m sure the differences will be miniscule between the stock cartridge and the ortofon blue but emotional gains are hard to measure.

    And the more I ponder and delve the more I’m thinking of Nagaoka MP-110/150. But buying those options locally seems to be tough. And even if the 110 costs half as much it supposedly lasts half as long. I wish I could demo them... Maybe when I upgrade my speakers I’ll start playing around with starting a cartridge collection.
     
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  7. SnowmaNick

    SnowmaNick Well-Known Member

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    I like the 2M Blue more than the Rega Elys, and about the same as the Nagaoka. I liked the Exact 2 more than all of those. If you go the Ortofon route make sure to take @HiFi Guy’s advice and get the spacer installed.

    That said, the beauty of a Rega cartridge is they are the right height and are soooooo easy to install yourself with their three bolt pattern. If you are a “set it and forget it type” it probably won’t matter much, but if you are swapping things out it’s convenient to not have to worry so much about VTA, etc.. Especially as Rega really focuses on rigidity over adjustability.

    I have a heavily modified Rega Planar 3 as one of my tables, so I’m just sharing from experience. @HiFi Guy also had one and had a thread with his adventures with it you may want to look up on this forum.

    Enjoy the journey and the music. That’s the best advice I can give.
     
  8. jaycee

    jaycee Well-Known Member

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    I have a blue on my U-turn. It's been good to me.
     
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  9. TheRedMantra

    TheRedMantra Member

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    I did read that thread today. It was really intriguing to see how far one can take this table!
     
  10. kyle_D

    kyle_D New Member

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    I've used the 2m Blue and Nagaoka MP-150 on my 2016 P3. They're different sounding carts. Tonally, the Blue emphasizes the treble more, although I've never found it fatiguing. It's a very nice sounding cart and its reputation is well-earned, but I don't disagree with those who find it a bit clinical. The MP-150 is tonally warmer and more mellow than the 2M, but it separates the instruments better and has a deeper sound stage. I've also found that the Nagaoka tracks slightly better than the 2M Blue. The break-in time on the Nagaoka is also very real. It honestly sound pretty terrible and congested out of the box, but it really opens up after about 30 hours.
     

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