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DandyCobalt's picture
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Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade
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On another thread...

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/turntables-and-lps/rega-p9-at-what-cost  

...I was trying to decide (with forum help) on what path to follow, after a Rega P3-24. 

One suggestion, from CJSF, was to keep the P3-24, but subject it to an upgrade from Inspire HiFi in Chesterfield. They take your Rega, reuse the arm (in this case a Rega RB301), sub-platter and thing below it, but then replace the plinth, the platter and other options.

After talking with Robert from Inspire, I decided to go the whole hog, plumping for a plinth with Mocassar ebony veneer, on top of the standard 50mm birch ply.

Here is what my Rega P3-24 looked before...

Rega P3-24

 

and here's what it looks like now...

 

Quest Inspire Rega Upgrade

 

Quest Inspire Rega Upgrade

The result is absolutley stunning! The build quality is excellent - it is now a substantially heavier beast - it really feels like a much more expensive machine, and is exactly what I was after when I started the search.

The complete turntable that I now have has:

50mm birch ply plinth with lacquered mocassar ebony veneer

23mm acrylic platter

Acrylic Acri Mat

Inspire HiFi puck

Acrylic cone feet

Origin Live counterweight

From my P3-24: sub-platter, RB301 arm

Goldring 1042 cartridge

TT-PSU power supply. (played via Trichord Dino/+ and rest as per profile)

Robert also refitted the lid hinges, so my existing lid fitted back perfectly.

(a note if you already have a Rega wall bracket: ask Robert to put the feet in the original Rega positions, as Inspire prefer wider positioning for the feet)

After refitting the counterweight and sorting the downforce (I've gone for 1.75g to start, using a cheap ortofon balance), I was ready to play.

With all settings (volume etc) the same as with the P3-24 before the makeover, I played the records that I was most familiar with from previous playing:

Beck - Sea Change (mofi version)

Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas

Jonathan Wilson - Gentle Spirit

and then a new one Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Street Survivors", new remastering on Mobile Fidelity.

 

The most obvious change to sound was that the soundstage has grown sideways and forwards. Quite considerably.

On vocals, the singer seems to be about two feet closer to me, and the instruments seem about a foot wider each side of the l/r speakers.

Also, there seems to be a lot more separation to the instruments, and the bass seems much more defined.

As a bonus, there was none of the static that I have been plagued with before the change. Not a crackle, even when lifting off the vinyl after playing.

I'm really pleased with the results. (for info, total cost of the upgrades was approx. £480)

Thanks to all, and especially cjsf, for the heads-up on Inspire Hifi, and thanks to Robert for creating a unique turntable for me.

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

Oh my...

Moderator: john.duncan.whf at gmail dot com
Kit in state of flux

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

Very nice Dandy, is Mrs Dandy happy? . . . The Standard Rega does look a bit grim edgwise:? 

Did you upgrade or damp the subplatter, or is it the standard original?

CJSF

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

Congratulations!  That looks absolutely gorgeous, I'm sure it sounds as good as it looks.

 

As a fellow Goldring 1042 man, I'd be very interested in seeing how low yours tracks. Mine, is no more than 1 - 1.5mm off the vinyl. It sounds great but had it checked out by an expert over the weekend and was told everything was in order, and that the 1042 does track lower than most cartridges.

 

.

Creek/ProJect/SBT/Epos

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

CJSF wrote:

Very nice Dandy, is Mrs Dandy happy? . . . The Standard Rega does look a bit grim edgwise:? 

Did you upgrade or damp the subplatter, or is it the standard original?

CJSF

I did have sub-platter damping, but Robert took the segments out, and I haven't put them back. Perhaps, with everything else it no longer needs them. I'll do an A/B test at some point.

ps. Mrs C is very happy  Smile

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

Hmmm...

...no!

I can resist it. I can resist.

Very nice though.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

DIB wrote:

Congratulations!  That looks absolutely gorgeous, I'm sure it sounds as good as it looks.

As a fellow Goldring 1042 man, I'd be very interested in seeing how low yours tracks. Mine, is no more than 1 - 1.5mm off the vinyl. It sounds great but had it checked out by an expert over the weekend and was told everything was in order, and that the 1042 does track lower than most cartridges.

Mine is same distance above vinyl (no more than a mm). Sounds damn fine.  Here's a pic ...

 

Goldring 1042

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

Resist Chebby?? Mmmm...not sure I can Wink

Mac Mini - Audirvana Plus - Meridian Explorer - AKG K551

NAD 320CEE - Boston Acoustics A26

 

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

I should be able to do my own comparison next week, I am collecting a used Quest on Friday, fitted with a RB251, I will fit a DL110 short term, as I have a couple in a draw at the moment, and feed that into a Edwards MC1 + PSU phono stage. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against a P9 Apheta and ios.

Anonymous
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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

I've been banging on about Inspire since I got my LP12 from them, nice to see someone else is extremely happy with the results.  Looks fantastic.

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

DandyCobalt wrote:

CJSF wrote:

Very nice Dandy, is Mrs Dandy happy? . . . The Standard Rega does look a bit grim edgwise:? 

Did you upgrade or damp the subplatter, or is it the standard original?

CJSF

I did have sub-platter damping, but Robert took the segments out, and I haven't put them back. Perhaps, with everything else it no longer needs them. I'll do an A/B test at some point.

ps. Mrs C is very happy  Smile

 

Keeping Mrs C on side is the right move . . . Dirol   When I was playing with damping the sub, it worked very well with the 20mm acrylic I was using, although I found 'minus two sections' tuned things in a bit . . . Smile

CJSF

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

Mmm . . . just showed Hazel your pictures Dandy . . . "can we do that with ours", she said? . . . seed sown and germinating ROFL

Neither of us like the P5's skirting board wood edge, even if it is cherry . . . ?

It sound like I'm off to Chesterfield on a dem????

CJSF

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

I suppose if you do the same thing to a P5 then you could sell the Rega parts (plinth etc) that aren't re-used? That would bring the actual cost down too.

Best advice would be to visit Inspire and see the finishes - Robert sent me a photo of a similar one that he'd put rounded edges on - I must admit that rounded edges would have been even better, but the lid wouldn't have fitted again. (I think he's an exhibitor at the Weybridge audioworld show on 24/25 March.)

What's really nice is that it has the simplicity of a Rega, but the look, feel and sound of something much more "bespoke".

I'll experiment with the damping, as is easy to do, but first I've got a pile of unopened vinyl to get through, and more on its way from acoustic sounds in the US. (An ideal compromise - a fab "new" turntable plus lots of new vinyl for less than a p7/p9/linn etc).

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

 

Yes, I like the idea of round edges, but I too feel the lid is required. However, if he is up for suggestions I have a couple of ideas?

I had a listen to 'Beck - Sea Changes' . . . wow!!!! It was our Horlicks hour listening last night, we both loved it. Obviously I dont have the vinyl, I found it on Spotify, if the quality on the vinyl is anything like I heard last night, I want a copy, thats the best Spotify album I have ever heard, it comes over just like analogue, with all the texture and atmosphere and the sound stage is enormous and well defined. If you have Spotify Dandy, give it a try A-B let me know how it compares? . . . Down side is £50 for the vinyl . . . !!! I will keep my eyes open in the charity shops and boot sales. Meanwhile I have a stunning down load copy.

CJSF

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

CJSF wrote:

 

Yes, I like the idea of round edges, but I too feel the lid is required. However, if he is up for suggestions I have a couple of ideas?

I had a listen to 'Beck - Sea Changes' . . . wow!!!! It was our Horlicks hour listening last night, we both loved it. Obviously I dont have the vinyl, I found it on Spotify, if the quality on the vinyl is anything like I heard last night, I want a copy, thats the best Spotify album I have ever heard, it comes over just like analogue, with all the texture and atmosphere and the sound stage is enormous and well defined. If you have Spotify Dandy, give it a try A-B let me know how it compares? . . . Down side is £50 for the vinyl . . . !!! I will keep my eyes open in the charity shops and boot sales. Meanwhile I have a stunning down load copy.

CJSF

Sea Change on vinyl (mofi) is a real keeper - absolutely superb. I'll A/B/CD it with the CD too  Smile 

 

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RE: Inspire Quest Rega Upgrade

Looks like I have got the 'thumbs up' if I want to go the 'Inspire' rout? Not in any hurry, they tell me they are moving factory in 5 weeks, so I recon it would be wise to keep away for a few months. Happens to suit me, what with Hazel in hospital and then caring for her, garden will need some work in-between times.

I would be very interested in a progress report Dandy.

CJSF

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