Hi,

In response to your REGA query. I have had a Planar 2 and a Planar 3 pass
through my hands, and agree that they are good budget turntables with
decent value for money (at least in the UK). 

A `tweak' which you may have fun with is as follows (and I don't really
know if it'll work on the 3, or whether you'll like it etc but it's
quickly reversible, and fun). I used a RB300 on a Roksan Xerxes for a
couple of years, with a Linn K9, an Audio Technica F5 and then an Audio
Technica OC9 in it. A good arm, but I was lusting after the Roksan
Artimez. I bought an Artimez in the end, but while I was saving I had a
play with the RB300. You may or may not be familiar with the Roksan
Artimez arm. It has an odd counterweight arrangement, where the weight
isn't fixed, but left to dangle under the armtube. It's quite stable
really though does move around. The idea is that when the arm moves
horizontally it `tilts' the counterweight more or less around its centre
of gravity rather than moving it wholesale. The arrangement is something
like: 


                         -------------
                        |      |pivet |  
                        |     -=-     |
                        |    |   |    | -- frame
                        |     ---     |
                        |   armtube   |
                        |             |
                      -------------------
                     |                   |  -- weight
                      -------------------  
                           

The pivet as a needle type affair attached to the frame, which rests in a
little cup on the arm tube. 

OK, so what I did was to try and rig up a similar arrangement for the
RB300. First by simply dangling the weight from the armtube. Results were
promising (or I thought so at the time) so I made an arrangement that was
more or less like the one in the schematic, using a chunk of steel for the
weight, and a removable rubber o-ring arrangement with a small metal cup on
it for the pivet to locate in. All of it was easy to do, totally
reversible, and didn't even look too weird either (when painted black). 

I've got no idea what I'd think of the arrangement now, but in that
system, in that room etc, I liked the results very much. Subjectively, the
transients were sharper, more detail, more musical, and deeper and
weightier bass. 

I don't know how it would work on a Planar 3, but if you try, let me know
how you get on. By the way, you set the spring tracking weight to zero,
and apply the tracking force by moving the counterweight (need a set of
stylus scales). Though I suppose you should also try balancing the arm as
usual and using the dial-in force method too. 

Finally, if you do ever go to a LP12, I would not personally recommend an
RB300 for it. I've heard the combination and wasn't impressed. The RB300
is a good budget arm. Very good in fact. But it isn't a super-arm (as some
people in the British press used to say). The single biggest improvement I
have ever had in a system was when I finally went from the RB300 to the
Artimez. I prefer the cheap Linn arms (LVX, Basik, Akito) to the RB300
when on the LP12. 


Cheers

Neil McBride
Unit for Space Sciences
Physics Laboratory
University of Kent
Canterbury
CT2 7NR, UK.