Tonearm F.A.Q.

What are the performance differences between the Rega RB250, RB300, RB600 & RB900 arms after modification?

What are the physical differences between the Rega RB250, RB300, RB600 & RB900 ?

What are the differences between the "badged" Rega RB 250 and RB 300 arms (such as Moth, Michell etc. RB250 or RB300 arms) and the versions that Rega supplies?

Can the Rega structural modification be reversed?

In the case where you modify a new arm, does the manufacturer's warranty still apply?

What brand of cartridge clips do you use on the internal wiring?

Why is copper wire used in the rega rewire?

How is the external wiring connected to the internal wiring?

How long have you been modifying Rega tonearms and approximately how many have you completed?

Can the Rega arms be mounted in the same location as my current tonearm without modifying the existing hole or is a new board required?

What are the Rega arm specifications?

Will the modified Rega be a good match for my turntable in terms of performance?

What cartridge weights will the arm take?

What are the performance differences between the rega arms after modification?

Prior to modification the RB900 RB600 and RB300 are superior to the RB250 but after modification, the RB250 is slightly better than the modified RB900 RB600 and RB300. The main difference being that modified RB250 has more power and control in the bass than an rb 900 rb600 or rb 300. See comparison comments at bottom of "Owners views" page.

What are the physical differences between the rega rb250, rb300, rb600 and rb900?

Rear end stub: The most significant difference between the arms is that the RB300, RB600 & RB900 have a stainless steel stub at the rear end where the rega counterweight is mounted. The rear rega stub on the RB250 is plastic. This difference alone explains the RB250's inferiority to the RB300 RB600 and RB900. Once modified this difference is removed and the modded RB250 is superior to the RB300, RB600 and RB900.

Counterweight: The counterweight on the Rega RB300 RB600 and RB900 is either tungsten or stainless steel. The rega counterweight on the Rega RB250 is black in colour.

Bearings: The rega bearings in the RB300 and upper arms are different.

Tracking force adjustment: The Rega RB300 RB600 and RB900 have a spring dial system to set tracking force. On the Rega RB250 tracking force is adjusted by rotating the counterweight. Once modified you will need a stylus balance to set the tracking weight on the RB250.

rega arm base: The mounting body of the Rega RB300 is made of stainless steel, whereas the mounting body of the rega RB250 is made of brass. The arm base on the rb900 is very different and is held by 3 bolts which has a better decoupling effect than the standard arm.

What are the differences between the "badged" rb250 and rb300 arms (such as Moth, Michell etc. RB250 or RB300 arms) and the versions that Rega supplies?

There is no difference between an rb250 and rb300 arm supplied by rega and their "badged" OEM equivalents supplied by Rega to other manufacturers such as NAD, Moth, Michell, Audio Note, Basis etc. Rega simply supply their standard arms to other manufacturers who then have their own badges placed on the arm. In all other respects the arms are identical.

Can the Rega structural modification be reversed?

Yes it can and we will do this free of charge.

In the case where you modify a new arm, does the manufacturer's warranty still apply?

Almost all manufacturers do not approve of anyone modifying their equipment for obvious reasons. This is usually the case, regardless of how well the improvement is acknowledged by independent sources. Rega are no different in this respect and so their warranty does not apply. Problems with the structural modification simply don't occur. After internal wiring is completed, the arm is tested to make sure that there is no binding of the arm as it swings through its full range of motion. It is in our interests not to have to rectify work. The vast majority of owners have found the Rega arms are exceptionally robust and trouble free. This continues to be the case after modification.

What type of cartridge clips do you use on the internal wiring?

The old cartridge tags are replaced with gold plated, copper beryllium versions. The cartridge lead out wires are also upgraded with silver plated, PTFE insulated wire.

Why is copper wire used in the rega rewire?

Please don't be misled by specifications - we've tried PTFE, silver plate, solid silver etc. but these factors in the absence of the major factors are low in priority. For example silver is only 1.05 times more conductive than copper whereas the alloy plugs we offer are 2 times as conductive as brass but nobody asks "what are the phono plugs made of?". The fact is that there are critical elements of cable design that are not talked about and which have 10 times the influence on the sound that Teflon has. Without meaning to be vague, the information on the make up of our cables is largely confidential and not particularly meaningful as it is almost impossible to pick out a high performance wire on such things as Silver, PTFE, coaxial, Balanced? etc. Most people are unaware of the things that really make a wire tick so we don't advertise them as it would be irrelevant to the public and give away too much to our competitors. At the end of the day one has to make a choice based on reputation and results rather than specifications which even the experts don't fully understand although some may claim to.

How is the external wiring connected to the internal wiring?

Whatever the external wire used it is always best to hardwire it to the internal wiring as Rega do. 5 pin plugs not only introduce a joint into the signal path but more importantly they are made of brass which is only 70% copper. Brass has a poor grain structure for conduction and degrades signal quality. At the very low signal levels involved at the phono stage the aforementioned problems should be avoided as they are more serious than most people imagine.

We continue to use the Rega plug for Rega's own external wiring. Alternatively when fitting our own external cable or one of an owners choice then we use our own plug and still hardwire to the internal arm wires. Our own external cable is as flexible as Rega's own cable for the length near the arm base and will not cause problems for suspended decks.

How long have you been modifying Rega tonearms and approximately how many have you completed?

We have been modifying and rewiring arms for over 10 years. To date we have upgraded hundreds of arms.

Can the Origin Live & Rega arms be mounted in the same location as my current tonearm without modifying the existing hole or is a new board required?

Firstly - The base mounting of Origin Live arms from Encounter upwards, is identical in geometry and fitting as the older style Rega base mounts (i.e not the new 3 point mounting).

A modified Rega retains it's original geometry and fitting in every respect - the modified RB250 is also a straight swap for the RB600 and RB900.

If your arm is not a Rega it is certainly possible to fit the Origin Live or Rega to your deck but you may either have to modify your existing armboard or acquire a new one - (see a dealer for the second option). The OL and Rega arms require a singe hole in the armboard - 24mm or 25mm in diameter to fit into. Once the arm is inserted through this hole it is then secured by a large nut on the underside of the board which clamps it on.

3 point fixing of newer Rega and OL arms below Encounter level - In addition to the 24mm hole, the 3 point mounted arms need 3 small holes for either wood screws or M3 allen bolts, to fasten the arm to the board. You are best to use the arm itself as the template to mark and then drill these small holes.

The distance from centre of arm position to centre of platter spindle needs to be 223mm. The Rega can rotate to be fixed at any angle . The length of the arm from its mounting hole centre to the cartridge end of the arm is 245mm. The arm overhang to the rear is 50mm to the end of the counterweight stub. If you modify your current armboard you will need to cut out the board to take the Rega to the dimensions given above. This will leave you with a hole to the side of the arm. However this can be hidden if you make up a large circular plate washer of black card, aluminium or other material and glue this to the armboard - the spacing washers we supply with a new arm have an outside diameter of 48mm and will formally fulfil this function for most situations ( the thickness of the washer is 1.5mm). The advantage of gluing the washer to the armboard is that it also locates the arm in the correct position.

In terms of relative height, the arm needs approx. 32 mm of height between the top of the armboard and the top of the platter - this enables it to be fitted almost exactly without even using spacing washers.

If your existing cut out is too large you can screw on one of our VTA adjusters £48 to the underside of the armboard. This would give you infinite adjustment and improve the sound quality but see VTA adjuster to check whether you can fit this to your deck.

If you own a Linn we supply a pre-drilled arm board, identical in every respect to the Linn board but without the Logo or you can purchase a Linn armboard tor the Rega mount from Linn Products. We recommend that it is easy to fit the Rega modified arms to modern Linn's even thought the corner piece can some times foul the arm as you can carve off the offending wood with a Stanley knife or equivalent.

If you have a Thorens deck we understand that you can purchase Thorens arm boards from
Technical & General, PO Box 53, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 2BY     Tel: 01892 654534

What are the Rega arm specifications?

Technical Specification
Low effective mass 11 grams
Effective length 240 mm
Overhang 17.2 mm
Offset angle 23 degrees
Mounting distance: platter centre to arm hole centre 223 mm
Diameter of mounting hole 24 - 25mm
Size of base mounting nut 32mm A/F (across flats)
Maximum armboard thickness 27mm
Total Weight 436 grams
Capacitance 0.002uF
Resistance 0.002 ohms

The tip of the stylus should be 240mm from the pivot. In approximate terms, the armboard mounting hole should be such that the cartridge stylus will "overhang" the record centre (spindle) by a distance of around 17mm for an arm that is of 240mm Effective Length (distance from stylus to armboard mounting hole centre). Roughly check this by swinging the stylus over the record spindle.

Will the modified Rega be a good match for my turntable in terms of performance?

The modified arm is totally different to a standard Rega. Whereas the standard Rega is not really well matched for say - the Linn Sondek, this is simply no longer the case with a modified Rega, which has proved to be an exceptionally good match. This is exactly what you would expect from a neutral arm possessing an accurately balanced performance.

What cartridge weights will the arm take?

Using the standard counterweight the arm will take cartridges up to 15 grams - which covers just about all cartridges.
Using the "heavy" counterweight the arm will take cartridges up to 20 grams but will have trouble balancing lighter cartridges.

Address

Origin Live Ltd. Unit 5, 362B Spring Road Sholing, Southampton SO19 2PB, UK