Interestingly as Joe of Chicago put it : " 'Clearly'... is a Very Worthwhile RP1 Modification! ...."
"You are right, I'm a very happy man with the new plinth!" Joe said after upgrading to the acrylic plinth.
Let's not waste a single minute, take a look now at Joe's new "Clearly" upgrade:
|New look with the Acrylic Plinth|
I have been adding Michael's modifications to my Rega RP1 for over a year now, each one of them taking my modest RP1 to a whole new level. I felt there was still one very important component that could use improving and that was the plinth itself. At first I asked Michael if he had a Planar 3 plinth that he could sell me, which would be an excellent upgrade in itself. He did; however he told me he was testing a new mod, an acrylic plinth, and said he could have one made for me that would be a replacement for the RP1 MDF plinth. I jumped at the chance and ordered one!
After just two weeks the new plinth arrived and I began the project of replacing my white MDF plinth with the acrylic plinth. First of all, I need to say that the plinth is visually stunning! It certainly passed "the wife-acceptance factor" as my wife said it was absolutely beautiful, something she has never previously said in regards to any part of my turntable! However it was the very low resonance properties of the acrylic material itself that made me interested in using it to improve the sound of my deck. In that area it really excels, and I am very happy with the results. I have the plinth model that is made to accommodate the motor isolation base which, in turn, rests on the acrylic isolation base. A perfect match! Here are some photos of the project and my initial listening notes
The plinth comes with three sets of aluminum feet consisting of an upper and lower lock nut with rubber O ring seals. This makes for easy leveling and allows you to screw the aluminum feet mod directly to the lock nuts with the provided screw. Very well thought out on Michael’s part!
Close up of lock nut in place, with screw for threading Michael’s aluminum feet.
The finished aluminum foot in place with lock nut bolts. Rubber foot inverted and filled with sand, then inserted into aluminum foot.
Next I added the top aluminum brace mod. I used a silicone adhesive for bonding the metal to the acrylic. Note that Michael provides two screws with lock nut washers to help fully secure the bracing to the plinth.
Next I positioned the Plinth over the motor isolation base. Note the pre-cut square opening that allows easy positioning of the base under the plinth. This also allows for very accurate alignment of the double belts with the sub-platter.
Close up of the motor isolation base with double pulley and double belts. Perfect center alignment! A lower position of the belts on the sub platter is fine as well.
Rega RB 300 tone arm in place. The acrylic plinth and the acrylic isolation base now act as one unified platform for the TT, providing for a great amount of vibration isolation. This has added one great improvement over the MDF stock plinth for my deck.
For any readers interested in the two modules below my deck, they are, at left, a PSU made by Falcon Industries and its accompanying tachometer (The Road Runner) which gives constant feedback to the PSU to correct for speed inconsistencies in the belt drive. The PSU allows for incremental speed correction. I highly recommend this PSU and tach; they offer many major features not found on the Rega PSU or on the Music Hall PSU, in my opinion. This is not an endorsement of these products, just my evaluation. Note that as a testament to Michael’s double pulley and double silicon belt mods, my TT is reading 33.3 steady out to 3 decimal places! This would be reason enough to apply his dual pulley/dual belt mod. This reading was not possible with the stock or the white Rega single belt.
My Initial listening impressions are as follows:
The addition of the acrylic plinth improves the sound in many areas. Mostly my LP’s play louder without having to turn up the volume as much as previously. I suppose this has to do with the acrylic plinth’s unique isolation properties over MDF or solid wood. I do not know if it is a better material than solid wood or perhaps slate; however I can hear an improved substantial difference over the MDF material. Bass is tighter and deeper without distortion. The midrange is more fluid, and the highs are more accurate and natural sounding. The plinth is definitely allowing the RB300 and my Ortofon M2 Blue to pass on more information to my amp stages. There is detail in the music now that I have not heard previously, and the soundstage is wider with more air and transparency around the instruments. All in all, the improvements are not subtle! I highly recommend this mod. You will not be dissapointed in the sonic improvements it will make to your deck.