My main turntable used to be an RP6.....
When I saw the recent Vinyl Engine post from endrik35 in Manilla (My First Rega upgrade - groovy baby!!) I decided I had to do something similar but I wanted the plinth completely isolated from the Rega cover.
When I originally contacted Michael Lim, he told me that the ‘RP8-RP10’ type plinth that endrik35 showed was in fact a thin 2.5mm shim on top of his standard 18mm clear rectangular acrylic plinth. I then asked if he could use the same CNC programme to cut the18mm material down as well. Anyone who has purchased from Michael previously will know what a helpful, customer friendly man he is so he said he would check and come back to me.
A few weeks later he showed me a black prototype that he was testing which looked to be exactly what I wanted so I ordered the orange bonded plinth c/w upper and lower braces in ‘brushed’ finish, mounting feet, the clear outer frame plus the motor isolation kit.
My original RP6 was only using the plinth, bearing housing and glass platter as I had changed everything else over time. I had borrowed an acrylic platter some time ago and used it for over a week but felt it took a little transient attack away from my music, hence I have kept the glass platter.
- Audiomods Series V arm
- GT Reference subplatter & bearing
- Michael Lim double pulley
- New belts
- Funk platter mat with leather bonded addition plus a thin SRM-Tech soft pad between this and the glass
....Michael Lim motor isolation
....Michael Lim plinths & feet
Within a few days of ordering, Michael confirmed despatch and four days later the motor isolation base arrived. I decided to fit this to the RP6 whilst awaiting the new plinth, just so I could evaluate this separately:
1. Motor isolation base
Very easy to fit, following Michaels’ detailed instructions. What surprised me during removal was the simple sticky pad holding the motor to the Rega MDF plinth which was easily prised apart with a screwdriver. The RP6 has given me a lot of pleasure in its’ former state so I am impressed that something so basic could sound so good.
Whilst I was at it, I extended the cables between the motor and PCB board so this could be moved away from the turntable itself (in the housing adaptor supplied as part of the kit).
Once the motor isolation kit was in place, there was an immediately noticeable tightening and greater clarity to the lowest bass notes and that has persisted with every LP played since fitting this. Everything is also more sharply positioned within the soundstage - I was not expecting for this to improve quite so dramatically with vinyl playback. Upgrading the arm on my turntable and then adding a new sub platter and Lims’ double pulley & belts were previously the most positive changes I had made but isolating the motor had taken things a lot further (I play my system every day when at home and I know the sound signature intimately so this is no understatement). Instrument and performer positioning hung within a more believable 3D soundstage on appropriately mastered recordings and this is very addictive to listen to.
I will go so far as saying that in my opinion, isolating a Rega motor with Michael Lims’ isolation base is a must-do upgrade that every owner should consider. I am pleased that I had several days to hear the impact this had made before changing the plinth too.
2. The Plinth
This arrived just over a week after despatch, very well protected and packaged. To ensure maximum rigidity, Michael had even fitted the piece of 5mm ’surplus’ acrylic between the inner and outer plinths - very considerate and professional (It looks like a piece of curvy- funky acrylic art and I cannot bring myself to throw it away !)
The orange 2.5mm top piece had been bonded by Michael as we had agreed using a special adhesive to ensure no air gap or potential for flexing. I bonded the braces myself with a clear adhesive (spread carefully and thinly) and screwed the bearing housing mounting feet, the allen-key brace screws and then the arm whilst the glue was still pliable so both braces are very securely attached.
During this process, I took great care to achieve the same 221.5mm pivot-spindle distance that my Mint arc protractor is designed for. I also had to align the outer frame and cover to ensure that the arm micrometer fitted exactly in the same place as previously (as I have a small transparent ‘turret’ glued to the cover above a circular hole in the top of the lid).
3. The outer plinth
My music room is quite cluttered, I probably don’t dust/vacuum often enough and my wife refuses to enter ! Also, the carpet seems to generate a lot of wool fibres so playback with the lid closed is very important to me, especially as every record is RCM cleaned. I already mentioned the 5mm spacer - this is the gap between both plinths and as the motor is now isolated this gap ensures that the closed cover is isolated from the platter/arm as well.
Rather than additional heavy looking feet for the outer plinth as this is just a support platform for the cover, I have made some tapered transparent acrylic feet of the correct height and these are tapped and screwed to the three M6 threads fitted to the frame underside.
Everything is now completed and IMO it’s a fabulous looking piece of kit. Even my wife who has ‘tolerated’ 35 years of various bits of hi-fi in the living room expressed her first ever positive opinion, going as far as saying it is a real pity that this has to stay in my man- music cave - praise indeed !
As I write this, I have played half-dozen-or so LPs and am extremely happy. The tightness to the bass I mentioned previously is still there and the only way I can think to describe the finished article is that bass is now no longer congested and each instrument or note seems to be independent to everything else, both tonally and within the soundstage. Previously vinyl and digital sources in my system sounded extremely close but now the sense of openness, ‘air’ and soundstage imaging with vinyl has taken quite a leap ahead, to say nothing of that tighter, clearer bass. Exactly what I wanted.
Read Andrew's post in Vinylengine : Rega R.I.P.6…… to Lazarus6 !
Thanks, Andrew for sharing your experience with us.