In my last post on "motor upgrade kit and motor isolation base ", I have explained in theory, the difference between these two concepts and the expected results.

But someone asks me again, " Have you tested them side by side to confirm?"

Well, when I designed my motor isolation base (model IB22, suitable for Rega /Pro-ject turntable ) what I had in mind was just to find a way to isolate my motor vibration completely from the plinth. I was happy and satisfied after I had done it. It didn't occur to me that I should make a comparison with the motor upgrade kit, until the above question popped out .....

I think other enthusiasts are also curious to find out the difference (in terms of final sound effect/quality) in order that they can make a better and wiser choice in upgrading their turntables.

Since I have two sets of Rega Planar 3 turntables, it's easy for me to carry out the following tests:

A) Using Rega Planar 3 TT with Rega motor upgrade kit ( Black Rega)

I got hold of a Rega Planar 3 motor upgrade kit (an upgraded "low-vibration" motor complete with a small printed circuit board-called PCB in short). After desoldering and dismantling the 'old' motor (including the PCB) from the Rega Planar 3 turntable (with a Stanton 680 II cartridge), the new PCB was soldered and new motor was fixed back to the plinth with double-sided tape.

B) Using Rega Planar 3 TT with motor isolation base and metal pulley upgrades ( White Rega)

As for the other set of Rega Planar 3 (white in color) which was identical, I had the "old" original "higher-vibration"Rega motor removed and mounted to my motor isolation base, IB22, which was in turn held in place by a rubber mesh using existing motor compartment cover screws. The shorter Rega rubber feet were replaced with slightly bigger and taller ones. Next, the plastic pulley was replaced with a metal (stainless steel) one.

During the tests, I made sure that these two units of Rega planar 3 TT's were using the same acrylic platter, aluminium sub-platter and underslung counterweight, tonearm as well as cartridge i.e. I switched them over to the other turntable so that all components used were identical...

The result I obtained was : the white Planar 3 TT with the motor isolation base was the clear winner with natural, sweet, warm and clearer sound when I played Roger Williams' "To Amadeus with Love" and Skeeter Davis' ''Love Takes a lot of my Time''.

The black Planar 3 TT sounded fairly good after the motor upgrade but not as good compared with the white unit with the motor isolation base upgrade. The background noise level was higher and it sounded more "muddy".

So one fact we can clearly see here is: as far as this "fussy" turntable is concerned, small vibration still matters (even though it has been lower) as the stylus is capable of picking up!

A simple way for you to figure out what I am trying to convey here - just try touching the plinth surface area immediately above where the motor is mounted and you could feel the low vibration of the motor when the motor is switched on ( with the platter removed of course).

The motor isolation base is a very good vibration sink as well as a heat sink for the motor to run cooler and last longer. It offers far better value for money ( "no vibration") than the motor upgrade ( low vibration) as tested.

So even Rega P1, RP1, P2, P3, P25, P3-24, P5 TT's etc with low vibration motors would also benefit tremendously with this motor isolation base upgrade.


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