A Mid-Winter RP1 Upgrade Project in Chicago

Sharing with you here a very "COOL" Mid-Winter RP1 upgrade project by Joe Borzetta of Chicago, USA :

Hi Michael, 

I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the results of adding your reference mods to my RP1! 
My new year is off to a great start! 

I ordered: 
Dual pulley, dual silicon belts 
Thrust bearing 
Bearing sheath 
Aluminum feet 
Acrylic platter 
Brass record clamp 

I've finally had a chance to perform listening tests, first with the stock OM 5E, then with the OM 2 Blue. With the 5E the difference was not subtle! The noise floor was lowered, the lower bass range was extended and the midrange became much more transparent. I chose to add sand to the inverted rubber feet before retrofitting them to the aluminum feet and the subsequent increase in volume gain was very apparent, thanks for that tip! 

My next step was to swap out the OM 5e with an OM2 Blue. The 2.8 mm VTA spacer worked perfectly and installation was very easy. The tone arm is now perfectly parallel to the acrylic platter. This brought the RP1 to a whole new level of performance. The OM 2 Blue needs time to "burn in" however the increase in high end detail, with a wider soundstage and low end oomph is already apparent. The midrange is also much more dynamic, with more detail and a less "compressed" presentation than the stock RP1. The mods certainly bring out the best in the OM2/ RB 101 combination! 

In all I had a very enjoyable experience adding your mods and would highly recommend them to any Rega RP1 owner looking to upgrade their deck

I've enclosed some photos below: 

Everything unpackaged and ready to be installed:

A drop or two of acetone (my wife's nail polish remover) did the trick to loosen the plastic pulley. 

I ordered the pulley remover, however I did not want to remove the motor from the plinth, (at least not yet). So I just removed the top screw from the pulley remover, screwed it directly into the top of the pulley and with a gentile pull with a set of pliers it popped right out! 

Dual Pulley with dual silicon belts in place. 

I drilled a 5/8 inch hole in the motor cover, which was a tip sent in courtesy of Rafe Arnott which allowed the thrust bearing to be placed without adding rubber spacers. Thanks Michael and Rafe! Note newly installed bearing sheath top left. 

Awesome sound and great aesthetics! 

My newly (Michael Lim) upgraded RP1 next to my beloved vintage Spica SP-1. Right speaker. My Spica's are paired with a Denon receiver and an Energy ESW-8 powered subwoofer. 

Thank you Michael, 

PS. Looking forward to more upgrades late Winter or early Spring especially the motor isolation base and tone arm under slung counter weight.

Thanks Joe!

* All the projects done by Joe :

1. A mid-winter RP1 upgrade project in Chicago


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