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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:38 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I realize that these tables are a bit lower-end than most dealt with on the forum here, but I'd appreciate the input of those more expert than I. After quite a bit of research, I had decided to buy the RP1, which is currently on sale for $350+tax new at several Toronto retailers. But I've since found some Xpression III units, used but in almost new condition for just about above this -- about $400 to $450 total. Both units are with their stock cartridge.

Obviously in terms of SRP, the Xpression III is a more expensive unit and so is a better deal in purely monetary terms. I'm wondering what people think of it in terms of performance, though. I do not really have the opportunity to demo these units. I don't find auditioning in showrooms that useful, and I am not comfortable in that environment, so I prefer to go in, buy, and leave.

My main concern with the Xpression III is a couple online reviews that say it is clinical and "removed" from the music. I prefer a warmer sound, but I don't know if the Rega is that. Whatever I get, I won't really be intending to upgrade any parts or get any add-ons for some time. Resale value is of some interest to me, though -- I assume the Rega would hold its value better?

Also, I know some will say to either wait till I can afford a P3 or RP3. I don't want to do that primarily because that's more than I'd like to spend on this corner of my life, so it's not a question of saving up for that. I've seen Planar 3 units going for about this price range, but I'm not that comfortable buying something mecahnical that is that old for the money.

Advice would really be appreciated!

Oh yeah, I listen mainly to rock (classic through current and indie) as well as a lot of folk and alt female singers (Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Nina Nastasia, etc.)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:27 pm
Posts: 1960
Location: London, ON, CA
Others here probably know a lot more about those two tables than I do and will chime in I'm sure but on the surface your decision appears to be a no brainer to me for the extra limited outlay to buy the Project.

Project appears to have a better platter, arguably better arm with adjustable VTA and azimuth and an easy and relatively affordable power supply upgrade path with the Speedbox.

Supplied cartridges are weak with most new entry level tables. As funds allow, regardless of which one you purchase, try to save up some money for a decent cartridge (which doesn't necessarily have to cost a fortune) as soon as possible. You can focus on a cartridge that would offset or balance out the clinical nature of the Project (if you find it to be that way).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:56 pm
Posts: 772
Location: Markham, ON, CA
I have no experience on ProJect so can't comment but as a long time Rega user I'm quite sure you'll be happy with the Rega as long as your experience is correctly set (as an entry level table).

You mentioned the ProJect is used but like-new, is that from a dealer or private seller? My experience on turntable told me I should always stick with professional dealer and rely on their set up and everything. As you said it's a mechanical system and correct adjustment is very important and for used vinyl gear one should always be careful on the condition.

blankpoint wrote:
Whatever I get, I won't really be intending to upgrade any parts or get any add-ons for some time.


This will be hard to do :-) for Rega and ProJect both have a lot of add-ons and upgrades that will significantly enhance the sound quality and it's a lot of fun. Cartridge is another fun part too.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:18 am
Posts: 5068
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I own multiple tables from both companies.

The Project tables are cleaner and more even sounding. The Regas are warmer and more textured. An RP1 vs and Xpression is no contest. The Project is the vastly better table. Carbon fibre arm will take a much better cartridge. You could easily put a very nice MC cartridge on it. The music will emerge from blacker backgrounds and resolution is much better on the Projects. The Regas do time better but the lower models pitch stability is not as good.

The Xpression competes with the Rega 3.

Either table has a huge number of upgrades. I give the nod to Project once again since they have many affordable upgrades.

On my Debut III I added an AcrylIt platter and phono box 2 and speed box 2, heavier counterweight and a Nagaoka MP110 cartridge. It sits on my old Target TT3 style rack which was originally bought for my LP12.

I also own a 2Xperience Vpack which has the speedbox and Ortofon 2M Blue. This table is out of this world for the money. Easily betters my Rega 5 is some areas although the Rega sounds bigger and fuller.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:38 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Thanks very much to everyone for all the detailed advice. I ended up settling on the Xpression III and am very happy with it. Condition is as was promised to me, basically new. I got the original receipt and it was only bought a short time ago, and seems to have barely been used at all.

Compared to my quite good digital setup, on my Monitor Audio RX1 speakers, the vinyl sound fills the room more. Initially it did this so well that I checked my amp to make sure I hadn't accidentally switched it to some surround auto-fill mode. The instrument separation also sounds better to me on some albums I know inside-out.

Anyway, thanks again for the good advice and recommendations.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:18 am
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
blankpoint wrote:
Thanks very much to everyone for all the detailed advice. I ended up settling on the Xpression III and am very happy with it. Condition is as was promised to me, basically new. I got the original receipt and it was only bought a short time ago, and seems to have barely been used at all.

Compared to my quite good digital setup, on my Monitor Audio RX1 speakers, the vinyl sound fills the room more. Initially it did this so well that I checked my amp to make sure I hadn't accidentally switched it to some surround auto-fill mode. The instrument separation also sounds better to me on some albums I know inside-out.

Anyway, thanks again for the good advice and recommendations.


Congrats!

Instrumental separation is one special thing that platter-on-a-plinth tables do well. My Projects, Regas, and Revolver always did this better than my Linn Sondek, Thorens or Duals. It is one reason I no longer use tables with spring suspensions.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:18 am
Posts: 2767
Location: vancouver, BC, CA
congrats! and do not be afraid of the upgrades! It can put the table miles ahead even with modest $$$......


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:35 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Cookstown, ON, CA
Good day, although I can't comment on the Xpression I did buy an RPM 1.3 Genie and love it. The sound is amazing for a table at this price point, so much so that I basically don't listen to digital anymore. Keep in mind though that my system is pretty modest (NAD, Mirage,Rotel) so no doubt other tables probably trounce mine when combined with other better components. Currently I'm looking for an inexpensive phono amp for my significant other. I'm considering giving her my phono box II and buying a phono box III or even the tube version as I can get either for a good price. My problem though is that I can also get a very nice heavily modified Marantz SACD player at a good price. Unfortunatelly my budget only allows for one thing at a time, decisions decisions.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:26 pm
Posts: 1372
Location: Airdrie, AB
Congrats on the new table. I am an Expression 3 owner as well. I think you'll enjoy your experience with it. Lots of options to look at if/when you're interested.

I added the Connect-it cable upgrade and a speed box. I later upgraded the cart and that was worth every penny. The arm on that table is fully capable of supporting better carts than stock.

Enjoy your LP's !


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:47 am
Posts: 5
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
airdronian wrote:
The arm on that table is fully capable of supporting better carts than stock.

Enjoy your LP's !


Very tue...though i think the best match for the money is probably the Ortofon 2M Black, I've actually heard the Xpression with some MC carts in the $1000 range, and it can certainly do them justice.


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