Upgrade Cart/Subplatter on Rega Planar 2 or Step up to Clearaudio Concept

Debating a turntable upgrade (currently Rega Planar 2 with Bias 2 Cart) and ROI of me either doing a subplatter upgrade (Groovetracer) and Cart Upgrade (Hana EL, SL or Dynavector 10 x5) vs. purchasing a Clearaudio Concept with Satisfy or Satisfy Carbon tone arm with either CA MC or Hana SL.

Is it worth $3000-$4000 investment and better for me to sell my Planar 2 or dump $750-$1500 into upgrades. Curious on opinions. Havent been able to demo tables side by side. Either way moving to MC I would have to get a separate MC phono stage. Currently use the built in phono stage on the MF M5si. 

Also open to suggestions as well as Phono Stage suggestions with either scenario. 

Current System:

Dyn X34

Musical Fidelity M5si

Rega Planar 2 with Bias 2 cart

Bluesound Node 2


Step up to Cleaudio concept.

As I learned about what makes for a good turntable my Rega the mod’s just kept piling up as follows

  • Change the Baslance weight to lower the center of gravity
  • change the subplatter to a metal subplatter
  • change the platter to an acrylic platter
  • upgrade tonearm wire to one piece harness
  • upgrade the motor
  • change the arm to an Audiomods arm - amazing results
  • change the Plinth the a more robust plinth capable of keeping everything rock solid
  • add Bronze Cones for isolation

Knowing what I know now - I would have changed turntables long ago

Now I would select a Music Hall turntable - but the Clearaudio are excellent also

I use a Simmaudio Moon LP5.3 RS phono and have a Soundsmith modified Denon 103 cartridge - it is a great combo

Regards - Steve

Be foolish to not just buy a better cartridge for the Rega .

If you most listen to rock, it would be insane .

It would seem wiser to upgrade the turntable.

With a 4k budget there’s plenty of chose from, including other Regas.

For what it’s worth, I recently heard one of the skeletal Rega decks and was pleasantly surprised at how it seemed to sound like high quality tape.

Surface noise, what surface noise?

But there’s lots I haven’t heard recently - Technics would be another deck to look at as well the Clearaudio you mentioned.

I simply wouldn’t bother trying to mod the Rega, unless you wanted to change the motor, the arm, the platter, the plinth etc

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like a large cartridge upgrade wouldn't neccesarely worth the investment. Wish I could hear differences but I guess in this hobby sometimes you have to take a leap. Do folks think on the CA Concept I should go with the wood? Is that worth the upgrade sound wise? What about Satisfy black vs Satisfy carbon. Also debating whether to take packaged CA Concept MC vs looking at Hana or others in the $750+ range on MC side. 

Yeah, the wood finishes look good. Adds a little class, if nothing to sound quality.

It’s a neat looking deck but I wouldn’t take the all black version.


Cartridges are matter of tone and taste. For example some folks hate the infamous Denon DL 103 and some adore it.




Thanks all,

Seems like spending on new turntable is best value for sound. I was willing to go say a Hana cartridge (ive heard both EH and SL on a P3) but not sure investment on p2 of cartridge at that price point would be worth it if I could simply sell the p2 now for not much of a loss and go Clearaudio direction. 

If I go EL or SL also need to get a new phono preamp but I would need to do that going to a MC cart on the Clearaudio as well so that is a wash. So I guess what I ultimately need to figure out which is hard is going to Clearaudio table lets say Hana SL cartridge in which case im shelling out a net $2500 more for better table components, tone arm etc, am I gonna get that much better sound audibly than upgrading to a Hana EL or SL on my P2 maybe with a groove tracer subplatjer upgrade for net investment of $1000. I'd say after typing this is $1500 more investment worth it for me to go to Clearaudio. 

@Op I am not experienced in Clearaudio and I have owned two Regas.

Think of your vinyl playback as a stool

  1. Phono preamp
  2. Cartridge
  3. Turntable (and at some point you can separate into arm, power supply, etc.)

The turntable can make a huge difference - even staying with your current cartridge and phono stage and upgrading to Clear Audio, Project or even Rega.

I personally went with Rega because of its simplicity and I am not a tweaker.  And that's the best thing and worst thing about Rega's; there's certainly more upgradability in other manufacturers.

And there's lot's of options for quality turn tables that can make a big improvement with out changing your cart of phono stage.  Then when you upgrade your cart - you'll be getting increased value for the dollar spent.

@uncrocco The TT will make the biggest difference. I had a Music Hall MMF2.2 with a Nagaoka MP200 cart. Upgraded the platter to a acrylic platter with a MH cork mat running thru a ARC PH3se phonostage. After 4 years of happiness got bit by the upgrade bug, got a Clearaudio concept dark wood with a Satisfy Karden carbon fiber no cart and had my Nagaoka installed. OMG what a change!! I was told by multiple dealers that the wood does sound better than the standard concept and it looks much better. I feel that my system now sounds more organic and natural, has more weight and detail. I'm very happy with the Clearaudio Concept and have recommended it to few other friends as well. Good luck in your TT search.

I too recommend the Clearaudio.  Back in October I bought a Clearaudio Performance DC Wood with the Tracer tonearm.  I absolutely love it.  It was a huge step up from the VPI HW19 II with Eminent Technology air bearing tonearm that I had used for the last thirty plus years.

FWIW I went from VPI to the concept wood with satisfy kardon (not carbon) and use the nagaoka mp-200 cartridge to great effect. The concepts can be bought very reasonably pre-owned. Sounded better than a new model rega P3 that I also had at the time.