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Following on from our previous turntable comparisons (entry-level, mid-range, high-end ˜ €1200, high-end ˜ €1500), this new shopping guide will compare two new high-end turntables: the Rega RP8 turntable and the Pro-Ject X-Tension 9. Both have been upgraded with an excellent Hi-Fi cartridge.
This guide will help you compare the technical details, strengths, weaknesses and specific musical features of each of these record players. It also contains recommendations of the equipment we think best complements the capacities of your future turntable, as well as some customer reviews. We hope that it will help you narrow down your options and find your ideal turntable!
N.B. The cartridge in this image is an Apheta
Rega is pulling out all the stops with the RP8 turntable, providing us with a high-end turntable to satisfy even the most demanding of analogue enthusiasts. Its main distinctive feature is a plinth made up of two parts, an innovative design that the British brand came up with after 3 years of intensive research. The two independent parts have the effect of dampening vibrations to a minimum, without increasing the weight of the turntable. This excellent turntable plays your records with an incredible musicality and the signature top quality Rega sound. It has quite rightly won numerous awards for these features, such as the Diapason d’Or and What Hi-Fi 5 Stars, among others.
As is often the case with Rega, the RP8’s upgrade potential is limited. All of the components of this record player are already of excellent quality, and above all create a sense of musical coherence. However, you could upgrade the cartridge to one of the British brand’s high-end MC cartridges, the Rega Apheta. But the main focus for the RP8 should really be the surface you place it on. For example, the Pro-Ject Wallmount It wall mount is one of the best ways to create optimal conditions for your Rega RP8. You’ll need Rega adaptors if you choose this option.
The X-Tension 9 turntable is an excellent showcase of Pro-Ject’s expertise, and has been lauded as such in the press. Most notably, it has won the prestigious EISA Award 2014-2015. It comes fitted with the famous Pro-Ject 9CC Evolution tonearm, and is delivered with the excellent Connect It 5P CC phono cable. It comes in 5 finishes, each more stylish and striking than the next. The most striking element of the sound quality is the emotion this record player is capable of bringing out. Both the realism of the vocals and the subtlety of the instruments are truly outstanding. It is an incredible triumph in musicality.
The Ortofon Quintet Black MC cartridge is able to fully capture the essence of the X-Tension 9 turntable. The neutrality of this phono cartridge, paired with the musicality of the X-Tension 9, mean that your setup will be able to handle music of any genre. If you want to enhance the sound quality even further, we recommend combining this setup with an MC preamplifier of the same high quality. Our top pick would be the Black Cube SE II phono preamp by Lehmann Audio, which is one of the best preamplifiers we have ever heard. It will give your X-Tension 9 turntable and Quintet Black phono cartridge the boost they need to fulfil their musical potential.
You may interested to know that we offer the X-Tension 9 as part of a package, with the choice between 3 excellent Ortofon Hi-Fi cartridges: the X-Tension 9 + 2M Black cartridge package, the X-Tension 9 + Quintet Blue cartridge package, and the the X-Tension 9 + Quintet Black cartridge package.
‘Buying this Pro-Ject package is indisputably one of the best decisions a vinyl enthusiast could make. Beyond its undeniable aesthetic qualities, it’s clear that we are in the presence of a bona fide high-end product here, and one that offers the best musicality available in this price range. If you’re lucky enough to be able to pair it with a Lehmann Black Cube SE II phono preamp, it will bring you passion, happiness and joy. Thank you to the entire maPlatine.com team, and particularly to Franck and Olivier, for their advice and updates on my order. On top their professionalism, their friendliness and attentiveness to my needs was a real bonus in this kind of online transaction. Would recommend! ’
Each of these turntables has its own distinct features. You should base your decision on your tastes and the changes you may wish to make to your Hi-Fi system in the future. We hope that this guide has been useful in finding the best turntable for you from our selection of record players in this range.
- Comparison: high-end turntables
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