Top 5 Best Cartridge for Rega Planar 6: The First Upgrade

You’re looking to buy a new Rega Planar 6 and confused about the cartridge.

Consequently, you might be looking for a completely new cartridge since the one you’re using isn’t ticking. 

Well, selecting a decent cartridge is no piece of cake. And different people will recommend you different things. That’s what we’ll be doing too. But we’ll be doing it in a different way.

We think our recommendations and guide will help you choose the best cartridge for Rega Planar 6.

Since the choice won’t be easy, we’ll try to make it understandable. 

The First Upgrade to Your Turntable

The Rega Planar 6 is definitely considered a budget vinyl system. So you might not want to spend thousands of bucks for the first upgrade. 

You’re reading this because you’re sure that the cartridge you have isn’t doing much.

If you ask us, we think the guitar rhythms could sound a bit tangier with a newer cartridge. 

After a lot of discussions, we’ve gathered other opinions too.

Some people might even want the drum sounds to sound more digital. Yes, some people want that. And that’s where the cartridges come in.

Well, we’re not going to provide a quick overview of the Rega Planar 6 in this one. But you’ll get enough information on which cartridge to choose. 

So let’s just jump straight into the reviews right away. 

Top 5 Best Cartridge for Rega Planar 6

If this comparison wasn’t enough for you, don’t fret. Here’s a more visual comparison that’ll help you decide which one to go for-

1. Audio-Technica AT-VM95ML Cartridge

Not all the AT cartridges are good. Before we piss the whole company off, we’d say that this one managed to impress.

Speaking of a particular range, this one is probably the best value. Here’s what we think about it.

In terms of the audio that it produces, the sound seems a bit more refined. It’s also more detailed in comparison to the other Audio-Technica cartridges. 

We’ve tested this out for around 300 hours, and they claim that it’s less than half of its lifetime.

So you can probably guess that this won’t have any durability issues if you don’t smash it up with a hammer. 

But we still needed to use a proper cartridge alignment tool to make it work decently. So just keep that in mind. 

After careful consideration, we’d say that the micro-line stylus just works out better if you want brighter sound.

While there are a ton of cheaper options on the market, we know for sure that this one will make a big difference in terms of audio quality.

Like we said earlier, it’s practically worth spending the extra money. With more research, you can learn more about Digital outputs with either raw or PCM.

Things That Can Improve:

  • The dual stereo might not sound as such on this one. If you think this is concerning, try out a more premium offering
  • You might experience a slightly improved rigidity if you pick the AT150Sa.

2. Nagaoka MP-150 Audio MM Cartridge

Here’s one from Nagaoka. There’s a huge debate on whether you should or should not be buying Nagaoka carts. And we’ll try to address that too.

We think the Rega Planar 6 works pretty well with Nagaoka products. And this one is no exception.

This one is just a bit more on the sturdier side than the other Nagaoka carts. That’s right, we’ve included another Nagaoka one on the list.

What makes this unique is the presence of a hardened tapered tip. The other products don’t come with the hardened stylus tip.

So there’s that. 

Here’s what we can tell you. The stylus tip remained unscathed for the entirety of our testing.

We were able to spend around 150 hours with this one. So that’s pretty much a huge part of a cartridge’s lifetime. 

Since you can get this at almost half the price of the Exact, we consider this a good deal.

No, really! Maybe the offerings from Rega like the Exact and the Ania are explicitly built for Rega turntables.

But that does not mean that you cannot get a similar experience from the third-party cartridges. 

In fact, the third-party cartridges outperform the OEM ones most of the time.

And we recommend this one if you’re not willing to spend over $400. 

Things That Can Improve:

3. Rega Exact Mk2

Next, we have a product from Rega themselves. It’s the Exact Mk2 from Rega, and it’s quite popular among the Rega fans.

Unfortunately, Rega does not include this as the stock or default cart.

So you have to end up buying it anyway. 

Products like the Rega Exact and the Ania; these two are considered the flagships of the Rega lineup.

And this means that users are more likely to be more attracted to these, right?

Well, yes, and no.

I’ll tell you this. These carts are more expensive than the others on the list. And if you’re a new user, you won’t want to spend that much initially. 

Although this one can produce good audio overall, there are other budget options. And that’s exactly why this one didn’t make it further up on the list.

This was probably made for all the Rega models of turntables. So there won’t be any questions when it comes to compatibility. 

We did notice a slight bend on it after a couple of hundred hours.

So we’re unsure whether it’s an exclusive for our unit or an overall problem. But it’s a matter of concern nonetheless.

Things That Can Improve:

  • This might have durability issues. Check out the previous one from Nagaoka if you want a sturdier stylus.
  • It’s on the more expensive side. You can go for the next product on the list for a decent balance of price and performance.

4. Audio-Technica VM540ML MicroLine Cartridge

Here’s another one from Audio-Technica. Just like the other one, this is a fan favorite.

We appreciate how they offer the option to get this along with a combo kit.

This red guy isn’t too far off the top. In fact, we thought it gave the Exact and the Ania models a run for their money. 

We have one complaint, though. the sound seems a bit too lush. Don’t get us wrong, though.

Although AT has a reputation for making bright carts, this one is less bright than the first one.

Well, the thing is, if you paired it up with the Rega Planar 6 along with any good amplifier, you would get nice results.

And that’s what happened in our case too. 

Now you definitely have the right to say that the VM95ML offers a better bang for the buck. 

Look at it this way. 

The VM95x series offers a lot more value-for-money products at times.

But we agree that spending the extra money is worth it at times. A $40 cartridge will not give you the same longevity as this one. 

Things That Can Improve:

  • The combo kit might seem like a better deal if you’re missing out on the headshell. 
  • Since it sits in the middle, the durability isn’t as good as the top picks. But you can pick a slightly more durable cart if this seems concerning. 

5. NAGAOKA MM(MP) MP-110 Cartridge

Up next, we have another crowd favorite. The NAGAOKA MP-110 is right up there with the very best, or so they say.

We were able to get around 100 hours of experience out of this one. And the audio did not deteriorate over time. 

When it comes to the details, it’s comparable with the Audio-Technica one.

But the dynamics of this one, along with the smoothness, might give it a slight edge.

The stylus pressure on this one is just a bit more than the MP-150. It’s around 1.8 to 2.3g compared to the 1.5-2.0g of the other NAGAOKO choice.

Every one of us agreed that this mechanism was better than the elliptical-tipped cartridges.

Overall, I think this can be a winner for a neutral-sounding cartridge. Even the soundstage of this is wider than the others on the list. 

Things That Can Improve:

  • The tip of the stylus will show wear after around 100 hours. If this isn’t enough for you, consider investing in a more expensive option.


Are expensive cartridges worth it?

This depends. There is an unclear line. You will definitely notice the difference between a $40 and a $400 cartridge. But the difference would be much subtler if you compare to cartridges in the $200 range. 

Can a cartridge change my music experience?

Cartridges are the cheapest and easiest upgrades for your new turntable. You spend the least to get the most out of it if you’re going for a cartridge upgrade. It might not absolutely change your musical experience, but you’ll notice. 

Is the default cartridge really that bad?

Most manufacturers know that the owners would switch to a third-party cartridge along the road. So they leave the turntables with some unfulfilled potential. While the default cartridge isn’t that bad, you will get better audio from an upgrade. 

Final Words

Well, there we have it, folks. We’ve talked about a lot of different cartridges here. So, you might still be super confused.

The REGA PLANAR 6 is comparatively new on the horizon. And the cartridges need to be good enough to be compatible.

You can pick the best cartridge for Rega Planar 6 from our choices, depending on your budget. Hopefully, this article helped you out.

Do let us know how it went. Good Luck!

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