After receiving well-deserved success and stacks of industry press attention, the best-selling REGA P3 vinyl turntable now has a brand new, up-to-the-minute replacement. And it still bears the name of its legendary predecessor: the Planar 3!
Replacing a fan favourite is no easy task. REGA will have to pull out all the stops to win us over with new model! According to Rega boss Roy Gandy, this second draft has taken 2 years to complete, and retains only two of the P3's original features. First off, the new RB330 tonearm was completely reworked using 3D simulation – and the company had 35 years of experience in tonearm design to work with! It boasts new, frictionless bearing assemblies and a new tube design that reduces resonance. The vertical bearing housing has been made stiffer and more stable. The counterweight has also been optimised, now weighing in at 100g. The cables have been replaced by conductors with lower capacitance and a new Neutrik plugs.
The layered plinth now has an acrylic laminated coating to improve its rigidity, and is available in either glossy black or white. The turntable has retained the double brace mechanism, which increases the rigidity between the main hub bearing and tonearm mounting. The bottom brace is phenolic and the top brace is phenolic and metalised. The on/off button is now underneath the plinth. The central bearing and sub-platter have been redesigned with improved construction for a better fit. Not only does this make the machine stiffer, it also helps it run more noiselessly. And it also boasts a new 12mm-thick polished float glass platter. This needs to be topped with a platter mat, and comes delivered with a standard REGA felt mat. The turntable is powered by a similar motor to the RP8 vinyl turntable. Its circuit board has also been updated to ensure smooth rotation and drive. It also has the same aluminium pulley as the RP6 vinyl turntable. If you’re looking to boost performances further down the line, the Planar 3 also works very well with the REGA TT-PSU power supply unit. The whole machine sits on brand new feet that have been optimised for increased stability and reduced vibration.
The Planar 3 is extremely easy to use, but nonetheless requires a minimum of care. We recommend that you set it up on a rigid (but not necessarily heavy), perfectly level surface. The best option for this would be the (REGA wall bracket). After you've taken these initial precautions, it couldn't be easier to use. The tonearm is compatible with very high-end cartridges, both MM and MC. We would say that the REGA Elys 2 cartridge is the lowest price cartridge that should be used with the REGA Planar 3 vinyl turntable. And as always, if you decide to use a cartridge by a different brand, you’ll need a spacer underneath the tonearm to get the perfect VTA. And as usual, we can adjust the cartridge you choose and deliver it to you perfectly set up and ready to use.
From the opening bars, there was no doubt about it! We are in the steady and reliable hands of a REGA vinyl turntable here. The REGA Planar 3 has all of the brand’s trademark musicality and capacity to bring joy to its listeners. The sound quality is very cohesive and noticeably well-balanced. The dynamic range is remarkable, as is its sense of rhythm. It also delivers astounding presence, with vocals that are full of emotion and realism. It feels a lot more precise and defined than its previous iterations. And its neutrality is above and beyond what we’re used to from REGA in this price range.
A new benchmark in British-made turntables – you haven't heard the last of it yet!
We highly recommended it!
Sound + Image - Highly Commended - 2017
What Hi-Fi - 2016
Choc de Classica - 2016
Hi-Fi Choice - Editor's Choice
The-Ear.net - Best buy - 2016
AudioFi.net - 2016
AV Forums - Best buy - 2016
Tonearm: RB330 (hand built)
Motor: 24v synchronous
Platter: 12mm/300mm silica
Plinth: inert double brace
Spindle/bearing: high precision bronze
Platter mat: felt
Dust cover: translucent
Dimensions: 11.7 x 44.7 x 36 cm