After several years of dedicated services and success, the Rega RP8 gives way to the new Rega Planar 8 turntable! This one is broadly based on the “Naiad”, the ultimate turntable of the Anglo-Saxon manufacturer.
Rather than change the RP8, the Research & Development at Rega decided to start again and design a new product that sums up the essence of “Naiad” at an affordable price.
REGA PLANAR 8: CHASSIS AND DUST COVER
The main goal of this Planar 8 is clear: achieve a performance and musicality level superior to what has been achieve at this price level so far.
For this, the dual plinth was abandoned. This said, the outer part was only dedicated to the cover. It was costly and actually not very “musical”.
Rega decided to remove the traditional cover, for the first time over 40 years! The manufacturer decided to replace this one by a simple dust cover. That is an excellent thing and we are happy about this decision in more ways than one. The cover reduces the performance, and above all, while removing it, Rega Planar 8 inherits an outstanding design.
REGA PLANAR 8: PLINTH
To make this new Planar 8 turntable the most performing as possible, Rega uses advanced materials and engineering solutions.
The plinth is built around a very light base. This one is associated to a phenolic resin double reinforcement, where increased rigidity is required.
The part between the spindle bearing of the platter and the tonearm must be uncompromising rigid. This design avoids energy absorption and limits unwanted bad resonances for a high fidelity sound reproduction. By the way, this principle is found in many manufacturers of high-end turntables.
For several years, Rega has been committed to reduce the weight of the plinth as much as possible. The explanation is the following: a heavier mass can transfer unwanted energy into the vinyl record, such as a motor or rolling noise. To limit that, the Planar 8 is made of a double-layer phenolic resin.
This material is located between two HPL (high pressure laminate) layers. This very light polyurethane foam, called Tancast 8, was initially developed for aerospace industry. It has reduced the weight by 30% compared to the RP8 model, while offering better rigidity.
REGA PLANAR 8: PLATTER
The triple-layer laminated glass platter was designed in collaboration with British company specialized in glass engineering. This brand new platter is made of two different high quality Pilkington glasses.
Concretely, this platter is designed to keep most of the mass on the outer edge of the glass platter. This creates a maximum of inertia, while keeping the inside of the platter as light as possible, in order to relieve the centre spindle. Of course, without abandon the rigidity!
The platter is based on a piece manufactured aluminium sub-platter. It is attached to a hardened steel spindle located in a brass housing.
REGA PLANAR 8: TONEARM
The Rega Planar 8 features a new RB880 tonearm. It receives an improved vertical bearing assembly, built from an assembly of low mass aluminium and stainless steel. It allows a better stability and rigidity. There is no comparison with the previous models.
It also features an advanced pre-stressed zero-tolerance bearing system, adjusted to less than 1,000th of a mm! It allows a movement with no friction and a null play level.
The stainless steel counterweight has been modified to get a greater compatibility with various MM and MC cartridges.
The Rega RB880 tonearm features a new low-capacity phono cable, with high-quality and lockable phono jacks to ensure the best connection possible.
REGA PLANAR 8: POWER SUPPLY
The motor power supply is supplied by the Rega Neo PSU power supply. This one allows remarkable electronic speed changes, anti-vibration control and rotational precision.
REGA PLANAR 8: TEST AND LISTENING
We offer the Rega Planar 8 turntable without cartridge, but equipped with a Rega Ania or Rega Apheta 2 cartridge. However, you can equip it with the cartridge of your choice...
We listened it with 4 MC cartridges: a Rega cartridge, an Ortofon cartridge, a Hana cartridge and a Benz Micro cartridge. We did not used MM cartridges, because they are not appropriated to this turntable range.
The set up is very simple. Once the cartridge is assembled and perfectly tuned, the listening seems closer to the Rega RP10 turntable than the former RP8! Of course, you find all the qualities of the latter but with a superior definition and neutrality. The sound reproduction has a lot of matter and depth, no matter the kind of music.
The dynamic is remarkable and the transients are “devastating”! However, this Rega Planar 8 also knows to be agile and nuanced when it is necessary.
The all demonstrates a superb definition associated with a remarkable precision. Its relative neutrality makes it totally compatible with a large number of phono cartridges (via spacer) and very versatile in terms of music, even if it excels more on Rock, Soul, Blues and Jazz music than on huge orchestral mass...
To me, this Planar 8 turntable is certainly the best turntable that Rega has produced so far: the most balanced and musically one... and the most beautiful!
Recommended without moderation! Franck
Principle: manual turntable
Drive: 2 “high performance” REGA belts
Speeds: 33 rpm and 45 rpm
Speed change: electronic (TTPSU)
Platter: 30 mm silica triple sandwich
Plinth: Tancast 8 polyurethane foam
Reinforcement: double Brace
Platter mat: wool felt
Phono cable: yes (captive)
Power supply: REGA NEO TTPSU
Finish: graphite black
Cover: tinted acrylic dust cover
Width: 420 x 315 x 125 mm
Weight: 4.2 kg
TTPSU Neo dimensions: 180 x 155 x 50 mm
TTPSU weight: 0.6 kg