The REGA RP8 vinyl turntable comes without a cartridge, or with a REGA Apheta (MC). But we can also pair it with a Rega Exact cartridge or MM and MC cartridges by brands such as Goldring, Ortofon or Benz Micro. This option is available on request, and we will guide you through your choice. Then we will take care of the installation and setup of the cartridge and tonearm for you.
For many years, the job of representing Rega’s high-end capabilities was filled by the successful RP9 turntable. But eventually the time came for the manufacturer to release a new turntable that would satisfy even the most exacting of audiophiles. And now the deed has been done by the amazing RP8 turntable! The first surprise is the plinth, which is starkly different to what we’ve been used to from Rega for these past 40 years. It is made up of two interlocking parts.
The internal part houses the key elements of the turntable: the motor, bearing and tonearm. Its shape is sometimes hard to describe because it is quite complex. It rests on three aluminium spikes with elastomer pads on the ends. In true Rega tradition, the structure is low in mass and high in rigidity (‘Mass absorbs energy! ’ - Roy Gandy). The material used is polyolefin foam, injected under nitrogen and cured under pressure. It is sandwiched between two phenolic resin boards. This structure means that the RP8’s plinth is 7 times lighter than that of the Planar 3 model built in the 1980s! This design is the result of 3 years of research. Its very airy structure is visible on the internal edge of the plinth. Rega has removed as much of the material as possible and heavily strengthened the tonearm/platter bearing.
The second interlocking part of this skeletal structure houses the dust cover. It rests on highly stable aluminium feet. Naturally, care should be taken to ensure that the two plinths do not touch, so that their mechanisms can work perfectly independently of one another. The synchronous motor is powered by an external 24V power supply from the Rega TTPSU. The motor control of the TT PSU/8 is adjusted manually for each individual motor to ensure that it is perfectly in sync with the motor of each RP8 vinyl turntable. This feature eliminates practically all vibrations and jolts caused by unpredictable rotation. The aluminium sub-platter, spindle and bearing have been crafted with the utmost care and precision. It is powered by two ‘High Performance’ Rega belts, which reduce irregular drive as much as possible and therefore also reduce wow. For Roy Gandy, the only part of the turntable that requires extra mass is the platter. To build the RP8 platter, Rega teamed up with a young British company that specialises in glass engineering. This ‘super’ platter consists of three layers of silica, and has been designed to optimise stability and therefore deliver flawless rotation.
To get the most out of the RP8 vinyl turntable, Rega has completely redesigned the old model. This has resulted in a brand new technological marvel: the RB 808 tonearm. The RB 808 has used CAD technology to reduce and redistribute mass in order to increase the overall rigidity of the tube. The finished product is perfectly put together, particularly the bearings which have been tightened for reduced tolerance, minimising friction as much as possible. This small detail translates into playback with increased precision and remarkable tracking. The internal wiring of the RB 808 is highly distinctive, delivering very low capacitance and resistance.
We have tested the RP8 out with both the Rega Apheta cartridge (MC) and a high-end Danish MC cartridge. Both options bring out the impressive qualities and characteristics of the RP8 turntable. We were amazed by the dynamic range and swing of this product from the opening bars. The percussion is explosive and perfectly pronounced. The sound quality it delivers is a far cry from the dull, colourless playback described by some. The sound stage is wide and spacious, with remarkable clarity. And the transparency is equally impressive. With analogue 45 pressings like Muddy Waters’ Folk Singer or Elvis is Back!, it sounds astonishingly like the master tapes! Few turntables in this range can match the RP8 in terms of the presence and authenticity of the vocals, strings and brass sections. It also deals well with orchestral music, which is reproduced with phenomenal depth and articulation. The clarity it offers complex pieces of music is practically unrivalled, and its energy and rich textures make it a highly versatile piece of equipment.
If you're not already familiar with Rega, the Rega RP8 vinyl turntable is the perfect introduction to the brand. It is a fine showcase of the manufacturer's expertise in its field, and it has to be said that, even when pushed to their limits, Roy Gandy’s strong ideals about technology pay off. The RP8 is one of the best options in this range. Highly recommended!
Diapason d'or 2013
Hi-Fi News - Outstanding Product
What Hi-Fi - 5 stars
Queen's Award 2015
Soundstage! Hi-Fi - Recommended reference 2015
Stereophile - Product of the Year 2014 (finalist) Franck
Rega RP8 manual turntable
Drive principle: Two REGA ‘high performance’ belts
Speeds: 33⅓ and 45 RPM
Speed change: Electronic
Platter: 30 mm triple layer silica (glass)
Plinth: Two independent parts
Platter mat: felt
Dust cover: Yes
Phono cable: Yes (captive)
Power supply: REGA TTPSU/8
Finish: Glossy black