Rega Planar 3 Turntable
Superb Musical Performance
Precision Rega Glass Platter
Rega RB330 Tonearm
Note: Cartridge Not Included
Gloss White, Gloss Red & Gloss Black Finishes Available
About The Rega Planar 3 Turntable
A veritable classic, the Rega Planar 3 can trace its lineage all the way back to the original turntable produced by Rega in 1973. All the hallmarks are present and accounted for, such as a thick glass platter, one piece RB330 tonearm, outboard power supply option and the choice of gloss black, white or red finishes. A perfect match is the Elys 2 cartridge but the Planar 3 can easily accommodate Rega’s top moving magnet cartridge, the Rega Exact.
The Rega design team has worked tirelessly to improve every aspect of this turntable offering improved ergonomics, usability and first and foremost, sonic performance. The new ‘Planar 3’ is truly a new turntable from Rega and carrying over just two components from the previous model.
DB Technology (Double Brace Technology): Rega pioneered the use of lightweight rigid plinths. Tradition was the heavier the plinth or base the better the performance. However, clever use of lightweight particulate core with a highly rigid phenolic resin skin became the foundations of the high level of performance achieved by the now iconic original Planar range. The new Planar 3 takes this design philosophy to the next level. A lightweight acrylic laminated plinth strengthened using a new improved double brace system mounted specifically where the increased rigidity is required (between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing) which forms a structurally sound "stressed beam" assembly. This rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonance, which will add unnatural distortions to the music. Equally, heavier mass can transfer more unwanted energy, such as motor or bearing noise directly into the rotating record. The use of braces instead of the complete skin allows double thickness phenolic resin in these key areas while providing further weight reduction to the plinth which directly addresses the issue of mass absorption and unwanted energy transmission. The Planar 3 is available in two high-gloss finishes - high-gloss black and high-gloss white. Many will remember the earlier Rega matt finishes like cool grey and titanium, but these new finishes really look classy.
RB330 Tonearm: Designed using the latest 3D CAD & CAM technology, the new RB330 is the culmination of more than 35 years of tonearm design experience. Featuring a brand new bearing housing, and Rega's latest tonearm tube designed using intelligent redistribution of mass ensure this arm will exhibit fewer points of possible resonance. Extreme stability with almost friction free movement from the new high precision bearing assemblies guarantees to gather more information from your vinyl than ever before.
- Featuring a new bias assembly, re-designed stiffer vertical bearing housing, integrated arm clip and an improved spring housing with easier to read numbers.
- Rega made, new low capacitance phono cable with Neutrik plugs
- Improved lower friction, precision horizontal and vertical bearings
- New design 100g mild steel balance weight
The new Planar 3 has a re-designed brass main hub central bearing, improved fit and construction reducing stress on the bearing itself. The sub-platter has also been re-designed for improved accuracy and improved stiffness. Really this is just a tweak as the previous models were very good. Same with the previous 10mm platter. It has a new float glass ‘Optiwhite’ polished rim which is now 12mm thick thus delivering improved accuracy in manufacture with stunning looks. Well some of us think so! Even the support feet have been tweaked to increase stability and reduce vibration transfer. There is also an improved new motor control PCB with integration for the addition of TT-PSU for electronic speed change and improved advanced anti-vibration circuit. The Rega Neo TT-PSU is sold separately but sales indicate this is purchased either at point-of-sale or within a relatively short time after purchase.
Most of our customers who purchase a Turntable like the Rega Planar 3 are doing so for the first time. They've often had it recommended by a friend or read one of the many favourable reviews - like the one below - and want something a bit better than the entry point Turntables ($400 - $600) but don't want to "go overboard!" If this sounds like you, then you will probably need a Phono Cartridge to suit. The Rega Planar 3 doesn't normally come supplied with a Cartridge which allows you to choose. If you're new to this area, then it can be a minefield! So, what to do?
We have two main recommendations. One is of course the Rega Elys MK2 Moving Magnet cartridge which is hand-built by Rega. Although Rega have only been manufacturing cartridges for a comparatively short time, they have developed some very clever ideas that address some of the fundamental design flaws in cartridges. Yes, the Planar 3/RB330 will also do justice to the Rega Exact MK2 if you can spare the extra dosh but depending on what makes up the rest of your system we would probably suggest you shell out for the Rega Planar 6/Ania combo and be done with it for 20 years.
The Ortofon 2M Blue has been another popular choice. This Danish company have been a world leader in the manufacture of Phono Cartridges for around 90 years and have something to suit everyone. We have been using their products before we opened our first shop and that was in 1978! The 2M Series is where Ortofon start to get serious and the 2M Blue moving magnet cartridge is the minimum (Ortofon) that we would recommend with the Rega Planar 3.
Purchase the Rega Planar 3 Turntable and either the Rega Elys MK2 or Ortofon 2M Blue MM Cartridge (sold separately) and have them professionally installed and aligned by one of our Turntable fanatics. Between the three of them and not including company founder Stephen Lee, they have had around 80 years experience in setting up Turntables and Cartridges. This not only saves you time - it takes about 30 minutes - but you can be confident that it is done correctly. Just ring ahead to place your order and we will have it ready when you arrive.
Note: If you want your Planar 3 Cartridge combo delivered we will still mount the cartridge for you but you will still need to 'balance' the tonearm. We have created a video which shows you how to do it.
In The News
The good folks at Hi-Fi Choice gave the Planar 3 an Editors Choice Award and said (in part) the following:
"How substantial are the changes to the new Planar 3? Rega claims that only two parts of the Planar 3 are shared with the outgoing RP3, effectively making it all new. If you look closely, however, it quickly becomes clear that while the basic form is the same as before, there are some key differences. Key to the way that the Planar functions is a new bracing system that links the arm mount and bearing together...This makes the Planar 3 a great deal more rigid and controls the movement between the two. Rega calls this arrangement a ‘stressed beam’ and claims that coupled with the stiffer plinth, the Planar 3 is considerably more inert than any previous version, which should audibly reduce distortion. The arm has been even more heavily reworked. The new RB330 is visibly similar to the old RB300, but given it includes a new bearing housing, arm tube and counterweight, it can realistically be thought of as all new...
In many ways the sonic performance of the Planar 3 echoes the aesthetic improvements that have been made. There is a substance to the sound that shines through almost regardless of the partnering equipment, managing to create a sense of space and soundstage where many similarly priced rivals might struggle. There is a three dimensionality to the Planar 3 which allows it to sound believable and consistently enjoyable. This spaciousness doesn’t require a toe tapping beat to reveal itself either. The lovely repress of Air’s Moon Safari is involving and intimate, but still possesses an ambience that makes it sound real. The beautiful ‘All I Need’ is delivered with an almost liquid quality with Beth Hirsch’s vocals layered effortlessly across a soundstage that is simply exceptional.
Something that helps across a wide variety of music is the fact that the Planar 3 has gained a bass response that is deeply impressive for a turntable built from these materials at this price point. It manages to produce powerful and impressively deep bass that never loses the texture and detail needed to be a convincing part of the performance rather than big uncontrolled slabs of low end.
The Planar 3 is consistently entertaining. It is unfazed by any genre of music that is thrown at it and the basic attributes it possesses are consistent regardless of whether you’re listening to something small scale and elegant or a massive piece of live rock...More than almost any relatively affordable turntable I have listened to in recent times, it doesn’t require the caveat that it is good at the price. This consistency and ability is admirable, but what really impresses is that it also manages to impart very little of itself while it does so.
There is unquestionably some of the life and energy that’s often associated with Rega turntables, but the Planar 3 gives fine neutrality and should be as happy in a low-power valve setup as a high-power solid state one."
Our Take On The Rega Planar 3 Turntable
We have been fans of Rega for around 40 years and we don't think there are more than one or two 'old-timers' that may lay claim to selling the product longer than we have. But lets be frank. Roy Gandy has been selling his turntables for over 45 years and not just one know and again. Sales around the world are staggering. You will struggle to find a review anywhere that bags or discredits the brand. They are extremely well engineered and therefore give their owners and those who sell them hours of pleasure. Plus they sound amazing...and that's why we sell them! Believe what you read because it is all true. Lastly we would like to specifically mention that the Rega RB330 tonearm is more than adequate to handle a top-end cartridge. This is above and beyond our minimum recommendations of the Rega Elys MK2 or Ortofon 2M Blue. Without going bananas, there is the Garrott P77, the Rega Exact or one of the Ortofon Moving Coil models. If your new to better quality audio you possibly think that there can't be much difference but trust us 'old grey haired men' that the differences are clearly audible and well worth it if money is secondary to performance.
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: Two speed manual belt drive Turntable
- Tonearm: Latest RB330 tonearm with 3-point mounting
- Lift: There is a hydraulic lift on the tonearm
- Cartridge: Not Included
- Speeds: 33 & 45 rpm
- Special Features: Double brace technology
- Plinth: Light weight plinth design
- Platter: Superb glass platter
- Mat: Includes wool mat
- Dustcover: Includes hinged Acrylic dustcover/lid
- Motor: 24 Volt low noise low vibration hand tuned motor assembly
- Available finishes: Gloss White, Gloss Red & Gloss Black
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 447 x 117 x 360mm - Lid closed
- Nett Weight: 6kg
- Designed: Made In England
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 3 Years.
Note: Main Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice.