Rega Planar 8 Turntable
Great Turntable For Very Serious Music Lovers With A Top-Quality Album Collection!
Lightweight Plinth, Outboard Power Supply With Electronic Speed Change
One Piece Rega RB880 Tonearm, Increased Rigidity
Available Without Cartridge Or With Rega Ania, Ania Pro or Apheta 3 Moving Coil Cartridge Fitted & Aligned
About The Rega Planar 8 Turntable
The Rega Planar 8 is based on the flagship $55K Naiad turntable which is one of the most unusual turntables Rega has ever produced. But Rega don’t do anything without good reason and the Planar 8 is a terrific case in point. The skeletal plinth almost complete banishes resonances yet is stiff and supportive of the new RB880 tonearm, beefed up hub and bearing assemble with dual belts and cool triple layer mass loaded glass platter. Add in an outboard Neo power supply and an ingenious acrylic lid and you have an out of the box design which really works. All it’s waiting for is a good cartridge to seal the deal.
You're probably already aware of Rega's legendary product history that stretches back over 40 years. The following info is also what you expect to read, but please do because the reputation is built on products like the Planar 8 and its predecessors that have brought Rega to this level of expertise.
Naturally, every aspect of the Rega Planar 8 is engineered to extract as much detail from the vinyl surface as possible. Yes, it's the goal of all 'serious' manufacturers and yes Rega have used the most advanced materials and engineering solutions - all built around the supremely lightweight plinth - to ensure a fantastic level of performance. The Planar 8 (as featured here) is supplied with the new RB880 tonearm and Rega Neo PSU as standard, the latter offering electronic speed change, advanced anti-vibration control and user adjustable electronic fine speed adjustment to ensure total accuracy and control over the motor. The outer frame of the previous model has now been removed and a new stylish, removable, single piece dustcover has been introduced further reducing the overall mass of the turntable. The Planar 8 also has a plethora of quality features.
Ultra-Lightweight Plinth: This is the foundation and the Planar 8 is actually the second Rega turntable constructed using their latest ultra-lightweight Tancast 8 polyurethane foam core - a material developed for the aerospace industry - and that is sandwiched between two layers of HPL (high pressure laminate). HPL is exceptionally thin and extremely rigid. This new construction makes the new Planar 8 skeletal plinth 30% lighter than the original RP8 while offering increased rigidity over the previous model.
Double Brace Technology: This technology is not new but tried and tested over a number of models. It is a super lightweight plinth, combined with a phenolic resin double brace, mounted specifically where the increased rigidity is required (between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing) to form a structurally sound “stressed beam” assembly. This rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonances 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.
RB880 Tonearm: For the new RB880 tonearm, Rega have introduced an improved vertical bearing assembly constructed using an aluminium and stainless-steel, low mass assembly with vastly improved stability and rigidity. This tonearm is using Rega’s advanced preloaded zero tolerance bearing assembly adjusted to less than 1000th of a mm, this gives friction free movement and zero levels of unwanted play. A thinner stainless steel balance weight is used, allowing greater adjustability and compatibility. Finally, the RB880 is terminated with a re-designed, low capacitance phono cable terminated with high quality, locking phono plugs to ensure the best possible connection.
Hub Bearing Assembly: The Planar 8 uses a new low mass central bearing assembly. A single piece machined aluminium sub-platter and hardened tool steel spindle run inside a custom brass housing which is cleverly mounted within the chassis. This new mounting is designed to eradicate unwanted potential energy being transferred or stored in the plinth.
Super Flywheel Effect Triple Layer Glass Platter: The Planar 8 uses a three piece laminated glass platter which is the result of collaboration with a British glass engineering company. This brand new platter is constructed from two different high quality Pilkington glasses. As a general rule the only part of a turntable that requires extra mass is the turntable platter in order to achieve constant rotational speed. However, a heavier platter creates more problems for the main bearing design so again an ideal compromise creates the best solution. Practically this means keeping as much of the mass to the outside rim of the glass platter to create more flywheel effect but keeping the inside of the platter as light as possible without sacrificing stiffness.
24 Volt Low Noise Motor Assembly: The Planar 8 uses Rega's latest generation, 24 volt synchronous low vibration motor technology. Uniquely mounted using the highest level of coupling while retaining higher vibration isolation than any previous model. This new motor mounting technique (mounted from the bottom) has been taken directly from the ultimate Rega turntable, the Naiad. This unique mounting method removes all stress on the motor body. The reduced vibration and increased rigid mounting delivers superior drive from the new EBLT drive belts. Each motor is hand tuned to match its own custom Neo power supply before installation to the turntable to optimise the anti-vibration circuit.
EBLT Drive Belts: For three years Rega has been researching and developing with chemists the use of a bespoke new rubber compound for drive belts. Using a specialised curing system, the new drive belt offers superior consistency of modulus (a constant representing the degree to which a substance has a particular property, especially elasticity).These new belts are manufactured on Rega designed, state of the art, super-accurate tools which produce 'perfectly round' and 'dimensionally accurate' belts, critical for perfect speed stability.
Neo PSU: The Neo PSU offers a smooth power supply, an advanced anti-vibration circuit and fine electronic speed adjustment. It uses the RP10 DSP (digital signal processing) generator built upon a high stability crystal. The DSP generator will divide the accurate signal from the crystal to the exact frequency required to turn the platter at the selected speed. The DSP generator will also produce a near perfect sinusoidal waveform to drive the motor. This, along with an efficient drive amplifier, generates a 24V, AC balanced signal of less than 0.15% distortion, which is completely unaffected by any changes in the mains/line voltage and conditions. This then drives the turntable's anti-vibration circuit, which is situated beneath the turntable.
The Rega Planar 8 does not come standard with a cartridge. Reasons are many including the fact that you may already have a favourite that you wish to install. No problems here. However, the greater majority of our turntable customers are getting into vinyl for the very first time or are returning after a long absence from the game. If this is you, then you need a cartridge and you need it installed ... and properly! We have several staff who are expert in installing, aligning and tweaking turntables and best of all, this is taken care of free of charge when you purchase any of our recommendations. It takes about 45 minutes to do it properly, so please phone ahead if you wish to come by and collect.
As you may have gathered, the Planar 8 is firmly in the esoteric league and is designed for listeners who have a serious musical appreciation. One of the following Audio Trends favourites will deliver optimal results at a fair price. No question, the Rega Ania moving coil cartridge is the one to choose if you want to gain entry into this top echelon for the least amount of hard earned cash. For not too much more, the Rega Ania Pro moving coil is definitely the cartridge of choice. This combo has a sound synergy and cost performance ratio that is very, very hard to beat. Both the Ania & Ania Pro pair wonderfully with the Rega Fono MC phono preamp which is a fantastic phono stage for the money.
If you want the very best the Planar 8 is capable of then you want the Rega Apheta 3 moving coil cartridge. This combo is absolutely bound to knock your socks off and is a match made in heaven for the Rega Aria MK3 phono stage. This awesome threesome is where it’s at if musical transparency and reach out and touch it realism is what you’re yearning for.
Rega Planar 8 Turntable Review
"If you are looking for maximum musical intensity for your pound, dollar or euro you will be very hard pressed to find a better turntable at anywhere near this price. I am a Rega RP10 user myself but I’ve been hearing new things on this newcomer at nearly half the price, it truly is a triumph of analogue audio engineering" Jason Kennedy Ear.net
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: Fully Manual Belt Drive Turntable
- Electronic Speed Change: 33rpm/45rpm
- Tonearm: Hand assembled RB880
- Power Supply: Fully regulated outboard NEO Power Supply with 33/45 Speed Change Supplied Standard. Each motor matched by hand to its own NEO PSU ensuring optimum anti-vibration control.
- Lid: Includes hinged smoked acrylic dustcover
- Electric Speed Change: Yes
- Manual Operation: Yes
- Belt Drive: Yes
- USB: No
- Cartridge Options: Available Without Cartridge Or With Rega Ania, Ania Pro or Apheta 3 Moving Coil Cartridge Fitted & Aligned
- Weight: 4.2 Kg
- Dimensions Lid Closed (WxHxD): 420 x 125 x 315 mm
- Neo PSU Weight: 0.6 Kg
- Neo PSU Dimensions (WxHxD): 180 x 50 x 155 mm
- Origin: Designed, Engineered & Manufactured In England
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 3 Years
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE