New Rega Planar Series Turntable Comments

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Litejazz53, Sep 15, 2020 at 2:49 AM.

  1. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    Well, I just purchased my first Rega Turntable. I chose the Planar 8, and it's been performing beautifully.
    I find the turntable dead silent in operation, and for the first time in my turntable listening experiences, I find the sound of this turntable far superior to any turntable I have ever owned, and I have owned many, AR, Dual,
    Thorens, Phillips, Pioneer, Denon, StuderRevox B-791 and my last two, VPI and Marantz.

    I have never experimented with various brands of cartridges and simply stuck with the various Shure moving magnet cartridges, the Type III, Type IV, and finally the V-15 Type V-MR. My last table was the acrylic Marantz TT-15S1 with the Clear Audio Virtuoso moving magnet cartridge.

    It was not until the purchase of the newly designed Rega Planar 8 with the new Apheta III moving coil cartridge did I notice a much smoother, and more dynamic presentation, with less surface noise, which I really did not expect. My phono stage is not a real expensive pre-amp (Parasound JC-3 Jr.), but as mentioned above, there just seems to be a big analog presentation jump from everything in my past to this new turntable and cartridge, I would have to say it's truly a game changer.

    I think the only complaint I have in regard to the Rega Planar 8 has to be the Mickey Mouse dust cover, if you want to call it a dust cover, pictured below. This particular cover certainly has the "cool factor" going on, but I'm not so sure it really protects your table or protects it from dust.

    [​IMG]



    The problem with the included dust "umbrella" is that it leaves the cartridge and stylus completely open on the front, and they are right there to be easily damaged. I have found while putting the cover on, you get preoccupied with making sure the little piece at the top of the cover lines up with the rubber hole it is suppose to seat in, and if you are not careful, the piece that protects the arm can actually damage your stylus if your not watching both parts of this cover while seating it.

    I worked with a company to manufacture a more traditional 1/4" acrylic cover with beautiful rounded polished edges to fully cover the entire table, however, because the arm actually comes out beyond the actual plinth, you have to place small rubber stops on the four corners to prevent the cover from being bumped and pushed accidentally sideways or from front to back. Once that is done, you have a nice fit and a much more classy appearance.

    Other than the dust cover, this is one very nice turntable, and engineered beautifully, my first step into audiophile analog reproduction. Hopefully some other members will post some pics of their Rega Turntables and their experiences with the new Rega Planar Series.


    Here is the turntable with the new 1/4" thick full cover:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 2:56 AM
  2. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I think I saw your Marantz, I quite like it. I've auditioned the P8 last year, probably with the Apheta II and I quite like it too. That cartridge sounds excellent but having the cantilever so exposed makes me cringe. I am not too keen on the original acrylic cover either, not for looks or effectiveness, your new one is much better.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  3. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    That Marantz TT-15S1 was a very nice table indeed, and probably sounded better than anything I had ever owned to that point. I also had a beautiful cover made for that one as well. I recently sold it and the man that purchased it said the cover was a real game changer, and I agree. Here is a pic of that table, the Marantz in my opinion is probably one of the best, if not the very best in that price range.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    SandAndGlass and Day_Tripper2019 like this.
  4. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    Nice!

    I forgot to mention that since my first MC cartridge I never went back to MM, for me the reduction in surface noise was amazing too.
    If you are using a phono preamp with a MC input, I suggest that if you ever have the opportunity, try a step up transformer instead.
    That was my other big change in the way I play records from which I think I'll never go back either.
     
  5. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    I thought you were done with vinyl, @Litejazz53 ? ;) Anyway, glad you didn't throw out your records :) Your cover looks great :righton:

    Just a comment on the cartridge design: I would never buy a cartridge with the stylus that exposed, no matter how good it might be. It's just a disaster waiting to happen.

    I worked my AN Japan IO everyday through ten years, including when I had friends over and we were drinking, where I would let them use it too*, and including operating my record player 1,5-armed when I had injured a hand. Granted, it was a bit lucky that nothing happened at parties when my friends were using it but still, you get the drift--the design of the IO, where you have to make an effort to reach the stylus is just so much more robust towards everyday use. I was never nervous, and I didn't have to be overly attentive when I was using it.
     
    Litejazz53 likes this.
  6. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    I have been doing records for so long, it's hard to just abandon them, but they really do sound different now. The stylus is so very exposed without the full cover, Rega traded practical for cool. At least Rega installed that V shaped stylus guard, and I can see where it's useful, but you are right, that stylus is right out there big time.:righton:
     
    Encore likes this.
  7. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Just wondering how good the TT15 would have been with an Alpheta? I don't have an issue with those minimalist covers. I use a Michell Unicover myself on my Orbe SE. You are more likely to knock something lifting that big cover on and off. Michell do something similar but it seems expensive for what it is. I can see this being necessary if you have kids running around but in my circumstances cartridge damage is not a worry. Not heard the P8 but the P6 I heard was very impressive so not surprised you are delighted. The minimalist plinth and therefore no hinged cover is not for 'cool 'but a design decision by Rega. In terms of the plinth they recon less is more in terms of contribution to sound. The 'cool' cover is a practical solution to a skeletal TT design obviously inspired by the Michell version (who did this first).
     
    Litejazz53 likes this.
  8. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    As you can see I'm rather more enamored of the Planar 8s features than might be others. I like the dust cover and think it efficiently protects the platter mat from airborne dust and provides reasonable protection to the tonearm and cartridge from unintended contact, my only issue is where to put it. Luckily there's a record compartment below the turntable where I place a hand towel on top of the records and store it there while I listen. Religiously, I use the stylus guard which I reattach immediately after a listening session.
    [​IMG]

    I've come to appreciate the turntable's compact form and it unique take on plinth design which without the platter and just the tonearm and the captive leads leaves an assembly that is incredibly light.
    [​IMG]

    I really love the Apheta II though, it's an awesome tracker and renders detail in a very natural and unforced way. It really communicates music honestly, with great beauty and finesse. It never accentuates surface noise and often times you might think you're listening to a CD the backgrounds are so quiet, but you know you're listening to vinyl because nothing else sounds quite so good.
    [​IMG]
     
    trd, Rocat, Lucca90 and 5 others like this.
  9. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    In regard to how would the Marantz sound with the Apheta, my guess would be "excellent" but I will never know. The arm on the Rega does seem to be well engineered and for someone like myself that is not well versed on high/medium and low compliance cartridges, letting Rega do the matching, seemed to be the ticket. The package deals always seem to be better, both with the Marantz and the Rega. Great pictures, thanks so much for posting.
     
    trd likes this.
  10. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    One thing is for sure, with either the included dust cover or the full dust cover I am using now, it would be my recommendation to "always" lock the arm. With the included cover, when placing that cover on the table, your eyes have to focus away from the arm and on the small place on the back of the turntable where the pin seats, which keeps the cover stationary. What I found out quickly is that while watching the seating of the cover in the back slot, I tended to miss the center hole and the part that covers the arm would make or could make contact with the arm and send it bouncing around. As shown above, Marbius uses his stylus cover, which is absolutely a good idea. I don't do this as my hands are not as steady as they used to be, and I would be likely to damage the stylus putting the cover back on, slip in the process and then my day would really be ruined for sure. With the included cover you need to watch not one but three areas at once, the spindle hole, the entire arm cover part of the cover, and the mounting pin hole, because if you miss that hole, the pin will scrape around on the turntable plinth. With either cover, you have to be extremely careful putting it on and at the least, LOCK THE ARM IN PLACE, just be careful, there is a lot to loose very quickly with that exposed stylus and cantilever! Other than maneuvering whatever dust cover you use, it's one heck of a turntable/cartridge combination.

    I hope some folks post on all of the various Rega tables and their experiences. I would like to see some Planar 10 posts as well. Some other advantages with this table is the dual belt drive which is placed under the platter, completely out of the way. The dual belt drive assures there is no slipping or popping off, which I did experience some of with the Marnatz. The glass platter slips over the spindle, which makes removing the platter extremely easy, and being glass, it's super easy to clean fingerprints off, and no metal tarnish.

    Finally, with the controller, no belt swapping, a simple button push and you change from 33 to 45 RPM immediately, I really like that feature. I'm still trying to get used to the mini plinth, but hey, this table is such an improvement over everything I have owned in the past, highly recommended. :agree:
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 1:51 PM
    struttincool and IRG like this.
  11. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    cartridge cartridge cartridge
    your first foray into a decent LOMC? heck yeah.
     
    Litejazz53 likes this.
  12. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    Like 1080P and 4K is to old movies, I'm hearing my vinyl in a whole new way, so nice indeed! I can only imagine what everything would sound like with a $10,000 cartridge and a $20,000 turntable. I keep buying those lottery tickets and hoping! A nice pair of Wilson speakers would not hurt at all either! :edthumbs:
     
    Uglyversal and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  13. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    My 3rd Rega in about 8 years. RP1, P2 to my current P3. Picked up a Fidelity Designs sub-platter when I had the RP1 and have moved it to the succeeding tables. Also purchased a used Neo PSU for the P3 and love it. I think this is a great sounding and extremely affordable table. Had a Linn Axis and LP12 in years past.

    I have it isolated nicely and have settled on a cartridge. I like where I'm at turntable wise. If I do upgrade the table again it will be another Rega. Hopefully, my next new piece will be a Luxman SQ N150.

    Regarding dust covers: it never left the box.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 5:24 PM
    hifisoup, GordonM, Lucca90 and 6 others like this.
  14. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    Here are two more pics that show how to make sure a full dust cover does not move around on your Planar P-8 or P-10 turntable. Because of the design of the P-8 and P-10 the arm goes outside of the plinth's boundaries, which causes a risk situation to the arm. If someone accidentally pushes the cover sideways, it can move and bang the arm causing damage, so the full dust cover must be secure and set up, where it cannot move in any direction, so here is how to easily do that.

    Purchase some "small" round feet that can be stuck to the turntable platform. Stick down (4) feet, one in each corner of the dust cover on the inside, which provides a lock, holding the dust cover completely still, where it will not move in any direction.
    Here are a couple of pics showing how this is done!


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Now you are cooking with grease! :righton:
     
  15. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Resident Scatterbrain

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Looks great @Litejazz53 ! Welcome back to the world of vinyl!
     
    Slippers-on likes this.
  16. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    Thanks my friend, when I take a few puffs of my special blend and sit back and relax, my music sounds almost as good as an SACD, wait a moment, I didn't say that! This is a friendly thread! :edthumbs:
     
  17. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    Great looking setup! I love that deep red color. The good thing about Rega, the quality and engineering are there is EVERY product, not just the most expensive tables! Your wall mount is GREAT, no skipping for you.:righton:
     
    struttincool likes this.
  18. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    Yes, me too. Dust and fingerprints show up a bit less than the black which I had before.
    Had it since 1988 for the Linn Axis and LP12. Never been a fan of light tables sitting on heavy platforms. No butcher blocks for me.

    One other tweak is the Golden Sound DH Cones and Squares in place of stock feet. Been using them on all my tables for years.
     
    Litejazz53 likes this.
  19. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    If you ask me....there is nothing like a very nice, well built turntable. There is such a natural warm presentation that I dont hear in digital music. The key word being natural. And that includes a very nice DSD DAC.....to my ears digital can't capture that naturalness as presented on a record.. and I've listen to some very nice DACs. A well built silent table with no smearing should reward you. It should yeild 3D imaging with a wide and deep sense to the music, you should be able to hear all the way through the sound stage. And when you have a silent table with no smearing, that should also yeild a very clear transparent presentation. You cant beat a well designed turntable with stable accurate speed control. The music just flows.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 11:12 PM
  20. cut-out

    cut-out Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA, USA
    I recently swapped out my Apheta 2 for an Exact, and am loving it.

    [​IMG]
     
    SandAndGlass, vinnn, hifisoup and 3 others like this.
  21. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Hot Stamper

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Welcome back to vinyl. I remember when you went to all digital. Congrats on the P8. Such a great table.

    I wonder if you would notice a difference wall mounting your P8. I know that isn't for everyone but my P6 improved in sound significantly when I mounted it with the Rega Wallmount. Having my Ania re-tipped with an upgraded needle was a jaw dropping improvement in sound ($400). I also have my Rega going into a JC3 JR. If you aren't already using balanced outputs on your Jr. you should as you get 66db gain instead of 60db versus the single ended outputs (if this is an option for you on your preamp).
     
  22. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    Special Blend??!!! Hahahahaha...
     
    SandAndGlass and Litejazz53 like this.
  23. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Hot Stamper

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    The ultimate upgrade ;)
     
    SandAndGlass, SirMarc and Litejazz53 like this.
  24. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    My area is just not conducive to a table on the wall, I have run out of room with two 18" subs a television piece of furniture and the two loudspeakers, but I know how much isolation is achieved with the wall mount, it's the way to go, if you can.
     
  25. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    I was skeptical regarding the butcher block with the Rega turntable, the rule being that the surface the table sits on should also be light and rigid but when I added the butcher block a vail was lifted, the sound stage popped and suddenly I could hear further into the mix. I don't know if maybe the structure of the turntable was relieved of coping with a source of resonance or just isolating it from an external source of vibration but it made the Planar 8 more resolving of the information contained in the record.

    I was attracted to the aesthetic of this particular butcher block after seeing it used with a Rega turntable in another thread and after investigating the brand discovered that acquiring one would be a minimal investment and it was worth giving it a shot to see how it would work out. Aside from the functional attributes of having it I really like the way it looks with the Planar 8 sitting on it.
     
    Bananas&blow, Litejazz53 and IRG like this.

Share This Page