"Reasonable" upgrades for a Planar 3?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ScottRiqui, May 17, 2019.

  1. ScottRiqui

    ScottRiqui Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I have a Rega Planar 3 from 1979, with a Ver. 1 Grace 707 tonearm and an Ortofon Blue cartridge. The cart is new, and the turntable has just had a clean/lube/adjust and a new belt.

    I know there are a lot of upgrades available for the Planar 3, but how many of them can you realistically incorporate before you'd just be better off with a new turntable? For everything except the plinth and the dustcover, there's an upgrade path available -- 24V motor, external motor controller, subplatter, platter, tonearm, cartridge, etc.

    What would *you* do to a clean, functioning early Planar 3?
     
  2. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    The budget you’re considering amounts to a brand new Rega P6 with its NEO PSU speed control box and controller, machined aluminum subplatter, terrific new main bearing, new plinth material cribbed from the RP8/P8, and the stellar RB330 tonearm. You’re much better off with the new P6, IMO.

    If you want to get into a really worthwhile project though, the full Planar 3 upgrade package from various suppliers will eke out quite a few improvements. Still won’t be up to the new P6, but it will nevertheless be quite good.
     
    Randoms and ScottRiqui like this.
  3. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Maybe a Tango Spinner level aluminum subplatter. That would give you a nice improvement in speed stability without breaking the bank. That is assuming they make one for your vintage. I wouldnt spend anymore. 945 gets you a brand new Planar 3 with a 330 arm.
     
    ScottRiqui likes this.
  4. ScottRiqui

    ScottRiqui Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Thanks - I guess I should have checked the new prices before I asked my question; I didn't realize that a new Planar 3 was that inexpensive. Even a new Planar 6 is only ~$1600, and it has the RB330 arm, the 24V motor, the Neo PSU, and an aluminum subplatter. I guess if I really want to start upgrading, I could just get something new, and keep the Planar 3 (with a new subplatter) as a second turntable.
     
    dbsea likes this.
  5. A P6? :tiphat:
     
    ScottRiqui likes this.
  6. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Don't listen to a Planar 6 unless you have the cash. :D
     
    Aftermath and ScottRiqui like this.
  7. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Groovetracer subplatter, Rega White Belt (speed controller if 45 RPM use is frequent). Cartridges as you desire.
     
  8. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Rega speed controller wont work on his deck without replacing the motor. Doing all that and he has more in a 40 year old table than a new P3 would cost.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  9. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Go with a metal subplatter like the Tango Spinner and stop. Before the Planar 6, you could move most of the upgrades to the next higher tier. So it wasn't a total loss. Just put back the old deck to stock spec. This isn't the case except for an underslung counterweight. So you could do that as well, but, it's not that great of an improvement as the subplatter upgrade. There just isn't much to upgrade on the Planar 6 other than counterweight. For just over $100, the subplatter is worth the money. Something like a Groovetracer at $300ish, makes less sense.
     
    ScottRiqui likes this.
  10. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Rega Planar 6
     
  11. Hab

    Hab Forum Resident

    Location:
    Walsall
    I traded my 80's Planar 3 in for a P6 last year, best thing I did!
     
  12. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Like most have stated already the P6 is the best bang for the buck. I've had my P6 for almost a year and love it.
     
  13. Sugar Man

    Sugar Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hermosa Beach
    RP8 at close out pricing.
     
    Aftermath likes this.
  14. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    If Steve Lauerman in Knoxville (dear departed friend of mine, who gave me my Planar 2, and Rega's original USA agent) hadn't been involved. I would have not kept or upgraded the Planar 2 I own very much. Steve Lauerman was a good friend to me during a physically difficult time, and a fellow vinyl fanatic in the dark days. Bear this in mind. I tend to prefer turntables which don't need this to perform satisfactorily (and pitch stability for me is essential due to a trained ear).
     
  15. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Pitch stability on the newer higher level tables is dead on. RP10 first, then the P6 and P8 are fine for pitch critical listeners. The new NEO power supply is a simplified version of the RP10 power supply. You are right on the older tables though.
     

Share This Page