Rega Planar 8 Skelletal Turntable, So Much More Than Bare Bones!

A few years ago when Rega set out to build the ultimate turntable, they looked at completely new ways to create a plinth with massive stiffness and negligible weight. So a project was set up to develop and expand its existing engineering expertise and philosophy, also bringing in and developing technology from F1 and aerospace.

Naked!

Naked!

From this the Naiad record player was born - the only cost no object product the company has ever built. It’s something the company considers the ultimate representation of its engineering ideas when executed with little regard for cost or ease of manufacture. In other words, the best deck Rega knew how to make at that time, given that Rega technology continues to evolve today!

The Naiad pushed out the envelope of the engineering, creativity and the materials science knowledge of Rega Research. This broader expertise proved to be invaluable and has trickled down to the development of more affordable turntables. The first one to really benefit was the RP8 launched some five years ago. The ideas and learning from the Naiad project have been refined and taken further and the current beneficiary of approach is the Rega Planar 8. The Planar 8 design incorporates as many of the Naiad’s design elements as could be included in a production model at a sensible and certain price point.

Plinth
Every aspect of the Planar 8 is engineered to extract as much detail from the vinyl surface as possible. Rega have used the most advanced materials and engineering solutions built around a lightweight plinth to ensure the greatest level of performance.

The Planar 8 is a completely skeletal turntable and the idea is to minimise plinth mass whilst increasing rigidity. Rega’s philosophy is that mass absorbs energy and that ends up taking the life out of the music. The Planar 8 is constructed using an ultra lightweight Tancast 8 polyurethane foam core (a material developed for the aerospace industry). This material 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.

Rigidity is especially important between the tonearm mounting and main bearing, so Rega has added a phenolic brace between the two – thus adding strength without significantly increasing overall mass. These phenolic resin double braces are placed above and below the plinth where increased rigidity is required between the tonearm mounting and the main bearing, to ensure minimal movement between the two, thus forming a structurally sound “stressed beam” It thus increases accuracy in line with Rega’s criteria and turntable design philosophy of a “vibration measuring machine”. This rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonances that would otherwise add unnatural distortions to the music.

Additionally, the plinth shape enables the means of fixing the arm-base, main bearing and motor, plus feet placed such that it stays secure when placed on a surface. There are three compliant feet to help absorb external vibrations.

Main Bearings
The main bearing has been redesigned with a single piece machined aluminium sub-platter and hardened steel spindle which sits in a brass housing  mounted in such a way to deter energy being transferred into the plinth. 

Motor and drive
The Planar 8 also features the latest generation 24v, synchronous, low vibration motor technology. Linking all these mechanical entities together is another innovation - 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 Power Supply To Turn On & Change Speed

Neo Power Supply To Turn On & Change Speed

Power Supply

Power is controlled by Rega’s Neo power supply, which is hand-adjusted to match the motor optimally and minimise vibration. The Neo PSU is standard and offers electronic, speed change, advanced anti-vibration control and user adjustable electronic fine speed adjustment to ensure total accuracy and control over the motor.

Platter
The platter is a beautiful thing. It’s made of three pieces,, designed in such a way as to add mass to the outer rim, creating  a flywheel effect to smooth out any small speed fluctuations. This three piece laminated glass platter is the result of collaboration with a British glass engineering company Pilkington and is constructed from two different types of high quality glass.

Arm
Planar 8 is fitted with the new RB880 arm that features 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. RB880 is then terminated with a low capacitance phono cable terminated with high quality, locking phono plugs to ensure the best possible connection

RB808 & Apheta 2 Exposed

RB808 & Apheta 2 Exposed

Decently Covered

Decently Covered

Cover
Rega haven’t left the P8 completely without protection from dust, a new acrylic cover is provided to simply lift off to play a record.

Options
The Rega Planar 8 is available in four package versions. You can buy the deck without cartridge for £1699, but it can be equipped with the Exact moving magnet (+£210), Ania moving coil (£ 2199.00 inclusive) or with the Apheta 2 MC ( £ 2,439.00 inclusive) that we have on test here. The arm and table are capable of realising the benefits of a range or other high quality cartridges, provided, as always, the phono amplifier stage is of sufficient quality.

Set Up
Set-up is easy. In the case of the Rega cartridges, the cartridge is pre-mounted and its alignment is guaranteed via  Rega’s own three-point mounting system. All the user has to do is remove the packaging protecting the main bearing and arm, fit the tracking weight and set bias. The Apheta 2 tracks between 1.75 and 2 grams. Rega recommend 1.75 grams as a starting point.

Sound
The initial impression is that the Planar 8 it delivers a high level of level of clarity, depth and insight. The P8 and Apheta combination copes well with the music’s dynamics and changes in momentum. The presentation is insightful and organised with a high degree of composure. The Planar 8 always sounds in control no matter how complex the music becomes. Yet, that sense of control doesn’t water down the drive and excitement of the recording, (Groove Armada – Song 4 Mutya)

It is tonally well balanced. It’s smooth when required but still has enough bite when the music demands it. It has real solid authority and weight; the dynamics are powerful and unflustered. This is combined with stable and focused stereo imaging, rendering an expansive and finessed soundstage and locks instruments in place even when the production becomes dense. Image scale is good– the sound extending well beyond the edges of our reference Dynaudio Special 40’s.

While delivering each musical strand and intonation with clarity, it manages to bring everything together to produce a cohesive, enjoyable and tonally correct whole. Simply communicating the emotion in the music and performance is what the Rega does so well. One gets drawn in to listen to the music and the performance rather than the equipment

It has a glorious articulation with bass instruments that conveys punch, power and texture beautifully (Japan, Tin Drum – Talking Drum & Ghosts). The lows don’t over-dominate, but they do give a solid and deep underpinning for the rest of the frequency range to do its stuff. An articulate mid-range ensures that distinctive vocals come through with the intensity and insight they need. Highs are dynamic, balanced and not over explicit

The Rega P8 has a good sense of timing It brings a tonal neutrality and shape to music, with dynamic expressiveness, especially with the micro-dynamics that gives music a sense of “reality and performance.  Low-level detail resolution is also outstanding. This turntable is pitch stable and quiet allowing through a wide dynamic range and cohesiveness, with little extraneous noise to affect your perception and allow insight into the performance  (Ry Cooder – Bop Till You Drop).

The Rega Apheta 2 moving coil cartridge when connected to the Planar 8 provides an agile and responsive combination to help you experience vinyl as a high-performance format. Together they will play anything you throw at it and make sense of it all, whatever the complexity and dynamics of the music.

Undressed. (Minus Mat)

Undressed. (Minus Mat)

Verdict
Rega aim for neutrality in engineering their record decks and essentially this turntable adds as little of its own character to the recording as possible. This means you hear a vast amount of whatever was laid down in the mastering studio or venue, every note and its nuance and shape making music vibrant and enjoyable. Insights and previously hidden or masked details emerge. Music sounds physically solid with a sense of detail, showing the depth and scale engineered in the studio, or imparted by the recorded venue, all with a remarkable realism.

Rega’s engineering ambitions have paid off. Rega has pushed the boundaries of performance at this level. The Rega Planar 8 has a remarkable ability to thrill, entertain and inform.

Rega Hi-Fi products are available from all branches of Audio T.

Deck Your Halls With The Sound Of Vinyl

Here at Audio T Cardiff we have come up with six excellent value turntables for you to consider for Christmas. A great gift to give for a music loving loved one or to give yourself a treat. We have picked these as we believe at their respective price points, they offer tremendous value and more importantly superb sound!

Project Primary Turntable

Project Primary Turntable

First on the list is the Pro-ject “Primary” A simple plug and play unit that is simple to use. Very little set up is needed, you simply place the platter on the spindle, fit the belt, connect it to your amplfier or phono stage, power it up and away you go.

Rega Planar 1

Rega Planar 1

Second on our list is the “Rega Planar 1”. Again like the Pro-ject above it has the same kind of set-up and will having you listening to your vinyl in no time

Project Debut carbon

Project Debut carbon

In third place we have the Project “Debut Carbon”. This is one of our best selling turntables. Fitted with the superb Ortofon 2M Red cartridge a carbon fibre tone arm and a heavy steel platter, it gives the best possible performance for the money. This is also the first turntable on our list that is upgradeable. You can swap the felt mat for a cork one, upgrade the stylus to a 2M Blue or even swap the steel platter for an acrylic one.

Rega Planar 3

Rega Planar 3

The fourth on our list is the iconic Rega Planar 3. The Planar 3 has been around for many years over which it has been steadily improved. With its distinctive glass platter and a superb tonearm that is compatible with many different cartridges both MM (moving magnet) and MC (moving coil), this is indeed a very versatile record deck. It can be supplied without cartridge or as a package with the Elys 2 with considerable saving on the price.

Project Classic Super Pack

Project Classic Super Pack

In fifth place we have the Project “Classic Super Pack”. Similar in looks to the Linn LP12 or the old Thorens TD160 this record player uses a high quality tonearm a damped heavy steel platter and a very clever sorbothane suspension to eliminate vibrations. Now adding electronic speed selector and fitted with an Ortofon Quintet Red cartridge this deck will give you many years of happy listening. This turntable is also supplied with a leather mat and record clamp.

rega planar 8

rega planar 8

In sixth place we have a new kid in town, the stunning Rega Planar 8. Stunning in looks and performance this deck truly deserves all the accolades bestowed on it so far. It has an electronic speed box that is fine tuned and matched to every individual unit. Fitted with the Apheta 2 cartridge this turntable sounds sublime. Certainly the best we have heard for the price for a long while. However just don’t take our word for it, pop in and have a listen. Bring along your favourite vinyl records and pick the turntable that suits you best!

Pro-ject turntables are also available at the following branches of Audio T:

Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Swansea, Swindon

Rega is available at all branches of Audio T.

New Rega Planar 8 Record Player At Audio T Brighton

We enjoyed hosting our Rega Planar 8 launch and Diverse Vinyl ‘pop up shop’ on Saturday 3rd November, as it gave us and a good number of customers the first opportunity to experience just how good the new Planar 8 is.

Planar 8 with Neo power supply.

Planar 8 with Neo power supply.

The rather beautifully formed new Planar 8 was inspired by the ultimate Rega turntable, the Naiad. The 8 is full of innovation and clever solutions to engineering issues, with improvements over its predecessor in many areas.

The skeletal Planar 8 excluding felt mat and acrylic cover.

The skeletal Planar 8 excluding felt mat and acrylic cover.

It can be chosen without a cartridge or configured with Ania MC or Apheta 2 MC with a price advantage. The Planar 8 inc Apheta provides a very fine performance for the price and is likely to prove very popular, with the Planar 8 inc Ania also punching well above its weight.

At our launch event, we had two Planar 8’s with the cartridge options on demonstration and it was interesting that everyone could clearly hear a substantial difference. We have of course chosen to keep the Apheta 2 version as our demonstrator, so come along with a few records and give it a good listen. So, if you haven’t yet had the chance to hear it, we think you will like it!

The exciting box opening…

The exciting box opening…

Join us at Audio T Brighton

Rega products are available are available from all branches of Audio T.

New Rega Planar 8 Turntable And Aria Version 2 Phono Stage Available At Audio T Swindon

The new Rega Planar 8 turntable and the Aria Version2 MM/MC phono stage have arrived here with us and we can’t wait to have a listen to them!

The Rega Planar 8 is the newest member of Rega’s turntable range and it is available without a fitted cartridge or with two factory-fitted cartridge options (with Ania or Apheta2).

Let’s take a closer look at the Planar 8.

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A deconstructed Rega Planar 8

A deconstructed Rega Planar 8

The ultra lightweight plinth (Tancast 8 polyurethane foam - a material developed for the aerospace industry) with a double brace mounted between the tonearm and main hub bearing. It prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonance.

Planar 8 plinth and new RB880 tonearm

Planar 8 plinth and new RB880 tonearm

Rega Planar 8

Rega Planar 8

The super flywheel effect triple layer glass platter

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The Planar 8 is powered by the supplied Neo PSU . It offers a smooth power supply and electronic speed adjustment.

NEO PSU

NEO PSU

NEO PSU (Rear)

NEO PSU (Rear)

Our demonstration Planar 8 with the factory fitted Apheta 2 moving-coil cartridge.

Rega Apheta 2 cartridge

Rega Apheta 2 cartridge

But there is one more thing!

What about a lid/cover? No problem. There is a nice lid in the box.

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IMG_4086.JPG

Before we connect it up to our system, we have a look at the Rega Aria phono stage. This is the newer version that matches the design of the Rega Apollo-R CD player and Brio-R integrated amplifier.

The Aria has two entirely separate high performance phono stages, a fully adjustable moving coil and a moving magnet stage. Each stage has its own input sockets and input pre-amplifier circuitry.

The MC input allows to select resistive input loading of 70 ohms to 400ohms and capacitive loading of 1000pF to 4200pF. The input sensitivity can be changed by 6dB.

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Rega Aria Phono Stage

Rega Aria Phono Stage

With both , the Planar 8 and the Aria, connected to the award winning Rega Elicit-R amplifier and a pair of Spendor A4 floor standing speakers we started listening to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memory.

Straight out of the box, the Planar 8 turntable sounds fantastic. The detail and rhythm are amazing, there is groove and it makes you want to listen to more vinyl.

Next on the list is Nirvana’s Album Unplugged in New York. I watched this concert live on MTV many years ago and listening to it on the Rega Planar 8 brings back memories. Voices and instruments stand out into the room with so much depth and space around them. Fantastic!

Planar 8, Aria, Elicit-R, Neo PSU

Planar 8, Aria, Elicit-R, Neo PSU

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Come in and have a listen and bring some of your favorite records. We will provide tea and coffee. Thanks for reading Stefan & Andy - Audio T Swindon

Rega Hi-Fi products are available at all branches of Audio T.

Rega Product Rega Planar 8 Reveal Diverse Vinyl Pop Up Shop.

It's here, the event all vinyl lovers have been awaiting. A chance to buy your records from Diverse Vinyl and get an idea how good it can sound on a brand new product from Rega.

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We are hosting an extensive record fair with Diverse Vinyl. Paul will be on hand to discuss pressing, grooves and music. We also have our representative from Rega here as well, Paul who will be demonstrating, answering questions and talking about the new Planar 8.

And yes, that’s two Paul’s just to confuse you.

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Paul from Rega will have some other Rega goodies and news to be revealed at the event, obviously we cannot give too much away, but let's not pretend you have more important matters to attend to on your day off!

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Paul from Diverse will have a his mini fortress of Vinyl set up on the shop floor for you punters to have a peruse at his wares, and with the possibility of having a listen on a brand new Planar 8 in the same transaction! Happy days.

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We are very, very excited about this event. As vinyl and Rega turntable lovers we are supposed to be running the event, but we’ll probably shirk duties to have a browse through all of those boxes of lovely records.

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You can reserve your place here or just feel free to turn up on Saturday the 27th of October, speak to the experts, Hi-Fi lovers and the masterminds behind the repressing of analogue music.

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We don't have the all the details regarding the changes to the Planar 8 as of yet hence why we are as eager as you for the 27th to come around. But while you wait to see it in the metal, you can admire all these amazing pictures!

So come and join Dave, Munir, Mike and Simon at Audio T Manchester on Saturday 27th October and come get your Vinyl on.

Join Us In Brighton For The Rega Planar 8 Launch And Diverse Vinyl Extravaganza

Visit us on Saturday November 3rd between 10.30am and 4.00pm to enjoy some fabulous new Rega equipment and have a rifle through many boxes of high quality new vinyl records!

Rob from Rega will be joining us to feature the Rega Planar 8 turntable, along with plenty of other Rega goodies. We anticipate having the newly announced Rega Planar 8 with Apheta 2 cartridge on demonstration alongside the Planar 8 with Ania cartridge for comparison. 

Paul from DIVERSE VINYL will be doing the heavy lifting (with great support from Paul and John of Audio T of course) bringing many hundreds of records to fill his trestle tables for your delectation! Let us know if you have any special requests you would like to collect on the day and we will endeavour to have them available for you.

The rather beautifully formed new Planar 8 was inspired by the ultimate Rega turntable, the 'Naiad'. The    ‘8’    is full of innovation and clever solutions to engineering issues, with improvements over its predecessor in many areas.

The rather beautifully formed new Planar 8 was inspired by the ultimate Rega turntable, the 'Naiad'. The ‘8’ is full of innovation and clever solutions to engineering issues, with improvements over its predecessor in many areas.

The skeletal Planar 8 excluding the removable cover

The skeletal Planar 8 excluding the removable cover

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Our store demonstration RP10 with Aphelion cartridge and Planar 6 with Ania cartridge will be on hand to make comparisons with the Planar 8.

Planar 10/Aphelion

Planar 10/Aphelion

Rega turntables from the Planar 3 upwards are available excluding cartridge but when chosen with the matched Rega cartridge there is a worthwhile saving to be made.

We are very pleased to welcome the mighty 25.6Kg Osiris amplifier back to our demonstration Rega amplifier line up, alongside the Elicit R, Elex R and Brio.

Osiris

Osiris

To reserve your place click here or turn up on the day and Join Julian, Paul and John of Audio T Brighton along with Rob from Rega and Paul from Diverse Vinyl for an enjoyable day of music on vinyl and great sound from Rega.

Rega Hi-Fi products are available at the following audio T stores:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon