Rega has been making turntables in the UK since 1973. Their founder Roy Gandy still designs all their new release turntables. From humble beginnings of being a part time retailer and finding he had to spend a ridiculous amount of time repairing new turntables before his conscience and common sense would allow him to sell them to others, he, along with his then partner Tony Relph designed their first turntable called "The Planet". Roy then went on to set up his own facilities and designed and after some searching found a casting company prepared to work with him to develop an entirely new production method enabling the one-piece tube tonearm to be cast. The RB300 tonearm was born and received an international award for excellence in aluminium casting.
In Roy Gandy, we truly have a legend of the hifi industry. In his words: "I'm not a past person. I don't reminisce". If he did he would find some amazing achievements in the award-winning world of his turntable design and understanding of the "beat of the music". Roy says that whilst turntables are the mainstay of his business, he admits that it was a surprise that his orders were double his production. This inspired him to produce a no holds barred turntable, a concept design with no constraints. It would become the test bed for an entire range of new models.
To quote Roy....."We went to extremes on our theories. Talking about stiffness and bracing and lightness, we made the lightest of glass platters with the stiffest possible brace, with money not being any possible object at all. The main chassis component is a carbon fibre moulding with ceramic fibre braces forming the most rigid possible beam to link the platter bearing and arm mounting". Roy went to a Formula 1 supplier that made great gearbox castings for Formula 1 cars. They put that technology into that part.
Roy finds a total lack of understanding within the industry of his ideas. He says: "The turntable is a whole. The arm, the cartridge and the turntable itself is a measuring machine and it measures vibration.You can't make it perfect. But you design the compromises to get the closest to perfection". In a number of conflicting engineering parameters Roy says, "the energy seems to come from the record. Once a record is rotated and the stylus starts moving there is energy".
Roy Gandy found that it was was feasible to make a glass platter with it's mass concentrated at the rim, by bonding 2 pieces of glass together - this theory has been put into the designs of the current Planar 6 and Planar 8 models. Possibly the greatest quote from Roy Gandy is "But we make things for people,we're proud of making something that we'd like to have ourselves. It is for people that we have engineering techniques, production techniques to make lots of them as cheaply as possible, and work with our suppliers to make them as cheaply as possible."
Rega has come a very long way in the past 40 years. The company philosophy of not spending one penny on marketing but spending those funds on research and development has resulted in their award-winning turntable and electronics designs. They are now selling to more than 40 export markets and producing on average 2000 turntables alone every month.
An example of their dedication to achieving engineering excellence in manufacture is the fact that the bearings for the Rega tonearms are hand picked by trained Rega staff to ensure optimal tracking of the record groove. Every Rega turntable is now bench tested for a minimum of 12 hours in the Rega factory in England prior to packing and shipping to ensure quality control. Listening to the atmospheric sound of vinyl played on a Rega turntable is truly special experience. Rega continues to grow and develop new products, all of which strictly follow those early Rega virtues of excellent build quality, long life and amazing value for money all backed up by a lifetime warranty against manufacture defects.
From their current Rega Planar 1, which is the most successful turntable that Rega has ever made to their latest release Planar 8 and RP10 models there is a piece of the Rega passion that translates into a rhythmic, atmospheric delivery of the music from the vinyl that other turntable designers struggle to emulate.They have won more awards than any other turntable manufacturer in history for their accuracy in reproducing music.
Rega also drew on their expertise with phono preamplifiers to bring their best-selling Planar 1 model to an even wider audience. They created the Rega Planar 1 Plus model with an inbuilt award-winning Rega Fono Mini phono preamplifier so that the Planar 1 Plus connects directly to almost any system that has a standard line input.
The current Rega range, from the Planar 1 through the Planar2, Planar3, Planar 6 and Planar 8 models exemplify the Rega signature musicality. Rega turntables have a body in their sound and a real analogue warmth. The combination of accuracy and a skill for knitting together the different strands in the music is displayed with expertise on all Rega turntables. With a Rega turntable there's scale, and a surprising dose of authority. Large-scale dynamic shifts are delivered with enthusiasm while shifts of a subtler variety are handled with finesse.
On the Rega, the vinyl is more emotionally compelling, better focused, better nuanced harmonically, keeps your attention longer, and provides a much bigger, airier picture. The music’s message and its emotional content are communicated with utmost clarity. Sound quality is absolutely astonishing for the price. Few turntables in their relevant price categories can render a record so faithfully as the Rega Planar range does. This is about toe-tapping musicality and transparency.
Please click on the highlighted product links to go to the turntable product page and further information or just click here: Rega turntables page