By means of introduction to the Rega P10 turntable, let me start by saying that I work as a mastering engineer. While using the turntable to check test cuts done by myself and othersI realized that the speed-accuracy on my P3 is not great it runs fast.

Why not use digital sources to evaluate gear? So I decided to buy a Rega P I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the new Rega P10, but none of my previous experiences had prepared me for hearing what the Rega P10 sounded like in my system. Under the platter of the Rega P Photo courtesy of Eric Franklin Shook. I liked the sound I was getting from the Dyna and even if I decided to upgrade to another cart later, it would make for a good comparison to a sound I considered familiar.

We listened to a system comprised of an Octave V 80 SE integrated amplifier with the Super Black Box external power supply into KEF Blade loudspeakers, and the Rega P10 seemed more alive and revealing but not dry or antiseptic, just less coloration and more information.

rega rp10 review stereophile

The Clearaudio got the prize for a slightly more fleshed out and smoother midrange, but just slightly. My immediate reaction was one of shock and disbelief. My system sounded completely different.

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Bass was deeper and waaay more controlled. Dynamic contrasts of every variety were more apparent than ever before, even small scale events within a loud section of music.

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I could hear faders being turned up in mixes. Different kinds of depth and image-related effects in mixes were very apparent. This time, the increased clarity from the Rega P10 made it sound like a whole new record, and more fun to listen to.

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When I finally got a good chunk of time for listening, a few common themes emerged. The Rega P10 is an information retrieval monster!

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Record after record, whether audiophile or garden variety releases, the sound had a sense of rightness and even a sense of ease to the listening experience, a purer conduit into the music. At one point I had a strong sense of being an audio voyeur when I heard things that may not have been intended to be revealed to this degree:. Those neurons in a certain part of my brain were doing a happy dance. An old mono jazz record? No problem. I had to find out how this thing that simply turned the record around and placed the cartridge on the groove could have such a profound effect on the sound, so I referred to the excellent Rega book A Vibration Measuring Machine.

The book is part Rega history and part design concept and execution details and I was on a mission to find reasons for what I had been hearing. The story of the Rega P10 starts with the company realizing, sometime aroundthat CD player sales had slowed way down and turntable sales were picking up.While some turntable designs pile on the mass, hoping to tame resonances and better isolate the record from the outside world, Rega has long advocated ultralow-mass designs.

What's up with that? Rega defines a turntable as a "vibration measuring machine. Over-damp a turntable and it can sound dull, dead, and lifeless. I've reviewed a few of those. The only vibration Rega wants to measure is in real time, at the stylus-groove interface, after which it should quickly dissipate.

Among the Naiad's unusual features is a costly, difficult-to-manufacture, almost friction-free ceramic bearing. Rega first put its Naiad research to practical use in the Planar 8, reviewed at Analog Planet.

rega rp10 review stereophile

Like the Planar 8, the new Planar 10 or P10 uses for its minimalist plinth a super-lightweight Tancast 8 polyurethane foam core that Rega sandwiches you could say squeezes between a very thin, super-rigid, high-pressure laminate.

Rega minimizes mass by leaving the plinth's sandwiched edges exposed. Rega also achieves minimal mass by carving away all material except what's necessary to contain the tonearm, bearing, motor mount, and three feet, which means a great deal of unnecessary and potentially energy-storing real estate has been removed to produce a truly skeletal structure. With that much mass removed, only a super-rigid material could remain viable. There's not much left, in materials or weight, as I noted when I unpacked it.

Rega warns you to handle the plinth carefully lest you dent or crunch an edge, though once it's in place, you are not likely to harm it. No doubt it's also much lighter than the older RP The new foam laminate is easier to machine, Freeman told me, but making it cosmetically acceptable a pleasing black color proved more difficult. Like the P8, the P10 sits on three semisoft footers developed for the Planar 6.

These incorporate an elastomer called Santoprene, which is said to be sufficiently soft to provide a "sensible" degree of isolation but not so soft that it would damp the turntable; the latter, Freeman told me, would be "really quite bad.

For its size, he says, the foot is remarkably lightweight. To reduce mass, the braces, like the plinth, have cut-away areas. While the Planar 8's brace is made from a phenolic material, the P10's is ceramic on top and phenolic on bottom.

Freeman told me that producing, adapting, and perfecting the ceramic top plate took more than a year's work. Aesthetically, the ceramic material blends well with the new white ceramic platter the P8's is of a glass laminate that's similar to the one used on the old RP It's made for Rega by a company that makes missile nose cones of the same compressed, fired, and diamond-cut ceramic oxide powder. Though the platter weighs a relatively light 5lb, its outer-edge mass concentration produces a flywheel effect that's claimed to produce greater speed consistency.

The P10 features a new and significantly improved version of a bearing assembly introduced on the P8. This assembly's subplatter is similar but not identical to the P8's and, according to Rega, represents a complete redesign. It also has a wider diameter top section that accepts the ceramic platter's wider diameter opening, which produces somewhat better coupling and stability. The means by which the assembly attaches to the plinth is critical for rigidity, as is the assembly's center of gravity, both of which are objects of Rega's intense scrutiny, and both of which can be seen in the cross-sectional photo.

The motor-mounting system is an adaptation of what was developed for the Naiad, though here it's said to be further improved. Atop the motor, a pair of round belts riding on a dual-grooved, machined aluminum pulley drive the subplatter.

Rega's attention to drive-belt material and fabrication is fetishlike: You can see that as well in the above-mentioned video interview. Rega manufactures its own belts instead of buying less costly, higher-tolerance "off the shelf" ones. Like the P8, the P10 uses a pair of belts made of EPDM ethylene propylene diene monomernewly formulated by a recently retired chemist.

Rega claims the new belts provide even better speed consistency than was previously attainable.

Rega RP10 Turntable

The material produces a more even stretch and compression. Eventually, Freeman told me, Rega plans to use various iterations of EPDM belts throughout the line, partly because the material lasts longer but mainly because it performs better.

Footnote 1: You can see it in part five of AnalogPlanet's Rega video factory tour. Submitted by Ortofan on February 18, - pmRead about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

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Log in. Install the app. JavaScript is disabled. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. You are using an out of date browser. It may not display this or other websites correctly. You should upgrade or use an alternative browser. Rega Planar 3 Turntable Review. Is this all the turntable you'll ever need? Review Specs Discussion Hi-Fi Review.

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Rega Planar 3 Turntable Hop to What is the Rega Planar 3? Design How was the Planar 3 tested? Sound Quality Verdict Scores. What is the Rega Planar 3? The Planar 3 is the latest version of an unsuspended belt driven turntable that Rega Research has been producing for nearly forty years.

Behind this simple sentence lies some fairly important details. This model of turntable is the object that many people associated with the Rega brand. It has consistently appeared on shortlists at the price point for anyone looking for a turntable for decades. In short, changing it is a pretty big deal. As such, Rega hasn't rushed into launching the Planar 3. Two years of development has taken place in the background aided by the handy fact that the RP3 that preceded it was still one of the very best models in its class right up until the moment it stopped production - when I reviewed it last year, I was still sufficiently impressed that I gave it a Highly Recommended badge.

This does mean that as the RP3 was seriously good, its replacement needs to be even better still, considering that the price has crept up as well.Rega's flagship sounds divine and is worth every penny, even though it may not look like you'll get much for your money. Rega has often received well-deserved tributes from both customers and the press, for its very good turntables in the budget and premium class. In the high-end class, on the other hand, one can get the impression that many choose much larger, heavier and more complex players.

rega rp10 review stereophile

If you spend on a turntable, it should be shown. In that context, Rega Planar 10 does not have much to contend with. It is smaller than many high-end class turntables. Planar 10 replaces the RP10 that we tested inand smoothly named a clock-high high-end coup. The new 10 may look like a minor upgrade, but even though the recipe is the same as before, Roy Gandy and his team have light with lights and lanterns for places to improve the P It has hardly been easy, but there are three basic places to look for, which are obvious for a turntable construction.

On a belt-driven turntable like this, it is often a challenge. At least compared to the extreme precision of direct-driven players, such as Technics SLG.

A new 24 Volt synchronous motor is mounted under the ultralight sandwich chassis, to dampen vibrations, and each motor is adapted to the power supply by hand at the factory. Even the two rubber straps are new. The rubber compound is made on machines designed for the purpose by Rega itself, in collaboration with a manufacturer of parts for Formula 1 cars.

The player uses an improved lightweight chassis with a core in a polyretan material sourced from the aerospace industry, called Tancast 8. The chassis is made as a sandwich with two layers of HPL High Pressure Laminateand reinforced with two perforated brackets in phenol below and ceramic material abovewhich is intended to dampen unwanted transfers of energy. Engine noise for example. The white plate in compressed ceramic oxide is compressed and burned to a dense mass, before it is cut with a diamond cutter to get the surface perfectly flat.

It rests on a new inner plate in aluminum with a better connection to the plate, which in turn rests on a new CNC bearing made with a hardened steel shaft, in a brass sleeve. Another vital part of a turntable is the arm. Here, few can reach Rega to his knees, especially on budget-friendly tone arms. An RB is perhaps the best arm ever for a budget-friendly turntable. The new RB is made with even narrower tolerances than before. The suspension is adapted by hand with selected bearings from Japanese ABEC, where the tolerances do not allow any play in the suspension, neither vertically nor horizontally.

Rega states the tolerance to less than one thousandth of a millimeter. Like all Rega arms, it is light and stiff. There are no vibration-inducing elements here. Like a detachable pickup housing, or anti-skating weight hanging on a string, and the arm does not have height adjustment.

Not necessary, says Rega, who does not have it on any arms, because they believe it impairs mechanical stability.The platter uses an air bearing; LPs are held to the platter with vacuum suction.

Believe it. The platter and drive system combined weight: 27 lbs are snugged into an aluminum-and-MDF plinth measuring To this, Weisfeld has mated a version of his tried-and-true JMW unipivot tonearm updated in both mechanical design and materials choice, this one a seamless resin creation whose existence would not have been possible even five years ago.

Referring to his longtime reference 'table-arm combination, MF observed that "the Classic Direct with its JMW Memorial 3D-printed 12" tonearm comes as close to the [Continuum] Caliburn's sound as has any turntable, and for less than one-fifth the price.

After using the Ascona Mk. MF concluded that the "ingeniously designed, superbly machined and constructed" Ascona Mk. In particular, the interface between the upper and lower chassis has been upgraded to a magnetic-repulsion system that "floats" the former, for greater isolation, and the single drive belt has been replaced by three belts, each of a different Shore hardness.

The results, per Mikey, are greater speed consistency and "far more substantial" bass. The turntable comprises a 1. According to HR, the "Apollonian" Giro G9 was "completely adept at recovering and sorting out complex music"; he praised in particular its "detailed" and "well articulated" bass.

Incorporating a CNC-machined aluminum-alloy plinth that itself weighs lbs, the Helix 1 also makes use of a Negative Stiffness isolation platform, a high-torque motor with a software-based control system, a lb metal-and-thermoplastic platter with a permanently installed damping mat, and a screw-on record clamp a retrofittable vacuum hold-down system is in the works.

The CB features a carbon-fiber armtube and ultralow-friction hybrid ceramic bearings that include internal magnetic damping of horizontal motion. Its high-tech feet are designed to effectively isolate the supporting base from horizontally and vertically induced vibrations, and its platter's speed can run at precisely The Balance combined "deep, tight, articulate" bass performance with "the lightest, airiest, purest" soundstages to breathe new life into MF's favorite LPs, adding "greater holography of imaging but without etch.

It has a vinyl platter mat, a polished granite base, and the superbly designed and machined spindle and bearing used in Brinkmann's more expensive Oasis, La Grange, and Balance models. Fit'n'finish were outstanding, and setup was quick and simple. Though it lacked the rich, deep bass of Brinkmann's more expensive 'tables, the Bardo "produced superbly well-organized sound with clean, sharp attacks, reasonably strong sustain, and pronounced decay, all against a jet-black backdrop," said Mikey.

Partnered with Brinkmann's new I unmuted the preamp. Nor is that the Firebird's only claim to fame: Dr. Christian Feickert's top-of-the-line turntable also boasts a newly redesigned inverted platter bearing, a lb platter made of polyoxymethylene aka POM, and said to have characteristics similar to those of vinyl itself embedded with eight solid-brass damping cylinders, and provisions for two tonearms up to 12" in length.

Reviewed by MF with his own 11" Kuzma 4Point tonearm, the Firebird provided "a sensation of gliding smoothness and a sophistication of leading-edge transients.

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It avoided rough, hard edges as well as oversmoothed transients, but it definitely leaned toward the latter. Mikey observed that "the Stabi M's freedom from obvious colorations was very good, bass control and extension were exceptionally good, and macrodynamics were very, very good. Want slam? You got it! In addition, the Delphi Mk. Matched with the Lyra Helikon SL phono cartridge, the Delphi produced fast transients, a supple midrange, and deep, focused bass.

InOracle took the Mk. VI Delphi to Second Generation status, occasioned by improved onboard drive electronics for higher motor torquea vibration-damping urethane sleeve for the platter bearing, a two-piece platter, and improvements in its optional Turbo power supply. AD found the latest Delphi to be a fine all-arounder, with good timing and momentum, if not quite the same level of drive as experienced with idler-drive players: "I won't be leaving my [Garrard or Thorens TD ] by the curb any time soon, but the Oracle Delphi Mk.

VI Second Generation entertained me and fulfilled me in a way that most things don't. A hefty platter bearing and a similarly hefty, cantilevered, rotatable arm mount complete the picture. Installation, though not too daunting, is not helped by disappointing documentation. Note that a special version of the 2.The turntable is long gone; the CD collection is tucked away and made room for the path of comfort.

In my effort to bridge the gap between convenience and quality I ended up with a streamer from Linn. I call it reference quality on a budget. It was not a difficult purchase decision. Would it take me back to my youth? How would it compare to my streamer I hold in high esteem?

I just had to know. The Rega RP10 with pre-fitted Aphelion moving coil cartridge, along with the separate IOS reference phone stage, was sitting in their cardboard boxes ready for transport.

Back home I marveled at the extraordinary design of the polished aluminum surface of the tonearm, the impressive looking skeletal plinth design and the white ceramic platter. It got me excited and filled with anticipation. The installation procedure was fairly straightforward: overhang, cartridge tracking and anti-skate only took a few minutes to set up.

Rega P10 Turntable | REVIEW

However if you want to squeeze the last ounce of performance out of your new investment make sure your dealer does it properly. It can make all the difference. First of all there is the skeletal plinth design with polyolefin foam core, which is very light and extremely stiff and rigid. Just to make a statement Sam from Joenit handed to me part of a plinth and challenged me to break it. Challenge accepted but failed. That was a great first impression. Where did it begin? In the seventies Rega Research started with a structure comprised of two layers of phenolic resin with a lightweight particle or fiber board sandwiched between the skins.

In fact the same material that was used in the world of aerospace and motor races. Fast forward to today: Rega utilizes a unique stressed skin structure produced from thin phenolic skins, sandwiching a featherweight, nitrogen expanded, closed cell, polyolefin foam core.

It even decreases the pickup of airborne vibrations. All this to avoid unnatural distortions added to the music.

Rega RP 10 Turntable Quick Look

Secondly there is the white flywheel effect ceramic platter on top of the main bearing. Thanks to precision engineering, Rega was able to mill the platter in such a way it only takes a huge effort to start the rotation but eventually it generates its own momentum and minimizes the required power to keep the platter spinning, hence the flywheel effect. To extend the lifetime of the motor you could always aid the initial rotation with a gentle push A small piece of advice coming from the distributor.

As cherry on the pie, Rega also enclosed a white pure wool mat to provide maximum support for the records with minimum spring on the hard and flat platter.For the record, my current reference is a P9 with Apheta cartridge, and it has served me well for some time now.

Someone once said that an elephant is only a mouse built to military specifications, and on one level the same could be said for the P9 — you could think of it as a fully geeked-out P3.

The platter, drive mechanism, tonearm and power supply are all highly evolved versions of the basic Rega turntable. A new twist on the Rega platform, beginning with the RP3, is the mechanical brace: magnesium in the RP10, going between the tonearm mount and the turntable bearing, assuring maximum rigidity between these critical areas, while taking advantage of the new, skeletal plinth further refined from the RP8 design having seven times less mass than the original Planar 3.

The former flagship P9 has always featured the liveliness that their tables have always been known for, with additional heft in the low frequencies. Listening to the P9 and RP10 side by side easily shows the additional resolution present in the new table.

The best record player in the high-end class

A speed check was the first test on our list, and utilizing the Feickert iPad app showed the RP10 to be dead-on for both 33 and 45 rpm speeds. All you need to do is set the tracking force to 1. If it takes you more than five minutes to play records on an RP10, you are overthinking it. If the Apheta is not your bag, rest assured that there are a number of other great cartridges available that will provide excellent synergy with this table.

Load it correctly and you will be rewarded with clean, detailed sound. The P9 and the new RP10 are awesome for music lovers who want great sound without a fuss. So for me, personally, the RP10 gives me enough of a glimpse into the price-no-object tables for comfort. As hinted at the beginning of this review, the RP10 does reveal more music throughout the range.

Transients are cleaner, the bass carries a bit more weight, and the high end is even crisper than before. Regardless of program material chosen, the improvements made feel like going from ISO to ISO on your favorite digital camera or film for those of you still embracing the medium. Should you trade up from your trusty P9? As Mr. Most of the improvements to the tonearm and power supply are not easily seen from the outside, as is the second generation ceramic platter, but Rega tables are always more than the sum of their parts.

We could talk tech for hours, but do we want to? Put a record on and relax. Extended listening with a wide range of program material reveals a table that gets it right on so many levels.

Reflecting on my time with the RP10, I just wonder when Mr. Gandy and his crew will run out of ideas? Now, can they just make it in lime green?

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Evolution no. More listening As hinted at the beginning of this review, the RP10 does reveal more music throughout the range. Previous spotlight: Primary Control Tonearm.

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