Brought to you by The Ear
A few years ago Rega set out to build the ultimate turntable, they looked at completely new ways to create a plinth with massive stiffness and negligible weight and used technology from F1 and aerospace to create the Naiad, the only cost no object product the company has ever built. The research that was done for that project proved to be invaluable for the development of more affordable turntables, the first one to really benefit was the RP8 launched five years ago. This was the first Rega to be built around a foam cored plinth cut down to skeletal form to keep the weight as low as possible. It didn’t always look skeletal because the removable surround gave it a conventional rectangular appearance, its real purpose was to provide hinge points for a lid. With the Planar 8 Rega have abandoned this approach and built an entirely skeletal turntable, their first unless you count the rare as hen’s teeth Naiad.
What’s more surprising is that the new plinth is a different shape to the RP8 (and likewise the RP10), presumably the decision to live without a lid and the requisite support gave Rega complete freedom in this respect. All a turntable plinth needs is a means of fixing the armbase, main bearing and motor plus legs placed such that it stays upright. The Planar 8 plinth is smaller than an RP8 and thus sheds a few grams but there must be another reason for the change. Those of a cynical bent it might think that the change away from an outer plinth was done to keep costs down, which is not a problem in my book. The RP8 maintained its £1,598 price point for five years during which time costs must have risen. It was incredibly good value in my book, easily the best turntable you could buy for the money so margins couldn’t have been that big in the first place...continue reading here
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