Rega Announce The Planar 8 Turntable, Price and Availability
Is this your next turntable?
Rega claims the new device was inspired by the Naiad, a turntable costing £30,000, that Rega launched to celebrate its 40th anniversary, back in 2013.
So the Planer 8 is Naiad at an affordable price? The Planar 8 is available cartridge-free (£1699), or with with two factory-fitted cartridge options: the Ania costing £2119 total. Or with an Apheta 2 which costs £2439 total.
The Planar 8 uses an all-new RB880 tonearm, which gives enhance stability with an improved vertical bearing assembly. The turntable has a thinner, stainless steel, balance weight which gives users greater adjustability. There is also a new bearing assembly which Rega claims gives friction-free movement, while it's also connected to a phono cable. The UK company have also included a new Neo power supply unit. This offers electronic speed change and anti-vibration control over the motor. This unit also uses a digital signal processing generator to ensure the platter turns as accurately as possible.
Rega have a long history of producing high quality audio equipment. Rega was founded in 1973 and are still based in the UK. Rega are widely known for their turntables with probably the most notable and iconic being the Rega Planar 3. We reviewed the Planar 3 and Ed, our reviewer, gave the turntable 9 out of 10, as well as a ‘Best Buy Award’ and stated it had “Truly outstanding sound quality for the asking price”.
The Planar 8 is, according to Rega, more rigid than the original RP8 whilst also being 30 percent lighter. One way the company achieved this was the use of a lightweight, Tancast 8, polyurethane foam core. This is then sandwiched between two layers of laminate. Unfortunately, because of its footprint, the new turntable isn’t compatible with the current Rega wall brackets.
Rega has worked with a glass engineering company to manufacture the Planar 8’s three-piece, laminated glass platter. Rega claims this disperses as much of the mass to the outside rim of the glass, thus reducing the mass on the inside.
A lightweight plinth is used in combination with a double brace mounted between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing, preventing energy absorption and unwanted resonances. The Planar 8 also utilizes a new, low mass, central bearing assembly and a new bespoke rubber belt.
Can a turntable so much cheaper than the Naiad really hope to sound as good? Are the similarities only skin deep? Or will this be the bargain of the year?
The Planar 8 will begin shipping in the UK this month.
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