Question 2nd hand Rega planar 3 for £295 or...?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by somewhatthoughtful, Oct 24, 2018.

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  1. somewhatthoughtful

    somewhatthoughtful
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    Hey! I've come across a secondhand Rega Planar 3 at a secondhand dealer in London for £295. They have just replaced the belt, apparently runs well now. Has a glass platter and they say the original tonearm, but hard to tell.

    I'm just wondering: what should I look for?

    I asked them about the cartridge and they said it was black with a green needle, this doesn't look like anything rega have on their website.

    Would I be better off just spending ~£300 on a new project or rega? Or would there be a noticeable improvement with a planar 3?

    Thanks!
     
  2. RugbyAl

    RugbyAl
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    An Audio Technica AT95E is black with a green stylus body. Its a fine budget cartridge but I would budget for a replacement stylus (£25ish) if you're not sure of the age.

    There is a problem with some older Rega's running backwards but this can be remedied with a capacitor change.

    There's always some confusion over Rega Planar models on Ebay, there's a very good wiki page explaining the differences.
    Planar 3 from 2000 (dark lid?)
    P3-24 (with 24v motor added) from 2007
    RP3 from 2012 (easily identified by the brace between tonearm base and platter bearing hub)
    Planar 3 (again) from 2016 (plinth will now be glossy)

    Other improvements over the years will be to the tone-arm and plinth.

    There's a lot of mis-labelled Planar 3s on Ebay so be careful what you are actually looking at.

    I bought my RP3 for £330 S/H from Ebay in very good condition. This came with Rega's Elys 2 cartridge which is better than the AT95E (which is still good) so for just a little more (assuming the one you've seen is an early one) you can get a newer/better version. The noisy motor on mine was remedied with a drop of oil below the belt pulley.

    Personally, rather than spend ££300 on a much older model Planar 3 (if it's not a RP3), I would do one of 3 things.

    1. Spend more (£399) and get a new Planar 2 which would prob sound as good/better than the older Planar 3
    2. Search out a second hand RP3 (24 V motor added and brace fitted) (around £330) (probably the Elys 2 fitted)
    3. If £300 is your limit, buy a new Planar 1, but have them replace the supplied basic Rega Carbon cartridge with something a bit higher up the range

    If you have no phono stage then a Rega Planar 1 Plus is available which has one built in.

    I would rather stay with Rega than go with Pro-Ject. These can be very fine sounding budget decks but seem (from experience) to be worth considerably less if you need to sell it on.
     
  3. Cornish Dave

    Cornish Dave
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    I have a Rega Planar 3 from the 90's I think so before your analysis. I know it has a Nagaoka Boron cartridge and a glass platter. Other than that I know nothing other than it still works!
     
  4. RugbyAl

    RugbyAl
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    You're correct, i misquoted from the Wiki page. Corrected below:

    Planar 3 from 1977 to 2000 (early ones had an s shaped arm)
    P3 from 2000 (dark lid?)
    P3-24 (with 24v motor added) from 2007
    RP3 from 2012 (easily identified by the brace between tonearm base and platter bearing hub)
    Planar 3 (again) from 2016 (plinth will now be glossy)

    Should have realised, i had a Planar 2 back in 1988!
    Whilst I stand by what I said, if you want the security of buying from a dealer, snd are happy with the turntable's condition, then any P3 is a reliable great sounding 2nd hand buy
     
  5. somewhatthoughtful

    somewhatthoughtful
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    Thanks so much! I went and checked it out again today and have some pics, guessing this makes it a 2000’s model?
     

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  6. Cornish Dave

    Cornish Dave
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    Says Planar 3 so its 1977 to 2000. Looks a bit like mine but I could tell if it had a glass platter which mine has from the 90's.
     
  7. RugbyAl

    RugbyAl
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    And the cartridge is an Audio Tecnica At 95. Easy to swap if you want to renew, you just pull the green stylus body forward and slide the new one on, no need to remove any screws or reset the counterweight. News sylus's are available from £21 on Amazon.
     
  8. somewhatthoughtful

    somewhatthoughtful
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    Has a glass platter, so does that make it 1990's? Still a good buy?
     
  9. Cornish Dave

    Cornish Dave
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    If it is I guess the price looks OK but I have to admit I would be wary of a dealer who described it as having a black cartridge with a green needle! I cannot compare to a Plus 1 or 2 from today so not sure if I would buy it as opposed to one of them new. You get a decent guarantee with new, what is this dealer offering? Personally I would by new, but then I tend to be risk adverse.
     
  10. somewhatthoughtful

    somewhatthoughtful
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    Oh, I asked them for the colours as I don't really know much. I was more checking to see if it was one of the rega ones and the only thing I could relate to is what colour the cartridge would be.

    Going to buy it. Seems like a reasonable option and that I'm needing to spend at least £300 anyway to get something relatively good.

    Thanks again, you guys rule!
     

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