NEW REGA PLANAR 8 + Neo PSU: AN AFFORDABLE NAIAD
Rega has announced their new Planar 8 turntable. This is not merely a refresh though, it has been designed to be a more affordable Naiad.
Rega Planar 8, three words (ok, two words and a number) that have a history of making the eyes of turntable lovers widen and their palms go sweaty.
Inspired by the ultimate Rega turntable, the Naiad, according to Rega, the new RP8 is created using the most advanced materials at their disposal, as well as incorporating engineering solutions built around a supremely lightweight plinth they aim to release the highest level of performance.
Also joining the Planar 8 are the new RB880 tonearm and Neo PSU as standard. The latter offers electronic speed change, advanced anti-vibration control and user adjustable electronic fine speed adjustment to ensure total accuracy and control over the motor.
The outer frame of the previous RP8 is gone and, keeping the minimalist vibe going; there is now a stylish new single piece dustcover.
The Planar 8 is the second Rega turntable constructed using the ultra-lightweight Tancast 8 polyurethane foam core, a material developed for the aerospace industry. Either side of the high-tech stuff is layers of HPL (high-pressure laminate). The new construction makes the new Planar 8 skeletal plinth 30% lighter than the original RP8 while offering increased rigidity over the previous model.
Combined with the super lightweight plinth is a phenolic resin double brace which is mounted where the increased rigidity is required; that is between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing. The brace forms a structurally sound “stressed beam” assembly. The rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonances which will add unnatural distortions to the music. Equally, heavier mass can transfer more unwanted energy such as the motor or bearing noise directly into the rotating record. The use of braces instead of the complete skin allows double thickness phenolic resin in these key areas while providing further weight reduction to the plinth which directly addresses the issue of mass absorption and unwanted energy transmission.
The new RB880 gets an improved vertical bearing assembly constructed using an aluminium and stainless-steel. The tonearm utilises an advanced preloaded zero tolerance bearing assembly adjusted to less than 1/1000 mm giving it frictionless movement and zero levels of unwanted play. Additionally, a thinner stainless steel balance weight is used, allowing greater adjustability and compatibility. Finally, the RB880 terminates with a re-designed, low capacitance phono cable with high quality, locking phono plugs to ensure the best possible connection.
RP8 Hub bearing assembly
The Planar 8 uses a new low mass central bearing assembly. A single piece machined aluminium sub-platter, and hardened tool steel spindle runs inside a custom brass housing mounted within the chassis. This new mounting is designed to eradicate unwanted potential energy being transferred or stored in the plinth.
RP8 Flywheel and platter
Constructed from two different types of high-quality glass from British glass engineering company Pilkington's, the Planar 8's three-piece laminated glass platter keeps as much of the mass to the outside rim of the glass platter to generate more flywheel effect but keeps the inside of the platter as light as possible without sacrificing stiffness.
24v Low noise motor assembly
The bottom mounting method of the new 24v synchronous motor has been taken directly from the ultimate Rega Naiad. The unique mounting removes all stress on the motor body. The reduced vibration and more rigid mounting deliver superior drive from the new EBLT drive belts. Each motor is hand tuned to match its custom Neo power supply before fitting to the turntable to optimise the anti-vibration circuit.
Rega Neo PSU
The Neo PSU offers a smooth power supply, an advanced anti-vibration circuit and fine electronic speed adjustment. It uses the RP10 DSP (digital signal processing) generator built upon a high stability crystal. The DSP generator will divide the signal from the crystal to the exact frequency required to turn the platter at the selected speed. The DSP generator will also produce a near perfect sinusoidal waveform to drive the motor.
The Planar 8 will be available with the recommended Ania or Apheta 2 MC cartridges factory fitted.
If you are replacing your current RP8 with the new model, it is perhaps worth noting that the smaller footprint of the Planar 8 will not fit on the current Rega turntable wall bracket. There is, however, a new lightweight custom Planar 8 wall bracket for the new model.
- Planar 8 no Cartridge - £1699.00
- Planar 8 with the Ania Cartridge - £2119.00
- Planar 8 with the Apheta 2 cartridge - £2439.00
For more information, go to Rega.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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