The iconic ‘Planar 3’
Replacing the multi award winning and five times What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year (RP3) was never going to be an easy task. It took our team of designers headed up by Rega’s Roy Gandy, two years to develop the all new ‘Planar 3’ following the biggest re-design of the iconic ‘Three’ model ever seen.
Our team have worked tirelessly to improve every aspect of this turntable offering improved ergonomics, usability and first and foremost, sonic performance.The new ‘Planar 3’ is truly a new turntable for 2016 carrying over just two components from the previous model.
- Featuring a new bias assembly, re-designed stiffer vertical bearing housing, integrated
arm clip and an improved spring housing with easier to read numbers.
- Rega made, new low capacitance phono cable with Neutrik plugs,
- Improved lower friction, precision horizontal and vertical bearings
- New design 100g mild steel balance weight.
Plinth – High gloss acrylic, laminated plinth, stiffer and vastly improved appearance, ergonomically positioned power switch.Three plinth finishes available gloss black, white and red.
Double braces – Improved thicker 3mm phenolic bottom brace and new metalised skin phenolic top brace.
Bearing housing – Re-designed brass main hub central bearing, improved fit and construction reducing stress on the bearing itself.
Sub platter – Re-designed sub platter, improved accuracy and improved stiffness.
Platter – New float glass ‘Optiwhite’ polished rim 12mm – Improved accuracy in manufacture and stunning looks.
Re-designed foot – New improved foot to increase stability and reduce vibration transfer.
24V motor – Improved new motor control PCB with integration for the addition of Neo PSU for electronic speed change and improved advanced anti-vibration circuit (sold separately).
Motor cover tray with integrated cooling.
DB Technology (Double Brace Technology)
“Mass absorbs energy – lost energy equals lost music!”
Rega has pioneered the use of lightweight rigid plinths. Clever use of lightweight particulate core with a highly rigid phenolic resin skin became the foundations of the high level of performance achieved by the now iconic original Planar range.
The new Planar 3 takes this design philosophy to the next level. A lightweight acrylic laminated plinth strengthened using a new improved double brace system mounted specifically where the increased rigidity is required (between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing) which forms a structurally sound “stressed beam” assembly. This rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonance, which will add unnatural distortions to the music.
Equally, heavier mass can transfer more unwanted energy, such as 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.
Hand assembled RB330 tonearm.
24v low noise motor / 12mm float glass platter.
Lightweight double braced plinth.
Precision main bearing.
Factory fitted Elys2 MM cartridge (optional).
Compatible with the TT-PSU electronic speed change and power supply box (optional).
- Dimensions (lid closed) H 11.7 x W 44.7 x D 36 cm
- Weight 6kg
Rega Planar 3 turntable Michael Fremer
The last thing I did before sitting down to write this column was run an $1895 Lyra Clavis DC phono cartridge on a $650 Rega Planar 3 turntable. I played a British Polydor pressing of Roxy Music’s song “Avalon,” then played it again on the $9000 TNT Mk.3/Immedia RPM combo using a $3800 Transfiguration Temper cartridge. That’s $2545 vs about $13,000.Were there differences? Of course. Were they big differences? Not nearly as immense as I thought they’d be. When I started my comparison of four reasonably priced arm/’table combos a few weeks ago, the last thing I thought I’d be doing during the process was playing with expensive cartridges. I was figuratively wrong and literally correct.Let me backtrack: It’s fun playing with $3000 cartridges, $2500 arms, and $6000 turntables, and I hope that, even if you can’t afford such exotica, you at least enjoy reading about it. I like reading about Porsche Carrera 4s, and I thumb through the Victoria’s Secret catalog, but…Back in the real world, there are car payments and mortgages. For most of us, dropping a thousand dollars on an analog front-end is the limit. An analog revival for the well-heeled few is no analog revival at all. Besides, if you blow your wad on the hardware you’ll have no money left for the great end-of-the-century vinyl glut.
But if reasonably priced analog doesn’t sound better than the equivalent digital, what’s the point? So at last spring’s HI-FI ’96 I did some reviewer shopping, procuring the Rega Planar 2 ($450), the Rega Planar 3 ($650), the Moth Kanoot ($699), and, just for good measure, a Thorens TD 320 Mk.III ($1080). The Regas came fitted with Rega cartridges: the 2 with the $175 Super Bias, the 3 with the Elys ($225).