AnalogPlanet Visits Rega Research Finale (Part 5)

What goes into a Rega drive belt? What does Rega have planned for the new Planar 6? What about the Naiad— the upcoming "ultimate Rega" turntable? What does it look like?

All are included in this, the final "episode" of "AnalogPlanet visits Rega Research".

herbo's picture

and instructional . . . . nice ending too!

MrGneiss's picture

It's Rad to see how much they really seem to care about their products..

Potty Knotty's picture

First.....Micheal I think you have outdone yourself with the Rega factory tour videos. It also helps having a turntable manufacturer that is so open to show and discuss their design philosophies. Although the Rega turntable may look relatively simple when compared to some of the turntables on the market today, your four videos have shown that this is definitely not the case. The science and dedication to quality that goes into each turntable now makes me view the Rega turntables in a completely different "light". As a marketing exercise the four videos, in my opinion, have been a big success for both you (Analog Planet) and Rega.

This brings me onto the question of turntable upgrades. There are lots of third party suppliers that supply upgrades for Rega turntables. Now having seen the Rega factory tour videos, it begs the question, do these third party supplies have the same quality control as Rega? Having bought some of these upgrades myself, I think not. Although Rega offers some ungrades, they do not offer a full complement of upgrades, as offered by the third party suppliers. I think it's time Rega took control and offered its customers original upgrade parts. Here is a thought! Wouldn't it be great if Rega developed an upgrade path that enabled you to upgrade your P1 to say a P1+ ( just below a P2), then P2 to P2+, and so on. If some of these upgrades were transferable from a P1 to P2 to P3 that would be even better. Rega would then develop customers for life. Just a thought!

atomlow's picture

I wanted Michael to ask Roy this very question. And it seems a bit strange they don't offer more upgrades except for the white belt. I'm starting to question most of these aftermarket upgrades. Though I do have a Groovetracer subplatter I feel is pretty solid and somehow improves the sound. I almost went down the path of new Groovetracer upgrades like the platter and counterweight but I think a lot of these upgrades change the look of the simplicity of the Rega products.

I just recently found a MINT Rega p25 and added my Groovetracer from my Rega P3-24. My P3-24 is now back to stock and it's still one hell of a machine. These videos make me very proud to be a Rega owner and I don't think I'll EVER buy another brand of turntable.

Potty Knotty's picture

Further to my comment on Rega turntable upgrades. If Rega do not find it commercially viable to offer a full complement of original Rega turntable upgrade parts, then maybe Rega should offer some form of quality certification to third party suppliers. Certification would certainly add value to the third party's products and build confidence with Rega customers. At the moment I haven't a clue if the third party part is within Rega specification or how it will impact the rest for the turntable. Remember, as shown in the Rega tour video, Rega sees the turntable as the sum of its parts with every part impacting each other. The Rega turntable is setup and calibrated with this in minds. Therefore changing a single part could really "screw" things up. Unfortunately this only becomes apparent once you have purchased the third party part. Anyway that's my "2 cents" worth of wisdom on this subject......Cheers!

Potty Knotty's picture

That should read FIVE videos.

Ortofan's picture

... different materials for their tonearms?
Some other makers (such as SAT and Pro-Ject) are using carbon-fiber, whereas Rega seems to prefer a metal tube.

elongold's picture

Any chance that you might be reviewing either of the above Rega turntables in the near future?

Corsair's picture

MF said he was trying to get an rp10 in for review.

Manimaldoug's picture

It's very cool that the vinyl resurgence just may help fund and answer the question of "how far could vinyl technology have gone if the cd had never came about"?. Cool times we vinyl guys live in.
Keep up the good work Mr Fremer, great stuff.

atomlow's picture

Yep it's a fun time.

rtrt's picture

Thanks for the education Mike. I can see my final table being a Rega.

Grant M's picture

As an RP-8 owner, i found it very interesting that Rega is going the route of upgrading the plinth material of the new P6 level table to something similar to the foam construction of their two higher end models. This is potentially a huge innovation. I found the demo of the RP6 to be only a minor upgrade in sound quality from the RP3. Now that the new Planar 3 has been totally revised, the old PR6 stands to benefit from the developments in the models above it. Given the price levels of the RP8 and RP10, the reality is many will never purchase a table at that level. The new Planar 6 should be very exciting indeed.

flatmap's picture

This is a terrifically enjoyable set of videos. Thank you!

malco49's picture

thanks very informative and nice to see a true believer doing something he really cares about! gandy and you too michael.i am quite happy with my upgraded now 13 year pro-ject debut lll,but rega keeps knocking on my door!

abelb1's picture

The videos demonstrate that Rega obviously makes very high quality products and this reaffirms my recommending Rega's to family and friends over the years. I'm curious as to what Roy's rationale is for having minimal mass in the plinth and platter of his turntables. This didn't come up in the videos and it seems to be the opposite of what other turntable manufacturers are doing. Does anyone know the answer to this? Or can you point me to another article where it's discussed? Thanks,

thomoz's picture

I can't wait to see the final retail price and performance of the Naiad table.

The RP-8 is a serious jaw-drop to listen to,
particularly with the outer plinth stored nowhere near the core tt while it's playing. That 3-point foam-sandwich base is a hell of a plinth design (sonically)!

JohnG's picture

...of those enjoyed this tour very much. I'm sure whatever effort Rega and Roy Gandy put into preparing for and conducting the tour will pay off in sales.

I particularly enjoyed seeing workers winding coils of thinner-than-hair wire. It's always a pleasure to see skilled craftsmen and -women at work.

Wimbo's picture

for these videos. Well done and I can't wait for your review of the new Top of the Range Rega.

JanS's picture

For sharing this entertaining and educational experience!

Bernd's picture

Michael, thanks very much to you and Rega for this truly marvellous tour!

thomas d. collins's picture

I loved this. The combination of science, engineering and passion all rolled into one. I loved the typical Brit understatement too - if that is what Roy is like when he is excited, I would hate to see him disappointed. The "cost no object" phono-pre was priceless too. One tenth the cost of the top of the market at this time is really pushing it for him. After all of these years, he has not sold out for the big bucks like so many of his compatriots in that business, but still making high value products from lowest to highest price. Makes me want to sell off my 100 lbs. rim drive ultra fiddly table for a rp10.

sandeepmohan's picture

In the video, Part 5, at the time frame where the new bearing assembly is being inspected along with the spidey looking plinth, for the Naiad, did someone leave chewing gum underneath, which was removed by the gentleman talking to the camera?

With a lot of difficulty, I did manage to buy a Rega RP1 in India. It has been close to 4 years now and the turntable plays well. I did buy a Bias 2 cartridge but yet to install it. The only problem I had was the drive belt pulley that unglued itself from the motor shaft which resulted in speed variance. With my limited knowledge, I suspected the motor had seen its days but with a little investigation and some external help, it turned out to be the pulley. This was glued back easily and no trouble since. I was fortunate to get some support from a certain Mr. Dave but it was not easy. This was early 2013 and getting some kind of help from Rega back then was next to impossible. I clearly recall there being no Support section or any way to reach them. It was very annoying.

The Rega distributor in India was also dicey. In 4 years, the distributor has changed hands 3 times.

In India, a turntable as basic as a RP1 is still very expensive for what it is, especially after all the Indian import duties are in place. I say this only because when I received the RP1, it looked like something that was put together in a garage. It did not have the finesse I was looking for, even when compared to something like a plastic turntable such as a Denon DP-300F. Heck; I had to move the counter weight a little out from the recommended position as the stylus plastic was almost touching the surface of the record. Even the suggested anti skating was off as was visible when you move the tonearm towards the center of a record, when left in raised position. It would slowly move back. When playing, you could see the needle slightly stressed with the tonearm wanting to go back.

In another example, the cost of an RP6 in India retails for as much as a Clear Audio Concept. Not that you should not compare the two but one look at both the turntables is enough for you to decide which one you should buy. The Clear Audio by miles and primarily due to its far superior build quality.

42N8's picture

Many thanks for the videos; they fill in several of the material in the Rega book ("A Vibration Measuring Machine," Philpot, Messenger & Gandy, 2016). Lots of the above questions (why the minimal mass plinth/platter, the Naiad story, Rega's design philosophy) are covered there, including a significant amount of backstory and Rega's history. A interesting read. I'm still trying to understand the rationale for the lack of separate ground wire, but I'm definitely enjoying the RP-8.

AnalogJ's picture

If nothing else, I learned a lot about many of the factors that go into turntable design, including how to trickle down innovations to less expensive designs. Great stuff.

mauidj's picture

Hi Michael.
That was a wonderful look inside one of my favorite TT manufacturers. Thank you so much for the insight.
I was wondering if you have ever heard any of the aftermarket mods that are going around? There seem to be more for the Rega line up than almost any other brand of 'tables.
I appreciate how it might be hard to accomplish but would that be something you might be interested in tackling?
I am not much of a modder myself...ex-mod yes...modder no ;-)
But my brother is about to embark on this journey and after seeing the videos I felt he might be doing more harm than good in certain respects. Turntable design and construction seems to be so dependent on a cohesive whole. The changing of one component would likely change the integrity of the total design?
I would love to hear your thought on this.
Mahalo and Aloha!

thomas d. collins's picture

Just my opinion, but i think you either have to buy into the rega philosophy or buy something else. I agree with the poster who said that mods may do more harm than good. Based on the completeness of rega's r and d, I am sure that they tried adjustable VTA at some point and rejected it. Just adding that one change breaks the link of rigidity between the bearing and the needle that is what rega is all about. So, with respect to the modders out there, i think this is one instance where you would be better served to pass.