Rega Planar 1 Review – Is this the best budget turntable ever?

Rega Planar 1 is the product turntable after years of Rega’s attempts to improve the Planar 1 predecessors. This world-famous company has been known to manufacture one of the best turntable models on the market. Reasonably, the Planar 1 doesn’t fall short behind the other Rega turntables’ popularity as it is one of the best-selling entry-level turntables. The reason behind this is the distinct sound character that the Planar 1 has to offer to its users in comparison to other turntables of similar prices. Let’s take a closer look at it in this Rega Planar 1 review.

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Pros
  • A dynamic, rich, and clear sound
  • Some of the features are very good considering its price
  • Easy to put it together
  • Nice performance

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Cons
  • There’s nothing to criticize given the turntable’s price

Design

The Rega Planar 1 review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention that this is a one classy-looking turntable. You can purchase it in gloss black or gloss white, both of them looking really elegant. Another thing that Rega does with their turntable designs is making them look minimalistic, and the Planar 1 surely holds up to the standard. Due to the minimalistic approach, the turntable looks very precise, modern, and professional.

The build quality of the plinth is out of question since its inside is a melamine construction. The melamine has a different thickness from the outside acrylic laminate, and this helps in eliminating any unnecessary vibrations in the turntable.

The plinth is, of course, the best place to have the turntable’s platter sit on. Jokes aside, the Rega Planar 1 phenolic platter looks gorgeous on the turntable’s gloss laminated plinth. Another interesting detail that makes the Planar 1 look so sleek is its on/off switch which is ergonomically positioned on the turntable’s underside.

The Rega Planar 1 is designed as a belt-drive turntable having the motor and the platter isolated one from another. This reduces the motor’s chances of passing the vibrations to the platter and affecting the turntable’s sound quality. In fact, this is one of the most important factors contributing to the turntables great sound quality.

Planar 1’s tone arm is manual and you will be the one having the privilege of moving it to the deck and in its resting position. Manual turntables are known to be perfect for reducing unwanted sounds because they don’t need special components to automatically move them. Again, this benefits the overall sound quality of the Rega Planar 1.

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Features

There are some interesting features on the Rega Planar 1 that one might think of more than an entry-level ones. For starters, that phenolic platter is designed similar to a flywheel and it actually works like one. Its external edges are thicker and heavier than its inner body, and technique helps it rotate flawlessly.

The tone arm on the Rega Planar 1 is a brand new one manufactured by Rega. It goes by the name RB110 and is meant to function together with the pre-attached Rega Carbon MM phono cartridge.

The bearings that the arm has are very important for its adequate motion. Because of this, Rega has equipped its turntable with a new, tight, ultra-low friction, zero play bearing system. In fact, the company applied for a patent about this invention of theirs. This says a lot about the novelty and improved functionality of the bearings even though the Planar 1 is an entry-level turntable.

rega planar 1 review

Another technology on the Planar 1 that Rega claims to have patented is the brass main bearing on which the turntable’s platter sits. The invention helps the fit between the platter and the bearing while reducing the stress the bearing undergoes. This helps the reduction of vibration and resonance in the turntable and its transfer to the turntable’s other parts hence improving the sound quality.

I already mentioned about the Planar 1 being belt-driven and its vibration reduction properties. The 24-volt motor is pretty quiet. You won’t hear much additional noise when you play a record. Planar 1’s motor is also synchronous. It is separated from the platter which also helps in the noise and vibration reduction and its transfer to the other parts.

Performance

Since every aspect of the Rega Planar 1 is carefully thought out, the turntable’s performance is really good. Once you set it up, which is very easy to do, you can put on your record. Right away, you can enjoy a dynamic, crisp, and detailed sound. You will hear a clear treble and a the nice, rich base lines nicely put together with a lot of dynamics. Really, the Planar 1 is a turntable that will cheer you up with its powerful sound abilities. This makes it stand out from the other high-end entry-level turntables since almost all of them offer you a warm sound. That is not the case of the Planar 1, so if you want a lot of information in your sound expressed in a dynamic way this could be the right turntable for you.

The platter’s speed consistency on the Rega Planar 1 is improved by the turntable’s 24-volt motor. The phenolic platter has a flywheel effect. This doesn’t only take care of the record’s speed being consistent, but of its smooth motion as well. With this kind of technology, you are guaranteed to have your records turning precisely and accurately.

Furthermore, all the vibration-reducing and resonance-eliminating technologies I’ve mentioned before benefit the turntable’s overall performance.

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Wrapping up the Rega Planar 1 review

If you want a turntable that falls into the high-end category of the entry-level turntables, the Rega Planar 1 is a great choice. Having some well-thought-out features that are very well matched, the turntable offers you a great overall experience. There is great sound quality with sound characteristics rare amongst other turntables in this price range. The technology used for vibration-reduction functions very nicely and makes the sound even better. Furthermore, the built quality of the turntable is great, and the design makes it look classy and sleek.

All in all, the Rega Planar 1 is a turntable with a lot of awesome qualities. If you feel like this is the right ‘package’ for you, don’t hesitate and buy it.

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