There are many well-manufactured budget turntables out there offering a nice overall performance to their users. However, there are some turntables that really have ‘that special something’ that makes audiophiles fall in love with them. One of the turntables that audiophiles tend to have a crush on is the Rega RP1, and there are multiple reasons why. Long story short, RP1 looks high-end, acts high-end, and is a high-end turntable. Are you interested in the ‘long story long’ version of the story? Then this full Rega RP1 review offers exactly that. Let the journey of uncovering the mysteries of its design, features, and performance begin.
- Great quality of sound in this price range; versatility of sound elements
- Minimalistic design with a focus on the quality of components
- Hollowed, phenolic resin platter which eliminates resonance
- Very well thought out tonearm for accurate tracking
- Some might perceive it as a turntable that’s too simple and minimalistic
When you first look at the Rega RP1, you notice its beautiful, slim plinth, available in black, white, and gray. You will also see how minimalist-looking and simple the turntable appears. There’s the RP1’s platter on the left, and its tonearm on the right. The on/off switch us right at the turntable’s front left corner. If you take a look underneath the plinth, you’ll see the Rega PR1’s tiny support feet colored in black. It perfectly fits in the minimalistic idea behind the turntable’s design. That’s about it all— plain and simple as it is, but making you wonder whether the minimalism is but a starting point of the turntable’s amazing quality.
I will be short, and since this is a turntable with a simple design, I’ll also answer this question in a simple way: yes, minimalism equals quality in the case of the Rega RP1. The company went all simple with the design not for purely aesthetic reasons only, but because it wanted to invest more in improving the features on the turntable. Rega is known to focus on manufacturing theirs turntables in a way that makes the sound quality prevail everything else. The PR1 didn’t escape that pattern.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that the Rega RP1 didn’t get a great design. As I already said, you will see a charming turntable in front of your eyes if you decide to buy the RP1. Needless to say, no company would pack a great turntable in a badly-designed box. However, the turntable’s features were the primary focus of the Rega RP1 manufacturers and time has come to elaborate what these features are about.
Let’s talk about the Rega RP1’s platter first. The RP1 platter is a phenolic resin one, and it is very light-weight. Contrary to popular belief, Rega took a stand on the issue of platter being light-weighted and not being able to deliver, aka, not holding the record in place and messing with its speed steadiness. Obviously, the company didn’t see this as the only way of making a highly-functional platter, and they made it pretty lightweight. They also hollowed the platter out to improve its resonance-eliminating properties. Luckily, this design turned out amazing and it really benefited the turntable’s quality of sound.
Let’s get into details
Rega did a great job when designing a tonearm made from aluminum alloy with a magnetic, lever-operated anti-skating mechanism. It also has a resonance-resistant headshell. Together with the phenolic resin platter, the tonearm’s headshell makes sure that not even the tiniest vibrations can affect the sound quality. And just to wrap it all up when it comes to the tonearm, Rega decided to make it the best by adding a nice, adjustable counterweight to it and tighten it up with some great bearings.
A turntables’s tonearm wouldn’t do much without a cartridge or, even worse, with a bad cartridge hanging from it. Being one of the veterans in the turntable production industry, Rega knows that a great cartridge goes a long way. That is why they decided to combine the tonearm on the RP1 with the great-quality Rega Carbon Moving Magnet Cartridge. Rega wanted to let their customers enjoy their favorite vinyl with all the details and clarity available.
Last, but not least, Rega also made sure the RP1’s quality is impeccable by equipping it with a nice, low-noise motor. The Rega RP1 is a belt-driven turntable, and with this quality of motor and a precision main bearing below its platter, the turntable is all about great sounds and high noise reduction. You are guaranteed to have that be the case for records playing at both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM.
When it comes to the Rega RP1’s performance quality, the turntable offers you an overall terrific sonic experience. The turntable is especially exceptional in accurately representing the middle range notes in a melody. That being said, you will be able to hear these notes clearly and with their natural timbre. And once the artist starts to hit those higher notes, the RP1 will make them sound warm, crispy, and correct any unwanted engines if the notes come with it.
Then, almost every song will have some bass going on here and there too. Rega manufacturers were, of course, very aware of this, and whenever the bass sticks its big nose in the record’s melody, the turntable captures it in its intensity.
With all of this being said, I believe that you are now closer than ever in choosing which budget turntable to buy. You now know that the Rega RP1 is a great option overall. It has a nice, minimalistic design, great-quality features, and it was made to perform amazingly. So, all of these things sound like the things you’ve been looking for in the turntable of your dreams, leave your hesitation alone this time and go buy the Rega RP1. Now, that will be a turntable experience worth going for.