Light Fantastic: The new Rega Planar 10, Apheta 3 and P10 PSU
“Add lightness” is what Lotus founder Colin Chapman used to say about his road and racing car designs – and Rega has followed this credo from the off. Right from the company’s very first turntable – the 1973 Planet – designer Roy Gandy has done precisely this. Fascinatingly, it has always been contrary to the received wisdom on audiophile turntable design – almost every other iconic deck from the first Linn Sondek LP12 to the latest Technics SL-1000R has so-called ‘battleship build’.
The Planar 10 continues Rega’s less-is-more tradition, being inspired by legendary Naiad – an ultra high-end design made in a limited edition of fifty back in 2013 to celebrate the company’s fortieth birthday. The Planar 10’s guiding philosophy is the clever use of materials, in order to reduce mass and improve rigidity. The thinking behind this is that a turntable should not act as a kind of mechanical capacitor, storing energy which in turn smears and distorts the sound.
The Planar 10’s base resembles that of the Planar 8, using a Tancast 8 polyurethane foam core sandwiched between thin high-pressure laminate outer sections. It is strengthened by a ceramic top brace and phenolic resin bottom brace, running between the tonearm mounting and main hub bearing. The latter has a precision brass housing, and mates with a hardened tool steel spindle that runs up to the aluminium sub-platter. On top of this sits a special platter made from ceramic oxide powder; this is turned by a new type of precision belt.
The Planar 10’s motor is a 24v AC synchronous type, carefully decoupled yet designed to hold the drive pulley perfectly still, the company says. There’s a new matching frequency-generating PL10 power supply to power this, too. Rega’s RB3000 tonearm is fitted, a highly improved version of the company’s iconic RB300 that came out back in 1983. A special manufacturing process gives tighter tolerances, delivering a preloaded bearing assembly adjusted to less than one thousandth of a millimetre, claims Rega. A hand-polished aluminium armtube completes the picture.
Without cartridge, the deck costs AUD $7,799, but the new Rega Apheta 3 moving coil is available as a factory-fitted option at $9,499 RRP. The deck is available in Australia from late November 2019.
For more information, visit Rega.
David started his career in 1993 writing for Hi-Fi World and went on to edit the magazine for nearly a decade. He was then made Editor of Hi-Fi Choice and continued to freelance for it and Hi-Fi News until becoming StereoNET’s Editor-in-Chief.