If you are a Hi-Fi aficionado, you would want to know about the Rega RP3 or Rega Planar 3. If you are looking for a reliable review, you have come to the right place.
Rega is a popular turntable so if you are looking for a new one you have probably come across the Rega Planar 3. Not only does it belong to a hugely popular brand but it is also one of its latest models.
But, just because something is new or made by a popular brand, it doesn’t automatically mean that it is the best option available.
In this article, I will not be comparing this with other models available in the market place. That is because I do not think there is much value in doing that. Instead, I will be doing something that I think would be more useful for prospective buyers: I will be reviewing the Rega RP3 in its own merits, covering all its pros and cons.
This review will be detailed because our main goal here at Tech Review Source is to provide detailed reviews that will help prospective buyers to make informed purchases decisions. It is easy to drown on Internet reviews so our aim is to provide such comprehensive reviews that you will not need to read anything else if you do not want to.
And this is indeed the case with the present review.
So, without much further ado, let’s begin the review.
What Is Rega RP 3?
If you were already seasoned in the Hi-Fi arena you would be very likely to have heard about Rega. If you are not, then let me tell you that Rega is one of the best-known and prestigious brands around.
This particular deck goes by two names: either RP3 or Planar 3. RP3 was the original name but back last year (2016), it was re-launched and re-branded as Planar 3.
So, whether you came here looking for a review of RP3 or Planar 3, know that they are one and the same thing. I will use both terms interchangeably throughout this review. But whether you are thinking of one name or the other, this review will just be as relevant.
“For my birthday this year, my girls – who knew I’d just inherited my dad’s turntable – gave me a carton of albums like ‘Blue Kentucky Girl’, by Emmylou Harris, and ‘Off the Wall,’ by Micheal Jackson. It’s all stuff we grew up with. I mean, you can’t have a music collection without Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ – it just can’t be done!” – Connie Britton
Having said all that, according to Rega the Planar 3 is more advanced than RP3. They claim that the relaunched version has a new tone arm: the RB330.
What Are the Best Features of the Rega Planar 3?
Without a doubt, one of the best things about this turntable model is what it looks like. I will into its other great features in a bit but first, I must talk about its looks.
The way a turntable looks is important. I would not go as far as saying that this is the best or the most important feature for a turntable to have. In fact, strictly speaking, this is not really a feature in itself.
Why is the way it looks so important? Well, a turntable is something that is often used in public so they way it looks is actually relevant. That is to say, unless you do not care at all about the impression you make!
So, what makes the Rega Planar 3 look so great? First of all is the elegant plinth (the plinth is where every other component is mounted on). The plinth is really important is establishing a look for the whole turntable; probably the most important factor aesthetically.
The elegant plinth comes in either black or white and, regardless of color, it comes with a metallic upper brace.
This model has a sub-platter that holds the glass platter. The glass platter is 12 mm (0.47 inch) and it supports a felt mat for you to place your records on. The turntable itself is driven by a belt. The way this turntable works is by having the drive belt connect the motor pulley to the sub-platter. The sub platter is stepped for the following two revolutions:
- 33 rpm (revolutions per minute).
- 45 rpm (revolutions per minute).
The motor pulley is located under the platter. So, while this makes the turntable more eye-pleasing than others, this can be annoying for users because every time you need to change the revolutions per minute (33 rpm to 45 rpm, or 45 rpm to 33 rpm), you would need to remove the platter.
There is a work around this problem that is well worth considering if you are going swap between resolutions often. In that case, you could her a TT-PSU power supply. If you purchase one of these and add it to your RP 3 turntable, you will be able to change the speed at which you want to play your records. The only problem with this is that you would need to make an additional purchase.
As I pointed out earlier in this article, the main difference between the RP 3 and its new version, Planar 3 is the tone arm.
So, the new model has an RB330 tone arm that is 9 inches long. The previous model had an RB303 tone arm but they are both remarkably similar.
So, what is the difference between these two tone arms? The main difference is the design but other than that they are practically the same thing.
There is also all kind of small changes between the old RP 3 and the Planar 3, including the following:
- The arm click has a new design.
- The anti-skate dial also has a new design.
- There is a new counterweight.
- There are also new bearings.
- The housing is stiffer in the newer model.
- There is a new counterweight in the newer model.
Having said that, most of these changes are so tiny that many users might not even notice them at all.
Talking about great features, the following features make this turntable one of the sturdiest in the marker (meaning that you can use it as you please, not needing to be overly careful lest you break it):
- The RP 3 uses an integrated head shell.
- The lift arm that the arm is set on is extremely sturdy.
- The RP 3 has a rather long finger lift.
What Are the Pros and Cons of This Turntable?
Now that we have gone through the many awesome features of this turntable it is a good time to just summarize all the pros and cons of the product. As great as the RP 3 turntable is, it is not perfect (no product ever is). What some users may consider a pro could actually be a con for other users.
Having said that, I believe that there are always objective pros and cons when it comes to any product, and this turntable is no exception to this.
You may not agree that a con is a con or it might not matter to you but at least when you see them summarized, you can make your own mind up about it easily.
So, what are the Pros of this turntable?
One of the main pros is that this turntable is reasonably priced. Prices can vary depending on where you buy it from so I would advise you shop around and check different outlets for the best price for you. Sometimes prices can vary by several US dollars (or GB Pounds, Euros, etc.).
Another pro is the great tone arm (if you have been skim reading this article, go back to the previous section for more details on the tone arm).
Another reason to consider this turntable is the fact that it includes a dust cover.
The finally pro is that this product does not only look great but it is also built to high quality. It is both nice to look at and reliable.
Are there any cons? Of course, there are. Well, in fact, there is just one and if you have been reading this review carefully, you will already know what it is. The only con about this turntable is that you would have to remove the platter every time you want to change speed. If you are interested in a workaround solution for this, read the previous section in this article for details. This con can be easily fixed but it will cost you extra, unfortunately.
So, this has been Rega RP3 (Rega Planar 3) – Review. If you have any feedback about this review or would like to share your views on this product, please leave us a message in the comments section below!