For sheer design simplicity and full analog groove, this unit just might offer everything you need, but is it? Find out in this comprehensive Rega Planar 1 review.
Upgraded Quality and Simplicity for an Excellent Analog Sound
Rega Planar 1 Ratings at a Glance
EASE OF USE
Straightforward commands, suitable for enthusiasts
Brass bearing and aluminum pulley make the turntable very durable
Great rhythm and expressive, clear sound, typical for the Planar 1
VALUE FOR MONEY
One of the best Rega turntables within this price range
Rega Planar 1 Turntable Review
If you want to be up-to-date with the newest record player design technologies, purchasing a REGA Planar 1 might be the best decision you could make.
Every little detail of this turntable has been designed with care to create a delightful experience for the listener.
This model features, among other innovations, a new type of tonearm which enhances the record player’s performance. What’s more, it’s Rega’s currently pending patent.
In October 2020, What Hi-Fi named this model the best turntable in its price range. To learn more details about this excellent turntable, keep reading our Rega Planar 1 review.
Faster, Stronger, Better
Rega turntables make listening to vinyl an incredible adventure thanks to the improved performance and upgraded features.
They ensure more outstanding durability of the product, enhanced sound quality, and a better overall experience.
Rega released this particular model in 2016, but there have been significant improvements since then. It weighs less than 10 pounds and is available in two glossy colors – white and black.
One of the most significant upgrades is the introduction of the brand-new RB110 tonearm. This patented design is based on the “plug & play” principle.
The rest of the turntable follows suit – it’s ergonomic, low-noise, and looks elegant and stylish.
Who is the Rega Planar 1 for?
Whether you’re a dedicated audiophile, a vinyl collector, or you just want a fancy record player to complement your home décor, this Rega turntable will amaze you.
The British company has made quite a few changes to the original record player of the same name. Still, one thing hasn’t changed: the expressive music with high-quality sound remains easily recognized by loyal Rega fans.
… more than a suitable choice for a beginner
Moreover, this turntable is very simple to use. If you’re not familiar with record players and buying one for the first time, you don’t need to read every Rega Planar review out there to find out if it’s easy to set up. We’ll tell you right away – it’s more than a suitable choice for a beginner.
However, suppose you’re not a newbie or are looking for a turntable with more connectivity options. In that case, you might want to look for more complex models that have a Bluetooth receiver.
What’s Included With the Rega Planar 1?
When you buy a Rega Planar 1, you get a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. Just remember it doesn’t cover wear and tear damage.
And if you are wondering what else is in the box, you’ll be happy to hear the turntable comes with a transparent dust cover. This should be placed into the two slots at the back of your Planar 1.
Unfortunately, you will need to get an amplifier or phono pre-amp separately because it’s not included with the turntable. Rega makes compatible units that will work perfectly well with this model.
Rega Planar 1 Features
As mentioned above, the Rega Planar 1 is straightforward to set up and use. The manufacturer even claims it’s possible to set up in less than 30 seconds.
The turntable not only looks great – it’s optimized to ensure the highest possible performance and excellent sound quality.
To make that happen, the manufacturer patented the RB110 tonearm with an integrated clip and automatic bias assembly.
That means you don’t need to assemble it on your own – it’s enough to plug it in and start playing your records.
The headshell has also been improved to become more ergonomic and practical, with the switch button placed on the underside.
That way, this turntable’s appearance remains impeccable, mainly due to the gloss black or white plinth finishes.
The main bearing has also been re-designed to reduce stress on the brass bearing and reduce potential energy transfer to a minimum.
bespoke, ultra-low friction bearings (patent pending)
The higher-mass phenolic platter features an increased flywheel effect. That means the record playing speed will be more stable.
This is helped by the low-noise synchronous motor and the aluminum pulley, one of the best features of the new Planar 1.
The record player’s new re-designed feet reduce the vibration, which makes the whole unit more stable. It also comes with a motor cover tray with integrated cooling.
This prevents the turntable from overheating and makes it more durable.
- Low-noise motor
- Reduced vibration
- RB110 tonearm
- Fitted zero play bearings
- Carbon cartridge fitted
- Phenolic platter with improved flywheel
- Clear dust cover included
Setting Up the Rega Planar 1 Turntable
If you need help installing your Rega Planar 1 turntable, refer to the video below. It provides clear and detailed instructions that’ll walk you through the process.
Experienced music lovers suggest you unbox your Rega Planar 1 close to where you’re going to put it. If you can do it on the floor, even better.
That way, you will make sure no parts are damaged, especially since there will be wires coming out of the turntable. You don’t want the gloss surface to get scratched before you even start using the player.
Remember that your Planar 1 turntable should be placed close to the pre-amp or amplifier but not too close to a subwoofer or large speakers.
If the latter is too close to the record player, you will hear an unpleasant, howling acoustic feedback.
Rega Planar 1 Review Key Points
- Low-noise motor for better sound
- Improved parts for higher durability
- Good for beginners
- Nice design
- Doesn’t come with an amplifier
- Doesn’t have connectivity options
- Uses some cheap generic parts
Other Turntables to Consider
Rega is a famous British brand, well-known for its high-quality record players. This model has been immensely improved since its first version and is an excellent choice for most people.
For comparison purposes, let’s look at a few alternatives from other brands you may find suitable, all within the same price range:
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC model turntable comes with a carbon tonearm, which reduces resonance and enhances sound quality. The turntable works with a precision belt-driven mechanism, and the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge is already set up in place.
The record player supports two speeds, but you have to change them manually. The dust cover is included, and you can add a phono pre-amp to connect the turntable to your speakers.
The Fluance RT81 Elite is somewhat cheaper than other turntables mentioned in this article, but it’s just as good. It provides a pure analog listening experience thanks to its premium components.
The diamond-tipped stylus enables better accuracy, while the balanced aluminum tonearm can catch every detail from all your favorite recordings. The vibrations are also reduced to the minimum due to the rubber slip mat.
The AT-LP120XUSB from Audio-Technica, another famous brand in this industry, supports three speeds and enables you to operate the player manually. The pitch control switch has a speed lock, and the balanced tonearm can also be locked.
One of this turntable’s best features is that you can download the Audacity recording program to your computer (both Mac and Windows) and convert your favorite records to digital format.
If you’re planning to get a turntable within the price range, the Rega Planar 1 is undoubtedly one of the best choices you can make.
However, do bear in mind that there have been complaints about cheap generic parts used in this model which may be hard or impossible to replace.
On the upside, it’s been dramatically improved with patented mechanisms that contribute to its functionality and quality of sound – it’s clear, expressive, with no unpleasant feedback.
Overall, the Rega Planar 1 is an award winning turntable with top-quality design and fully analog output character, a device that’s easy to install and use.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
- Sound Quality
- Value Factor