Exclusive First Review of the new Rega Planar 6!

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Boom! HiFi Choice takes the exclusive first listen to the Rega Planar 6. Let's just say it ends with the words "the resulting Planar 6 is a simply outstanding turntable that’s well worth the wait".

Months and months have gone by as we've patiently waited for the Planar 6. Rega kept a very tight lid on this one, and the pressure was definitely building. As HiFi Choice found out, it has been worth the wait. We won't go into too much detail here, but Rega has taken long strides with this new turntable, holding true to 40+ years of engineering prowess and firm philosophy. You can read in greater depth about the engineering, design, and construction in this Planar 6 article, and watch this cool movie produced by Rega using automated drone cameras.

The Rega Planar 6 turntable will sell for $1595 without cartridge, $1995 with Exact MM cartridge, and $2195 with Ania MC cartridge (US Retail). The "with cart" packages save you $200 over the items sold separately, AND you'll save another $50 if you buy the matching Fono MC phono-preamp with your P6/Ania. Dealers across the US are accepting pre-orders today. Find a Rega dealer and get in line now to make sure you get yours. Supplies will be limited during the launch period!

For now, keeping reading for excerpts from the excellent HiFi Choice review. You can also read their excellent review of the Ania and Fono MC here.

The result of the studious application of engineering and material science used in this deck makes it feel a little different to any other Rega turntable I have used before. One aspect I find genuinely impressive is that despite the relative lack of mass, it never feels lightweight or insubstantial in any way. All points of contact are finished to a remarkably high standard and it comes across as an extremely solid device, despite being made from lightweight materials.
For anyone that associates bass extension with mass, the Planar 6 will swiftly dispel that way of thinking. The opening swell of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the live rendition of Berlin Sunrise is a huge force that is captured with absolute authority. This isn’t just good bass from what could be considered a lightweight turntable, it delivers superb low-end extension full stop!
The speed and sense of togetherness that I’d expect from a turntable that’s wearing a Rega badge is all there. With My Baby’s Love Dance, it captures the funky, loping rhythm in a way that seems perfectly self-explanatory and in a way that others struggle to capture. There’s no trace of overhang and this lends the performance an immediacy that is truly invigorating. What’s important about how the Planar 6 manages this is that when the tempo of the music is much slower, the immediacy remains so that Nick Drake’s Things Behind The Sun never feels forced or unnatural.
While the Ania is indisputably a fine cartridge in its own right, it finds a natural home here. That slightly full-bodied quality that I heard on the Technics SL-1200GR (HFC 426) is much less apparent on the Planar 6 and the result is a very even handed and potent-sounding partnership. The dense instrumentation of the Hidden Orchestra’s Spoken is gently unpicked and opened into a vast and understandable soundstage... while the supplied Ania cartridge represents an excellent and cost-effective partner, other designs work well and demonstrate the deck’s flexibility and possible future upgrade potential. Of course, if you do opt for the pre-mounted Ania, it follows that the logical partner would be the supremely talented Fono MC (also reviewed in HFC 426).
Picking apart the roles that the different parts of the Planar 6 play isn’t especially easy, but it seems abundantly clear that the Neo PSU has a significant part to play in its abilities. Even following the Technics SL-1200GR with its exceptional pitch stability as a function of its direct- drive system, the Rega is still very impressive. Standard torture tests of sustained notes show no sign of any instability and the Planar 6 is also exceptionally quiet in operation. Running it through the notably silent Cyrus Phono Signature phono stage, there is no sign of any induced noise from the deck itself and for me at least, this is the biggest characteristic that sets it apart from other more affordable alternatives.
The overall presentation is aided in no small part by the tonal realism that the Planar 6 possesses. Voices in particular manage to sound consistently believable and there is never any trouble differentiating between different vocalists in the same piece. Crucially, when you play something that you know extremely well, like Little Feat’s Rock And Roll Doctor, the Rega doesn’t mess with any of the basics of the track instead effortlessly bringing its own abilities to your attention. The piano is detailed and weighty and has a wonderful sense of speed and finesse to it, making a piece of music that has often been described as infectiously groovy, sound even more so.
There are aspects to the Planar 6’s design that point to new approaches from Rega. The jury may still be out on the Polaris grey nish, but the good news is that once you start listening, any reservations on its looks quickly fade away. Partnered with Rega’s Ania moving-coil cartridge it delivers a level of performance that is pretty much untouchable for less than £1,500 (That’s about $2k in US dollars. -TSO Ed.). It may have seemed as though it took forever to arrive, but the resulting Planar 6 is a simply outstanding turntable that’s well worth the wait.