There are many great turntables on the market, but few can compare to the Planar 10. And none can compete with the Planar 10 at its price point. Starting at $5,695, the Planar 10 competes with turntables $10k or more in price, giving listeners the ability to have audiophile-level equipment at a much more attainable price point. This powerful performer has caught the eye, or perhaps the ear, of many reviewer since its introduction in late 2019. Reviewers from What Hi-Fi?, Hi-Fi Choice, Stereonet, The Ear, and more have all had a chance to try out—and be impressed by—the Planar 10.
Now, Michael Fremer of Stereophile has had an opportunity to hear Rega's newest turntable. Not only did the Planar 10 impress Fremer, but it also captured the front page of Stereophile's March 2020 edition! Front and center on the magazine cover, the Planar 10 gets the appropriate of epithets of "Low-Mass" and "High-Tech" which describe Rega's philosophy behind the design of the P10. Featuring an ultralight, skeletonized plinth formed from TanCast 8 foam, the Planar 10 utilizes nearly all the technological advances Rega discovered when building their hand-built Naiad turntable.
At the outset, Stereophile's Michael Fremer was won over by the price of the turntable, joking that "the more Rega charges for one of its turntables, the less you get—and that's a good thing." Not only does the Planar 10 have the same price as the previous RP10 with an Apheta 2 cartridge, but it captures much of the performance and technology of the $45k Naiad turntable for 15% of the price. And that price buys you a turntable that removes more vibration and produces a more transparent sound than nearly any other turntable. Fremer goes on to discuss the many technological advances Rega has used to create the Planar 10, from the high-rigidity frame to the monolithic bearing assembly to the ceramic platter. He touches on how each one works together to remove muddying vibrations from the source, giving your system the opportunity to explore exactly what was recorded on the vinyl.
When Michael Fremer reviews audio gear, he just doesn't use his ears to test the product, he likes to dive deep and get technical with quantitative assessments. He tested the tracking distortion across the record, finding the Rega products a modified Stevenson alignment out of the box. On his initial tone test, he was grateful for the Planar 10's speed adjustment, being able to modulate the speed by 1% to produce a solid 3150Hz tone. Upon further testing he found "this turntable really is a great performer in terms of speed and speed consistency."
Rega's new P10 is by far the company's most sophisticated, refined, quiet, and subtle-sounding turntable yet. It combines the immediacy, grip, and rhythm'n'pacing excitement Regas have always produced, with the subtlety and delicacy typically found on far more costly analog front ends...If there's a better $6695 plug'n'play turntable out there—or, for that matter, a better or at least competitive one for $10,000—I don't know what it is.
Look for this review in the March 2020 issue of Stereophile, or order a copy here!