Rega Announces New Planar 10 Turntable
Posted by The Sound Organisation on Sep 10th 2019
Rega has unveiled the newest addition to their already spectacular turntable line, the Rega Planar 10. Similar to Rega's Planar 8, the Planar 10 will not be a new version of its predecessor, the RP10. Rather, the Planar 10 will take many design and function cues from the legendary Rega Naiad Turntable.
Rega decided early on that instead of an evolution of the previous RP10, the new Planar 10 was to be developed and engineered to encapsulate the essence of the Naiad at a more affordable price. The Planar 10 narrows the gap between itself and the Naiad even further by using more exotic materials, carefully selected to reduce mass and improve rigidity throughout the design. New innovations in hub bearing, sub platter, motor and drive belt design have led to even greater accuracy in turntable speed which directly improve sound performance.
Less Weight means More Music
For the Planar 10, Rega used the most advanced materials and engineering solutions built around a supremely lightweight plinth to ensure the greatest level of performance. The Planar 10 is the Rega turntable constructed using the latest technology and the ultra-lightweight Tancast 8 polyurethane foam core, a material developed for the aerospace industry. This space-age material is sandwiched between two layers of High Pressure Laminate (HPL), an exceptionally thin and extremely rigid material that adds structure and durability without adding bulk or weight. This new construction makes the new Planar 10 skeletal plinth 30% lighter than the original RP10 while offering increased rigidity over the previous model.
"Mass absorbs energy - lost energy equals lost music!"
A super lightweight plinth combined with a ceramic top brace and phenolic resin bottom brace mounted specifically where the increased rigidity is required (between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing) forms a structurally sound, "stressed beam" assembly. This rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonances which will add unnatural distortions to the music. Equally, heavier mass can transfer more unwanted energy such as motor or bearing noise directly into the rotating record. The tonearm and cartridge must to be able to read accurately, directly from the platter. Rega's unique Double Brace Technology solution enables this. The use of braces instead of the complete skin allows increased thickness in these key areas, while providing further weight reduction to the plinth which directly addresses the issue of mass absorption and unwanted energy transmission.
The outer frame of the previous model has now been removed and a new stylish, removable, single piece dustcover has been introduced further reducing the overall mass of the turntable.
A New Tonearm for a New Generation
The Planar 10 features the new RB3000 tonearm fitted with an improved, low mass, precision bias housing. The entire tonearm structure is designed to have the minimum of mechanical joints while using the stiffest materials in all critical areas. The tolerance of the RB3000 tonearm is so tight that no adhesive is used at any point throughout the construction. Rega's latest low mass, precision engineered, vertical bearing assembly has been manufactured to further complement the inherent design philosophy of the Planar 10 turntable.The RB3000 tonearm uses Rega's advanced, pre-loaded zero tolerance bearing assembly adjusted to less than 1/1000th of a mm. This gives friction-free movement and zero levels of unwanted play. Simply put, friction free bearings with no play enable ridges in the record groove of less than a micron to be read.The RB3000 also uses the latest award-winning, aluminium, Rega arm tube (each one of which is meticulously hand polished, keeping mass to an absolute minimum) which was redesigned to redistribute mass and further reduce stresses and resonances. This advanced design tube increases the stiffness and rigidity of the overall assembly whilst reducing stress on the bearings even further.
A Redesigned Hub and Platter
Rega has pioneered a completely new low mass, central hub bearing assembly with improved mechanical integrity for the Planar 10. A single piece machined aluminum sub-platter and hardened tool steel spindle run inside a custom brass housing designed with improved mechanical integrity. The complete assembly is cleverly mounted within the chassis to eradicate unwanted potential energy being transferred or stored in the plinth.
For the first time on a Rega production turntable, a ceramic top brace delivers ultimate rigidity and accuracy whilst creating the perfect platform between tonearm and central bearing. The Planar 10's custom ceramic, flywheel-effect platter is produced from ceramic oxide powder which is compressed, fired and diamond cut to ensure perfect accuracy and flatness across the surface. The latest platter features a modified construction with improved coupling to the sub platter.
High Performance Drive Worthy of Formula 1
Below the hub and platter, the Planar 10 uses Rega's latest generation, 24v, synchronous, low-vibration motor technology. Uniquely mounted using the highest level of coupling while retaining higher vibration isolation than any previous model, this Rega Planar 10 uses a bottom-mounted motor like the Naiad. This unique mounting method removes all stress from the motor body whilst holding the drive pulley perfectly still. This, in turn, enables better speed stability and accuracy from the turntable. Each motor is hand tuned to match its own custom paired P10 PSU power supply before fitting to the turntable to optimize the anti-vibration circuit.
The reduced vibration and more rigid mounting of the motor delivers superior drive from the new EBLT drive belts. For three years, Rega and a team of chemists have been researching and developing the use of a bespoke new rubber compound for drive belts. Using a specialized curing system, the new drive belt offers superior consistency of modulus (a constant representing the degree to which a substance has a particular property, especially elasticity). These new belts are manufactured on Rega-designed, state-of-the-art, super-accurate tools (inspired by working with the manufacturer of high-tech Formula 1 engine parts) which produce 'perfectly round' and 'dimensionally accurate' belts, critical for perfect speed stability.
Finally, this entirely new player is controlled by Rega's most advanced electronic power supply housed in a brand-new, full metal custom case designed to match the latest range of Rega electronics. The P10 PSU offers the ultimate in motor control stability, convenient electronic speed change, advanced anti-vibration control, and user-adjustable electronic fine speed adjustment to ensure total accuracy and control over the life of the motor. Housed in Rega's latest custom designed case, the P10 PSU is dedicated to running the Planar 10's 24v, low noise motor as quietly and as accurately as possible. The speed and control of the motor is achieved by using a new DSP (Digital Signal Processing) generator built upon a high stability crystal. This device will divide the accurate square wave from the crystal to the exact frequency required to turn the platter at the selected speed. The DSP core will also generate a near perfect sinusoidal waveform to power the motor. Factory set vibration removal and fine speed adjustments are then made to the power supply to tune each motor for optimal performance.
Next Generation Cartridge
The Planar 10 will be made available with a brand new moving coil cartridge, the Apheta 3, as a factory fitted option. This new cartridge was developed alongside the Planar 10 and is using Rega's most advanced "Fine Line" diamond profile. As the recommended match for the Planar 10 turntable, the Apheta 3 factory-fitted package will be available at a discounted rate.
We believe that the Planar 10 and Apheta 3 combination sets new accuracy standards in retrieving information from the record groove making this a truly ‘state of the art’ player.