Rega released its new Planar 8 in late 2018 to an excited audio world that couldn't wait to experience the turntable's performance. The Planar 8 is the direct successor to the RP8, but is more of a "re-imagining" than a remake. In fact, the Planar 8 is more closely related to Rega's famed Naiad turntable, the $40,000 top-of-the-line turntable Rega released back in 2015. The new Planar 8 turntable captures the performance and spirit of the Naiad, but at much more attainable price. But, comparisons to 5-figure-priced turntables aside, how does the Planar 8 perform? Michael Fremer of Analog Planet seeks to answer that question in this new review.
Less Is Much More with the Planar 8
Analog Planet's Michael Fremer is no stranger to Rega—he has written extensively about Rega products, including the RP8 and the new Planar 8 when it was announced. Now, he's finally had the chance to listen to the Planar 8 in earnest, and we couldn't ask for a better review!
The combination of the relatively inexpensive Ania cartridge and Planar8 was in every way superior to the original Apheta/RP8 combination especially in terms of obvious frequency response linearity and the turntable’s nimble bottom end. Read more at https://www.analogplanet.com/content/rega-research%E2%80%99s-less-much-more-planar-8-plus-exclusive-interview#MQVaG10KPHeJSwX1.99
Fremer spares no detail in this fantastic review. He begins with some background regarding the former RP8 before getting into some of the development history of the new Planar 8. To get more acquainted with the history and function of the Planar 8, Fremer called Rega's Phil Freeman to discuss the design and development of the turntable. Fremer even included the phone call at the end of the article so you can have a listen and really get to know more about the '8'.
Fremer discusses his experience choosing the right cartridge and setting up his new turntable, and then gives the vital speed measurements. Once he's satisfied with the technical side of the Planar 8, he moves on to our favorite part: how the Planar 8 sounds to the listener. Fremer states, "That Rega has clearly outdone itself with this new Planar8 was obvious on the very first record played." For those that are never satisfied with a product "out of the box", the author offers some suggestions of turntable mats, cartridges, and phono stages he enjoyed during his testing.