Originally Published March 28, 2016
Way back in 2011, Tone Audio took a listen to the then new Rega RP3 turntable, and compared it to the venerable Rega P3-24. Look back to look forward.
Like the BMW 3-series, the Rega RP3 turntable has been around in some guise for almost 40 years. Without a doubt, it represents the beginning of the high end. A no frills, easy-to-use turntable that offers excellent sound quality in a no-fuss package. $895 (w/o cartridge) or $1095 (w/ Elys MM cartridge) US retail. Find a Retailer near you to experience Rega.
Excerpts from the review:
Rega turntables have always had a fast, lively sound that some have found slightly thin. The RP3 offers a robust improvement in bass weight over the prior P3-24. While listening to favorites from Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Deadmau5, I noticed a firmer low end and additional texture. The new ‘table offered superior pace and bolder bass lines.
The RP3 also claims the edge in HF detail and freedom from grain. The P3-24 never sounded grainy before, but when listening alongside the RP3, the difference was clear. The gap widened when I added the TT-PSU external power supply to the equation. The decrease in noise floor and increase in low-level detail allowed the RP3 to take advantage of the Exact cartridge to a degree that the P3-24 could not.
Almost as telling as its performance with music, the RP3 handled the occasional pop and tick much more efficiently. Whereas such sporadic bits of noise had a certain amount of duration and overhang on the P3-24, the new ‘table quickly disposed of the annoying components. The resultantly improved transient attack gave drums a refreshing vitality...
The RP3 stands as one of the best price/performance ‘tables on the market today. If you can add the Exact and TT-PSU to your budget, all the better. But if not now, they certainly make for a great upgrade path as you go further down the road. Enthusiastically recommended.