Pearl Acoustics founder Harley Lovegrove has been a voice in the audio industry since the 1960s and his Sibelius speakers are widely respected on both sides of the pond. While Harley no longer runs the day-to-day operations of Pearl (that's a job more fit for his daughter), he is still very active in the company and takes a starring role in their content creation. Recently, Harley and Pearl Acoustics have put together a series of long-form videos looking at Iconic Turntables which we just had to share.
In the first video, Harley Lovegrove introduces the series and discusses the resurgence of analog vinyl playback in recent years. Then he shifts to listing out the ten turntables he thinks have been most influential or iconic in the history of playing records. Then, we shifts to revealing his #1 favorite turntable that he has selected for the listening room at Pearl Acoustics. His list is quite expansive featuring some very familiar turntables from brands like Thorens, Lenco, Pioneer, Technics, and Linn. Perhaps most important to our readers is at the 22:40 mark where he discusses the great Rega Planar 3. Watch the first video below (or skip to 22:40 to listen to what he has to say about the Planar 3):
If you stuck around to the end, then you heard the big reveal of the turntable he has personally chosen as the best turntable and the star of their listening room, the Rega Planar 10. "I absolutely want the very best. If somebody is travelling a long way to listen to our Sibelius loudspeakers in our listening room and they want to play vinyl, I want them to hear the vinyl as absolutely best as they can," Harley states, "it is not a big heavy mass turntable, it is in fact the wonderful Rega P10." To give adequate attention to his preferred turntable, Mr. Lovegrove invites us to tune in to the second installment of the series devoted to the Rega Planar 10. Watch it here:
In the second video, Harley discusses the 6 major challenges in building a turntable and getting the most performance from them. He details each of these challenges and then discusses how Rega has overcome these challenges in the Planar 10. Starting with the motor and Rega's brilliant way of reducing unwanted vibration from the motor using the external power supply. Then he moves onto the spindle and main bearing that Rega has constantly improved and perfected over years of iterations. Next up is the drivetrain, which Rega uses a belt drive with two specially engineered belts inspired by Formula 1 engines. As for the plinth, Rega decided to use an ultralight, super-rigid foam-core material with a skeletonized ceramic plate to reduce mass and further remove mechanical vibrations and distortion. Then he moves on to the tonearm and discusses how Rega's RB3000 tonearm has the tightest tolerances imaginable. Finally, he details how Rega's ceramic platter not only reduces the difference between internal and external rotation, but also creates a gyroscopic effect that ensures constant and low-energy revolution, further smoothing out every turn of the table.
If you enjoyed the first two videos in this series, then we invite you to watch the third installment. In the final video, Harley answers the question "Can analog vinyl ever sound as good as digital?" To test this, he plays music with his Rega Planar 10 and compares it to digital playback on three main categories: Dynamics and Mastering, Recording for Reality, and Emotive Connection to the music and equipment. Watch it here:
Did you enjoy these videos? Please let us know in the comment section below!