Planar 3 is the product of decades of research and turntable design and re-design. Despite following the footsteps of its predecessors, the Rega Planar 3 stands out with an updated and enhanced design but still takes a few components from previous models. The Planar 3 was conceived using the most updated 3D CAD and CAM. This features and enhanced bearing housing with the latest tonearm tube for improved redistribution of mass for the best results.
This turntable offers overall improved stability with reduced friction as it moves. Because of this, the arm is able to take as much information from the vinyl compared to other substandard turntables. And aside from its upgraded tonearm, let’s find out why the Planar 3 was considered the turntable of the year in 2016 and why this could be the turntable you’ve been looking for in this review.
Things to consider before buying a REGA PLANAR 3
But before you purchase a REGA PLANAR 3, remember the following
Manual vs. automatic vinyl players
Choose from a manual, semi-automatic, or an automatic turntable. These terms refer to how the needle is placed over the vinyl and how it is removed. In an automatic record player, you simply push the button, and the arm will move on its own. With manual players, you must place the arm with the needle on the moving vinyl for the music to start playing. In a semi-automatic machine, you place the needle on the vinyl, and after the song ends or the vinyl has been played through, the needle will manually move off the vinyl and come back to its standby position.
Ability to change record sizes and play speeds
Choose a record player that can play different vinyl sizes. There are three most common types of recording, the 7-inch record that will play at 45 RPM. This one has five music on side A and side B and is commonly used to play singles.
A 12-inch record vinyl will play at 33 RPM and will store 22 minutes of music on side A and side B. Most of the albums that are found in stores are 12-inch recordings.
A 10-inch vinyl disc is older recordings that will play at 78 RPM.
Record players that are called “three-speed” can play 33, 45, and 78 RPM. But if you’re only planning to play the music that was recorded before the 1950s, then you don’t need a recorder that will play 78 RPM.
Upgradable turntable parts
The record player you choose must have upgradable parts. Most entry-level turntables are non-expandable, and hence, what you see is what you get. But for high-end models, you may enhance, upgrade, and add compatible components.
The most commonly upgraded part of a record player is the tonearm. From a standard tonearm, you can upgrade to a model with low friction bearings or one with smooth, quiet, and precise components. The cartridge is the end of the tonearm where the needle is connected. This may also be upgraded from a traditional design to one with an enhanced moving coil or a cartridge with a moving magnet.
The platter may be upgraded to a heavier one to reduce vibration and one with a platter mat. The stylus or needed is known as the easiest component to upgrade. This must be replaced every 1000 hours of use to improve sound detail and accuracy.
Ability to digitize analog recordings
Look for a turntable that can digitize your vinyl recording collection. A clue that a turntable can do this is if it has a USB port because this is where the recorder connects to your PC or laptop. With this convenient USB port, you can record the player playback to an MP3 file. Check the compatibility of the record player with your computer operating system (Mac or Windows) and if you need to install an app or a software program before you start saving analog music to digital music.
Some upgraded vinyl records have a card that has a code to download the MP3 version of the music from an online music site or recording site. Thus, you don’t need a vinyl recorder with a USB port to digitize analog music.
How much you’re willing to pay
Budget-friendly record players have a retro-style design with a plastic casing and come with built-in speakers. But if you want to listen to a warmer sound, you may need to spend more money. With no specific budget in mind, you can purchase a record player with all the works and latest improvements.
Features and Benefits
The very first thing that you’ll surely see when you check the Rega Planar 3 is its minimalistic design. You’ll get the platter and the tonearm, nothing more. But of course, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to design and turntable features.
The plinth is now made of high-gloss acrylic that’s stronger but aesthetically appealing. This comes in three different colors: white, black, and red. The tonearm looks intimidating compared to traditional models but trusts that this eases on friction and will guarantee better sound replication.
The platter is built with a new “float” glass called “Optiwhite,” and this comes with a polished rim. This 12mm platter is accurate as it is stunning. Meanwhile, the sub-platter is also re-designed to enhance accuracy and stiffness.
The Planar 3 has a re-designed stronger vertical housing with an arm clip and spring housing with easy to check numbers. This new Rega design comes with a 100g steel balance weight. Inside this record player are double phenolic bottom braces that are 3mm thicker. It also comes with a metal skin phenolic brace on top.
The bearing housing has a brass hub central bearing that enhances fit and reduces stress on the bearing. The foot also has an updated design and stability to reduce any vibration.
Aside from the mentioned turntable parts, the Planar 3 has a low capacitance phono wire with updated Neutrik plugs. At the end of the RB330, the hand-assembled tonearm is a standard factory-fitted Elys2 MM cartridge. This is an optional upgrade upon purchase.
This turntable has an improved 24V motor with an upgraded Neo PSU. This is vital for electronic speed changes and advanced vibration –less circuit. The motor of the Planar 3 also comes with a special motor cover tray. This enhances integrated cooling so the motor won’t suffer even when you use the turntable for longer periods. The motor is low noise and thus won’t affect your music enjoyment.
The Double Brace Technology
The Double Brace Technology is unique to Planar record player models. This feature makes use of the formula “mass absorbs energy- therefore, lost energy is lost music.” A part of the Double Brace Technology is the lightweight, rigid plinths which are made from lightweight particulate material with a strong phenolic resin cover.
The plinth is enforced with a new double brace system that boosts rigidity in the area in the middle of the tonearm mounting and the main bearing. This creates a structurally improved, stressed beam component. The plinth’s new improved design stops energy absorption and any resonance since these mostly add unwanted and unnatural distortion to the music.
One way to find out if a record player is the best one for you and your vinyl-enjoyment needs is to check out how it plays out with other users. The following are reviews from recent customers who have purchased the Rega Planar 3 at Amazon. We chose Amazon reviews to avoid paid reviews online. These are verified and genuine reviews that will give you an eyeful on what the Rega Planar 3 is in action.
Darin gave the Planar 3 five perfect stars and stated that it was a great-performing turntable that is ready for his upgrades. He confessed that there were a few “mild annoyances” and would have given it a 4.5, but he decided to take it to five because of the Planar 3’s looks. He recommended the Planar 3 without the Elys, though, and to experiment with your own type of cartridge.
JES calls the Planar 3 the best value turntable. He cites the turntable’s awards and also its place as the best record player in the price range. He was pleased with the sound because it was clear and clean.
Michael Gadilhe uses his Planar 3 with a Sumiko Moonstone cart, and this ability to choose your own upgrade makes this turntable a top choice. He notes that there was no hum, and he was also happy that the turntable arrived already set up, so you’re ready to try it out the minute it arrives home.
As most people would say: “You can’t please everyone.” M.E. was not pleased with the Planar 3 saying that there’s a problem with the turntable’s motor as the spindle causes interference. He recommends looking elsewhere and, if possible, a perfect system.
The Rega Planar 3 is a record player with a classy and unique appearance that sets it apart from other turntables. It has an improved bias assembly, stiffer bearing housing, and improved RB303 tonearm. It comes with a stylish and lightweight plinth, enhanced motor assembly, and a factory-fitted Elys 2 cartridge. It has an enhanced style and features and thus may be the turntable upgrade you have been looking for.
If you think that the Rega Planar 3 with Elys 3 is the right record player for you, check this out at this link.