REGA Planar 10 Apheta 3


Analog sources

Planar 10 is an ultra-light turntable that weighs 4.7kg and looks very different. Not that much different from previous Rega efforts, but certainly different from most competitors. It sounds different too. As far as I can say – and I lived with some Rega turntables already – the new Planar 10 represents the best value in their portfolio ever.

Funkce a forma


In Rega, they have made the Planar 10 as light as possible (within existing budget limits) and as rigid as possible. They believe that heavy mass absorbs energy and consequently robs the music of it. I tend to agree - the heaviest is not always the best. ‘Light’ means, that Rega has stripped the Planar of a traditional chassis and built a skeleton frame from PUR foam which is sandwiched between two layers of HPL laminate. The chassis is effectively void of ringing (unlike aluminum) when you tap it. The ultra-light design challenged the choice of material for the bridge, that connects the platter bearing assembly with the tonearm bearings. This bridge must be stiff not to corrupt reading accuracy. Rega solved it with a combination of two materials: ceramic that represents the stiffness, and phenolic resin that provides damping.

The platter is ceramic with higher mass concentrated toward its outside diameter to help maintaining the speed. The platter uses felt mat on it. Rega believes that a traditional belt-driven system is superior to a servo-controlled direct drive motor which can struggle with correct RPMs. They argue that any speed variations on a belt drive system can satisfactorily be sorted by the proper design of the drivetrain, such as using ultra-high precision belts, careful motor mounting and platters of the correct material and mass, alongside a good power supply. Thus, in Planar 10, the motor provides torque via two round belts of Rega’s own design. Rega uses words like “unique, custom, secret, and cryogenically treated” when discussing the belt material. I think that the most important is that it balances well strength, elasticity, and durability. The main bearing assembly uses a machined aluminum sub-platter with hardened tool steel spindle running inside a custom brass housing. The 24V motor is driven by an external PL10 PSU and Rega claims that each PSU is factory-matched to a particular motor to achieve the best drivetrain smoothness.

The turntable rests on three rubber feet that provide great stability but are not adjustable for height, so it may be challenging to achieve 100% level on some surfaces.

Nízké frekvence


Rega provides RB3000 tonearm with the Planar 10. This arm is a successor to the previous RB2000 model that I know well from my previous life. As far as I can say, the new tonearm looks and feels better, although not substantially different. The set-up procedure is easy. First you need to connect the PSU to the turntable with an XLR cable. The PSU should be placed as far as possible (that is as far as the XLR cable allows) from the turntable to prevent any interaction (hum). The size of the PSU makes this requirement a bit difficult achieve in tight places. Then you connect a phono stage. Then, with the tracking dial and bias adjustment slider set to zero, the tonearm weight is adjusted to its floating position just a hairline above the record. Do not take it literally for some records are warped. Aim for roughly 1mm. After that, the desired tracking force is set by the dial, and the bias adjustment slider is set to the same figure as the cartridge. Done.

Interestingly, the Rega Planar 10 does not allow for adjusting the VTA. The Rega engineers claim that a stable arm does not require corrections.

Čistota rozlišení


The Rega Planar 10 can be ordered with or without a cartridge. There are two available in Rega’s assortment, Apheta 2 & 3, both MC-type. The review unit was supplied with the Apheta 3, with the asking price of 1.6k€ when sold separately. It is a low mass aluminum CNC machined body with neodymium magnet and smoked acrylic cover. The stylus is of a “line contact nude diamond” type, which means that it has a longer vertical contact area with grooves than an elliptical stylus and should provide lower distortion and lower record wear. There is no foam damper (which Rega argues deteriorates over time). The recommended tracking force of the Apheta 3 is 1.9-2.0g, and your phono stage should be set to 100 ohms resistance and 1000pF capacitance as a baseline for further experiments. The Apheta 3 comes with lifetime warranty, and I like that.

I did not fell in love with the acrylic dust cover, though. The Planar 10 looks much better without it and – to be honest – its dust-protecting power is very low. If you want to keep the Rega safe, just have a standard Perspex box made; it is minimum extra cost and you can have it any colour you like (opalescent white PlexiGlasTM looks great, for instance).

Tonální věrnost


The sound of the Rega Planar 10 can be characterized as very easy on ears and very open. Those who look for the “vinyl” sound which embodies certain warmth, roundness, euphony, and comfort, should look elsewhere. The Planar 10 is not providing luscious sound, yet it can be very entertaining. It skilfully balances between the expected analogue musicality and weighty presentation, and a kind of modern and truly cool sound that is open and airy.

There is a lot of inner detail, but it never hinders the turntable smoothness, it never comes over as “analytical”. Simple acoustic sounds, like strummed guitar or bowed violin are beautiful through the Rega. There is something I would call effortless coherence, that makes the Planar 10’s sound so wholesome. It also seems that the credo of making the table light and not energy-absorbing was a good decision, indeed.


Šířka scény
Hloubka scény

Superb soundstaging is another sonic element the Planar 10 and the Apheta 3 are very good at. When I listened to staples like Rutter’s Requiem, the turntable could cast an expansive and deep soundstage. It was not dense and cluttered, but very well organized, spacious, and airy, with each voice coming through with clarity and a good timbre. There was a certain rhythmic drive that made the performance very enjoyable and luminous. On the other hand, it was not ‘light’, there was an earthy foundation to the music and when it asked to shake the room, the Planar 10 shook the room.

The Planar 10 does not try to impress you, although it leaves you impressed. However, this happens over time you spend with it. I was happy with it as it was. Should you want to change the tonal balance of the Planar 10, you can of course experiment with partnered amplifiers, phonos and/or cartridges. There is a whole universe of products that can be tested. I must admit that I did not feel any urge to do it. For me, Rega managed to make a turntable deck that does not epitomise the turntable as such. Instead. It is a modern source, without challenging neither analogue or digital nature of recorded music.

Cena v době recenze:139 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

AV Integra CZ s.r.o., Praha, tel. +420 602 180 597

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: TW-Acustic Raven One with Graham Phantom tonearm and Transfiguration Orpheus cartridge, Rega RP 8, Rega Apheta 2 cartridge
  • Amplifiers: Constellation Audio Pictor, Constellation Audio Taurus, phono Gruensch Reference Phonostage MCS
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: MIT MA, MIT MA-X XLR, MIT V2.1 Oracle, Stealth Audio Hyperphono, Van den Hul The D-102 III Hybrid
  • Loudspeakers: Magico M3 MPod
  • Power conditioning: Shunyata Research Triton v2/Typhon, Shunyata Research Python Zi-Tron, Shunyata Research Sigma v2 XC and v2 NR, Shunyata Research Altaira


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