The Planar 8 was inspired by the ultimate Rega turntable, the ‘Naiad’. We decided early on that instead of an evolution of the previous RP8, the new Planar 8 was to be developed and engineered to encapsulate the essence of ‘Naiad’ at an affordable price. Our aim was to deliver a level of performance far beyond what has been achieved at this price point before.
Ultra lightweight plinth
The Planar 8 is the second Rega turntable constructed using our latest ultra lightweight Tancast 8 polyurethane foam core (a material developed for the aerospace industry). This material is sandwiched between two layers of HPL (high pressure laminate). HPL is exceptionally thin and extremely rigid. This new construction makes the new Planar 8 skeletal plinth 30% lighter than the original RP8 while offering increased rigidity over the previous model.
DB Technology (Double Brace Technology) “Mass absorbs energy – lost energy equals lost music”!
A super lightweight plinth combined with a phenolic resin double brace mounted specifically where the increased rigidity is required (between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing) forms a structurally sound “stressed beam” assembly. This rigid plinth design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonances which will add unnatural distortions to the music. Equally, heavier mass can transfer more unwanted energy such as motor or bearing noise directly into the rotating record. The use of braces instead of the complete skin allows double thickness phenolic resin in these key areas, while providing further weight reduction to the plinth which directly addresses the issue of mass absorption and unwanted energy transmission.
For the new RB880 we have introduced an improved vertical bearing assembly constructed using an aluminium and stainless-steel, low mass assembly with vastly improved stability and rigidity. This tonearm is using our advanced preloaded zero tolerance bearing assembly adjusted to less than 1000th of a mm, this gives friction free movement and zero levels of unwanted play. This subtle but effective new structure is only visible via small windows at the rear of the new bias housing assembly (see image below). A thinner stainless steel balance weight is used, allowing greater adjustability and compatibility. Finally, the RB880 is terminated with a re-designed, low capacitance phono cable terminated with high quality, locking phono plugs to ensure the best possible connection.
Hub bearing assembly
The Planar 8 uses a new low mass central bearing assembly. A single piece machined aluminum sub-platter and hardened tool steel spindle run inside a custom brass housing which is cleverly mounted within the chassis. This new mounting is designed to eradicate unwanted potential energy being transferred or stored in the plinth.
Super flywheel effect triple layer glass platter
The Planar 8 uses a three piece laminated glass platter which is the result of collaboration with a British glass engineering company. This brand new platter is constructed from two different high quality Pilkington glasses. As a general rule the only part of a turntable that requires extra mass is the turntable platter in order to achieve constant rotational speed. However, a heavier platter creates more problems for the main bearing design so again an ideal compromise creates the best solution. Practically this means keeping as much of the mass to the outside rim of the glass platter to create more flywheel effect but keeping the inside of the platter as light as possible without sacrificing stiffness.
24v Low noise motor assembly
The Planar 8 uses Rega’s latest generation, 24v, synchronous, low vibration motor technology. Uniquely mounted using the highest level of coupling while retaining higher vibration isolation than any previous model. this new motor mounting technique (mounted from the bottom) has been taken directly from the ultimate Rega turntable, the Naiad. This unique mounting method removes all stress on the motor body. The reduced vibration and more rigid mounting delivers superior drive from the new EBLT drive belts. Each motor is hand tuned to match its own custom Neo power supply before fitting to the turntable to optomise the anti-vibration circuit.
EBLT Drive Belts
For three years Rega has been researching and developing with chemists the use of a bespoke new rubber compound for drive belts. Using a specialised curing system, the new drive belt offers superior consistency of modulus (a constant representing the degree to which a substance has a particular property, especially elasticity).These new belts are manufactured on Rega designed, state of the art, super-accurate tools which produce ‘perfectly round’ and ‘dimensionally accurate’ belts, critical for perfect speed stability.
The Neo PSU offers a smooth power supply, an advanced anti-vibration circuit and fine electronic speed adjustment. It uses the RP10 DSP (digital signal processing) generator built upon a high stability crystal. The DSP generator will divide the accurate signal from the crystal to the exact frequency required to turn the platter at the selected speed. The DSP generator will also produce a near perfect sinusoidal waveform to drive the motor. This, along with an efficient drive amplifier, generates a 24V, AC balanced signal of less than 0.15% distortion, which is completely unaffected by any changes in the mains/line voltage and conditions. This then drives the turntable’s anti-vibration circuit, which is situated beneath the turntable.