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TURNTABLE ⸜ complete


Manufacturer: REGA RESAEARCH Ltd.
Price (in Poland): 9299 PLN

6 Coopers Way, Temple Farm Industrial Estate


Provided for test by: ONE AUDIO


translation Marek Dyba
images Rega | „High Fidelity”

No 228

May 1, 2023

REGA was founded in 1973. Its name honors its two founders: Tony Relph and Roy Gandy (RElph & GAndy); Roy is currently the owner and managing director of the company. Rega specializes in the production of turntables and they made it so popular. However, it has been offering electronics and loudspeakers for years. We test their PLANAR 6 turntable.

AY GANDY WAS BORN IN 1945 in a small fishing village in Sri Lanka. His mother came from a very wealthy family of generations of lawyers, as well as doctors and lecturers, and she was also a student at the British Royal Academy of Music. His father, on the other hand... well, his father was not to the liking of his wife's family. Mark Gandy was the son of a baker who grew up in the slums of London, and his parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe, possibly from Poland or Russia.

So he was not a dream match for the beautiful Piloo Moda. But it had other advantages. He was a hard working man, and, as Bill Philpot, the author of the first part of A vibration measuring machine, Rega's monograph, put it, "a charmer". I'm sure if the maternal family knew what their grandson was going to do, they wouldn't mind the misalliance.

Gandy's engineering flair is due to his father, who guided his activities so that he could cope with challenges on his own. According to his biography, as a two-year-old he was trying to fix a toy salt shaker, and by the age of seven he had to repair and maintain his bicycle. At the age of thirteen, he met a challenge from his clarinet teacher and repaired one such instrument. He gave up music for a modeling club, and as a teenager he repaired friends' motorcycles. Engineering was in his blood.

But there was also music in it. He combined both passions by founding, together with a friend, the company that was the love of his life - Rega, which, next to the Scottish Linn, was to become one of the most important manufacturers of so-called "second wave" turntables, that is debuting in the 1970s (Rega: 1973, Linn: 1974).


THE FIRST AUDIO PRODUCTS that Roy dealt with were loudspeakers. He was really good at it. He built them for himself, for friends and for sale. In his system, however, there was also a TURNTABLE assembled independently from available parts. It had a platter resembling the one we know from the Transcriptors Reference model and a tonearm made of parts rejected by the factory, in which they were made. Although he dreamed of a Thorens, he could not afford a high-end turntable available in audio stores. Rega was born out of the need to fill this "lack" in his life. This turntable, along with the entire system, was reviewed in the "Hi-Fi Sound" magazine in 1972. Philpot writes that the reviewer was surprised by the sound quality he was able to achieve.

The Transcriptors Reference platter was special, as the record did not lie on it with its entire surface, but only touching it in a few points, which was to prevent the transmission of vibrations from the motor and the environment to the stylus. The creator of Rega must have liked the idea, because the second turntable also did not feature a traditional platter. It was named Planet, and it featured a "planetary arrangement" of supports. Instead, there was a design resembling a planar graph - a graph that can be drawn in a plane so that no two edges intersect beyond the vertex with which they are both incidental. In the middle he placed a small plate with an axle, to which he attached three pins, at the end of which there were small, round washers. His subsequent constructions were therefore called Planar.

He has remained faithful to the solutions used at that time. The turntable designed by him was supposed to be a non-decoupled design, with a rigid suspension and as light as possible. It was also supposed to be as easy to use as possible. In the Planar 2 model, the "planetary" construction of the platter was replaced with a classic, round one. Although he initially used ATCO tonearms, he was soon to construct an arm that over the next decades was used not only by Rega, but also by many other companies, becoming the basis for all arms that this company produced - the RB300. These two elements converged in the Planar 3 model, presented in 1976, which became Rega’s sales hit.


THE HISTORY OF THE PLANAR 6 dates back to 2012, when the RP6 turntable was created. As we read, "supplied with the RB303 tonearm and the optional factory-installed MM Exact2 cartridge, it instantly became a sales hit with both audio shop customers and journalists" (Philpot, pp. 146-147). In the tested turntable we will find almost all design solutions, both the older and the newest ones, thanks to which Rega products are such unique propositions. Many of the solutions used here, such as the base or the power supply, were taken from the more expensive RP10 model.

As Gandy says, the base should be as light as possible and as rigid as possible. The idea is to minimize the transfer of vibrations from the main bearing, motor and air, and to prevent the accumulation of energy in the structure of the turntable; this energy is given back to the stylus with a delay, with a lower amplitude, but still, which leads to, and adds to, blurring of the signal. The rigidness, in turn, is responsible for the "structural integrity" of both the base and the sub-assemblies connected to it - the arm and the main bearing. Planar 6 weighs only 5.2 kg.

There are several ways to achieve these two opposing goals. Rega opted for laminates. The base in the tested model is made of two parts: the core and the outer layer. On the outside, a HPL (high pressure laminate) laminate was used, and on the inside, Tancast 8 polyurethane foam.


HPL IS PRODUCED by saturation of multiple layers of kraft paper with phenolic resin. Before ironing, a layer of printed decorative paper is placed on top of the kraft paper. The resulting "sandwich" is fused together by heat and pressure (over 1000 PSI). Since phenolic and melamine resins are thermosetting plastics, the curing process converts the resin to plastic through the cross-linking process, converting the paper sheets into a single, rigid laminated sheet. Thermal curing creates strong, irreversible bonds that contribute to the durability of HPL.

⸜ source:, accessed: 15.03.2023.

THE TOP LAYER IS extremely stiff and, in addition, mechanically stable over time. Lightweight filling is provided by polyurethane foam originally developed for the aerospace industry. There is a whole range of Tancast foams and the one used by Rega was chosen for its vibration damping properties - it is the lightest density version. It is easily machined, enabling small prototypes to be made, and is also used in the modeling industry. According to its manufacturer, "during machining, the fine structure of the foam is exposed, and dimensions can be measured to within +/- 0.1 mm (+/- 0.004 inch)."

⸜ PLATTER A bearing was installed in the base, on which a sub-platter was mounted, i.e. a small platter on which the main platter is placed. It is 16mm thick, made of one-piece machined aluminum and is designed to be stronger than previous versions.

The main platter is made of glass and you can see all the elements underneath. However, it is not ordinary glass, but double-layered, made in the technique called "float". It is produced using a complex and at the same time very laborious process of joining and curing by UV radiation of the inner plate with the main plate. The flat layer is under the mat, and underneath there is a ring that provides a stronger flywheel effect, stabilizing the rotation.

⸜ DRIVE The motor was mounted on an aluminum plate, decoupled from the base by a rubber O-ring. It was placed in an unusual way, because - looking from the front of the P6 - from the top of the platter, and also very close to the sub platter. The designers wanted to provide mechanical isolation between the motor and the platter, but at the same time minimize the inaccuracies resulting from the stretching drive belt. This one is made using a special technology and bears the brand name EBLT Reference. It was first used in 2021 on the Planar 8 and Planar 10 models:

Each belt is molded on our highly accurate custom tooling using a unique secret blend. Once molded, the belts are cryogenically frozen and barreled to remove any excess flash in order to create perfect cross sectional roundness which is critical for accurate speed and stability. In normal use and conditions, the lifespan of the EBLT drive belt is 50% longer than the previous model., accessed: 15.03.2023.

The motor used in the Planar 6 is classic for this manufacturer - it is a 24V synchronous motor (AC). It is made especially for Rega and has twelve sections instead of the usual eight, which improves the precision of rotation. Rega has also mastered a technique to help dampen engine vibrations almost completely. It consists in the fact that the power supplies provide separate voltage for both phases - these voltages are synchronized, thanks to which the system remains in balance.

And the power supply used in the tested turntable is special. NEO Mk 2 was originally created for the RP10 and for some time was available for the Planar 6 only as an option - now we get it with the turntable. It is based on a precise DSP circuit that generates the frequency of the supply voltage. It has a button that changes the rotational speed, signaled by a different color of the logo - green (33 1/3) or red (45). The controller is powered by an external 24 V "wall" power supply, so it is worth considering a high-end replacement in the future.

⸜ TONEARM Rega tonearms have been used by other manufacturers over the years. They were valued for their high quality, precision and relatively low price. Their secret was casting the tube together with the head-shell and the bearing housing from one element. The counterweight for it is made of stainless steel. They are all gimballed arms, i.e. using bearings in two levels.

According to the press materials, the RB330 was designed "using the latest 3D CAD and CAM technologies". Its design, as we read in company’s materials, is the culmination of over 35 years of experience in arm design. The RB330 features an all-new bearing and the latest tonearm tube design combined with mass redistribution technology. Thanks to the advanced design, it is supposed to "show fewer points of possible resonances"; it also has new, even more precise bearings.

Rega's tonearms stup s a bit different than in classic arms, because they use dynamic VTF. The point is that it should not change with the waving of the record or even the stylus itself, but be constant. First, we level the arm with the weight on the axis until it is in balance, and then we set the VTF using the knob on the arm itself. We will not find VTA adjustment in it - Roy Gandy considers this problem to be greatly exaggerated, and Paul Messenger in the aforementioned monograph shows the technical justification for this position. Gandy thinks it's better to make a mechanically stable arm.

One of Rega's own developments is a double brace connecting the main bearing and the arm - from the top and bottom of the base. Rega's designer says the rigidity of this unit is a critical requirement for any turntable. The brace has a low mass but is very stiff. By connecting the tonearm with the platter bearing hub, at points where stiffness is particularly important, it creates the so-called load beam, which - as we read - prevents energy absorption and resonances that introduce unnatural sound distortions:

The use of double brace allowed to reduce the weight of the base in those key places that are responsible for transferring unwanted energy. The result is a low-mass base that maintains maximum rigidity and accuracy while protecting the tonearm from negative resonances and distortion.

⸜ Ibidem.

The signal is output via interconnects integrated with the tonearm wiring. The point is not to create additional soldering points in the signal’s track. The cables look simple, although they are solid and thick.

Once Rega used cables from the German company Klotz, specializing in products for the professional market. The ones used now look similar, so perhaps they are prepared for the British in the OEM system. Unusually, we do not have a separate ground cable, this one is connected to the signal ground. However, I did not hear any hum from the speakers.

⸜ CARTRIDGE Rega is one of the few manufacturers that manufactures its own cartridges, and at several price levels. They have such an unusual mounting that instead of two screws, three are used, which is supposed to improve the stability of the link. What's more, the turntables are delivered with a cartridge already set up, so all you need to do is set the appropriate VTF and anti-skating.

Together with the latest version of Planar 6 we get a cartridge with a familiar sounding name Ania. It is a model of the MC type, built on the basis of the more expensive Apheta and Aphelio designs. It’s body was made of an unusual material combining polymer and glass, in a ratio of 60/40, called Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS-Fortron). A transparent cover is used on the outside. As the company materials say, obtaining such a complicated shape from this type of polymer is very difficult. Therefore, special Swiss EDM CNC machines, usually used in the military and medical industries, were used for this purpose. This guarantees, as we read, obtaining precision at the level of one micron.

In Ania we find the same coil, hand-wound on iron micro-cores and neodymium magnets. A diamond stylus with an elliptical cut shape was mounted on an aluminum cantilever with a flattened end. This system is very light and, as declared by Rega, the generator in this cartridge is one of the smallest in the world. The recommended VTF is set in the range of 1.75-2 g, but in all training videos of this company, attention is drawn to the fact that the best results are obtained with the first value. The cartridge load should be 100 Ω.


⸜ HOW WE LISTENED The Rega Planar 6 turntable was tested in the HIGH FIDELITY reference system. It was placed on the carbon fiber top shelf of the Finite Elemente Master Reference Pagode Edition MkII rack. To clean the stylus, I used DS Audio ST-50, a solidified stylus cleaning gel. This is a bit against the recommendations of Rega's boss, who does not consider dust to be an obstacle to getting good sound, but - lets agree to disagree ...

During the tests, I treated the Rega turntable as a complete system, i.e. I listened to it with a preinstalled cartridge. I used an external RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC phono preamplifier, from which the signal was sent via the Crystal Cable Absolute Dream interconnect.

⸜ Records used for the test | a selection

⸜ TERRY HERMAN TRIO, Blue Arranjuez, Nippon Columbia YX-7262-ND, LP (1980).
⸜ CLIFFORD JORDAN, Hello, Hank Jones, East World EWLF-98003, „Soundphile Series”, „Jazz Direct Disc”, 180 g LP (1978).
⸜ KRAFTWERK, Tour de France, EMI Records 591 708 1, 2 x 180 g LP (2003)
⸜ FRANK SINATRA, The Voice, Columbia/Classic Records CL 743, Quiex SV-P, „50th Anniversary”, 180 g LP (1955/2005).


IN JUNE 1979, NIPPON COLUMBIA, the world's first record label to release a digitally recorded LP, changed the basic equipment of its recording and mastering studios. The DN-034R system, based on large video tapes (2”), was replaced by small DN-035R digital tape recorders. They also had a video recorder, but it was U-matic, i.e. for 3/4" tape cassettes. The Denon system allowed recording four channels (or eight, after synchronizing two tape recorders) with a resolution of 16 bits and a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz. Although the editing had to be done after copying the material to 2" DN-034R tapes, the signal was recorded in this way.

And it was a great system. Listening to the TERRY HERMAN TRIO’S Blue Arranjuez, released in 1980, on the P6, I sat thinking about how little we still know about digital. 16 bits? Yeah, it can sound great if it's done right. Rega was also an extremely competent listening partner. Not only did it not decrease the dynamics, which is excellent on this album, but also showed, very nicely, the reverb imposed on the percussion, placed on the right side, and reproduced the low passages of the double bass placed in front of me.

Norio Okada, who produced the album, thus reached for techniques known from the 1950s - that's how everyone recorded at the time, because mixing consoles did not allow for smooth positioning of instruments in the panorama. Here it is a deliberate procedure, the 1980s is about the presence of powerful, complex mixing consoles in the studios, where such operations are the ABCs of how things are done. And yet it sounds great. Copied today, these solutions sound crooked, and back then they ensured dynamics, timbre, palpability, but above all, huge speed. Importantly, the Rega, despite being such a light turntable, showed the scale and weight of these recordings.

I'm praising the Rega, and yet what I heard it wasn't a surprise to me. I know the early Denon recordings quite well, with all the successive changes in the recorders, and I think that they were - and still are - one of the best digital PCM recordings. A certain surprise could be the ease with which the Rega turntable showed all these nuances. It showed them all, but without being intrusive, focusing on the music. Again, it might have come as a surprise if I wasn't expecting it to some extent. And I knew it would happen.

This British manufacturer has, let me say, a "patent" - and I am not talking about specific technical patents, but about skills - thanks to which music played from black discs sounds incredibly natural with its products, and above all - in a credible way . What, as I see it, is helped by the tonal balance supported by excellent dynamics, both in the macro and micro scale. Yes, mass-loader turntables build larger phantom images, giving them more substantial "bodies". However, maybe it does go hand in hand - not always, but quite often - with calming down the micro-dynamics. Here the latter is above average.

And it was audible not only with the Terry Herman trio's album, which sounded in such an explosive and fast way, but also with the direct-to-disc release of CLIFFORD JORDAN’S Hello, Hank Jones. Released by the Japanese label East World as part of the "Soundphile Series", it is an example of how this type of recording can be produced well, which is not a rule in the case of this technology. Nothing lingers here, it doesn't get fatiguing, it doesn't bore. And yet there was no room here for editing, which helped releases of the jazzz music masterpieces. Everything was recorded live.

With this album I realized even more clearly something - I did not hear noise. In other words, they weren't there. The elliptical cut of the stylus used in the Ania cartridge is forgiving, it does not explore the deepest recesses of the LP groove. Therefore travel noise is not emphasized by it. But there's more to it, I think. Something that causes the sound not to be stopped in time, but it appears and disappears instantly.

I'm probably imagining it, although on the other hand Ray Gandy has strong evidence to prove it, but it's probably about the small mass of components that make up Rega turntables. Because how else to explain such perfect time relations between the instruments, such perfect strikes with immediate damping - on the one hand - and minimal travel noise on the other? The latter are often emphasized by turntables not because the treble is brighter in them, or because there are some parasitic resonances. The noise is simply accumulated in the deck’s base and, with minimal delay, a small part of it, but still, added back to the signal. You can fight this even more by increasing the weight, or - as in the P6 - by reducing it.

And I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against mass turntables. Good constructions of this type are excellent at what they do. J.Sikora, Transrotor, Kuzma, TechDAS, to name just a few examples, build larger, more saturated, denser virtual sources and a wider soundstage. It's just that they're much bigger and much more expensive. The inconspicuous Rega P6, lightweight, devoid of almost all fancy solutions used to optimize the sound, does something very similar, engaging the listener emotionally in an equally good way.

In addition, it can deliver a low, soft, but well-disciplined bass. I have already talked about the double bass, but I have to add a few words on this subject, based on what I heard from the album Tour de France by KRAFTWERK. Its first release, which I have had since 2003, when it was released, is characterized by low, deep bass. However, this is bass without clear edges. Both the attack phase and decay are soft, round. It is easy to soften it on the one hand and emphasize it on the other. But not with P6.

There was a big sound with it with a perfectly maintained pulse and very nice stage differentiation. The depth of the stage is not the strongest point of the tested turntable, but that's how it is, there are no ideals. But when it comes to tightly filling it with different types of sounds, each with a slightly different spatial effect - it does it perfectly. When in the title track the vocal reciting "Radio Tour information..." enters at some point, it is presented in a completely different space, as if from a small, acoustically cold chamber. Which Rega very well differentiated and deepened in the stage, leaving the background sound in front.

As I said, when listening to music with the Rega turntable, I didn't mind the travel noise, because it was very low. There also was no pops&cracks issue. You can hear them sometimes, that's for sure. I have been listening to Kraftwerk's albums continuously for nineteen years so sure, something cracks or pops every now and then. But these are not distracting noises. Even if they double, coming from acetal and from the LP itself.

Released in 1955 and remastered by Classic Records in 2005, FRANK SINATRA's The Voice showed that the P6 perfectly distinguishes both types of clicks; this material was copied from varnishes to tape, and then released on LP. It sounds spectacular, although we know it's an old recording. Its spectacularity in this case consisted in the fact that it had a well-balanced frequency response, not allowing the midrange to brighten, and at the same time the sound was not muffled. It was exactly the opposite - dynamics, liveliness, forward thrust, these were the components of this presentation.


AND I COULD KEEP GOING LIKE THIS for a long time. The thing is that Rega P6 allows for comfortable listening without warming up the sound. Its sound is ultra-dynamic and open. It shows a low, dense bass, if recorded, and a sonorous treble. It is well organized and coherent. So much so that many records that we know from a slightly nervous presentation will be played in a perfect balance. Not because something will be taken away from them, but - it seems - because nothing will be added to them.

So although the sound of the P6 may seem warm at first, after a while you will come to the conclusion that it is an extremely neutral sound. Natural and neutral. And also unpretentious. This is the most important thing in all this. Listening to music with Rega we don't feel forced to do anything. Maybe apart from shopping, because we will want to listen to more and more new records with this turntable. From our side, hats off and our ˻ RED FINGERPRINT ˺.

Technical specifications

Tonearm: RB330
Motor: 24 V AC
Platter: glass, double-layer
Output sockets: RCA
Power supply: mini-DIN to connect Neo
Dimensions (lid closed) (W x H x D): 447 x 120 x 360 mm
Neo dimensions (W x H x D): 180 x 50 x 155 mm
Weight: 5.2 kg


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