Rega Planar 2 turntable Lab Report

Rega's RP6 [HFN Apr '12] was the first turntable in its range to employ a laminated glass ring platter and since then, and with a 10mm float glass 'Optiwhite' disc being developed, the benefit of glass has once again been realised in its more cost-effective decks. Indeed the glass platter marks a key upgrade between Rega's starter deck, the Planar 1, and this Planar 2 model which still offers a reasonably swift 4 second start-up time. This, plus the new 24V twin-phase synchronous motor and 11mm self-securing brass bearing, helps maintain a low peak wow and flutter of just 0.05% [see Graph 1]. Similarly, its through-groove rumble is only a dB behind the older RP6 at –68.1dB (with the felt mat in place) as is the through-bearing rumble of –69.4dB. These are perfectly good figures for a sub-£500 deck that includes both a MM pick-up and a class-leading tonearm.


Wow and flutter re. 3150Hz tone at 5cm/sec (plotted ±150Hz, 5Hz per minor division)


Cumulative tonearm resonant decay spectrum, illustrating various bearing, pillar and 'tube' vibration modes spanning 100Hz-10kHz over 40msec

Rega's new RB220 tonearm may have its new 'zero play' bearings but its design is clearly evolved from both the RB303 [HFN Oct '11] and RB101 [HFN Dec '15] with its 237mm effective length, 23o offset and 11g effective mass. Its performance is closest to the RB303 which shares the same one-piece alloy tonearm (the RB101 has a plastic headshell). This rigid tube offers a well-defined main resonance at 140Hz followed by harmonic and torsional modes at 170Hz and 330Hz at lower amplitude [see Graph 2]. The higher-Q resonances at 500Hz and 900Hz decay quickly and, as we saw them in the RB101 and RB303, are probably linked to the cueing/arm lift mechanism or fingerlift. Play is minimal in both vertical horizontal planes and, while 'zero' is difficult to verify, any bearing friction/stiction is certainly less than 10mg. PM

Turntable speed error at 33.33rpm: 33.63rpm (+0.89%)
Time to audible stabilisation: 4sec
Peak Wow/Flutter: 0.02% / 0.03%
Rumble (silent groove, DIN B wtd): –68.1dB
Rumble (through bearing, DIN B wtd): –69.4dB
Hum & Noise (unwtd, rel. to 5cm/sec): –63.8dB
Power Consumption: 3-4W
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight: 447x117x360mm / 5.5kg
Price (including arm and cartridge): £375

Rega Research Ltd
Supplied by: Rega Research Ltd
01702 333071