Rega RP8 Turntable
The Evolution of RevolutionRega is extremely pleased to announce the launch of the much-awaited RP8 turntable, a turntable that takes Rega’s design philosophy farther than ever before. A radical new plinth, using custom-designed materials, a new tonearm bearing assembly, a 24v low voltage motor controlled by a hand-tuned electronic power supply, and a custom version of our Planar 9 bearing assembly. These are just some of the features of this amazing new turntable, designed to extract more music from your vinyl than ever before.
Evolution is a well proven and documented process in many areas of our lives. This applies in particular to design, engineering, and machines. Over the past forty years our cars have become more reliable and economical, while we take for granted the reliability and speed of modern aircraft. Rega is no exception to evolution; experience and previous achievements allow us to continually develop and produce better products.
The RP8 represents a giant step forward in the evolution of Roy Gandy’s turntable design philosophies. Low mass, high rigidity plinths combined with electronically-controlled low-vibration motors, flywheel effect platters and lower mass higher stability tonearms. The RP8 is the first of our new “skeletal” design turntables offering groundbreaking levels of performance and amazing value for money. The RP8 will also be available with its perfect partner, the Apheta moving coil cartridge, factory fitted as a package option.
RB-808 TonearmThe RB808 tonearm is packed with new features that push the boundaries of tonearm design. As with all Rega tonearms, each one is meticulously hand-built by a team of highly skilled technicians. The RB808 has improved bearings and a tightened spindle-fit tolerance versus previous models. Each bearing is individually selected to match perfectly to the chosen spindle, a proven method of increasing the amount of detail retrieved from the record surface. A new, low-mass, precision-engineered, vertical bearing assembly has been manufactured to further compliment the design philosophy of the RP8 turntable. The RB808 uses the latest Rega arm tube, completely redesigned to redistribute mass and further reduce stresses and resonances. This advanced tube increases the stiffness and rigidity of the overall assembly using CAD design to blend the multiple varying tapers. Externally, we have fitted a bespoke, Rega-designed, low-capacitance phono cable which uses an advanced phono plug assembly. Using only two parts to minimize joints, it incorporates a twist-and-clamp design, locking the plug to the terminal. This design increases connectivity and keeps the signal path as clean as possible.
Super flywheel effect - triple layer glass platterThe new three-piece laminated glass platter is the result of a collaboration with an emerging British glass engineering company. As a general rule, the only part of a turntable that requires extra mass is the platter, as momentum allows it to achieve constant rotational speed. However, a heavier platter creates more problems for the main bearing design. Again, an ideal compromise creates the best solution: moving most of the mass to the rim of the glass platter creates a flywheel effect while keeping the rest of the platter as light as possible. The RP6 was the first Rega turntable to use a precision engineered glass ring laminated to the outside using modern CNC techniques to ensure concentricity. The RP8 takes it one step further by laminating three rings together to produce the super-flywheel glass platter - an engineering triumph!
TT-PSU - Power SupplyThe compact TT-PSU uses a high stability, crystal-locked, low-distortion sine wave generator. This, along with an efficient drive amplifier fed from a stabilized DC power supply, generates a 24V AC balanced signal of less than 0.05% distortion, which is completely unaffected by any changes in the mains/line voltage and conditions. This then drives the improved anti-vibration circuit built into the RP8 motor PCB.
Skeletal Plinth Design with Poly-Olefin Foam CoreControversially, Rega has always researched methods of producing light and rigid plinths. The technology is simple: unwanted noise at microscopic levels is developed by the turntable motor and main bearing. The plinth can also pick up airborne vibration from the music. In the 1970's, Rega pioneered the use of a stressed-skin structure for the plinth. This uses two layers of phenolic resin with a lightweight fiber board sandwiched between the skins. This technique has been used in many applications where stiff, light structures are needed, such as an aircraft wing or a Formula 1 chassis. The all new RP8 turntable utilizes a unique new stressed-skin structure, produced from thin phenolic skins sandwiching a featherweight, nitrogen-expanded, closed cell, poly-olefin foam core. This material has been developed exclusively for Rega over a three year period. The RP8 plinth is seven times lighter than the weight of the original Planar 3's plinth.
De-coupled Outer Frame and Dust CoverA common problem for many skeletal-design turntables is the inability to incorporate an effective dust cover. We have constructed an outer frame that minimizes contact between the inner and outer plinth. The only points of contact are three location devices on the feet which centralize the inner and outer plinths perfectly. This makes set-up extremely easy, and allows the use of a dust cover. The RP8 can be used without the outer frame if so desired.
Magnesium and Phenolic - Dual BracingA super-lightweight plinth combined with a double-brace, mounted where the increased rigidity is required (between the tonearm mounting and the main hub bearing) forms a structurally sound “stressed beam”. This design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonances which add unnatural distortions to the music. The RP8 takes our double-brace technology to the next level. Not content with an unprecedented stiffness-to-mass ratio, Rega have obsessively reduced any resonant properties by using two different materials for the new stressed beam. The top layer is magnesium and the bottom layer is phenolic, two of the lightest and stiffest materials available. Incorporating two different materials into the brace structure lowers their ability to pick up unwanted airborne vibrations. Simply put, different materials have different natural resonances. By using two different materials together, they decrease the natural frequency of each other by self-damping.
Turntable design & mythologyToday there are many approaches to Hi-Fi design which follow established and informed engineering or electronic principles. Amplifier and loudspeaker design has been well documented over the years with excellent technical publications. These subjects are based on tried-and-tested acoustic criteria, and many computer software programs now exist that enable a near amateur to design a passable working loudspeaker. Enter turntable design: We are limited to a few poorly informed articles describing only very limited aspects of design. This is a subject full of mythology. Designers propose theories that counter the basic laws of physics, use terminology that doesn’t actually exist in the engineering world, build products that are more like beautiful sculptures than acoustic reproduction machines, and sell items costing tens of thousands of pounds that hardly function as intended, and often fail to work at all.
A very common myth is “the heavier the better” concept. Turntable bases weighing tens of kilograms are not uncommon. The reality is that the base actually needs to be as light as possible to prevent unwanted bearing and motor noise being transferred to the turntable or record. Platters also fall under a similar myth, with many platter designs becoming so heavy that it is impossible to design a correctly functioning bearing (and some so light that anyone can hear the speed inconsistency). The turntable platter itself needs to be of enough weight to spin at a constant speed within the confines of the chosen bearing and motor drive system. Many amateur designers in any field choose one component in a design and try to achieve an extreme in size, weight and quality. They believe that by taking one theory to its extreme the design will become “perfect”. The reality of all engineering, design (and life) is that perfection is not possible. Based on this, Rega’s goal has always been to optimize a mixture of numerous “correct compromises”, bringing the designer nearer to the unachievable goal of perfection.
Ratings & Reviews
Super easy setup and really sings
by Jeff R
Paired the Rega RP8 with an Ortofon Cadenza black cartridge hooked to a Parasound JC3+ at 100 ohm load and it sounds outstanding. The RP8 was easy to set up I added 2.5MM shims under the tone arm base to adjust the VTA. The RP8 doesn't have any azimuth adjustments but the cartridge allows for about 2 degrees. The Fozgometer was dead on. RP8 is dead silent, super easy for queueing records, easy anti-skate setup. There is a rectangular base that the skeleton sits in which accommodates a plexi-glass cover which fits in tabs on the back edge. Just lifting the back removes the cover. The on off speed controls are on a small box tethered to the table and source for the power adapter. Push button used for changing speed 33.3 and 45. The table also includes a decent looking set of RCA jacks for connecting to your electronics. Paper protractor is supplied for setup. Overall nice fit and finish better sound than my WT Amadeus with the same cart.
Very Happy, Great Sound
I've had an RP8 for a couple of years now and could not be happier. I'm using a Rega Elys 2 Cartridge with it and love the sound. Everything works as it should with this high quality turntable.
Its paired with a NAD 375BEE Amplifier and Bryston A1 Speakers
by Steve -
I am 69 years old, and although not ever tested, I've often heard that people my age have lost a lot of their hearing for things like music. I was afraid that I would not be able to appreciate the sound difference enough to upgrade from my Rega 2 to The RP8. Wow were they wrong! This thing is awesome. It should come with a Surgeon General Warning: Sitting is the new Smoking. This product will promote long periods of sitting, intense emotional responses, heart palpitations and even a near comatose state. Paired with a Ortofon Cadenza Blue it sounded great right out of the box. I am definitely much more connected to my music.