The Rega P3 has been the Crocodile of the vinyl world. When the mass extinction of Record Players occured in the 1980s under the meteoritic impact of Compact Disc this device simply hunkered down in the market place and got on with being sold to music lovers.
It was an easy sell too, take a CD and an equivalent LP, play them both, and the customer would always buy a Rega.
The latest revision of the legendary Planar 3 / P3 / P3-24 tuntable, the RP3 offers what is perhaps the most significant upgrade to the range since the introduction of the original RB300 tonearm. While the motor and platter are carried over from the P3-24 without major tweaks, the RP3 features a improved main bearing, the new hand assembled RB303 tonearm and a super lightweight plinth with a newly developed bracing system - all aimed at improving sonic performance. Oh and it's available in White, Cool Grey (black-ish) and Titanium (silver-ish)
We undertook a nice demo with the RP3 fitted with an Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge comparing it with an equivalently priced CD Player through a very revealing amp and speaker system ... the sound of the vinyl was magnificent, fullsome and rounded with terrific presence and staging. Jeff Buckley "Hallelujah" really came to life...
In Rega's words...
The RP3 has been designed and engineered to achieve outstanding performance way beyond the expectations of a product at this price point. Excellent build quality, reliability and ease of use combine to make a product which, if used correctly, will offer a lifetime of musical enjoyment. Omitting unnecessary gimmicks allows us to concentrate the manufacturing costs on the high quality parts necessary to reproduce records accurately. The RP3 is fitted with a brand new hand assembled RB303 tonearm, precision main bearing and a low vibration low noise 24v motor assembly which is individually hand tuned to its circuit to further reduce vibration.
DB Technology (Double Brace Technology)
"Mass absorbs energy - lost energy equals lost music"! Rega has pioneered the use of lightweight rigid plinths. Clever use of lightweight particulate core with a highly rigid phenolic resin skin became the foundations of the high level of performance achieved by the now iconic Planar turntable range. The RP3 takes this design philosophy to the next level. 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.
RB303 Tonearm - Making the best better
Designed using the latest 3D CAD & CAM technology the new RB303 is the culmination of more than 30 years of tonearm design experience. Due to advances in technology we have been able to fine tune the iconic RB300 tonearm design. Featuring a brand new tube with increased rigidity to the bearing housing, arm carrier and headshell coupled with intelligent redistribution of mass ensure this arm will exhibit fewer points of possible resonance. Extreme stability with almost friction free movement from the high precision bearing assemblies guarantee to gather more information from your vinyl than ever before.
Read ToneAudio's RP3 Review Here.