Rega P6 Turntable, RB330 Tonearm, Neo PSU, and Ania Moving-Coil Cartridge
For a company that produced just five turntable models over its first 20-something years—1973’s original Planet (with a steel and aluminum platter), the original aluminum platter Planar (only 200 units made), followed by the long-in-production Planar 3 and 2 (the first commercial models sporting glass platters)—Rega has been on a roll this past decade, with a flurry of new designs I find it hard to keep pace with.
That said, Rega doesn’t release new models for the sake of it, just when significant improvements to previous ideas merit it. Having reviewed five Rega ’tables for this publication between 2012 and 2014, it’s been a while since I’ve taken a spin with a new Rega—a gap now bridged with Rega’s latest mid-priced design, the P(lanar)6.
Priced at $1595 with no cartridge—or $1995 (Exact mm), $2195 (Ania mc, which is how I’m reviewing it), or $2495 (Ania Pro mc) when fitted with one of three Rega cartridges—the P6 falls smack in the middle of Rega’s current lineup; with the Planar models 1, 2, and 3 below it, and the 8 and 10 above. Given the excellence of the P6’s performance, Rega’s deserved reputation as a high-value option remains solidly assured.
Should any reader need a refresher, Rega’s longstanding design philosophy is pretty straightforward, and rather contrary to the rest of the industry’s thinking. Rega’s iconoclastic founder and owner Roy Gandy firmly believes that lightweight, rigid plinths retain less airborne and playback-generated resonance than massive designs do, and therefore allow the entire package to more accurately track the miniscule canyons pressed into vinyl LPs.
This isn’t the place to weigh in on the myriad pros and cons of various turntable design philosophies. Like most opinions, everybody’s got at least one. And as I’ve written before, my lengthy experience with analog rigs—from the earliest Regas, Linn LP12s, and Goldmund Studios I once sold at retail, to the countless designs reviewed over the years, to my current reference Basis 2200 Signature/Vector 4 ’arm—I’ve found great musical satisfaction in wildly different approaches to turntable design. Be they lightweight on fixed plinths, like the Regas are, or massive designs with fixed plinths, or lighter suspended designs or heavier…the list goes on ad infinitum, as does the range of materials employed.
Besides, I really couldn’t add much to what my TAS colleague Paul Seydor so thoughtfully explained in Issue 311 in his review of the Helius Alexia turntable and Omega tonearm, and its accompanying sidebar “Vinyl Problems and Solutions, Theoretical and Real,” which I highly recommend reading.
By Wayne Garcia
Although I’ve been a wine merchant for the past decade, my career in audio was triggered at age 12 when I heard the Stones’ Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! blasting from my future brother-in-law’s giant home-built horn speakers. The sound certainly wasn’t sophisticated, but, man, it sure was exciting.More articles from this editor