Rega P6 Turntable, RB330 Tonearm, Neo PSU, and Ania Moving-Coil Cartridge
Retuning to well-worn platters from my collection, The Grateful Dead’s “Box of Rain” from American Beauty allowed the Rega to strut its stuff with this song’s country-tinged blend of driving rhythm, layered vocal harmony, and twanging guitars, while the following “Friend of the Devil” had me smiling as I marveled at Phil Lesh’s beautifully melodic, groove-laying bass licks.
Finally, one record I return to over and over is clearly not the finest recording on my shelves. Way more importantly, however, it is among the music I cherish the most: Martha Argerich’s DG recording of Ravel’s enchanting Gaspard de la nuit. Yeah, I know, it’s a pianistic tour de force. But that’s not why I love this piece. Argerich’s virtuosity is undoubtedly the conduit for the music, but she never draws attention to how she’s playing, gifting us instead with an artistry that shows why this nocturnal music has been a lifelong staple of her repertoire.
I’ve probably played this LP on every turntable that’s been through my system over the past quarter-century. Needless to say with varying results. The LP can sound a bit thin and clangy, harsh as breaking glass, when not well tracked, or, while never exactly beautiful, neutral enough to allow this special woman’s artistry to shine past the recording’s technical shortfalls. Which, I’m pleased to report, is how the Rega set performed—conveying the silent background from which the piano emerges, the nuanced dynamic shading, cat-like trills, explosively percussive dynamic punctuation, and sheer beauty that makes Gaspard special to me. All the while the Ania on the RB330 tracked gracefully, without any audible distress even during the most challenging passages.
Wrapping up, while the P6/Ania doesn’t deliver the ultimate punch, detail, or transporting emotional thrill of the very finest vinyl playback gear money can buy, that’s hardly the point, or the design goal. The point is that like all of the best and longest-lived audio gear, the P6 compels us to play record after record, to revisit music we love, and explore music we have yet to discover. To say that the P6/Ania sets a new standard for Rega ’tables at this price point is not damning with faint praise; it’s instead high praise for what Rega has accomplished, and continues to, as its Naiad technology keeps expanding throughout the company’s formidable lineup.
Specs & Pricing
Type: Belt drive, unsuspended turntable
Speeds: 33.3, 45
Dimensions: 17.5″ x 14.5″ x 5.5″ (with dustcover)
Weight: 11.5 lbs.
Price: $2195 with Ania moving-coil cartridge (as reviewed), $1595 with no cartridge, $1995 with Exact mm, $2495 with Ania Pro mc
Ania Moving-Coil Cartridge
Tracking Force Range: 1.75–2g
Input load impedance: 100 ohms
Output impedance: 10 ohms
Nominal output voltage: 350μV
THE SOUND ORGANISATION (U.S. Distributor)
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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