After revamping the Rega Planar 1, Rega Planar 2, and Rega Planar 3 turntables, Rega kept the momentum going with the release of the Rega Planar 6, which is the replacement forthe RP6 turntable. It features many of the values and principles which are dear to the brand: a light and ultra-rigid chassis combined with a precise and user-friendly tonearm for a remarkably musical, accurate, and dynamic sound restitution.
The box of the Rega Planar 6 contains: the turntable and its tonearm – our model also came with a preinstalled Rega Ania cartridge. The subplatter and belt are preinstalled and are perfectly packaged to avoid unpleasant surprises during shipping. A smoke gray tinted acrylic dust-cover is also included, along with a glass platter and its felt mat, all of which is carefully packaged. The counterweight is shipped in a polystyrene block which protects the subplatter and tonearm. The Rega Neo PSU external power supply (included), along with its power block and chord, are shipped in a different box.
A multilingual user?s guide, a protractor (alignment tool), protective pads for the dust cover, and a technical specs sheet for the pre-installed cartridge (Rega Ania) are also included.
Once unpackaged, the Rega Planar 6 turntable is particularly easy to set up, and you can start listening to records in no time. The first step is to adjust the Rega RB330 tonearm and set the counter-weight to the correct position. This step requires the tracking-force and anti-skating dial to be set to zero. It is also necessary to remove the cartridge protection. The next step consists of installing the counter-weight. The objective is to balance the tonearm so that it doesn’t lean toward the cartridge or the counterweight. Several adjustments may be necessary to reach the perfect balance. After balancing the tonearm, we adjusted the tracking force. We simply had to turn the dial to set the tracking force to the value recommended by the manufacturer. The Rega Ania cartridge calls for a tracking force ranging from 1.75 to 2 grams. Once the tracking force was set, the last step was to adjust the anti-skating dial accordingly.
The tonearm can then be placed back on its support in order to add the platter and its mat. The last step consists of connecting the turntable to a phono preamplifier (we used the Rega Fono MC) and to the Rega Neo PSU power supply.
As far as design is concerned, the Rega Planar 6 shines for its manufacturing quality and exemplary finish. The chassis is light, which is in accordance with the manufacturer?s principles but at the polar opposite of the approach adopted by competing manufacturers, which offer increasingly massive chassis plates with their high-end models.
The Rega Planar 6? chassis is made of Tancast 8, a polyurethane material used in the aerospace industry which offers the advantage of being extremely light. Even surprisingly so, for anybody who has never picked up a Rega turntable. The chassis is reinforced by Rega?s Double Brace technology, which consists of adding an aluminum plate between the rotational axis of the platter and the tonearm support. In other words, the part of the turntable which is the most affected by vibrations. This serves to reinforce the rigidity of the chassis and ensures optimal listening conditions. The sub-platter is cut from a single piece of aluminum and is precisely adjusted to guarantee a consistent and accurate rotation of the platter. It is combined with a high-quality belt, the same neoprene model Rega uses for their top-of-the-line models (Rega RP8 and Rega RP10). The platter, which is made up of two layers of slightly tinted glass, is 1.7 cm thick and 29.5 cm in diameter, and it is also the heaviest part of the turntable.
The Rega Planar 6 is equipped with a 24V high-precision, synchronous motor. It is paired with an external Rega Neo PSU power supply, which is fitted with the same DSP (digital signal processing) generator as the Rega RP10 turntable. It provides a stable source of power and ensures optimal pitch. Note that the rotation speed is changed (33.3 or 45 RPM) directly via the Rega Neo PSU using the commutator on its front panel.
The tonearm used for the Rega Planar 6 is no other than the Rega RB330, a model launched in 2016 along with the Rega Planar 3 turntable. The Rega RB330 was born from the combination of Rega?s forty years of expertise and the latest technologies, and it was designed using state-of-the-art computer-aided design (CAD) software programs. The Rega RB330 tonearm is 9″ (22 cm) long and is composed of a brand new bearing housing and a straight solid aluminum tube. The RCA cable is attached to the tonearm and cannot be removed. This high-quality cable is fitted with gold-plated Neutrik connectors.
The Rega Planar 6 turntable is fitted with three feet exclusively found on this model, which are made of a combination of elastomer and aluminum. The turntable is thus perfectly isolated from the rest of the hi-fi system and completely protected from vibrations.
For this test, we used Viard Audio Premium HD RCA-RCA cables to connect the Rega Fono MC phono preamp to the Naim Uniti Nova amplifier. We completed our system with B&W 703 S2 floor-standing speakers, which we connected to the amplifier using Viard Audio Silver HD12 HP speaker wires.
It didn’t take long for the Rega Planar 6 and its Rega Ania cartridge to win us over with their dynamic and natural sound restitution.
We listened to the record Red & Black Light by the trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf and were amazed by the precision of the timbre. The variations in tempo and dynamics -which are plentiful on tracks such as Free Spirit and Red & Black Light– are extremely well delivered. We were quickly enticed and started tapping our foot along with the rhythm.
We noticed the same type of tonal accuracy with Johnny Cash?s Live at Folsom Prison. The singer?s unique and powerful voice sounds natural and is perfectly highlighted by the association of the turntable and cartridge. The sound of the crowd and the interaction with the artist -instructions, applause, cheering- create a pleasant atmosphere. The soundstage is wide and full of details.
We then listened to Serge Gainsbourg?s reggae version of the French national anthem, Aux armes et cætera, and the Rega Planar 6 confirmed its impressive restitution qualities. The stereo effect is also well rendered. This turntable is remarkably versatile and offers a perfectly faithful restitution of the recordings.
The Rega Planar 6 turntable benefits from an excellent construction quality and stands out for its rhythmic abilities and audio accuracy. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best turntables in its category. Moreover, it offers the indisputable advantage of having its own external power supply, which lets you adjust the rotation speed of the platter with great accuracy while ensuring an optimal supply of current. The Rega Ania cartridge adds to the precision of the sound restitution and is the final ingredient in a splendid recipe for a complete, contemporary and perfectly calibrated turntable which brings out the best in your favorite vinyl records.
Note that the Rega Planar 6 turntable is also available without a pre-installed cartridge under the reference Rega Planar 6, with a pre-installed Rega Exact cartridge under the reference Rega Planar 6 Exact, and with a Rega Ania cartridge as the Rega Planar 6 Ania.
This review can also be found in the 2017 – 2018 Son-Vidéo.com catalog.
Watch the video below to discover how to install and set up the Rega Planar 6 turntable :