Rega is extremely pleased to announce the launch of the much awaited RP8 turntable. A turntable which takes Rega’s design philosophy further than ever before. A radical new plinth using custom designed materials, a new tonearm bearing assembly, 24v low volt-age motor controlled by a hand tuned electronic power supply and a custom version of our Planar 9 engineered hub bearing assembly.
The RB808 tonearm is packed with new features pushing the boundaries of tonearm design. All Rega tonearms are meticulously hand built by a team of highly skilled technicians. The RB808 has improved bearings and a tightened spindle fit tolerance over previous models (each bearing is individually selected to find the perfect match for the chosen spindle). This is a proven method of increasing the amount of detail retrieved from the record surface.
A brand new, low mass, precision engineered, vertical bearing assembly has been manufactured to further compliment the inherent design philosophy of the RP8 turntable. The RB808 uses the latest Rega arm tube. Completely redesigned to redistribute mass, further reduce stresses and resonances, this advanced design 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. This has only two parts to minimise joints and incorporates a twist and clamp design locking the plug to the terminal. The design increases connectivity and ensures the signal path is kept as clean as possible.
Custom TT-PSU power supply
The compact TT-PSU uses a high stability, crystal locked, low distortion sine wave generator. This, along with an efficient drive amplifier fed from a stabilised DC power supply, generates a 24v AC balanced signal of less than 0.05% distortion, which is completely un-affected by any changes in the mains/line voltage and conditions. This then drives the improved Rega anti-vibration circuit built into the RP8 motor PCB.
Magnesium and Phenolic - Dual bracing
A super lightweight plinth combined with a 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 design prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonances which will add un-natural 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 resonance. By using two different materials together they decrease the natural frequency of each other by self-damping.
N.B Rega will always use materials in the form that achieves maximum performance. The raw magnesium will develop patina and change colour over time, this is perfectly normal. Coating to prevent this discoloration would affect sonic performance therefore the material remains raw. If you wish to bring the shine back to your magnesium top brace, careful use of metal polish will restore it to its original condition.
Super flywheel effect triple layer glass platter
The new RP8 three piece laminated glass platter is the result of collaboration with a small, emerging, young British glass engineering company. As a general rule the only part of a turntable that requires extra mass is the turntable platter in order to achieve constant rotational speed. However a heavier platter creates more problems for the main bearing design so again an ideal compromise creates the best solution.
Practically this means keeping as much of the mass to the outside rim of the glass platter to create more flywheel effect but keeping the inside of the platter as light as possible without sacrificing stiffness. 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 RP8 super flywheel effect glass platter - an engineering triumph !
Skeletal plinth design with polyolefin foam core
Controversially Rega has always researched methods of producing light but stiff 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.
From the beginning 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 particle or fibre 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 current increase in interest in turntables has allowed Rega to research and develop higher technology structures for the customer who is happy to pay a little more for higher sound quality. The RP8 turntable utilises a unique new stressed skin structure produced from thin phenolic skins sandwiching a featherweight nitrogen expanded, closed cell, polyolefin foam core.
This material has been developed exclusively for Rega over a three year period. The RP8 plinth is 7 times lighter than the weight of the original Planar 3 plinth. Rega has added even more stiffness in the crucial area between the arm and the main bearing.
De-coupled outer frame and dust cover
A common problem for many skeletal design turntables is the inability to incorporate an effective dust cover into the design. We have constructed an outer frame that minimises contact between the inner and outer plinth. The only points of contact are three location devices on the feet which centralises 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.
Key features: Hand made RB808 tonearm / precision engineered bearing and aluminium sub platter/ triple layer float glass platter / custom matched TT-PSU individually tuned to its own motor / Rega’s pioneering skeletal plinth design / Apheta MC available as factory fitted (optional) / Magnesium and phenolic bracing.
- Hand made RB808 tonearm.
- Precision engineered bearing and aluminium sub platter.
- Triple layer float glass platter.
- Custom matched TT-PSU individually tuned to its own motor.
- Rega’s pioneering skeletal plinth design.
- Factory fitted Apheta 2 MC cartridge available (optional).
- Magnesium and phenolic bracing.
These are just some of the features of this amazing new turntable designed to extract more music from your vinyl than ever before
Optional Rega Aria Phono stage (click link for info)
Optional Rega Apheta Moving Coil Cartridge (click link for info)
Vinyl vs Digital
One of the most commonly asked question is what is better? Vinyl or Digital music.
Short answer is both have their pros and cons.
I will go through the differences are we see them and try to list the pros and cons as comprehensively as we can.
- Delivers analog sound. This is what is refered to as a 'warm' sound. Analog sound is what we hear with our ears. The vibration of the styli (needle) in the groove of the record creates sine waves that is then reproduced by the amplifier and speakers. There is no digital conversion that is an estimate of the music.
- Can last a lifetime.
- Cartidges and styli can usually be upgraded.
- Delivers a wider frequency range including ultrasonic frequencies (above 20 kHz) that have been shown to help the body release endorphines that brings on that 'feel-good' feeling.
- Potentially more accurate sound.
- Can come with booklets with band photos and lyrics.
- Can be easily damaged.
- Large music collections can take up alot of space.
- Not 'toddler friendly' (though they DO make good frisbees)
- Needs more maintenance.
- Not a portable media.
- Large collections in very small space.
- Can be used in multiple devices. (computers, phones, MP3 players, CDs, USB sticks, etc)
- Much less suseptible to physical damage than vinyl.
- Can be organised much more efficiently. (search entire music libraries with a simple click)
- Digital devices can be improved by external Digital to Analog Convertors. (DACs)
- Can be digitally remastered after recording. (Usually done is a studio)
- Easy to make copies of files.
- Can lose entire collections if hard discs fail.
- Doesn't have the 'warmth' that vinyl has.
- Is not an exact copy of the music. Digital music is an estimate that is accomplished with 'sample rates' (the higher the sample rate the closer to the original)
- A lot of digital music is compressed. (lower sound quality)
- Potential compatability issues with different file types on different hardware.