REGA PLANAR 2
£375, rega.co.uk Rega’s turntables range from just over £200 to well over £3,500. This £375 model seeks to offer audiophile sound at an everyman price – and it succeeds. It’s particularly well-suited to acoustic, folk or jazz: we’ve never heard Syd Barrett’s fragile, airy masterpiece Terrapin sound so good, while the fiddle lines in Fairport Convention’s
Matty Groves revealed themselves as never before. It’s perhaps not as strong on more bottom-heavy sounds, but it’s a tiny minority of golden- eared audiophiles who’ll have any grumbles here.
But to bring you such impressive sonic purity at this low price, Rega’s had to keep the feature set to a minimum. There’s no USB output, no onboard phono stage, and no electronic speed control, so you have to take the platter off and move the belt to switch between 33 and 45rpm, which means this isn’t the best choice for anyone who owns, or intends to buy, a lot of vinyl singles. And while the minimal design looks great and is available in black, white or red, the MDF plinth did feel a touch flimsy. Looks great, sounds fantastic, but not for everyone 8/10