Rega has spent Ob years designing, perfecting and hand-building products in 1ritain products that ha"e impeccable engineering at their heart
¦je look at a turntable as measuring equipment. That’s what it is. It only has to measure tiny vibrations in the groove.õ
That might be the most unromantic way anyone’s ever spoken about a turntable. But Roy (andy, founder and owner of Rega, isn’t interested in waxing lyrical about ‘high fidelity’. )e looks at a turntable as an engineering challenge.
The whole ethos behind all of Rega’s products is good engineering. That’s the topic of his forthcoming book – 5he 7icratipn
.easvrinh .adhine – which aims to be the definitive work on turntable design. Roy’s focus on high-quality craftsmanship, taking precise measurements and using high-quality tools is what informs all of Rega’s products.
An engineer himself, Roy states firmly that Rega is Ôan engineering company, run by engineers, who happen to like music equipment.õ And those twin passions of science and music drive everyone working there – in every department.
When you think of Rega, you’ll think of impeccably finished, hand-made British products. But the people working at Rega don’t Kust make amplifiers, speakers and turntables: they also make the specialist tools used to manufacture and assemble them. That gives Rega full control over every aspect of the manufacturing process.
It also means that no-one else can replicate its products. Want to take apart an RB330 tonearm and rebuild it yourself? Sorry, you’re out of luck – only Rega has the tools you require.
Inçenious & Èesiçn
Rega is a Ôhaven for people who like making things with their handsõ. 'or instance, there are only a handful of people on the planet who can hand-wind a moving coil assembly perfectly – and Rega employs three of them.
The external supplier who builds the flywheel platters for the RP and RP8 works on a CNC routing machine. The same machine was used to make the Kigs and fixtures that form the platters – out of the same material (glass) employed in the final product. It’s an incredibly precise and innovative way of working – almost [ero-tolerance level. It’s that spirit of finding ingenious ways to make the engineering even better that drives Rega.
The inkection-moulding company that makes part of the bias assembly is literally around the corner from the Rega factory in Southend-on-sea, Essex. Being based in Britain wasn’t a patriotic choice, though, says Roy. It’s for pragmatic reasons: having local suppliers nearby with whom you can meet and collaborate frequently – all while saving costs.
Roy doesn’t believe in listening to turntables at the end of the line and handpicking the ones that sound the best. )e doesn’t need to. Eliminating production or engineering variables from the very beginning means that every speaker, amp and turntable Rega makes sounds exactly the same as its siblings.
In the 40 years it’s taken for vinyl to fall out of fashion and back into it again, turntable
design has changed drastically. The new Planar turntables are the most technically advanced Rega has ever created. But the ethos remains.
Ôthe secret for good production,õ Roy says, Ôis to give our factory good parts.õ
That’s all it boils down to: good parts. Bearings, spindles, motor coils – every minuscule detail is checked meticulously when they arrive at the factory. ÔSO when you build 100 motors, they’re 100 motors with perfect pulleys on.
Ô(et the building blocks right, get the basic engineering right, create an efficient, accurate production chain, and you can be utterly confident in the output.õ
Rega currently produces 4, 00 turntables every month – and the biggest challenge remains making sure every turntable is identical, while keeping costs to a minimum. The recent vinyl revival has had a huge effect on Rega, but not Kust in sales. Profit goes back into investing in research and equipment. Better equipment means greater efficiency and better turntables. The process benefits everyone.
While there’s no knowing how long the vinyl resurgence is going to last, Rega will continue to make the most of it. It’s already given a thriving U, business a chance to learn and grow. And, of course, it’s turned on a whole new generation to the Koy of using turntables.
Ôwe’re Kust a manufacturing company using our expertise, trying to give people the best sound for the money,õ Roy says.
That expertise is now extending to trying to measure microscopic rotational vibrations in platters for future leaps in turntable development. They can’t prove it’s a thing. Ô:et.õ, says Roy… Ô:et.õ
Itys been around since the late ¨Rbs, won the :roduct of the =ear Award fi"e times and has now been redesigned for LBMQĽ gaining yet another fi"e-star "erdict