Rega Pla­nar 6/Ania £1469

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

Rega’s dom­i­nance of our Awards con­tin­ues with the mighty Pla­nar 6. This is the sec­ond year it has won this cat­e­gory, and rightly so, as no ri­val has come close to bet­ter­ing its com­bi­na­tion of pre­ci­sion en­gi­neer­ing and classlead­ing sound.

As with other mem­bers of the fam­ily this is a prod­uct that has been care­fully re­fined over the years to keep it com­pet­i­tive. Once again, as with the oth­ers, it has taken a par­tic­u­larly big step up in per­for­mance with the lat­est round of up­grades.

The Pla­nar 6’s plinth com­prises a light­weight foam core sand­wiched be­tween thin but rigid lam­i­nates. It’s this del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween light­ness and stur­di­ness that Rega says is cru­cial to the turntable’s sound.

The deck also uses the RB330 ton­earm, also found on the Pla­nar 3, but the ’6 is af­forded a stain­less-steel bal­ance weight. Other up­dates in­clude a cus­tom-ma­chined drive pul­ley, a sin­gle-piece alu­minium sub-plat­ter and a smoked dust cover to match the dual-lay­ered glass plat­ter.

As be­fore, the Pla­nar 6 comes with a sep­a­rate power sup­ply unit, in this case a Neo PSU, which also al­lows you to change speed elec­tron­i­cally. The deck’s 24V mo­tor is hand-tuned to match the Neo and its anti-vi­bra­tion con­trol, too.

The pre­vi­ous RP6 came fit­ted with an Ex­act mov­ing-mag­net car­tridge – an op­tion Rega still makes avail­able for £1259 – but the com­pany now of­fers a vari­ant with its Ania mov­ing-coil car­tridge. As a qual­ity mov­ing-coil car­tridge, you’ll need to pair it with a high-qual­ity phono stage for jus­tice to be done, but that will be well worth­while.

The Pla­nar 6/Ania com­bi­na­tion de­liv­ers a frankly as­ton­ish­ingly re­fined and ma­ture sound. It doesn’t go for im­me­di­acy to grab your at­ten­tion, bold­ness isn’t put to the fore­front: in­stead its party piece is the un­nerv­ing abil­ity to jug­gle bal­ance, sub­tlety and tim­ing in the most un­der­stated way.

More­over, it seems quite ef­fort­less: the dif­fer­ence be­tween hav­ing to play the mu­sic and act­ing merely as a con­duit for what’s etched into those grooves on the disc. The Pla­nar 6/Ania does the lat­ter with aplomb, son­i­cally draw­ing as re­al­is­tic a por­trait as any turntable we’ve heard at this price.

Don’t let the vis­ual sim­i­lar­i­ties with the cheaper Pla­nar turntables per­suade you that there’s not much of a sound qual­ity jump be­tween the decks. Take a good lis­ten and the im­prove­ments with each price in­crease are clear to hear. If your bud­get ex­tends this far you re­ally must hear this record player.

Once again, Rega stamps its au­thor­ity on this cat­e­gory with an out­stand­ing deck

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