Forty years after they first coined the term ‘Rega Planar 2′, the plain simple P2 is back with us. Essentially, it replaces the RP1 Performance Pack.
To celebrate, we opened up our white one today and loaded a couple of albums to compare with the rather more junior RP 1. Rather than use the RP1-PP which has the Rega Bias cartridge, we pitted it against the basic RP1 which the same bundled-with-the-deal Rega Carbon cartridge.
The comparison was illuminating. We are quite used to the differences wrought by the Performance Pack’s upgrade of cartridge, belt and mat. The, admittedly more expensive, P2 is an altogether more sophisticated device. The new, far more rigid, RB220 arm, the 24v motor and different platter bring a fundamental transformation.
Surely, in gloss white, this has to be the coolest £375 turntable out there? Such a pity that Gregory Porter’s ‘Take Me To The Alley’ is the just wrong shade of pale for a perfect match!
Whatever I suggest in an effort to raise the profile of white, most buyers will opt for the smart, safe and far more dust-prone gloss black.
Sonically, there is very little to criticise. It resolves far more than either version of the RP1, is tonally far richer and produces a much larger, more believable soundscape. More to the point, musical elements, such as phrasing and intonation, not to mention bass playing, are handled so much better. It’s pretty impressive that a deck at this level can make you so keen to invest a substantial chunk of your day in listening.
John Martyn’s half speed remaster of Solid Air from Abbey Road sounds superb on even the basic RP1 but it’s utterly spellbinding on the Planar 2.
Hard on the heels of the stunning P3, this is another cracker from Rega.
We even have some stock. At the moment!