Go Skeletal with the Revolutionary RP8
Rega's eagerly awaited RP8 turntable takes Rega’s design philosophy further than ever before. It features a radical new plinth using custom designed materials, a new tonearm bearing assembly, a 24v low volt-age motor controlled by a hand tuned electronic power supply, and a custom version Rega's Planar 9 engineered hub bearing assembly. These and other features allow the RP8 to extract more music from your vinyl than ever before.
The Evolution of a Revolution
The RP8 represents probably the biggest step forward in the evolution of Roy Gandy’s turntable design philosophies: low mass, high rigidity plinths combined with electronically controlled low vibration motors, high flywheel effect platters, and lower mass higher stability tonearms.
The RP8 is the first of Rega's 'skeletal' design turntables that offer groundbreaking levels of performance and amazing value for money. 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 1970s, Rega pioneered the use of a stressed skin structure for the plinth. This uses two layers of phenolic resin with a lightweight particle or fiber 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 superior sound quality.
Skeletal Plinth Design with Polyolefin Foam Core
A very common myth about turntables is the 'heavier the better' concept. Turntable bases weighing tens of kilograms are not uncommon. The reality is that the base actually needs to be as light as possible to prevent unwanted bearing and motor noise being transferred to the turntable or record.
The all new RP8 turntable utilizes 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 seven 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.
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 can add distortion to the music.
The RP8 takes Rega's double brace technology to the next level. Not content with an unprecedented stiffness to mass ratio, Rega has 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 pheno-lic (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 resonances. By using two different materials together, the RP8 decreases the natural frequency of each material through self-damping.
Decoupled Outer Frame and Dust Cover
A common problem with many skeletal design turntables is the inability to incorporate an effective dust cover into the design. Rega has constructed an outer frame that minimizes contact between the inner and outer plinth. The only points of contact are three location devices on the feet, which centralize 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 desired.
Advanced New RB808 Tonearm
Rega's RB808 tonearm is packed with new features that push the boundaries of tonearm design. As with all Rega tonearms, each RB808 is meticulously hand built by a team of highly skilled technicians.
The RB808 uses the latest Rega arm tube, which has been completely redesigned to redistribute mass and 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. A brand new low mass, precision engineered vertical bearing assembly has been manufactured to complement the inherent design philosophy of the RP8 turntable.
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.
Externally, the RB808 arm is fitted with a bespoke Rega-designed low capacitance phono cable that uses an advanced phono plug assembly. It has only two parts in order to minimize the number of joints, and it incorporates a twist and clamp design locking the plug to the terminal. This design increases connectivity and keep the signal path as clean as possible.
Ultra-Stable TTPSU Power Supply
For superior stability and to reduce vibration to the lowest possible level, the RP8 uses the compact TT-PSU, which incorporates a high stability, crystal locked, low distortion sine wave generator. This, along with an efficient drive amplifier fed from a stabilized DC power supply, generates a 24V AC balanced signal of less than 0.05% distortion, which is completely unaffected by any changes in the mains/line voltage and conditions. This drives the improved Rega anti-vibration circuit built into the RP8 motor PCB.
'Super Flywheel Effect' Triple Layer Glass Platter
The RP8's new three-piece laminated glass platter is the result of a collaboration with a 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. The result is an engineering triumph!
24-Volt Low Noise Motor
The motor is a high specification, 24V twin phase synchronous unit which has the anti vibration circuit hand tuned to each motor and is controlled by Rega's unique and innovative TTPSU power supply. The motor drives the CNC machined pulley and sub platter/hub-bearing assembly via the belt drive.
Available With or Without Apheta MC Cartridge
The RP8 is available with or without its perfect partner, the Apheta moving coil cartridge, which can be factory fitted as a package option.