Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rega RP1 turntable hits the states!!

The new Rega RP1 is just now arriving in the US, and the buzz is good. This was originally slotted as a replacement for the entry-level P1 that was released a few years ago. I had a chance to listen to the P1 in depth when we reviewed it for TONEAudio, and while I thought it was much better than the Music Halls and Pro-Jects in its price range, I was less than enthusiastic about its MDF platter that wobbled around the edges. I was also less than taken with the Ortofon OM-5se cartridge that came with it. The felt mat for the platter didn't seem to fit as well as other Rega mats.

At the time, I recommended that P1 owners should opt for the upgrade kit, which included the classic Rega glass platter and felt mat used on the P3 and the P5. Most dealers were selling the kit for $69, which brought the P1 closer to the performance of the P2 for just a bit less money. Then I recommended that P1 owners also opt for a cartridge upgrade such as the Ortofon OM-10 or OM-20, or Rega's own Bias 2. That begged the question, of course, of why you wouldn't just go for a P2 in the first place (my recommendation at the time, since the P2 has always been my first choice for an entry-level analog rig).

Well, the reviews have noted that the new RP1, which includes such upgrades to the P1 as the new hand-built RB-101 tonearm, a phenolic resin platter (like the curved drawers of Naim CD players) and a new low-vibration motor, performs at a level almost identical to the P2. (You can read Jeff Dorgay's review of the RP1 at http://www.tonepublications.com/gear/exclusive-the-rega-rp1/). So the RP1 is so good, it's going to replace BOTH the P1 and the P2 while Rega re-works the new P2.

The price of the new RP1 is just a little more than the P1 at $449. That's a steal. Brian DiFrank of Whetstone Audio has just announced that the RP1 is now shipping, so it's time to give either him or the Rega dealer of your choice (such as Dan Muzquiz in San Diego or Gene Rubin in Ventura) a call!

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