Rega Planar 3
Two Speed Belt Drive Turntable
The Planar 3 is a classic unsprung turntable with belt-drive and AC synchronous motor.
Introduced in 1977, the original Planar 3 models came with the Acos derived R200 tonearm, but from 1983 the improved RB300 tonearm was fitted as standard.
Compared to the Planar 2, the turntable has a heavier plinth and thicker glass platter.
Features include calibrated, spring-applied tracking force and magnetic bias compensation.
Drive method: belt drive
Motor: 110V AC synchronous
Counterweight: tungsten or stainless steel
Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
The Planer 3 sounded nicely musical in a balanced and coherent manner. Presentation of detail was considered well above average, little inferior to super-fi models in this respect - £188 HiFi Choice 1984
A long time leader in it's price category - £250 HiFi Choice 1992
brochure (en) - alternativeroute
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Rega Planar 3 / Planar 3 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Rega.
10/10 by wilus54
I lived very happily with a mid 80's Planar 3 for several years. Just stick it on a wall shelf to provide isolation and change the belt every couple of years to keep things running smoothly. 10/10 for value for money
10/10 by JaS
10/10 by gavin mcknight
Not much more can be said of this venerable performer. It has been an icon of analog playback since day one, when it was equipped with the Lustre arm. For about 20 years Rega has had their own tone arm. Mostly used with the 3 has been the RB 300 tone arm. Another icon performer that has withstood the test of time.
Simple design with way above average parts and a rock solid build quality are the hallmarks of the Rega Planar 3 with RB 300 tonearm. Few have done it better and even less are in business today such as Revolver.
Found this piece in a high end store that carries a vast prior owned inventory. Came with the Sumiko BP MC cartridge. Most of the staff here are into vinyl in a big way. Was totally gone through and set up to specifications.
Once home placed it into the Forte system. Used the Sumiko Fluxbuster FB-1 to demagnetize the Blue Point. Had to reset the gain on the Forte pre amp for high output MC and loaded the Sumiko to 100 ohms. Leveled out the turntable with a circular level.
In years gone by have had several of the Sumiko Blue Points, so I knew what to expect there. If this becomes a keeper it will get a Dynavector. This Rega Planar 3 is bone stock without any mods whatsoever. Now to the music.
First up was Dave Grusin Live at Budokhan on the JVC Label. Have heard this many times on the Oracle with Dynavector Ruby. Performance was on par with the Oracle,which was somewhat a shock, considering the vast differences between the two tables. However the Oracle gets the edge there,though not by much!
Next up was the debut album from Ricki Lee Jones. Now this was a fabulous presentation. Ricki,s vocal just came to life in a very unexpected way. Depth, and clarity were astounding. Now this was getting interesting to say the least.
So now on to direct to disc on the Telarc Label. Album was Frederick Fennel and the Cleveland Symphonic Winds. The Holst Suite No.1 in E-flat and Suite No.2 in F. The Rega Planar 3 was very adept at this demanding recording. The anvil strikes were with complete authority and the sonics in the bass region were right on tight and defined without any bloom at all.
There were a few caveats. Such as fixed power cord,fixed tone arm leads,the RCA jacks are quite pedestrian for a table of this caliber.
This table may very well become a keeper. There are just tons of mods for the model 3. Know I will have to get a VTA adjuster in order to use a Dynavector cartridge.
Okay all you Rega tweakers out there. Let's have your input on the mods. Which are snake oil and which are substance, biggest bang for the buck mod,and so on.
Make no mistake the Rega Planar 3 with RB 300 arm is an Icon in its own right. Has withstood the test of time and continues to do so this day.Here is one high end product that came out in 1974 and continues to impress to this day. Damn few products can lay claim to that statement.
9/10 by yeoldestereo
bought mine in 1985 using it mostly every day since that, still working perfect no problems at all. changed the pickup and needle a couple of times, but thats normal
9/10 by jivers
great turntable. just serviced mine and it sounds as good as ever. RB300 arm is a fantastic sounding arm.
9/10 by bbr620
Elegant simplicity, purposeful minimalism.
Rega's ethos was always to make things as simple as possible and justify the (very reasonable) asking price with the sheer quality and reliability of the build, not with arcane materials or concepts.
Bought mine well over twenty years ago, it gave many happy years of listening (even after close encounters with fighting cats), and due to circumstances (house move done in very distinct chunks due to distance and a sea in the way) I had to leave it in storage for a few years. Now retrieved from storage, I plugged it in, pressed the switch and everything still worked just like new. Maybe not surprising as there's so little to go wrong, but hugely gratifying nonetheless. A little tweaking of the arm and cartridge which was rather out of alignment, and tracking bias/weight, and it still sounds as good as it always did.
I can't make any great claims to have magic ears or offer any valid comparisons to other TTs as the only one I owned before this was an ancient Garrard SP25, but I can say that the Planar 3 - along with my beloved Epos ES11s - is at the heart of a minimal, no-fuss and incredibly reliable setup that has always, simply, played music the way I like to hear it. Warm and detailed, maybe not the last word in clinical accuracy but who cares about that? Rock music rocks, acoustic music sparkles, calming music soothes.
A good motor and bearing, great arm, good cartridge, what else is needed?
9/10 by sfedroid