Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

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af73
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Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by af73 » 02 Jan 2020 19:46

I'm looking for a good Rega Planar turntable and two have popped up locally in Canada but I don't know enough about older turntables to know if they are good buys, can you help?

The first is a Rega Planar 2. It has a wood surround around the plinth that looks like mahogany and has a black plinth top. It has the RB200 tonearm, a Shure M91ED cartridge, and a glass platter. The sub platter is plastic. They say it's had little use and is in excellent condition. I see no cracks or dings and the dust cover is clear and not cracked or faded. I'll attempt to attach pictures. Price is $300 Canadian.
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The other is a Rega Planar 3. It has the classic black plinth that is identical looking to todays P3 except for the logo. It's listed for $400 Canadian but the seller is willing to negotiate. It currently does not come with a cartridge and has an upgraded (?) tonearm, it comes with a low mass mayware formula 4 tonearm. I've never heard of this tonearm before. Also, we could probably negotiate for an Ortofon VMS20E MK II cartridge, but again I'm not familiar with this cartridge. It has a glass platter and plastic sub platter. One thing I'm a bit worried about with this is that the tonearm rest is not part of the tonearm base so it looks like it was drilled into the plinth, so no going back from this tonearm without a hole in the plinth, or am I wrong? I've included pictures below.
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Any help is appreciated. I can probably get the P3 with the Ortofon cartridge for $400, I just worry about that tonearm. Is the P2 better to start with then upgrade as I go with the newer motor and aluminum sub platter? help and thanks in advance!!

Woodbrains
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by Woodbrains » 02 Jan 2020 20:34

Hello,

I would offer this advice; the Planar 2 is an early one with the RB 200 arm which wasn't made by Rega. I don't think it is a bad arm, but surely you buy a Rega for the Rega made die cast alloy arms. This is what they have the reputation for. The plinths were perfunctory, but the arms were the deal maker for the money. Besides, the bias on the RB 200 arm was actuated by a toothed belt, which perish and are practically unobtainable to replace.

The Planar 3 you show also has an arm replacement. Is it a Mayware or something, I'm not sure. Again, unless you are interested in that arm, I would avoid.

I would always suggest that you don't buy a Rega with a view to upgrade. Aside from the arm stub replacement, most upgrades are spendy and don't yield results proportional to the outlay. All the money spent on these upgrades would buy a superior table higher in the Rega range, than the upgraded 2 or 3 would end up being.

Mike.

mtqpier
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by mtqpier » 02 Jan 2020 21:47

The Planar 2 see the « light » in 1977 and the Planar 3 in 1976.
My first real « hifi » turntable was the Planar 3 with the Mayware Formula 4 mk IV and a Shure V15 type 4. If my memory is good, it was in 1979. It was a great turntable. And the Mayware was a very great arm. It’s a unipivot arm.
In that days, the Planar 3 can be bought with the arm you want.

af73
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by af73 » 02 Jan 2020 22:28

Thank you both for your input, I appreciate your comments!

denvertrakker
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by denvertrakker » 02 Jan 2020 23:17

I'd have the 3 with the Mayware in a heartbeat, The 2 not so much.

The VMS isn't a bad cart, but I'd prefer something else if it were me.

af73
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by af73 » 02 Jan 2020 23:42

denvertrakker, which cartridge would you go with over the VMS? What would fit on that tonearm headshell?

Chiltern
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by Chiltern » 02 Jan 2020 23:47

$300 cdn equates to around £175 sterling. A R200 in the UK with a headshell and cartridge would expect to sell for approx £150, bias belt kits are available here if needed, for £15 and are an effective repair.

This leaves the deck for only £25, a bargain, which, IMHO always looked better with the wood surround ( I bought one new around '78) and has the added advantage of helping support the plinth which in the early days (without the surround) had a reputation for gradually warping. It would be easy at a later stage to change the R200, but you might find that the 'SME' headshell mount and the build quality of the arm to your liking.

Just my view of course, I no longer have a Rega deck, but have enjoyed them in the past, still use 5 x R200 and 3 x RB250 on other equipment.

Alan

Woodbrains
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by Woodbrains » 03 Jan 2020 00:06

Hello,

My comments were from a pragmatic point of view. These tables are early incarnations, 40+ years old. I'd bet a pound to a pinch the motors are grumbly and will need replacing. The Mayware tonearm is super low mass as was the fashion at the time. Are you going to have trouble getting a high compliance cartridge to match it? Almost all carts made these days are medium compliance and won't suit it. If you want to play music with no fuss, I don't think this is the way to go. The RB 200 arm will need a belt for the bias control, sooner rather than later, if it hasn't gone already. Again another fuss to find one and repair. You might want some projects, I don't know, and a vintage cart treasure hunt. It can be fun for some. If you just want to play music, perhaps look for a more recent 3 with a Rega arm. You might be buying an MDF plinth with a dodgy motor and a fussy arm! I don't mean to be overly pessimistic, but look at these tables with your eyes wide open and knowing exactly what you want. And I do have a Rega turntable currently and another with a Rega arm on it.

Mike.

denvertrakker
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by denvertrakker » 03 Jan 2020 00:18

af73 wrote:
02 Jan 2020 23:42
denvertrakker, which cartridge would you go with over the VMS? What would fit on that tonearm headshell?
There's quite a variety, depending on budget and taste. I might be thinking about one of the Hana series, perhaps a Nagaoka. I know someone who runs a Sumiko Talisman on that arm, but good luck tracking one of those masterpieces down.

The VMS isn't a bad choice; I've owned one of its cousins, the FF15, but I think that arm will tolerate some other choices.

af73
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by af73 » 03 Jan 2020 06:49

Dang, lot's to think on!

goatbreath
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by goatbreath » 03 Jan 2020 06:59

I may be wrong,but does the Mayware Formula 4 not have adjustable mass via the slider on the arm..??

elreza
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by elreza » 03 Jan 2020 08:18

Surely the Mayware arm is never going to track a record properly as its the wrong pivot to spindle distance, 211mm and the rega is predrilled in the plinth at 222mm or am I missing something here ?
Apart from that they've ruined the plinth by drilling a hole for an armrest as you say
I wouldnt buy it unless I wanted the arm for another turntable

goatbreath
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by goatbreath » 03 Jan 2020 08:42

elreza wrote:
03 Jan 2020 08:18
Surely the Mayware arm is never going to track a record properly as its the wrong pivot to spindle distance, 211mm and the rega is predrilled in the plinth at 222mm or am I missing something here ?
Apart from that they've ruined the plinth by drilling a hole for an armrest as you say
I wouldnt buy it unless I wanted the arm for another turntable

The Rega could be bought with your tonearm of choice back in the late 70s and early 80s
I've saw a few Regas with an SME 3009 series III on them..
I knew the owner of one from new personally who bought it new..
This was a Planar 3 with Wooden Surround..
They weren't only available with the Rega R200 Arm..
As far as I know the Wooden Surround went before the RB300 came along..
Last edited by goatbreath on 03 Jan 2020 08:50, edited 1 time in total.

elreza
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by elreza » 03 Jan 2020 08:49

goatbreath wrote:
03 Jan 2020 08:42
elreza wrote:
03 Jan 2020 08:18
Surely the Mayware arm is never going to track a record properly as its the wrong pivot to spindle distance, 211mm and the rega is predrilled in the plinth at 222mm or am I missing something here ?
Apart from that they've ruined the plinth by drilling a hole for an armrest as you say
I wouldnt buy it unless I wanted the arm for another turntable

The Rega could be bought with your tonearm of choice back then..
I've saw a few Regas with an SME 3009 series III on them..
I knew the owner of one from new personally..
They weren't only available with the Rega R200 Arm..
So your saying you could buy a Rega turntable with an SME fitted , so with an oval hole in the plinth and not a round one and how did they manage to raise the height of the plinth for an SME's undercarriage
So if you bought one with a Mayware arm they sold it with the hole drilled in a different position on the plinth

https://specialistdivision.files.wordpr ... =710&h=370
Last edited by elreza on 03 Jan 2020 08:53, edited 1 time in total.

goatbreath
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Re: Are These Vintage Rega TT’s Good Buys?

Post by goatbreath » 03 Jan 2020 08:51

All I know is I have saw them.
I have no reason to make a statement like that up...


Ah!! Here is a Picture...
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