First Rega Planar 3, in need of repair

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First Rega Planar 3, in need of repair

Post by twix2bar » 08 Jul 2019 15:39

Hi everyone,

Recently I was able to buy an old Rega Planar 3 (1977–2000). Based on what the seller told me, I think it's from the 1980's. As far as I know, it seems to have the R200 curved tonearm (manufactured by Acos).

The overall condition is good, apart from a plastic hinge that has failed on the smoked dust cover. The turntable spins and the RPM measures at 33.3 using a smartphone app.

There is no sound in the left channel, and the right channel is very quiet - it is barely audible. After trying two records, the right channel has also stopped making any sound. I detached the headshell and checked continuity from the thin wires to the RCA plugs: it seems there is a good connection from the 4 wires. I can't identify the pink cartridge but I'm wondering if it's the original Elys cartridge. Do these fail after this period of time?

The curved tonearm looks fine cosmetically and the tracking dial has a modest level of tension when turned slightly, so I hope this is still working although there are reports of these failing. I'm not sure how to test this.

I would be grateful for any suggestions of simple steps I can take to upgrade this, firstly to get some nice sounds out of it! I imagine the belt and the rubber motor suspension could be replaced after 25 years. And a new (MC?) cartridge and a spindle clamp? And a replacement hinge for the lid. Don't want to spend a heap to be honest.

I have attached some pics.

thanks for any guidance folks,
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Re: First Rega Planar 3, in need of repair

Post by Alec124c41 » 08 Jul 2019 17:19

If the continuity in the wires is good, check that the RCA plugs are a tight fit on the connectors. If not, pinch the skirts.
The cartridge might be done.
Take the platter off, rest your hand on the plinth, and touch a pencil to the side of the rotating subplatter. Any irregularity is a signal to replace the plastic sub-platter with one of the machined metal ones, sooner rather than later. I do recommend one, anyway.
It is a simple design, that only needs a bit of oil to the platter and motor once in a while. A 6 inch O-ring for the suspension, and a new belt should do it.


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Re: First Rega Planar 3, in need of repair

Post by hatman72 » 08 Jul 2019 23:03

New hinges are cheap and fairly easy to fit.

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Re: First Rega Planar 3, in need of repair

Post by zacster » 12 Jul 2019 17:38

Also check that the headshell contacts to the tonearm are good, and that the cartridge wires are making contact with the pins. If this hasn't been used in a long time they may have oxidized. Take a pencil eraser to the pins or use deoxit.

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Re: First Rega Planar 3, in need of repair

Post by Mr Pig » 27 Jul 2019 17:27

Try the deck with a know-good cartridge.

Note that Rega turntables do not use typical turntable oil in the main bearing but a thicker oil that is designed to give a degree of drag. If you use a thinner oil the deck will run fast.

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