Rega Factory Alignment

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Rega Factory Alignment

Post by dantastic79 » 09 Dec 2019 11:11

Hi, recently switched over from Pro-Ject to a Rega Planar 1 which has been a great upgrade in sound for me. As many before me have done, I have found myself wondering about the mysterious bespoke Rega alignment because it can be frustrating if you just want to align as per original spec, just wanted to share my thoughts and hear any comments. DISLAIMER: I know I could not worry and just align to any known alignment + others may be theoretically better, but this is just a curiosity on Rega’s own alignment methods.

222mm Pivot to Spindle: Just about the only spec actually quoted by Rega on the installation instructions for their tonearms. I think we can accept this as fact.

15mm overhang / 22 degree offset (resulting in 57.203mm and 120.36mm null points): There is a letter from early 90’s going around from Rega support quoting these figures so these seem to be widely accepted as fact and listed in the VE database. BUT…. Rega could have quoted historic inaccurate figures carried over from early 3rd party arms, or they could have changed since early 90’s, or, my own guess: these could be rounded figures i.e 21.983 degrees of Stevenson could be rounded to 22 degrees with Rega assuming we as humans are not perfectly able to judge 0.1 degrees with our eyeballs. Unfortunately we tend to look up exact figures in the calculator and obsess over the graphs. One thing I can tell you, given Rega almost certainly align at factory with a Jig for speed and accuracy, neither the overhang or null points of my factory aligned table exactly match these figures, nor do they match the official Rega protractor, and the calculated null points would theoretically be worse than any recognised alignment…..

Rega Protractor: This is not a precision protractor, with the hole being cut out with varying degrees of accuracy, so on its own I’m not sure we can determine much, it will get people with a Rega arm to some form of alignment though which seems good enough for Rega. One thing seems clear though, no matter which way you look at it, the inner null is about 60mm, 57.203mm seems too far off.

Measured and calculated figures on the net of 222mm Pivot/Spindle, 15mm overhang, 21.63 degrees offset (resulting in 60.031mm and 114.691mm null points). A reasonable assumption and adjustment of offset based on observations and the Rega protractor + is closer to Stevenson. BUT…… 21.63 degrees seems a very odd number to manufacture, also my factory aligned table was not set to 15mm overhang either…..

Conclusion: I don’t think we will ever know the exact figures that are either kept secret or unknown or Rega’s ethos is they don’t believe it is the most critical thing to worry about (sound wise I would agree, the table sounds great). What I can tell you is this, if you align with standard Stevenson then 21.983mm offset is as close to 22mm as my eyes can judge & the inner null of 60.325 aligns by eye with the Rega protractor, also factory set overhang is about 15.5mm, close to 15.418mm of Stevenson. So I think using an accurate Stephenson protractor like the VE arc download will get you almost spot on to stock Rega alignment, more so than trying to second guess their secret figures or misalign with their protractor. So if you want to align to Rega, I would just use Stevenson and not worry too much, chances are that being just a fraction of a mm or degree out by human error could land you exactly on factory alignment by chance :) Just my experience of going round the Rega alignment circles.

vinyl engineer
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Re: Rega Factory Alignment

Post by Alec124c41 » 09 Dec 2019 16:16

That sounds about right.
Some fanatics might say that changing the alignment, adjusting the level of the arm, changing sub-platters, belts, or mats, changes the essential Rega sound, and is sacreligious.
I say, whatever improves the sound is good.


Joe in Seattle
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Re: Rega Factory Alignment

Post by Joe in Seattle » 17 Dec 2019 23:17

My dealer insisted that using his alignment tool would improve the sound of my Exact P5. I allowed him to realign it, listed for 6 months then asked him to return it to the 3 screw Rega standard. I could tell no improvement and I enjoy greatly not having to worry myself over angle, alignment, etc.

Jim Leach
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Re: Rega Factory Alignment

Post by Jim Leach » 31 Dec 2019 16:57

I use Bayerwald which is different from both Stevenson and Rega. But when I was “running the numbers” it seemed to provide the best performance on paper, and I have had no desire to change it.

My cartridge looks a bit funny in the headshell- like it’s “crooked” but I’m more concerned that it is set to something “real”. Plus it sounds good so close your eyes and listen!

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