Rega’s much-anticipated RP10 turntable is on its way to Australia as we speak. Only five have been allocated down under to begin with, and we have one of them coming to our store.
The RP 10 is Rega’s new flagship record player, building on the radical ‘skeletal’ design of the RP8 and taking Rega’s unique design philosophy to its logical extreme. It has an all-new RB2000 tonearm, a ceramic ‘flywheel effect’ platter and custom power supply, with hand-made components engineered to incredibly tight tolerances.
One major area where Rega have departed from many other turntable manufacturers is in their thinking around plinth design. In a nutshell, the prevailing thought has been that mass is good. Here’s what Rega have to say on the matter:
This is a subject full of mythology. Designers propose theories that counter the basic laws of physics, use terminology that doesn’t actually exist in the engineering world, build products that are more like beautiful sculptures than acoustic reproduction machines and sell items costing tens of thousands of pounds that hardly function as intended and often fail to work at all.
For instance a very common myth is “the heavier the better” concept. Turntable bases weighing tens of kilograms are not uncommon. The reality is that the base actually needs to be as light as possible to prevent unwanted bearing and motor noise being transferred to the turntable or record. Platters also fall under a similar myth with many platter designs becoming so heavy that it is impossible to design a correctly functioning bearing (and some so light that anyone can hear the speed inconsistency). The turntable platter itself needs to be of enough weight to spin at a constant speed within the confines of the chosen bearing and motor drive system.
Many amateur designers in any field choose one component in a design and try to achieve an extreme in size, weight and quality. They believe that by taking one theory to its extreme the design will become “perfect”. The reality of all engineering, design (and life) is that perfection is not possible. Based on this reality, Rega’s goal has always been to optimise a mixture of numerous “correct compromises” thus bringing the designer nearer to the unachievable goal of perfection.
RP 10 Skeletal Plinth
Their ‘Skeletal’ plinth design features an ultra-rigid but light internal plinth with a “unique new stressed skin structure produced from thin phenolic skins sandwiching a featherweight nitrogen expanded, closed cell, polyolefin foam core”, a technology used for other strong but light structures such as aircraft wings and F1 car chassis.
This is paired with a decoupled outer frame with dust cover and the turntable can be used with or without the outer frame.
RP10 Release Date and Price
The RP10 is expected to arrive around the 3rd week in March. The RP10 is priced at $6,499 without a cartridge, or $7,699 with the Apheta cartridge (see below).
The RP10 can be supplied without a cartridge, but the perfect match is the Apheta reference moving coil cartridge (RRP $1,700) that can be factory-fitted. The Apheta has a magnetic generator that eliminates high frequency resonances excited by normal tie wire designs.
Music lovers wanting to go to the next level of analogue audio perfection really should audition the RP10. It promises to be something very special. Stay tuned for an update once we’ve put the RP 10 through its paces when it arrives in late March!
Download the Rega RP10 manual, or visit the Rega website for more information. We expect there will be a waiting list for this turntable as it’s painstakingly hand-made in low volumes and here in Australia we won’t be getting a graet deal of stock. If you’re interested, please call us on (07) 3552 7000 and we’ll keep you informed on availability and can arrange an audition when it arrives.