The Rega Planar 3 is the classic Rega turntable. It's really the price and performance turntable that put Rega on the map and kept them there for nearly forty years. We sell more Rega Planar 3's than any other turntable and we're happy every time we do because we know we helped someone make a great purchase. The Planar 3 brings the nicer RB330 on-piece cast tonearm, the same tonearm as Planar 6, and Rega's excellent mainline tonearm. The table itself gets a more heavily damped plinth, a 24 volt motor, Rega's torque-tube style brace between tonearm and spindle, and an upgraded platter with polished edges. It's a looker! The packaged in Rega Elys 2 cartridge is Rega's entry-level three point mount cartridge which gives perfect alignment and no-fuss setup and a PRAT*'ful energetic British sound. The Rega 3 can benefit from several meaningful upgrades including the Rega Neo Turntable Power Supply, and Rega Exact 2 Cartridge, or Rega Tungsten Counterweight. The Planar 3 is the number one enthusiast upgradable midrange turntable in the world . <--there I said it.
*Pace Rythm And Timing
That little amp? The Brio? Really? I can hear the people thinking askance of my sanity now - is he serious? Is John really proposing to drive a Magnepan planar with a fifty watt British Integrated amplifier? Yes, I am. Why? Because it works extremely well. There is something about the little Rega's ability to generate bass and source current that seems a bit unworldly for its size and price. Prior to trying this myself, I had heard from two separate HiFi Superfriends that this is an unexpected great match. Fast forward ten years later, myself and one dealer friend have sold several of this system with nary a negative, nary a nabob, nor nama-nama d'discontent. Every owner loves this little system.
Here we have it at last: The magnificent Magnepan speaker in all of its glory and absolutely shoehorned into the price point of this system. The amazing speed, the soundstage, and the sheer rightness of its tonality are unmatched. This speaker is one of the all-time greats in the world of Hifi, and it's been a great pleasure and privilege to be Portland's Magnepan Dealer, for just over fifteen years as of this writing (year 2020).
Lastly comes the speaker cable - Cardas Parsec. If you want to trade some resolution and bass for dollars, put a nice heavy 12g quality copper speaker wire on the system and call it good. Cardas Parsec boosts the mid-upper bass helping fill out any speaker it's hooked up to, and with the Magnepan, the need to add a little more instrument weight and bass is indeed the case, especially with a smaller (but mighty) amplifier driving the system. As eagle eyed Magnepan enthusiasts may have noticed, Wendell used Cardas Quadlink in his Magnepan demonstrations at CES. Quadlink was the predecessor to Parsec, and had the same frequency emphasis to fill out a Maggie's bass.
Upgrades? Put a Neo PSU on the Planar 3, then a Parsec Power cord on the Brio.
Interestingly enough, this system has all three of my class leading performers for the dollar. Add to that the inherent quality of a good turntable and you have a great system. One of my favorites.