Rega Retires the Planar 2

Let us pause for a moment to reflect on the passing of one of hi-fi’s most venerable components. For 30 years, Rega’s Planar 2—recently, simply known as the P2—has provided countless hi-fi enthusiasts with their first taste of the potential that the vinyl disc has to offer. Now Rega has decided to stop making it.

The Planar 2 wasn’t Rega’s first turntable. It was preceded, in 1973, by the Planet, whose "platter" was created by three outrigger weights. Very stylish, perhaps, but glass and felt worked better, so 1975 saw the introduction of the Planars 2 and 3. Early models used a tonearm with detachable headshell made by Acos in Japan, but the 'table's performance took a major step forward in 1983 when Rega introduced its own high-rigidity RB300 and RB250 fixed-head tonearms, variations of which are still being made. Other, more subtle changes were made from time to time in such things as the motor mount—culminating in the replacement of the glass platter with one made of high-density fiberboard (HDF).

Rega is dropping the P2 because its superior P3, P5, P7, and P9 models better fit the needs of its current dealers, but something very like the P2 will still be available under the NAD and Goldring brand names. Rega has been making the 533 turntable for NAD for a number of years, and has more recently begun doing something similar for Armour Home Electronics (neé Veda), which owns and distributes Goldring. This arrangement works well for all parties, giving the products much wider distribution than is possible with Rega's limited number of dealers—who can still obtain something very like a P2 via a different supplier.