What We Like
- Simple, clean and ultimately attractive design.
- Precision made and rock solid hardware.
- Satisfying analogue tone that is well within the realm of audiophile quality.
What We Don’t Like
Rega’s RP1 is one of the most impressive turntables to get under $500. There are numerous reasons for this, and today we are going to go over them in detail. Let’s get right to it.
There are two types of turntable users out there – those who prefer a busy looking unit and those who prefer a clean one. Latter are by far in the majority, which is exactly why Rega’s RP1 is so popular. It features a whole lot of clean surfaces and a base that is really well made.
Finish options available are black and white, where the former is much stealthier. Either way, both versions look downright impressive. Rega’s design team has completely nailed that minimalist theme that is popular these days. The one that combines some aspects of vintage units with fully modern design. Because of this, Rega RP1 is by far one of the most attractive things you will get to see and buy in this segment of the market.
If its looks weren’t enough to convince you, the moment you lay your hands on it, you will know that you’re dealing with quality.
The main theme with Rega RP1 is a combination of smart engineering and rock solid hardware. If you look closely, you will find that every singe component was designed and built with a lot of thought put into it. There’s your hand built tonearm with modular cartridge housing, a complex sub-platter assembly that features a precision cut bearing and more.
The motor is a low vibration unit with linear output that is transferred to the platter via really tight belt system. Speaking of platters, the one on Rega RP1 is made of Phenolic resin. Not only does that allow it to maintain speed with, but it also increases its durability. Stock cartridge that comes with the turntable is a Rega Carbon moving magnet unit, which isn’t all too bad either.
Lastly, all RP1 turntables arrive with a tinted dustcover that is easily removable if you prefer that naked aesthetic.
You will often hear that Rega RP1 is one of the best ‘entry level’ turntables on the market. Let there be no mistake, though. This is not an overpriced unit that barely delivers the performance of your average all-in-one model. No, when they say entry level, they mean entry level audiophile turntable. In that context, Rega RP1 might even be under priced.
The tone you get is impressive to say the least. It is that real analogue sound that has depth, energy and character. All of the precision cut hardware, the manually assembled tonearm, everything comes together to deliver a truly great performance. Pair it up with a good quality phono amp and you can really push it to its limits. Even the stock cartridge exceeds all expectations right out of the box. Sure, there’s some effort necessary to use it since it’s manual, but RP1 is well worth the price.
Rega RP1 truly stands up to its reputation of being one of the best entry level audiophile turntables you can get. Build quality is great and the price is just right. It’s one of the rare models that really delivers.