Top rated turntables: Rega Planar 1 Plus

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Plus, always seems like a good word to use. It implies that you are getting more; something has been added. In this case, the Rega Planar 1 Plus is essentially the Rega Planar 1 with a built-in preamp. I say essentially because whilst the Rega Planar 1 has a USB connection, this machine does not. Does this unit merit my description as a top rated turntable? Let’s find out…

Key product details

Rega Planar 1 Plus turntable in black

Name: Planar 1 Plus


Price: US $725

Manufacturer: Rega

Overall Rank: 4.5/5 from 47 reviews

Turntable features

  • Dimensions: 14.17 x 17.59 x 4.6 inches (360 x 446.8 x 116.8 mm)
  • Weight: 9.6 lbs. (4.35 kgs)
  • Finish: Black, white or walnut
  • Motor: Belt-drive; 24 Volt low noise, synchronous motor
  • Phono Preamp: Built-in non-switchable; based on Rega’s Fono Mini A2D MM option
  • Power usage: 3.1 W
  • Speeds: 33⅓, and 45 rpm
  • Cartridge/Stylus: Rega Carbon moving magnet
  • Platter: 23mm phenolic resin; felt mat
  • Tonearm: RB110 tonearm; zero-play bearings design; ultra-low friction; no anti-skate
  • RCA: supplied
  • Power cord: supplied
  • USB: No
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Operation: Manual
  • Grounding: included in left channel audio cable
  • Speed change: Manual

Initial set up

Initial set-up is not difficult, but you need to get it right. Once it’s out of the box don’t forget to discard the tape holding the tonearm and the cardboard from beneath the platter. These are shipping aids and won’t help at all with playback (;-)

Use a spirit level or a small bullseye level to make sure that the unit is completely level. Alternatively, use a ball bearing on the bare platter.  If it doesn’t roll, you’re well set. Note that there is no anti-skate dial or bias dial on the Planar 1 Plus.

To set up the tonearm, simply slide the counterweight to the end of the tonearm until you hit the built-in stopper. Bingo! The tracking weight is set.

Finally, it’s time to connect. The inbuilt phono preamp makes this a cinch. Both the power lead and the RCA cable are supplied, so plug them in and you are good to go. Grounding is not required as Rega includes grounding in the left channel of the audio cable.

Included accessories

  • counterweight for tonearm tracking
  • hinged dust cover

Appearance/First impressions

The Rega Planar 1 Plus comes in three different finishes. White, black, or walnut. As with anything else HiFi, surely the black is the way to go.

It is a relatively light unit, coming in a touch over nine and a half pounds but reports indicate that there are no issues with vibration. This may or may not be down to Rega’s custom foot design which increases stability. Driving the platter, via Rega’s EBLT belt, is a low-noise, 24V synchronous motor which also offers low noise and better speed management.

The platter is inch-thick phenolic resin with an enhanced flywheel effect, again for better speed control. The tonearm is Rega’s RB110 model with their Patent Pending ultra-low friction bearings. There is no bias management to tinker with and anti-skating is not a thing either.

Rega Planar 1 Plus showing phono preamp insitu

Finally, the headshell has been made stiffer for improved usability and appearance. It holds the Rega Carbon moving magnet cartridge which is fitted as standard. This matches well with the inbuilt modified version of Rega’s standalone preamp the Fono Mini A2D MM option.

No USB connection is included and the entire analogue to digital section from the Planar 1 has been removed and the MM circuit souped up.

This results in a real improvement in the quality of sound reproduction on the Planar 1 model upon which the Plus is based.

Special Features

  • Handmade RB110 tonearm
  • EBLT belt for greater accuracy and improved speed performance


Playback is totally manual, meaning that you have to lift and place the stylus onto the record and you have to lift it off again at the end.

Once your record is playing though, you are rewarded with a great performance. From high to low frequencies, the sound delivered is fulsome. There is no emphasis on middling frequencies which can sometimes be the case with entry to mid-level turntables. If any criticism can be levelled, it is that the top end of the frequency range lacks the finesse that higher spec cartridges than the Carbon could deliver.

But that’s being picky. This unit delivers good vibes, especially with more recordings of more spirited performances. After all, it is an entry-level turntable with a relatively low-end cartridge, so if you want something that hits all notes perfectly, all of the time you have to find more cash.

The Carbon cartridge can be swapped out for a number of MM alternatives, but this is about the limit of enhancement possible with the Planar 1 Plus. Other, more expensive, Rega units are more flexible as are other similarly priced plug-and-play turntables. This means that the usual trade-offs need to be thought about. A better Rega unit would cost more and an alternative, similarly priced, plug-and-play unit is unlikely to compete on sound performance without tweaks.

Pros and Cons



  • Lively and involving sound
  • Simple set up
  • Very well designed, engineered and built
  • Built-in Preamp
  • Limited enhancement options
  • No digital connections
  • Price may be excessive

Rega Planar 1 Plus inbuit phono preamp

Why you should buy this turntable

The amalgam of quality with ease of use is usually something which sits in the easier-said-than-done category. However, the Rega Planar 1 Plus is an example of a piece of HiFi equipment which achieves that amalgam. It is a genuine plug-and-play turntable which channels the fifty years of Rega’s knowledge about the reproduction of sounds from vinyl records.

Although at the bottom of the Rega range, this is a pretty fabulous turntable. Once you get started you simply want to listen all night long. Of course, there are limitations, especially in terms of upgradeability.

There are two points on this. First, the inbuilt phono preamp, although a boon for the beginner, will likely become a drawback as they develop into a more experienced vinyl connoisseur. Then there is the limited scope for changing the cartridge.

If you want those things, there are more expensive Rega options, but this machine is perhaps the perfect blend of great sound quality, ease of use and robustness of construction. It is, unquestionably, a top rated turntable.

Click here if you would like to have a deeper dive into what the Rega Planar 1 Plus can offer.

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