Rega RP1 or Rega RP3: How do you Decide

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Roy Gandy founded Rega Research Ltd in 1973 to manufacture high quality audio equipment that you could afford. No less than 10,000 vintage and new turntables have been sold this year, including award-winning amplification mechanisms.

There are two Rega products listed here, the RP1 and RP3. Because they were released within of year of each other, there was no mention in the text that they were actually different products. So, you may ask what’s the difference? You will have a lot more questions.

Rega RP1 and Rega RP3: Side-by-Side Comparison

Upon further testing of these two products, you will discover that they are worlds apart! Despite some similarities such as both being manual and belt-driven, the platter material and plinth material are different when it comes to turntables.

Ease of Set-up

Both products have roughly the same amount of difficulty when it comes to setting them up. Can you get a set of pre-fitted cartridges for each turntable at Ebay? I need to find the ideal counterweight position. You need to install the counterweight on the tonearm. Then, use the pressure on your cartridge’s tracking force slider that it was recommended by your cartridge manufacturer to install.

Retail Value

The Rega RP1 and RP3 cater to different audiences. Rega markets the RP1 as an entry-level turntable for beginners, whereas the RP3 is for more experienced audiophiles. The RP1, with the tonearm and cartridge included, costs around $450. The price difference is staggering! Rega RP3 retails for $1095 with the inclusion of a tonearm and cartridge.

Here’s why turntables are so cool: they have parts that rotate, keep track of what’s playing and adjust the sound.

Cartridges and Tonearms

Different cartridges and tonearms are used in the two products. The RW-1 is a newer version of the Rega RP-1 turntable and features a new tone arm and cartridge. The Rega RP3 turntable has a RB303 tonearm and uses the Elys 2 MM cartridge.

  • Rigidity at the bearing housing and headshell mount of a RB303 tonearm results in increased stability and performance.
  • RB303 turntable arms have a more resonant-resistant shape for the armtube and a more rigid three-point mount.
  • The stylus of the Elys 2 Cartridge uses elliptical needles that allow for better contact with the vinyl and provide more accurate audio quality.
  • With the RB303 tonearm and the Elys 2 cartridge, you’ll get minimal vibrations and distortions that reduce sound quality.
  • ’The stylus in the Elys 2 Cartridge is non-removable. Rega reasoned that this minimises “energy loss” and allows “higher output”.
  • Choice and diversity is key when it comes to audio equipment. As a result, the RB303 and Elys 2 set a good standard for many bass fans. They produce deep bass, lower noise & increased detail when it comes to the music you listen to.

Does this Mean that we Should Totally Dismiss the RP1 in Favour of the RP3

It’s not quite. Although the RP3 has the most advanced technology in its tonarm as well as a cartridge, this does so with a price. If you’re a master of turntables, then you may prefer to purchase one of the most powerful turntables on the market. But, if you’re looking to save money and want to save money, you might want to consider the Rega RP1 turntable would be an ideal choice.

  • Contrary to other turntables that are budget-friendly the records played by RP1 are not “light” or lack the quality.
  • The RP1 has a very rich, well-balanced and full sound as well as an extremely good bottom-octave sound. The bass is clear and clear, as is the good tonal structure throughout the mid-range.
  • In terms of kick drum and electric bass on “pop” records the RP1 gives an impressive volume of weight as well as “oomph”.
  • Its Carbon MM Cartridge combined with the RB101 provides solid rhythmic performance, with excellent timing.
  • Most importantly, is the cost of a Carbon Cartridge which is priced at only US$34. The cartridge itself won’t be able to last long, but on the chance that it gets damaged, it won’t cost you a lot to replace it, unlike other cartridges like the Elys 2.

The Platter: is Glass Always Better

A significant distinction in the Rega RP1 and the RP3 is the material of the platter.

  • The newer Rega RP1’s platter is made from the phenolic resin. It is a form of phenol formaldehyde based plastic that offers excellent speed stability.
  • The top of the dish is scratched which prevents the platter from sliding between the mat and the mat.
  • It’s marketed as being better than the previous platters. As per Analogue Seduction it is heavier and five to six times heavier than RP1’s plate.
  • So, it decreases resonance and increases stability of speed in terms of pitch definition, speed and rhythm.
  • Therefore, the glass platter is more expensive over other types of platters.

But, is the glass platter ever more preferred? When you read reviews, it seems that the audiophile community has a split. Some users are happy by the platter made of glass included in the RP3 turntable, others are more inclined to use an acrylic tray, or ceramic platters, which are more expensive in place of that glass one.

Based on the information I’ve collected I can say that there is no any definitive answer regarding what is the “ideal” platter. The preferred platter material will depend on the budget of each individual and their expectations of sound quality.

The Final Scorecard

Although the RP1 isn’t as advanced in technology as the RP3 but it’s capable of delivering on the sound. The RP1 is a reliable product and is a great option for those who are just beginning to get started listening to music on vinyl. Additionally the RP1 is a great value for those who are who are on a tight budget, as it delivers a powerful punch at a very low cost. In the end, the choice is yours to make.

If you’re a new vinyl player looking in search of your initial record player, or simply want to improve your equipment without spending a fortune If so, the Rega RP1 as well as the Rega RP3 vinyl record players should be on your radar.

FAQ for Rega RP1 or Rega RP3

What are the differences between Rega RP1 and RP3?

The Rega RP1 is a turntable with a single-arm, tonearm that is capable of playing 33 and 45 RPM records. The RP3 has two arms and is capable of playing 33, 45, 78 RPM records.

Both turntables have a built-in phono preamplifier with an RIAA equalizer. They also have an increased power supply for more effective sound quality.

Which model is better for your needs the Rega RP1 or RP3?

The Rega RP1 is a turntable that has a built-in phono preamp, which means that it can plug directly into your stereo system. The Rega RP3 is the bigger brother of the RP1, with an integrated power supply and USB connection.

The Rega RP1 is a great option for those who are looking to upgrade their turntable and want to start listening to vinyl records again. It’s also perfect for those who don’t have enough space in their home or apartment.

The Rega RP3 is better suited for those who want to use the turntable as part of their home setup. It has a built-in power supply and USB port so you can connect it directly with your computer or mobile device.

Is there any difference in sound quality between the Rega RP1 and RP3?

In terms of sound quality and technological ingenuity, the Rega RP3 turntable certainly overshadows the Rega RP1 model. The sound quality of the RP3 turntable is remarkable given its superior tonearm and cartridge. Clearly, the Rega RP3 is a high-performance product that can better capture the nuances of any record of any genre. If you are an experienced user with a penchant for manual high-end turntables, the Rega RP3 model would be a more suitable choice.

How much does the Rega RP1 and RP3 cost?

The turntable Rega RP1 and RP3 are both considered to be amongst the most affordable turntables on the market.

The turntable Rega RP1 costs $179, but the price of the Rega RP3 is $299.

What music players are compatible with each model of Rega turntable?

There are many different types of Rega turntable models that have been released in the past few years.

While some Rega turntables work with iPhones, others require a more compatible music player. Below are the models that can be paired with a wide range of devices.

  • R-05: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android phone and tablet (via USB)
  • R-06: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android phone and tablet (via USB)
  • R-07: iPhone
  • RP1: iPhone
  • RP2: Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5
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