Rega Planar 3 (older model) Questions - Issues to look for? etc - help asap

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by kws87, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. spark1

    spark1 Active Member

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    That motor's weakness was primarily in how it was mounted, which could cause minor speed variations, especially as the "rubber band" mounts aged. I have one with the original motor isolated from the deck...no speed problems at all. I have TTs I like better, but they all cost quite a bit more (except my modified AR-XA). I consider the Planar 3 (post 1983, with the RB300) a classic.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  2. kws87

    kws87 New Member

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    Ahhh, bummer. Thanks for all the info - the continued questions weren't bc I did'nt believe the AK wisdom, I am just always curious about and amazed at some of the poor design choices you can see in old equipment (probably newer stuff too). Is the internal belt one of the reasons I (seem) to see more Rega's with aftermarket arms on them?

    It sounds like the speed issue is pretty prevalent with these, is that right? The Rega is only $300 asking, its been there for a while so I think I could get it even cheaper. EVen still, not worth considering it and swapping new parts?

    I've been striking out with vintage turntables recently. Two weeks ago I found a Thorens TD 160 in great cosmetic shape, only to find a bent motor spindle.

    It seems like a better thread question would be - "what vintage turntable can I buy that isn't a landmine?" (in fact, I think I'll make that thread) Thanks again!
     
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  3. bang4buck

    bang4buck Active Member

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    It can be cheaper to buy the whole 'table just for the arm. Same reason that Linn Axis and Basik tables often show up arm-less.
     
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  4. spark1

    spark1 Active Member

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    The speed issue is exacerbated by the age of the rubber band suspension on the Planar 3; as time goes by, they become even more flexible and allow the motor to move, in turn creating speed variations. The $225 24V replacement motor solves the problem...albeit, at a fairly hefty cost. There are other/better/cheaper solutions, if you enjoy DIY projects.

    While some turntables were poorly designed, or not designed/implemented in such a way to last for 30, 40, or even more years, I don't consider the Thorens with a bent spindle to be an example thereof. In fact, the vast majority of the mid-grade and higher turntables from the 60's, 70's and 80's are quite reliable and need very little to make them nearly as good as new again. However, damage from poor handling is another matter, and can (obviously) render any turntable either useless or in need of expensive/complex repair.

    In my experience, if you want reliability then avoid tables with sophisticated electronic controls, sensors, etc. Certainly some of these tables - like the Pioneer PL-630 I'm working on now - are wonderful performers, but the more complex they are the more there is to fail...and many of the IC's used in such tables are hard/impossible to obtain. Stick with a simpler unit, either manual or semi-auto for greatest reliability.

    Bottom line, the better question for your new thread might be "which vintage tables ARE potential landmines", as the list will be much smaller than asking the reverse. And by narrowing your criteria - budget (not including cartridge), manual vs semi or full auto, suspended or not, direct drive or belt (or even idler), wooden base, willingness/ability to do basic maintenance tasks, minor repairs, major repairs, etc - you can get an even better list of tables to consider.

    As for the Rega you are asking about...the value of the older Regas is primarily in their tonearms (RB250 and RB300). I would not pursue the older version, with the Acos arm...as has been pointed out above, it did not age well and frankly was nothing all that special to begin with. It surely is not worth near the asking price. If you are set on a Rega table, stick with post-1983 (the point at which they began building/using their own arms.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  5. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    IMPO, the arm is worth $300.
     
  6. spark1

    spark1 Active Member

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    Are you referring to the arm on the table the OP posted about, or an RB300 (or RB250)?
     
  7. vinyl1

    vinyl1 Super Member

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    I thought someone in the UK had discovered a way to get a clean fix. There is a lot of discussion out there.
     
  8. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    The RB300........
     
  9. willyrover

    willyrover Super Member

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    Price is also a factor here. $300 is too much IMO.



    As far as I know it involved a different sized toothed belt and some shims (3D printed?) to take up the slack. It certainly is possible to repair but the whole thing seems a bit bodge to me.

    R200_tensioners_small.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018 at 7:51 AM
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  10. spark1

    spark1 Active Member

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    Agree!
     
  11. hugo454

    hugo454 Gold Member Subscriber

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    I also like the RB300 arm
     
  12. leesonic

    leesonic Hold on, here comes the bass. Subscriber

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    I had the same dilemma about 30 years ago. Sitting in the window of a local-ish HiFi shop (Billy Vee Sound Systems in Lewisham, London) was an older Rega Planar. It had the S-shaped tonearm and wooden trim around the edge of the plinth. I went inside to make some enquiries, and inside was a kid from my school and one of my old teachers. They basically said, for a few quid more, why not buy a new Planar 2 with the Rega designed and manufactured tonearm? The price with a cartridge would have been higher, but they had a whole bunch of bulk AT95E's which they installed one for me. I still have and still use that table today, it came with me when I emigrated here in 2000.

    I guess what I'm saying is, if the price on this one is right and you can verify that it works, go for it. Rega turntables are fairly easy to come by though, so there might be a better deal elsewhere.

    Lee.
     
  13. james73_2010

    james73_2010 Active Member

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    How was the motor "weak" exactly? [​IMG]



    James H
     
  14. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    Well, when you have to spin it by hand to get it going............hows that. NONE of my other turntables I have ever owned had such poor start-up performance.
     
  15. loonlodge

    loonlodge Active Member

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    A case can be made that anti-skate is unnecessary especially in a S shaped tonearm.
     
  16. willyrover

    willyrover Super Member

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    Yes, but the issue here isn't that there is "no anti-skate", it's that the amount of anti-skate is stuck at wherever it was when the belt disintegrated.
     

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