Rega
Rega
Rega

Rega

Rega is known for its originality. This is what has allowed her to enjoy popularity for more than forty years. The company’s specialty is vinyl disc players and everything connected with them. However, the company offers components to build a complete system from single-brand components. But how did it all begin?  It all starts at fourteen. That’s when teenage Roy’s mom asked him what to buy: a record player or a TV.

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Roy chose the first, mom – the second. It’s easy to imagine the young man’s disappointment at the sight of the new “blue screen”; it was worse than that of the Kid in “The Kid and Carlson.” However, this didn’t stop Roy: if they didn’t buy it, I’d do it myself! And at the age of 18, Gandhi created… no, not a vinyl player, but for now only acoustic systems in a closed design. And although this was not a Rega product, but just an independent work, the direction of development became clear. Like many creators at that time, the quality and interest in the hi-fi industry came from a passion for music, for live playback in halls, on the street, in clubs, which was the standard of sound. One day, Roy managed to listen to a completely serious Hi-Fi system, after which he realized that his prototype disc player needed to be improved. And the player was a discarded Collaro, which Roy picked up and improved. However, when a good friend gave the Connoisseur to the young man, Collaro was sent back to where he was taken from, and a new candidate was refined. The year 1972 was marked by the appearance of the result in the HiFi Sound magazine, albeit in the “Reader Systems” section.

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Roy Gandy 

True, the critic-journalist believed that the sudden excellent result was the merit of the speakers, since it was believed that any source contributed little to the sound quality of the system. However, time proved that he was wrong. Gandhi’s work for the Ford company as an employee of the technical department did not bring any difficulties, and in his free time Roy assembled acoustics for sale, and also installed stereo systems for friends and acquaintances. At the same time, Gandhi got a part-time job as a seller of Hi-Fi components and suddenly realized that in order for customers to be satisfied with the quality of a newly purchased vinyl disc player, these same players had to be checked before sale and often repaired, which took quite a lot of time. The birth of Planet’s first child was the result of disappointment with the market offerings and the realization that we could do better. In 1973, taking his friend Tony as a partner, Roy registered the Rega company (after the last names of the partners RElf and GAndi) and, without stopping working at Ford, assembled his own players in the evenings, involving not only Tony and other friends, but also his mother, who I ended up working for fifteen years. At first, the players were sold through Cosmocord (British specialty stores), but after only a year they were sold in West Germany, Denmark and France under the Rega brand. Realizing that “cars are good, but owning your own business is even better,” Gandhi left Ford, using the severance pay he received to create a plant in Rochford. Soon after, Roy buys out Tony’s share and hires Terry Davis as chief financial officer. In 1975, a legend was born – Planar 2, which is recognized as the best budget player. In 1977, Planar 3 entered the market, as reported by HiFi News and Record Review, noting that “the new product deserves attention.”

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Tonar m RB300 

Three years later, the company’s staff numbered 13 people, its assets included twelve countries where products were supplied, and twenty large clients in the UK. In the same year, the company acquired the building of an old mill and organized production in it. It is noteworthy that the walls are painted bright green, which becomes the company’s calling card. Until 1983, Rega installed tonearms from Japanese and Danish manufacturers on its turntables, but over the past seven years it has been developing its own development and searching for a manufacturing partner, which resulted in the creation of the legendary RB250 and RB300 tonearms. Amazingly, the company’s RB300 tonearm tube technology has earned the company a prestigious international award from Modern Metals for “excellence in aluminum die casting.” Moreover, at the moment, almost two dozen manufacturers of vinyl disc players (including top-class ones) use Rega tonearms in their models. Since the early 80s, Rega offered the R100 cartridge on the market, which was sold for about five years and was continued in the form of the RB100. However, Gandhi did not like both models, and it was not yet possible to make them better due to the fact that these pickups were custom-made by a third-party manufacturer and had insurmountable technological difficulties. March 1988 was marked by the appearance of Elys and Bias pickups, which were included in the production program for a long time. The demand for them turned out to be higher than expected – 1000 pieces were sold in the first month alone, which is five times higher than planned. This was the first step towards offering customers a complete set of equipment from one brand.

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Rega Elicit 

In the summer of 1989, the first speaker systems under the Rega brand, the Ela model, were presented to the general public. And although it was initially produced in Denmark according to Rega specifications, very soon its production was transferred to its native factory. Unexpectedly for everyone, in 1991 the company released two amplifiers: the younger Elex and the older Elicit, thus providing the user with a complete set of equipment for listening to vinyl discs. In-house production of amplifiers and loudspeakers gave impetus to the construction of a factory in Southend-On-Sea, which appeared in the Temple Farm industrial complex.

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Rega Planar P3 

Today, Rega products are sold in 40 countries, producing 2,000 turntables every month. The company has its own development and design center in Essex and employs approximately 90 people. The company continues to develop and look for new ways and technologies of production and expands its international distribution network. One example of technology development is the RP8 and RP10 players. The unique double table, made from state-of-the-art special acoustically dead composite foam, is extremely effective at combating external vibrations. And how gorgeous he looks! And in 2016, the reincarnation of the legendary Planar models began: in the first half of the year, the unusually stylish and quite affordable Planar 2 and Planar 3 were released, which immediately won the respect of the public. The company’s credo has remained constant throughout its existence – creating high-quality components for listening to music at an affordable price. And, as time has shown, this is indeed so.

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