There was obviously something in the air in the early 1970s. Both NAD and Monitor Audio celebrated their 50th anniversaries in 2022. This year it’s the turn of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. QED, the cable maker. Oh and Rega, whose first turntable, the Rega Planet, appeared in 1973. Followed three years later by the Rega Planar 3, which after several iterations is still very much a current product.  

Indeed to celebrate its 50th anniversary Rega has just announced a new version, the Planar 3 50th Anniversary Edition. Unlike many celebratory products this one isn’t a limited edition. It will only be available in 2023 though. So you might want to start saving, as the Anniversary Planar 3 comes bundled with: –

  • a Neo PSU Mk2 power supply
  • an Exact moving magnet cartridge
  • the Reference EBLT drive belt

The Neo PSU is normally supplied with the Planar 6 and Planar 8 models. To accommodate it here the CNC-machined drive pulley has been adopted from the Planar 6. Elsewhere are the familiar RB330 tonearm, double-brace technology, 24V low-noise / low-vibration motor and 12mm float glass polished platter.

All for £899, a 23% saving (£269) over buying all the components separately. Think of it as getting the Neo PSU for free. One finish is available – a new Walnut effect that comes with smoked dust cover and anniversary badges. Very nice it looks too.

Should the HiFi Starter consider it?

If you’re looking for a vinyl-centric £1.5-£2k system then the Anniversary Planar 3 could be ideal. The better power supply and reputable cartridge (the Exact is £295 when bought separately) should make for a very good sound. Combine with a suitable amplifier and speakers and you should have a lovely system. 

Rega will suggest its £549 Brio amplifier, leaving the same sum for some good standmounts. Or skew the budget to the speakers, pairing say a Marantz PM6007 amplifier with Monitor Audio Silver 100 7G speakers. Now that I’d like to hear.

The Anniversary Planar 3 could also be an ideal second step for someone who started out with an entry-level turntable and is now looking to move up. Only recently an enthusiastic Planar 1 owner said to me “one day I’ll get a Planar 3”. Now that’s music to Roy Gandy’s ears!

Whichever, the combination of proven technology, a bundled price and a unique finish make for an attractive proposition. Particularly as the Anniversary Planar 3 benefits from Rega’s usual lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. I for one wouldn’t bet against it selling well.

More information can be found here.