Graded products – those that don’t quite meet a manufacturer’s full standards – are nothing new in the industry. Rega’s latest initiative is worth a mention though, not least because it means a fully functional P1 turntable (with ‘A’ grade cartridge) is now available for £200. That’s a good deal, making it an ideal starter setup. 

So what’s the lowdown? Well Rega has long been committed to recycling and reworking damaged parts to reduce waste. Unfortunately cosmetic issues with some parts – plinths in particular – meant they weren’t recoverable enough to be used in ‘A’ grade turntables. Landfill was their destiny.  

Until now that is. To further demonstrate its green credentials Rega has introduced Green Grade products that are mechanically perfect but slightly flawed cosmetically (all get Rega’s usual lifetime guarantee against manufacturing faults).

The first product is the Planar 1 ECO DECK, which uses plinths of various origins. Marked or scratched Planar 1 & Planar 1 Plus plinths for a start. Also obsolete ones (such as those on gloss P1 and P1 Plus decks). Even P2 and P3 high gloss plinths that will be built as a Planar 1 (with new brass bearings fitted where appropriate).

Green Grade decks will be easily identifiable. They won’t have a silk-screened P1 logo. They will have an ECO lid badge. And the packaging will sport the Green Grade logo. All decks will be thoroughly tested. To date two turntables have been announced: – 

  • The Planar 1 ECO DECK is available in red, white and black (all gloss) and costs £199 (normal price £299). 
  • The Planar 1 PLUS ECO DECK is available in black or white (both gloss) and costs £229 (normal price £385) 

The turntables will be sold through Rega’s normal channels, with dealers making standard margins. Rega will be selling the turntables to dealers at costs though; this is a zero-profit initiative for the firm. Which the numbers seem to support; those are sizable discounts.

It all means a first Rega is within reach of more HiFi Starters. Something Sam at least would highly recommend – that’s his man cave system below, based around a P1. 

Find more information here