Upgrading Rega Planar 2 turntable

Recently I work on my Rega Planar 2 which is in the store for some time, believing that it's possible to attain 'audiophile' quality sound by doing some tweaks.

After studying the Planar 2, I have identified the the following areas that matter most in obtaining better sound:

1. It's a well-known fact that plastic sub-platter is generally inferior to metal sub-platter (aluminium or aluminium compound). Based on this I upgrade the plastic sub-platter with the aluminium one with anti-resonance design. In fact, if we were to look at the higher series of Rega turntables, P7 and P9, they actually use aluminium metal sub-platters too.

2. As I had mentioned in my earlier post motor vibration is the greatest enemy of turntables, so the motor is removed and fixed onto the stainless steel motor isolation base using 3M acrylic tape or stainless steel screws. Now I would safely say that the motor vibration is almost completely eliminated from the board. It's quite simple (no drilling required). The end result of this motor base mod is much better than the motor upgrade itself (refer to my post on motor upgrades).

3. I replace the glass platter with the acrylic platter. This, combined with the aluminium sub-platter, lowers the centre of gravity of the rotating platter system. Hence less stress and vibration is generated from the bearing housing and stainless steel spindle. In addition, since most of the mass of the acrylic platter is concentrated at the outer segment with lower centre of gravity compared with the flat glass platter, excellent flywheel effect is attained when the acrylic platter spins. We get better speed stability and of course, better sound and more importantly, less noise due to anti-resonant property of acrylic.

4. Substitute the plastic end-stub with stainless steel unit for better rigidity. I also change the mild steel counterweight with stainless steel one that lowers its mass to be in-line with the cartridge for better sound effect.

5. Rubber feet alone is good but not good enough to isolate most of the ground-borne vibrations, thus acrylic isolation platform with three brass points( adjustable for leveling) to provide additional layer of isolation is used. The result is clearer and louder music due to the lower noise floor.

6. Replacing the felt mat with rubber/cork mat and raise the VTA of the tonearm with 3-point stainless steel shim give surprising improved results and after this step, you can sit back to enjoy the beautiful music now ........

The music emerges from this upgraded Rega Planar 2 is intoxicating even with the original(more than 10-year old) Golding 1010 cartridge that I bought together with the turntable.

So you don't have to burn a big hole in your pocket to get 'audiophile' sound. You can buy a Rega Planar 2 or Planar 3 and proceed with the above steps which is very simple for any layman. You would be presently surprised and thrilled by the 'real' analogue music!

Other upgrades or mods for Rega Planar 2 available :

Aluminium isolation feet (3 pcs) retrofit existing Rega rubber feet

...

Stainless steel pulley and silicone belt:

...Read more >> Standard pulley (33.3/45 rpm)

...Read more >> Double pulley (33.3/33.3 rpm)

...Read more >> Silicone belt

Motor thrust bearing:

...Read more >> thrust bearing

Paul Bowen of USA has upgraded his 20+ year old Planar 2 with counterweight, stainless steel dual pulley, aluminium isolation feet, thrust bearing and 3-points VTA spacer. Here's his comments:


I finally got around to installing the Planar 2 upgrades that you sent and all that I can say is WOW. The components by themselves might yield subtle changes in sound but when added together it's a whole new ball game. The Planar 2 is my first Rega deck and although it is a 20+ year old turntable I was impressed with the simplicity of design and the sound quality. Now after adding your upgraded components the "old" Planar 2 sounds so much better than my other more "modern" (and more expensive) TT. 

Cheers Michael and a sincere well done!! 

Paul Bowen

pbinp57 has upgraded his Planar 2 and here's his comments in AudioKarma.org :

Michael Lim mods are worth considering. I've recently modded my Planar 2 and the improved SQ is more than subtle.

Read more on :
*upgrades of Planar 2 :  Jani's joyful experience!
*Hi-Fi Avenue : Review on Upgrading Planar 2 

Upgrading of Planar 3 is very similar to Planar 2:
*Refer to my post : Tips on upgrading Planar 3

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