Entry Level TurntablesMid Range Turntables

Rega RP1 Manual Turntable Review

  • Rega RP1 Manual Turntable Review
  • Rega RP1 Manual Turntable Review

The Rega Company for over 4 decades now has been making turntables in the United Kingdom. They have manufactured numerous stylish and great sounding players. The RP1 has been a darling among audiophiles for decades. Rega did pitch this new turntable as an entry level player – a plug and play turntable.

Quick Overview


  • Easy to set up
  • Top engineering
  • Pleasing transparency
  • Good sense of drive


  • Requires decent isolation for better results
  • Cannot repress pops and clicks all that well
  • Manual speed change

Bottom Line
The Rega RP1 is a surprisingly good turntable with a sleek design that is super lightweight and portable. It’s a great entry point to vinyl’s world and you will always get good value for your money. This turntable goes at $445

Let us take a closer look at some of the reasons that make this player stand out from the rest:

Sound Quality

The previous RP1 design came with an Ortofon OMB5 cartridge that had several issues. However, this new model comes fitted with Rega’s own BIAS 2, that is a moving magnet cartridge and which has been hand-made. The new cartridge provides the RP1 with a remarkably clean mid-range sound and an excellent speedy attack. For optimum sound, the RP1 must be set on a shelf or a hollow cabinet, if this is not done, there is a high chance that it will generate bass overtones.

This turntable sounds good as any other mid-range TTs of the late 1970s and this says a lot as it is way better than most of the modern record players which go at the similar price range.


Rega’s RP1 is not your bog average-looking vinyl record player. The player comes with a minimalistic design which does away with all the excessive switches and buttons and what you are left with is the pure sophisticated beauty. RP1’s simple design makes it artistically attractive and functionality capable. The rectangle plinth is reinforced by three rubber feet that provide stability to the player.

The RP1 is also fitted with an elliptical stylus and a moving magnet cartridge. It is fixed with a Rega RB101 hand-made tone-arm that provides easy placement and smooth movement. The platter is created from resin that is said to improve the stability of the speed. This turntable comes in two colors- grey and black.

This player is a traditional, stripped back design turntable without any decorative gadgets, however with ounces of class and style, and what they have lost on features they have replaced with engineering brilliance. Rega RP1’s design will perfectly fit into a modern home but only for those searching for a retro-style turntable, reminiscent of the vinyl players of the vinyl players of the 70s and 60s.

Other Features and Setting It Up

The set-up of RP1 is an easy task. The cartridge comes already fitted and the TT is ready to go. The only changes that you might make is the counterweight’s tone-arm position. The RP1 is a manual player, therefore unlike other entry-level players, which you press play then tone-arm moves instantly on the record and begin playing and then returns back to its original place as soon as it has finished playing; for this player, manual means that you will have to do the playing all by yourself. You must also be keen to notice when the record stops playing so that you can put the tone-arm back, if not it will just continue rotating and wear out your stylus.

In case you want to alter its speed, for instance from 33 to 45 RPM, you will have to perform this manually. The platter must be removed and then the drive moved by hand. Actually, this is not a big task, only it makes the player not as convenient as other turntables which provide this at just the flick of a switch.

RP1 is an upgraded model, and this has seen the introduction of a better/ thicker drive belt, and brand new thicker mat, that is made from natural wool instead of simple, cheap fabric. It also has an elliptical stylus. A pre-Amp must be connected to the speaker system. Ensure that the pre-amp comes with a PHONO input.

It is imperative to position this player on a stable and flat surface, and if it is possible, station it as far as possible from the speakers. This ensures that you always get the best sound quality from it. Rega has advanced their phenolic resin platter and this makes a huge difference. Numerous individuals have complained about this in the old model, saying that it had a slight wobble; however there is none of that with this newer model.


Rega RP1’s design is unbeatable. This turntable is also super lightweight and portable. Its downside is that it cannot withstand a hard party session or a hard knock. It comes with performance pack upgrade that will significantly improve the turntable’s elements.

9 Total Score

Sound Quality


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