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The new Planar 8 is an extraordinarily good, goalpost-moving turntable. The highly impressed Jason Kennedy is wowed by Rega’s latest vibration-measuring machine

Rega take a different and arguably more scientific approach to turntable engineering than many manufacturers. They don’t talk about the romance of vinyl, focusing instead on building what they call vibrationmeasuring machines. That, ultimately, is what a record player is – a device for reading the modulations or vibrations that have been cut into a groove and pressed into vinyl.

The company likes to stick to successful model names: there has been a Planar 3 in the range for over 40 years, which could seem confusing when the new Planar 8 comes along and is very different to its predecessor the RP8. The Planar 8 is in fact more closely related to Rega’s range-topping Naiad than the model it succeeds – and the Naiad costs more than £25,000 (and there’s a waiting list). The Planar 8 has a small skeletal plinth made of foam-cored phenolic laminate that is extremely rigid yet very lightweight.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Now on sale! Inside our end-of-year review special we announce the top 100 new albums of 2018, voted for by an expert panel of music writers, record shops, festival organisers, bands, and label bosses; plus Idles, Low and Boygenius sit down to tell us how they made three of the year’s outstanding records. The awards don’t stop there, as we name Long Live Vinyl’s first Record Shop Of The Year, with more than 8,000 readers helping us find the nation’s favourite store. If you’re on the lookout for a new turntable, amp, speakers or headphones this Christmas, you won’t want to miss our Gear Of The Year feature. Elsewhere this issue, we round up 40 essential krautrock classics to add to your collection, take an in-depth look at PJ Harvey’s 1993 album Rid Of Me and meet Ian MacKaye, the man behind legendary Washington D.C. label Dischord Records. If all that’s not enough, our newly expanded reviews section is packed with new albums, reissues, boxsets and hardware to add to your Christmas list. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers!