We feature two turntables in our Sonos-ready vinyl package, the Rega Planar 1 and Planar 2 but which one is right for you?

It’s no secret that vinyl is on a comeback, and if you own a large vinyl collection or wanting to start one, you’re in luck. With our chosen turntable package, it is possible to play your vinyl on Sonos speakers as well as other speakers connected to your existing traditional HiFi equipment. We have selected Rega to lead our Turntable section as we believe their British heritage, timeless design and excellent sound quality make them an easy choice for combining the best of vintage with the best of modern. The Planar name has been around since 1977 so is already a long-established brand, but in 2016, the RP1 and RP2 were overhauled with new components but retained the simplistic, sleek appearance. Introducing the Planar 1 and Planar 2. It may not be obvious by looking at the appearance of both turntables that there are some differences in the make-up of the components which we cover below.

Plinth

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The plinth is the main platform on which all the high-quality components are built around. Rega plinths are designed to be lightweight but highly rigid. This design helps prevent unwanted resonance being transferred from the motor or other sources of vibration which can affect the music and be heard through your loudspeakers. The Planar 1 plinth is constructed from a composite material and covered with a gloss finish thermoset laminate. The Planar 2 is built around an MDF core covered with a stunning highly rigid high gloss acrylic laminate. The Planar 1 is available in two finishes, black or white whilst the Planar 2 is available in three high gloss finishes, black, white or red. The newly improved feet on the base of the plinth help keep vibration transfer to a minimum too.

Both models also come supplied with a clear GPPS dust cover.

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Platter

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The platter is the circular disc your vinyl is placed on. Its design is crucial for maintaining a consistent speed and good musical reproduction. The platter needs to weigh enough to deliver a constant rotational speed but must not be so heavy that it will put the drive motor under unnecessary strain or potentially stretch the drive belt on start up. The Planar 1 uses a phenolic resin platter with increased mass placed to the outside edge to naturally increase the flywheel effect of the platter. The Planar 2 uses an extremely high quality 10mm float glass platter.

However, regarding functionality, they both perform well with the Planar 2 edging performance and style. Both come with a mat which lies on top of the platter to maximise grip and act as the ideal interface for transferring the rotational speed from the platter into the vinyl without introducing any unnecessary stress.

Motor

Both the Planar 1 and Planar 2 are fitted with a custom made 24v low noise motor and control board. This motor keeps the platter speed consistent and drives a custom CNC machined aluminium drive pulley. This assembly reduces unwanted vibration travelling through the plinth and ensures optimum performance.

Tonearm

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The tonearm is a very important component of the turntable. It needs to be a stable platform whilst allowing free bearing movement to allow the stylus to track the record groove accurately. Rega tonearms are precision instruments hand built to the tightest tolerances. The RB110 (Planar 1) uses a single piece aluminium tube with a rigidly mounted headshell and benefits from being a fully plug and play design. The RB220 uses Rega’s famous custom cast aluminium tonearm tube. The RB220 (Planar 2) is adjustable and allows the use of a wide range of cartridges whilst remaining very easy to set-up. Both tonearms are fitted with Rega’s own design ultra-low friction polymer bearings.

Cartridge

The cartridge is where the magic happens. Attached to the end of the tonearm, it acts as the brain of the turntable and converts the contact with the turntable into sound waves. The phono cartridge on both turntables features the highly reputable Rega Carbon moving magnet cartridge.

Speed Change

It is possible to change the speed between 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. This is a manual process achieved by simply lifting the platter and moving the drive belt between the two available speeds.

Pre-amp

A pre-amp is necessary for the signal to be converted from phono (the turntable’s signal) to digital (the Sonos’ signal). The Planar 1 and 2 do not come with a pre-amp built in so unless you are using an amplifier with a phono input, they are required to sit between the turntable and the speaker / amplifier. Our Sonos-ready package contains either the Planar 1 or 2, Behringer pre-amp and all cables to connect to a Sonos Connect, Connect: Amp, Play:5 or other amplifier/receiver. If you are going to be using this turntable with Sonos, a great point is that you can group your turntable audio to any or every room where there’s Sonos.

Verdict

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Both the Planar 1 and Planar 2 are extremely user-friendly even if you are a complete novice in the world of vinyl. For the Planar 1 you can simply slide on the counterweight, remove the stylus guard, plug in the power supply and you ready to play. The Planar 2 requires a little more tonearm setup but remains extremely simple and can be ready to play in under one minute.

Perhaps the most notable differences in the Planar 1 and 2 are the tonearm and platter, and as a result, your vinyl sounds more dynamic, expressive, and authentic with a slightly larger soundstage. If your turntable is going to be more of a focal point in your home and you want it to scream elegance a little louder, the Planar 2 is the model for you. If you’re a newbie to the world of vinyl, the Planar 1 is a simple but award-winning turntable with exceptional reviews and versatility and makes the perfect option for starting out.

 

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About Us

Smart Home Sounds is a UK Sonos specialist. We provide expert advice on the full Sonos range, from a single Sonos One to a full Sonos surround system with PLAYBAR, SUB, and PLAY:1's.