When we first entered into Hi-Fi we stumbled across Rega as affordable hi-fi that punched above its weight against its price. Since those early days their expanding product range has led them to Reference Series that is now positioned against the very best.
The first Rega – A star is born
Roy Gandy was working for Ford as a technical editor but spent most of his free time installing friend’s hi-fi equipment and building loudspeakers to sell. He became a part time retailer and found he had to spend a ridiculous amount of time repairing new turntables before his conscience and common sense would allow him to sell them to others! Out of frustration and a strong feeling that he could do better, the Planet turntable was born. Roy and a partner registered “Rega” (Tony RElph, Roy GAndy). In 1973 and for a couple of years Roy stayed at Ford and made turntables in the evening, helped by his partners: mum (who agreed to help out for two weeks and stayed for fifteen years!) and a succession of lads. The first turntables were sold through Cosmocord in the UK and a year later under the Rega name in West Germany, Denmark and France.
Roy was now able to leave Ford; he collected a redundancy cheque and promptly blew it on a factory in Rochford. Soon after the partnership with Tony Relph split, Roy swapping his share of Rega. Terry Davies joined as Rega’s financial administrator.
In 1975 the Planar 2 was developed and quickly took its place in the market as the finest budget turntable. In June 1977 HI-FI News and Record Review announced the Planar 3 saying ‘The complete unit is worth a look’! Rega’s usual blaze of non-publicity.
By 1980 Rega employed thirteen staff, exported to twelve countries, had twenty UK dealers, and there were those dreaded ‘waiting lists’, mainly by eager customers shop-hopping!
Nowadays Rega are reported to have a +70% growth in Europe with more products to follow shortly including a new hi- end turntable beyond an RP9.
On permanent demonstration – one of the most powerful controlled integrated amplifiers we’ve heard.