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Original Rega Planar 2 Turntable Repair & Overhaul

The Rega Planar 2 turntable is a modern classic that sounds great when optimally set up. Come along as I repair and overhaul this lovely, original Planar 2.

There’s a lot to love about older Rega Planar 2 and Planar 3 belt-drive turntables, and that’s coming from a direct-drive aficionado! They have a lovely warm, analog sound and tactile feel.

This Rega Planar 2 is a desirable, older wooden framed unit. On the older decks like this one, Rega sourced an Acos tonearm which they called the R-200. The arms, more specifically the arm wiring and anti-skate can be a little problematic. Honestly, I hate these arms. Overall though, the decks are well-made and hold up well.

I love the wood, the heavy plate glass platter and the smoked acrylic lid. Combined with the original Rega R-200 tonearm, the deck has a real vintage look and sound. The problem is that, when you find these old gems, they rarely sound good or are set up properly.

Problems

All Rega decks need careful inspection and service of the motor capacitor, motor bearings, spindle bearings, motor suspension, drive pulley and tonearm and tonearm cable. This unit was no different, with a dry bearing, noisy motor, loose pulley etc.

It had some cosmetic issues, too. The wooden frame had separated from the plinth and the cartridge was only working on one channel. Her owner wanted her overhauled, repaired and set up, as new.

Let’s go!

Rega Planar 2
Here’s the old girl as she came in. dusty, forlorn and in need of some love.
Rega Planar 2
Here we see the original Rega (Acos) tonearm. rega used these until 1983 when the RB series arms surfaced.
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Rega put the chassis together well, they just didn’t use enough glue.
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The front, back and sides are all coming away…
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Standard engineering plastic sub-platter, drive pulley and rigidly mounted motor. This drive system needs careful attention.

Repair

The first order of business with this job was to repair the frame. I couldn’t do anything with these side beams flapping around in the breeze.

Rega Planar 2
I started by re-gluing and clamping the sides…
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My long clamps are super-helpful in cases like these where you need to clamp in multiple places.
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I carefully lined everything up and then cinched..!
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Then I re-glued the front and back pieces in place.
Rega Planar 2
Adding these large wooden blocks – my turntable support jigs – makes applying a clamping force to the middle of these longer pieces much easier.
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Service

With the repairs done, it’s time to service and set up this Planar 2 with a nice new cartridge in keeping with my customer’s budget.

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I prefer to clean the arm, chassis and everything else before doing more service work.
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After cleaning, I oiled the chassis which came out looking just beautiful.
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Next, I fitted a new Ortofon OM-10 moving magnet cartridge to the original Rega headshell.

The final steps involve cleaning the spindle bearing, lubricating the motor and spindle bearing, cleaning the drive pulley, setting the drive pulley height and installing a new, genuine Rega drive belt.

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And here is the end result – a lovely sounding and beautiful Rega Planar 2, ready to give her owner many more years of enjoyment.
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Why buy a new, inferior Rega deck when you can have your original and better one brought back from the dead?!
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Stunning, needless to say, her owner, a regular customer of mine, is very pleased!

If you’d like your cherished Rega turntable carefully serviced and expertly set up, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

2 thoughts on “Original Rega Planar 2 Turntable Repair & Overhaul”

  1. I have an old Planar 2 just like in this posting. After a long period of no use, and wanting to now use, the anti-skate knob just spins freely. Obviously, from its lack of performance it is not working. Is this something that can be fixed or do I need a new arm. The deck is in great shape. I have a Grace F 9E cartridge mounted and would be able to do a basic service to the arm. It is the anti-skate issue that seems more serious. Any comments or suggestions? Thanks.

    1. Hi Greg and thanks for your enquiry. It sounds like the antiskate mech is broken which is especially common with these older Acos arms. It can be fixed, but a better option is to fit a newer RB2xx, 3xx or later series Rega arm. The newer arms are better sounding and nicer in every. Alternatively, you could live with no anti-skate and degraded performance, but I say give her a birthday!

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