This post is probably more useful for those of you who already are owners of the Rega RP1 or considering getting the Rega RP1. Today we will see how the upgraded pack works: the Rega RP1 Performance Pack, and of course whether its worth your money. The Rega RP1 is commonly touted as the excellent entry level turntable and if you are looking for the indepth details and review, you can find it here in my previous posts (why do people consider the Rega RP1?).
What is being upgraded in Rega RP1 Performance Pack?
This Rega RP1 Performance Pack as the name suggests upgrades the performance of the RP1. To what extent is the upgrade and is it worth the upgrade and money – well that’s the question. At first glance, you will see the most obvious upgrades or rather differences. You will get a new and thicker drive belt. There is a new mat that comes along with it. This new mat is introduced with the aim of reducing the resonance (with feedback on that from consumers) and also to help with better damping. The material of this new mat comes from wool, natural wool instead of providing synthetic material. One must also note that it is more thick than the previous one.
What difference is there?
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Its not that the old MM cartridge is a poor performer, but we always strive for the better to enhance further. In this pack, you will get the new moving-magnet cartridge. So what is the difference? Basically the old handy Ortofon OMB5 is removed and you have now the Bias 2 from Rega’s own collection. This Rega Bias 2 is kind of special, in the sense it isn’t machine assembled but it is assembled using manual means. Well, if you are not very particular, the Rega RP1 Performance Pack is also available right off the shelves. During production, it actually undergoes pretty stringent tests such as quality testing over a period of time between 1-2 days. It also arrives with an elliptical needle and wound coils that are parallel. For those of you who already own the Rega RP1 turntable, the different components can be separately bought and upgraded – does not cost you much.
Improvements, upgrades in anti-skate, plinth, platter
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For those of you who have some issues on anti-skate features, your concern is addressed. In this Performance Pack, you will see that there is a slider provided – its very easy and friendly to use. This pack also provides you a plinth that’s rectangular in shape and it comes with 3 rubber feet, pretty normal for RP1. The main bearing of the plinth is very well made with good planning and investment. This plinth also carries the RB 101 tonearm and if you compared it to the RB 300, its like you are getting it but at a lower price and simpler model. Thus, from this angle, many audiophiles find the value in the performance pack and yes if you ask me, its worth the money.
Yes, the platter is made from plastic, namely from the phenolic resin material. If you commonly play records of 33 rpm and 45 rpm, this means you have to do the manual work yourself, using your hand to move the drive belt. When it comes to setting it up, it is as easy as it looks. You have the cartridge that is pre-installed in it. The best counterweight position is indicated on the arm. What you have to do is just to attach the weight, set the bias and you are ready to play your favorite vinyl. As with what you usually do, place it on a stable and flat platform.
My take on upgrading to RP1 Performance Pack
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Appearance wise, it is designed with simplicity even with simple color choices. It is available in white, black and grey. I have to put a disclaimer; the RP1 cartridge that comes with the original Rega TT did great justice for its price. However, as with upgrades, they always bring up the standards. When it comes to performance, I like it. I like the very detailed quality, you can hear even the minor beats and full of warm texture, seemingly heavier sound. This makes the biggest difference after upgrading. If you have some spare money in the bank and you are looking to upgrade your experience then look no further. It is indeed worth every penny of your money.