If you happen to’ve ever taken greater than a passing curiosity in turntables, you’ll have heard of Rega and Professional-Ject. They’re two of the largest gamers with regards to entry-level and mid-range document gamers, with many years of class-leading merchandise underneath their respective belts.
Greater than probably, you’ll even have heard of the Rega Planar and Professional-Ject Debut decks. They’re among the many most profitable and best-loved designs from these two esteemed manufacturers, and have every gone via quite a lot of iterations to achieve the place they’re right this moment. If you would like the very best sound for this sort of cash, you actually must be in Rega Planar 2 or Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo territory.
As ever, which is finest for you’ll rely quite a bit in your scenario, together with any parts you have already got to pair it with, and just a little to do with private desire. Regardless of that, as these are the 2 finest document gamers we’ve heard at this value, the least we will do is arm you with all of the variations and particulars earlier than you get to audition them for your self.
Rega Planar 2 vs Professional-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: construct
In 1976, three years after Rega’s creation, the Planar 2 launched as considered one of model’s very first turntables. Its S-shaped tonearm was then changed in 1984 with Rega’s RB250, and on the flip of the century a brand-new model of the deck – fittingly named the P2 2000 – took its place in Rega’s catalogue till 2005. Then, greater than a decade later, the Planar 2 was introduced again from the lifeless for its 40th birthday – this time with the unabbreviated ‘Planar’ identify.
The Planar 2 has been on fairly a journey then, a lot in order that the one issues present from the unique are the drive belt and the plastic mouldings for the dust-cover lid hinges. That’s stunning, as an image of the final and current-generation fashions side-by-side would make for a difficult spot-the-difference puzzle.
The one belongings you’d ring right away are the acrylic-laminated plinth – now supposedly extra inflexible and, just like the Planar 3, sporting a extra modish black or white shiny end – and the ability change, now beneath the plinth.
It’s a neatly understated design, and strong construct high quality is an indication of Rega’s long-established success at this value bracket. Much less instantly apparent modifications embrace the 24v low-noise motor, newly designed central bearing, and upgraded platter with a brand new floating glass ‘Optiwhite’ design. Rega additionally designed new ft to enhance stability.
Crucially, the Planer 2 is fitted with Rega’s new RB220 tonearm, which options ultra-low-friction ball bearings, a stiffer bearing housing and an automated bias setting, making it just about plug-and-play.
That ought to please newcomers who need to get pleasure from vinyl with minimal fuss, however bear in mind that the Planar 2 doesn’t have a built-in phono stage, so it must hook as much as a stereo amplifier that has one. Or you may all the time purchase a separate unit. That’s the case with each of those turntables, so definitely it’s not a purpose to discriminate between the 2.
The no-nonsense set-up requires minimal effort, save for guaranteeing the velocity is about accurately (velocity change is handbook) and fixing the load to steadiness the tonearm. As soon as the tonearm is in a floating place, setting the Carbon MM cartridge’s monitoring drive to the advisable 2g merely entails turning the load a complete circle.
Whereas we’d want numbers on the dial for steering, we do discover it moderately correct. Evidently, shopping for a stylus gauge to double-check the measurement can be cash properly spent. It’s necessary that the Rega sits lifeless flat on a tabletop or wall bracket, too, as it’s with any turntable.
Examine all that with the Professional-Ject Debut Carbon Evo, launched final yr, and also you’ll discover they’ve a couple of core values in widespread. The design is equally minimalist – although Professional-Ject provides extra color choices – and ease and ease of use are evidently held to be virtually as necessary as sonic efficiency with regards to these decrease mid-range decks.
Taking its hottest turntable design and altering virtually each facet, whereas on the similar time growing the worth, was a harmful recreation for Professional-Ject; however the Debut Carbon Evo is a triumph of calculated risk-taking that takes all of the jeopardy out of shopping for your first deck.
Professional-Ject has labored laborious at making its newest Debut a category chief, but additionally one with the potential to be a gentle midrange competitor due to the modifications the corporate has made.
Among the many upgrades are improved motor mounting, new height-adjustable damped ft and a heavy metal platter that weighs 1.7kg and encompasses a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) damping ring on the within for quieter operation.
Maybe most welcome, although, is the addition of a rocker change on the underside of the deck that permits you to regulate the rotation velocity. No extra eradicating the platter and manually readjusting the belt whenever you need to go from 33.3rpm to 45. Doubtless, that is an space by which the Debut scores factors over its Rega rival.
**Winner** Professional-Ject Debut Carbon Evo
Rega Planar 2 vs Professional-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: options
Regardless of that nod to comfort, we expect you’ll need to work together with this document participant as a lot as attainable. Having adopted Professional-Ject’s Debut line for a few years, we discover there’s an actual sense of it reaching maturity with the brand new Debut Carbon Evo.
All the things about it says it has reached maturity, from the clear strains and lack of ornamentation to the attractive end of its new satin colourways. Alongside the standard high-gloss finishes – out there in black, white or crimson – and a real-wood veneer, there are 5 wonderful satin choices (black, white, blue, inexperienced or yellow) for no additional price.
They’re light-weight and extremely stiff, however we discover just a little play within the bearings of the deck’s one-piece Carbon tonearm. However that doesn’t take away from the actual fact that is the perfect tonearm we now have discovered on considered one of Professional-Ject’s Debut choices. Whereas most individuals will get the acquainted Ortofon 2M Crimson cartridge, clients within the USA will as an alternative discover the Sumiko Rainier. Our pattern options the previous.
As soon as out of the field, you’ll have the Debut up and operating in moments – simply add the belt, platter and weights, and also you’re just about able to go. If we’re speaking about velocity of set-up, it’s not a race we’d wish to name, although the automated bias setting does work in favour of the Rega. When it comes to ease of use, although, the Professional-Ject fires again with its automated velocity change, so by way of options that shades it for us.
**Winner** Professional-Ject Debut Carbon Evo
Rega Planar 2 vs Professional-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: sound
We spin SBTRKT’s Marvel The place We Land album and the Planar 2 finds its groove right away. Anybody properly versed in Rega decks will little doubt recognise its sonic stamp: balanced and authoritative with spectacular scale and an inherent pure musicality.
It will get us toe-tapping to New Dorp, New York the second the primary beat thumps into being. The Rega delivers the bass line with punch, its low finish incomes its wings for dealing with the depth and texture of the guttural bass guitar in Gon Keep. And it has the agility and momentum to bounce alongside to Ezra Koenig’s perky vocal accompaniment. There’s perception into his playful quips, and a becoming solidity to the extra thickset monologue that reveals the Rega’s midrange versatility.
Any hi-fi equipment that’s going to get the perfect of SBTRKT must be pretty methodical in its dealing with of flittering tinny beats, slicing percussion and frenetic rhythms, and whereas the Rega has the required precision and rhythmic know-how to coordinate them precisely within the soundstage, its supply isn’t with out enthusiasm.
The Rega is big-sounding sufficient for the plush digital soundscapes laced with synth chords to sound daring and atmospheric too. It will get right into a Saturday night time feeling with the album’s pop melodies, and up-tempo drums are energetic and punctual within the combine.
It’s equally at residence with the intricate, nuanced preparations of Miles Davis’s Form Of Blue too, rendering the dynamic subtlety and timing to understand the music’s subtly shifting method. It’s additionally comfortably able to packing a single wistful trumpet be aware with texture and knowledge.
The flexibility to tie all of the musical strands collectively and paint them on a exact and spacious canvas appears to come back simple to the Rega, and in that facet its supply simply works.
Regardless of the dearth of branding, the Debut Carbon Evo’s identification as a part of the Professional-Ject household can also be revealed instantly because the room is bathed in its wealthy, full-bodied tone. After all, that’s of little shock. The corporate has lengthy confirmed its potential to supply up a magnificently plush midrange, with vocals so typically a selected deal with when given a lot heat and held up by loads of weight within the bass.
Additionally it is partnered with quite a lot of element and texture. The place rivals may beef up their sound in an try to disguise a scarcity of actual perception, Professional-Ject right here welcomes you to discover its huge sonic vary, proving its aptitude for making a deck that’s each simple to hearken to and ready for deeper, extra analytical classes.
That easy-listening, unfussy nature is invaluable for a turntable of this kind, at this value, given the huge array of merchandise with which it is perhaps partnered. Even so, that will be subsequent to nugatory if the brand new Debut lacked the flexibility to interact.
It is perhaps an space by which among the firm’s decks have been missing not too long ago, however by way of dynamic expression and rhythmic precision, we’re at the least on par for a five-star deck at this value. The Debut Carbon Evo retains our consideration mounted with its eager ear for emotion and simply sufficient drive to punch out staccato rhythms.
It’s definitely a extra laid-back strategy than that taken by the Rega Planar 2, nevertheless it’s convincing nonetheless and completely in step with this Professional-Ject’s general character. The efficiency won’t be fairly as energetic or as clear, nevertheless it is not unattractive due to it.
**Winner** Rega Planar 2
Rega Planar 2 vs Professional-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: verdict
Whether or not or not the Debut Carbon Evo is the perfect document participant for you is perhaps determined by whether or not you like its fuller, extra relaxed character or the extra spritely and lean different of its fundamental competitor. What is obvious from the 10 stars shared between the 2 is that there isn’t a clear winner for each listener.
That mentioned, if we had been pushed to choose a winner on sound solely, our desire can be the Rega for its extra energetic sense of rhythm and marginally extra effusive means of expression. Whereas the Professional-Ject’s luscious tone is massively nice to delight in – and we now have accomplished simply that for a lot of hours – it’s all the time rhythm and dynamics that catch our ear. It’s what music is manufactured from; the distinction between sheet music and a reside efficiency, so that’s the reason the Planar 2 would edge it.
But when there’s one function we will see dictating many individuals’s determination, it’s Professional-Ject’s addition of a speed-change change. Not less than, it greater than makes up for the minor premium you need to pay to go for the Debut over the Planar 2; at finest, for these with as many 45s as LPs of their assortment, it may very well be the distinction between how a lot you play sure data in any respect.
Sound high quality is all the time our fundamental concern, so it’s nonetheless the Rega for us, however that’s a break up, relatively than an unanimous, determination. The reply to which is best for you’ll come from listening to each for your self, however don’t let that frustrate you – you’ll be within the firm of two of the perfect document gamers ever made at this value.
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