Rega RBs. What do you get?

Any experience of what you get by spending more with Rega tonearms?
Both my machines have Rega RB330s. Previous machine had a RB600. So what’s the real difference as you go up the range? Their Web site talks about tighter tolerance bearings and other blurb.
Is there any rule of thumb between price of deck:arm: cartridge ?

Generally the advice is kind of source first in importance: deck > arm > cartridge.

Between P3 and P6 it’s the same RB330 arm. The next-better arm is the RB880 in the P8, and they are actually being quite specific:

  • improved vertical bearing assembly constructed using an aluminium and stainless-steel, low mass assembly with vastly improved stability and rigidity.
  • advanced preloaded zero tolerance bearing assembly adjusted to less than 1000th of a mm
  • thinner stainless steel balance weight is used, allowing greater adjustability and compatibility.
  • re-designed, low capacitance phono cable terminated with high quality, locking phono plugs to ensure the best possible connection.

Then the RB3000 in the P10:

  • new manufacturing process which improves on [“roundness” and “parallelity” of bearing assemblies] resulting in a micron perfect bearing fit.
  • The entire tonearm structure is designed to have the minimum of mechanical joints while using the stiffest materials in all critical areas.
  • The tolerance of the RB3000 tonearm is so tight that no adhesive is used at any point throughout the construction.
  • latest arm tube, hand polished, keeping mass to an absolute minimum, redesigned to redistribute mass and further reduce stresses and resonances. Increases the stiffness and rigidity of the overall assembly whilst reducing stress on the bearings even further.
  • latest low mass, precision engineered, vertical bearing assembly
  • Not on the website but the counter weight is tungsten
  • (And like the RB880: advanced, preloaded zero tolerance bearing assembly adjusted to less than 1000th of a mm.)

Seems not so much blurb to me but more or less what one is looking for in tone arms. Of course whether it sounds better to you is, as always, up to you. I have not heard the P10 with an RB880 instead of the 3000, but the whole P10 package is a big step from the P8, IMHO

1 Like

Thanks for the reply.
My benz ace sl will require changing in the next year or so. My dealer demo’d me DV xx2 cartridge( albeit different deck and arm) but into the same phono stage.
I could just buy another benz. But I could hear the benefits of the DV.
Would putting the DV on a RB330 be foolish when it ought to go on a better arm?

One thing I recall with the RB2000, and I would assume also the RB3000 replacement, was that the time taken to build it was much, much longer than the other arms.

…yes, I think that you need a better arm in order to realise the benefits of the XX-2 Mk II.

Swings and roundabouts, I would guess. I suppose that even on a lesser arm (and the 330 is still a very good one) a better cartridge will be an improvement if it fits the arm. But who knows if, like common thinking would suggest, spending 2K on a better deck/arm with a cheaper cartridge wouldn’t yield better results overall.

I see at least a P8 in your future if you go that route :wink:

The basic design has not changed since they went to the 3 point fixing with the rb1000 and I think the rb700.
I can see that better tolerances and wiring will require extra labour and hence cost.
I have tended to see the Rb330 as their best value for money arm. But as you start to add better cartridges, it may no longer make sense!

P8. Not so sure. When I bought the gyro se , I demo’d it against the RP8. Same arm and cartridges. Absolutely no contest.
Right or wrong I like to quirky looks of the gyro se. And of course the sound.

Then I see a better arm :slight_smile:

Which is where I thought I’d end up. Rb 880 or 2000/3000? …

A quick google gives me USD 1200 for the 880 and 2200 for the 3000 (and 1700 for the 2000).

Up to your wallet in the end, but like Richard said they invest much more time in the 3000 arms. I believe in the 3000 every bearing is hand selected.

I can’t tell you what difference it makes in real life, but my gut feeling FWIW would not be to put a 2K cartridge on an arm that’s half the cartridge price. But who knows

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.