Rega Research builds some of the best sounding, built and designed turntables available today, ranging from their entry-level Planar 1, all the way to their range-topping Naiad. These turntables will provide years of musical enjoyment providing they are set up correctly. In this quick guide, we will show how to set up your Rega turntable to get you listening to your favourite records in no time.

Firstly, we recommend thoroughly reading the user manual provided with your turntable as not all Rega turntables are identical. The Planar 1 and Planar 1 Plus are sold pre-fitted with Rega's Carbon Moving Magnet cartridge and have a pre-set tracking weight stopper. To set up a Planar 1, simply push the provided counterweight to the end of the tonearm until you hit the built-in stopper. Now your tracking weight is set, It's as simple as that.

What will I need?

1x Rega Turntable (Of course)

1x Spirit or round bubble level

1x Turntable specific digital tracking force gauge (Like the ProJect Measure IT E or Rega Atlas). These aren't a necessity but do help make setup easier and more accurate.

And Your favourite piece of vinyl

 

Step 1 - Unbox your turntable.

Please follow the included instructions to unbox your specific model of Rega Turntable by removing all transit packaging (Including tape to hold the tonearm in place & cardboard beneath the platter) and place it on a level shelf or stand. Try to avoid placing your turntable on the same surface as your speakers, as the vibrations from your speakers can heavily degrade the performance of the turntable and in some cases even cause the tonearm to skip a track.

Use either a round bubble level or spirit level (Or even smartphone app) to ensure the surface your turntable is on and the turntables platter is level. This can also be done by removing the felt mat from your turntable and placing a ball bearing or marble on the platters surface. For optimum playback, a perfectly level playing surface is required.

 

 

Step 2 - Set up your tonearm.

Your tonearm should balance over the surface of the record at a set tracking weight for perfect playback. To start setting up your tonearm, first, lock it into place using the armrest.

Start by taking your counterweight and sliding it to the centre of the rod on the back of your tonearm. Before going any further, ensure the Bias and AntiSkate dials are both set to '0'. The Anti Skate slider is located beneath the tonearm, next to the arm lift lever and the Bias dial is located on the right side of the tonearm (Planar 3 and above. The Planar 1 and 2 doesn't have this feature).

Now remove the guard from your stylus. Keep this safe for when the turntable isn't in use.

The next step is to achieve 'zero gravity' where the tonearm floats above the records surface. It's often a good idea to place a record on your turntable at this stage to remove the risk of getting your stylus caught on the felt mat. 

Lower the cueing lever. Carefully move the tonearm over the platter with one hand while holding it up away from the records surface. With the other hand, start turning the rear counterweight until you feel the arm start to float. If you feel the arm moving down in your hand, you have too much weight forward, so slowly move the weight backwards by turning it. If it is moving up, you need more weight, which you accomplish by moving the weight towards you. The idea is to get the tonearm to “float” above the record. Once you have the tonearm floating, move it back into the tonearm rest.

 

Step 3 - Achieve the correct tracking force.

Most of the time, getting the arm to the 'floating position' will give the correct tracking force, although in some cases moving the counterweight slightly forward of the 'floating position' to give a small amount of downward pressure works well too. For a perfect set up we recommend the use of a digital tracking force gauge such as the ProJect Measure IT E.

Place the gauge on the platter of your turntable and turn it on, leaving it for a few seconds to calibrate. Then, with the stylus guard removed, slowly lower your tonearm so the stylus rests on the gauge's measuring surface. Using the table below, find the correct tracking force for your cartridge. If your reading is too light, move the weight forward, if too heavy, move it back. Be sure to lift your tonearm and return it to the rest before making any adjustments to the counterweight to avoid any damage to your stylus. After adjusting, measure again until correct.

Manufacturer Cartridge Model Recommended Tracking Force (Grams) Recommended Bias & AntiSkate
Rega Bias, Elys & Exact MM 1.75 1.75
Rega  Ania, Ania Pro, Apheta & Aphelion 1.75 1.75
Audio Technica VM95 (E, EN, ML & SH) 1.8 - 2 1.8 - 2
Ortofon 2M (Red, Blue, Bronze & Black) 2 2

 

Now your tracking force is set, move your Anti-Skate Slider (Below the tonearm, next to the cueing lever) and Bias Dial (Right-hand side of the tonearm) to the correct settings. Very often these are the same as your tracking force weight.

 

Step 4 - Connect your turntable

 

Connect your turntables included power supply and plug the RCA leads from the turntable into the input of your external phono stage or amplifier's phono input. For more information on cartridge and phono stage compatibility, please call us on 01432 354921 or email info@hifigear.co.uk.

 

Step 5 - Enjoy!

 

Your turntable is now set up. Select your favourite album and get listening!