Following closely upon the heels of Rega's recently released RP6 and RP8 turntables will be the new RP10 model, which should soon take its place as the flagship model in the RP-series range. If you are wondering from whence the design philosophies for Rega's new-generation RP 'tables have come, then scan ahead for a look at Rega's radical, minimalist Naiad turntable, which is discussed below.
Last but not least, one of the highlights of our visit was having the chance to visit Roy Gandy’s home and to see and hear Rega’s ultra-advanced Naiad turntable in action. The Naiad, Roy explained, was developed at great expense as a test-bed through which Rega was able to validate each of the theoretical design concepts underlying Rega’s overall approach to turntable design. And sure enough, you can see a lot of the Naiad’s influences in Rega’s recent RP-series turntables.
Lighting the path for future designs to come, the Naiad uses an ultra light, but also ultra stiff frame made of a carbon fibre core sandwiched between two aerospace-grade ceramic stiffening plates. It also uses a remarkable zirconium oxide main bearing assembly, which costs more to procure than the entire build cost or Rega’s upcoming RP10 turntable. Indeed, the processes used in fabrication of this bearing are so elaborate and painstaking that, at best, the manufacturer must limit output to fewer than 50 assemblies per year. In turn, the Naiad uses a sophisticated, ceramic platter (similar in concept to the platter that will be used in the upcoming P10 turntable, but built with a concave underside surface and to extremely high tolerance limits). Finally, the ‘table features the tightest specification tonearm Rega has ever produced—one whose bearing clearance tolerance are extraordinarily tight.
How does the Naiad sound? Well, that’s a discussion for a different day, but suffice it to say that the Naiad we heard sounded very promising indeed (offering everything you may have liked in past Rega turntable design, but pushed to levels you might not have imagined possible). Will the Naiad ever become a product you might buy? That question is not fully resolved yet, but we suspect that it will be. But know this: if put into production the Naiad will be an extremely exclusive product that will—as a matter of practical necessity—carry a correspondingly steep price tag.