Rega Neo turntable PSU upgrade


Rega Neo turntable PSU upgrade
Friday, February 2, 2018

When I reviewed the Rega RP8 turntable I was very impressed with it indeed but felt that something was holding it back. A bit of investigation revealed that the power supply was the weak link and I found that putting a turntable oriented mains conditioner between the wall and the TTPSU brought about significant improvements in resolution, timing and pretty much everything else. That conditioner was the Wave Mechanic, originally designed to be used with Nottingham Analogue turntables it has variable output frequency for speed adjustment and seems to benefit most turntables. With a crystal locked frequency generators like Rega’s PSUs it can’t adjust speed but by producing a clean voltage it allows a turntable motor to operate with greater consistency and accuracy.

At £495 the Wave Mechanic is a bit of a pricey upgrade for the RP8 so when the penny dropped and I realised that the Neo PSU could be used with this turntable I thought that it would be worth giving it a try. One reason for this realisation was the tremendous result it delivered with the new Planar 6, which is a very sophisticated turntable indeed and in another league to the competition at its price. The Neo comes in a smarter box than its predecessor and can be used with any of the 24V motor drive Regas including RP3, RP6, P5 and P7 as well as the first generation Planar 3s from 2016. It costs £225 and is based on DSP from the supply developed for the mighty RP10 which is claimed to produce vanishingly low levels of distortion, something that the uncannily high resolution of that turntable attests to. It also offers the option to fine tune speed which is not something you find on earlier Rega PSUs, as well as bringing electronic speed switching to models that don’t have this feature. I note that the company is now offering a strobe kit so that you can check speed.

I compared the Neo to the TTPSU that is supplied with the RP8 (surely a situation that will change soon) and found it delivered a tighter sound that had greater transparency and allowed more low level details to come to the fore. It's a taut and tidy result that makes the standard power supply sound a bit vague and muddy. Timing didn’t change markedly but the presentation is calmer which means more music and less distortion is coming out of the speakers. All in all this is a very worthwhile upgrade whose benefits become more apparent with every record you spin. I suspect that it would be equally beneficial with any of the 24V Rega turntables so well worth a try.

Jason Kennedy