Rega P3-24/Elys 2 review

Best turntable up to £300–£600, Awards 2010. Up and running, this deck is a sonic superstar. It latches onto the musical message with a skill that eva Tested at £508

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Our Verdict

Best turntable up to £300–£600, Awards 2010. An exceptionally musical deck for the money, and it’ll last, too

For

  • Excellent all-round sound
  • very involving listen
  • fine build
  • ease of set-up
  • upgrade potential good

Against

  • Like all turntables, needs care in positioning

The Rega P3 turntable has been going for more years than some of us care to admit we can remember. Bar a change in arm a couple of decades ago, the deck doesn't seem to have changed much. However, though the P3-24 looks just like the old one, the plinth, arm and motor have all been changed in an attempt to improve performance.

Rega can supply the P3-24 without a cartridge for £100 less than the price we've quoted, but most will be sold with the Elys 2 moving-magnet cartridge pre-fitted to our review sample. This is simple kit and, if you buy it with the cartridge, there's little set-up apart from finding a rigid surface for it to sit on, and adjusting the arm.

Build quality is excellent for the money: the main bearing tolerances are impressive and the RB301 tonearm – a development of the class-dominating RB300 – feels thoroughly engineered.

Shout about the super sound
Up and running, this deck is a sonic superstar. It latches onto the musical message with a skill that evades most class rivals. Listen to Mary J Blige's No More Drama, or Orff's Carmina Burana, and you'll find the Rega's timing and dynamics are class-leading, as is the overall level of transparency. Spend more on a turntable and you'll get greater insight into a recording, particularly at the frequency extremes, but at this price it's a strong contender for top spot.

Should you wish to upgrade, Rega also makes an outboard power supply for £150. It's something we hope to try out soon.

Provided you site this Rega with some sympathy and partner it with a decent system, we think you'll love it. It's a real pleasure to use and an absolute joy to hear.

Click here to watch our video review of the Rega P3-24/Elys 2.