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(adapted from the history section of Rega’s website)
Like many people, we first discovered Rega when going out to buy a CD player and coming home with new turntable instead, after LPs had been “replaced” by CDs.
This discovery was made by many people and is, we believe mainly due to the introduction of Rega’s own tonearms at exactly the same time as CDs and CD players were coming on to the market. In 1983 after five years of dabbling and two years of intensive development, the RB300 and RB250 tonearms were produced. For ten years Rega had used Japanese and Danish manufactured arms on their turntables but after some searching Roy Gandy, Rega’s founder, found a casting company prepared to work with him to develop an entirely new production method enabling the one-piece tube to be cast.
Rega won an international award for the RB300 casting, presented by Modern Metals ‘awarded in open competition for excellence in the field of Aluminium Die Casting’. In their accompanying letter they wrote: ‘we are still trying to figure out how you produce such a long cored hole so accurately’. This made up for never winning any prizes breeding budgies!
For five years, Rega sold a cartridge, the R100, made to specification in Japan. This was followed by the RB100, which was designed and developed by Rega. However, the cartridge had inevitable design limitations as it was being manufactured by an outside company.
In March 1988 the Bias and Elys cartridges went into production in house and sales exceeded 1000 in the first month, five times more than anticipated! The cartridges were a vital step on the way to a complete Rega system.
Completing the system…
In the summer of 1989 the Ela loudspeaker was introduced. Designed and developed at Rega, they were originally produced in Denmark but soon thereafter were manufactured in house.
In 1991, a period of dramatic expansion was heralded with the move into the world of electronics and the launch of two amplifiers, the Elex and the Elicit. The reason for producing these two amplifiers was simple; Rega was presented with a design it could not resist! Most importantly, the amplifiers fit into the company policy – which is to manufacture high quality, specialist hi-fi components that are reliable, consistent and sensibly priced. This development completed the Rega system.
A new factory was built in 1992 on the Temple Farm Industrial Estate in Southend-on-Sea under Roy’s design and guidance to house the production of loudspeakers and amplifiers and to ensure room for further developments.
Over the past 40 years we have come a very long way. Now selling to more than 40 export markets and producing on average 2000 turntables alone every month, Rega now employ’s almost 90 people in our purpose built 30,000 sq ft design and manufacturing facility in Essex, England.
Rega continues to grow and develop new products, all of which strictly follow those early Rega virtues of excellent build quality, long life and amazing value for money all backed up by a lifetime warranty against manufacture defects.