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Turning the tables with igus® and Rega

For the dedicated music lovers amongst us, the name REGA will probably be a familiar name to your ears…

Vinyl records were the “in thing” in the late 70’s/ early 80’s but they took a massive nose dive in popularity terms towards the end of the 80’s; the introduction of the CD started its revolution.

One person not deterred by the depreciation of vinyl’s was Roy Gandy, the founder of Rega Research. His love for music started very young and continued to grow as he did. By the mid 70’s, Roy had designed his first high end turntable.

He was so dedicated to creating a product that would do justice to the music, that he continued his day job working at Fords as a technical editor and made the turntables in the evening or any spare time he had. That was 50 years ago.

Now, in the 21st Century, our love for vinyl records have been rejuvenated and the increase in record players has gone through the roof. This is highlighted with REGA and their production of numerous beautifully sleek designed turntables. They have continued to intensively develop over the years and have become more advanced through years of learning, developing and adapting. Throughout the developing process, REGA has discovered and grown a support network of suppliers that they can rely on to provide the same high quality that REGA and its consumers have come to expect.

This is where igus® stepped in.

xiros ball bearing

REGA needed something that we could offer; they needed bearings that would require no lubrication, that had a long-life expectancy, a shield from dust, were ROSH and REACH compliant and readily available to a high standard of quality. Together, igus® and REGA developed that exact ball bearing.

As with all great things, this didn’t happen over night and there was a multitude of discussions, design iterations and visits to and from REGA’s home in Southend on Sea and the igus® headquarters in Cologne. xiros® Product Manager Dean Aylott and Head of Design, Jason Gregory spent 18 months with REGA developing the bearing to what it is now.  

Context on where the bearings are situated within the turntable:

igus® bearings are used in both the Planar 1 and Planar 2, these two turntables both use tonearms that utilise the igus® polymer bearings. The RB110 tonearm on the Planar 1 and the RB220 tonearm on the Planar 2.

The resulting arm features a total of four igus® xiros® bearings, two on its vertical axis and a further two on its horizontal axis; this is perfectly balanced and has no drag. The igus® bearings are low friction, silent, low vibration and is made more prominent when comparing the igus® bearing with its metal counterpart.

REGA turntable

igus® are currently working with REGA on some brand new projects, some using the xiros® ball bearings and some using some of our other specialist bearing solutions.

REGA continue to produce high end turntables using cutting edge technology. The support of UK suppliers is paramount, not only for quality but based on geography! It is imperative that UK businesses support each other to continue to be self sufficient on our little island.  

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