Rega fans out there will know that we have always questioned the marketing and science surrounding turntables. Experiments and research have allowed us to debunk most commonly held beliefs and use real engineering to produce world beating sound quality at sensible prices. However, the loudspeaker market is very different because a valid scientific and engineering discipline exists which in turn has created hundreds of competitors in the loudspeaker marketplace. The success of many loudspeakers depends on powerful marketing, eye watering advertising budgets (of which Rega spends zero) and financial inducement to retailers. The funds that most loudspeaker companies would spend on marketing Rega has put it all in to research and develop to achieve a totally unique cabinet constructions and our own high frequency unit and bass/midrange driver (incorporating a four layer voice coil). We even manufacture and wind our crossover components in house.
So why phenolic? Historically the accepted perception of a loudspeaker was a rectangular shaped wood veneered cabinet to compliment household wood furniture.
The market has always demanded loudspeakers to be furniture and since the 90’s European manufacturers were left with the choice of Far Eastern manufacturing or inflated prices for home built wooden cabinets. However, recent times have seen the world change styling perceptions and there has been a wholesale investment in modern moulding shapes and the use of functional materials. Injection moulded plastic loudspeaker cabinets are not new but flexible moulded plastic has been reserved for the PA world or small desktop loudspeakers where convenience and portability were a priority over sonic performance. This more recent domestic acceptance of non-wood functional cabinet shapes has allowed Rega to achieve a long term dream. We have made a massive investment into injection moulding of stiff thermoset phenolic resin and collaborated with British company to achieve it. The natural stiffness of phenolic resin is a big advantage which has been further enhanced with ceramic plates and a complex internal cross brace structure. This unique cabinet constructions has been achieved at one third of the price of other British made quality loudspeakers.