(Words: Chris Martens; Images: Alan Sircom)
Directly after the Munich High-End show, Hi-Fi+ Editor Alan Sircom and I had an opportunity to visit the Rega Research factory on the outskirts of Southend-on-Sea, in Essex, UK. During our visit, we had the opportunity to see how Rega products are developed and manufactured, but more importantly we had the opportunity to talk with a number of Rega staff members—and in particular with company founder Roy Gandy—to learn what really makes the company “tick.”
Some background information will prove helpful. 2013 will mark Rega’s 40th anniversary and over those forty years the firm has grown to become a world-renowned producer of turntables, tonearms, phono cartridges, amplifiers, digital audio components, and loudspeakers—all of them made almost entirely by hand in the Southend factory. Where many audio firms have moved product off shore, Rega has deliberately taken the opposite tack. In short, at Rega the term “made in the U.K.” means precisely what it says—as in “our products are built, in their entirety and right down to the smallest bolt, screw, and lock-washer, in England.” This distinction forms a hugely significant part of Rega’s corporate identity.