Groovetracer Subplatters

Happy 2024, everyone! We here at AnalogPlanet central hope you all had a great holiday season, and are ready to tackle a new year ahead that is sure to be met with many great gear and LP options for us all to peruse, review, discuss, and share together.

In the meantime, I wanted to delve further into a cool piece of gear that popped up in the second installment of our recurring Table Toppers feature back in December. As you may recall, faithful AP reader Jake Juros, MD, a psychiatrist based in Los Angeles, regaled us with an amazing system that included a Rega RP6 turntable with a Groovetracer subplatter upgrade, sitting on a Rega Turntable Wall Shelf (as seen below). Jake explained that he “chose the Rega for its looks, and its ability to be wall-mounted easily. My previous TTs weren’t as nice — lower-end Technics models — so it was a solid upgrade. I then tweaked it with a great subplatter from Groovetracer.”


With all that in mind, I wanted to learn more about said Groovetracer subplatter tweak option, as well as see what other gear/accessories the company might have to offer to the AP cognoscenti writ large. Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the least with what I found.

First, some history. Groovetracer, whose manufacturing facility is located 40 miles south of San Francisco, has been manufacturing products for Rega turntables since 2005, after having seen a need to improve upon the stock Rega subplatters that, with a few limited exceptions, are said to be mass-produced using a phenolic resin material. Groovetracer feels that stock Rega subplatter assembly in its final form is (in their words) “compromised,” and that it is “an inferior part that plays a major role in defining both pitch and speed stability.” This is where Groovetracer enters the subplatter picture with their own customized upgrade models.


The most recent Groovetracer subplatter assembly option is their RP6, Planar 6 (a.k.a. P6), and Planar 8 (a.k.a. P8) Reference subplatter, which deploys the same jewel bearing design of their prior, single-named Reference subplatter model that features a sapphire thrust plate bonded to the bottom of the hardened steel (RC 62) bearing shaft, along with a zirconia (ZrO2) bearing ball. A polished stainless-steel spindle is fitted to the top of the hub to complete the assembly.

Groovetracer notes that the Reference model’s spindle is decoupled from the main bearing shaft in order to eliminate “any micro vibrational energy transfer from the thrust point to the playing surface,” then they posit that “improvements over the stock unit include a (quieter) lower noise floor due to lower friction created by the jeweled bearing,” which “allows inner detail and overall ambient retrieval to be fully realized.”

Speed stability is said to be further improved because of the “close tolerance (concentricity)” of the bearing shaft and hub assembly. Said concentricity is given as being “0.0005 inch or better.” No adjustments to the turntable itself are required following the subplatter installation, which is said to take less than five minutes to enact. Other items supplied to complete the subplatter install include a magnet (to remove the existing steel ball bearing), alcohol swab, and a vial of bearing oil. Finally, the SRP for the RP6/P6/P8 Reference subplatter is $300.

Further, seeing how this particular subplatter version is not compatible with the RP8, Groovetracer offers a separate RP8 upgrade package for $695 that also includes the company’s Delrin platter (in either black or white), Planar 8 Reference subplatter, tonearm shim with three longer screws, and bushing. The upgrade package option with the Acrylic platter (instead of the Delrin platter) has an SRP of $645.


Incidentally, the earlier-introduced Groovetracer subplatter options are known specifically as the (also aforementioned, and shown above) Reference (SRP: $275), Deluxe ($250), and Standard ($235). According to Groovetracer, these subplatters are comparable with the following ’tables — 2016 Rega Planar 1, and 2, and 3; Rega Planar 2, 3, and 25; Rega P1, P2, and P3; Rega P3-24, and P5; Rega RP1, RP3, and RP40; NAD 533, C552, C555, and C556; Goldring; and Moth Alamo. Groovetracer strongly suggests — well, requires — that you indicate your specific model of turntable when you place your subplatter order.

For further pricing context, the above-noted Groovetracer platter upgrades run as follows: the Acrylic platter has an SRP of $299, while the Delrin platter is $350. The company also offers a record weight/clamp ($140), and a universal counterweight ($199).

For more about Groovetracer, go here.
For direct ordering of any/all Groovetracer gear and/or to peruse all the pricing options, go here.


Pretzel Logic's picture

…noise floor, have Rega ever sorted out the shielding/hum issue with RP6?

Jakers's picture

I didn't know there was a large-scale issue but it makes sense. I had a hum in my RP6 starting day one which I believed was the fault of my installation/system/etc until, after I had exhausted all sorts of 'remedies' on my own, took it back to the dealer who fixed the wiring in the tonearm. I was led to believe that the wiring came loose during transport. Is there more to this story?

Pretzel Logic's picture

Some online have complained of a buzz due to tonearm wiring, but many more get hum as the tonearm gets closer and closer to the motor at the spindle... Consensus is it's a shielding issue that is very difficult to remedy. Some have apparently had success with copper foil.

vinylvalet's picture

It's cartridge dependent with unshielded Grados being the worst.

There is a commercial product that reduces this hum considerably, a mu metal shield called the Humbucker made by Hagerman Audio Labs for $39.

Ovive1938's picture

No one can ignore a fun game like suika game

Tdiddey's picture

I can possibly maybe see the point of the GT subplatters on the vintage/older P2/P3/P5 ect tables but the modern P6 TTables in the current line on up have well designed metal subplatters developed for and with the current bearings. Rega tables are systems Just my opinion here but folks who want to out a Delrin platter on a Rega table should maybe buy another make of table.