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How would you describe the Rega sound?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Hi Five, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Hi Five

    Hi Five pfm Member

    Hello all. First post so be gentle.

    Been looking at the Rega DAC for a few weeks now, along with a new amp and speakers. I've been umming and arring about the amp and speakers for ages, not sure which ones to buy. Now I'm seriously considering a whole Rega setup.

    Been looking at the Brio-R amp and RS3 speakers to go with the Rega dac. Now I've emailed a couple of dealers near me that stock Rega to see if they offer auditions or trials, but I'm interested in what other people's opinions are of the Rega sound.

    How would you describe it?
  2. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    A good starting point for musical hi-fi. I have a soft spot for Rega and the DAC is rxcellent for the money.
  3. Still

    Still beware of the duck

    Welcome Hi Five

    Imo Rega have made some fine equipment.
    For my ears Rega equipment often achieves the all important enjoyable listen.
    Definitely do a home trail if at all possible. It could save you a lot of hassle.

    Cheers - John
  4. arthur

    arthur Banned

    Only heard the RS1's and that was with a nait 5.

    They were just so much fun. Plenty of pep, how music should be done for the non-obsessive.

    Home listen is best though if possible. If not I doubt you'd be disappointed.
  5. PFM20532

    PFM20532 pfm Member

    Sometimes more than a good starting point & the cure not ending in Audiohell

    Full & insight, fun, coherent, no real hifi effects but joy - hard to explain, some think its lacking, others will never leave Rega.

    Cheap and funky

    I can't think of many setup to better say P3/BrioR/Ela or RS1 for the asking price

    Rxcellent - Well done !
  6. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    rega kit is never boring!

    The lastest offerings are truly outstanding for the money, I certainly can't think of a better way to spend your money at the moment.
  7. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    It's pretty damn good regardless, but for the money Rega is really damn good.

  8. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Taken from a thread posted earlier this year.

  9. nugsy

    nugsy pfm Member

    Hi Five - the system you're thinking of would look and sound great; also you might be less tempted to 'upgrade' it than with something like Naim.

    I'm currently using a Rega DAC, Mira 3 and RS1 speakers and it sounds great. Going with all Rega works well since the slightly lush DAC and amp are offset by the lean speakers. if I were starting from scratch, I'd definitely get a Brio-R to match the DAC, they look great and allegedly sound better than a Mira 3.
  10. Helge Gundersen

    Helge Gundersen Active Member

    I've always heard good things about their loudspeakers, which seem to be well liked also by some of those who don't like their electronics.

    My experience is with the original Planet CD player and the last version of the Elex integrated (from the 90s); I have sold both.

    I agree with a lot of the description above from "pranderos", although the conclusions are somewhat different. Rega electronics do seem to try to approach a widespread idea of how vinyl sounds like. Good on timbral substance, you might say. Certainly a clear house sound, deviating from neutral in a little too obvious way for me. I kept noticing the house sound through the music, but others may feel the opposite. The warmth sounded a bit artificial somehow (unlike the warmth of some other equipment I've owned), and the rhythm a little peculiar, kind of slow and energetic at the same time, "groovy" perhaps comes close. I briefly tried the two pieces of electronics together (with Epos ES11), which I didn't like at all (in that setup; a faster and more lively speaker could well have worked better), but the CD player sounded at least OK with the Exposure Super XV integrated (which I used before I got NVA amplification).
  11. nbaptista

    nbaptista pfm Member

    And you didn´t like this, I guess!
    Am I right?
  12. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    rega - the brand that probably gets less criticism at it's price point on PFM than almost any other brand I can think of.

    Probably a budget all Meridian system would fall in the category of least-criticised too.

    Great brands.
    'honest value'

    Try it at home hifive though - with the dealers understanding you may return it. I say this in case you haven't done so, hifi at home will sound completely different than in-shop.
  13. panda

    panda pfm Member

    rega sound is sightly warm never offensive with a little bit of a pep in its step. for people who cant afford naim or cant handle their aggressive sound but still want a holistic system approach.
  14. dave

    dave Plywood King



    Roy and his Regacaster

    Photo shamelessly nicked from from Malcolm Steward's website
  15. Helge Gundersen

    Helge Gundersen Active Member

    Right. It's irritating. The (apparent?) neutrality is a good thing with NVA. My old Exposure amp (still used for phono) did have a certain house sound, but of a kind that I didn't notice while the music was playing, a benign one. To me, it wasn't a long step to NVA, and it was almost a relief to replace the Rega Elex with the Exposure Super XV. (Speaker matching could have been a part of it as well.)
  16. Hi Five

    Hi Five pfm Member

    Hi again.

    Many thanks for all your replies!! It makes for some interesting reading. The general vibe of the thread seems to be positive. But I agree that everyone's taste is different and a trial is a must, preferably a home one if possible.

    I'm still a bit nervous about purchasing this setup. I'll probably be spending around £1700 to acquire the gear - that's the most I've spent on something since buying my car . What else could I get for that price?? Thing is I don't want to be going to a show room and end up being undecided about the Rega sound and the salespeople pushing other products at me - that would just be a nightmare. In my mind of minds I like the look of this Rega setup, but on the other hand I don't want to be too intransigent and not open to new ideas.

    Mid priced hifi gear (I assume Rega is lower mid??) is something that I'm unfamiliar with. The previous setup I was looking at was a Yamaha AS500/Marantz PM6003 with either MA RX2 or B&W 685's - mainly stuff on Whathifi and reading AV forums. Unfortunately I don't think one Rega amp or speakers has been reviewed on Whathifi (the DAC has and got a glowing review by the way). Rega reviews seem to be mainly from forums like these and word of mouth, so when your spending close to 2 grand its seems like a smidgen like a shot in the dark, but I suppose that is what the demo is for.

    The one thing I read about Rega from forums and such is synergy. That the whole setup is greater than the sum of its parts and punches above its weight. I like the idea of that. I'm after a modest system that will give me many hours of pleasurable listening and tame the urge to upgrade in a year or so's time (because I can't afford it basically).

    Rega seems perfect, but I'm still open to ideas.
  17. Whiskeytown

    Whiskeytown New Member

    I have a Rega set up, which I'm very happy with, and will post some thoughts on when I have more time.

    Though as you mention What Hi Fi, the Brio-R is actually reviewed in the current issue (September) and gets a glowing write up. They've also done a few one-make system reviews over the years, which have included Rega systems and have always been very positive. That said, I really wouldn't place too much emphasis on any particular magazine reviews.

    It seems you're doing the right thing and seeking info from as many sources as possible. Ultimately, you really can't beat auditioning the kit yourself. Though do take your time and listen to a variety of options, both in the price bracket below and above.
  18. arthur

    arthur Banned

    The only way is to listen five.

    The recommendations in What HIFI should be taken as very much less than gospel. It's more flavour of the moment and advertising spiel wrapped up as opinion.

    For what it's worth there is a lot to be said for system synergy (although it sounds like cliche). Speakers, amps and dacs that are designed and voiced together are likely to have such a synergy, and Rega have a lot of years practice. :)

    £1700 is indeed a lot of cash. But spread over the ten yrs your new stuff will last ( at least), it's a very worthy investment.

    I've owned B&W's and though worthy, they are, to my taste, mere journeymen compared to the new Rega's.

    As you're buying all the components in one hit it'll be much more difficult to audition than one item at a time in your own hifi.

    The best bet, as you seem to be keen is to lean on the dealer for a home dem. Times are tough and he may well be flexible for the sale.

    If it's not for you then you've a lot of searching to do.

    But that's all part of the fun of our sometimes barking hobby/obsession :D:D

    Good luck.


    Might help
  19. PFM20532

    PFM20532 pfm Member

    If nervous just audition the older Brio3 with R1 or Ela speakers, affordable s/h and great toy
  20. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Here's the bad news -

    Used Cyrus - £100-£300ish depending on model.


    Ruark - these are a bit dear. I'd pay £250 ish, £300 max.


    Meridian 508 (£450 ish)

    About half the price that you're about to blow - and I'd rather own the above.

    Also, if you sell it youd lose maybe 10%-20% instead of 50%.

    Having said all of the above - some people just want 'new' - and there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I want 'new' aswell.

    Don't make the mistake of thinking it's like camera's or computers however - where newer is better.

    This ''tech'' is bloody old :)

    Possible exception of the Rega Dac, but speakers and amps make bigger differences IMO to the sound you get.

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