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Rega Aria alternatives

Discussion in 'audio' started by Seanm, Jan 15, 2022.

  1. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Had an Aria for a while, through lots of other changes. Can’t help wondering though. Can it be dramatically improved upon for under a grand 2nd hand? MM and MC would be good as I swap things around a fair bit. Carts are Nagaoka MP500 and AT Art 9.
     
  2. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Interested in this as I have an Aria too and I'm perfectly happy with it.

    Had a Graham Slee Jazz Club with the bigger PSU, same as the Era Gold but with more features. Also a good stage, not better than the Aria, just different. Warmer sound, more 'analogue', but smaller sound stage and less dynamic. Also MM only.

    I kept the Aria because it is effectively neutral, just lets through what goes in but is very clear, clean and detailed. Plus it does both MM and MC and both sections are good.

    If I only used MM and needed a warmer sound I could live happily with the Graham Slee but the Aria is less coloured and can run any cartridge you like.
     
  3. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Yes, happy with mine too, but haven’t compared it to many alternatives: an Edwards Audio MC3 (?) and some on board numbers (Quad 99, Exposure 3010s2d, Croft integrated and 25). The Aria seemed a little fuller than most, which I like.
     
  4. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    The other obvious choices are the Hegel stage (which I've not heard, but got good reviews FWIW), and the Chord Huei (which I have heard, and own).

    I have had an Aria (think it was a Mk1) on extended loan from my dealer a few years ago, and liked it a lot. The problem was that in my system there was a definite hum, slightly improved by repositioning. I thought it was a great sounding stage - perhaps with a bit of sweetness.

    The Chord has replaced a Ryan Sound Labs stage for me. I really like the RSL (which may be up for sale soon), but they're no longer made, and are MC only.

    The ergonomics and design of the Chord are a bit marmite, but I like them; and the button based load and gain switching mean you can make adjustments on the fly, and are remembered by the unit if you switch it off.

    Sonically, it's very quiet and crisp and seems to have a lot of synergy with the Ania Pro cart currently on my P6.
     
    Seanm likes this.
  5. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Under a £Grand I liked the Trilogy 906 the best of any I’ve tried/bought, most of the usuals over the years, be around £6-700 used.
    https://static1.squarespace.com/sta...1f7b37/1567297564769/906+Product+Brochure.pdf
     
    Seanm likes this.
  6. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I reckon it would have been something else tripping things up as the Aria is a very quiet stage. I've ran low output MC carts through it with no noise.
     
  7. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Dynavector P75, especially with MCs.
     
    Amber Audio and Seanm like this.
  8. cromodora

    cromodora foshfishfie

    I prefer the Cyrus Sig over the Aria.
    And its not just about being able to tweak loading on the fly.
    The Cyrus just sounds alive, energizes the listening room.
    If you can look past the plebe brand, outdated box and ancient lcd display, the Cyrus Sig phono is stonkingly good for the money.
     
    Seanm likes this.
  9. andvinylly

    andvinylly hit that long lunar note

    Another thumbs up for the Trilogy 906,my mate went from the Aria to an Avid Pulsus when he he upgraded from Rega's RP6 to the RP10,and couldn't be happier, though you would be doing very well to get one for under a grand
     
    Seanm and Mr Pig like this.
  10. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    What does it sound like? In what ways is it better?
     
    MUTTY1 likes this.
  11. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    I’d have mentioned the P75 it if he had a low output DV, I’ve kept my Mk4 to go with an XX2 when I swap decks around again, it’s an excellent stage.
     
    matt j likes this.
  12. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    The new Trilogy 906i rrp is £1295, the old 906 was £995, I sold mine for £600. Maybe he has the 907 was £1795 but jumped when a disti got involved by £1k. HHNRR has a review of it at the old price, new price is £2895. I bought one but wasn’t blown away, defo diminishing returns, that and the psu casework doesn’t match!
     
    Seanm and Mr Pig like this.
  13. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    I find it’s excellent with LOMC but not so good with some MM, the cap starts at 200, the PSX adds a bit to the party but it’s not really a good vfm upgrade. Don’t see them come up used often but might get lucky, was one on ebay in Nov in budget. Being able to change settings while playing LPs is great plus it has inputs for 4 arms/carts.
     
    Seanm and Mr Pig like this.
  14. andvinylly

    andvinylly hit that long lunar note

    When I compared the 906 against the Avid Pulsus, using the same set up,i thought the Avid had a bigger soundstage, timbre of instruments more lifelike and there seemed to to be less roll off at the frequency extremes,dont get me wrong the Trilogy is very good, but I could tell what the extra cash buys you
     
    Seanm likes this.
  15. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Arkless Electronics phono stages obviously!
     
    Mynamemynaim and Miss Ariel like this.
  16. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Are you taking orders for the GTI Jez? I’d certainly put my name down for the loaner if that’s still doing the rounds.
     
  17. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Aren't Jez's MC only?
     
  18. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    I believe so, but at the price I’m thinking I could keep the Aria, or make do with the internal MM stage of a pre or integrated.
     
    matt j likes this.
  19. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    In the fairly near future I will be taking orders and the demo unit will go on another UK tour. The demo unit is a GTi.

    The GTi is MC only whilst the Arkless 640P is MM and MC.

    The GTi is a transimpedance stage, ie "current input", which makes all loading considerations etc superfluous but means it is very definitely MC only.

    The Arkless 640P is "conventional" and can be switched between MM and MC. Loading for either can be anything you want according to which loading plugs are used in the spare sockets which were once used for the MM input before conversion.

    They are of equally good quality in terms of design and parts used etc but the operating methodology of the GTi gives it an advantage over the MC setting of the Arkless 640P. Not that the MC setting of the Arkless 640P is deficient or anything! I'm confident (and reviews confirm) that it is more than a match for any price rival.... it's just that, for MC's specifically, the GTi is significantly better still and comparable to units up to £2K in many instances.
     
  20. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Ok cool, like the sound of the GTI in particular. I’ll keep my eye out for an announcement, and a donor unit.
     
    Arkless Electronics likes this.

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