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Rega IO vs. Brio 2017

Discussion in 'audio' started by greg788, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. greg788

    greg788 pfm Member

    Has anyone compared these directly? Could you summarize the differences in presentation, which you felt was more musical, etc.? I've been searching the forum and elsewhere and I've only found one real comparison, which wasn't very helpful
  2. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    I have both amps. They back up my Croft. I think it will depend on what you want and need from an amp which one you will prefer. The Brio is fuller sounding with deeper bass. A very good amp that can drive most speakers very well. That said, I prefer the presentation of the IO. It’s sound is more balanced, to my ears. It’s also quieter. In fact dead quiet to me. It also feels like it has more power on tap than 30 watts per channel. It sounded great driving my Harbeth’s and my Spendor’s. My guess is that most folks will prefer the Brio.
    mrlamonta, Miss Ariel and Torris12 like this.
  3. Countryman

    Countryman pfm Member

    I’ve had both and am a current Brio owner. The Io is a cracking little amp: clean and dynamic. Brio sounds a little less harsh and more composed, but that’s my opinion. To me it sounds better but it’s not a night and day difference. Budget and number of inputs desired may make your mind up. Nobody would be disappointed with either and they share the same phono stage.
    Torris12 likes this.
  4. seeformiles

    seeformiles Active Member

    Are you saying they both sound harsh to one degree or another?
  5. Countryman

    Countryman pfm Member

    No, not at all. Both Regas are, in my opinion, outstanding amplifiers. The Brio sounded a little more civilised and cultured, whilst retaining great rhythm and dynamics. However, I was reading on a different forum how somebody preferred the Io to both the Brio and the Elex-R.
    Miss Ariel and Torris12 like this.
  6. Robert M

    Robert M pfm Member

    I really want the rega io, but I have all rooms covered, sitting room, bedroom, garden shed, and a naim 5i under the bed and a nad in the wardrobe.
    Still might.
    linnfomaniac83 and G.smith310 like this.
  7. RoA

    RoA pfm Member

    I have not heard either but think they are very fairly priced for products made in the UK plus they look good, especially the Brio.
    Torris12 likes this.
  8. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    Build another garden shed?
  9. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    If there's someone that's going to successfully know how musical a Rega is, is someone that owns a Croft which excels at musicality. But why would you need a backup to the Croft?
    ArtK likes this.
  10. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    In case a tube goes out and I have to wait for delivery...and just for fun.
    gerlando likes this.
  11. gerlando

    gerlando Prog Rocker

    The second one......
    ArtK likes this.
  12. G.smith310

    G.smith310 pfm Member

    @greg788 did you rule out brio r? From reading around it seems that might be similar sounding to the IO (slightly less refined than the brio '17) but with extra inputs and a bit of extra power
  13. RoA

    RoA pfm Member

    There is also Edwards Audio's iA5. Several versions, with/without Phono, RC. Similar cost to the Brio.

    Made in the UK too, I believe.

    Maybe worth comparing side by side.
  14. Hip-Priest

    Hip-Priest Not hip. Not a priest.

    Interesting - I've not heard of Edwards Audio...
  15. seeformiles

    seeformiles Active Member

    Any ideas for a pair of easy-to-drive speakers to match the IO in a small room setup (4x3m)?

    The new Kytes are on my list and probably the way to go in terms of synergy, but they're pretty small and I like rock music :)- any bigger standmounts I should consider? Mind you, I don't need earth shattering bass - just a bit more foundation and body to the music, and easy on the ears (no harshness up top).
  16. RoA

    RoA pfm Member

    Lower end B&W are renowned for bass but I am not sure about treble.

    A good all-rounder for me was the Quad S2.
  17. greg788

    greg788 pfm Member

    yes, I went with the Io .... my speakers are extremely easy to drive and all I'm reading points to the Io being the more musical, less ruthless amp of the two
    Torris12 likes this.
  18. Miss Ariel

    Miss Ariel pfm Member

    I got an IO yesterday and am really enjoying it.Sounding better tonight as has been powered up 24 hours.Have been using it in my main system with some 91 db Focal floorstanders so an easy load.
    But it will be relagated to a 2nd system in another room soon.
    For a 30 watt amp it's great.Basslines are tuneful and the top end is great,certainly not fatiguing at all.
    Lovely little amp.I reminds me of a Naim Nait 1 I had years ago but better.
    Having a remote is really nice as I have never had a remote on a amp,so no getting up!
    Just brilliant from Rega - lovely styling and complements my Fono 2 phono stage beautifully.
    Robn, jamesd, Mr Pig and 7 others like this.
  19. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Thanks a lot for these very detailed and pin point comments, very appreciated and useful.
    I’m starting to see the replacement for the Nait 1 and 2 with this new shoe box integrated !
    Torris12 and Miss Ariel like this.
  20. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    I agre its stunning value really
    Not the last word but involving like hell, maybe even a tad better performed than Brio.
    Not for those who want Bling, 250W and 25kg.
    Torris12 and Miss Ariel like this.

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