My experience with three Rega products.

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Guy 13

My experience with three Rega products.
« on: 19 Jul 2014, 02:37 pm »
Please feel free to move my thread to the appropriate topic.
Thanks.

Hi all.

First, I must make it very clear that this post/thread is not to tarnish the reputation of Rega products
and to do some dirty laundry on Audio Circle.
It’s not because little me Guy 13 from planet Vietnam,
find the Rega products not a good value for me,
that it means that it’s not a good value for other AC members.
That’s being said and hopefully out of the way and crystal clear let me share with you what I think about “MY“ Rega products.

Rega Turntable Model P3 -220V.
I find the construction to be (Very) cheap or would it better to say: Light construction.
Which makes this turntable overpriced, for me.
The motor is attached to the chassis via two sided stick tape, very simple, minimalist way of doing something, of course what to expect for an 895 USD turntable.

Rega RB301 Tone arm.
This arm as a serious grounding problem, there was no grounding wire and as per my search on the Internet, I am not the only one with that problem.
(I fixed the problem by adding an external ground wire, I did it, not Rega.)
The VTA adjustment for ticker cartridge is done via a cheap plastic spacer sold at the overpriced of 25 USD. (I am sure it cost them to make (Even in the UK), less than 1 USD/each.
In addition, the design could be improved, if you see one and/or try one, you will understand what I mean.
The tracking adjustment is (Again) cheap plastic with a bizarre adjustment scale and the adjustment is done by sliding a knob in a tube and it can come out of the tube if you pull too much on it.

Rega Exact mm cartridge.
Nothing much to say about the plastic cartridge at 595 USD other than 595 USD for a plastic cartridge.

Rega Apollo CD player.
(Converted from 220V to 120V. by simply switching inside wires.)
It’s very slow to start, it scan the CD (Initializing) to optimize the play. Many other CD players don’t do that and play as good.
With the Rega remote, many times (Even with new batteries) it does weird things, like: Go Fast Forward when you push the play key or hesitate to play a good CD, some times the CD keep spinning, even when the door is open. No big things, but many little annoying things.
Also, the construction is light, very light for an 895USD unit.

To me, the Rega P3 turntable and the Rega Apollo CD players are overpriced for what you pay and get, it’s like the Bose products.
Now, the good things, yes, did you think for one minute that I would only complain (Which I did not).
I got a glass platter, versus some MDF or Acrylic platter on some other brand.
The cartridge 3 bolts mounting system is a very good idea, it eliminate the annoying and time consuming adjustment of the azimuth.
I wish all the turntable/cartridge manufacturers would adopt that standard system.
The Rega Apollo CD player as a Coaxial and Optical outputs, even if I don’t use any of the two, it’s a good idea.
Soon, with the help of a Vietnamese friend, I will compare the sound quality of the Rega built in DAC with an outboard DAC.
Those are my thoughts as a Rega owner.
Please comment, especially if you have exactly the same model of products or experience, but please, do it in a way that’s not making me feel like a complete ignorant or even idiot.
It did happen to me in the past her at AC.
Be nice guys please.
Therefore, for me, it’s the first and last time I am buying Rega products.
I am very disappointed on many points.
I am not saying don’t buy Rega products, but I will say:
Have a look at their competition.

Guy 13
 

FireGuy

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #1 on: 19 Jul 2014, 02:52 pm »
Hello Guy13.  Personally, I rather appreciate this type of personal feedback on gear.  A small piece of the data (research) puzzle most of us put together before parting with our dinero.  And yes, results vary from user to user.  Not all expensive audio gear is the best, and not all inexpensive gear is the worst.  Loudspeakers is the best example of that. 

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #2 on: 19 Jul 2014, 03:18 pm »
Hello Guy13.  Personally, I rather appreciate this type of personal feedback on gear.  A small piece of the data (research) puzzle most of us put together before parting with our dinero.  And yes, results vary from user to user.  Not all expensive audio gear is the best, and not all inexpensive gear is the worst.  Loudspeakers is the best example of that.

Hi FireGuy.
Thanks for the comments.
I forgot to mentioned  or may I add the following?
Via the Rega authorized dealer in Hong Kong I could get the e-mail address of someone at Rega UK
to ask a question about the tracking adjustment.
The turntable had no instruction manual.
Well the response from the Rega UK guy was what I call: Short and sweet.
No great support there.
The local Rega authorized/official dealer/importer where I bought my Rega turntable
was completely useless and I knew more than him about the Rega turntable.
The Rega authorized importer/dealer for Hong Kong (AM promotions) Eric Lo was more knowledgeable and friendly than the guy here on planet Vietnam, that's why I bought my Rega Apollo from him.
Unfortunately, he lost the Rega line, but I kept in contact with him and we met a few times
on my regular trips to Hong Kong.
I've been told by the Rega importer in Hong Kong, that Rega UK don't want all the Rega owner to contact them, they say we should deal with the Rega dealer/store where we bought the Rega products, but the Rega dealer in Vietnam, is not knowledgeable, what should be do???

Guy 13

Wayner

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #3 on: 19 Jul 2014, 07:26 pm »
I believe, like AR turntables, the ground wire is internally connected to the left RCA plug's outer shield, so the extra ground wire does nothing, except invite a ground loop.

Yes, there is no VTA setting, but the arm is made with Rega's cartridges in mind. Using the 3 hole mounting method should align the cartridge and when playing records of the average thickness, should be the correct VTA, no adjustment necessary.

As far as the motor attachment method, please don't fly any Airbus airplanes, as they are assembled the same way.

FullRangeMan

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Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #4 on: 19 Jul 2014, 08:19 pm »
Thanks Guy for your sincere report, it will help anyone that read it.

thunderbrick

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Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #5 on: 19 Jul 2014, 09:13 pm »
This is commentary on equipment, hardly the reason the Personal Touch circle was established.   The only thing personal about it is that it's a personal opinion.   :nono:

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #6 on: 19 Jul 2014, 11:12 pm »
I believe, like AR turntables, the ground wire is internally connected to the left RCA plug's outer shield, so the extra ground wire does nothing, except invite a ground loop.

Yes, there is no VTA setting, but the arm is made with Rega's cartridges in mind. Using the 3 hole mounting method should align the cartridge and when playing records of the average thickness, should be the correct VTA, no adjustment necessary.

As far as the motor attachment method, please don't fly any Airbus airplanes, as they are assembled the same way.

Hi Wayner.
Thanks for your comments, as usual very much appreciated.
I've checked with my meter to see if the shield wire of both RCA
was connected to the inside of the arm, but it was not,
that's why I had to add a separate ground wire.
As for the VTA and 3 holes they are intended for use of their cartridges.
I try not to fly with Airbus products, I am an old fashion guy and I prefer and by far, the good old 747 Jumbo jet., two aisles and plenty of toilets...

Guy 13

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #7 on: 19 Jul 2014, 11:13 pm »
Thanks Guy for your sincere report, it will help anyone that read it.

Hi FULLRANGEMAN.
My pleasure, if it can help someone.

Guy 13

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #8 on: 19 Jul 2014, 11:16 pm »
This is commentary on equipment, hardly the reason the Personal Touch circle was established.   The only thing personal about it is that it's a personal opinion.   :nono:

Hi thunderbrick.
That's the reason of my note at the beginning of my thread.
There are three different parts/subjects to my thread.
Vinyl/analog + Discless + personal opinion.
Thanks for moving my thread where it belongs
with you U-Haul digital moving keyboard.
Thanks.

Guy 13

geowak

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #9 on: 19 Jul 2014, 11:45 pm »
I have only owned the Rega Apollo. Even with the slow startup I still really like this CD player. It reads the disc and stores the info into a buffer, this aids the player in error correction. I also like the 3 ball chuck system for the CD, and the unique way the player opens. A mechanical lid, that will not fail, rather than a electronic drawer system. Keep in mind, this player, this design is very old now. In it's day I think the Apollo was great. I use mine as a transport now, and run it into a Schiit Audio Bifrost Uber DAC. To me, it does sound great for digital playback.

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #10 on: 20 Jul 2014, 12:05 am »
I have only owned the Rega Apollo. Even with the slow startup I still really like this CD player. It reads the disc and stores the info into a buffer, this aids the player in error correction. I also like the 3 ball chuck system for the CD, and the unique way the player opens. A mechanical lid, that will not fail, rather than a electronic drawer system. Keep in mind, this player, this design is very old now. In it's day I think the Apollo was great. I use mine as a transport now, and run it into a Schiit Audio Bifrost Uber DAC. To me, it does sound great for digital playback.

Hi geowak.
Thanks for your comments.
It's always interesting to hear the opinion/experience from someone
that has the same type of equipment.
I am waiting for a Vietnamese audio friend to bring over his DAC (Sonic BG brand) to my place for a listen.
I should find out is the Rega Apollo built in DAC is inferior,
as good or even superior to his (Made in China 1,000 USD+) DAC.
At one time I was considering (Buying) the Schiit Bifrost
(Mainly based on it's reputation, reviews and Made in USA)
but I will see/hear first if my audio friend's
unit can improve the sound quality.
Of course the manual access door is better than a motorized sliding tray, however, I never heard about defective sliding tray, but more components, means more chances to fail.
If one day my Rega Apollo fails (And it will fail one day, that's for sure)
and is too expensive to repair, I might consider something like the OPPO that according to many audiophiles is very good at playing audio CDs and I need in a near future a DVD/BR players anyway.
I also still have a mini system Sony receiver, but the CDs are loaded via a top vertical slot and that scratch (A little) the CDs and it does not sound as good (-15%) as my Apollo. I did a side by side test with two identical CDs.
By the way, is the UBER option really worth the extra 100 USD?
Will I hear a difference, a difference of lets say +20% ?

Guy 13
   


geowak

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #11 on: 20 Jul 2014, 12:44 am »
Guy13
Keep in mind, once again, the Rega DAC will most likely not sound as good as a $1000 DAC. The entire player was not priced at $1000, years ago. The Schiit Bifrost is a great DAC on it's own, but the upgrade to the Uber makes it twice better. IMHO. It get many things right and allows instruments to have the natural tone

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #12 on: 20 Jul 2014, 01:57 am »
Guy13
Keep in mind, once again, the Rega DAC will most likely not sound as good as a $1000 DAC. The entire player was not priced at $1000, years ago. The Schiit Bifrost is a great DAC on it's own, but the upgrade to the Uber makes it twice better. IMHO. It get many things right and allows instruments to have the natural tone

Hi geowak.
Yes, of course, a 1,000 USD DAC is more than a 895 USD Rega Apollo,
therefore sound quality should be improved,
but improved by how much, that's the question.
The purchase of a Schiit Bifrost is only possible if my wife wins the lottery jack pot.
The UBER up grade makes the Bifrost TWICE better for only 100 USD more.
Humm mmm... Interesting.

Guy 13


« Last Edit: 20 Jul 2014, 03:09 am by Guy 13 »

jarcher

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Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #13 on: 20 Jul 2014, 02:17 am »
I've also felt that rega TT seems flimsy - but they are designed light and simple intentionally. The light rigid construction is supposed to make them sound fast and dynamic. Rega does seem to hope / expect you to use their products together vs straying outside Rega land. Rega land can be a nice place to be, but sometimes you want to stray.

I owned both the Rega planet and Apollo CD players. They were both great units for their time, but eventually by 2010 or so they were being outclassed by the competition even in their price category, which was why I moved on. The Apollo does read the table of contents and also has a 20MB buffer, which is why play back isnt immeadiate. The wait is well worth it in terms of setting the EQ for each cd and reducing read errors and the over all quality of playback.  The Apollo would play damn near anything - even really beat up CDs. This is something that many if not most CD players still don't have, the top of the line parasound CD player being a notable exception. Guy - be happy for the minor inconvenience of the wait! 

I always found the Rega CD players to have excellent rhythm with their wolfson DACs and overall smooth and somewhat warmer sound - and in the case of the planet, even euphonic. They and the Rega DAC are not transparency and resolution champs, but always still very listenable. Sins of omission mainly.

Guy - I'd hang on to at least to the Apollo as it makes a great cd transport. In the budget category the schitt Bifrost, parasound zdac (now only $300), musical fidelity v9 (only $300!), and entry level Hegel DACs will all run circles around the DAC in the Apollo and even the Rega DAC. If you can get a chance to hear any of these, I'd recommend it.

The P3 - well, if always been more of the mass loaded school, so any VPI that's in your budget......


FullRangeMan

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Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #14 on: 20 Jul 2014, 02:30 am »
All TTs I have owned was entry level and all crap, for this I moved to CDP, for the same price I get rid of the onipresent his noise and wear.

geowak

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #15 on: 20 Jul 2014, 02:32 am »
I've also felt that rega TT seems flimsy - but they are designed light and simple intentionally. The light rigid construction is supposed to make them sound fast and dynamic. Rega does seem to hope / expect you to use their products together vs straying outside Rega land. Rega land can be a nice place to be, but sometimes you want to stray.

I owned both the Rega planet and Apollo CD players. They were both great units for their time, but eventually by 2010 or so they were being outclassed by the competition even in their price category, which was why I moved on. The Apollo does read the table of contents and also has a 20MB buffer, which is why play back isnt immeadiate. The wait is well worth it in terms of setting the EQ for each cd and reducing read errors and the over all quality of playback.  The Apollo would play damn near anything - even really beat up CDs. This is something that many if not most CD players still don't have, the top of the line parasound CD player being a notable exception. Guy - be happy for the minor inconvenience of the wait! 

I always found the Rega CD players to have excellent rhythm with their wolfson DACs and overall smooth and somewhat warmer sound - and in the case of the planet, even euphonic. They and the Rega DAC are not transparency and resolution champs, but always still very listenable. Sins of omission mainly.

Guy - I'd hang on to at least to the Apollo as it makes a great cd transport. In the budget category the schitt Bifrost, parasound zdac (now only $300), musical fidelity v9 (only $300!), and entry level Hegel DACs will all run circles around the DAC in the Apollo and even the Rega DAC. If you can get a chance to hear any of these, I'd recommend it.

The P3 - well, if always been more of the mass loaded school, so any VPI that's in your budget......

I am pretty much in agreement here, as far as the Rega CD players are concerned. Keep in mind, when talking about Schiit Audio, that two smart guys are the head engineers/design team at Schiit Audio. Mike Moffat of Theta and Jason Stoddard of Sumo. These two have been working on digital for a long time. I think the design choices they have made, and the reasoning behind those choices, say alot about why the products they make sound good for the money. The Bifrost is the most analog sounding piece of digital gear I have. I have heard some better gear, but it was three times higher in price. Another thing that Schiit offers, that no other company is pushing, is upgrade ability. I don't want to spend big money on a DAC every 5 years. With the Bifrost, I upgraded an analog card and installed it myself for $100!

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #16 on: 20 Jul 2014, 03:28 am »
I've also felt that rega TT seems flimsy - but they are designed light and simple intentionally. The light rigid construction is supposed to make them sound fast and dynamic. Rega does seem to hope / expect you to use their products together vs straying outside Rega land. Rega land can be a nice place to be, but sometimes you want to stray.

I owned both the Rega planet and Apollo CD players. They were both great units for their time, but eventually by 2010 or so they were being outclassed by the competition even in their price category, which was why I moved on. The Apollo does read the table of contents and also has a 20MB buffer, which is why play back isnt immeadiate. The wait is well worth it in terms of setting the EQ for each cd and reducing read errors and the over all quality of playback.  The Apollo would play damn near anything - even really beat up CDs. This is something that many if not most CD players still don't have, the top of the line parasound CD player being a notable exception. Guy - be happy for the minor inconvenience of the wait! 

I always found the Rega CD players to have excellent rhythm with their wolfson DACs and overall smooth and somewhat warmer sound - and in the case of the planet, even euphonic. They and the Rega DAC are not transparency and resolution champs, but always still very listenable. Sins of omission mainly.

Guy - I'd hang on to at least to the Apollo as it makes a great cd transport. In the budget category the schitt Bifrost, parasound zdac (now only $300), musical fidelity v9 (only $300!), and entry level Hegel DACs will all run circles around the DAC in the Apollo and even the Rega DAC. If you can get a chance to hear any of these, I'd recommend it.

The P3 - well, if always been more of the mass loaded school, so any VPI that's in your budget......

Hi jarcher.
Thanks for sharing with me and others your experience,
highly appreciated.
For the Rega Apollo, it's paid for (895 USD),
has a fairly good sound,
I don't have the $$$ to buy something else/better.
So, I will keep it.
Now for the DAC, nothing will happen soon,
but I am open to listen to any separate DAC
and use the Apollo as a transport only unit.
A good quality Optical and/or the Coaxial wire
is quite expensive as per my Internet research.
Too bad I'm stuck on planet Vietnam,
otherwise I would take advantage of Schiit trial period.
For the Rega P3 turntable, again, it's paid for
(695 USD + Exact mm cartridge 495 USD)
it's works and soon I will be getting  (Free of charge)
a linear tone arm upgrade (PDR Brand - Made in Canada)
and if my Bellari VP129 is humming and behaving as a FM tuner as before,
I will have to spend some $$$ to upgrade-it to something else.
For a long time, I've been looking at the VPI Scout because look very well made and for me Made in USA is important.
But, I only want to keep my turntable because of all the vintage vinyls
I have and that are close to my hart.
(Beatles, James Last, Kitaro, JM Jarre and the same.)
Eventually, I will get my Nakamichi BX100 repaired by NAK Doc in USA and transfer my vinyls to the cassette, I know, the sound won't be the same, but the cassettes (C90) will wear out, not the vinyls and it will be easier to play them.
Thanks again, time and available $$$ will tell which direction I will take.

Guy 13

By the way, I don't play vinyls because they sound better,
but because they are not available on CDs.

 
 

 

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #17 on: 20 Jul 2014, 03:31 am »
All TTs I have owned was entry level and all crap, for this I moved to CDP, for the same price I get rid of the onipresent his noise and wear.

Hi FULLRANGEMAN.
Yes, that's correct, unless your vinyls are brand new, they might have some surface noise and need more care than CDs.
Since I was raised with vinyls, it's maybe more a nostalgic thing
than better sound, not that the sound is bad.
Minds you, many recordings from the 70-80 suffer from not too good sound.
Thanks.

Guy 13

Guy 13

Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #18 on: 20 Jul 2014, 03:45 am »
I am pretty much in agreement here, as far as the Rega CD players are concerned. Keep in mind, when talking about Schiit Audio, that two smart guys are the head engineers/design team at Schiit Audio. Mike Moffat of Theta and Jason Stoddard of Sumo. These two have been working on digital for a long time. I think the design choices they have made, and the reasoning behind those choices, say a lot about why the products they make sound good for the money. The Bifrost is the most analog sounding piece of digital gear I have. I have heard some better gear, but it was three times higher in price. Another thing that Schiit offers, that no other company is pushing, is upgrade ability. I don't want to spend big money on a DAC every 5 years. With the Bifrost, I upgraded an analog card and installed it myself for $100!

Hi geowak.
Some time ago, I did lots of surfing/search on the Internet for a good headphone amplifier for my Sennheiser HD650 and I push aside the Schiit Valhalla mainly because if it's PCB construction and many owner claim it runned hot, very hot and heat is the major killer of electronics.
But the price was good, it was made in USA, it was small and the sound was good, however, many claimed that the sound was a little cold.
So I bought a Bottlehead Crack.
It's bigger, it's more expensive considering the cost of putting it together by someone else, it also generate heat, but it's point to point wiring, made in USA and tube, I love glowing tube and according to me, the Crack might be easier to repair.
Sorry to have drift from the main topic.
I read lots on the two Schiit owner and I agree 100% they are knowledgeable guys
and have a good sense of humor with their approach with marketing and customers.
I like the design and price of their Bifrost and if I ever decide to go that way, I might seriously consider that Made in USA brand.
However, I have to do some more research and see if my microscopic budget can spare some extra $$$ that were not supposed to be spent on something like that.
Ho, the upgrading stuff.
I call that a disease.
Why they always need to up-grade? To improve, to make better, to make smaller, more performing, more complicated???
Does that mean they original design was that bad if they have to keep up-grading them?
Yes, you have to keep up with customer demand for better and better, but I am happy with what I have. Yes, I want to improve, but not all the time or every 5 years...

Guy 13


   

jarcher

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Re: My experience with three Rega products.
« Reply #19 on: 20 Jul 2014, 03:50 am »
Haven't found a huge sound quality difference with optical cables - and had one of the very best (wireworld nova), so don't suggest you spend much there. Probably better to get a decent entry level RCA digital cable anyway.

For the TT hum / fm tuning issue would suggest a shorter (1m) well shielded interconnect between TT and bellari and to have someone check the internal connections to the rca's particularly on the Rega TT. I had the fm tuning issue until I went for 2M to 1M interconnects. Also had a nasty hum and turns out the RCA connector on the TT was loose. Rega doesn't believe in spending a lot on the RCA connectors. This was the only thing I ever had fail on my Rega CD players.

I've been demoing at home the VPI scout 1.1 and it's very good - the kind of table you could be happy with for the rest of your life.