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Rega Apollo vs. Arcam CD73

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
In my agonizing deliberations on upgrading my CDP, I'm now looking at either the Apollo or the CD73. From everything I've read, common sense would tell me that the Apollo is the choice to go with. However, the top loader is a real turn off, particularly because of my current set up. I will need to buy a whole new audio rack to accomodate the Apollo which will no doubt cause me configuration headaches.

Is there any reason why I should consider the Arcam over the Rega? Not withstanding used or discounted players and looking at the list price only, is the Rega worth the extra cost?

Again, based on my research it appears the Apollo is the clear winner. I just want to make sure that the inconvenience of the top loader (for me at least), as well as the additional cost of a new audio rack, will be worth it over getting the Arcam.
post #2 of 17
Mmm, I am certainly no expert, but while I liked the Apollo, I didn't have any problems with the CD73 through an Arcam amp.

Did you get a chance to listen to either one? Especially in your system.

And not sure how much of an issue this really is, but the manual door of the Apollo seems much less prone to wearing out than any motor based transport (such as the one on the Arcam).
post #3 of 17
I had both in the house. Returned the Arcam because I couldnt stand it.
It had enormous soundstage, great bass, fantastic detail, yet.....no musicality. Vague, I know, but it started to irritate me very quickly and I never ever could really enjoy the music. Then I bought myself another rega planet which I could just about stand; small soundstage, grayish sound, rolled off treble, muffled sound, but musical. Eventually, a year ago I switched to the Apollo and have been in audioheaven ever since. For the very first time since I bought my first CDP 20 years ago I now can really enjoy music through CDs. It doesi t all, soundstage, detail, bass (far better then the planet in my system), but above all, real musicality!
I know it's me, I seem to be allergic to high freq distortion or so, strange thing is, there are some DAPs I can really enjoy, especially Sony's (but not Ipods and Irivers, can't stand their sound, neither did I like sony PCDPs).
Anyway, in my book the Apollo is fantastic.

If you go into a shop and do a quick demo it's probable that you'll be more impressed by the Arcam, more highs, more bass, bigger soundstage, more details.
But you buy a CDP to enjoy music, not to hear every detail (I hope).
Take your time, take care to relax, do a careful comparison, see what you enjoy more, I know I would chose.
post #4 of 17
I agree. The difference between Rega and all other CDP/DAC is that Rega puts the human factor back into the music, as in the person is playing rather than the mere reproduction of sound and notes. This effect is quite subtle and cannot be heard in quick A/B, but long term effect is guaranteed .
post #5 of 17
I will take any time the more musical player to a hyper detailed player. In the end, you'll be missing something. Musicallity is very important, as detail is, but you gotta have a good mix of both to be able to enjoy music. Good measure is that you have to listen to the music for a long time; if you don't get any fatigue, it's a good player. if it irritaes you after a while or makes you getting headaches, it's not a good player. A good system should give you great music for hours without any fatigue.
post #6 of 17
Sorry to expand your list further, but after extensive auditioning of the Rega and Arcam, I went for the Naim CD 5i. In terms of musicality, the Naim won hands down! I didn't believe in this PRAT stuff until now, but now I'm a convert! As always, these are my impressions and may not match your own expectations of the perfect sound. Do find a dealer to audition the Naim though, I believe you won't regret it.

FWIW, although I initially decided on the 5i, I eventually went for the 5x after trying it out. Way over my original budget but worth the difference IMHO.
post #7 of 17
I was thinking of one of these. I have no way to audition an Apollo though. The 73 was really good though. Not a bad pairing with RS-1s and Ibasso P2. I could use a better amp with more bass, but most stuff sounded great.

I don't listen to modern cds anymore, anything with heavy dynamic range compression. I never find old cds fatiguing. I couldn't see the Arcam causing me any fatigue even with something like 90s Cradle of Filth cds.

The detail was great, tones were rich, soundstage spread out, and it made my vinyl rips sound phenomenal. It also took out almost all the harshness in discs that are harsh on my laserdisc player.

If the Apollo could do all that and make it more analog, I'd be in favor. But I don't think I'd spend hundreds extra for an Apollo over this, at least without being able to audition it.
post #8 of 17
This is an important discussion for me. I have been changing headphones (all the way from k701s to hd650s) amps (from Headroom mico amp/dac to HR balanced amp/dac) but have stuck with a Cambridge 540 c cd player (known to be overly bright and not a great performer) because it's "just a transport." I am having pain and pressure in my ears (I actually am having a CAT scan on Monday. Inflamed sinus/eustachian tube related or unrelated to headphone listening?) but bottom line I always experience fatigue, hear sibilance and an edge of brittle harshness particularly on vocals. I was considering going to an Arcam cd 73. Just tonight in fact, weighing the decision when I saw this thread. Any further words of wisdom? I really want it all. Musicality but something to compliment my current set-up of HR balanced, 650 phones and Equinox balanced cables. Of course I have no $ to spare 'cause I already blew it all so I'm be looking in the forum or Audiogon.
post #9 of 17
Considering that the price of the Apollo has increased, slightly, you might want to also consider the Cambridge Audio 840c... which is a totally different beast from the 540c!! Just my .02 cents.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, since I started this thread, FWIW I ended up going with the Onkyo DX-7555. It's cheaper than both the Rega and Arcam, sounds great, and I'm happy with it which is all that matters.

To be honest, I never even got the chance to listen to either of the other CDPs. I was especially hoping to audition the Apollo but at half the price, the Onkyo has exceeded my expectations and I have no regrets about my decision.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by wpk123 View Post
Sorry to expand your list further, but after extensive auditioning of the Rega and Arcam, I went for the Naim CD 5i. In terms of musicality, the Naim won hands down! I didn't believe in this PRAT stuff until now, but now I'm a convert! As always, these are my impressions and may not match your own expectations of the perfect sound. Do find a dealer to audition the Naim though, I believe you won't regret it.

FWIW, although I initially decided on the 5i, I eventually went for the 5x after trying it out. Way over my original budget but worth the difference IMHO.
I really love the Naim, with its mellow highs, its sense of rhytm and great dynamic. Plus it has an awesome look and a great original steel drawer. The match would be between the Naim and the Rega IMO, the Rega being very warm and analog as its been said.
Not that the Arcam is not good, but more on the neutral side, with good extension at both ends of the spectrum, but lacking that extra-analog-musicality required to soften digital harshness.
post #12 of 17
I would go for a Naim over a Rega. Rega's are too laid back and and dont come close to the rhythm and dynamics of a Naim cd player. Perhaps the Naims lack soundstage over other players like the Esound and also the exceptional bass of the eEsound.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
In my agonizing deliberations on upgrading my CDP, I'm now looking at either the Apollo or the CD73. From everything I've read, common sense would tell me that the Apollo is the choice to go with. However, the top loader is a real turn off, particularly because of my current set up. I will need to buy a whole new audio rack to accomodate the Apollo which will no doubt cause me configuration headaches.

Is there any reason why I should consider the Arcam over the Rega? Not withstanding used or discounted players and looking at the list price only, is the Rega worth the extra cost?

Again, based on my research it appears the Apollo is the clear winner. I just want to make sure that the inconvenience of the top loader (for me at least), as well as the additional cost of a new audio rack, will be worth it over getting the Arcam.


Based off recent,but short listening impressions of both,I would go with the Arcam hands down.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny Calavera View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
In my agonizing deliberations on upgrading my CDP, I'm now looking at either the Apollo or the CD73. From everything I've read, common sense would tell me that the Apollo is the choice to go with. However, the top loader is a real turn off, particularly because of my current set up. I will need to buy a whole new audio rack to accomodate the Apollo which will no doubt cause me configuration headaches.

Is there any reason why I should consider the Arcam over the Rega? Not withstanding used or discounted players and looking at the list price only, is the Rega worth the extra cost?

Again, based on my research it appears the Apollo is the clear winner. I just want to make sure that the inconvenience of the top loader (for me at least), as well as the additional cost of a new audio rack, will be worth it over getting the Arcam.


Based off recent,but short listening impressions of both,I would go with the Arcam hands down.



Sorry to drudge up an older thread, but I couldn't resist weighing in here. As you might be able to guess I would go with (and went with) the Arcam, hands down too. Contrary to some other views expressed so far, I found the Rega to be a touch too analytical, and the Arcam was actually the player that was more musical. I listened very closely to both of them for a number of hours. What I kept saying to myself was that the Arcam was 'better judged'--- it was just a better judge of the sonic challenges with which it was presented. The Rega in contrast seemed to be a little 'peaky' and started to sound just a little challenged holding dynamic complex material in a coherent, presentable picture. If anything, Arcam products are a little on the 'polite' side, compared with many of their competitors. But to me, that translates to more enjoyable musicality in the long run. Not as flashy, but it gets it right better, it knows how to execute the inevitable sonic compromises to effect the greatest musicality.

 

Don't get me wrong, the Rega is a damn fine player (and I happily own a Rega P3 turntable). But I was more impressed with its less expensive competitor.

 

post #15 of 17

I still haven't found a cd player I like anywhere as much, even after listening to lots of players and dacs at Can Jam last year. Even amongst the other in production Arcam players, I like this one a lot more. Never heard the FMJ variety though. I always found it to have a warmer, meatier, wider, more alive sound than other sources I've heard. Think it shines a lot more now that I switched to K701s from RS1s and HF2. 

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