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Rega Apollo & Saturn Buyers Beware... - Page 4

post #46 of 62
I bought a Saturn...I drive to work every day in it.
post #47 of 62
Thread Starter 

This Is Not So Much...

This is not so much an issue for buyers of "new" units... as for buyers of "used" units.

Rega seems to honor their warranty... but it only covers the original buyer. It you're buying a new unit from an authorized Rega dealer - you shouldn't be too concerned about Rega taking care of your unit, if you have issues with it.

But... and that's a BIG BUT... if you're considering buying a "used" unit (e.g Audiogon, eBay, Headfi, whereever), you should take great care - because your unit will not be covered under their warranty. You're "on your own."

Obviously... the frequency of the tracking issues (at least in the past)... presented a signficant risk to such a buyer (and still does)... and... likely an unacceptable risk. That risk, also, abnormally depressed the resale values of those "used" units. So, even if you bought a "new" unit... you were unnecessarily harmed by Rega's slow reaction to resolving the tracking issues - you couldn't sell your "used" unit for a reasonable market price, because of this unnecessary risk.

The original post was intended to inform potential buyers of "used" units, that they may encounter such a risk of tracking issues, as well as to alert buyers of "new" units, that they might not be able to resell their units at a fair price, when they decided to upgrade, because of this risk.

When they realize they have such a fundamental issue with their units, ideally, a good (honest / reliable) manufacturer issues a "recall" to resolve the issue, or at least agrees to honor their warranty, for any buyer of the affected units, whether "new," or "used." They acknowledge the problem, and support the resale price of "used" units by extending their warranty to those units. This is what Rega should have done... and... still should do. Its the fair and honest thing to do, if they care about good customer relations, as well as their reputation.

I have no idea, whether they've done that, or whether they've resolved the tracking issues in their current "new" units. But... there can be little rational disagreement that it should have been their policy to do so... if Rega is a reliable / honest manufacturer. If they haven't adopted such a policy... the fact that they haven't... should be enough for most prospective buyers to avoid any Rega product... unless they intend to hold their "new" unit... forever.
post #48 of 62
There are a couple discs that won't play on my Apollo but typically those tend to be poorly recorded or old discs. It doesn't bother me. The player sounds quite good, better IMO than any I've heard in its price range.

For many, it may be their stepping stone to the high end. They buy the rega, then upgrade to a cary, esoteric, arcam fmj, muscial fidelity, etc. A lot of these players have been sold because it is so well regarded, but to many people it is the bug that bit them, so they start on the upgrade path.
post #49 of 62
Rega is fully aware of the problems, their dealer network has provided plenty of feedback especially when they receive a return and have to supply a new player, do you think they just throw the player away and eat the cost, hell no. Rega knows, they are guilty of ignoring the facts, I have never seen an acknowledgement that there is a problem and the problem has been fixed, this is not just a few players going bad, it is more widespread than that. On top of the reliability issue I didn't find the player to be very pleasing sonically especially for the price, of course these are just my opinions but I have no tolerance for companies that take advantage of the buying public.
post #50 of 62

apollo controversy

i absolutely agree that those who put there products in the public domain ought to stand by them during the warrenty period.
quality control seldom improves to any great level if manufacturers cut there overhead by selectively anulling warrenties so they can cut any losses in repair costs or updateing of units. besides creating poor public image to those looking for reliable products in the long run the original owner may have trouble selling his functioning unit because of poor reputation that has caught up with the unit. at the least the unit may have less resale value.
it is a fine line if you are a business man... buying or selling.

The Sound Organisation - Importers and Distributors ..... usa distrib. for rega
972 234 0182


post #51 of 62
I just bought a Rega Apollo off of a fellow Head-Fi'ier (thanks Brian) and I must say that it destroys my Toshiba HD-A3 for cd playback. I am hearing more detail from my all discs. The player is the only thing I changed, same interconnects and amplifer. The best part though is that the instruments actually sound like instruments, and the width and depth of the soundstage dramatically increasing. The Apollo gets two thumbs up from me.
post #52 of 62
Originally Posted by robert View Post
About a week ago, it started doing a repeat skip on pristine discs (not a scratch or smudge). The last couple of days, it just halts. I've had it about 6 months. Rega extolls their super secret programming. Not.
I finally got tired of the issue, and took it into the dealer, thinking that I had gotten back within the first year. Missed by a few weeks. Nevertheless, Sound Org, apparently, did a rebuild of the machine. It's been working without a hitch, and does sound very nice.

Mine was built June, 2007. Given the lack of postings in 2008 with issues, I'd wager that whatever needed fixing got fixed.
post #53 of 62

Resurrecting an older thread here--hope that's ok. I am curious as to whether the newer Rega CD players are now problem free, and at what point they fixed the issues. I have been using a Rega Planet for about 10 years. I've had two of them, both bought used. Yes, the first one had tracking issues within a few months and then died altogether. I assumed it was an anomaly since CD players tend to live forever--at least in my experience, and didn't hesitate to buy another. It worked out since I've gotten 10 years out of it. I recently built a 2a3 SET amp (kit) and am enjoying it so much that I'd like to upgrade to a CD with better resolution and yet keep that nice analog sound that the Regas are known for. I have neither the patience nor budget to tolerate or re-purchase components with reliability issues. I would love to have another Rega if they're now thought to be totally reliable, and I won't touch one at all if they're not. I am probably not going to buy new so this is the critical question... Rega or figure out what else is pretty good for reasonable money. So... a) are they fixed and if so with what model, b) what other Rega models would be recommended, c) what non-Regas might be reliable and have a nice analog sound (on a budget), does Rega make higher and lower end CDPs or are the various names generational, and in what order?  Thanks! 

post #54 of 62

The lineage is: original Planet, 2 box Jupiter, Planet 2000, Jupiter 2000 (my personal favorite), Apollo, Saturn, Isis, Apollo "R". The Apollo sounds cleaner and more detailed but not as meaty and analog as their earlier players IMO. I'd go for a good shape used Jupiter 2000 over an Apollo R but that's just me.

post #55 of 62

I ended up buying a new Rega Apollo R shortly after my earlier post (4/26/12). It has given good service up until now, only exhibiting tracking issues on a couple of discs. But now the tracking issue is happening all the time. This occurred rather suddenly this month.


I've contacted the dealer and he gave me a song and dance about not being able to say if this is something he can fix himself, whether Rega will fix it under warranty, or whether the laser mechanism is excepted in which case it's likely to cost hundreds of dollars to repair. I can venture a pretty good guess as to which option it will turn out to be. I'm now wishing I had not taken the risk.


I may try and trade this unit for something else. Any recommendations for a good quality CD player that is reliable while having a nice analog sound similar to the Rega?

post #56 of 62

REGA should cover that really.  They are top notch at customer service (well over here in the UK they are) and a laser problem after a few years is unacceptable.


Hope you get it sorted mate.

post #57 of 62

Well, there is good news!


So, after checking my Rega Apollo R out one last time to confirm the skipping and jumping issue, I boxed it up and drove 45 minutes to the dealer. I described the issue in detail and talked to the guy for awhile. He had the same player in a demo system on the floor, so I said let's check it out while I'm here. I loaded one of my problem CDs into his player ad it played just fine. So we switched out his player for my troubled unit, and... it played just fine.  We tapped and poked at it and made it skip but it wasn't doing it on it's own anymore. We reasoned that perhaps it didn't like sitting close to my sub-woofer and was picking up vibration. Whatever, but it wasn't skipping now, playing the same disc that it would not play a couple of hours earlier, and of course I look like the guy who imagines stuff and dreams of gremlins.


On the way home I stopped at a fabric store and bought some 2" foam to make an isolation platform to help dampen any vibration that might be coming from the floor. But first I wanted to see if it skipped again, like it had only hours earlier. So I set it up exactly as it was, before and... it played fine. I implemented the new isolation gizmo since I went to all the trouble (and expense, $7) of finding and cutting that perfect piece of foam... and now whenever anyone comes by and sees it they'll think I'm one of those tweaking audiophiles with ears more sensitive than a hound dog's nose.


So the lesson is... these players sound very nice––I love the sound––but they're finicky little creatures and they desire attention. They like fresh air and rides in the car. So if you have one that's being temperamental, take it for a nice two-hour ride, talk about it, give it some quality social time with one of its siblings, take it shopping for something comfy... when you bring it home it will be all refreshed and ready to spin some discs. That's about as logical as one can be about this.

Edited by salparadise - 12/19/14 at 3:00am
post #58 of 62

Bumping a very long running thread but it's timely for potential (and existing) Rega CDP owners to consider the ramifications of the CD-R market - both in terms of available blank media and burners. I've mucked with several of the Rega players and also own a couple of the Apollo-R models. And they have all been incredibly finicky without exception -  not only as regards the burn speed (8x maximum as mentioned in the owner's manuals and also previously in this thread though I've found 10x to be "safe"), but also the type of CD-R. I've tended to consistently find that the older 74 minute CD-Rs work very reliably indeed when burned at 8x (never had a problem with those), but anything more ambitious than that (such as the ubiquitous 80 minute CD-Rs) and you are often just lucky if it works out. 


In the case of the 80 minute CD-Rs, I've tended to find that so long as the players can find the first track OK and you don't get overly ambitious with the track forward / back buttons or go into shuffle / random modes, they seem to track OK most of the time. But the mechanism can often get hopelessly "lost" on the 80 minute CD-Rs if you try to skip to an out-of-sequence track and you'll hear the servos all but slaving away trying to grope around for the start of that track. Not only that, but even if it seems to find the track, it will often give a "read error". Not the case with the 74 minute ones so my guess is that the basic software and mechanisms for these players were tested and calibrated to work with the older CD-Rs and not the newer ones - the 8x burn speed is another testament to that theory given those sorts of speeds are very rare on the burning hardware you buy today. Infact it took me months of hunting around to even find a currently manufactured internal burner that even goes down to 8x these days.


So if you have a supply of the older 74 minute disks and a slow speed burner you are probably fine but I'm in a position here in Australia where it is almost impossible to get reasonably priced, good quality 74 minute CD-Rs these days. You really have to import them privately but the freight makes this an impossibility. There might be some here and there on eBay, but not recently manufactured stock at reasonable prices. Bottom line is that I'm now in a bit of a pickle thanks to this and the seeming refusal of companies like MAM Australia to even bring in the 650 MB Gold Archive disks (which on balance have always worked the best and given the most truthful sound versus the master file they were burned from).


Anyway, I guess none of that matters if you don't use CD-Rs but these days it's hard to imagine record collections without them, with lossless downloads being par for the course.

post #59 of 62

That's too bad.  I thought those Rega CD players looked amazing, and briefly considered getting one.  Eventually, I settled on the idea of going the computer playback via external DAC after talking with a sales person (I didn't go with his DAC, though).  


My rig's not that expensive; I have an older Toshiba laptop linked up via a Straight Wire USB2 Link to a LampizatOr Amber DAC Plus, running to a Schiit SYS passive preamp, to my recapped Mark Levinson ML-9 amplifier, and out to my Von Schweikert VR-5 HSE speakers via a pair of Straight Wire bi-wire speaker cables.  The result?  Sonic bliss!

post #60 of 62

Well further to my last post and things are more positive, but still, these Rega players really are incredibly finicky. It was suggested to me that I try using a Blu-ray burner for burning CD-Rs and all of the current Pioneer models (to my knowledge) permit slow burning at 4x with any suitable blank CD-R. Since I already have a Pioneer Blu-ray burner I've tried burning a number of test disks and sure enough I have not had any significant issues with CD-R playback with the Regas. I still would not recommend them because I can still put manufactured CDs into them and occasionally they will do strange things like start at track 2. But on the other hand they do sound really great (better than any computer based USB/DAC combination I have heard) if you use a good burner and good quality blank CD-Rs.


I don't really think Rega did themselves any favours by adopting cheap Sanyo transports / servos for their players. You can buy a whole replacement laser / servo mechanism from China for these players for $20, and it's the genuine part that Rega uses (mind you, these parts are used in quite a lot of decent players).

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