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ARRIVED: new Rega DAC

post #1 of 488
Thread Starter 

I have one of the new Rega  DAC's coming from Audio Advisor tomorrow, so I will be posting my impressions shortly. Hadn't seen any discussion here about this unit, but as a previous Rega Planet CDP owner, I have always like Rega's sonic approach to digital. Aside from Rega's focus on musicality as opposed to hifi attributes, I was encouraged by the fact that it is a NOS design and has selectable filters including an apodizing one similar to the Meridian and PS Audio PWD.

 

Since I am using this with a Mac Mini music server with built-in toslink, the 16/48 limitation on the USB input is not a show stopper for me.

 

More to come

 

UPDATE - DAY 1 (T+7 hours):

 

Concentrating so far on RedBook playback via USB using a Wireworld Starlight cable that I had bought for my brief HRT ownership but that was never broken in. I have been alternating playing music and running track 2 from the Isotek burnin CD. I have breifly tried the different filter settings, but have settled on #5 (minimum phase apodizing) for now. Very subtle differences there. I am using a Pangea 14SE power cord with a cryo'd C5 adapter. The cord was previously used for a couple weeks, so likely minimal breakin effect on that. I have not done a comparison with any other cord (including stock) - just put it in out of faith.

 

Very nice so far. Stone cold, it was sort bright and hard (no surprise there from other reports), but the sound has changed pretty dramatically already. Strikes me as very even tonal balance with a slight warm tilt. Pretty good detail, but it is not (nor did I expect) a detail queen where you hear all kinds of stuff you never noticed before. Extremely musical - I realize I'm tapping my toes on a lot of stuff without thinking about it. Very smooth in the sense of no sign of anything I would call grain or extra-musical texture. Upper mids still have just a hint of sharpness I did not notice on the Apogee, but I'm sure we are not done on burnin yet - this thing is changing (for the better) on an hour by hour basis. I will leave the Isotek track going on repeat overnight and see what tomorrow brings.

 

So how is it so far compared to the Apogee Duet? Closer than I expected, which is a huge compliment to the Duet. The Duet is definitely even warmer to the point of sounding a little out of kilter in the mids. The Duet also has less bass slam and transparency in the lower mids and bass. I also routinely had bouts of thinking the Duet was a little grainy, something I have not detected in the Rega so far. Both DAC's are very musical and in that sense they are similar in "flavor". The Duet immediately comes across as "colored" relative to the Rega, however. In fact, it is significant enough that I had suspected it without any other DAC in this exact system for comparison. Euphonic coloration, but not "right". The one thing I think the Duet might have over the Rega at this stage of Rega burnin is a little more sense of air or space. It is really unfair and full of hyperbole, but the Duet is more like vintage tubes (warm and rolly-polly with exaggerated mids) and the Rega more like contemporary solid state (impact, linearity, more "in control"). I am pretty confident the Rega is significantly better DAC that will become more obvious with another 24-48 hours on it and the Wireworld cable.

 

I was a little taken back at first power up (I had thought about putting the Isotek track on repeat until tomorrow before even listening, but I was weak), but I am pretty excited at what lies ahead.The Duet is a surprise though I suspected it might be similar to the Rega based on some comments I read in a couple threads elsewhere - a gentle man was comparing some very high-buck DAC's, and threw out the comment that the Duet was the most musical and analog sounding. 

 

Working on memory here, but I'm pretty sure the Rega even at this point is nicer than the Rega Planet 2000 CDP I used to have. It is warmer, more organic sounding.

 

I am listening to Alan Jackson's "Precious Memories" album as I type this (Alan and his wife and daughters singing traditional hymn with acoustic, country flavored backup) and I just realized I am tapping my toes and bobbing my head to the music and had goosebumps on a couple more intimate tracks. Must be something to that Linn/Naim PRaT business smily_headphones1.gif

 

More tomorrow (Sunday)


Edited by khollister - 1/29/11 at 4:00pm
post #2 of 488

Very interested!

1.5 years ago I decided to switch to HD-based music and sold my Rega Apollo, having no need for an optical disc player anymore.

I found it a pity then, since the Apollo was by far the most engaging CDP I could listen too ánd afford.

Since them I've been listening to a squeezebox through a Meier StageDAC, a MHDT Havana, and lately an Audio-GD Ref5 (which I sold last week because of the Rega DAC coming).

As soon as it is available here in the Netherlands, I'm going to buy one, and hope it will give me as much musical pleasure as the Apollo and end my guest for an enjoyable digital source.

post #3 of 488

I am interested also to hear any reviews on this DAC. Local agent told me DAC is on its way, will reached probably after CNY.

post #4 of 488

oh no......

post #5 of 488

domho7 faster hoot the rega dont wait

post #6 of 488
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snip3r77 View Post

domho7 faster hoot the rega dont wait


I know I'm old, but is that English? wink_face.gif

post #7 of 488
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMAWolf View Post

oh no......


Sorry about your wallet ..

 

Mine is certainly wrecked

post #8 of 488

It isn't a NOS DAC, is it?

post #9 of 488
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by domho7 View Post

I am interested also to hear any reviews on this DAC. Local agent told me DAC is on its way, will reached probably after CNY.


There is a review in the latest issue of Tone Audio, but it is not particularly comprehensive. There is starting to be chatter from owners on many of the forums - the universal initial feedback is quite good. Several comments about the sound being better than the Rega Saturn CDP when using the Saturn as a transport only with the Rega DAC. Consensus is it clearly bests the Apollo.

Nothing really negative except for a bunch of grousing about the USB input only doing 16/48 and the USB not being asynch. Of course one of the guys from Rega was on a UK board explaining that due to the reclocking circuitry that Rega developed and put in, the jitter due to an adaptive USB interface isn't a big deal, but everybody slammed him anyway wtihout hearing it (this was prior to the release). Nice that is doesn't appear to have a huge breakin period either - sounds like 48-72 hours might be most of it. Many comments about how it has the same kind of ease and musicality as Rega's new top of the line turntable - time will tell if that is wishful thinking.

post #10 of 488
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cankin View Post

It isn't a NOS DAC, is it?



Yup - big plus there for me

post #11 of 488

Keep us update please. Rega makes great product......except Rega Ear tongue.gif

post #12 of 488



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khollister View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by domho7 View Post

I am interested also to hear any reviews on this DAC. Local agent told me DAC is on its way, will reached probably after CNY.


There is a review in the latest issue of Tone Audio, but it is not particularly comprehensive. There is starting to be chatter from owners on many of the forums - the universal initial feedback is quite good. Several comments about the sound being better than the Rega Saturn CDP when using the Saturn as a transport only with the Rega DAC. Consensus is it clearly bests the Apollo.

Nothing really negative except for a bunch of grousing about the USB input only doing 16/48 and the USB not being asynch. Of course one of the guys from Rega was on a UK board explaining that due to the reclocking circuitry that Rega developed and put in, the jitter due to an adaptive USB interface isn't a big deal, but everybody slammed him anyway wtihout hearing it (this was prior to the release). Nice that is doesn't appear to have a huge breakin period either - sounds like 48-72 hours might be most of it. Many comments about how it has the same kind of ease and musicality as Rega's new top of the line turntable - time will tell if that is wishful thinking.


Tks Khollister.
 

post #13 of 488

Looking forward to your impressions. 

I recently got the StageDAC, but was also considering the Rega DAC.  It wasn't available at the time, so I got the StageDAC instead.  Wonder if it is worth the extra $300.  (The Rega DAC doesn't have crossfeed though.)

post #14 of 488

Does it really use the mainstream W8742 chip? 

post #15 of 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

Does it really use the mainstream W8742 chip? 



Yes and your point is? (If I understand correctly, the WM8742 is exactly the same as the WM8741 but under test didn't meet the 128db SNR spec so is "binned" as a WM8742 with a 126db spec. By the time you bolt an output stage onto it and anyway, it's completely moot with 99.9% of the downstream components that the DAC is likely to be used with anyway.)

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