Stereophile reviews the REGA Apollo CD Player
May 16, 2006 at 12:45 PM Post #3 of 26

JayGee

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After hearing all the talk about the Apollo being so great I was planning to upgrade my Planet 2000 to an Apollo and went on a few listening visits to my dealer. It's better than the Planet 2000 in some ways but I was very let down by the lightweight bass.

It's not bad bass but it is very lightweight. I was unable to follow certain basslines through the song the way I can on my Planet 2000, certain softly recorded notes just were not there to hear on the Apollo. I've read somewhere that the Apollo has a very tiny power supply and maybe this is having an effect?

The Apollo has more treble than the Planet 2000 and at first I liked that because of the added sparkle but after a while it started to bother me, to me it was like a one note effect...kind of like a slightly peaky tweeter in a speaker. You don't hear it right away but once you do hear it it's hard not to be aware of it. Combined with the bass lightness this made for a thin overall sound. Not good for some kinds of music, especially anything where you want to follow the bass line.

The final thing that really made me decide not to buy it was that I don't think midrange resolution was any better than the Planet 2000. The Apollo might shine in a dull or bass heavy system but I do not think it's neutral enough for me to be happy with long term. The lightweight balance just was not for me. The sound is much more "digital" than the Planet 2000.

I did not read the review yet but I can easily see how it might get good reviews based on the sparkle. If anyone out there is considering one of these I strongly suggest you do not buy without listening for at least a couple of hours.

Jaygee
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May 16, 2006 at 3:09 PM Post #4 of 26

NMyTree

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It never ceases to amaze me the different results (or sound characteristics) people achieve with the Rega Apollo. But I suppose this applies to all pieces of gear, as it seems everything is so system dependant.

I guess one never really knows till one hooks it up to one's own system.
 
May 16, 2006 at 4:16 PM Post #5 of 26

JayGee

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There was such an intense pre-release buzz with this CD player that it is not surprising that people buy it based on reviews. I've done things like that in the past and I nearly did it this time too so I'm happy I listened more than once.

BTW I listened side by side with my Planet 2000 and I know the systems were not holding the Apollo back in any way.

People upgrading from cheaper CD players will probably be happy but with the Planet 2000 as my regular CD player the "upgrade" just was not there. It was more like a different view on the same sound. And in my case I did like the Planet 2000 better. The Apollo sounded whispy in comparison.

They say the newer Rega CD player to replace the Jupiter is going to be very impressive. I'm waiting for that one to be released but after the Apollo experience I'm not getting my hopes up too much.
 
May 16, 2006 at 4:59 PM Post #6 of 26

jpr703

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I auditioned the Apollo for a few days and didn't care for it either. The longer I'm in this hobby, the more I learn that you just have to trust your own ears.
 
May 16, 2006 at 5:09 PM Post #7 of 26

rocktboy

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I wouldn't trust any magazine reviews especially Stereophile reviews!
rolleyes.gif

Pretty much all cd players measure really well. They are NOT the bottle neck of any performance measures. Speakers and tube amps designed by ears (some can still sound very good) are.

you've got to stop listening to all this review talk and just go listen to the actual gear that you are interested in! Borrow, trade, whatever you have to do to get your hands on the gear in your listening environment!
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May 16, 2006 at 6:13 PM Post #8 of 26

MarconiSalad

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JayGee
After hearing all the talk about the Apollo being so great I was planning to upgrade my Planet 2000 to an Apollo and went on a few listening visits to my dealer. It's better than the Planet 2000 in some ways but I was very let down by the lightweight bass.

It's not bad bass but it is very lightweight. I was unable to follow certain basslines through the song the way I can on my Planet 2000, certain softly recorded notes just were not there to hear on the Apollo. I've read somewhere that the Apollo has a very tiny power supply and maybe this is having an effect?

The Apollo has more treble than the Planet 2000 and at first I liked that because of the added sparkle but after a while it started to bother me, to me it was like a one note effect...kind of like a slightly peaky tweeter in a speaker. You don't hear it right away but once you do hear it it's hard not to be aware of it. Combined with the bass lightness this made for a thin overall sound. Not good for some kinds of music, especially anything where you want to follow the bass line.

The final thing that really made me decide not to buy it was that I don't think midrange resolution was any better than the Planet 2000. The Apollo might shine in a dull or bass heavy system but I do not think it's neutral enough for me to be happy with long term. The lightweight balance just was not for me. The sound is much more "digital" than the Planet 2000.

I did not read the review yet but I can easily see how it might get good reviews based on the sparkle. If anyone out there is considering one of these I strongly suggest you do not buy without listening for at least a couple of hours.

Jaygee
580smile.gif



I also had a Planet 2000 and got a new Apollo. Your dealer's Apollo may not have been burnt in. Mine initially sounded as you described. Sounded dramatically better after playing 24/7 for a week or so. Would not go back to the Planet 2000, which I had for two years.
 
May 16, 2006 at 10:24 PM Post #9 of 26

skullguise

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rocktboy
I wouldn't trust any magazine reviews especially Stereophile reviews!
rolleyes.gif



The only difference to me is that Art Dudley reviewed this. I am SO sorry to see him at Stereophile, I really wish Listener was still around. My favorite mag by far.

I'm sure he has to "tow the line" a bit, but I still like his viewpoint, and his ability to understand the emotion of music.

All this said, I agree with MarconiSalad (and others), re: sound and burn-in. Mine sounded better after 2 weeks, though it was still very good out of the box.
 
May 17, 2006 at 12:02 AM Post #10 of 26

HumanMedia

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I spent a day with one (that wasnt fully burned in). Nice spacious midrange but light bass, and lack of finess and detail in the exagerated treble. I compared it to my old Rotel RCD991AE (but not my DAC) and overall the Rotel was better (!)

But as others say the Apollo needs burn-in (and lots - minimum 200 hours, preferably 400 hours) before it evens out.
 
May 17, 2006 at 1:15 AM Post #12 of 26

HiWire

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Thanks for the heads-up, Welly. This is exactly the price range that I'm interested in... I wonder if NAD will eventually update the C542 to deal with the new players from Rega, Cambridge, Eastsound, etc.
 
May 17, 2006 at 7:28 AM Post #13 of 26

rodentmacbeastie

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HiWire
Thanks for the heads-up, Welly. This is exactly the price range that I'm interested in... I wonder if NAD will eventually update the C542 to deal with the new players from Rega, Cambridge, Eastsound, etc.



Buy a used one as a transport and then buy and external DAC or mod it! referenceaudiomods.com has modded the 542 before as well as many other options.
 
May 17, 2006 at 2:09 PM Post #14 of 26

NMyTree

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kuma
Also it is *listener* dependant.

All the hifi, what boils down to, is a matter of taste.



Absolutely. I was think that as well, but did not include it in my post.

I believe the bass for the Rega Apollo is supposed to be that way. I think some will consider it lite or maybe even consider it a flaw.

But I believe the guys at Rega wanted it balanced that way. Fresh out of the box the bass could be rather vague. But after quite some time of burn-in, the bass fleshes itself out much more and becomes part of a (what I consider) a well balanced frequency soundstage. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I don't believe it's a flaw.

I have two main systems in my home (one two channel and a HT/two channel system, so I also have the Vincent CD-S6 and that's my favorite player, at this moment. Truth be told it has been for almost a year. It is $500-$700 dollars(depending on your dealer) more than the Rega Apollo, but it most definitely shows in the sound quality.

I have an old (modest) set of JVC HA-D600 headphones and every once in a while I enjoy listening to the S6 through the headphones.

Admittedly, I listen to music through my floorstanding loudspeakers much more often, than with headphones. But I have been a headphones guy since I was a little kid (around eight years old).

Growing up my parents had the turntable and stereo system in the living room. I would pull up a few pillows on the floor while they were watching their boring tv shows
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and listen to my old Elton John records through the headphones. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player and all those good 'ole Elton John vinyls, sounded awesome on headphones! Gradually I expanded my musical tastes into Pink Floyd, The Sweet, Zeppelin, Sabbath, The Dead, Neil Young and several other bands and different generas.

It became a favorite method of mine, in which to listen to music. Almost as much as listening through floorstanders.

I've had these JVC HA-600 headphones for rougly 15-20 years, if my memory services me right. These things have taken a beating.

Besides listening at home I have used them for listening to my walkman (audio cassetes, remember them?
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) while I was working out, skating with my in-line roller skates and practicing my Roller hockey skills (or lack there of)
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I've gotten caught in a major downpour and was soak and wet. I thought these headphones were ruined and done for. But much to my surprise, after a few weeks of just letting them sit and dry out; they worked perfectly. My son has gotten his little two year old fingers on them several times ( thanks to the wife
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) and he has beaten on them.

But here they are, they still sound as good as they always have.

They're not expensive or high end headphones (I think 25-30 bucks at that time), but they sure as hell have endured the punishment and continue to sing to me.
 
May 17, 2006 at 3:14 PM Post #15 of 26

NMyTree

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I just wanted add one more thing on the Vincent CD-S6.

I have the 2005 version of the Vincent CD-S6 and it is far superior than the Sheng Ya or Kavent variations that have been on the market for several years. It's not even close.

I am a self-proclaimed mental-midget when it comes to knowledge of the internal parts and their quality. But my buddy is an obssessive and very knowledgable parts guy. We did some comparisons between the Sheng ya CD-S10, Kavent CD-831 and Vincent CD-S6. I have no idea what to look for when popping the hood on these things, but my buddy was mightly impressed with the parts, design and performance of my S6.

It was after doing some listening of my S6 that he became interested in tracking down the Sheng ya and Kavent versions to compare. He ended up buying the Vincent CD-S6.

The S6 was clearly the most well-defined, musical, tunefull and just downright emotional presentation of the three. Wonderful detail with a smooth, slightly warm massage of the music. The bass is much more prominant than the Apollo, but in a good way. If the recording has well-defined, tunefull bass-so shall the S6. The bass on this player puts a tap in you foot and a spring in your step.

Of course, these are attributes I desire and prefer in my system, so it is a personal preference.
 

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