Stereophile reviews the REGA Apollo CD Player
May 19, 2006 at 8:14 AM Post #16 of 26

909

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My Apollo has been burning in pretty much 24/7 for the last 12 days. I've noticed improvements after the first 48 hours and then some more after 100+ hours and so on. I think it’s foolhardy to rush to judgment without firsthand knowledge that the Apollo listened to has actually been given the opportunity to sufficiently burn-in and then spending serious listening time with it under ideal conditions with extremely familiar material.
 
May 19, 2006 at 1:30 PM Post #17 of 26

NMyTree

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I agree, 909.

My Apollo has a little over 200 hours on it and it has improved.

My approach is a little different. I hooked it up and only listened for about a minute and a half when it was fresh out of the box, I wrote down some initial impressions in my little notebook and left the room.

Periodically I return and listen for another minute or two, write down my impressions and leave the room again.

I do it this way so that I don't put myself in a postion for my ears (brain) to adjust or acclimate to the sound of the player.

I play the same two CDs all the time ( Dave Weckle-Rhythm Of The Soul and Dixie Chicks- Wide Open Spaces) , every sixty hours or so, I switch one of these two CDs in and out.

The opening bass line on "I Can Love You Better" (from the Dixie Chicks-WOS CD) has a real dynamic, tight punch to it. Initially the Apollo was a bit weak in conveying that element. But after 200 hours it does a nice job with that bass line. It's not as punchy and authoritive as the Vincent S6, but real nice nonetheless. I imagine it may get a little better over the next 200 hours.

The Apollo is a nice player and it certainly will maintain a place in one of my systems. I like to have multiple players. Especially players that offer different or varying sound characteristics .

I like to keep a player in my system that does not excell in detail or is not very revealing, strictly for some of the 70s rock bands' CDs I love (some a bit obscure by mainstream standards) who's recording quality was less than high quality. Bands such as Angel, The Godz, UFO, Nazareth, Starz, old...old Scorpions and several others require a CD player that doesn't dig too deep and is kind to the sound presentation; that player for me is the Jolida JA100.
 
May 19, 2006 at 3:27 PM Post #18 of 26

909

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Don't get me wrong; I've been listening to the Apollo pretty much nightly. I’ve a handful of tracks that I go through religiously and chart the progress in my head. I posted some of my initial impressions in the Rega Apollo (DOA) thread after the first 8 days of burn-in. The Apollo continues to improve during these past few days of continuous burns-in time too, but at least now the changes after 190+ hours haven’t been as easily noticeable and seem to take longer than it did previously at the 50 and 100 hours markers. Last night, I got anxious and set-up the E5 so to night I’ll have something to compare the Apollo against.
 
Jun 21, 2006 at 4:14 PM Post #19 of 26

NMyTree

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NMyTree
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.



At almost 300 hours the bass of the Apollo has improved significantly. Bass lines that at one time were vague, indistinct and in one case it seemed like the Apollo was having a difficult time presenting a cohesive representation of the recording (Brian Bromberg's Summer Afternoon, from his "Brian Bromberg" self-titled album/CD); have become much more distinct and prominent. Much more presence than before.

Still, I believe my quote from up above is correct. This player, in my opinion, is balanced and designed to not over-exaggerate or embelish the bass lines/frequencies.

Another important point is that both the Rega Apollo and the Vincent S6 reflect what is on the recording. If the recording/mix contains prominent, distinct bass-then both players will convey that element. Recordings which have the bass subtly mixed in, will be presented that way.

Yes, the Vincent S6 has slightly more prominent, distinct and cohesive bass attributes. But still it does not over-exaggerate the bass. The S6 represents what is in the recording/mix. The S6 is more dynamic and punchy. But the Rega Apollo has made great strides of improvement, in that area. But still not up to the S6's level. I doubt it will ever match the S6, because I don't believe it was designed to.

On the Eagles "One Of These Nights" the Apollo now does a fine job of pumping out that opening bass line (in the beginning of the song). It's much better now (fuller, thicker, more dynamic, smoother and tuneful), than it was just a week and a half ago. Those of you familiar with this song know how that dynamic bass line just reaches out and grabs you. It is a thing of beauty!

The Apollo which had a narrow or closed-in soundstage, was a bit rough or raw in sound quality. That started to smooth out after only 20-25 hours.

Now, it's much smoother. The soundstage opened up considerably. All along the road to "Burn-in" the Apollo has benefited greatly from an hour or two of idle warm-up and then some "Repeat" play, before turning up the volume to listen. But it's getting better with just some idle warm up.

The Apollo is a completely different sounding player, than the Vincent S6. The differences are very noticable.

The S6 is great with all kinds of music and genras. Even bad recordings become fun to listen to (although the bad quality is obvious). Only severely bad recordings become unlistenable. Otherwise, the passion, melody and emotion of the music is very engaging and pleasurable.

The Apollo has a way with certain types of music or recordings. I find hard rock really sounds great on the Apollo. Other genras seem to vary from disc to disc. The Apollo has a certain something in it's sound that I enjoy with certain albums.

We'll see what the 400+ hour mark brings to the Apollo. Right now, I enjoy it's different presentation with several of my CDs.

If anyone is interested, I will check in again at that point.
 
Jun 21, 2006 at 5:09 PM Post #20 of 26

Mikey01

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MarconiSalad
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.


I have yet to hear anybody to have the Apollo, "long term with proper break-in" complain about the bass. Little or no break-in the Apollo sounds way less than ideal. After break-in it is a totally different story.
 
Jun 21, 2006 at 5:22 PM Post #21 of 26

Canman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NMyTree
This player, in my opinion, is balanced and designed to not over-exaggerate or embelish the bass lines/frequencies.


That's interesting because embellishing the bass frequencies was IMO the Planet 2000's worst flaw.
 
Jun 22, 2006 at 1:01 PM Post #22 of 26

NMyTree

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Canman
That's interesting because embellishing the bass frequencies was IMO the Planet 2000's worst flaw.



I've never heard the Planet, but I have heard several people say that the Plnaet has "better" bass. I always wondered if it was case of embelishing the bass freq.

I guess it's all a matter of personal preference, but I prefer a more balanced approach that reflects each individual recording; than an across the board hump of the bass.
 
Jun 25, 2006 at 7:41 PM Post #23 of 26

VR6ofpain

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rocktboy
I wouldn't trust any magazine reviews especially Stereophile reviews!
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Ya seriously. I got so tired of their crap, not to mention their stupid political folly that I cancelled my subscription.

[Rant]
BTW: their guarantee is garbage. I never got a refund for my remaining 16 issues. Screw them. I think I might subscribe to The Abso!ute Sound, seems just a hair more resonable, though still crap. I was flipping through the current issue of High-Fi News, I kind of like how they compare stuff like car magazines, with the interesting head-to-head's. I miss Stereo Review...too bad it went into the crapper with Sound & Vision.[/Rant]
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Aug 2, 2006 at 6:32 PM Post #24 of 26

NMyTree

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NMyTree

Still, I believe my quote from up above is correct. This player, in my opinion, is balanced and designed to not over-exaggerate or embelish the bass lines/frequencies.

Another important point is that both the Rega Apollo and the Vincent S6 reflect what is on the recording. If the recording/mix contains prominent, distinct bass-then both players will convey that element. Recordings which have the bass subtly mixed in, will be presented that way.



After 400+ hours and now, actually it's almost 500 hours on the Rega Apollo; I can honestly say I love this player.

Never have I (in the past ) believed in "extended burn-in factors". I always believed and practiced warming up the components and letting them reach an ideal temperature, before playing any music. But "Burn-in"? Nah, I didn't buy that at all.

Till now.

To avoid any psycho-acoustic effects on my brain and ears, for the first 400 hours, I only listened to the player for a minute and a half, to two minutes for each listening; while it was "burning-in". I jotted down notes about the sound, song and the presentation of the Apollo. Then left the room and let the player continue playing and "burning-in'.

Everything has improved on this player and it's not just a slight improvement. It's quite obvious.

The bass is much more prominent, more articulate, more defined and nicely tuneful. I find no shortage of bass. If it's in the recording, the Apollo presents it as the recording and mastering dictates.

There certainly is a foot-tapping, groove-inducing element to this player; without a doubt.

One thing for sure, this player is not shy or slight in the bass catagory. At least for my personal tastes, it isn't.

The highs and midrange are smooth, beautiful and musical. Dynamics also improved to a point that pleases me. They (the dynamics ) are not overly-done or exaggerated, same with the bass.

For my personal tastes and preferences, this player strikes a bullseye.

I don't know what else to say. I'm very pleased with this player and for me, it is a keeper!

For others with different tastes and prefences, YMMV.

Feel free to ask, if you have any questions.
 
Aug 27, 2006 at 2:35 PM Post #26 of 26

NMyTree

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Yesterday I had the house to myself, as the kids and the misses went to visit her dad.

I spent a wonderful day listening to music through the Rega Apollo. Splendid.

I left the system on overnight. First thing this morning I put in the " Govi- Your Lingering Touch " CD. Oh my, absolutely beautiful.

From the opening notes of "Tears Of Joy" I was struck by the sheer beauty of the music. The guitar's timbre is so natural. There's such a fresh, crisp, organic (yet smooth) vitality to it's sound. Palpable.

Much like the sound you hear and what you feel in your hands, when tearing open a fresh head of lettuce. That sound it makes as you tear it open and snap it apart to make a salad.

Truely a musical and emotional experience.

Don't even get me started on Track 7 (Lover's Moon)!


I know......I know.....you guys think I'm nuts
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