For 50 years, British company Rega has lovingly created and hand-built hi-fi products including turntables, amplifiers, phono stages, cartridges, CD players, loudspeakers, and a wide range of accessories. Every Rega product is designed to achieve the best musical performance and deliver a lifetime of musical enjoyment at an affordable price.
Rega’s products, including their iconic Planar turntables, are highly-regarded award-winners, and proudly stocked by our stores for almost 20 years!
This article came about when we (John and Palmer in our Auckland store) unpacked a Rega Elicit MK5 integrated amplifier and plugged it in to warm up. We were both taken aback by how great it sounded. It really put into perspective just how far mid-priced amplifiers have come. Not many years ago this level of sound quality would have been found in a $12,000 amplifier. So, given that Rega’s products never fail to impress, we decided to put together our recommendations for great-sounding value-for-money integrated amplifiers that are easy to use and will provide years of consistent trouble-free sound quality. All products listed are award-winners in their respective categories.
Note, most of the models represented here are straightforward in design and are not all things to all people features-wise, they just represent a modern take on great sound, and nononsense approach to audio. Also worth noting is that most of the amplifiers mentioned incorporate excellent MM phono stages, so by adding a quality streaming device such as an Auralic Altair or Aries streamer, you have some of the most up-to-date modern, state-of-the art music replay.
I know for a fact that the team at Rega worked very hard to bring to market an amplifier that was designed and built in the U.K. I know of no other British manufacture that has produced a competitor for the Io. Rated at 30 watts R.M.S the Io has an amazing sounding phono stage so it’s a wonderful starter amp for a Rega Planar 1/Planar 2 turntable, or even the famous Planar 3 ! The Io has a separate remote control, 2- line inputs plus headphone input. You can add a streamer such as the Bluesound Node or Eversolo DMP-A6 for Wi-Fi streaming.
The Brio (40 watts R.M.S) has been around in various guises for some time, this being the latest iteration. Incorporating a brilliant phono stage and 5 other inputs, the Brio has a very small form factor as well. Like all Rega amplifiers, the Brio is hand built at the Temple farm factory in the U.K.
Rega’s first full-sized amplifier, the Elex MK4 (72 Watts R.M.S) has a high-performance phono stage, 4-line inputs and 2 Digital inputs. This gets exciting as you can add a streamer directly into the Elex MK4, alternatively upgrade the sound of an old CD player with digital “out”. This will use the in-built DACs. This is the first amplifier that incorporates Rega designed DAC Co-Axial and Optical inputs. A great match with our Auralic Aries G1 streamer and Fyne F500 system special price package at $8,250.
Expanding on everything that the Elex MK4 has in terms of performance, the Elicit MK5 gives you 105 Watts R.M.S, 2 x Rega designed digital inputs and 4 analog inputs and highend MM phono input. This amplifier is set to impress, and to drive tricky loads. It also has thermal cut-out as a safety measure.
We’re bringing out the big guns now! The Aethos is an absolute tan. With 125 watts R.M.S, the Aethos is designed as a dual Mono. With its purely analog approach, it is at home partnered with a high-end Rega turntable or an Auralic streamer. Featuring stunning build, the Aethos is a must-listen product!
Watch how Rega’s products are meticulously hand-assembled in this video: