The long awaited System One™ from Rega is finally here, and although this has been anticipated for over a year the system is actually comprised of components that have been around for some time.
The Rega Planar 1 has been a What Hifi? award winning turntable for the last 6 years running, and is just a great value turntable for the money. Built upon years of Rega's experience, the Planar 1 features a hybrid acrylic platter, the entry level RB203 tonearm and the Rega Carbon cartridge.
The Rega io amplifier builds again upon Rega's exceptional range of amplifiers, which includes the award winning Rega Brio. With only 30 watts per channel, 3 inputs (one of which is a phono input), a headphone socket and a volume knob, you might think this amp is a little underspecified, but it doesn't half pack a punch and truly outperforms its diminutive size. The phono stage is as excellent as you would expect from Rega, and the amp delivers plenty of foot tapping musicality.
The Rega Kytes are Rega's newest speaker design, and made from a hybrid plastic mould they are very different to Rega's other speakers. They also look a little different from many other speakers, with their slanted back design and high gloss highlight on an otherwise matte cabinet. Yet again, Rega seem to have hit the spot perfectly for the cost of these speakers: they are outstanding, they are happy placed on a desktop or on a stand, and they deliver good bass weight whilst remaining detailed yet fun to listen to.
As you can tell, all of these elements are excellent in their own right so surely putting them all together in one system should be great. This hasn't always been the case: for many years people would go and buy out of each category the award winning CD Player/Amplifier/Speaker and so on, and then be thoroughly confused as to why it didn't sound great. And it's simple: there is a lot to be said for system matching and components that are meant to work together. In the case of the System One™, Rega had always intended for the system to go together so all elements of the system were tested and designed with each other in mind. This means that when you put them all together, the result is simply terrific.
Firstly, when spinning up Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album the soundstage is nicely three dimensional and you can comfortably place the instruments, and Lindsey Buckingham's guitar sings out of the system. The whole system times very nicely and even just placed on top of our rack and with a dedicated speaker stand, you feel confident that this system is going to to perform well wherever it is located.
As a system that's likely to be many people's first venture into HiFi, or even vinyl, you can trust that Rega with their many years of experience have thought long and hard about how this system will perform and how it's likely to be used. In all the listening I have done it seems to perform fantastically in every regard, and it really is exceptional for a system at this price point.
Then following up with Queen's Innuendo, Freddy Mercury's voice leaps out of the system whilst Brian, John and Roger provide a solid musical performance in a way that raises the question of "how good is this system for the money?". Of course, the answer is: very, very good indeed.
If you would like to come and listen to Rega's brand new System One™, then please get in touch by giving us a call on 01507499047 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can pop in to see us at our Lincolnshire showroom. Just grab a few pieces of vinyl and come and have a listen!