Audio Dropping Out on Rega Apollo and Saturn

I borrowed a Rega Apollo and Saturn for home audition from my local dealer.

On both CD players, I experienced audio drop outs from some of my CDs as they were playing. I noticed that these CDs did have some minor scratches, but nothing major. When I would play these same CDs on my Jolida JD100 CD player, I never experienced these problems.

Are there any Rega Apollo or Saturn owners that have experienced this problem with some of their CDs? It seems like to me that Rega does not have a very good error correction system as the laser scans the CD. So if you do happen to have some CDs with scratches, it could hinder an otherwise pleasant listening experience.

If there is no clear explanation or work-around for this, then I have no choice but to remove these players from my consideration.
Hi, i owned an Apollo, and had the same problem with discs that were not in great shape. But when i put the same discs in my Planet 2000, they played fine. I sold the Apollo and kept the P2000. Not as detailed as the Apollo, but a warmer, more natural/involving, real sounding player.
I also have a Quad CDP-2 and i highly recommend it also. It is very detailed sounding without being to lean.
Just one man's opinion.
Good luck, Alan
No problems here.(Apollo user)
*Do you own those two (2) players at this moment???*

Very strange.
1)Your problem
2)Owning both
3)No system, record, answers, questions.

Sorry, but it smells like a phony, premeditated attempte to discredit these CD players.

However, I am still interested in detailes of your story.
As a dealer I noticed Regas were sensitive to acoustic feedback. In other words a loud peak would make them skip/dropout. Is it doing it at low volume too? If so it's a read issue. If the problem only occurs at high volume, presumably when a bass peak happens try better isolation.

Apollo user here, and NO issues whatsoever (dont wanna jinx myself). But, I also use vibrapod isolators too..
I have the Apollo and don't have this problem. However, I treat my Cds more like LPs and they don't have any scratches to speak of.

Rega makes a big deal of the fact that the Apollo and Saturn analyze the CD before playing and optimize the player for each CD. It's possible that this means backing off of some of the error correction logic if able and that the player is being fooled in this particular case. This might also account for the sensitivity to vibration that Electroid mentions (although I have not experienced this). If the player were to back off of most of its error correction believing it was not necessary for a particular CD and was then hit with a large vibrational peak. Again, this is all speculation since, as far as I know, Rega has not provided details of this "optimization" routine.

He said he borrowed the players. Very clearly stated.


Are you using the same input on your pre as the Jolida. If not you might try using the same input. Might be the pre section in your system.
Thanks for coming to my defense. I auditioned these players to determine if it is a worthwhile upgrade over my Jolida player.

It looks like Jalanc42069 experienced the same issue.

I am using the same input into my Audio Research LS-7 preamp.
I borrowed a Rega Apollo and Saturn for home audition from my local dealer.

Sorry about that - I take it back.
Should have payed more attention.

It is interesting, since I have never heard about such a problems. I also have few CDs in less then perfect shape
but they played just fine.
As if it is a worthy upgrade over is your choice of course. I think that I would probably keep the "J" and send it to get few mods and in the future upgrade to a player from the top shelve.
I own a Saturn I bought new. Definitely finicky with CD-Rs. Some have suggested that burning at a slower helps (to be honest, some of the discs that skip are so old I can't remember what speed I burned them at).

No problems to date with store bought discs.
As one of the first in North America to own privately, then review publicly, both the Apollo and the Saturn, I have added a Preface to my review published on in January of '07. It is pertinent to this discussion and to any potential purchasers.

Note that there is an error in the last line which will be corrected; "preference" should read "preface".
The Stereophile test results on the apollo (both use the exact same transport and operating system) were excellent for error correction. I never had a problem with a disc skipping on a Saturn or an Apollo. Any player will probably skip with a scratched disc. But there are bugs in the software of Apollo and Saturn players. I had 3 Apollos and a Saturn. I have never used a cd player that does some of the things these new Rega players do. If you play discs from beginning to end and don't change tracks alot, then all you should get are occaisional initialization failures, just open and close lid again. However if you like to sometimes change tracks, it might not go to the right one, or it may lock up, or it may leave the first few seconds of the next track out, also if you press stop it might not. I had instances where the only way to stop the disc was to turn the power off. These errors will be more bothersome to some than others. In my experience every single one of the new Regas that I owned had faults (I had a total of 4 machines). My own feeling is that you should not have to turn the power off to change a disc on a 2600 dollar cd player. I dont bother to have it "fixed" because every machine came back with the same issues. As far as I can tell these bugs are unfixable, or have not been fixed yet. Every machine I sent back was found to be fine by the distributer, to their credit they sent replacements. Only to have te same issues with every replacement. My own experience with the new Regas was that the operational issues were not limited to early production runs of the Apollo. Doug Shroeder, who posted a reply here was also one of the first people to post on the internet about the bugs with an early Apollo. Although I think he likes the sound of the machine alot judging by his review.
Fillmoor's comments regarding the Saturn match mine exactly. I typically play a disc from beginning to end without any skipping back and forth, which probably translates to one initialization error in 15-20 discs. Opening the top, rotating the disc a bit and closing usually works; only twice have I needed to turn the machine on/off to reset the process. I'm glad that Fillmoor explained what I have been suspecting, which halps me try to overlook the odd annoyance and just listen to the music.
This is in response to Fillmoor.

I did not mention that my problem was CD skipping. It was audio drop-outs. There is a difference. The audio on the player seems to drop out from time to time, as it is playing a CD.

The fact that I experienced this problem with both the Apollo and Saturn, with the same CDs, and not on my Jolida CD player, leads me to believe there is some sort of design glitch with the Rega players. Maybe the Apollo and Saturn at my dealer do not have the latest firmware. I will ask my dealer to contact Rega to see if other customers have complained of this.

Occasionally, My Saturn does drop out the audio. It may occur intermittently several times and either correct itself or drop out altogether. Although rarely, this has occurred on discs which had minor a minor scratch, and also on discs which needed a cleaning. The scratched discs could not be fixed, but cleaning the others corrected the problem. NOTE: The discs (evidently) in need of a cleaning had been cleaned two months prior and did not appear to be dirty at the time of the audio drop-out.

My bottom line: The Saturn is a bit finicky at times, but the musical delivery is fine enough to induce me to overlook the occasional glitch. Hope this helps.
Sorry to misinterpret your post. I have'nt had any problems with drop outs, only sporadic intermittent operational issues. I did ask my dealer about a firmware update and he said there is none. The way he and Rega tell it me and doug Shroeder are among the only people that have experienced problems with the new Rega machines. As I said in my post users who play entire discs may not experience the operational issues, since they are primarily related to track access and stop commands, and failure to initialize- you are the first I have heard of to experience audio drop outs. I dont know if others owners have had that issue I seem to remember alot of strange things with the early Apollos. My first Apollo gave occaisional static on one channel along with the operational issues. Every machine after that was fine audio output wise, but they all had occaisional failure to initialize, failure to stop and errors accessing track- when going from say number 3 to 8, you migh get 10 instead. My experience mirrors doug shroeders exactly. There is a recent review of the Saturn in a UK magazine that said the machine failed to initialize a hybrid disc, which the reviewer found curious. My own opinion is Rega needs to make some official acknowledgement and offer genuine rectification of these issues. Or apparently they think it is no big deal to have to turn the power off to change a disc on a 2600 dollar cd player, funny I dont have to do that on my 10 year old $90 panasonic discman. True the issues are infrequent and intermiittent, but really I expect more at that price level and from a company that supposedly prides itself on producing reliable products. Anybody thinking about buying a Satrun or Apollo should merely consider this in their purchase, given that there seem to be owners who report no issues at all. Could it be that me and doug shroeder just have incredibly bad luck? I'm actually selling my saturn for a number of reasons and told my buyer the issues these machines have. He said he usually plays whole discs so that eliminates most of them. My Saturn never gave an audio drop out.
Thanks for your clarification.

Do you know how I can access your review? I tried going to the Dagogo website to read your review, but I could not find it in the Archives section.

Will, et. al,

The original review, which discusses the glitches, is accessed under the Recent Reviews column on the left side, in the Sources section. My Preface, added this past week, is accessed from the review itself by clicking on the red lettered sentence. Here's the link:

I have addressed this issue thoroughly in my review and preface, which I added recently.

But know this, I believe I was the first (if not the absolute first, among the first handfull) to post questions in regard to the operations of the Saturn on audiophile forums. I have also followed the issue closely the entire 1.5 year period. I have seen many posts in regards to individuals claiming problems with their players. If this were potentially a case where only myself and one other person were plagued I would not bother the audiophile community, nor suggest that Rega has a manufacturing/quality control problem.

What would be the odds that of all the Apollo and Saturn units produced I would receive five defective ones while no one else had issues? If you know anything about statistics, the chances are vanishingly small. Taken with the fact that I have seen several posts from individuals in the past 1.5 years claiming problems suggests to me that there is an issue not being addressed.

Is it possible that in every instance where faulty units are being used there is in that environment a remote control infra-red lighting system or similar IR interfering device? Statistics would again say that's not likely. The odds are strongly in favor of my conclusion.

Assuming that persons who play whole discs through would not be aware of these issues, there may be many more players out there with the glitches which are undetected. For those people it may never be an issue. But for people who skip tracks or stop the player to change it the problem manifested itself too regularly in different players to be ignored.

A $2400 player should NOT have such issues, which is why I posted the Preface to the review. I gave the benefit of the doubt initially; now I do not. I am convinced that the issue is not related to infra-red interference, but a defect in the units themselves. Whether that defect plagues the entire production and has not been detected by all, I cannot say. Some seem to have perfect players. However, the appearance of posts in regards to faulty units purchased only one month ago makes a person wonder if the issue has been resolved and these are older stock players, or if the problem persists in the manufacture of the players. Only Rega can properly address that question.
My dealer told me I am not the only customer who has complained about the operation of these players.

So I definitely think your preface is on to something here. I do not think it is a coincidence that there seems to be several people experiencing operational glitches on these units.

I'm debating whether I should bring up the issue with Rega, since I have not purchased one yet. And based on my recent user experience, I am hesitant to invest money into one of these CD players and may just stick with my old reliable Jolida JD100.

What was Rega's response to you when you brought this to their attention? Have they acknowledged whether they have heard similar complaints in the field? Even if they have, I doubt they would openly divulge this information to the public, unless these issues were root caused and a verified fix in place, for fear of lost sales.

Rega has been absolutely silent on this issue. I have not heard from the distributor, nor Rega UK about it. The dealer insists that I am the only one of his customers who has had any issues with the units. I believe this dealer is a man of integrity, and though the odds of that are smaller, I believe it could be true because the pool of customers is smaller for him than the overall sales population for the Apollo/Saturn. Nevertheless, I see too many reports of issues from online forums, private emails, and my own experience with the units to conclude it is just my having some "bad luck". I do not believe in luck; I do, however, accept probability. The probability in this situation indicates that there are larger issues with the production of these players.
I should point out that I did not really expect conversation with Rega's headquarters. It would be exceptional if they contacted one owner of a product with a malfunction. If their dealer is also stating that he has no issues with other buyers then they would likely conclude the problem is isolated. Over time the issue became more pronounced (i.e. multiple players) and manifested itself to include a wider population (people who have voiced concerns, but may not have yet contacted Rega's headquarters) than just me.

I did, however, expect that the issues with just produced players would die out after 1.5 years. I assume they would be more likely to take notice or make changes if larger numbers of customers with problematic players contact them. In a nutshell, Rega UK needs to hear from a lot more people about this if anything is to be done about it.
I'd like to add that those who have the machines currently and say they operate fine, you may be in for a suprise. My 3rd Apollo worked fine for 6 months before bugging out, and got worse as time went on. I am convinced that the problem is bugs in Regas new operating software. That Rega was unable to supply a properly working machine over a two year period and that Rega and distributers/dealers continue to say "your the only one" or "there's just a few" is a lie. I have owned 3 of their turntables, several of their cd players and one of their amplifiers. The whole experience with the new rega machines has led me to the decision that I personally will never buy another Rega product again.
Good Morning

The last time I posted onto a site was several years ago and gave up as basically it seemed some people did not want to be confused by the facts. At that time someone was asserting that Rega cartridges were being made in the Far East, when I corrected that and said no actually all made in the UK and hand assembled even the $145 Bias I was told that was just my "opinion".

Anyhoo, as the US Rega distributor I think I can offer a unique insight as I actually know how many units we have sold how many failures and the nature of the faults.

The first batch of Apollo's several years ago now had a sporadic issue with a chip set and the wave soldering process, it exhibited itself pretty much after a few days and we swopped out all the units concerned which was in the region of about 5%.

Since that time both the Apollo and Saturn have been remarkably reliable. Any electronic product will have the odd issue some may be down to impact damage during shipping that does not exhibit as a destroyed box. With both CD players some of the odd issues we have had relate to the unit's software getting glitched.

The Apollo and Saturn as you may be aware use a very different type of disc reading and the memory used is an order of magnitude above other units, so in some ways it is more akin to a computer than a CD player. During the "Initialization" process if the remote is pressed urging the unit to play it will still accept these commands and this over time can cause the player to misread.

Unplugging the unit and leaving overnight to fully reset in 99% of the cases that customers have called upon gets the machine back up to full reading capability.

Do we have the odd issue absolutely but no more or less than in any other area and having been involved in audio for more years than I care to mention Rega's reliability is superb and even shames way more expensive product that I have sold.

To the dealer who posted "feedback" issues we have not heard of this from any dealer that I am aware of so please give a call to ascertain what might be going on in the system.

Doug's issues seem particularly perplexing as I know that we and his retailer have not been able to duplicate many of the faults described. But as Doug will attest we and the dealer have given 100 % effort to making him a happy customer. We have been in contact Doug via your retailer and of course we communicated when you undertook your review.

So I guess to sum up if we had some widespread problem we and Rega could not afford or would continue to sell the players, but for every issue you may read about on the web you don't see the literally hundred's of customers who have a CD player that offer's amazing performance and plays music for them on a daily basis, so the ratio and outlook gets a little skewed.

Hope this may help

Best regards
Steve Daniels
The Sound Organisation

Steve, thanks for your response. I'd like to say that indeed you and Allen at Audiowaves provided superior customer service surrounding the issues I had with the new Rega cd players. I am well aware you do not make the machines, merely provide sales support and service and to that end I commend your excellence, and to Allen as well. I have suspected and posted that it is the new operating software for some time now. I would like to state I am not doug shroeder but had the same problems he did. I have used the machine in accordance with all operating instructions and do not have any unconventional lighting system in my house. With the Saturn I never even used the remote control. Here is what happened twice in last 2 months with my Saturn (and about 7 or 8 times total with my 2nd and 3rd Apollo machines). So I had the fault on 3 out of 4 machines. I pressed stop on the front panel button, it did not stop, I pressed stop again, and the disc kept playing. After a few more tries (my experience is if the first stop command does'nt work none of the following ones do). Since The machine still would not stop playing the disc, I opened the lid....the disc kept playing. The only way to get the machine to stop playing was to turn the power off. To me this was the most bothersome of the problems I experienced, but I also thought unreliable operation of the remote was an inconvenience as well as disc initialization failures. You may argue otherwise but I feel you should not have to turn the power off to change a disc on a 2600 dollar cd player. Taken alone each thing would maybe not be enough for me to jump ship, but all the issues taken together were enough for me to seek a cd player elsewhere. I asked Allen to see if there are any firmware updates for the machines (I thought of this because I heard Denon had provided firmware updates for some its DVD players). Allen told me no. At that point I decided to not send my Saturn for service, because I had 3 machines back and then get the same old problems again. I really dont know how you would explain that Doug Shroeder and myself had a total of 9 or 10 machines and none operated correctly. Are you saying our sample is part of only 5% error rate? As Doug says this seems highly improbable. Additionally if you read this thread there are other posters besides that have issues with the new Rega machines. How many Saturn/Apollo users post on forums? I dont know. In retrospect I should have hung onto my Jupiter machine.
Steve, thank you for responding; it shows Rega is paying attention. I would like to once again state that the Sound Organization and my Rega dealer have worked very hard to resolve the issue. What other company would swap out five units in such a manner?

Having said that, it is continuously suggested to the public that the problem may be the user, "During the "Initialization" process if the remote is pressed urging the unit to play it will still accept these commands and this over time can cause the player to misread."

Let it be known that there is absolutely NO user issue involved in the problems I have had with the Apollo/Saturn units. Owners become aware rather quickly that one cannot issue the player commands during the initialization process. This was never an issue which I discussed as a problem. In fact, I went online to distinctly differentiate and clarify that the problems with the players are NOT related to commands being given during initialization process. This is a misperception on Rega's part, and I would like to have it cleared up. That reasoning is wrong and is to be discounted as a cause for the malfunctions.

It is not true to state that the units never malfunctioned at the dealer. My first Apollo I took in to have checked. While giving it commands (this is classic!) and the dealer stepped out of the room it malfunctioned, and we were unable to get it to do so again. I note that he exchanged the unit for me anyway. The next unit also exhibited similar problems in my listening room.

On one other occasion a different player (I believe it was this second unit), again brought back to the dealer, had one misread, which the dealer and I both saw, but it was explained along the lines of, "All players have occasional hiccups..." Again, we were not able to get it to malfunction a second time. I beleive I brought up the possibility that the unit was susceptible to IR interference, and that was happening in my HT. At the time I was willing to accept that logic, but not anymore.

I disagree with the suggested fix, "Unplugging the unit and leaving overnight to fully reset in 99% of the cases that customers have called upon gets the machine back up to full reading capability."

In none of these units did this work. I always turn off my cdp after use, without fail. Only when burning them in do I run them constantly. Every unit was turned on/off daily. If so, the problem should have resolved itself. When the unit did misread/glitch I did try turning the unit off and letting it sit for several minutes. This never fixed the problem. The problems I am discussing are not effected by letting the unit sit overnight. Neither turning the unit off/on, nor powering it off for the day resolved the operational issues. Further, why should a player have to sit overnight to be "fixed"?

The issue is NOT explainable by user error, nor does it disappear when the units are left to sit. The problems with the units are intermittent and random. This makes it tremendously difficult to isolate and fix the problem.

In my working with Steve during the interview, and my dealer I have found them to be considerate and well intentioned men. I have no greivance against them, but I cannot explain the situation any other way. I certainly am not the only one who's had problems. If no one else comes forth with players having issues, then I'm left to consider the possibility that freakishly unlikely odds aligned to have me work with five defective players out of an overwhelming majority of perfect ones in a 1.5 year period. I have a great deal of difficulty accepting that.

Let's say over a 1.5 year period Rega sold 1,000 units and of them 3% exhibited problems - 30 units. Over 1.5 years, of all the persons receiving units, I get five of them? Statistically, it is not likely. More likely that additional problematic units exist and are not discovered, reported or returned.

I do agree that Rega will work owners until they are satisfied. My experience has confirmed that Rega goes to great lengths to make their customers happy. I do not know of any instance in which a purchaser has not had their dealer exchange a defective player for a new one.
I postulate that the percentage of defective machines is greater than 5% for the following reasons: a) about 40 percent of problems in general simply go unreported (like crimes for example) b) defects are primarily manifested only by users who don't play entire discs, but would appear if remote track access or stop functions were used more frequently c) the number of Apollo/Saturn owners who post on forums is small indeed relative to the number of machines sold- which is in the tens of thousands. This is further borne out by the fact that I had absolute zero problems with my Jupiter and had lots of them with the Saturns and Apollos- this is backed up by a poster above who kept his Planet since it operated more reliably than the Apollo, which he sold.
Wkass, I think the response offered by djohnson59 is probably the reason why slightly but not seriously scratched cd's drop out or skip on the new Rega machines. In addition to controlling laser focus and accuracy, Regas new operating system sets one of 3 levels of error correction for a disc. What criteria it uses to choose a particular level I don't know, but apparently there are cases where it is inadequete. By contrast other cd machines (including Regas own previous players) use a relatively higher rate of error correction at all times, and hence the discs are playable on those machines. When the machine chooses the lower level of error correction it may also open up the possibility of skipping from speaker vibrations (such as when a disc is played loud) as suggested in the post by the Rega dealer who refers to it as acoustic feedback, which is related to a pick up device (phono cartridge or microphone) feeding back information to the speaker creating a feedback loop. A cd player can not be in a feedback loop, it just skips from the speakers vibrations. I have a concrete floor and my discs are in excellent shape so I never experienced either of these things with my Apollo's or Saturn. Maybe the Apollo tests well for error correction because it chooses the highest correction level for the Pierre Verany test disc.
I should not have to spend $2600 on a player just to have these sorts of operational issues or poor user experience based on the condition of my CD collection, when the Jolidas, Arcams, and Cambridge's of the world do not.

I think the Apollo and Saturn owners out there, who have never experienced this, should feel very fortunate. But I am not willing to take that chance with my money.

I will probably now take a look at Arcam CD-36, Cambridge 840C, Simaudio Equinox, or Ayre CX7e for my CD upgrade.

Thanks to all who responded. Your responses were all very helpful.
Wkass, I agree with your feeling. As you know me and doug shroeder used a total of 9 of these new Rega machines over a period of 18 months or more and all exhibited intermittent operational problems (which does not limit the bugs to just the first batch of Apollos). This is unexplainable. Both of us are fully aware to allow the track 1 dispaly reading indicating initialization is complete before pushing play, both of us are fully aware to allow a desired track to appear in display before switching from one to another. The US Rega distributer responded here and says he is the only one who truely knows how many machines get serviced, returned or exchanged. He states the defect rate was limited to 5% of only the early Apollo machines. He also states that unplugging the machine to "reset" solves the problem. All unplugging the machine does is make it usable the next time you turn it on, it does not remove the software bugs, they are still there and will reappear. It's like saying restarting your computer will fix the bugs in a program. That is why I requested for any firmware/software updates before deciding to sell my Saturn. As stated in the thread, users who play whole discs should not get these infrequent, but bothersome operational issues. For some there will be no problems, others will choose to just live with it, others won't. Again I commend the Rega distributer and my dealer for trying to rectify the problem, really they did all they could, but they do not design and manufacture the machines. However I feel the same way you do. Are me and Doug Shroeder just the unluckiest people in the world, did the Cooler stop by unbeknown to us. I leave that to the discretion of anyone who reads this thread and to consider the posters here and the post by the US Rega distributer.
I guess one must ask... why... do none of the sellers of the Apollo and Saturn disclose these issues?

My assumption is they are fairly common... and... the sellers just aren't disclosing them - I suppose justifying not doing so, by rationalizing its typcial of these players... and... therefore "normal operation."

Fortunately... we've had a few "candid" owners alert us all to the problems, before we "spring" for one of these players.
In my case, I had trouble duplicating any specific problem, which made me wonder if the problem was user error or player related. Only a CD with a healthy scratch would act up the same way twice. All told, I have experienced probably 15 different incidents in 8 months of ownership, and some of them I do think were caused by user error. For me, I was glad to know that my machine wasn't defective; the commonly experienced minor glitches were testimony that my machine was no different from the others. It may seem strange, but I find comfort in that. Below are the types of things I experienced, which I hope will clarify.

-Disc would not initialize. I would sometime raise the lid while the disc was still spinning and trying to initialize, which , I think confused the initialzation program. Yes, I was hasty in some cases and did not wait the full 12 recommended seconds. I have since learned to push stop, lift the lid, rotate the disc 1/4 turn, then continue. Since I have done this, I have experienced only 1 problem which caused me to turn the player off then on to rectify the misbehavior.

-Dirty disc skipping/repeating/stopping. After cleaning the discs, I have experienced this problem only twice. After a second cleaning, the problem disappeared.

-Scratched disc skipping. Cleaning the discs helped a bit, but the Saturn does not like scratched CDs. No fix.

I don't jockey back and forth among tracks very often, but I do it a small amount on some pop stuff. I cannot truthfully remember any time where this caused a problem, but I can certainly see how this might confuse the software or cause some of the reported problems.

I hope that this helps those looking for a more detailed accounting. In the last 3 months (since I changed my user operation), I have experienced only 1 of these minor glitches. I call them 'minor' because I'm an audiophile from the older days who has put up with soooo much in the vinyl realm that it makes the CD world seem like a breeze. I have been in the company of other CDP's which have numerous problems relating to auto slide trays, and that is one issue the Saturn will never experience. This is a great player which can be occasionally finicky, but always enjoyable. I ain't gettin' rid of her!
Bassdude, I agree a seller should disclose to the buyer. Most but not all of the problems are experienced by users who do not play entire discs. I told my buyer of the intermiittent issues these machines have, he said he plays entire discs, so all he should get are infrequent initialization glitches. I did not become aware of the problems playing slightly marred cd's until after my sale, I myself never had this problem, all my discs played without skipping or dropping out ever. For those that dont need to access tarcks frequntly, all the used ones actually represent a bargain, because I am convinced if you buy a brand new one it will be exactly the same way. Rtilden thanks for weighing in on your experience. It is true cd players in general are not the most solid operaters, but I have never used a machine that does some of the things these new Rega players do. You can take some comfort in the fact that your user experience is not uncommon. I dont jump around all the time with my discs. I had times where after letting it load and initialize, I wanted to play a track other than the first and it would lock up. Other times I do want to go from number 5 to say number 9, and well it doesnt, it either goes to some other song or locks up. These types of things will bother some more than others, to me it is inexcusable in a 2600 dollar cd player and I doubt I am alone in that feeling.
I am a recent owner of a Rega Saturn and have experienced only one of the problems mentioned. However, I was able to correct the problem very quickly. Let me explain:

If your home, like ours, is filled with numerous IR and WI-FI signals, resulting from wireless phones operating on 5.3MH, wireless computer routers, remote controlled ceiling fans, wireless keyboards, mice, X-Box 360s, etc., then it's no wonder some of these Rega's are going haywire. Think about the electromagnetic cross channeling that must be taking place inside ones household.

In my case it was the remote controlled ceiling fan being in close proximity to the Saturn. Evidentially, the signal, while small, was being constantly emitted so when I pushed a certain buttons on my Solar remote that function became interrupted.

I ended up having to disable the ceiling fans' remote function and all has been well with the Saturn ever since. I guess my point is, before you fault the operation of the player, do a quick IR and WI-FI check of your house, especially if these systems are close to your players.

Perhaps your problem is not that simple, but it may just be. If anything it is a good place to start.

I hope this helps.

I dont have any wifi or infrared device of any kind in my house. I dont even have a cell phone. For awhile I sometimes thought the unplugging suggestion made the problem go away, only to always have it return. Please let us know by email or posting if you experience the same malfunction despite having taken the ceiling fan out.
At the suggestion of Fillmoor above, I will definitely post any problems that (hopefully do not) occur with my Saturn.

I totally agree with his comment that no player costing $2.5K should exhibit even the slightest problem. So, I will be keeping my fingers crossed for the next few months.

For the record I, too, previously owned (and recently sold) a Jupiter 2000, and it never gave me a lick of trouble.

I still find it somewhat suspect that people are jumping to the conclusion that these players are unreliable and prone to breakdowns. I'm sure if we look at any manufacturers stats regarding their products we'd be hard pressed to find anyone with a 100% reliability score. Even carmakers such as Toyota (Lexus) and Honda (Acura) have vehicles that are lemons! I've experienced it first hand, but does that mean their whole lot is garbage?

I have not experienced any of the aforementioned problems with my Rega, and I've skipped tracks, but for the most part I play whole discs. So I guess you can add me to the "lucky" group?
Darrens, Absolutely there are plenty of people with these machines who report zero problems- as the reply from the Rega distributer may indicate. However I had 3 Apollo machines and a Saturn machine over a nearly 2 year period and every single one exhibited various combinations of the issues above. That is my own personal experience, so I am not jumping to conclusions. It has been suggested by a Rega dealer over on audioasylum that my problems and that of doug shroeder (who had 5 machines and none worked correctly) are related to RFI, and goes on to say that it is essentially just 2 guys that have problems with these machines. That theory does not hold water for me because my 3rd Apollo and my Saturn worked largely without incidnet for several months, and then started bugging out. Additionally doug shroeder had a malfucntion at an entirely different location when he took his machine to his dealer. Further I have knowledge of 3 other users that had errors on more than one Apollo machine. In total my count stands at 20 faulty machines among 8 different users. These errors include all of the known software bug issues on some of the machines, and the drop out/skip problem on others. The drop out issue is probably due to an explanation listed above. The machine sets itself to one of 3 error correction levels during initialization, and there are instances where it chooses a lower level of error correction for slightly scratched/marred discs which proves to be inadequate and causes the audio drop outs, or the "acoustic feedback" skips mentioned by a dealer above. I myself did not have drop outs, but 2 other posters above did. Other than disc initialiaztion failures and the drop out thing, most other problems are related to track access via the remote and the failure to respond to stop function and these will not be experienced by users who play entire discs. Initialization failures are in the range of about one of every 15 or 20 discs.
People should test these machines for glitches from commands issued via the controlls on the face of the units. The first two I used ALSO glitched that way. I would not be surprised in the least if the defective units still exhibit this tendency. That convinced me long ago its NOT an RF issue.
Hmmm, glad checked back in on this thread. I had let it slip from my mind (all too easy these days). I have not experienced most of the problems noted above but I do tend to mostly listen to entire discs. I have not yet had a disc that refused to stop playing. However, I have occasionally had initialization problems and, now that you mention it, I've had problems skipping to the correct track (from the remote). This happened just yesterday. My recollection is that this mostly happened with CD-Rs and I had just chalked it up to the vagaries of cheap media, etc. although I am careful with my burns and always use 8x (my CD-RW won't burn any slower).

Doug is correct, you definitely learn quickly to leave the player alone until the "Initialising" (for our UK friends) finishes. Steve's information on unplugging the player is interesting. As someone who works with computers, it is feasible that, since there may be current running through the player even when switched "off", it might accumulate and eventually be confused by those premature commands. Since I unplug my equipment when thunderstorms come through, I may have inadvertently avoided some of the problems. I do think they need to be fixed if there are problems. I also wonder what that fix would entail. I'm not sure that the firmware is flashable and the chip is probably soldered to the board although I confess that I don't know for sure on either of these issues.

I will say that my Apollo is one FINE-sounding CD player. Although I have not had dozens of players in my system, I never really understood what PRAT was until I found my foot tapping with the music while listening to it.

I hope we haven't scared Steve away from this thread as he would no doubt provide valuable insight, and possibly a conduit for communication, with Rega.

Dick, so you thought you had a perfect unit as of about 3 weeks ago when you posted? Using the commands more (as opposed to simply putting on a disc and playing it through) exposed the issues with your player?

Because the problems are intermittent it's easy to think that either it was some anomaly which cannot happen again, or that you did something wrong with the input. But, when it happens enough times over the course of days or weeks the realization comes that there IS a problem with the player.

I suppose you could say that. It also helps when you see others are having the same issues. As I said, my recollection is that it happens with CD-Rs and it's easy to believe that the problem lies with the discs and not my $1,000 CD player. Additionally, I dismissed it as a problem *for me* since I really don't play CD-Rs that much. Sort of like it's nice to know that I can play mp3s but I almost NEVER do that. If there are issues with mp3s I would never have encountered them.

Now that I've seen the problems others are having, I'll pay more attention to the exact circumstances and report back if I come up with anything. I'll also be following these threads more closely from now on to see if we get any resolution. Given the number of units Rega has sold, unless this is a field updatable issue I doubt we'll see any resolution.

Dick, thanks for checking back and posting. The problems are usually occaisional and intermiitent, and hence why Rega says they are unable to duplicate them, so to them there are no problems. Any serviced or replacement machine will eventually exhibit the exact same issues. I'm convinced that they are caused by bugs in the operating software/chipset of Regas new operating system. In my opinion, To really address the issues would require an entire rewrite of the operating software, something they will not invest in presently, I'd say the jury is out on these machines. Apparently it is'nt so easy to replicate the Phillips/Sony "redbook" system which was many, many years in the making (I know because a friend of mines dad used to work for Phillips).
Fillmore, yes that's what I have experienced but I don't remember having a problem with normal CDs. I only have one hybrid SACD at this point but it seems fine as well. Not being able to see the code that went into the operating system, it's impossible to say whether an entire rewrite would be necessary or just some tweaking of the code. To my mind, a more important issue is how they would update the enormous number of machines they have sold in the past 2-3 years. If they didn't have the foresight to use a flashable chip on the logic board (or at least a pluggable chip), updating would be way too expensive a proposition if the problems were acknowledged as bugs. Some computer companies have slipped bug fixes in with feature updates to their programs. That way they don't have to admit to the bugs and don't have to notify all their customers even if the patch is user-installable. They figure that most users will eventually install the patch and the bug fix as well and they're not out the expense of all those notifications. But again, this presumes that the user CAN install the patch.
Dick, My undestanding is that the system was designed by computer/software guys as opposed to audio guys. Rega gave the "redbook" to them and they created the new operating system. So, As you say you'd think they would have the foresight to allow updates since the Apollo was in effect the guinea pig for this new system. However Rega does not feel there is a problem, as the US Rega distributer states. To put things into perspective Denon provided a firmware update because machines did not play "Raging bull" DVD correctly. Keep using your machine with regular store bought redbook cd's and see how it goes. Certain dual discs and hybrids are not redbook compliant and may not work correctly in some machines. CDR's are going to be ify in any machine too. My experience with the Apollo and Saturn bugs relates to playing perfect condition store bought standard redbook cd's- not cdr's, not hybrids or dual discs.
Fillmoor, where are you getting this information about computer/software guys designing the system? It would certainly explain why oversights like a silent FF function could occur. I have never heard of an audiophile cdp with a silent FF! Makes it a fairly useless feature. I was told that functionality was not built into the chip set. If there were computer/software guys designing it, that would surely explain it!
Doug, It is in the Sam space (stereophile) review of the Saturn and there is also information about it on Regas own website if you click on the review link to "what russ andrews thinks about the saturn". Sony and phillips announced awhile back that they would stop making chipsets for cd players. A british software company thought that people would still be buying cd players and began to develope a new system, using the original Phillips/Sony "Redbook" as a point of reference. Rega entered into a partnership with this as yet unknown company (anonymity was part of Regas partnership agreement). Here's a qoute from the sam space article, Sam consulted directly with Rega founder Roy Gandy for this article. "Some venture capitalits in the UK foresaw that the chipsets would cease to become available, while sales of cd players would continue, so they set up a company with between 20 and 40 computer software engineers, none of them from hi-fi, and fed them the original Sony/Phillips "redbook"." If you read the russ andrews article it basically rehashes the above and mentions that Rega was "to assist with debugging".
In addition, this is straight out of their Apollo manual on their website.

To the best of our understanding, there have only ever been five large multinational companies with the technology and knowledge base to develop the remarkably complex operating software for CD players.

Development of this software and chip-sets to operate CD transports was generally curtailed around eight to ten years ago. All development effort was directed towards the
design of DVD players and other advanced formats.
Rega and other specialist Hi Fi manufacturers were totally reliant on companies like Sony and Phillips to supply transports and their operating chip-sets.

In 2003 Sony stopped supply and sent the specialist Hi Fi industry into a flurry of activity in search of feasible alternatives. Many manufacturers were able to resource their supply from Far Eastern companies.

Rega has worked hard in locating a British software company who were in the development of a totally new disc operating system. A system, which was highly advanced, even in the early development stages.

Rega is the only manufacturer to develop the unique new disc operating system. Due to ever increasing computer processing power and memory fabrication it has been possible to build in an enormous amount of memory capacity. This has allowed the data retrieval to meet the original CD 'Red Book' specifications without compromise to the musical performance. All previous chip-sets were unable to achieve this due to their limited memory and signal processing capacity.

Rega's new British designed chip set contains over 20MB of memory with 32 bit digital signal processing capacity and Rega has used this computing power to give a far greater musical performance.

We hope you enjoy this very special CD player; we have spent a very long time creating it, drawing on all of our 32 years of experience in specialist Hi Fi manufacturing.
In addition, I inquired of Rega why the units have silent FF function as opposed to virtually every other player under the sun. The answer I was given was that particular functionality had not been built into the chip set. It certainly opens up the possibility that there have been some other glitches in the operating system.
Indeed Rega has made no secret of all this, actually they made a big deal that they were the first ones to use the new system (which will probably eventually appear in other players as well), what they do make a secret of is that there are still bugs in the system.