I heard it in combination with their Osiris amp at a meeting of our local audio club. Honestly, I thought it was good but nothing extraordinary. I cant really pinpoint exactly why I was underwhelmedmaybe it was the fact that it wasnt terribly musical, IMObut the combo just didnt move me, despite doing all the typical audiophile-checklist things. Just my opinion.
HIFICRITIC has reviewed it, gave it a rating of 83 on their scale, which is excellent, see their site under Colloms Ratings for others ratings. The gist of the review is that it is one of the best on market and nothing better in its price range. They felt it was better than the amp, which they also liked.
Heard it with a variety of amps/speakers (it was the constant). Kind of agree with Hooper, nice but didn't make me go wow, which it should at that price.
I did get a chance to hear it in system with Vandersteen 7's, Audio Research Ref5 and Ref 210 Mono Blocks and it sounded absolutely fantastic. In fact when I was told it was a Rega I couldn't believe it. The same rack had the Naim CDS3 and that was what I thought was playing till he changed the disc. I think rega is just getting better and better. I have heard they were coming with a Higher End Turntable. Even higher than the P9, has anyone heard of this?
Hooper, Thanks for your reply. Maybe the Osiris was holding it back.
Meiwan & Stanwal thanks for your info. I will check HifiCritic's review.
Theo, it sounds like with top gear the Isis really shined. As always system matching is quite important.
Keep the replies coming.
I think Rega makes the Isis in a tube and solid state version. Check out their website under Industry Directory here on A-Gon's home page. I heard the tube version at RMAF 2010 with Wilson's Sophia 3s. I thought it was the best digtal I have heard. Before that I thought it was MSB's 3 box flagship, but I thought this was more natural sounding. If you are looking to spend real money on digital, check out Neodio. I heard it at CES this year in the Wilson Alexandria room and thought it was better than the Isis or the MSB. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Pick your flavor and go with it.
Your findings are interesting but worthless, how can you possibly rate any of these front ends in completely different systems? How do you know what was doing what? I am sure the Neodio is excellent but is it better than an MSB or a Rega the only way you could possible figure that out would be to listen to all three in an identical system.
Audiofreakgeek, I find Elinor's comments interesting as well, thus they are not worthless, they are interesting. Thanks for posting Elinor, I am not familiar with Neodio and will look into it for future reference.
I am not saying his post raised the light on other front ends however, it shows Elnors inexperience. The only way you can judge anything is to switch out one variable and listen.
Going to three different rooms with three entirely different systems it is impossible to discern what is doing what to the sound, you could speculate that the front end is accounting for the difference but it is just one element in a reproduction chain, and then you have the room differences to counter as well!
I would add to the list of great sounding front ends out now
the Esoteric K03 and the AMR CD 77.1 both of these players sound really good, but without having a comparison to any of the other players it is all speculation on which sounds the best, and speaking of best that is a totally personal issue, best in what capacity?
I think that Elinor's response was very interesting. Yes it is impossible to tell what each piece is contributing to a system when you hear it at a show but it certainly sounds like the Rega Isis helprd produce beautiful music in a nice system.
You have gotten the point. Certainly all 3 systems were different and in different rooms. Those variables play a part of what I heard. It would seem to me that is a given to any audiophile worth his merit be it at a show, in a store, or at a friend's home. I would think that at this price point you would explore these players in your own system, the only important one I might add, and make your decision. All 3 products seemed dynamic, transparent, and relatively non-digital for digital and yes, all 3 were excellent regardless of the variables. Good luck to you.
I just purchased Rega Isis and Osiris combo and I think it is really special, very musical,almost analog sound (good turntable sound),zero digital glare,non fatiguing, relaxed but detailed at the same time.Instruments and voices have a texture that is missing with most CD players.
I took it to my friend house one day (600fpb Krell, evo preamp,B&W 802D)and he was amazed at how good his system sounded with the ISIS ( it was much better than his Bryston DAC).I'm surprised that some members were not moved by the REGA (maybe speakers or the room was the issue),to me it is pure music!
It sounds like the Isis & Osiris is a great combination. As always system matching is critical.
The Isis and Osiris are wonderful...buy both, use the Rega´s original cables ( power cords and XLR ) and you will be shocked by the wonderful music they can reproduce. Pure magic.
I heard the Isis and Osiris together at a local dealer. I also heard the Isis at Axpona (in the Wilson Benesch room).
I wasn't too impressed with either presentation.
Achilles--what did you think of the Wilson Benesch speakers?
Rgs92, I liked them a lot. The distributor also carries Quad, and I was initially more excited about finally hearing some Quads, and I wasn't expecting much from the WBs, about which I knew nothing. But it turned out I liked the WBs much more than the Quads. The WBs had impact, resolution, smoothness, and power. There really was somethign magical there. The Quads really only had smoothness going for them, IMO. I don't know how some reviewers use those as a reference.
Unfortunately the WBs are way out of my price range.
I have to admit my favorite speakers at the show were the Wharfedale Diamond 10s, which are only $1200 or so.
The WBs were my third favorite, after those super expensive "best speakers in the world", I think they're called YGs.
If you have the budget, I'd recommend checking out the WBs. If you have more of a budget, check out the YGs. And if you don't have much of a budget at all, listen to the Wharfedales. They are all excellent.