I have used a Rega Apollo since it was introduced in a system with a Prima Luna Prologue 2 tube integrated and Ascend Acoustics Sierra Ones (currently).
The Rega does a lot of things right and has some interesting technology to it. From the Stereophile review ...
"Each time the user loads a new disc, the Apollo reads the whole of the CD's subcode data into memory, analyzes it and then selects the most appropriate of four levels of error correction. That way, the music is never overcorrected per se, and the integrity of the original datastream is kept intact to the greatest extent possible."
I find the Apollo has a smooth sound with just enough detail. I have never found it fatiguing. In 5+ years of ownership, I have had no problems with the unit.
I am in the market for a CD player for another system and the Rega's top loader would not work. I have been looking at the Marantz CD6004.
Hey Hi4head, sounds like Rar1 is trying to sell his Rega.
A great time to look at Computer Audio, inexpensive DAC's beat out the sound of your respected NAD. Put thousands of cd's on one source, access material in seconds and never get up.
Sorry, the Rega Apollo is not for sale, nor is the Musical Fidelity CD PRE 24 in the living room system. I have been using a SONY blu-ray player with my Outlaw RR2150 in my bedroom system and I was thinking about replacing the SONY with the Marantz CD6004. In addition to the positive reviews on the Marantz, I was also interested in it, because it is made in Japan.
I have been very happy with the Rega. In 20+ years of owning CD players, it may very well be my favorite CD player.
Thanks for the responses so far.
Rich: The way that I read your earlier note, my interpretation was not that you were soliciting a sale, only sharing your insights. From seeing that you are also running the signal into tubes makes me think that the Apollo would also go well with my system.
Relative to computer audio, I have given this some thought, but, I don't want a computer in my living room. I've looked a little into the music servers. My understanding is that I'd either need to buy something with a very good internal cd reader (that then basically rips to the internal hard drive), or, have a good transport that then sends the signal to the server for storage and playback (with or without an external DAC). Is there anything in the $500 to $800 range that works well, looks good, and sounds great?
I'd love to hear if anyone could share experience between the Apollo, the NAD C565BEE, or the others noted above.
Thanks again for your help.
I second the DAC idea. I recently added a Rega DAC to my system. Transport is a lightly modded Oppo player. After experimenting with CD players costing over 5K and trying several DACs, the Rega was the winner. It addition to doing CD's I have added a inexpensive Mac to the mix and it can also play network music nicely from Apple TV. A DAC improves SQ and adds options. If the Rega is too much money consider the excellent Dacmagic or other great units out there!
System: Merlin TSM-MXr, Manley Stingray II, Rega DAC, MJ Acoustics 150MK2 sub, Cardas wires.
Thanks for the additional comments on using a transport with separate DAC. I was actually starting to explore this idea later last night and this morning. My NAD player will not function as a reliable transport do to its new glitches (skips, clicks, etc.) so I will therefore need a transport and DAC to take this path.
I am not against doing this.
Any recommendations on a startup path. I was wanting to keep my expense in the $500 to $800 range.
Thanks again folks for the thoughts and recommendations.
In your price range, you can get a pc based laptop. Mac is out of the price. I'd recommend a dual core processor, 4gb ram and 320 to 500gb hard drive, windows 7 64 bit. You can easily find this for $400. Later, you can add an external hard drive. For a Dac I'd recommend the Musical Fidelity VDAC II or the Schiit Bifrost DAC. Then you'll need a USB cable, the least expensive with any quality will be an Audioquest Forest, you can pick it up at best buy. This compination will be $800 to $900 depending on which DAC you get and how long your USB is. This will walk all over your NAD...
Nice deal on a Toshiba laptop, has all specs that I mentioned earlier... a steal @ $269, no reason to wait for BlackFriday.
I am going the laptop route. At the recent Toronto Audio show most of the sources were laptops and even netbooks, ie about 75%. Most of the remaining were TTs. You can get a nice HP laptop and a Music Streamer in your range. CD's probably going the way of the dodo.
Other than that the Music Hall/Shanling is in your range a requirment sound-wise. Maybe Jolida too.
Again folks, thanks for the input.
I drove over to Raleigh yesterday afternoon and pickup a new Apollo. I put in it into my system early evening, and all I have to say is "WOW".
It is like a veil has been lifted from my music. (Even my wife has been commenting on the difference.)
I did play around a little with the computer concept, however, I'm not ready for that. Maybe in a few years the technology and I will be ready for each other.
For now, I'm perfectly satisfied to use some older technology that is stable and proven. (nb: The dealer did say that a replacement for the apollo should be showing up in around two months.)
Congratulations and enjoy your Apollo. If I were to update my Apollo, it would be to the Rega Saturn and then I would look to update my Prima Luna PL2 to something else in the Prima Luna line. So, it would take a serious coin outlay before I would change from the Apollo.