The Elicit has been in my system for about three months. Basically, it's a warm, detailed, powerful amp that continues in the "house sound" for which Rega is known. It seems to have plenty of current- it drives my 88db/4 ohm speakers which ease. On the other hand, it tends to not draw attention to itself; one gets drawn into the music rather than continually listening to what the amp is doing. I'm very pleased.
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I got mine when they came out. I reviewed it on audioreview and there is also a site called Tone audio that reviews it, they preferred it to the supernait. I was also in contact with a guy who compared the latest LFD, the Elicit and the Luxman class A that came out awhile back. He got the Luxman but said the Rega was his second choice. The other integrated I own was the grand daddy of british intgrateds- the class A Sugden A21. The Rega is clearer, more detailed and bigger stage, better bass, the Rega could not quite match the sweetness of the Sugden on female vocals, saxophone and piano. The Rega was cleaner sounding too (not anticeptic, just without some extra distortion the Sugden had). The Elicit still has a subtle sweetness relative to other amps, but the Sugden is warmer still and very "tubelike". I use my Elicit with RS3 speakers and this is a very musical yet uncoloured sound. The Elicit is about as good as British class AB integrated amps get which is certainly not to say you can't do better. If you want an all in one that is'nt tubes or class A and also a phono stage on board, the Elicit should be a top consideration. I've used tubes and class A solid state and after awhile no longer wanted to deal with the heat, hassle and wasted electricity. I like the musical sweetness of tubes but this Rega system is pretty darn musical too and does a few things tube amps could'nt dream of.
May I ask how many hours did the Elicit take to sound at its optimum? The Rega Elicit sounds pretty darn good right now. I have listened to the LFD Zero MkIII in my system and the Elicit exhibits the same character in PRAT, dynamics and detail in the high frequencies and midrange. Although the bass of the Elicit is pretty good, it still doesn't quite match the LFD's bass performance. The bass on the LFD is exceptional and one of a kind. In comparison the LFD's bass is tauter with better slam and presence while the Elicit's bass is more ballsy and rounded. I was just hoping the bass of the Elicit would improve with more hours on it.
I was intrigued by the other guy's comment that the Rega was his 2nd choice, which pushed the LFD to the last. Although the Rega Elicit was said to sound exceptionally close to the LFD Zero MkIII, the latter was supposed to be the superior unit by a marginal difference. Did he say why he preferred the Rega more than the LFD although he eventually ended up with the Luxman?
well the Luxman is $4000 and class A, so no surprises there. I have found Class A amplification distinguishes itself with a lack of any hash or grain in the upper mids and treble, I just no longer want to deal with the heat and energy waste of class A amps. He said the Rega came close to the Luxman. He said the LFD had a "detailed sheen" that over time fatigued him. Nowadays, I leave my Elicit on all the time and am really liking it, and to be honest it sounded good right off so I can't comment on what to expect regarding "break in". In reality if you want a quality UK, US or Japanese Manufactured solid state integrated there is not alot to choose from, particualrly if you want an on board phono stage.
Thanks for the response Filmoor. Looks like I can forget about drastic sonic changes now since you mentioned the Elicit sounded great cold right out of the box. I did perceive a smooth transition in the 10th hour or so as everything started to come together nicely and was hoping to hear further improvements with more hours on it. I do agree that there isn't much quality solid-state integrateds around to choose from particularly in this sort of price range. The Elicit does punch above its weight, and to be frank it sounded better than my separates costing 3X more.
I am not so sure about leaving the unit on 24 hours a day though. As much as I would like to do so, the manual does not state anything regarding this and furthermore there isn't any standby function on the unit. I would be more inclined to leave the unit in standby mode rather than having it powered up all the time.
Manuals never say to leave on, but some people do, and it is common praactice in the professional audio industry. I first experienced the idea at a sound dealer who left their solid state Mcintosh power amp on all the time. Some feel it actually extends rather than shortens component life just so long as it's a component that won't generate alot of heat at idle. True there is no need to leave on, but amps usually sound better after being on awhile (unlike "break in", the matter of "warm up" is well accepted, amps just sound better warm or hot than from cold, when you turn it on it is cold and will raise temp as it plays). I leave mine on and I use the mute switch when not playing. Anyway you might try leaving it on for 24 hours, then turn off, this will allow the power supply capacitors to fully discharge. Try it a few times over a one week period. After that either leave on or turn on only when in use. Both the matter of component break in and leaving gear on is often debated. Poke around on the net and I'm sure you'll find plenty of opinions. My cd player positively sounds better after being on for a few hours, so rather than wait, I leave it on all the time too.
Thanks for the response. I do know amps sound better when left powered up for a little while. I have never switched off my Plinius amp and leave it on 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That was when I figured out the Plinius needed to be powered up for a long time in order to sound at its optimum. I once tried to listen when the Plinius was on for about 4 hours and detected a breaking of piano sound in one particular CD. The piano note seemed like broken and I thought the tweeter on the speaker was gone or something. The next day I listened the vibrating piano notes were gone. That was when I realised the Plinius cannot be switched off and needed to be powered up all day long.
I tried leaving the Rega on the whole night yesterday and the sound was more or less similar to when it was powered up 1 hour from cold. I believe the Elicit is good to go at about 1 hour after it is switched on.
Just out of curiosity, may I know what speaker cables are you using with the Elicit? Have you tried the Naim Naca5 or DNM Reson with the Elicit? I was just wondering whether the bass performance of the Elicit would improve with the use of suitable speaker cables.
I use Supra Ply 3.4S which has been around for ages and is what I' consider to be a very capable and affordable wire, Rega also has their own called Quatro. The Rega speakers I use are RS3 and single terminal, so only one run of wire per speaker is needed, I use it bare wire. I got the Supra ply from madisound.com though it is not the most convenient cable to use, it is a little tedious to strip and prepare, and it is stiff (like naim NAC), I flexed it gently in sections for awhile to make it more agreeable before installation. The regualr Ply 3.4 without the shield is probably a little easier to work with. The wire takes quite awhile to run in. Btw Piano notes can cause cone breakup or ringing on speakers and clipping on amps, also the piano or recording itself can be the source. If you like solo piano I'd recommend Gyorgy Ligeti edition 3 cd on Sony , and on ECM label Mompou Musica Callada- among the best piano recordings I own.
Hi Fillmoor, may I ask if your Rega Elicit has the optional built-in MM or MC phonostage? If it has, I would appreciate if you can let me know whether you have tried any quality outboard phonostage with your analogue rig. I currently have my Rega P5 connected to the Elicit utilizing the built-in MC phonostage. I was curious if a better quality phonostage like the EAR 834 will bring substantial improvement to the sound. Your advice would be most appreciated.
One of the reasons I got my Elicit was ease of use- to have the onboard phono option. Mine is the Moving magnet- I use with a Rega Cartridge. I have not used the onboard MC option. Outboard phono stages can be a step up or down over an onboard one. Being outboard does not automatically make it superior. I'd say Regas own IOS phono preamp or The EAR unit might be worth your while if you play alot of records. Think about how much it will cost, how much use it will get, how and where you'll install it, needing the extra wires etc. I always heard good things about the EAR but never had a chance to sample one.
Thanks for your response. I recently just tried a Rotel RQ-970BX outboard phonostage and to my ears there isn't any significant audible difference between the two. In fact both sound so alike that I would probably have mixed up both in a double-blind test. This experience has proven that the built-in MC phonostage in the Elicit is of pretty high quality. I was informed that the Elicit's phonostage is almost similar to the Rega Fono except that the Fono is a more elaborate piece being an outboard unit. Most likely I will stick with the Elicit's phonostage until I figure out which better phonostage to get. I'd probably try a Dynavector P75MkII sometime down the road. The Rega IOS is too costly for what I am willing to fork out. Maybe I'll try a different cartridge instead. By the way, I only have less than 50 records in my collection.
Well Ryder your post reminded me of a comparison we did in the early 90's when my friend brought over a Creek OBH to compare against the stage already in my Adcom pre-amp. He thought it would be no contest. Suprisingly The onboard Adcom stage was smoother, quieter and more musical. I once tried a Lehman black cube external and did not like that one either (too "analytical"). The Elicit onboard MM stage is neither warm, nor too dry, and not optimally quiet but plenty good enough. For me it's easier to change cartridges if I want tonal warmth, or more detail or whatever. Btw there is a nice review of the Rega Elicit here http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/rega/elicit.html, this is the most informative I have read so far. It was largely in line with my perception. The bass reach is very good for a medium powered integrated, yet it is a very even response without over plumpness. Detail is good, not seperated into the spotlight. The temporal aspect of the music is coherent. The tonality is a touch warm, but I dont hear it as being euphonic warmth. There is not the seductive sweetness that tube amps give to certain instruments (saxophone, piano, female voice), up in the treble the Elicit is cleaner than most tube amps, the midrange is musical and well ordered, in the bass there is no contest- the Elicit will insult a good lot of tube amps.
Thanks for the input on phonostage. Just to update, I have pitted another outboard phonostage with the onboard MC phono of my Elicit. I have to agree with you that the built-in phonostage of the Rega is a pretty good unit on its own. Although the outboard phonostage gave more bite, energy and detail to the sound(which impressed at first), the midrange and highs were found to be slightly rough and grainy after a while. After a few listening sessions I find myself gravitating to the smoother and coherent sound of the Rega's onboard phonostage. There will be other excellent(and costly) phonostages out there but there can be no end hunting for the ideal one, not to mention the quality and sonics of the Rega's phono are already quite brilliant.
I have done extensive research on the Rega Elicit and have read the 6moons review prior to purchasing the Elicit. It is good that you have included the link here. Since the link has a comma at the end which made it inaccessible, here is the review of the Elicit for those who might be interested in the unit. http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/rega/elicit_3.html
I have reread the review again. This review is definitely spot-on, especially the comments made in the conclusion. The reviewer definitely hits the nail on the head there. Most points are valid, especially the comment on more openness and resolution in treble that can be found elsewhere. I have recently pitted the Leben CS600 against the Elicit and find the Rega to be slightly warm and shut-in in the midrange and highs compared to the more open and transparent Leben. However, the cohesiveness, full midrange and seamless treble(although slightly lacking in air) aim for long-term satisfaction rather than short-term thrills. The owner of the Leben has mentioned that the Leben can sound a little too lean with some musical material. The bass slam and dynamics of the Elicit did not disappoint and are superior to the Leben CS600.
Your perception(and of the 6moons reviewer) on the Elicit largely mirrors mine. Good bass(beats the much highly-touted Leben tube unit), good detail without exaggeration, good coherency, tonality a touch warm and overall good musicality. A good all-rounder for those looking for a good powerful SS integrated with phono option who don't want to venture into tubes or the heat of Class A amps.