I read in reviews that the new r models don't sound as good as the earlier models.
Can you show the links to those reviews - thx.
One of my players is still the original Saturn. I agree with the others that it is very smooth and musical. Also as good as it is as a cd player, it is an excellent transport when teamed up to a standalone DAC.
One thing to note is that with the Saturn (and other Rega's ?) when a CD is loaded, it goes through an initialization process that commits the CD information to its memory. This could take a while sometimes 5 - 10 seconds. The method that Rega is using for verification that the CD is actually good to play, takes a while and the standard they set for a pass is very high. This was confirmed to me by Plurison the Canadian dealer/service rep.
Setting this bar really high has its consequences to a user. If a CD does not satisfy all conditions it just can't be read. You can most likely take that same CD, put it into a $50 dvd player and it will be read no problem. With that I have had no problems with store bought Cd's. But burned cd's are another matter and require some experimentation - brands, colors. Just something to note.