Yes, if your speakers are highly resolving.
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I agree. Rega just released a DAC for $995 that's supposedly a lot better than the Apollo and better than the Saturn in a lot of ways. Not every single way. A few have compared them on Pink Fish Media.
I pre-ordered one from my dealer and will pick it up tomorrow. If it works out well, it'll stay. If not, I have no committment to keep it. I'll report back when I've got a good understanding of what it's doing. My dealer has a Saturn or two on the floor,so I should be able to A/B them, but it won't be at home with my own gear and room.
Should be very interesting. I've been waiting for them to release a DAC for quite a while. I just recently sold my Apollo.
If you're not interested in DACs, the Saturn is quite a bit better than the Apollo if you have the proper speakers and room to tell the difference. Worth it or not is a personal/financial thing.
I've had the DAC for 2 weeks now. Far better than my Apollo. Some say it's better than the Saturn, some say it's a bit different but equally good. I haven't lived with a Saturn, so no opinion from me.
If you like Rega, particularly their sources, you should make it a point to hear it before deciding on a Saturn or Apollo.
As a heads up, I've read that Rega is planning on revamping a bit. The Apollo and Brio's replacement will be in a half width chassis that's shared with the DAC. The Mira and Saturn will get a facelift, but remain full width. No word if it's purely cosmetic or internal too.
This came from a Rega rep on Pink Fish Media. They're supposedly due out sometime this year. I'd guess later than sooner.
I have a Saturn + the Rega DAC. I performed extensive A/B comparisons of the Saturn through the Rega DAC against the pure Saturn into my LFD amp and Harbeth Compact 7's. In every instance, the pure Saturn came out ahead. Before buying the Saturn, I was planning to use a Music Hall CD 25.2 through the Rega DAC for CD playing but experienced a lot of jitter issues. So now I am quite satisfied with the Saturn for CD's and the Rega DAC for all the computer based music.
Given my experience, I would say that all the opinions that an Apollo + Rega DAC are better than the Saturn are inaccurate and probably more speculative than actual testing based.
So far I prefer the Saturn and CD's. It's close. Frustrating thing is, that to get hi-res out of the Mac I have to use a good quality Toslink cable because USB will not play in hi-res in the Rega Dac. I've had a Naim CD5X in the past and an Audio Aero Prima and feel the Saturn is comparable. I like that it evaluates a disc to optimize it before playing.
I once had the loan of a Wavelength Brick for a few weeks and that was incredible. I would have gone that way but I thought the Rega Dac would take care of CD & Computer, whereas the Brick can only do USB. Had I known I would be buying a stand alone CDP anyway, I would have bought a Brick for the Computer side. I still may wiggle back that direction yet.
Back on the CDP.... you can still get a new Saturn for $1800. The "trade in a clunker promo" is still in effect though many dealers don't promote it. At $1800, the Saturn was a no brainer. (See Gene Rubin.)
Hi-res out from USB out of a Mac into a Halide Bridge is the way to go with the Rega dac. Unfortunately they cost $400 but it makes the Rega sing with re-res out of a Mac.
Comparing a dedicated $2,400 cd player to a $1,000 dac is not completely fair anyway.
Add up the cost ($1,000 dac, $700 mac mini, Halide $400) and that combo really then competes directly to the Saturn.
Plus you still have 3 more digital inputs for other sources if you need.