This Rega R5 review
will give you a useful answer.
I used the Rega Aras (now the R1s) for a number of years and there always was good bass, as long as you had near back wall placement.
Without knowing your budget, I would consider the Sierra 1 from Ascend Acoustics
and add the matching pedestal stand. Remarkable performance and excellent tuneful bass. The solid bamboo construction really lowers the noise floor. There is also a 30 day money back trial.
I heard them in NY several years ago and they were very balanced around the mids, definitely English sounding. I would imagine they would mate well with the new Brio R and P3 turntable. If for anything else, I think their build quality per price is second to none. Their products deserve to be compared to Luxman Classico line out of Japan and maybe Decware here in the US, which make balanced integrated amps with dedicated speakers.
I have Rega R5's (not RS5) running off of Naim seperates and they have plenty of very well controlled "bass," or low frequency performance. Of course, your room scale and constuction does influence the sound. They are pretty forgiving of amplification but they are so musical and accurate, I think I could justify pairing them with much more expensive amplification than their price would seem to dictate.
I think they are a great little speaker and they look modern and go with nearly any decor. Sound-wise they literally rock and they beat the pants off of all sub- $2000 B&W's (600 and some CM series) and Sonus Fabers (Domus) I have auditioned. Their "bass" was warmer but better controlled than the B&W's and the Sonus Fabers. They were more revealing and lively than the Sonus Fabers. The tweeter is quite good. The midrange could be a bit bigger and warmer, but it is nice and helped along by the side firing driver that also covers lower frequencies. They are a bit forward with Naim equipment, but Naim is forward too.
Not many people seem to have heard them, and I have read some posts on this site that deride them - apparently by individuals that haven't actually heard them. The upside of all of this: they aren't too popular and they tend to be a bargain used. Cheers!
Thank you Jceaves... I got them about 2 months ago and I love them! I have been playing many speakers over the years (a pair every year pretty much... magnepan, dynaudio, bw, martin logan, psb, polk, bose, jmlab, vandersteen, definitive, paradigm, DIY, ?), and these will stay in my home. These are IT. Perfect for my space, mate well with my marantz integrated, just love them.
Until I find something I like better that is.
I'm glad you like them. I recently tested a couple of NAD receivers (from eBay) that I got for two of my teenage sons and they sounded great with the R5's too. I think they are a really flexible speaker. I have been getting into vinyl much more lately on my Rega P3, and the richness, tonality, and slam of the system is remarkable compared to the Naim CD5 and my DAC sources. The R5's do let you hear differences in sources very clearly.
I think they're not too popular because the majority of Rega speaker owners use Rega amplification and sources too. Most people want speakers from a speaker-only manufacturer.
McIntosh, Naim and Linn are in the same boat IMO. They make very good speakers, yet few have heard them. Most Mac, Naim, Rega and Linn speaker owners have a complete Mac, Naim, Rega or Linn system, from source to speakers.
Good point. Hawthorn Stereo in Seattle recommended pairing Rega speakers with Naim amps and it was a really wonderful suggestion. I would have gone for Naim speakers, but Hawthorn knew my price point and they are a very practical stereo shop. I live in NM, where no Naim dealer exists, and I am a believer in Hawthorn.
REGAs do bass very well; EXTRAORDINARILY WELL IMO. Paired with the "right" kit, they are superb.
I've got an "A" SYSTEM with the REGA R9s and I grudgingly sold my "B" system R1s when the WAF changed with the remodelling
check 'em out.
I enjoyed the RS1s for a couple of years. They share the same tweeter and mid frequency driver as the RS5. So while I can't specifically comment on the bass i can comment on the rest. The tweeter is really amazing, I guess mostly due to its zero reflection technology. They are lively, dynamic and realistic without being overly bright. The cymbals sound more articulate and dynamic than speakers up to 6 times their price i've audioned (harbeth, revel, psb) They have excellent synnergy with rega amplification that favors body and weight in the midrange. The midrange is quite good too: amazing dynamics and detail. Voices, however, can sound a bit artificial and 'papery'. This is minor criticism though as its a flaw easily ignored when facing a wide, clear and tidy soundstage.
When I decided to upgrade I lusted over the rs3 and 5s for a few weeks, but since I couldn't audition (I could only order them), I went for a different brand. Mostly due to the side firing woofer and fear of nasty room intearctions as my side walls are fairly close. I wasn't too convinced with the idea of having a bass driver shooting into my rig that's placed between the speakers either.
So, my advise is: 1. you need a warmish sounding amp for these guys to deliver a fully engaging performance. They will sound sterile with analytical amplification.
2. Make sure to have spare space to the sides or have your vibration sensitive front ends well away from the area between the speakers.
3. Audition in your space. Ask your dealer to borrow them for a weekend. Experiment with drivers firing in and out, different toe in and placement. Don't ever buy speakers without auditioning with your amp and, if possible, sources. I know this sounds like a PITA but there's very few practical sides to this hobby of ours.
My brother has heard the RS5's with Naim amps, and enjoyed the sound.
I have RS 3's in a room slightly smaller and it's a very natural sounding sound with a realistic presentation.
As a former audio salesman I's say they would be hard to sell in a store for just that reason, most folks are used to a "HI-FI" sound and have heard little acoustic music.
You never know ABOUT A ROOM , but having listened to 5's a while before buying 3's I'd be surprised if they would do 40Hz .
Well it's been now nearly a year since I have the RS5s, and I am still super happy. In my room (open living room/breakfast area/kitchen = 16'x25'), the bass is just right. They replaced a pair of Vandersteen 2CE signature, which were overwhelming the room with bass because of the lack of placement options. With the rega, I have better quality bass and more open midrange compared to the vandys (and a smaller footprint). In terms of bass depth, yes the vandys were going lower, but I can tell that the rs5 go low too, with useable bass in the neigborhood of 35-38hz.
I will run some tests soon using tones.. I will report my findings using a NAD 315 integrated and a Marantz 8004 integrated.