Rega Saturn and Apollo-How good are they??

Rebuilding my entire system and need opinions on cd players. The Regas are supposed to be superb!! Will they beat all the Arcam players, including the old CD23?? How about the Naim players?? I am not completely sold on universal players either. I suppose the Arcam, Rotel and others do a reasonably good job, but assuming dedicated music players are still superior. Then there's SA and DVD-audio, not sure if there is enough software out there that I'd like to warrant owning one or both high rez formats. I would think the finest redbook playback can equal or beat em.

I'm a long time analogue lover, but have slowly gravitated more to digital listening, it's come a long way in the last 20 years, and I'm convinced that the quality of the mastering and transfer to the disc makes or breaks digital playback. My finest discs are very close or as good as anything I've heard in analogue, and I owned a few nice tables in my life.

Any thoughts would be great.

Thanks to all!!!
I have heard the Apollo in various systems, as well as Naim players. The Apollo is great - lots of body, very good layering of the soundstage, kind of "intense" sounding which some people will love and some systems will hate. It is all about synergy so until you try it in your own system, you won't really know but I like it a lot.

As for Arcam, it depends on the model. They don't all sound the same. The 192 is similar to the Apollo (I think) but the 36 is not as coherent - more matter-of-fact sounding. But you really must match the CDP to your system for best results. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Thanks for the reply Arthur!
Rega Apollo vs. Jupiter vs. Saturn [u][/url]
I've had the Rega Saturn here for almost a month. Excellent at revealing each individual instrument in the music. Bass notes are highly tuneful, more than any other player I have heard. PRAT is definatly one of it's strong points! I would say it betters the Arcam FMJ 33 in many areas.
I just upgraded from a Panet 2000 to a Saturn. My very first impression from listening last night was that the Saturn was brighter, faster and "harder" sounding than the Planet 2000 - non of which was an improvement IMHO. I know its suppose to sound much better, but i found myself prefering the sound of the Planet instead.

Am I just crazy or could this be correct?
In their respective price both are excelent.If you have a very revealing system go for the saturn , if not the apollo will do .Be careful with system matching and if you can hear the unit in your own system before letting go of your credit card , do so . Ive always found system matching to be extremely important . What sounds great in one system might not in another one.
I auditioned the Apollo against the Naim CD-5i back when they first came out and went with the Naim. As I recall, the Naim was also $600-700 more though.

Both were good in different ways. I found the Apollo to be polite in comparison and the Naim had much better bass. However, I also thought the Apollo was a bit more detailed.

There is something about the Naim's. Tonal accuracty combined with world class PRAT.

I regret getting rid of mine, but just had to try something else. You know how it goes.

BTW, I strongly recommend you give the Oppo 980HD an audition. I know it's a cheap multi-purpose DVDP, but I don't care. They sound good.
Thanks for the advice...

My system is:

Merlin sig 4s, Audible Illusions Modulus 3 (with NOS telefunken tubes) and a Dynaco 70 refurb amp with Mullard xf2 NOS tubes and cardas cross wire all around.

I've been "breaking in" the Saturn and have almost 150 hours on it, and it does sound better in many respects than my old Planet 2000:

Much tighter & deeper base
Better highs
Broader, deeper soundstage
better imaging
better separation of instruments
better overall clarity

However, I'd say that in one important category it falls short of the planet - the midrange, especially on vocals is not as sweet and involving.

Should I switch back or try something else...maybe the Jolida?

During the first 100 hours of operating my Saturn, I noticed an objectionable reproduction of raspy trumpets and trombones on one or two recordings. That condition has since subsided. My experience with the fully broken-in Saturn reveals a very enjoyable, sweet midrange, with no objection whatever. Only when I compare it to my vinyl rig do I find slight criticisms, mostly in the texture of instruments.

I suggest patience, not haste, in deciding that the Saturn is the culprit. Perhaps it needs more break-in time, or it is not interacting up to its potential in your system. Hopefully, other Saturn owners will chime in to give you a broader perspective. Good luck.
Thanks for the observations. I have it playing CDs all day on repeat. I'll give her another listen tonight.

Any other Saturn owners out there?
Are there any other owners who can offer their opinions?

Not a saturn owner, but apollo. I found that the break-in was near 500 hours before I stopped noticing slight changes day-to-day. I think the greatest subjective marker I noticed was an overall coherence, tonally, after about 300 hours.
I listened to the Apollo in a showroom with a Rega Brio 3 int. amp., Rega R3's, and Chord Company interconnects and speaker cable and it sounded amazing. I just heard it again today because I am considering switching out my speakers for new ones and I was once again equally impressed. The last time I listened to the Apollo, they did an Apollo vs. Naim CD player (I think the least expensive Naim CD player, but still more than the Apollo) comparison and I actually liked the Apollo much better. I do not know if it had something to do with synergy, but it sounded stunning. I am going to get the Apollo as soon as I can afford it.
I've had somewhat similar experiences. I have an Apollo and it sounds pretty good. Great for the money. And better IMO than anything else in that price range. Far better than the several hundred dollar players and cheap universal players.

I had to get used to the start/stop and searching for tracks and not press play too soon - stuff like that. If you go back a track, it can take a while (20 seconds) to get going again. It's important to not keep pressing buttons while you're waiting. I've had it lock up a time or two but overall I'm satisfied. I've heard their amps too and they sound good. Again good for the $$$.

I've a/b'ed against Naim's least expensive player through the Rega amps. I think the Naim I heard runs a little over $2000. The Naim was clearly better but at over twice the cost. I would have purchased the Naim along with everything else Naim but nothing of theirs is in my price range. I thought about buying a used Naim CD but they are bid up quickly. The people the know Naim don't let it go cheap.

regards, David
I had the good fortune of having a dealer who was willing to let me demmo a couple of cdp's in home before purchasing one. As was said earlier there is much to be said about synergy of ones system. The apollo in my system was hands down the better player when tested against the similarly priced arcam so I went back the next day and bought one. When I took it home and hooked it up I was shocked with dissapointment. It sounded worse than my dennon 3910 universal player which isnt bad but should not be able to compete with a similarly priced dedicated redbook player. The thing is that these rega players require quite a bit of break in time and should not be judged right out of the box . To make a long story short "break in, break in, break in!" Oh,yeah the rega now in full song is the best 1000 dollar player out there...
Interesting recco on the Oppo 980HD. It does sound pretty decent for what it is. But this player is not even in the league of the original Planet.

I went from the Oppo to a Planet with my Rega Cursa/Exons and there was no comparison. Then I went to a Jupiter 2000 and that will be my last dedicated CD player ever.

That said, with my old NAD 7240pe there's no advantage to the Jupiter. But even with this "vintage" piece of gear the original Planet destroys the Oppo in "smoothness" and presence.
Great posts - thanks for everyone's thoughts/experiences.

Makes me wish I had simply bought an Apollo instead of a Saturn!

I now have a Jupiter 2000 AND a Saturn and can't quite decide between them....
I just picked up a used apollo to see what the fuss is. My intent was to put it in my office system (cary sli-80, paradigm studio 20's). After listening for a few hours I moved it up to the big rig, and i've been pretty stunned. The layering is quite incredible and amzingly musical. I've been listening for several days now and have nothing but praise for the apollo. From a pure musicality standpoint it is easily one of the best player's i've heard in my rig. For point of reference I've owned the ML 36, 36S, Cary 303/200, Cary 303/300 (all sold) and I would take the apollo from an enjoyment factor over all of those.
I recently listened to an all Rega system and an all Naim system and compared them through Naim, Epos, and Totem floor standing speakers. The Rega was I believe a Saturn CDP played through their Mira 3 integrated and the Naim consisted of the Nait 5i and CD 5i. The Rega system sounded polite, while Naim system made we want to get up and move around - perhaps not as accurate or precise as the Rega, but something just sounded right about it. The Naim gear was an especially good match in that room with the Totem Forest speakers. If I had $6K in my pocket, I probably would have left with the stuff.