Well, not me, but I'm torn between getting one or a used Jupiter, and noticed info about it on the Audio Asylum website. You can search for it on the "Digital-General" page. If you see anything else, drop me a note.
The sales rep for Rega sent me info from the company and they seem to suggest it is their best player yet.
Apollo CD player - The Story
As far as we know there have only been five large multinational
companies with the technology and know how to produce the incredibly
complex operating software for CD players.
The development of operating software and chipsets to operate CD
transports was generally curtailed around eight to ten years ago as
all new development effort went into the design of DVD players and
other newer consumer products. Therefore, Rega and other specialist
Hi Fi manufacturers have been reliant on companies like Sony or
Phillips to supply transports and their operating chipsets.
About two years ago Sony stopped their supply in the UK and sent the
specialist Hi Fi industry into a flurry of activity. Most
manufacturers had to resource their supply from other major
Rega however, has been incredibly fortunate and located a small
British software company who was finalising the development of a
totally new CD operating system.
We believe we are now 10 years ahead of the design of other CD
operational software and it has been possible to build in a massive
increase in memory capacity and up-to-date computer techniques, thus
meeting the original CD Red Book specifications without
compromise. All previous chipsets had to make compromises to musical
performance and error correction because of their limited memory
Regas new, British designed chip-set contains over 20Mb of RAM and
operates in a totally different way of giving the potential of a far
greater musical performance.
When a disc is loaded into the player the display will read
initialising. This revolutionary new player analyses the disc to
be played and adjusts itself to the disc in order to give optimal,
trouble free reading and great sound quality. This is rather like the
engine management system on a modern car, optimising engine settings
to ambient temperature, engine temperature, fuel quality etc. This
process takes a few short seconds and the resultant musical
improvements are well worth the wait.
A new high quality mechanism has been used which is an industry
standard for reliability. It uses a high quality three point mounting
ball chuck. This type of design has several advantages over the
magnetic puck type design. Firstly, and most importantly it presents
the disc as horizontally as possible to the laser spot, directly
resulting in improved reading of the information on the disc.
Secondly, there is no wear and tear to the disc from a puck magnet.
Thirdly, the mass of the puck is lost completely giving the mech
itself less stress and better acceleration and braking performance.
Digital, for the more technically minded!
Apollo has been three years in design and is nothing like any player
in specialist Hi Fi today. Rega, together with its design partners
have pioneered something new and very special; a highly advanced
servo controller which uses the very latest signal processing
techniques to ensure that the raw data that is recovered from the
disc is of the very highest quality. Because our fully digital servo
can use highly advanced algorithms the laser spot is kept in the
optimum position for data recovery in terms of focus spot size and
Extra error correction
Previous chip sets always made compromises on error correction.
Likewise it was possible to have good jog resistance if the music was
compromised or better musical performance at the expense of jog
resistance. Regas new chip-set allows optimum musical performance
and optimised jog or vibration resistance.
Super-stable phase lock loop
Our entire IC is clocked via a very special PLL of our own design.
This allows better CD data recovery as well as a big improvement in
the quality of the data delivered to the DAC.
Low noise digital design
In the design of our CPU IC we went to very great lengths to ensure
that the data and address bus noise was kept at an absolute minimum,
this ensures that the ground and signal connections to the DAC are as
clean as possible.
We have used the very latest highest performance DAC from our
previous partners Wolfson. This is a highly sonically regarded Sigma
Delta 24bit DAC with differential outputs.
Apollo utilises a brand new design of output amplifier. This
amplifier is of discrete design and uses the very highest quality
audio components; this represents a big step up in performance from
our previous players.
The player comes as standard with a dedicated CD remote control
Not only does Apollo set new standards for sound quality but it also
has the capability of playing MP3 discs. As a fully operational MP3
player a customer can play discs which they have created on their
computers. It offers up to 100 albums playback capability from one
disc and, as you would expect from Rega, the sound quality from MP3
is excellent as well.
We hope you enjoy this very special new player, we have spent a very
long time creating it, drawing on all of our 32 years in specialist
Hi Fi manufacturing.
The recent Hi-Fi+ magazine's review of the Rega Apollo is that it is better than the Planet2K and Jupiter2K. Digital (redbook CD) playback has even even improved in the last 2 years giving more bang with less $$. This looks like the budget CDP to beat. Hope this helps.
I just sold my Cary CDP and will be seriously looking into this unit.
I've been boosting the awareness of the Apollo for some time now. I'm an owner of one for about 1 month now. Superb sound. Terrifically musical. One of the amazing things about it is that older discs are "livened" up amazingly well. Whereas I couldn't listen to them with much satisfaction before, now with the Apollo, they come alive in a very satisfactory way.
Anyone looking at a cdp for $2.5k should give a Apollo a listen.
I have had mine for just over a week, and it's one great CD player. I agree with the comments about playing older CD's. The Rega seems to breathe more life into them. :)
But I mostly love that very analog sound.No digital harshness at all without losing any resolution.
I purchased mine after reading some very good reviews about it.(thanks douglas shroeder)
Probably the best hi fi dollars I have spent for quite a while.
I agree with the above comments and would add that this player would work well with tube amps. I have a Perreaux mosfet based integrated that has a tube like sound. The Apollo brought out the resolution and sweetness of this amp unlike any player I have listened to.
I also feel that they work well with my PSB monitors (aluminum cones). High res drives can produce the subtle timber of this player but a bright amp will have you covering your ears. I have been using silver bullet interconnects (pure silver) and they seem to be ok. No sibilance issues noted. Probably because my amp is not overly bright.
The player did seem to sound good out of the box but has sounded better with age. It also sounds better when given 15 minutes or so to warm up. It's possible that my Perreaux also needs a little time to warm up and I hadn't noticed it before. I am overall very happy with the sound and enjoy listening to it, but I can say that the speaker placement issues are more noticeable due to the detail of this player. I also have noticed a somewhat decreased sound stage (sound limited to around the speakers) at lower volumes. The sound does project forward with increased volume. This has got me experimenting with speaker placement and I am also experimenting with a pair of magnepans - MMG's. More on that later.