Rega Aethos Integrated Amp Review & Comments

rosscouk

Member
Thanks for the review. I was looking at a used one in the classifieds here a few months ago, but couldnt quite afford at the time. I didnt know much about the amp, as there were not many reviews. I was trying to get a listen to it as we approached lock-down but ran out of time. In the end, I bought a Musical Fidelity M6si which I have been happy with, but this is still an amp that I was seriously looking at along with the Naim products Ed mentioned. I like the looks as well.
 

THX1138UK

Well-known Member
I love Rega amplifiers (my Elicit-R is amazing), but they really need to change the design of their fugly remote control handset - it's horrible!

I'm really surprised they've launched a new product (Aethos) with the same horrible generic remote control design. I hope you can now switch off (standby) the amplifier from the remote control handset - you can't with the Elicit-R.

Regards,
James.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I love Rega amplifiers (my Elicit-R is amazing), but they really need to change the design of their fugly remote control handset - it's horrible!

I'm really surprised they've launched a new product (Aethos) with the same horrible generic remote control design. I hope you can now switch off (standby) the amplifier from the remote control handset - you can't with the Elicit-R.

Regards,
James.
It's the same remote and all I use is the volume control and one input selector, the direct one for HT by-pass. Like you I do love my Elicit. I can't see me, at the moment, going for the Aethos until I change speakers. The one that's in our classifieds is a bargain though.
 

Khankat

Active Member
Oh Ed, you're making me want to go testing amps. This has to stop, as in me lusting after something that I like but don't need.
 

Douggie

Active Member
Any info regarding the strange specifications?

Power outputs at rated 230/115 V supply voltage:
125 W RMS both channels driven into the rated load of 8 Ω
156 W RMS both channels driven into 6 Ω
Note: Continued high level use into 6 Ω may cause the case to exceed 40 °C above the ambient temperature and activate the thermal shutdown.
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the review. I was looking at a used one in the classifieds here a few months ago, but couldnt quite afford at the time. I didnt know much about the amp, as there were not many reviews. I was trying to get a listen to it as we approached lock-down but ran out of time. In the end, I bought a Musical Fidelity M6si which I have been happy with, but this is still an amp that I was seriously looking at along with the Naim products Ed mentioned. I like the looks as well.
I can highly recommend the lejonklou amps, especially the boazu integrated. A used one would be around £1500, they’re so enjoyable.
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
"The caveat is that while the rate at which it gets louder is linear, that rate is pretty steep. Nothing that has turned up for testing in the recent clutch of reviews has needed sustained input past 10 O’Clock on the volume. Combined with a relatively large movement from a single press of the volume control and it means that a little care is needed in use."

Unfortunately, same as my Elex-R :(

The outputs from both my Oppo Sonica DAC and Denon SACD player are both nominally 2.0 V. 10 O'Clock was definitely the max when I first got the Elex-R, and there appeared to be clearly audible distortion - plus the annoying jumps in volume when using the remote. My dealer told me that this was not only typical of Rega, but also some other manufacturers.

I didn't feel comfortable with the concept at first, but purchasing two pairs of Rothwell in-line 15 dB attenuators (at the amp end) did the trick. I've been living with this arrangment for almost a year now, and I personally can't now detect any issues with the SQ - clear, exciting, detailed and not brash in any way :smashin: The other annoying aspect was that, because my rack has to be quite close to the wall, I couldn't use the Rothwells straight-in... The solution to that has been two pairs of Audioquest gold plated right-angle RCA adaptors...

Given the typical outputs of modern source components, I just don't understand why companies like Rega continue making their line inputs so sensitive?

There's no question, I love my Elex-R and the way it drives my Neat Motive SX1s, but the input sensitivity/volume control issue is simply annoying! I've started to seriously think about a Hegel H120 - sorry Rega...

I was recently looking at the Auralic Aries Altair G1 streamer/dac - and that has a quoted output, via both balanced XLRs and single-ended RCAs of 4.4 V! God knows what would happen if I connected one of those up without enabling its built-in digital volume control :eek: I'm now planning instead to audition the Aries G1 streaming transport - and feed into the Sonica for DAC duties...
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Denon SACD player are both nominally 2.0 V. 10 O'Clock was definitely the max when I first got the Elex-R
Interesting. No such problems with the 2500 SACD and my Elicit. I can push well over 1 o'clock on most albums if the wife isn't around.
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
Indeed!

Elicit-R line input sensitivity - 196 mV / Elex-R - 164 mV...:confused: I also understand that their volume control circuitry/topology is somewhat different.

However, I really don't know for sure what's going on...
 

bogart99

Active Member
"The caveat is that while the rate at which it gets louder is linear, that rate is pretty steep. Nothing that has turned up for testing in the recent clutch of reviews has needed sustained input past 10 O’Clock on the volume. Combined with a relatively large movement from a single press of the volume control and it means that a little care is needed in use."

Unfortunately, same as my Elex-R :(

The outputs from both my Oppo Sonica DAC and Denon SACD player are both nominally 2.0 V. 10 O'Clock was definitely the max when I first got the Elex-R, and there appeared to be clearly audible distortion - plus the annoying jumps in volume when using the remote. My dealer told me that this was not only typical of Rega, but also some other manufacturers.

I didn't feel comfortable with the concept at first, but purchasing two pairs of Rothwell in-line 15 dB attenuators (at the amp end) did the trick. I've been living with this arrangment for almost a year now, and I personally can't now detect any issues with the SQ - clear, exciting, detailed and not brash in any way :smashin: The other annoying aspect was that, because my rack has to be quite close to the wall, I couldn't use the Rothwells straight-in... The solution to that has been two pairs of Audioquest gold plated right-angle RCA adaptors...

Given the typical outputs of modern source components, I just don't understand why companies like Rega continue making their line inputs so sensitive?

There's no question, I love my Elex-R and the way it drives my Neat Motive SX1s, but the input sensitivity/volume control issue is simply annoying! I've started to seriously think about a Hegel H120 - sorry Rega...

I was recently looking at the Auralic Aries Altair G1 streamer/dac - and that has a quoted output, via both balanced XLRs and single-ended RCAs of 4.4 V! God knows what would happen if I connected one of those up without enabling its built-in digital volume control :eek: I'm now planning instead to audition the Aries G1 streaming transport - and feed into the Sonica for DAC duties...
I will have to pop round sometime, as we are in the same county, so you can explain all the above. Sounds awfully complicated.
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
Not so complicated really...

- Amplifier inputs are sensitive
- Sources put out very strong signal (relatively)
- So you don't have to rotate volume control very far to get loud
- That means not much movement of the knob between off and loud
- So volume knob becomes very sensitive, and not very smooth increase in volume as knob is rotated (because of design of Elex-R volume control)

I suspect design of Elicit-R volume control circuit may be somewhat different.
 
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Jefke13

Active Member
"The caveat is that while the rate at which it gets louder is linear, that rate is pretty steep. Nothing that has turned up for testing in the recent clutch of reviews has needed sustained input past 10 O’Clock on the volume. Combined with a relatively large movement from a single press of the volume control and it means that a little care is needed in use."

Unfortunately, same as my Elex-R :(

The outputs from both my Oppo Sonica DAC and Denon SACD player are both nominally 2.0 V. 10 O'Clock was definitely the max when I first got the Elex-R, and there appeared to be clearly audible distortion - plus the annoying jumps in volume when using the remote. My dealer told me that this was not only typical of Rega, but also some other manufacturers.

I didn't feel comfortable with the concept at first, but purchasing two pairs of Rothwell in-line 15 dB attenuators (at the amp end) did the trick. I've been living with this arrangment for almost a year now, and I personally can't now detect any issues with the SQ - clear, exciting, detailed and not brash in any way :smashin: The other annoying aspect was that, because my rack has to be quite close to the wall, I couldn't use the Rothwells straight-in... The solution to that has been two pairs of Audioquest gold plated right-angle RCA adaptors...

Given the typical outputs of modern source components, I just don't understand why companies like Rega continue making their line inputs so sensitive?

There's no question, I love my Elex-R and the way it drives my Neat Motive SX1s, but the input sensitivity/volume control issue is simply annoying! I've started to seriously think about a Hegel H120 - sorry Rega...

I was recently looking at the Auralic Aries Altair G1 streamer/dac - and that has a quoted output, via both balanced XLRs and single-ended RCAs of 4.4 V! God knows what would happen if I connected one of those up without enabling its built-in digital volume control :eek: I'm now planning instead to audition the Aries G1 streaming transport - and feed into the Sonica for DAC duties...
The hegel sounds completely different so be careful
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
The hegel sounds completely different so be careful
Thanks for the warning, I always audition at home before purchasing such critical components.

In what way would you say the H120 is different from the Elex-R? Of course, the amp/speaker combination is almost always the biggest challenge... In my case, it will be down to how well the Hegel is matched to the Neat Motive SX1s.

In general, reviews of the Hegel range tend to major on the high damping factor (tight control of bass frequencies), and how they strive to be 'neutral' i.e. minimise any changes to the original during the process of amplification. As the H120 also has a built-in DAC, I would havd a choice as to whether I would use that or the Oppo Sonica.

Interested to hear what you think of the Hegel 'sound...:cool:
 

Jefke13

Active Member
The Rega is really something special, hard to explain, you're pulled into the music. The Hegel is great but more matter of fact
 

THX1138UK

Well-known Member
The Rega is really something special, hard to explain, you're pulled into the music. The Hegel is great but more matter of fact
I found that with my Elict-R. It’s very, very musical and makes my KEF R300 speakers sing and sound amazing in away that other amplifiers don’t.

Rega amplifiers and KEF speakers seem to be the perfect match.


Regards,
James.
 

Jefke13

Active Member
I found that with my Elict-R. It’s very, very musical and makes my KEF R300 speakers sing and sound amazing in away that other amplifiers don’t.

Rega amplifiers and KEF speakers seem to be the perfect match.


Regards,
James.
I DIDN'T KNOW THAT
 

Craig uk

Well-known Member
The Aethos isn’t that fussy, it will happily drive most speakers but when matched with a decent a Rega front end and Rega speakers the synergy is quite something.
 
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Ri Tolstoy

Standard Member
I have the Aethos, been running it for some months and its been excellent. The volume control isn’t a problem when you get used to it at all, you learn what pressure to put on it and you can manually adjust it and here’s the kicker....you can use an old rega remote control which gives better control !!! I know i tried and use one! I use the Apollo CDP’s remote...
I did have an issue with the amplifier, i had one of the early ones and mines deleloped a 50hz hum in the left channel. I took it back to my dealer and Rega fixed it immediately, put a new power supply in the amp and now its as quiet as a church mouse. Apparently some of the older Aethos’s have this left channel hum , very few and i had one of them! But was no quibble fixing it.

I am currently trying a range of speakers with the Aethos as i want new floorstanders. The new PMC twenty5 i’s are ahead at the mo. In particular the 24i’s... they match this amp perfectly, rich and detailed with lovely low end. Spendor A7’s nice too, D7.2’s were too lean, dry sounding and harsh on occasion at top end (Aethos errs towards lean) so the two don’t match... tubes would be better with D7.2’s... Or adding a REL t5i or T7i sub?

Happy with Aethos, wouldn’t change it at this time, hopefully for some time....
 

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