Rega Brio or Audiolab M-One amplifier

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by timn, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. timn

    timn
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    I'm looking to replace my hi-fi amp and as space an budget are tight I've narrowed my choices down to getting a used or ex demo Rega Brio or Audiolab M one amp, has anyone heard both or have any feedback on either amp.

    I'll be using it with a pair of Mission M71 stand mount speakers (which will be upgraded next at some point in the future).

    Having a built in headphone amp is quite important to me as I do about half my listening using headphones.

    I'm leaning slightly towards the M-one at the moment as one of the sources would be a Sonos Connect and I think the M-one's built in DAC would be better than the DAC in the Sonos connect.

    Any suggestions or feedback on either amp would be great.
     
  2. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    I really adore the way my Rega drives my KEF speakers and I'm pretty sure the Brio is a really good amp and I would always recommend Rega. Upside with the Brio, unlike my Elicit, is that it has a well respected headphone out whereas the Elicit doesn't have one at all. Downside for you is that it has no DAC.

    You could of course add a DAC at a later stage as the most important at the moment I would think would be the way that either amp sounds with your speakers. Can you not arrange an audition? With the Brio being ex-demo it's certainly going to have enough hours on it to get a very good impression, I found my Elicit took around 100 hours. Bass is tight and fast with my Elicit, just the way I like it, mids are very controlled and detailed and high female vocals are beautiful, even the extreme highs of Joni Mitchell.

    I'm lucky with the Elicit because my Marantz SACD player has an exceptional headphone section and makes a really good job of driving my Oppo PM1s although I'm still thinking of buying a dedicated headphone amp at some point in the future.
     
  3. Apollo83

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    Hi Timn.

    I have the Brio (driving Monitor Silver 100 speakers) and it brings great timing and energy to the party.
    I also tried the Elex when auditioning and the sound was remarkably similar. I noticed the Elex (73W into 8 ohms) handling harder to drive floor standing speakers at higher volume better than the Brio (50W into 8 ohms). But the Brio was beautiful on most speakers at reasonably loud volume.

    The shop had the M-One there but unfortunately I didn't try so I can't comment on its sound.
    I prefer to keep my components separate for future upgrade possibilities - also I play vinyl and wanted a phonostage. I note it is 40W into 8ohms.

    I have an Arcam MBlink mini BT/DAC plugged into my Brio and it really improves the sound vs my previous Cambridge amp. So you may hear an improvement even without upgrading on your Sonos DAC.

    Part of this decision is deciding if you want an all-in-one v separates.
    If this will be your last upgrade (!) then by all means go to your nearest shop and audition them both - Pick the one you like best.
    If you think you may continue to upgrade over time (e.g. BT / DAC upgrade as new technologies emerge) then Rega is a solid step.

    If your future Speaker upgrade takes you to big floorstanders then you may want to consider a more powerful option than the Brio or the M-One.

    Good luck.
     
  4. timn

    timn
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    Thank you for the feedback and suggestions, the Rega does have the appeal of being able to add a separate DAC if required, and a turntable should I want to at a later date. (I wouldn't use the bluetooth input on the M-one either) So I'm thinking the Rega amp is the way to go.

    I don't think changing the speakers will be the last upgrade for the system so keeping things separate makes sense :) . Unfortunately I'm not able to demo the Amps as they are ex-demo or second hand the delaer/seller is too far away so I'll be buying mail order unless I'm very lucky and one comes up for sale not too far away from me in the next few weeks.
     
  5. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    I don't think you'll go far wrong with the Brio, it's a great little amp. I went into an audition convinced that I would be walking away with a Naim Nait XS2 or at the very least a Nait 5si but I was completely blown away by the Rega. As I said previously the only downside for me was the lack of a headphone stage with the Elicit. That's how good the Rega sounded for me to forgo the headphone facility.
     
  6. muljao

    muljao
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    Most seem to say the brio

    You can add a very good DAC inexpensive these days, you don't need to spend hundreds on an m-dac to do well
     
  7. IvanDobskey

    IvanDobskey
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    I just bought an Audiolab M-One for £399. Not got it hooked up to some decent speakers yet so can't really comment too much. Seems a nicely made bit of kit though.
     
  8. muljao

    muljao
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    Bargain
     
  9. IvanDobskey

    IvanDobskey
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    Certainly seemed a good deal :)

    From audiovisual online, free next day delivery too. Impressed with the service.
     
  10. SPINO

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    Did you manage to hook up the M1 yet ? What speakers you using ?
     
  11. IvanDobskey

    IvanDobskey
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    Going to be using my q acoustics 2020i's, but need to buy some new speakers for downstairs before moving them. Will report back, might be a couple of weeks though.
     

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