Rega Io Integrated Amp Review & Comments

Adam72

Active Member
Nice review Ed, you make me want to buy everything you review. Any chance you can review the new leak 130 so he's can buy that, cheers.
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
As I think this amp is aimed at somebody wanting a decent 'hifi' amp is not the lack of a sub out not entirely logical. How many of these will ever get enmeshed in an AV setup?
 

password1

Well-known Member
For stereo high level input available on many subs is advisable. Rel for example recommend high level for best results.

Sub out is only essential if there is a dedicated lfe channel.
 

DrH

Active Member
Nice review.
Having coming back into vinyl and working at a satellite manufacturer, which sources locally and not from the Far East, I really like the business model that Rega have. For anyone that is interested there are a few videos on you tube going around their factory.
It is the reason why I choose Rega rather than project which are German I think.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Pity about the name
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
As I think this amp is aimed at somebody wanting a decent 'hifi' amp is not the lack of a sub out not entirely logical. How many of these will ever get enmeshed in an AV setup?
I doubt many will be absorbed into an AV system but more than a few might be the starting point of an escape from one and for that reason (and the limitations of space that many people have in 2020), a single sub out would have been handy. As the scoring suggests though, it's far from the end of the world.

It is the reason why I choose Rega rather than project which are German I think.
Pro-Ject is Austrian with production facilities in Czechia and Slovakia (and Taiwan for their newly acquired Musical Fidelity section).
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Love my Rega and it's good to know that they're that sort of company. If this had been around when I started dabbling in "propper" hifi, it would have been right at the top of my shortlist.
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
Nice review.

I spent some time listening to this as part of Rega's System One bundle at the Bristol HiFi show in February (or as we say these days, "a lifetime ago") - comes with the RP1 & Kyte speakers, remote and cables.

Have to say it was VERY impressive for the money and made a really good sound.
 

Gordon2147

Active Member
I doubt many will be absorbed into an AV system but more than a few might be the starting point of an escape from one and for that reason (and the limitations of space that many people have in 2020), a single sub out would have been handy. As the scoring suggests though, it's far from the end of the world.



Thanks for the review Ed, high praise indeed for a reasonably priced amp. If the right connections are available on a sub, one could use the speaker connections to be able to add additional low end, although that does specify the sub choice.

It is quite satisfying to see that nowadays, we can get extrordinary performance at the £400 per unit point, speakers and a source of a similar price point to the Rega, would make for a very enjoyable system, with adding the sub, through the speaker connectors being both user choice or icing on the cake, if your choice of speaker is a standmount in need of a bit more low end.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
This sort of amp is no doubt often going to be attached to fairly modest bookshelves, so adding a sub has clear benefits and is not just the reserve of an AV system to use one. A simple pair of pre-outs (or a mono sub-out) surely isn't too much to ask for, ~£400 is not bargain basement either. It's an omission that would preclude me from buying one for sure.

Now it would take a little 'man-maths' but I would rather save up and buy a Powernode 2i I think, as of course by assigning and subtracting a value to its digital frontend out of the cost equation, then it likely all but levels the amplifier costs (i.e no separate streamer/DAC and interconnects required to complete in to a system).
Granted that option likely wouldn't fly if you do want a TT as of course no phono stage, and start adding one in and yep I see the cost is then too high for this approach to be reasonably considered - so it's not a complete walk-over, just merely an alternative.
But if digital is the requirement then I think it's a much more attractive package than all but £400 on a (too?) modestly powered, and limited functionality amp.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
But if digital is the requirement then I think it's a much more attractive package than all but £400 on a (too?) modestly powered, and limited functionality amp.
I've tested the Powernode 2i for another publication. It's not a bad product but the amp section isn't within a mile of the Io, even before any discussion is had over the inputs available. It's worth noting that a Node 2i and Io in combination would only be £80 more than the Powernode 2i and that would be considerably better and have more input flexibility at the same time.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
I've tested the Powernode 2i for another publication. It's not a bad product but the amp section isn't within a mile of the Io, even before any discussion is had over the inputs available. It's worth noting that a Node 2i and Io in combination would only be £80 more than the Powernode 2i and that would be considerably better and have more input flexibility at the same time.
I've not had the luxury to listen and was basing it off Darko's high praise of the device - I am tempted to upgrade my office setup with one though. The Rega could very much have been something that I would look at, but with no sub out (and being honest the rather skimpy power figures) then for me it's a flat no. Shame as small 'Kallax-Fi' devices are not overly in abundance, if Rega had just put pre-outs in and given it say 10-20w more it would have been potentially perfect!

There is however a lot to be said for the one box approach - which I think is also very much likely to appeal to those looking at these small footprint devices. However if size is not a concern there's also the new Audiolab 6000A Play, which is one box and very well featured (phono stage, ht bypass, streamer, DAC) and I'm sure sounds excellent & with a useful amount more power to boot. So if you don't need the small footprint (which I personally do) then potentially the pick of the bunch and excellent value if you are going to also want digital including in some way.

I'm not against the Rega and I'm sure it does sound great for what it is in pure audio terms against it's price peers, it's just it could have really nailed that market segment with inclusion of some pre-outs and I feel for me personally a touch more power too.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I don't think I'll ever understand people's attitudes toward the amount of power they think they need. Right now- literally as I type- I've got one of next month's review speakers running. It's a hybrid electrostatic and far from sensitive. I'm using a moving coil phonostage with 60dB of gain and I have a seated listening level of 63-64dB- about as loud as I'll push anything with my neighbours in. This is a perfect storm of low sensitivity coupled with low input voltage and I'm still only using 40-45 watts of output power.

With the recent Krell review using the Kudos Titans, I didn't at any point get out of the lower 25% of the volume control. Even allowing for the notion of reserves for dynamic peaks (which is really more a case of delivery than outright reserve), a 30 watt amp will not be struggling in most UK spaces.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
I don't think I'll ever understand people's attitudes toward the amount of power they think they need. Right now- literally as I type- I've got one of next month's review speakers running. It's a hybrid electrostatic and far from sensitive. I'm using a moving coil phonostage with 60dB of gain and I have a seated listening level of 63-64dB- about as loud as I'll push anything with my neighbours in. This is a perfect storm of low sensitivity coupled with low input voltage and I'm still only using 40-45 watts of output power.

With the recent Krell review using the Kudos Titans, I didn't at any point get out of the lower 25% of the volume control. Even allowing for the notion of reserves for dynamic peaks (which is really more a case of delivery than outright reserve), a 30 watt amp will not be struggling in most UK spaces.
I think you're taking it slightly out of context, I'm not one of those people who thinks they need gobs of power - I get 'told' frequently enough that my 8300A is not suited to my R5 in my main setup, which is of course cobblers and the pair sound great. But, 30w is right on the fringe of what I would consider acceptable, I would consider LS50's being a type of speaker you might want to pair with this amp, they're great looking and modern which is in keeping with the aesthetics that small footprint components also deliver. But at 85dB sensitivity at a min rating of 3.2ohm then I doubt this amp would have the power - again a shame. I see it said time and time again you 'want' 100w minimum for LS50's, now like you I don't understand this broader obsession with power and I call BS on needing 100w... but I DO think more than 30w is required.

I'm not a power head, far from it and I don't see what I wrote previously implied that I was. Just it needs a touch more headroom frankly is my prevailing opinion.
 

JokerJack

Active Member
I have this amp connected to some 3020 q acoustics and use volumio and the dragonfly colbalt for Spotify and Apple Music and the other input is for the computer when gaming. Have to say I love this amp for the money, it’s a cracking little setup for my pc!

EDIT: forgot to say thanks for the review Ed!
 

badunn31

Novice Member
First time post but long time follower of AV Forums. Great source of information that has ultimately cost me dearly!

I remember buying a Rotel RA820BX (I think that was it’s model number)
It was only touted as 30 (or 20) watts per channel...but proper watts.
This Rega just reminded of it...with it’s simple no frill looks.
The Rotel was my first proper hifi amp...and it did deliver, including in the volume stakes.
I have no doubt this Rega does too...and I applaud the minimalist approach where you can add the gizmos if you need them.

Baz
 

Paul7777x

Member
I don't think I'll ever understand people's attitudes toward the amount of power they think they need. Right now- literally as I type- I've got one of next month's review speakers running. It's a hybrid electrostatic and far from sensitive. I'm using a moving coil phonostage with 60dB of gain and I have a seated listening level of 63-64dB- about as loud as I'll push anything with my neighbours in. This is a perfect storm of low sensitivity coupled with low input voltage and I'm still only using 40-45 watts of output power.

With the recent Krell review using the Kudos Titans, I didn't at any point get out of the lower 25% of the volume control. Even allowing for the notion of reserves for dynamic peaks (which is really more a case of delivery than outright reserve), a 30 watt amp will not be struggling in most UK spaces.
I can’t believe you still have the Titans.

I want your job sir.
 

Paul7777x

Member
If anyone is looking for a magnificent, inexpensive ( :confused: ) hifi, I’d suggest finding a pair of the recent RX-1s and adding this amp.

The speakers can be found at around the 400 quid point, so this amp And a deft dac/streamer and for around a thousand pounds you’ll have something quite extraordinary imo.
 

boabis

Active Member
One day someone is going to do an amp like this and put an HDMI ARC socket on it, and make a billion pounds.

I would love to replace my soundbar with a wee stereo amp & some decent stereo speakers. Integration is the Achilles heel.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
One day someone is going to do an amp like this and put an HDMI ARC socket on it, and make a billion pounds.

I would love to replace my soundbar with a wee stereo amp & some decent stereo speakers. Integration is the Achilles heel.
I use an amp and stereo speakers for tv. As long as you position them correctly you can get a perfectly acceptable centre stereo image. It's even better when you're watching music documentaries and the like.
 

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