Rega Saturn MkIII CD Player Review & Comments

Khazul

Well-known Member
They really could have chosen a different name...

Sega Saturn?

I think I had to re-read the heading on this several times before it clicked this wasnt actually a revamp of a retro game console and the 'R' instead of 'S' slowly registered.

Even the CD lid looks game console-ish :)
 
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peahead

Well-known Member
How much 😲
 
I had a Rega DAC and recently replaced it with a used Rega DAC-R. It’s a real shame Rega have discontinued their standalone DACs.

I drive my KEF LS50s with a Rega Brio and drive a pair of KEF R300 with a Rega Elicit-R. Rega make some exquisite products.

I don’t have a need for their new CD player and combined DAC, but I’m glad it exists and I’m pleased they continue to innovate in their own way. They don’t follow the pack and I like that.

I see they are still keeping their very old and ugly remote control design for this product, rather than using the new small & neat design they have used on the Brio etc. Seems a retrograde step, but maybe some people love it?

Regards,
James.
 
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MartinH32

Well-known Member
I like my hifi to look good too....I'll think I'll give this one a miss
 

MacrosTheBlack

Well-known Member
Sounds like scooby doo saying “Sega Saturn” !! :rotfl:

(And as you all read this you’re saying it in that iconic voice in your head!! Lol )
 

Flobs

Active Member
Seems like this could be what I have been looking for, especially as my Marantz CD60 starts smelling of burnt rubber after 2 hours or so of using it and starts skipping. I'm in need of a CD player and a DAC (of better quality than I have) this appears to fill that gap and from the sound of it give me more of the sound I'm looking for.
The top loading, that looks like a swivelling games console controller (or a star ship), isn't going to be easy to accomadate though, I'll have to measure it up for under the tele (perhaps like my turntable lid the tele will just block it at the right position so I don't have to reach too far to close it?
Also, would this make me a HiFi bass feined?
I'm looking forward to testing it, if/when possible.
 

Sirez

Active Member
I would have liked to see SACD support on a £2K CD player, it makes sense to me that someone who is spending this sort of money on a CD player may have a few SACD’s in their collection like myself.
 

DIBSTER

Member
Has anyone here compared a £2K CD player with say a £500 Marantz/Rotel etc? I haven't personally but am finding it hard to believe there's that much of a difference. Am I wrong?
 

Jonnyboy55

Standard Member
Good review though this one isn’t for me. Looking forward to the Elicit mk5 review.
Hi there’s an Elicit mk5 review in the July 2022 edition of Hi-Fi choice which is available in digital form as from today.

Both this and the new Saturn CD player get excellent reviews without me giving the game away.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Has anyone here compared a £2K CD player with say a £500 Marantz/Rotel etc? I haven't personally but am finding it hard to believe there's that much of a difference. Am I wrong?
I've owned a Marantz cd6006 and currently have a Marantz sa8005 (£1100 new) and a Denon DCD 2500 NE (£1999 new). The Denon gets far more use than the Marantz simply because it is better.

I also auditioned my Elicit-R with my own CDs that was connected to the dealers demo Saturn, the previous incarnation. I would have bought that particular model had it not had the top loader as it was so far in front of the cd6006. Glad I didn't because I bought the sa8005 and started on the road to bankruptcy buying SACDs. I cannot contemplate the Saturn now because of that lack of SACD playback, which is a shame.
 

Flobs

Active Member
Has anyone here compared a £2K CD player with say a £500 Marantz/Rotel etc? I haven't personally but am finding it hard to believe there's that much of a difference. Am I wrong?
I'm not sure there's a need if you want a budget solution get it.
The thing I see here is you have the DAC so if the CD transport breaks you could get next to the same sound by buying a transport next time round.
What would be interesting is having some DIYers with knowledge getting inside and seeing what they would change to improve them. We get lots of comments about DAC chips and most seem to be in accord that these days these don't make much difference (yet that's what we get told the DAC chip used). What about the reciever? is it any good? and more importantly what about the opamp/s. Marantz use their own in house opamps that give a signature (that is quite nice) others we don't have a clue about and I'll be damned if I'm going to buy a £2000 cd player just to look inside it.

What I liked about the review is Ed Shelly saying how enjoyable the result was. I essentially fell for my amp and my speakers due to reviews where they summarised how enjoyable the listen was. Yes I have a very enjoyable system that I enjoy listening to, when I'm out I think of how enjoyable it is. It's fun, absorbing, great and that's what I got from Ed's review and that's what I'm looking for so it goes on my list of need to audition. Of course I would be happy with a Marantz ND8006 (and it offers more gadgety things that I haven't a clue about and probably will never use) for half the price. So I have to see what gives me the greatest enjoyment. If I wanted budget I could just buy a transport and pass it through a £20 DAC (like I have) with a rather poor opamp.
 
You can rip your CDs on your laptop or PC, where you possibly have a free CD drive already, then output the rip to a DAC costing a little over £100, and which is transparent to the source.

I don't see the appeal.

Not everyone wants to rip CDs.
 

Nocturnal

Member
First of all those comments from a few folk above about using £20 or £100 DACs in relation to this Rega CD player are either uninformed, don't have decent hearing or have never heard good hi-fi products from specialist audio companies.

I used to own the original Rega DAC, it had great attack and timing but sold it a few years ago as overall I prefer the glorious sound of my Arcam CDS27 SACD network streamer. The Rega DAC couldn't match the bass extension nor has the enveloping soundstage the Arcam possesses.

The 'worst' DAC I own is the one built into my Arcam SA10 amplifier followed by the IFI DAC Signature (only bought because I needed a USB DAC).

Thanks to Ed for the usual detailed extensive review and I'm sure this Rega Saturn sounds fabulous. Rega certainly make great stuff and because they are still an independent company (not bought over by huge Chinese audio umbrella companies) they can and do their own thing.
 

Metalex

Active Member
First of all those comments from a few folk above about using £20 or £100 DACs in relation to this Rega CD player are either uninformed, don't have decent hearing or have never heard good hi-fi products from specialist audio companies.

I used to own the original Rega DAC, it had great attack and timing but sold it a few years ago as overall I prefer the glorious sound of my Arcam CDS27 SACD network streamer. The Rega DAC couldn't match the bass extension nor has the enveloping soundstage the Arcam possesses.

The 'worst' DAC I own is the one built into my Arcam SA10 amplifier followed by the IFI DAC Signature (only bought because I needed a USB DAC).

Thanks to Ed for the usual detailed extensive review and I'm sure this Rega Saturn sounds fabulous. Rega certainly make great stuff and because they are still an independent company (not bought over by huge Chinese audio umbrella companies) they can and do their own thing.

Please could you clarify what you mean by "attack and timing", "bass extension" and "enveloping soundstage"?

What specifically in the spec sheets of the DACs you own/have owned contribute to these attributes?
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Please could you clarify what you mean by "attack and timing", "bass extension" and "enveloping soundstage"?

What specifically in the spec sheets of the DACs you own/have owned contribute to these attributes?
Audiophile nonsense.

Pretty much any dac over 100 notes is completely transparent these days. Descriptive words like attack and timing are used by those who want to justify their spending habits.

In a double blind test said people are unlikely to tell the difference between a 100£ dac and a 10k dac.

It's a hobby though, and some delve 'too deep' and start thinking spending power = knowledge.
 

Flobs

Active Member
Audiophile nonsense.

Pretty much any dac over 100 notes is completely transparent these days. Descriptive words like attack and timing are used by those who want to justify their spending habits.

In a double blind test said people are unlikely to tell the difference between a 100£ dac and a 10k dac.

It's a hobby though, and some delve 'too deep' and start thinking spending power = knowledge.
Do they all work with CD transports? 🤣
 

Chester

Well-known Member
I used to own the original Rega DAC, it had great attack and timing...

Hmm, I understand what you're saying about attack, I'm particularly sensitive to this especially with compression being a musician in the rhythm section, but timing? Isn't that more to do with the room and speakers?

Back to CD players, I must admit I've been missing my Micromega Stage 2 and have been thinking about getting another player. Trouble is I have nowhere to put it until I swap the rack out (read: totally re-arrange the front end of the lounge!). This Rega though, it's not for me, I'll stick to front loading I think.
 

Nocturnal

Member
Hmm, I understand what you're saying about attack, I'm particularly sensitive to this especially with compression being a musician in the rhythm section, but timing? Isn't that more to do with the room and speakers?

Back to CD players, I must admit I've been missing my Micromega Stage 2 and have been thinking about getting another player. Trouble is I have nowhere to put it until I swap the rack out (read: totally re-arrange the front end of the lounge!). This Rega though, it's not for me, I'll stick to front loading I think.
Good timing... doesn't plod along or sound lethargic. And no I was comparing in the same room with same speakers, same amplifier and the Rega DAC was better for jazz because of these qualities. Kraftwerk also sounded fantastic on it too for the same reasons.

Micromega Stage 2 is a brave age but they made good stuff. The top loader can result in a quieter transport as Ed Shelley mentioned of the Rega, I actually think it is cool and it would fit into my Norstone rack as there is loads of room.
 

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