Once again, Rega Research Limited is presenting a new version of the Rega Aria MM/MC Phono Stage phono preamplifier, the third generation of which is now available. The most striking new feature of the Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage is, of course, the housing in the style of the current electronic components used by the British, but many details have also been improved on the inside.
It is obvious that, in addition to amplifiers, D/A converters and CD players, phono preamplifiers play a major role in the product portfolio of the English hi-fi manufacturer Rega Research Limited. One solution which has already been presented in 2013, the Rega Aria MM/MC Phono Stage, plays a very important role in the field of phono preamplifiers.
From the very beginning, one of the outstanding features of the Rega Aria MM/ MC Phono Stage has been the same as the one already mentioned in its name, namely that it is a phono preamplifier which is equally suitable for both MM and MC pickup systems, with two independent preamplifiers, so that the optimum quality can always be tickled out of the cartridges. The fact that this impeccable quality was offered at a very attractive price was another clear advantage. All this is of course also true for the latest, third generation of phono preamplifiers, which are now available in the form of the new Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage.
The most striking innovation is, of course, the design of the new Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage, which is now presented in the current design language of the latest electronic solutions from Rega Research Limited. This is particularly interesting because the phono pre-amplifier now fits perfectly with the motor control of the latest drives from Rega Research Limited, above all the new Rega Planar 10 turntable and its Rega P10 PSU motor control unit, but also with the amplifier solutions presented in recent weeks and months.
Rega Research Limited had already given the second generation of the phono preamplifier a facelift of this kind, and this was in the form of the Rega Aria MKII MM/MC Phono Stage, which the English company presented in October 2018.
Now, however, the new Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage is more than just a facelift, according to the promise made by Rega Reserach Limited, because once again the company has also taken a close look at the inner workings and made improvements to details.
Nothing has changed, of course, in that the new Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage also features two completely independent circuits for MM as well as MC pick-up systems, so as to guarantee optimum quality at all times and allow the user to connect two drives to it at the same time and switch between them at the touch of a button.
In particular, the manufacturer emphasises that the Rega Aria MK3 MM/ MC Phono Stage is an “all analogue amplifier”, i.e. it is based solely on a discrete design, leaving “digital” components completely out of consideration.
The MC Stage relies on two low-noise FETs (Field Effect Transistor) connected in parallel, which are designed for high impedance. The impedance of the phono preamplifier in MC pick-up systems can be set in steps between 70 and 400 ohms by means of DIP switches, and the input capacitance can also be set in four steps between 1,000 and 4,200 pF, and the input sensitivity can also be increased by 6 dB.
MM pick-up systems use low-noise, bipolar input transistors, which are also connected in parallel. There are two separate power supplies for each channel and additional sub-power supplies for each of the low-noise input circuits. Nichicon FG electrolytic capacitors were used at critical points in the power supplies. Polypropylene capacitors were used in the signal path and in the equalization networks. Discrete circuitry is used throughout the signal path, providing full control over the circuit design.
The housing is made of aluminium in a tried and tested manner and should prove to be extremely solid and particularly resistant to disturbing external influences. It is literally enthroned on elegant feet.
At the front there is only a main switch and the selector switch MM or MC available, and nothing more is needed here. The rear panel provides two inputs for drives, as well as cinch sockets and the line out. Here you will also find the already mentioned DIP switches, often also called mouse piano, to adjust the parameters of the phono preamplifier to the pickup systems used.
However, for pickup systems from Rega Research Limited, the manufacturer has already made these settings so that you don’t even have to put your hand on the unit, but can start using it immediately.
The new Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage should be available from specialist dealers as early as June 2020. The manufacturer states a recommended retail price of € 1,199 for this solution. As in the past, the Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage is also available in the latest generation exclusively in black.
Getting to the point
From the very beginning, one of the outstanding features of the Rega Aria MM/MC Phono Stage has been what is already evident in its name: it is a phono preamplifier that is equally suitable for MM and MC pickup systems, with two independent preamps, so that the optimum quality can always be tickled out of the cartridges. The fact that this impeccable quality was offered at a very attractive price was another clear advantage. All this is of course also true for the latest, third generation of phono preamplifiers, which are now available in the form of the new Rega Aria MK3 MM/MC Phono Stage.