A combination of CD transport and high-end DAC in one elegant package is how Rega Research Limited describes the company’s latest CD player, now available in the form of the Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC.
Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/ DAC, with this the English hi-fi manufacturer Rega Research Limited presents its latest solution for the playback of audio CDs, whereby the company promises a series of extremely exciting features for this product. For example, the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC is said to be distinguished by the fact that it is an immensely flexible solution.
This is not least due to the fact that, according to Rega Resaerch Limited, the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC is ultimately a combination of a high-precision CD transport and a high-end D/A converter, which have been combined here in an elegant housing.
A CD transport combined with a D/A converter
In principle, every CD player is a combination of a CD transport and a D/A converter. After all, the signals read out by the actual drive have to be converted accordingly. And making the converters of a CD player available to other sources is nothing really unusual these days; in a certain price range, it’s almost standard.
However, there are good reasons for Rega Research Limited to emphasise this in the case of the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC.
The two functional units of the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC can be used independently of each other, they are just hidden in one unit, if you want to put it that way.
A look at the back of the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC illustrates this very impressively, because there are connections available here, which one looks for in vain on other CD players.
Special design of the interfaces
Let’s start with the simple interfaces that every audio CD player has, i.e. a pair of RCA sockets as analogue output. As if that were not enough, the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/ DAC has a coaxial and optical S/PDIF interface as digital outputs, which are reserved solely for the CD drive and thus enable the Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/ DAC to be used as a CD transport with an external converter.
When it comes to use as a D/A converter, the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/ DAC first offers a USB port for direct connection to a PC or Mac, relying on an XMOS USB interface for particularly powerful signal transfer. In addition, galvanic isolation is used to prevent interference from the outset.
In addition, there are two optical and two coaxial S/PDIF interfaces for integrating further digital sources.
The special feature is that the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC also offers digital outputs in addition to those already mentioned for CD transport, also in the form of an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface. Digital data can therefore be output either via the integrated converter and the analogue output mentioned above, which is combined for CD transport and D/A converter, or via digital outputs to other components.
CD transport with top loader
As usual with Rega Research Limited, the drive of the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC is located on the top of the unit, i.e. it is a so-called top-loader, whereby the cover makes an extremely solid impression in the proven manner.
Signal processing with 24 bit and 192 kHz
Rega Research Limited is not one of those manufacturers who deliberately push the technical features of their solutions to the extreme, even if this doesn’t read as great in the data sheet as it does with other products.
In the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC, for example, the developers did not rely on a converter that can handle impressive resolutions, but rather on a solid, tried-and-tested Wolfson WM8742 DAC that can process signals in Linear PCM at up to 24 bits and 192 kHz. The Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC supports precisely those resolutions that are actually important in practice.
It seemed much more important to the developers to rely on optimised output stages, on high-quality power supplies optimised for the individual components of the Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC.
The new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC is presented in the current design line of the English hi-fi manufacturer and features an extremely solidly designed metal housing with dimensions of 432 × 82 × 320 mm.
The scope of delivery includes a matching remote control, namely the Rega Solaris Remote Handset, which, according to the manufacturer, can of course be used to fully control both sections of the Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/ DAC.
However, it is of course also possible to operate the unit directly, whereby a centrally located display assists in addition to the standby button and four further buttons for playback control.
Seamlessly integrated into the Rega product range
The new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC fits seamlessly into Rega Research Limited’s existing range of electronic solutions. The company recommends the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC in combination with the Rega Elex-R and Rega Aethos, for example, but adds another component that has not yet been officially launched, the new Rega Elicit MK5 Integrated Amplifier.
Prices and availability
The English hi-fi manufacturer says that the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC will probably be available from specialist dealers in the near future. The recommended retail price for the new player has not yet been announced, but it is likely to be around the same level as the previously available Rega Saturn-R CD player, i.e. around €2,200.
Getting to the point
First and foremost, Rega Research Limited promises flexibility with the special concept of the new Rega Saturn MK3 CD player/DAC, which combines a CD transport and a D/A converter in one product in a thoroughly unusual way. The fact is that the developers paid the utmost attention to both components and designed them as independently as possible in order to achieve not only the promised versatility but also the best possible quality.
|PRODUCT||REGA SATURN MK3 CD-PLAYER/ DAC|
|Price||expected € 2.200,-|
|Manufacturer||Rega Research Limited|
|Distribution Austria||Audiovertrieb by HZ Electronics|
|Distribution Germany||TAD-Audiovertrieb GmbH|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|