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Rega Saturn / Apollo R / Rega Dac


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I think my Arcam Alpha 9 cdp has just croaked — the laser isn't reading the disc and it feels warm even when the power is off. I don't know if its terminal but it aint looking good. I suppose I can't complain after 12 years but I was very attached to it. Anyway I might have to replace it if I can't get it fixed.

 

I already have a Rega dac which I stream to and its a good match for the rest of my system and so thought about a Rega Saturn cdp. Alternatively and much cheaper would be an Apollo R into the dac. Is there any advantage to be gained from feeding the Apollo R into the Dac or are they of similar character? 

 

Has anyone compared the Apollo R / Rega dac / Saturn? 

 

Obviously I have to audition them but any thoughts?

 

 

Russ

 

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If you're happy with the Rega DAC sound - just buy a good transport. Come upgrade time, you simply change DACs... No point getting the Apollo R imho as the dac in it is the same from what I understand. Not sure the Saturn would be a big enough upgrade to justify the cost.

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If you want to keep everything looking good you could go for the Apollo that just hit the FS section, you'd only be using it as a transport but at least you wouldn't have to pay top dollar for a new spinner.

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All good thoughts. I thought about an older cdp or other dedicated transport, but for $850 i can get a new apollo r from addicted to audio or a s/h saturn from magenta for $1000. I think the new apollo r has changed the game as far as older s/h apollos go.

I'll take the arcam in tomorrow and Im hoping that its salvageable for a reasonable cost - its not massively better than the rega dac but it is a bit crisper and more open.

Edited by buddyev
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I believe Rantan has heard both and posted previously that he rated the Saturn as still better than the Apollo R - but suggested the gap had closed significantly. 

 

The R could well have changed the game - and hurt S/H values of the old Apollo in the process. 

 

I grappled with the same issue, an older cheaper player into a DAC will in all likelihood sound just as good - but reliability will always be the issue on an old player.    Can you audition the Rega combo at A to A to see if you think it's woth the $$?

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No point getting the Apollo R imho as the dac in it is the same from what I understand. 

 

Unless he wants matching components ;)

 

Also, the Rega DAC has the DAC section from the ISIS CD player if I'm not mistaken. The Apollo-R I assume would be using a cut-down version.

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Yeah I was really saying that some of us (me) are shallow enough that visual matching is an important factor in choosing components.

 

me too mate. half the reason i bought the cd101 - thank goodness it's a decent spinner too ;)

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Not worried about matching components too much but I like the idea of the Apollo and dac - cute little b*ggers.

Just spoke with the service guy and he recommended fixing the Arcam - well I suppose he would wouldn't he! It was a $3k cdp when I bought it 12 years ago - I suppose I've had my money's worth out of it by now but my preference is too fix it if its not too expensive - a new laser I think.

Edited by buddyev
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