Rega Apollo + Rega DAC or Rega Saturn?

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My system consists of a Rega Apollo Cd player, Rega Mira 3 amp and Rega Rs3 loudspeakers. I decided to add the Rega DAC after reading many great reviews and I've had one for about 6 weeks now. At first I wasn't sure if I could hear a difference with or without the Dac so I just left the Dac connected to the Apollo and gave it a chance to run in.

I've played the Apollo + DAC every day and I've also switched back to just the Apollo to see if there is a major difference with or without the DAC but I'm struggling to hear much difference. Maybe I was expecting too much because when I switch back to just the Apollo the sound is just as good, maybe I'm so used to the sound of the Apollo that I enjoy it as much because I'm so familiar with it.

I invited a friend to listen and he said he could tell the difference and prefered it when the DAC was connected.

He has a very expensive Naim system and spends hundreds just on leads so I think he convinces himself of the improvements to justify the outlay. I told him each time I was connecting the DAC so he knew when to hear the improvements or not but I wasn't so sure. Maybe it's just me but I wasn't as convinced as he was.

If pushed, I do think the sound is slightly more musical with the DAC but it's certainly not the night and day difference I was expecting or hoping for.

I'm now thinking about selling the Apollo and DAC and going for a Rega Saturn as I'm not going to use the DAC for steaming music as I only listen to cds.

Should I stick with the DAC and the Apollo or sell both and go for a Saturn?

Would that give me a bigger step up?

I can't audition so I 'm just looking for help from those who have heard both the the Apollo and Saturn and can give me the benefit of their experience.

Thanks.
 
Sorry I've no experience of Rega stuff, so can't answer the main question. However, I can empathise about you not hearing much different between the Apollo and DAC, whereas a friend can...

Sometimes a particular sound can become so engrained that when you add or change a component - even by the same company - it just doesn't register. I had that problem with my old Arcam amp...

If you really can't audition I would contact your local (or nearest) Rega outlet and tell them the dilemma. Most good retailers will have some sort of returns policy if you want to try the Saturn.

Hope that helps, pp
 

chebby

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If you don't have any other need for the DAC then return it for refund and spend the money on the new Apollo-R (coming very soon) and/or the new Brio-R amp. (Don't know when the 'Mira-R' is due out. Could be a while yet.)

Or just keep the money and enjoy your old system as it is without the DAC. (I have heard an identical system to yours and it takes some beating.)
 
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Anonymous

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I'm not familiar with Rega's cd players, but most reviews seem to indicate that the DAC is comparable to (if not better than) the Saturn in quality. If you don't hear a difference between the Apollo and DAC, I don't expect the Saturn will be any different. On practical terms, I would prefer the DAC to the Saturn because you have the option to add additional sources to the DAC later.

Like chebby says, stop worrying and enjoy what you have :)
 

Folkman

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I was using a Rega Dac on my Saturn and found it to make an improvement. But like you it was only used for cd. I also was not keen on the Dac size/style/finish [all personal taste issues].

So i have gone back to the bare Saturn and not missing the Dac one bit. I think thats because the Saturn is such an excellent player anyway.

When i bought the Saturn i compared it to the Apollo and to me the Saturn was much better. I would say the Saturn is a bigger improvement over the Apollo than the Dac is over the Saturn.

So i would go with your thinking........sell Apollo/Dac and buy a Saturn . Unless you particularly like the shoebox style and wait for the Apollo R.

Saturn/Mira3/RS3 will make a great system.

Michael.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the advice, I think I'm with Folkman, I prefer the full size to the shoebox size of the DAC so I'm probably going to look at getting a Saturn CD player and sell the Apollo and DAC.
 
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Anonymous

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I'm in a similar situation. I'm getting the Nait XS amp, and will be trading in my Rega DAC for a Saturn. That's the plan for right now, atleast.
smiley-smile.gif
 
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Anonymous

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I'm in a similar situation. I'm getting the Nait XS amp, and will be trading in my Rega DAC for a Saturn. That's the plan for right now, atleast.
smiley-smile.gif
 

Sorreltiger

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When I auditioned the Apollo and Saturn, there was a marked difference between the two. There was just more of everything with the more expensive player, whereas the Apollo sounded very nice, but flat by comparison. Incidentally, I preferred both to the Arcam CD17 (I didn't get the chance to try the CD37!)

If you look carefully, you will find a reduced or ex-dem Saturn below £800.
 
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Anonymous

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>) Here's something to confuse you even more: >)

Maybe the Mira3 isn't resolving enough and that's why you don't hear much of difference. With a better amp, you might.

>)
 

Folkman

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I have found the Mira3 is more than capable in resolving the difference of adding the Dac to the Saturn.

My previous amp was a Mira3 and then for the past 2 years i have been using a Cursa3/Exon3 setup.

I have recently gone back to a Mira3 [as a temporary step] and was plesantly suprised with the results.

Michael.
 

Cold Roses

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Ric - In your position I definitely wouldn't swap the Rega Apollo + Rega Dac for the Rega Saturn without first auditioning the Saturn (preferably, in your home). The Saturn is undoubtedly a better built and sounding machine than the current Apollo, though whether it betters the Apollo + Dac is open for debate. In my opinion, unless you want to reduce box count and have no interest in computer music, the Apollo/Dac combo is a better proposition than the Saturn alone.

I'm actually very surprised that you're not experiencing much of a difference. As you may recall from previous threads, I'm currently running the same set up as you (Rega Apollo to Rega Dac to Rega Mira 3 to Rega RS3). I've found the Rega Dac to take the Apollo to whole new level of performance, with significant improvements almost all-around. The Rega Dac provides more detail, better separation of instruments, a wider and more accurate soundstage and (above all) an improvement in bass (an area I previously found my system to be somewhat lacking).

This sounds very cliched, but my girlfriend (who frankly thinks I'm crazy obsessing about hifi) noticed the difference immediately when I introduced the Dac to the system. I imagine that if you're not hearing any significant differences between the Apollo and the Apollo + Dac combo with your current system, you won't find significant differences switching to the Saturn either. My fear is that the issue lies elsewhere (and it's not the amp or speakers, in my view). Have you experimented with speaker positioning, for example?
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the reply Cold Roses, I might end up staying with my current set up for a while longer then as I've been doing more listening over the past couple of days.

Cold Roses :

"I've found the Rega Dac to take the Apollo to whole new level of performance, with significant improvements almost all-around. The Rega Dac provides more detail, better separation of instruments, a wider and more accurate soundstage and (above all) an improvement in bass (an area I previously found my system to be somewhat lacking)."

I do agree that in the areas you mention above, it is better with the DAC connected, as my friend pointed out to me when he listened.

I said it could be me, perhaps I was expecting a more night and day difference and not the subtle improvements the DAC provides. Maybe I was just expecting even more.
 

crusaderlord

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i am not totally surprised by your findings, after all the Apollo is a recognised great cd player and wouldnt be so if it didnt have a decent dac in it anyway. whilst the £500 Rega DAC is also supposed to be great (yes i did demo one before i bought the MF M1 DAC) i cant see at its price it being a huge uplift.

my own experience tells me that some cd players are so well put together than the sum of the parts i.e transport and dac just seem to gell well together to give a fabulous sound.
 
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Anonymous

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Well I ordered the Rega Saturn after agreeing with the shop to take my Apollo and DAC in part-ex and it arrived a short while ago :)

I'm putting it through it's paces now and it already sounds great straight out of the box, I'd say it's similar to the Apollo which is great but it has a bit more of everything, more bass, detail, top end etc I think I made the right decision :grin:
 
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Anonymous

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Yes, I'm a bit impulsive like that and wouldn't have been able to let it rest until I made the swap. I've just packed up the Apollo and DAC ready to be sent off to the dealer tomorrow :wave:

I made a bit of a loss on the pair and would probably have made more selling privately but I was so keen to get the Saturn.

The best thing is that my wife has been working all day so when she gets in she won't even notice that I've changed the Apollo for the Saturn :grin:

She might notice that the DAC has gone but I'll tell her I've sold it to bring in some money ;)
 
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Anonymous

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:) Welcome to the SSOC - the Satisfied Saturn Owners Club !!!

Although the Saturn costs more than Apollo I think most owners are able to justify this as it is a product that will become the heart of their system and give many years of pleasure.

Having owned mine for about a year now I do not think I will ever feel the need to buy another CD player.
 
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Anonymous

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I'll be trading in my Rega DAC for a Saturn this Friday too. :)

Unless curiousity about the new Apollo being announced towards the end of October gets the better of me. :)

Maybe I'll hold on to my Dac for my headphone setup.:cheers:
 

mattmeer

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MoData said:
I'm in a similar situation. I'm getting the Nait XS amp, and will be trading in my Rega DAC for a Saturn. That's the plan for right now, atleast.
smiley-smile.gif

Have you received your Saturn yet? From your signature, I see you were using a Rega DAC + Squeezebox touch. I am using that combo aswell. I am wondering if the Saturn is a better transport than the Squeezebox touch, and maybe a better DAC aswell..
 
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Anonymous

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Well, I was going to, but I made the mistake of introducing my wife to spotify. So then, we needed to keep the dac.

I figured I'd rather get the new Apollo-R if I really need a cd player. In the interim, I'll be getting a power supply for the Squeezebox, which will take care of the nasty noise that the sbtouch is introducing into the system. I'll do a comparison between the + psu adn the apollo-R to see if I really need the cd player.
 

True Blue

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The Saturn is a belting CDP. When auditioning I decided it was worth the £1398 price tag. So when the price came down to £898 it made it a particular NO BRAINER. Listen to the sound open out after around three to four hours of playing its magical.

I now use mine as transport into my Rega DAC with a Sonos being used as the other source playing spotify premium and ALAC files. Brilliant brilliant player.
 

True Blue

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MoData said:
Well, I was going to, but I made the mistake of introducing my wife to spotify. So then, we needed to keep the dac.

I figured I'd rather get the new Apollo-R if I really need a cd player. In the interim, I'll be getting a power supply for the Squeezebox, which will take care of the nasty noise that the sbtouch is introducing into the system. I'll do a comparison between the + psu adn the apollo-R to see if I really need the cd player.

The new Apollo R has a better transport in it apparently than the saturn so data recovery should be better. Will do an A/B when my dealer gets one in :).
 
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Anonymous

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TrueBlue: Well, we've got very similar systems. I'll ask my dealer to bring in a PMC DB1i so I can have a listen to it.
 

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