Rega io

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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19,570
So does this appeal to the lifestyle crowd? With no digital inputs? Or cramped dorm rooms big enough to have a turntable???

Rega makes great hifi, but even my Arcam Solo Mini from 2008 was more versatile than this.

This sycophantic review does no favour to WHF’s credibility, or Rega‘s reputation for great sounding but increasingly anachronistic budget amplification products.
 

losalnos

Well-known member
Mar 31, 2016
5
0
4,520
My big question is how does the new IO combo at £999 compare with buying a brio combo separately? It doesn't seem like a great deal; very expensive speakers. If I went in to a Hi-Fi shop, a Planar 1 & Brio would come to £850. I'm pretty much positive I could get a pair of bookshelves with an RRP of between £200-£250 bundled in for a total of £1000, and that price range is so packed with speakers, I'd get a wealth of choice of stylings and tonal voicing to suit my room/preference. And, obviously, an amp that will probably last me longer and do justice were I to upgrade speakers or TT later on.

Yeah, I'd love to see someone do a comparison between, say, the io bundle and a Brio+Planar 1+Dali Spektor or Q Acoustics or something like that.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
1,079
263
19,570
My big question is how does the new IO combo at £999 compare with buying a brio combo separately? It doesn't seem like a great deal; very expensive speakers. If I went in to a Hi-Fi shop, a Planar 1 & Brio would come to £850. I'm pretty much positive I could get a pair of bookshelves with an RRP of between £200-£250 bundled in for a total of £1000, and that price range is so packed with speakers, I'd get a wealth of choice of stylings and tonal voicing to suit my room/preference. And, obviously, an amp that will probably last me longer and do justice were I to upgrade speakers or TT later on.

Yeah, I'd love to see someone do a comparison between, say, the io bundle and a Brio+Planar 1+Dali Spektor or Q Acoustics or something like that.
I think the Brio deserves speakers 350quid+, something like the Q Acoustics 3030i at the very least, but ideally something like the B&W 606/607.
 

20to20K

Active member
Jul 13, 2020
1
1
25
Rega’s io amplifier has all the hallmarks of its Award-winning Brio sibling, but for around half the price.

Rega io : Read more
I received my IO 4 weeks ago and use it while spending most working days in a medium sized study. I appreciate the build quality, simplicity and that it really does sound great with an old pair of B&Ws. I’m more interested in convenience and future component upgrades. Thus it’s hooked up to a DAC and music server, all controlled from my iPhone. Bizarrely, my children were stunned by the ‘made in england’ label.
 
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losalnos

Well-known member
Mar 31, 2016
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I think the Brio deserves speakers 350quid+, something like the Q Acoustics 3030i at the very least, but ideally something like the B&W 606/607.
Oh yeah, I totally take your point and I'd absolutely agree: to do it justice you'd need better speaker, but my query is would even a hindered Brio system hold its own against the IO bundled system? Because even if you're not getting to hear the best of the Brio at first, in the short term if it does sound as good as the IO, you've not lost anything. Long term, if you've bought the Brio, when it comes to upgrading, the core of your system, is already in place. So as you say, you could spend £350-£400 on new speakers (and, as I say, have a choice of aesthetics and sound to suit your taste) and your Brio system would be given a new lease of life.

To upgrade the IO bundled system, it sounds like you'd have to spend £600 on the Brio or similar (Audiolab 6000A?) at minimum, and then there's a decent chance the bundled speakers need upgraded too to make the best of the new amp. Am I making sense or waffling?

Basically, what I'm saying is despite not getting the best out the Brio, I'd be interested to hear a comparison because the price discrepancy between the IO bundle and one you can put together yourself with a Brio doesn't seem very much, and long-term surely the smart money would be on buying a better amp?
 

Robhd

Active member
Jan 3, 2021
3
2
25
I have been using an IO for a few months now and really love this little amp. It is hooked up to a Linn LP12/Ekos and a Audiolab 8200cd and drives a pair of stand mounted Q acoustic Concept 20’s.. amps i have previously run are a marantz pm6005, Creek 4140, Naim 110/140 and a Naim Nait.

in terms of sonic performance the Rega is a bit of a giant killer as was the Naim Nait when i had that.. although the Nait was a brighter sound the Rega is fuller but just as toe tappingly addictive. The Marantz a pleasant easy amp to live with but far less of a ‘ooh, i’ll just play one more album before I stop’ kind of listen.. less engaging than the Rega.

Both line level and phono inputs sound great, you might think the LP12 would reveal the amps limits but in practice it just shows how good it really is. Sure, if you have a BIG listening room it might struggle a bit but for most of us that probably isn’t a real issue!

if you need all the bells and whistles clearly this isn’t the amp for you, but if sound quality rules above all else then this is a great amp at a really terrific price.
 
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LuKi

Member
Feb 7, 2021
2
0
20
I have been using an IO for a few months now and really love this little amp. It is hooked up to a Linn LP12/Ekos and a Audiolab 8200cd and drives a pair of stand mounted Q acoustic Concept 20’s.. amps i have previously run are a marantz pm6005, Creek 4140, Naim 110/140 and a Naim Nait.

in terms of sonic performance the Rega is a bit of a giant killer as was the Naim Nait when i had that.. although the Nait was a brighter sound the Rega is fuller but just as toe tappingly addictive. The Marantz a pleasant easy amp to live with but far less of a ‘ooh, i’ll just play one more album before I stop’ kind of listen.. less engaging than the Rega.

Both line level and phono inputs sound great, you might think the LP12 would reveal the amps limits but in practice it just shows how good it really is. Sure, if you have a BIG listening room it might struggle a bit but for most of us that probably isn’t a real issue!

if you need all the bells and whistles clearly this isn’t the amp for you, but if sound quality rules above all else then this is a great amp at a really terrific price.
Just got one myself - sounds absolutely fantastic. It does run very warm though, even when it's on but not in use. I was wondering whether this was normal. It has plenty of space above it on the shelf, so I don't think it's a ventilation issue. Would love to hear your experience, or those of other owners...
Thanks!
 

Robhd

Active member
Jan 3, 2021
3
2
25
Just got one myself - sounds absolutely fantastic. It does run very warm though, even when it's on but not in use. I was wondering whether this was normal. It has plenty of space above it on the shelf, so I don't think it's a ventilation issue. Would love to hear your experience, or those of other owners...
Thanks!
Mine runs warm too... just leave plenty of space around it on the shelf
 
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Robhd

Active member
Jan 3, 2021
3
2
25
For people like me who (mostly) only play vinyl and don't really need digital ins.

I just got one, it sounds fantastic. Compared it similarly and higher priced units and there was no comparison.
i have now sold my IO onto a friend and moved on, upgrading to a Rega Elicit R with a Rega Saturn R CD player and KEF LS50 meta speakers to go with my Linn LP12/Ittok.

i had the IO for just over a year and can say it is a great amp and despite its tiny size it packs a real punch. As a starter amp it is a great product and using it as a cheap stop gap replacement it consistently surprised and delighted me. It is an ideal starter amp.. and one which will repay using better source components as you upgrade..
i have read the comments here and its clear one or two people are happy to chuck in their tuppence worth yet have clearly never actually bothered going and actually listening to one first (god forbid eh..lol).
it is though quite true it has limited inputs BUT the MM phono input is very good quality and repays being hooked up to a good deck.. and how many line level devices do most of us use? if you want AV look elsewhere, but frankly calling most such amps ‘hi fi’ is plain ludicrous.. surround sound anyone? Fabulous gimmick fun for watching films and eating popcorn but not what you really want for music reproduction..
anyway off to play with these mind blowing new Meta speakers.. (and I can already hear ‘not enough bass’ cries from the boom box brigade)..lol
 

plarson

Member
May 9, 2021
2
1
20
i have now sold my IO onto a friend and moved on, upgrading to a Rega Elicit R with a Rega Saturn R CD player and KEF LS50 meta speakers to go with my Linn LP12/Ittok.

i had the IO for just over a year and can say it is a great amp and despite its tiny size it packs a real punch. As a starter amp it is a great product and using it as a cheap stop gap replacement it consistently surprised and delighted me. It is an ideal starter amp.. and one which will repay using better source components as you upgrade..
i have read the comments here and its clear one or two people are happy to chuck in their tuppence worth yet have clearly never actually bothered going and actually listening to one first (god forbid eh..lol).
it is though quite true it has limited inputs BUT the MM phono input is very good quality and repays being hooked up to a good deck.. and how many line level devices do most of us use? if you want AV look elsewhere, but frankly calling most such amps ‘hi fi’ is plain ludicrous.. surround sound anyone? Fabulous gimmick fun for watching films and eating popcorn but not what you really want for music reproduction..
anyway off to play with these mind blowing new Meta speakers.. (and I can already hear ‘not enough bass’ cries from the boom box brigade)..lol
Bluetooth would have been welcome, but it wasn't a requirement. 90% of my music listening it to vinyl, 5% is CDs and 5% is digital, so the two inputs are more than sufficient for me.

I have no use for surround, the most important requirement for me was that it made the music sound good. I have gone through four old amps on their last legs in the past year (which were all great), and finally felt it time to buy something that works and sell off the old amps for parts. I compared the Rega io to the Cabridge AX and CX amps, and to the NAD amps in the same price range. I was even ready to put down the extra money for Rega Brio. The Rega io was just vastly superior to any of them.

Maybe it isn't sexy, but this is about the best amp I've ever had and I'm really happy with it. Maybe it won't impress people when they come over or on social media, but since I'm listening to music for up to 12 hours a day, for me it pays to have something that sounds good, and this is great.
 

Musicmann067

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2020
4
1
520
I picked up the Rega io from local shop - about two months ago. I use with Kef Q-150 on my desktop. The sound is balanced. Very clean and I hear fine detail well. It is a good sounding amp with remote. I use computer music files and compact disc. Plays more than loud enough. I must say, I am sightly surprised by all of the attention. For now, it suits my needs.
 

see_for_miles

Active member
Jun 3, 2021
4
1
25
I've read Rega amps are known to have humming issues.
Does the IO exhibit this trait as well?

Also, could anyone recommend a good speaker under 1K that would be a perfect match for this amp? Small room (4x3 meters), listening position about 1.8-2m away, placement about 30cm from the front wall to the back of the speaker. Looking for a non-fatiguing, full and natural sound free of unpleasant brightness/harshness and boomy bass .
Thanks!
 

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