What Phono Stage: RegaRP3/Exact -> Nait XS?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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If you had to choose between the Naim Stageline and the Rega Fono MM which one have folks preferred?

I've got both at home for a demo, but can't really decide:

The naim stageline seems to have a better grip on bass, and goes thunk thunk thunk nicely with the bass, but seems to come to song only when I add the flatcap.

The fono MM seems to have a sweeter (upper) midrange.

Any other recos? How's the NAD PP?Speakers are either the Rega RS5s or the Totem Hawks (that I'm alsohome demoing).

jerry klinger

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Jun 26, 2010
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You're right that the Stageline seems to need more power than the internal PSU in the amp. I had one with a Naim preamp and had to keep unplugging it because it drains power to the other sources; using an external PSU, you're routing the signal through another box (which has an effect, whether you like it or not).

Rega Fono I found more detailed but a bit harsh in comparison (which could be because the Naim filters top & bottom). Fono also has adjustable settings for cartridges which I probably should have experimented with more.

Funnily enough the phono stage in the Brio-R is a lot smoother - dare I say it, better than either of the above!

I have a feeling Rega are going to bring out a standalone phono stage to match the DAC, so you may be better off waiting for that.

All the above are entirely my subjective opinions of course. Just based on 40 years' listening to music.