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Rega Aethos: Versatile and beautiful integrated amplifier

Rega Aethos
Rega Aethos

Rega products are rarely revolutionary, so it is not surprising that the Rega Aethos amplifier draws heavily on the electronic principles already established in the existing range ( Elex-R and Elicit-R models ). The preamp is discrete and operates in Class A, and the Aethos power amp section uses two complementary pairs of Sanken Darlington output transistors to deliver a respectable 125Wpc output into 8 ohms.

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The volume control and linear amplifier were also borrowed from the Rega Elex-R amplifier model – but with some changes. Direct inputs and preamplifier outputs add flexibility to the connection. The preamp section prioritizes signal integrity and consistent channel balance and contains higher quality parts than those found in the company’s other (cheaper) products. The preamplifier is made using JFet transistors. The power supply is built on a massive toroidal transformer and K-power filter capacitors. Polypropylene film capacitors are exclusively used in signal circuits. Volume control – Alps RK27 Blue Velvet series potentiometer. The power amplifier circuit is designed to offer the benefits of Class A operation without the usual disadvantages of heat and power consumption.

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The brand paid special attention to the headphone amplifier, trying to make sure that nothing interferes with the signal path. The headphone amplifier according to the specifications produces 2.7 V into a load of 32 ohms with a source resistance of 109 ohms. On the rear panel there is a row of RCA connectors. In addition to the Direct output and preamp output, there are five regular inputs, as well as inputs and outputs labeled “Record” (not phono).

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The build quality of the Rega Aethos is impressive. The chunky styling of the new cabinet design may not be to everyone’s taste, but it certainly feels confident and confidence-inspiring. The controls are fairly simple with smooth buttons to select inputs for listening and recording.

The amplifier is able to captivate the listener with its sound, and this is a rare quality. That being said, this isn’t to say that the Rega Aethos works best with turntables, but it does sound phenomenal with them. The combination of Planar 10 and Aethos shows this perfectly: individually, both of these devices are very good, but together they sound great.

In conclusion, the headphone output on the Rega Aethos is one of the best I’ve encountered in an amplifier of this price. It has a wide dynamic range and delivers a pleasant and generally refined soundstage, and will pair well with a variety of headphone models. It provides excellent bass and comfortable sound, which is great for listening to music for the longest time.

Characteristics of  Rega Aethos

Input impedance, kOhm – 10 (linear input), 50 (power amplifier input)
Input sensitivity, mV – 196 (linear input), 760 (power amplifier input)
Output power (at 8/6 Ohm load), W – 125 / 156 x 2
Frequency response, Hz – 10–85,000
Harmonic distortion (1 kHz, 1 W), % – 0.01
Audio inputs – RCA stereo pairs (9)
Audio outputs – RCA stereo pairs (1)
Power consumption, W – 375
Dimensions, cm – 9.5 x 43.2 x 36
Weight, kg – 18

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