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The Rega Brio is a new improved version of the Rega Brio-R. The fully aluminium two-part case boosts the Brio’s heatsinking capabilities and improves on Rega’s already solid build quality and reliability. Rega have used the same switch that deactivates the main speakers seen in other higher spec Rega amplifier models. This reduces the impact that the headphone input has on the main signal path in order to not disrupt the overall sound quality.
The sleek and minimal look was designed to bring elegance to Rega’s classic style but still harks back to the swooped features hidden away in Rega’s past amplifiers. Combining all these aspects makes this Brio case a unique standpoint amongst the competition.
The PCB layout has been fully upgraded to handle higher specifications for all critical parts. A second raw power supply has been added to provide further isolation between output stage and the driver stage/line and phono amplifiers. This improves the isolation between high and low level signal stages of the amplifier. Higher specification MUSES operational amplifiers have been used in the line and phono amplifier.
To add convenience the Brio has the capability to drive standard hi-fi headphones from the internal amplifier. Adding a headphone socket was only possible by finding a way to reduce its impact on the main signal path so it doesn’t disrupt the overall sound quality. Special attention has been paid to the switch that deactivates the main speakers.
Input sensitivities for rated output level:Input 1 (phono) input sensitivity = 2.1mV at 47KΩ in parallel with 220pF.Maximum Input 1 (phono) input level = 100mVInput 2-5 (line) input sensitivity = 210mV at 47kΩMaximum input 2-5 (line) input level = 10.25V
Power outputs at 230/115V supply voltage:50 Watts RMS both channels driven into the rated load of 8Ω58 Watts RMS one channel driven into the rated load of 8Ω73 Watts RMS both channels driven into the rated load of 4Ω93 Watts RMS one channel driven into the rated load of 4Ω
Continued high level use into 4Ω may cause the case to exceed 40° C above the ambient temperature.
Headphone output:No load = 8V32Ω = 1.8V54Ω = 2.6V300Ω = 5.9VSource impedance = 109Ω
Power consumption:195 Watts at 230V/220V/115V/100V into the rated load of 8Ω
Record output level:Record output level (with rated input levels) = 210Mv.Record output impedance = 470ΩFrequency response:Phono 15Hz to 40KHz (-3dB Points) / 27Hz to 20.5KHz (-1dB Points)RIAA accuracy (100Hz to 10KHz) ± 0.4dB typically better than ± 0.3dBLine 12Hz (-1dB points) to 43KHz (-3dB points)Remote control batteries included – 2 x AAA Alkaline.Fuse ratings:T2AL 250V - 230V/50Hz and 220V/60HzT3.15AL 250V - 115V/60Hz and 100V 50/60Hz
I am not an audiophile and (to prove it) my main music is streaming Spotify. However I am on a constant quest to improve the listening experience. My Denon (digital Class D) amplifier worked well but had a clinical, sharp edge to its tone. I thought a Class A/B amp would provide a warmer, more rounded sound. Hence the Brio - and boy, does it deliver! Impressive range from crystal clear, sparkly treble to solid, punchy bass and all tightly controlled with snappy rhythm. My speakers have really come alive.There is no bluetooth or wifi, this is pure amplifier with only analogue inputs. No eq either, but it isn’t needed. Rega have absolutely hit the nail on the head with sound quality. I can’t stop listening to it. FYI: Spotify streamed through Yamaha DAC (via ethernet connection) to Brio connected to Dali Zensor 1 speakers.
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Hello, my affair with Rega is more than 20 years long. I have used Rega Radio old clamshell version, Rega Jupiter 2000 CD (for 15 years - no problem), Rega Ear 1 - still using no problem. And for nearly 20 years I still use Rega Planar 25, now with 24 V upgrade kit and TT PSU-R from same manufacturer. Cartridges are Benz Glider SL 0,4V and Rega Exact MM2, phonopreamp is Rega Aria MM/MC. Most happy I am with Rega Planar 25.This review I would like to dedicate to my biggest amp surprise in my cca 25 years experience. I was shortly owner of Rega Brio 2017 and Rega Apolo-R (not 2017 version). Units were new. I have left them playng on CD Repeat cca 3 days. So finaly machines were burned in. Comparisons I have done in my house, in living room with 35 square meters. All cables were Cardas Neutral Reference, Speakers Cabasse Iroise 500 (4 ohm), which are 3 way singlewire very sensitive 92 dB, with 2 x 8inch bass and cca 70 liter internal volume. Their bass is very fast and powerfull from cca 45Hz.My biggest shock was how well Brio was playing with those big Cabasse speakers! I do not say that this is optimal combination (Cabasse speakers were in past worth cca 4000Eur), but till volume 9 from 12 Brio had a strong control over my speakers. Bass was fast and tunefull. Character of sound was quite similar as my own Audia Fligt Amp Two integrated amp. Audia has more reserves, better localisation of instruments and more air - nearly like good vacuum tube amp. But music amplified by Brio I could listen for hours. I have tried old Queen, Yello, Vivaldi, Oscar Peterson trio, Depeche Mode...Just live organ concert with enorm bass notes was not the right for Brio. But Rock music with Cabasse was very convincing. Also Vivaldi was far beyond my expectation. Brio has a lot of natural colour in sound signature. Old vacuum tube fans will not be unhappy.Frequently critical point for this Brio, as to be too hot, overheating etc. - I had no problem. Brio was placed on well ventilated place, with nothing on top. Amp was just warmer but not too hot. And I was using big 4 ohm speakers. Before I tried Q Acoustics 2020, I think with 2020 amp was warmer (big sensitivity gap?). Important - firstly I placed Apolo-R on top of Brio and after cca 2 hours CD was not able to read CDs- I think it was overheated from amp. So pls. Do not put anything on top of Brio. Some three years ago I tried at home Rega Mira 3 with my Cabasse. This combo was not so good as with Brio, even on paper Brio has just 50Watt and Mira 60Watt. Control over whole spectrum is in my opinion one class above Mira - and I like Mira a lot.Listening on demanding speakers also shown that Brio needs better source than Apolo-R. Apolo-R is very good in its class for sure but not good enough for Brio 2017. With Apolo-R sound was missing a lot of air and space informations- localisation was not so precise. Sound was quite a lot "in my face". But dynamic and rhythm was very good. Comparison with my Audia CD Two has shown mainly left-right localisation as weaker point. New Apolo 2017 should have improved those aspects of sound. Or probably in combination with Rega Dac-R sound of CD will be more on level of Brio capabilities. So good is this little amp.I have also tried my old Rega Planar 25 with Exact2 cartridge on MM input. Here sound was really good. Probably better balanced will be combination with Planar 1 or Planar 2 with not so demanding cartridge. My own combo Rega Aria played a lot fuller with higher resolution. But character was similar. One area, where I have expected more was headphone amp in Brio. I used my old Beyerdynamic DT 990 and compared with my old Rega Ear Amp. Here a separate amp - Ear was quite a lot better. Mainly sound via Ear is fuller, more micro and macro dymamic, more colour. Where integrated headphone is good is comfort of using, is very silent - nearly no noice (unlike Ear which has hum) and sound is very crisp, so I recommend to take care selecting headphones.Conclusion: Rega has done it again and Brio is a real gamechanger in his price category. I will recommend very good sensitive speakers (e.g. Q Acoustics 3050, Tannoy, KEF, Cabasse, Triangle) with higher impedance. Than Brio will play well also in a quite bigger space. And save money for a Good source component. Congratulation from Slovakia to Rega!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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