Rega System One review | What Hi-Fi?

Although Aristotle is widely concept to have presented the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts (an concept adopted within the 20th Century by way of the Gestalt college of psychology), it is perhaps maximum poignantly defined in the 2010 film Flipped, in keeping with Wendelin Van Draanen's 2001 novel of the similar identify.

When Richard Baker utters “A portray is more than the sum of its parts. A cow by itself is only a cow, a meadow on its own is simply grass, vegetation... and the sun peeking during the trees is only a beam of light, but you place all of them in combination... and it can be magic,” he may easily be speaking about song, dance, opera or the human experience. And so it is with hi-fi – your system is so much more than a choice of chilly, inanimate separates.

The three-product vinyl set-up underneath our noses this is the entry-level Rega System One. The query is, when you upload two 2021 Award winners – specifically Rega’s excellent Planar 1 turntable and built-in io amp – to an untested set of Rega speakers (and avoid wasting cash on the cost of purchasing them one at a time) are we witnessing the of completion of a masterpiece, or an unfortunate late smear on the canvas? 

Price

Rega unveiled its System One at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show again in February 2020 (when lifestyles was so very other) with a price-tag of £999 (round $1350 / AU$1900). At that point, the firm’s new Kyte speakers got here with a recommended asking fee of £429 (around $580 / AU$815) if bought on their own.

However, it in reality took the British hi-fi specialist until December 2021 to in a position your entire proposition as in the stores, and as of late the Rega System One comes with an RRP of £1199 / $2115 / AU$2599. The Kyte speakers will now set you back £550 / $895 / AU$1199 if purchased on my own – plus £50 / $95 (around AU$95) for the plinth-like adapter stands when you’re taking a look to stand mount them (which is something we might always advise). 

Despite the £200 (around $270 / AU$380) charge hike, that £1199 / $2115 / AU$2599 overall nonetheless represents a saving of £70 / $100 / AU$398 when compared with purchasing the goods separately these days – the Rega Planar 1 (£299 / $595 / AU$849), Rega io (£420 / $725 / AU$949) and Rega Kyte audio system (£550 / $895 / AU$1199) upload as much as £1269 / $2215 / AU$2997 if purchased personally. 

But we’re now not carried out here. In the UK, several dealerships are providing hybrid programs that pair Rega’s five-star attempted and examined turntable and integrated amp with the similarly five-star Dali Oberon 1 (£349) standmounts for £969 – so one of essentially the most helpful issues we can do with this review is to deduce whether or not you should go for that, or shell out a bit of extra for Rega’s own speaker advent specially designed for the aim.

Build

The entire Rega System One arrives in a package deal kind of the depth and width of a large pizza field that comes as much as just below the belly of our quad muscle tissues after we first set it down. The final thing we discover upon unboxing all of it is the Kyte audio system and as a cohesive lot, the shared aesthetic of the system is enjoyable, if relatively devoid of aptitude. Although the Planar 1 is available in matt white in addition to matt black, as a whole system, the latter is your best choice.

Rega Kyte is a compact, rear-ported two-way design, built the use of phenolic resin for the cabinet (an abnormal subject matter, selected for its stiffness) that’s further strengthened via interior bracing. In terms of drivers, you’re getting Rega’s home made MX-A hundred twenty five bass-mid unit, which incorporates a 4 layer voice coil, and the Rega-designed ZRR tweeter.

The speakers are equipped without grilles and we don’t miss them. The edges of the cabinet are rounded, however around the front baffle where it meets the enclosure correct, there's a moderately sharp lip. 

Overall, we expect the Kytes glance useful at easiest and lack the visual magnificence anticipated at their fee. Sitting them subsequent to the Dali Oberon 1 merely confirms that impact.

Rega System One tech specs

Rega System One:

Finishes x1

Rega io:

Power 30W in line with channel

Inputs RCA x2, MM phono

Outputs 3.5mm headphone jack

Dimensions (hwd) 6.Eight x 18 x 29cm

Weight 2.9kg

Rega Planar 1:

Tonearm Hand assembled RB110

Cartridge Factory fitted Carbon shifting magnet

Motor 24v low noise motor

Platter Phenolic resin platter

Dimensions (lid closed, hwd) 117 x 447 x 360mm

Weight 4.2 kg

Kyte Speakers:

System 2 approach

Enclosure Design Bass reflex, rear ported

Cabinet Construction Phenolic resin

Mid / Bass Unit Rega MX-125

Impedance Nominal 6 ohms

Sensitivity 89dB

High Frequency Unit Rega ZRR

Dimensions with rear foot fitted (hwd) 325 x 188 x 232mm

Weight 3.73 kg

Rega’s Kyte speakers are also provided with two T-shaped ft. You’re meant to glue one to the back of each speaker using two screws apiece, to lift the rear of the speaker and thus perspective it directly forwards. However, due to the depth of the enclosure, doing so makes those speakers too deep for moderately among the standard stands available on the market; the foot merely hangs off the back.

Aside from fitting stated ft, getting the Rega System One up and working is extremely easy, with two 3m Rega-specification multi-strand (56 in line with core) copper cables integrated. Anyone familiar with our Rega Planar 1 review will know that it is one of probably the most novice-friendly turntables we’ve ever set down on our hi-fi rack, with a steadiness weight that merely slides on, a pre-fitted cartridge and a captive lead-out cable.

The Rega io, in the meantime, is simplest somewhat greater than a hefty hardback guide, and as we hook it as much as the Kytes the entirety feels as though it’s truly intended to be attached – because it's. The io amplifier features a good-quality integrated transferring magnet phono stage, two line-level inputs and a headphone socket. It in fact makes use of the same power amplifier degree as Rega’s splendid Brio amp, however re-designed to run at 30W according to channel into Eight ohms (relatively than the 50 watts of its pricier sibling).

We to find the Rega Kyte speakers refreshingly unfussy when it comes to placement, however we settle on angling them relatively inwards in opposition to the listening place and relatively with regards to, however no longer up towards the rear wall.

Features

A 3.5mm headphone jack sits at the entrance panel of the io, alongside a quantity dial and a small plastic button that cycles during the inputs. As properly as being attentive to vinyl via your cans, you'll be able to additionally scroll through the io’s inputs or alter quantity with the demure remote control. Despite its low-key aesthetic, the remote comes in handy and will no doubt appeal to the hi-fi purist.

The Planar 1 file participant sports an on/off switch at the underside of the plinth, at the front left corner, plus a gorgeous visible help at the tonearm to line up the stylus with the report as you decrease it. This is also the first of Rega’s entry-level turntables to deal with a 24v synchronous AC motor with an aluminium pulley, which the corporate claims provides low noise and higher speed steadiness. 

As an entire plug and play turntable system, fledgling vinyl enthusiasts could no longer fairly wish for any further – and because of those extra inputs, there’s scope for a bit growth too.

Sound

We get started through lowering Michael Jackson’s 1987 album Bad onto the Planar 1 platter. At the outset of Man In The Mirror, the treble glints thankfully and with none added brightness or harsh edges from the Rega Kyte audio system. As the track progresses, the various backing vocals resonate in a well-timed and cohesive mix, supplemented by a 3-dimensional, impactful and emotive gospel choir. 

During Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ People Ain’t No Good, the keys feel transparent and well-judged around Cave’s juicy lower registers in a spacious soundstage that gives a number of excitement and bass clout. 

During Ravel’s Bolero, as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, the dynamic construct of the piece (which used to be written for a ballet, through which a solo dancer is step by step joined via increasingly more bodies until a whole corps de ballet is appearing as one onstage) is a marginal shade off very good, but at this level it’s a small issue because the Kytes proceed to ship an interesting, toe-tapping and lively show, no matter genre of track we dig out from our assortment.

When evaluating the Kytes directly to the less expensive Dali Oberon 1s on this explicit system, Mary J Blige’s Family Affair sounds meatier, fuller and more zealous in the course of the Rega product. Detail ranges are identical, but while the Dalis would possibly simply edge it for dynamic sensitivity, their slightly extra forward-focused presentation implies that they come off only a tad congested inside of this system. Especially all over heavier tracks, but also across the process our testing correct, we find the extra ounce of snap and space through the low finish sees us handing it to Rega over and over again. Although there’s no scarcity of high quality pageant for the Kytes when judged in isolation, on this system they actually work effectively.

Verdict

Judged as a complete package deal, the System One will get the fundamentals of song copy spot-on, handing over musical concord and dynamic expression in a way that eludes maximum alternative set-ups. If you’re after a simple-to-use vinyl set-up that’s an excessive amount of fun to hear, it is a great spot to start.

SCORES

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