Conclusion: I urge readers interested in the Rega DAC to contact Mr. Darwin with their thoughts. But to clarify one point: While Steve Daniels did indeed urge me to talk to Rega's Paul Gandy about our coverage of the Rega DAC, I wasn't sure what purpose this would serve. In the end, I felt it sufficient to let Sam's and Jon's findings, as well as my measurements, speak for themselves.
Excerpt: Got a load of music files on your computer? Looking for a USB DAC from a reputable hi-fi company which you can place between the computer and your hi-fi, to translate these digital files to beautiful music? Wanting to play the new breed of Studio Master 24-bit music up to 96kHz and beyond? You would think the Rega DAC might be a key item on your shortlist. And if you read Rega’s website, you might think that this would work as a USB DAC up to 192kHz. Sadly it doesn’t.
Excerpt: As a manufacturer with a hard-won reputation for hi-fi excellence at a range of price points, Rega is exactly the sort of company we look to for an effective DAC at real-world money. Just because the firm ran out of creative juice when the time came to name its new baby (‘DAC’ is admirably to the point but hardly inspiring) the scale of Rega’s achievement with this impressive product shouldn’t be underestimated – it’s exactly what we hoped it would be.
Pros: Beefy build, natural, unforced, dynamic and detailed sound
Excerpt: It's always hard to resist a sense of humour. When we opened up the Rega DAC the first thing we noticed was the large and clear text on the circuit board, saying, 'Best used with EL84 valves'.
Summary: Rega is een bedrijf dat niet met alle winden meewaait; nieuwe technieken en toepassingen moeten hun nut bewezen hebben alvorens Roy Gandy er mee aan de slag gaat. Rega was dan ook erg laat met de introductie van haar eerste cd-speler (1997), maar toen deze op de markt verscheen wist hij vriend en vijand te verbazen met zijn opvallend analoge karakter. Dat Rega nu al inspringt op de snel in populariteit stijgende dac-markt mag opmerkelijk genoemd worden.