Our newest member of staff, Simon, was lucky enough to be invited to visit Rega Research recently. This now makes him officially part of a select fortunate few, who have seen Rega in all of its non self proclaimed, rather humble, glory. After expecting to see this vast, industrial scale, high end, research laboratory producing around the clock goods, instead we were greeted with a rather modest sized, high tech factory in South End on Sea in the fair county of Essexshire.
To see first hand the level of detail going into their products, whilst meeting the high standards demanded for their goods was extraordinary. The very fact that they test every single product before it leaves the warehouse is astonishing and sets the bar very high for quality assurance. All of this makes it even more impressive when you witness pallet stacks upon pallet stacks of Fono MM's, A2D's, Elicit amplifiers, Planar 1's to RP 10's. All heading out to the USA, Europe, South America and of course the good old Blighty.
And most excitingly of all, was a pallet, with the words Brio 2017 printed on it. So read on people, as we make first contact with rich and tasty Brio...
First thing to catch the eye on the all new Brio 2017 is the new case work. It has an ergonomic feel to it as you pick it up, your initial impression is the quality of the metal work. A lovely new sweeping front fascia with a sleek gloss black finish. Every case is examined and inspected, any anomalies detected are rejected. Using sophisticated machinery in quality control throughout, even the measurements of the screw holes are examined to a nanometre, this should hopefully give you an idea of the extent Rega go to, ensuring they produce perfect products. Rega work very closely with other British manufacturers to build the perfect Brio case every time. So when you buy a Brio, you can take pleasure in knowing that someone has examined your case and said;
'Yes this meets our standards, we can use this.'
The Brio also has plenty of inputs “plus all the usual refinements 007”.
Rega have included their great sounding phono stage, 4 line-in inputs and a record out, leaving you with plenty of options for analogue connectivity.
Headphone socket: You may notice a new port on the front which looks like something not too dissimilar from a headphone socket. You would be in fact right. Using a new noise free, isolated headphone circuit output for your cans; not only does it introduce no noise to the amplifier, you also don't have to alter any settings to get a perfect sound. The moment you plug in, the binding posts on the rear are disabled, along with unnecessary electronics, resulting in minimal crosstalk of components, which means you can listen for much longer at louder levels with no sacrifice to sound, long after you almost definitely should have gone to bed!
I've been fettled with a drop of mojo. If you pop on your X-ray specs, you will notice that someone at Rega has left a little message on the printed circuit board.
As we investigate further we notice the initials 'TB' further along the board and realise that this is in fact the work of electronics Guru at Rega, Terry Bateman. Another great product from Rega worthy of Terry's quirky quote and of course his design skills.
But what does it mean Terry? "fettled with a drop of mojo" Hmmmmmm.....answers on a postcard please.
Now, unfortunately we don't have any X-ray specs here at Manchester and had to use Chromey, with a good old screwdriver to take the lid off ours, so please, don't try and open your Brio at home without the help of an engineer, otherwise you run the risk of invalidating the warrantee.
Our Chromey just had to pose with the new beautifully machined volume knob for the Brio 2017.
Beautiful binding posts: Chromey just loves those binding posts, maybe it's because he has insider knowledge that an actual engineer, not an automated machine or production line has produced them. Rega have an on site workshop where two metal work engineers work tirelessly producing hand made speaker binding posts, brilliant. They actually make the tools needed for machining specific components to produce the Planar turntables which are built by the same engineers. So you know exactly where to go for a service Chromey! Now please climb down. Thanks.
Reviews and what our customers think: The Rega Brio is an outstanding product with a solid reputation worldwide, from many a 5 star review online, to magazine double page spreads.
We have yet to come across a customer or reviewer who has not found the Rega Brio (old and new) impressive. Check out another review here.
Brio's past and present have been sold by us to people from China, Japan, and (mainland) Europe. One gentleman on a business trip from Greece loved the Brio so much that he brought his suitcase in, just to see if he could fit it in with all his clothes. It left such an impression with him, making all the right noises in the our demo room. People from many different backgrounds have stepped through our doors here at Manchester solely to listen to the Brio and never left disappointed. The saying 'You should never meet your heroes' is completely irrelevant in the Brio's case.
We love it.
Ok, so there you have it, the new Rega Brio for 2017.
We have ours on demo at the Manchester store. So come along and audition the Brio at your earliest convenience.
Simon, Munir, Mike, Haden and Dave will be there to answer any questions you may have.
Rega Hi-Fi products are available from all branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford, Portsmouth,
Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon