Rega Aura versus Naim Superline

I’ve just got a demo Rega Aura, and it does exactly what Rega claim. It just hits you immediately with the excitement it delivers. It’s not even had much time to warm up. 

Has anyone else listened to it and compared it to the Superline powered off the preamp (252 in my case). The downside of the Superline for me will be that I have Superlumina RCA to DIN which would be redundant.

I’m back from walking 729km from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela (Camino Frances) between 29 September and 25 October. Not bad for a septuagenarian. An amazing experience.  My blog is on Facebook from  RoboCap dot .org dot uk. I discovered I have a talent for creativite writing.  Lots of beautiful photos. 

Phil

Original Post
Filipe posted:
PSAN posted:

The Aria is quite good but I'd be very surprised if the Superline isn't way better - but this comes at a not insignificant extra cost, of course.

Nice walk ...

I have an Aria but am trying the £3,999 Aura. 

Crikey O'Reilly - that's one pricey 'Stage! I've just replaced my Stageline with an Aria for my LP12 and it's great. I'd be really interested to hear how these 2 products compare. What's the set-up for the trial? Please do report back.

I have an RP10 + Aphelion into 252 + 300DR all SL + Focal Sopra N2. The Aura is MC only. It’s as big as a Naim CDX2. It actually looks rather good and I put it on the CDX2 Naim Isolation Glass,  cups and balls.

It’s very revealing and exciting. I have things like Dark Side of the Moon, Du Pre Elgar on vinyl and CD. The DSOTM sax had more subtlety on the vinyl than I’ve heard before. The nDAC+555DR is no slouch either. The 252 has improved slowly since I took the plunge in May, and is now PDG. Genesis Selling England By The Pound sounded the best I’ve heard it this morning after a spell of listening to too much Genesis. 

 I need to let the Aura do some work over the next 10 days to see how the sound develops. 

The aura’s pretty new and roughly twice the price of the superline but the 252 powered input is reputed to out perform a hicap powering it. Could be an interesting contest, the superline is likely more sensitive to setup so take care with it when you demo one, loading will be important. Using an aphelion might favour the aura somewhat but If you have any possibility of a 552 in the future the supercap from the 252 will come in very handy for a superline so a long view might be worth considering.

Christopher_M posted:
Filipe posted:

The Aura is MC only.

And crucially has the right capicitance and load settings for all Rega MCs, such as your Aphelion.

It’s really nice not having to worry about set up😎

When I try the Superline I hope @Richard Dane will advise on what he used with his RP10.

The Aura base is a real foot tapper, but the whole sound is a real step up from the Aria which is a tad to polite.

Phil

yeti42 posted:

The aura’s pretty new and roughly twice the price of the superline but the 252 powered input is reputed to out perform a hicap powering it. Could be an interesting contest, the superline is likely more sensitive to setup so take care with it when you demo one, loading will be important. Using an aphelion might favour the aura somewhat but If you have any possibility of a 552 in the future the supercap from the 252 will come in very handy for a superline so a long view might be worth considering.

Yep, I nearly succumbed but decided the 252 was enough!

Phil

Richard Dane posted:

Filipe, I use 100ohm load on my Superline for the Rega. I recently got an Airplug with the same load and I’ll fit that sometime next week.

That’s what the Aura is set to along with 1000pf. What do you use?

Look forward your feedback on the load Airplug.

Phil

 

Adam Zielinski posted:

I have using Rega RP10  

And Superline is my preferred choice. Once you move into a separate PSU for it it’s even better (in my case SuoerCap DR). 

What was it powered from before? 252 

I guess it's own dedicated S'cap is going to bring an improvement

 

Edit... Just looked at your profile... What haven't you got / tried .... That's some selection of kit

Adam Zielinski posted:

I have using Rega RP10  

And Superline is my preferred choice. Once you move into a separate PSU for it it’s even better (in my case SuoerCap DR). 

Correction to my post: I’ve missread the title - I read Aria not Aura

But Aria vs SuperLine - no contest

Japtimscarlet posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:

I have using Rega RP10  

And Superline is my preferred choice. Once you move into a separate PSU for it it’s even better (in my case SuoerCap DR). 

What was it powered from before? 252 

I guess it's own dedicated S'cap is going to bring an improvement

 

Edit... Just looked at your profile... What haven't you got / tried .... That's some selection of kit

Actually off the back of my 282.  It was already good. 

SuperLine transformer it. 

Re collection: My naim is Adam and I’ve been a naimoholic for....

Been away for a few days and the Aura is sounding better and better. Now playing Kate Bush’s Lionheart album. Always was an exciting album but even more now, and everything sounds so  natural. Another interesting things is how low the surface noise is. 

Phil

Filipe posted:
Richard Dane posted:

Filipe, I use 100ohm load on my Superline for the Rega. I recently got an Airplug with the same load and I’ll fit that sometime next week.

That’s what the Aura is set to along with 1000pf. What do you use?

Look forward your feedback on the load Airplug.

Phil

 

@Richard Dane, How is the new Airplug?

Kind of confused between what you have now and the Airplug.

Very impressed with the Aura. Have asked dealer for a loan Superline which will have to come from Naim.

Phil

Filipe posted:
Filipe posted:
Richard Dane posted:

Filipe, I use 100ohm load on my Superline for the Rega. I recently got an Airplug with the same load and I’ll fit that sometime next week.

That’s what the Aura is set to along with 1000pf. What do you use?

Look forward your feedback on the load Airplug.

Phil

 

@Richard Dane, How is the new Airplug?

Kind of confused between what you have now and the Airplug.

Very impressed with the Aura. Have asked dealer for a loan Superline which will have to come from Naim.

Phil

Richard, The Naim rep gave my dealer a blank look over Air Plugs (perhaps Naim don’t make them?)! 

Phil

Filipe, they're a bit specialised and not a regular item, but they do exist.  Maybe they require a special order?  Mine did take a quite a while to be made, so not exactly an off-the-shelf item. If in doubt, ask your dealer to have a quiet word with Jason Gould at the factory.

Having returned the demo Aura and put the Aria back this time on the Naim glass isolation shelf, I can say that the isolation shelf is definitely part of the improvement. The Aria is really good but it can obviously be bettered at a price. 

In about a week I should have a Superline to try. In the new year a 552DR thanks to @nigelb and @ken c. It’s a lot cheaper to be off walking in Spain! Showed me there is good life after prostate cancer and have raised £4835 now for my charity.

Phil

Phil, congratulations on beating that bloody wretched disease (lost my father-in-law that way) and raising so much money for a great cause. It certainly puts HiFi and first world problems in perspective.

Let us know how you get on with the Superline and 552DR.

nigelb posted:

Phil, congratulations on beating that bloody wretched disease (lost my father-in-law that way) and raising so much money for a great cause. It certainly puts HiFi and first world problems in perspective.

Let us know how you get on with the Superline and 552DR.

Nigel, Thanks for your kind words. You might like to read my Facebook blog via the link on robocap dot org dot uk. You don’t need a Facebook account. The pilgrimage was a life changing experience. The daily blog amounts to 30 pages but lots of people enjoyed it.

Will posts updates. Thanks for your insights on the 552 too.

Phil

Emre posted:

air plugs, power supplies, excess cabling....... I am all Naim but not for phono stages  

Interesting! I've been a dormant audiophile for 20 years, and just joined the Naim family (500DR/n272/555DR), and need to upgrade my deck and phono stage. What would you recommend?

I now have a demo Superline thanks to Naim. It’s been running for 4 hours and playing for about 2 hours. It has a brand new SNAIC from a HiCap should I wish to try that as well rather than powering off my 252. I can turn off the CDX2 and the nDAC powered by 555DR with the Aria without discernible sound difference. The CD music sounds amazing although in time I may want more. Reading the ND555 impressions in the last few days I find myself able to say similar things. So to begin with the system setup remains the same, even if it may not be ideal.

My initial impressions of the Superline are that it is better than the Aria. Hardly any surprise. In so short a period of time I am very happy to say Kate Bush’s Lionheart sounds beautiful and a great improvement on the Aria. Equally Sandy Denny singing Fotheringay sounded just right because I was drawn in by the beauty of her voice, whereas with the Aria I was not so fully.

My earlier demo of the Aura had flaws but it created a very full sound from all instruments which sounded balanced. So I guess I heard the music as intended rather than with bits partially muted. It was truly exciting. I don’t feel that quite yet, and it was a strong first impression of the Aura. The flaws related to the RP10/Aphelion being on glass allowing more feedback from the speakers and the toe on the speakers not being the best to create a room filling sound. Both of these changes came from recent forum threads, which I am grateful for. 

So right now I am looking forward to further improvement as the Superline warms up after nearly a week since the previous demo. 

I will get back to you later after much more listening.

Phil

Michael Jackson - Thriller - vinyl

This is just not thrilling with the the Superline! Recessed door slamming, backing vocals, wolves howling, and not enough excitement or foot tapping. Some might say you need a SuperCap as well making this a £7k package as opposed to the £4k Rega Aura. The Aria has the virtue of being a good value compromise. And before you ask the digital is turned off so it not a setup issue. Well I suppose it may require patience so I will report back in a week or sooner if things change.

This assessment would not be complete without consideration of the digital sound. I have to say that it is different. Listening to Ryan Adam’s Heartbreaker on CD I would have say there is a mellowness to the sound (some high frequencies missing with drums sounding more pronounced). 

So perhaps this is a pointer to Superline needing its own power supply. This is exactly what I would expect. Alternatively maybe the 552 can power it better, but I would not like to be boxed into more upgraditis! If the Aura ticks the boxes it must be a good solution.

Phil

JeredH posted:
Emre posted:

air plugs, power supplies, excess cabling....... I am all Naim but not for phono stages  

Interesting! I've been a dormant audiophile for 20 years, and just joined the Naim family (500DR/n272/555DR), and need to upgrade my deck and phono stage. What would you recommend?

İ had/ have a brinkmann fien.... but now i would go for a tube Audio Research ph9, i listen mostly jazz on vinly and tubes are something else

Powering the Superline off the 252 really does take the sparkle off the digital sound. All the really exciting sounds of Genesis Nursery Cryme has been replaced by something that is recessed. If I didn’t know what it should sound like (say track 5) I might not be disappointed. Superline/HiCap costs as much as the Rega Aura.

I think I will have to fit the HiCap.

Phil

Let it settle for at least a week, day two is a low point for a Naim box that’s been moved. I had even something as robust as a 250-2 (ex demo) sound dull on the second day after it came home bungeed on the back of my Moto Guzzi, if it hadn’t been a Sunday it would have gone back.

Try with and without a low value cap plug.

 

yeti42 posted:

Let it settle for at least a week, day two is a low point for a Naim box that’s been moved. I had even something as robust as a 250-2 (ex demo) sound dull on the second day after it came home bungeed on the back of my Moto Guzzi, if it hadn’t been a Sunday it would have gone back.

Try with and without a low value cap plug.

 

Thanks Yeti. For the time being I have put the Aria back because powering from the 252 affects my digital sound as I described above. I was going to use the HiCap but it uses 4 pin Din on it preamp output as does SuperCap! Shame as I have Super Lumina IC. 

I accept that time is needed but I have no desire to degrade my digital side permanently or buy a dedicated PS and new SL IC. Right now back to the Aria and see if a solution emerges which may be another demo of the Aura which really impressed me. 

Phil

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