Rega RP10 with Supercapped Superline

Hi all, I thought I’d add some observations on the above. I’ve been living with the RP10 for just over a month now. It replaced an RP8-Apheta bought new some years back. The 10 was ex-dem but I had the Aphelion fitted prior to shipping. All else remained the same, SC-SL and the same loading, 100R and 1nF.

As with all Regas I’ve had, and the main reason I but them, set up takes minutes. It really is TT 101. The actual unboxing took way longer than setting up. It sits on a dedicated Tiger Paw wall shelf, the SL directly below and now next to the rather beefy Rega PSU. These units are on the right, brawn stack of the two racks I use. Other details are in my profile.

I will say my room is bright. I’ve always had the nagging doubt that the previous Apheta had a bad rap for being bright too. I live in a rented property so am not inclined to room treatments that may or may not help in my own home. The other motive for the change was simply I always hankered after the RP10. I misguidedly bought the RP8 just few months before the release of the 10. Oops.

I did not really A-B the two decks. So as often, the comparisons are memory based but I’ve had 3-4 years of hearing the RP8 sound. The 10 from the off was different. I know of folks on other fora that prefer the 8 over the 10. This in other rooms and systems for sure. In my case, buying blind and taking the plunge left me without the luxury of choice.

I’d had some issues on receiving the RP8 in terms of build quality. The 10 feels more solid and better screwed together. Apart from aesthetics, the ceramic platter and shiny arm, it just feels right. The music replay just sounds more grown up, mature. I’m no hifi critic so the prose here might be lacking. I found from the box and with little or no hours on the cartridge, the presentation is richer, deeper and very honest. Drums, piano, bass, sound like they should. I happen to have drums, piano and bass downstairs. The best analogy I can come up with is that of walking round a furniture shop looking for the perfect sofa. You sit in them all. Maybe in the next store or even the third, you sit and go “Ah”. That’s the sensation. Goldilocks moment, just right.

I’ve not had the urge to fiddle with loadings from the off. Curiosity might get the better of me but that’s for another time. Right now, I am just enjoying the music and am quite convinced that is the end of the vinyl journey. It does sit so well in the all Naim system. Just wish the illuminated logo was green, not red.

Dave

 

 

Original Post

Couple of observations from an aspiring RP10 owner -  first superline threads here often suggest its a sensitive stage and best kept away from brawn stacks /power supplies so seems you’re lucky and not suffering ill effects. Second that red led is a serious drawback for me!  I wouldn’t consider  an aria phono stage, and I think I’d actually have to get it changed somehow on the RP10 psu. Enjoy the music!

Nice review. I'd love to have the RP10 / Aphelion at home for a dem.

If you have an Aria, I think the RP10 PSU would look great sitting next to it. Put it middle stack between Naim gear and it'll work. 

Of course the RP10/Aphelion probably needs a more sophisticated phonostage to make it sing to its potential. 

Aric posted:

Nice review. I'd love to have the RP10 / Aphelion at home for a dem.

If you have an Aria, I think the RP10 PSU would look great sitting next to it. Put it middle stack between Naim gear and it'll work. 

Of course the RP10/Aphelion probably needs a more sophisticated phonostage to make it sing to its potential. 

It does. I used an Aria for a long time - whilst a great phono-stage in its own right, an RP10 with an Aphelion ‘deserves’ a better one. 

A Superline with a SuperCap DR is at £6-7k a very expensive phonostage. As I’ve never heard that duo I can’t comment other than that it has given some members problems. 

My own demos of cables led me to the Super Lumina IC being the best in part I suspect because the DIN input is far better. Comparing to my CDX2 into nDAC + 555 into 252 I find I like the vinyl more. The digital itself is PDG but vinyl is almost like a live performance. 

Just playing TT Private Dancer again - one of my all time favourites.

I think I will try an audition of the Rega Aura. Should really let the RP10/Aphelion show it’s credentials.

Phil

Bob the Builder posted:

That is a hugely expensive phono stage I would imagine but I’m a bit like a broken record when I say this that for £4000 or whatever a SC/SL costs these days you could buy a far, far superior Phono amp. 

 

Bob, you are correct but pun aside, this combo was put togther in stages, in true Naim fashion. I'd already ditched the stageline for the superline when I bought the RP8. The Hicap was a carry over from the 282 days. So Hicap now in service for the Superline. I stayed in the Naim stable as I did not have much chance to demo alternatives. When time came to switch 252 to 552, I then had a "spare" supercap for the phono duty. The hicap gave me money back and softened switching costs. So I guess it was almost an accident that I ended up with this particular set up. I've no doubt there are better, cheaper choices out there,  but what I have works pretty well for me.

Bodger posted:
...I've no doubt there are better, cheaper choices out there,  but what I have works pretty well for me.

Don't worry too much.  Over the years I've had, heard, or demoed a great number of phono stages.  Some so-called "top" phono stages ended up being a disappointment, while there are others that are comparatively affordable that perform out of their skins.  However, my respect for the Superline has grown to the point where, even when powered from a 552, I'm fairly certain it's about as good as it gets, short of going up to a Supercap. Only of you're looking for more "romance' might you want to look elsewhere, but that in itself is a kind of loss, and don't confuse the Superline with those stages that confuse accuracy and detail for something far too cerebral and without any "groove"...

I moved my stand-in Rega DAC up the rack recently, it used to be obscured by a table when it was on the bottom of my brawn stack but now it's baleful red light (3 of them even when idle, 5 when in use) really looks out of place amongst all the green.

Give us a clue Bob, what have you heard trumping a supercapped superline and in what system context?

Honestly I could never tell a difference between the Aria always on vs turning it on 10-15 minutes before listening. Leaving it and the RP8 off nominally and placing mid-height on my Fraim allows for the visual improvement (if it matters) but , importantly, helps to provide more separation between my Naim components. Which does seem to be an improvement. 

I am all Naim exception of superline/supercap combo, it is very good but expensive if you buy it new

also phono stage is the only place i look elsewhere as a little different “flavour” in my hifi exception of headphones

i trend to like audio research....

varyat posted:

A piece of black tape might do...

Works on all manner of lights (green ones too!) - I find a lot of gear have lights that are brighter than necessary, particularly irritating when in line of sight from a listening seat, or, worse, watching seat if movie watching in a darkened room. Some black tapes are not completely opaque, allowing enough of a dim glow to show the thing is on should there be need to know visually.

Innocent Bystander posted:
varyat posted:

A piece of black tape might do...

Works on all manner of lights (green ones too!) - I find a lot of gear have lights that are brighter than necessary, particularly irritating when in line of sight from a listening seat, or, worse, watching seat if movie watching in a darkened room. Some black tapes are not completely opaque, allowing enough of a dim glow to show the thing is on should there be need to know visually.

I can't vouch for any particular brand of black tape. I've never had a dealer demo or seen reports of Masking Tape-DR. I can vouch for the Superline however.  Continuing with visuals, the Rega PSU lights up green when 45rpm is selected. I guess I need to buy more singles, if they still exist.

Footnote to Richard, I'm not worries in the slightest. Having defaulted into my current set up, I have zero desire in changing it in the future. I'd have to go to night school to understand the LP12 syntax. As this deck is held to be the be all and end all for many, there is nothing more likely to put me off ever trying one.

Dave

 

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