Rega Research: Santa Fe Room, Bjorn's Audio - Video, San Antonio
Click here for an overview of the "Music Matters" event at Bjorn's: www.avguide.com/blog/1st-annual-“music-matters”-event-bjorn’s-audio-–-video-san-antonio
Chad Harper, account manager for The Sound Organisation (U.S. distributor for Rega Research), was demonstrating a collection of Rega source components, both digital and analog, including the Saturn CD player, the P7 turntable/tonearm combo, the Exact phono cartridge, and the Fono phonostage. But it soon became apparent that the audience had vinyl playback on its collective mind, so Harper began focusing his demos on the P7/Exact/Phono combo, which sounded extremely good through the McIntosh electronics and B&W speakers on hand for the demo.
Interestingly, one of the younger attendees, a designer and installer of home theater systems as it happens, expressed some measure of surprise that turntables were still being built. But after he listened to the P7 in action for a while, I thought I saw a flash of recognition cross his face, as if to say, “Ahh, now I get the appeal of these things.”
At one point an audience member asked Harper how Rega’s P3 compared to the more expensive P7. Somewhat to my amazement, one of the ever-responsive Bjorn’s staffers briefly stepped out of the room and a few minutes later returned with a P3 cradled in his arms. An impromptu A/B comparison was quickly arranged, with a roomful of people to act as witnesses. Sure enough, the P3 quickly established a good, solid, high performance baseline, but the more than twice as expensive P7 sounded even better (actually a lot better, to my ears).
But the really cool part was watching the looks on audience member’s faces as they listened to Rega’s analog players. There’s just something about the magic of vinyl that is a veritable force of nature—as evidenced by the fact that audience members kept listening intently and asking for more demo tracks to be played.