The Rega ELEX-R integrated amplifier has been on the scene for 25 years now! But in recent times it has undergone several changes and facelifts. It is currently in its 3rd generation. Unlike the majority of its competitors, Rega and its mastermind-in-chief, Roy Gandy, has never given in to the temptation to outsource production to China. So despite what its price tag might suggest, the REGA Elex-R has been produced and assembled by hand entirely in the UK.
It has a relatively average size die-cast aluminium housing. The black Altuglas® front panel bears the red backlit REGA logo, as well as a volume potentiometer and a button for selecting between one of 5 inputs. The input you select, as well as the Mute function, is also indicated by a red LED light. The rear panel has 5 pairs of RCA plugs. Input N°1 has a built-in phono preamp for use with moving magnet (MM) cartridges. Rega didn’t get its reputation as a world leader in vinyl for nothing! This phono preamplifier has been meticulously crafted to make sure you get the most out of your record player and phono cartridge. The other four inputs are designed for high output sources like CD players, tuners or DACs. The 6th pair of RCA plugs lets you capture the input signal for a recording or headphone amplifier such as the REGA EAR headphone amplifier. And on top of all this, it also has a preamp output which lets you connect to a power amplifier or active subwoofer. Inside the amp you’ll find a circuit built around powerful Sanken transistors and an imposing toroidal transformer. This transformer allows the Elex-R to deliver over 70W per channel with 8-ohm Hi-Fi speakers, 90W with 6-ohm speakers, and over 110W with a pair of 4-Ohm speakers. Naturally, the Rega Elex-R is only designed for use with one pair of speakers. It comes as standard with a Rega Solaris remote control – which explains the ‘R’ in the name!
We tested the Rega Elex-R amp with the REGA Saturn R CD player and a Rega RP6 vinyl turntable fitted with a REGA ELYS II phono cartridge.
And the REGA ELEX-R integrated amp bursts with colour from the very opening bars! With the Elex-R, you truly are in the presence of an amplifier that is bursting with life and musicality. The reproduction is clear, bright and full of substance. The bass is punchy and perfectly articulated. It has no difficulty in animating even the most challenging of speakers. Above all else, it has the ability to get to the heart of the matter; when the music demands detail, it delivers, and when it demands dynamic range, it has it in spades. This phono preamp worked wonders with our REGA RP6 vinyl turntable. In this combination we heard for ourselves the sound that has created the brand’s success over the past quarter of a century. It delivers a delicate but lively balance, with a sense of swing that makes for hours of enjoyable back-to-back listening!
The Rega Elex-R amplifier is a clever blend of the qualities of the Brio R amplifier and the Elicit R amplifier! Full of life, finesse and nuance, this amp truly is an essential product. Franck
Power under 8 ohms: 72 W
Power under 6 ohms: 90 W
Line inputs: 4
Phono input: 1 x MM
Tape Record impedance: 47Kohms
Phono input sensitivity: 1.7 mV
Line input sensitivity: 164 mV
Input impedance: 600 Ohms
Dimensions: 432 x 80 x 325 mm