On the back of the success of the low output MC cartridge the Apheta, Rega has now released a new and uncompromising remake: the Rega Aphelion 2 cartridge! This is actually the fourth version today, and therefore the most successful.
Rega Aphelion 2: Research and development
This Aphelion 2 cartridge is the fruit of 2 years of research and testing.
Naturally, it uses all of the same technology developed by the Rega’s hard-working R&D team for the Apheta 3 cartridge and Aphelion 1, but with the lowest possible tolerances.
We should mention here – and we saw this with our own eyes on our tour of the brand’s factories – that Rega has invested heavily in its cartridge research and development! For example, Roy Gandy has invested in precision cameras and high definition screens, enabling extreme precision and low tolerances in the assembly of both the Apheta 3, and the flagship Aphelion 2.
Rega Aphelion 2: Winding and Stylus
The Aphelion 2 cartridge’s generator consists of very powerful neodymium micro magnets and a coil made from a very fine 0.018mm conductor! It has been assembled with the utmost precision and care. It is in fact one of the smallest low output MC cartridge coils in the world!
This extreme reduction in size gives the stylus more speed and therefore more freedom to track the vinyl groove. This ensures that even more precision, detail, nuance and remarkable articulation is extracted from the vinyl.
The moving parts consist of a boron cantilever and Nude Fine Line stylus, the best one available (according to Rega).
Rega Aphelion 2: Casing
The body of the Aphelion 2 is made entirely of black aluminium, ensuring excellent rigidity and neutrality. It also prevents resonance and keeps the overall mass of the cartridge relatively low.
The body is protected by a yellow transparent PVC cover which prevents the internal wiring from damage that may be caused by mishandling.
Rega Aphelion 2: Listening and test review
And the fruits of this labour can be heard within seconds of pressing play – this MC cartridge is up there with the very best! It also happens to be one of the most neutral phono cartridges on the market, finding a beautiful balance between definition, transparency, precision and timbre.
Many of its rival cartridges are either too clinical or have too much colouration, but the Rega Aphelion 2 feels like the missing link between the two! It brings out even the smallest of details and movements, without ever over-emphasising the higher frequencies or tipping over into aggressiveness.
The surface noise level is extremely low and therefore allows unsuspected details to be brought to light.
The bass has remarkable depth and dynamic range, all the while remaining flawlessly articulated and precise. Brass and vocals sound particularly present and nuanced.
And the sound stage is good you'll forget all about where you’ve positioned your Hi-Fi speakers!
The Rega Aphelion 2 MC cartridge is evidently an ideal cartridge, particularly for the Rega Planar 10 vinyl turntable and RB3000 tonearm – but not exclusively! It also delivers excellent results with many competing vinyl turntables. We also recommend pairing it with a similarly high quality phono preamplifiers.
An industry benchmark!
The-Ear.net - Editor's Choice - 2020 Franck
Tracking force: 1.9g
Load: 100 Ohms
Capacitance: 1000 pF
Output impedance: 10 Ohms
Output: 0.35 mV
Channel balance: 0.01mV
Channel separation: >29 dB
Magnet: miniature neodymium
Stylus: Nude Fine Line