On the back of the success of the low output MC cartridge the Apheta, Rega has now released a new and uncompromising remake: the Aphelion! This 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 original model, but with the lowest possible tolerances. The Aphelion 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 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 body of the Aphelion 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 transparent PVC cover which prevents the internal wiring from damage that may be caused by mishandling.
The moving parts consist of a boron cantilever and excellent Nude Vital 90° stylus.
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 2, and the flagship Aphelion.
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 Aphelion 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 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 speakers!
The Rega Aphelion is evidently an ideal cartridge, particularly for the REGA RP10 vinyl turntable and BR2000 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 preamp.
An industry benchmark! Franck
Tracking force: 1.75/2g
Load: 100 Ohms
Output impedance: 10 Ohms
Output: 0.35 mV
Channel balance: 0.01mV
Channel separation: >29 dB
Stylus: Nude Vital profile