After the success of its low output MC cartridge "Apheta", Rega is back with a third version of its bestseller!
REGA APHETA 3: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The Rega Apheta 3 cartridge of course takes the technology developed by the R&D for the previous version of the Apheta, but with lower tolerances and high-end components.
Note, and we can assure you after having seen it with our own eyes during our visit to the manufacturer’s factories, that Rega has made huge investments in its cartridge department!
Roy Gandy invested in precision cameras and high-definition screens. These allow combine the Apheta 3 and the flagship Aphelion MC cartridge, with extreme precision and very tight tolerances.
REGA APHETA 3: BODY
The chassis of the Apheta 3 is fully milled into an aluminium block. It ensures huge rigidity and neutrality. It avoids resonances and allows you to keep a low mass of the whole.
The whole is protected by a translucent PVC cover. It avoids mishandling that could damage the connecting wires.
The technology used by Rega requires a cartridge structure designed with a zero tolerance.
The bodies are manufactured from one aluminium piece of the highest quality. The hard and costly process requires all the Rega’s years of experience. Machining accuracy is essential in the alignment and dimension of the cantilever and the suspension-assembling hole.
REGA APHETA 3: COILS AND STYLUS
The coils of the Rega Apheta 3 are reduced by 50% in size, compared to the original model! They are part of the smallest moving coils in the world, mounted on a MC cartridge!
This weight reduction enables better stylus velocity and so better liberty to follow the groove. The playback is more precise, detailed and nuanced.
The generator of the Apheta 3 is made of very powerful neodymium magnets.
The moving system is made of an aluminium cantilever on which is mounted a wonderful stylus having a Nude Fine Line profile.
REGA APHETA 3: SUSPENSION SYSTEM
The competing MC cartridges use a steel suspension system (jumper wire) between the cantilever and the chassis. This one creates according to Rega a high-amplitude resonance (around 8-12kHz).
This resonance is unacceptable and typically damped by a piece of rubber. However, it deteriorates over time and cannot prevent the entire structure from “vibrating and sounding" or even collapsing.
The particularities and adjustment of the jumper wire and damping determine whether the cartridge is under-damped (bright) or over-damped (low and high). It is complicated to adjust it with perfect balance.
This motivated Rega to pursue a new direction, influenced by modern materials and the fundamental laws of magnetism. The Apheta 3 contains neither tension wire nor foam damping.
REGA APHETA 3: TEST AND LISTENING
From the very first notes, we can say that the technology is heard!
This cartridge is less typical than the other Rega phono cartridges. Definition, dynamics and articulation are advantages! But not at the expense of the timbre or balance.
The mid-range and treble are present and full of harmony. We find the same clarity and transparency as the Aphelion MC cartridge.
The restitution is realistic and very musical in the pure sense of the word.
The lower end of the spectrum is perfectly exploited with great dynamic and handling. It favors articulation and nuance over extravagance!
The Rega Apheta 3 MC cartridge is really ideal and highly recommended phono cartridge for the Rega Planar 8 and Planar 10 turntables.
If you are the lucky owner of one of these turntables, and your phono preamplifier allows the combination with a MC cartridge, so this Apheta 3 is made for you! Franck
Tracking force: 1.75/2g
Internal resistance: 10 ohms
Load: 100 ohms
Capacitance: 1000 pF
Output impedance: 10 ohms
Output level: 0.35 mV
Channel balance: 0.02 mV
Channel separation: > -29 dB
Stylus: Nude Fine Line