Rega DAC D/A processor Manufacturer's Comments

Manufacturer's Comments

Editor: Thank you for letting us reply to your revisiting of the Rega DAC, which was largely brought about by the overt and unwarranted criticism leveled at our design methodology by another manufacturer that you were happy to publish without inviting a similar privilege of reply.

I also understand that you agreed, via Steve Daniels at The Sound Organisation, our US distributor, to speak with Roy Gandy (Rega's owner) regarding matters arising, but that call never materialized.

I do not intend to resurrect the asynchronous debate, nor is it Rega's ethos to comment publicly about any other manufacturer, its products, or its design philosophy, so all comments will be strictly directed at the bizarrely schizophrenic review.

It appears that Sam [Tellig] loved the DAC; John Atkinson was less positive. Charles [Hansen] criticized the USB input, but John says it is "well sorted." Jon [Iverson] and Sam described the low frequencies as exaggerated, but John [Atkinson]'s measurements show a flat response to below 20Hz. Paul Miller from Hi-Fi News is dragged in to support this, which is strange; as far as I am aware, he has never had the product for consideration.

What, dear reader, are you to conclude from this?

Subjectivism sucks, and so, it would appear, does objectivism.

Might I suggest that your own ears be the judge, and invite you to compare the Rega DAC with other manufacturers' products costing significantly more, and hope that you agree with thousands of customers and numerous publications worldwide that think that the Rega DAC offers exceptional performance for relatively little outlay?

Let me know your thoughts.—Paul Darwin, UK Sales Coordinator, Rega Research

I urge readers interested in the Rega DAC to contact Mr. Darwin with their thoughts. But to clarify one point: While Steve Daniels did indeed urge me to talk to Rega's Paul Gandy about our coverage of the Rega DAC, I wasn't sure what purpose this would serve. In the end, I felt it sufficient to let Sam's and Jon's findings, as well as my measurements, speak for themselves.John Atkinson

Rega Research, Ltd.
US distributor: Sound Organisation
1009 Oakmead Dr.
Arlington, TX 76011
(972) 234-0182

Mark Bolech's picture

In both Sam Tellig's as well as John Atkinson's contributions some confusion on apodizing filters shows. Apodization is nothing more than windowing. Possibly the confusion originates from Peter Craven's proposal to use a very steep filter that completely stops frequencies of half the sample frequency (Nyquist frequency) or higher. For CD this requires a very steep filter, that introduces lots of pre-ringing or pre-echo if the filter is realised in the usual, linear way. To overcome this, Peter Craven proposed to have the steep filter, but in a minimum phase version, that only has post ringing or echo, which is psycho-acoustically to be preferred over pre-echo (which does not occur naturally). Now such filter is often named "apodizing" in short. "Apodizing and minimum phase" would be more exact and exclude confusion.

Products like Meridian 808i.2, Linn Klimax and Ayre C-5xeMP make good use of filters as proposed by Peter Craven, and in Stereophile reviews, these products were praised for their sonics. Now the amazement: in the Rega DAC there appears to be a preference for using an apodizing, but linear filter, whereas the minimum phase filters -apodizing or with a more gentle slope (like Ayre uses)- are not preferred. I really wonder why the minimum phase filters in some cases really make  a difference, but apparently fail to do so in the case of the Rega DAC.

greetings,  Mark

Erranti's picture



treb74's picture


Thank you for the measurements. Would the 120Hz power supply related anomalies you measured present themselves differently in Europe where the voltage/frequency are 220v/50Hz?

Thank you,