Experience with Rega CD players

I bought a Rega Saturn R back in December. Friday night it started acting flakey and occasionally mistracking. Yesterday it wouldn’t play anything for more than a couple seconds and it started skipping and mistraking. I called the local guy I bought it from to inquire about warranty service. He said they have cash like a computer that sometimes gets fouled and needs to be cleared by unplugging it for a couple minutes. I’ve never heard of that before but tried it. Nothing. I’ve had a very good relationship with the vendor for about 36 years. His grandfather owned the shop before him. I know this will be corrected but I’m curious if anyone else has a Rega player and what their experience has been. My research prior to buying it seemed to indicate that Rega transports were pretty much bullet proof. The salesman said the same. He’s sold plenty of Rega player and mine was one of the very few with a problem.

I think that’s a crock of schiit…! I once owned a Saturn player, the model before Saturn-R,…never had any problems. I sold the Saturn and bought Isis SS (photo) back in 2010. One year later bought the Isis Valve. Both models are ‘excellent sounding’ players. Top Performers.! I still use both models as I do the PWT & DMP / DS-DAC…

‘The Isis players are built like tanks’. Isis players are supplied with two matched laser mechanisms which are kept at Rega… Should there be a shortage of lasers - it’s guaranteed there’s always a replacement mechanism… All of Rega’s Reference Range carry a ‘lifetime guarantee’ on parts and labour .

Both my Isis players are still on the original mechanisms/lasers - never experienced one single problem. … Sad to say, I cannot say the same with my PWT & DMP.


I’ve had a Rega Planet (see photo) for probably well over 10 years, bought second-hand. It’s performed flawlessly in regular daily use, until just about 6 months ago, when it started skipping while playing back two specific discs, and always at the same place. It always played them fine before, and the discs still play fine on other readers (Marantz SACD player, various computer and car disc drives), so I assumed the Rega may be failing, and it might be time to replace it with a reasonably priced transport, like an Audiolab, since I run its digital coax out to the DAC in my SGCD. But I haven’t, because it hasn’t happened since on any of my other CDs. So I’m still in wait-and-see mode.

My brother, on the other hand, bought a brand new Apollo transport and had problems from day one.

Thanks for the feedback. I expect to hear from the dealer today after he talks to Rega. He was going to try to get them to give me a new player. We’ll see. It’s still under warranty so they will fix it. I hope it’s reliable because it really does sound good for the money.

I thought I’d post an update. Rega wouldn’t replace the player. They insisted it be sent to a repair center in California, all the way across the country. That ran me $150 by the time I bought an over box, padding and insurance. Ouch! The dealer said that’s normal and would give me that in store credit. When’s the last time you were in a stereo shop and spent only $150? I digress. When the play got out there it behaved perfectly for them. They had it on the bench for three days with multiple discs and it never missed a beat. Fearing they had an intermittent problem on their hands, they decided to be safe and replace the transport. Fedex dropped the repaired unit off at the house today so I was without it for 3 weeks. Considering the distance it had to travel I guess I shouldn’t complain. They worked on it as soon as it got there. I guess warranty repair take priority. I unboxed it and spun up the last two discs I tried to play in it before shipping it out. It seemed fine but time will tell. After work I’ll go put it through it’s paces. Hopefully it will be a one time thing with many years of trouble free listening to follow.

As a side note, fearing I’d be without it for a lot longer than I was, I bought a Teac CD-P650 from someone on Craigslist for $35. It didn’t sound nearly as bad as I feared it would. The high end didn’t take your ear off. It didn’t image very well at all but otherwise it was pretty acceptable for background music. I guess even cheap players have come a long way.

I find Teac to always be at least decent, made by the same people who bring us TASCAM and Esoteric.

I agree. I got to play around with one of their headphone amps a while back. I was more than pleased with its performance. Was sad when I had to give it up.

I also have a carousel player from Teac in my rack that I use for back ground music when working in the kitchen. Small book shelf speakers sitting on top of a cabinet, absolutely not set up for the best sound, only to have sound. I bet that player is 15 or more years old and it’s been bullet proof. My only requirement when buying was that it be inexpensive and have a digital output so I could dump the bit stream into a better DAC. I might have spent $150 - $200 on the thing at BJs. Great buy for the money. It makes you appreciate that it’s all about enjoying the music, not how much you can afford to spend on equipment.

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