Rega’s long-running Brio has always been a fine budget amplifier, but this latest version is arguably the best one yet. It’s built into a half-width casing, similar to the one used for the company’s excellent DAC, and feels immensely solid. The feature list covers the basics: four line-level inputs, a moving-magnet phono stage and a remote control. Most rivals add at least a headphone output and switchable speaker to that list, but Rega has chosen to keep things simple in the pursuit of better sound.
And one listen to the Brio-R is enough to convince us that the company has achieved that commendable aim.Agile, musical and rhythmicThe Brio-R is an immensely musical amplifier. It sounds agile and detailed, and sniffs out a rhythm track brilliantly. More after the break Despite a relatively modest output of 50 watts per channel, the Brio-R can get decent volume levels out of most speakers and deliver large-scale dynamic sweeps such as those from Holst’s Jupiter with ease.
More than that, though, it’s the way this amplifier ties together musical strands that really impresses us. It’s the kind of product that puts the music, be it Eminem and Rihanna on Love the Way You Lie or The xx’s debut set, centre stage. Start listening, and it’s the music itself that always grabs your attention, rather than any particular hi-fi virtue. And that, of course, is exactly the way it should be.
Excellent phono stageThe phono stage delivers a great performance too. It’s impressively transparent, and consistent in character to the line stages. And that means that it’s vastly better than what we usually hear – or expect – at this price point. This Rega is a clear level better than the best of the budget amplifiers, and good enough to worry the likes of Roksan’s Kandy K2 and Naim’s Nait 5i in some respects.
That makes it a terrific buy. See all our hi-fi amplifier Best Buys Follow whathifi on Twitter Join whathifi on FacebookSee Also: Black Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs
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The new 2017 Rega Brio has broken cover and its a beauty! In a gorgeous new design, the improvements to the existing Brio-R are more than just looks. Rega are on a roll of moving forward and improving their products in every aspect and the Brio is no different. Inside the new case work lie all new circuits, components, a second raw power supply has been added to provide further isolation between output stage and the driver stage/line and phono amplifiers.
The power rating has been improved and the much missed headphone socket is back! The new Brio should be available before Christmas 2016 and we will have a demo unit as soon as they are available. Brand new case design.The sleek and minimal look was designed to bring elegance to Rega’s classic style but still harks back to the swooped features hidden away in Rega’s past amplifiers. Combining all these aspects makes this Brio case a unique standpoint amongst the competition.
Re-designed circuit.Key improvements have been made to the circuits. The PCB layout has been fully upgraded to handle higher specifications for all critical parts. A second raw power supply has been added to provide further isolation between output stage and the driver stage/line and phono amplifiers. This improves the isolation between high and low level signal stages of the amplifier. Higher specification MUSES operational amplifiers have been used in the line and phono amplifier.
Headphone Socket.For convenience, the Brio has the capability to drive standard hi-fi headphones from the internal amplifier. Adding a headphone socket was only possible by finding a way to reduce its impact on the main signal path so it doesn’t disrupt the overall sound quality. We have paid special attention to the switch that deactivates the main speakers. SpecificationsInput sensitivities for rated output level:Input 1 (phono) input sensitivity = 2.
1mV at 47KΩ in parallel with 220pF.Maximum Input 1 (phono) input level = 100mVInput 2-5 (line) input sensitivity = 210mV at 47kΩMaximum input 2-5 (line) input level = 10.25V Power outputs at 230/115V supply voltage:50 Watts RMS both channels driven into the rated load of 8Ω58 Watts RMS one channel driven into the rated load of 8Ω73 Watts RMS both channels driven into the rated load of 4Ω93 Watts RMS one channel driven into the rated load of 4Ω Continued high level use into 4Ω may cause the case to exceed 40° C above the ambient temperature.
Headphone output:No load = 8V32Ω = 1.8V54Ω = 2.6V300Ω = 5.9VSource impedance = 109Ω Power consumption:195 Watts at 230V/220V/115V/100V into the rated load of 8Ω Record output level:Record output level (with rated input levels) = 210Mv.Record output impedance = 470ΩFrequency response:Phono 15Hz to 40KHz (-3dB Points) / 27Hz to 20.5KHz (-1dB Points)RIAA accuracy (100Hz to 10KHz) ± 0.4dB typically better than ± 0.
3dBLine 12Hz (-1dB points) to 43KHz (-3dB points)Remote control batteries included – 2 x AAA Alkaline.