The CD player is admittedly old fashioned. But in terms of sound, a CD will give you a plethora of audio richness that MP3 can’t touch.
The Apollo is a sturdy and somewhat plump machine. It’s a top-loader, meaning no complex, expensive loading tray mechanism to fail. The disc cover also looks like the Starship Enterprise, which is a bonus in our books.
Give it some room
This will mean that the player will need some headroom for loading, forcing you to put it at the top of your rack. But in every other respect, the Apollo is here to pamper you, not the other way around.
Discs are read quickly and silently, and there’s a similar lack of fuss in the sound. It produces a confident, full-bodied voice, brimming with character.
The low frequencies are burly without being overbearing, and there’s real discipline to the way bass notes start and stop. The diction in the midrange is expressive and distinctive, and percussion at the treble is crisp rather than hard.
All these elements are integrated smoothly, the Rega demonstrating an effortless understanding of rhythm and tempo. Aggressive recordings can’t wrong-foot it, while spare, quiet material comes across with atmosphere intact.
A regal Rega
Overall, we’re talking about a formidable product here – fast and substantial when it needs to be, but deft and harmonious at the correct time, too. As you’d expect of a monarch, it’s a master, not a jack, of all trades.
We’ve seen a few CD players at this sort of price fall flat on their faces. The Rega Apollo, though, is an assured, lyrical music-maker and feels built to last. No wonder it’s an award-winner. Long live the king!