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Rega Brio amp: compact amp; full-bodied sound

Rega Brio integrated amplifier


We were very fond of Rega's most affordable integrated amplifier, the Brio-R. Even a casual listener could appreciate the level of detail that the Rega amp found in recordings, especially when invoking its excellent built-in phono stage. But Rega is not a company to rest on its laurels and has upgraded the amp in pretty much every way. Its replacement - simply called the Rega Brio - is sensational.

Before switching the Brio on, one can see that Rega has made the new amplifier more stylish and user-friendly than its predecessor. The somewhat industrial styling of the Brio-R has been replaced and the new amp's all-aluminum, compact cabinet sports an elegant fascia. On switching on, the input numbers helpfully illuminate to show which source is selected. A further visible upgrade is the addition of a headphone jack, which Rega was only prepared to add if/once the performance of the amp wasn't compromised by its inclusion.

But, as welcome as these enhancements are, looks and features are not the most important elements of Rega's products. The circuitry and components of the amp have also been upgraded and a second power supply added so that one serves the output section and one powers the input side of things. This separation of duties produces a cleaner signal path, resulting in a full-bodied sound, be it from a line-level input or through the terrific onboard phono pre-amp. Power output is 50 watts per channel into 8 ohms but the sense of scale conveyed by the Brio gives the impression that it's a more muscular and expensive amp. The price of the Brio is just £598, ensuring that Rega has - along with the Elex-R and Elicit-R - yet another class-leading amp.

The Brio is supplied with a remote control and its buttons' labels couldn't be any clearer.

This new mini-marvel from Rega will be in very high demand and is in stock now at Hi-Fi Stereo.

Date of article:02/02/2017

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