Rega Research from Southend-on-Sea, Great Britain, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. However, the down-to-earth Brits do not celebrate this milestone exuberantly. Instead of making a statement, the people of Rega choose to systematically refine and improve their existing products. As a result, Rega has grown over the years into a respected and beloved company. The fact that every device at Rega is still made in “good old” England certainly plays a part in that. We take a look at the Rega Elex MK4.
The name Rega is composed of the initial letters of the original founders, Tony Relph and Roy Gandy. And when Relph left the company after a few years, Gandy bought up the complete company. Since then, he has been at the helm continuously and has made the company a successful enterprise.
Once started by making turntables, but now also known for their amplifiers and CD players, Rega has become a fixture in the hi-fi landscape. The Rega Elex MK4 integrated amplifier we are looking at today is the perfect example of their philosophy. Let’s check it out!
Construction and appearance
Finally, after the Aethos, Saturn MK3 and Elicit MK5, the Rega Elex MK4 gets the new designer suit. This new design looks particularly sleek and uncluttered. Through the recognizable black and red, however, there is fortunately still a Rega amplifier we are looking at. At the front of the amplifier you have the volume knob on the right and in the middle a small screen where the (hard to read) inputs appear. To the left is the power button, a 6.35 mm headphone jack and the input selection knob. At the back we see a whole row of rca jacks. Five regular ones, a phono stage, a record-out and a pre-out. For the first time on an Elex amplifier, we also get digital inputs (optical and coaxial).
Inside is a Class A/B amplifier that delivers 2 x 72 watts into 8 Ohms (2x 90 watts into 6 Ohms). The circuit used is quasi identical to its predecessor, another example that Rega doesn’t change anything when it doesn’t need to. The d/a conversion is based on the Wolfson WM8742 chip, Rega at swears by this chip, which converts digital signals up to 24/192 kHz on both connections.
A small but fine remote control is included as standard. Adjusting the volume is unfortunately also on the Elex MK4 with relatively large jumps. Fine tuning is no easy task.