Despite being released on the 7th of May, thanks to global pandemic it has taken us a little while to get our hands on the Rega Aria MK3 phono stage. Sitting at £899 it conveniently bridges the gap between the Fono MC at £249 and the Aura Reference at £3999.
There’s plenty to like, both MM and MC are covered, with the unfussy half width case design being partnered unfussy control options – the front panel boasts only power and input selection. While there is no adjustment for MM there’s plenty with MC, although it may not be needed as all units are shipped by default to match up to all Rega MC cartridges.
Crucially, this is really two products in one. While most phono stages at similar price points have shared circuitry, this is not the case with the Aria. Here there are two separate circuits, running off their own sub power supply. This leads to each stage sounding better than it ought to from a one box solution, one not being hindered by compromises made for the other.
As far as partnering equipment goes Rega turntables are the obvious suggestion. Most suited to the Planar 8 although a Planar 6 with a suitably talented cartridge would also be a good option.
In terms of sound quality, we certainly have no complaints. The Aria MK3 is a good all-rounder, providing enjoyment in spades, but not at the expense of clarity and detail.
As with all things Hi-Fi the best way forward is to give it a listen, we have it on demonstration in our Guildford showroom should you be concerned about buying blind (in this case I feel there’s little need to be!). Although we have moved to an appointment only way of working, bookings can be easily made via our website or over the phone.