Our Verdict 
The latest version of Rega’s much-admired top-loader is a first-class design in every way
For 
Fast, substantial performance: crisp, clean timing
distinctive design
Against 
Top-loading discs could be a slight problem
Reviewed on

Rega, better-known for its turntables, is no slouch in the CD department, either. Good enough, in fact, to knock the indisputably superb 2006 Product of the Year Cyrus CD6s off its perch.

CD players from Rega are top-loading designs, so make sure – if it's not going to sit on the top shelf of your rack, which might well be occupied by a turntable – that there's enough space to open the lid, and insert a CD. This is the one concession you'll have to make in owning this CD player. In every other respect, you're going to be cosseted like a child.

Lift the space-age disc cover – and remember there's no mechanism to fail or flimsy drawer to break – and drop in a disc. Pleasingly, it'll be read quickly, and with an absence of noise.

Apollo's on a music missionJoy Division's These Days is reproduced without fuss, too. Where some players emphasise this track's rawness to the point of chafing, the Apollo instead picks out the superb detail of Peter Hook's bass-line. Percussion is precise without being sharp; guitar licks and synth stabs are added deftly, while vocals sound appropriately emotive. You can almost see Ian Curtis live-wiring across the stage.

Switch to the slicker, infinitely more polished production of New Order's True Faith, and the Rega still manages to create a sense of performance. Timing is impeccable, with notes starting and stopping on a sixpence, while the midrange has room to let the myriad electronic layers find their own space in the mix.

More after the break

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. It's a master of all trades, and a worthy Product of the Year for 2007.