A new Rega turntable is always welcome news, but even more exciting is the official confirmation of a high-end turntable we've been waiting for nearly all year: the Rega Naia.
We had our first glimpse of the Naia earlier this year at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023, where Rega had an early preview of the new reference turntable on display. We got a few exciting key details then: a brand new titanium tonearm, a skeletal plinth made of carbon fibre infused with graphene, and an early price prediction of around £9k without a cartridge, and £12k with one fitted. And it was due in Autumn.
Sure enough, it's now officially Autumn, and Rega has confirmed the final details of the new reference Naia turntable, including pricing and availability.
The Naia is a product-ready version of the conceptual Rega Naiad – which was only really meant as a no-cost R&D engineering exercise but proved so popular they hand-made 50 limited edition models only. Rega's aim was to bring in all the key learnings, developments and technologies from that conceptual Naiad (not to mention 50 years of the brand's own engineering expertise) into this new reference-level turntable, which the British brand believes will "reach new levels of vinyl replay". And at a fraction of the cost of that original £30,000 limited Naiad, too.
In the Naia, Rega employs its long-held low-mass high-rigidity principle and improves upon it further. The skeletal plinth design uses the same Tancast 8 foam core as we've seen before in the Planar 8 and Planar 10 decks, but also uses carbon fibre infused with graphene for the first time, to reach that balance of lightness and structural rigidity at the same time.
This plinth is further strengthened by using two ceramic aluminium oxide braces, a material that's also used in the redesigned resonance-controlled ceramic platter, which also sports an improved flywheel effect.
Unlike the recently launched Technics SL-1200GR2 direct drive turntable that uses in-house digital expertise to improve rotational stability, Rega's Naia is a belt drive design and it looks to chemistry rather than computers for improvements. The newly designed triple drive belt is made of a "bespoke new rubber compound" and should deliver "perfect speed stability" and better drive, claims Rega.
The Naia comes with another new design: the RB Titanium tonearm that Rega claims is its "most advanced and accurate production tonearm" ever released. It features a single-piece aluminium arm tube, uses titanium in the vertical bearing and in the spindle assembly, and is designed to have minimal mechanical joints to achieve "near frictionless movement".
Rega recommends using the Naia with its own Aphelion 2 moving coil cartridge, which costs £3465 on its own.
Additionally, the central bearing is made of a ZTA zirconium-toughened alumina (aka ceramic, the very same material used in the Naiad), and the deck comes with a separate reference AC power supply unit as well as a sleek lid.
All this doesn't come cheap, of course. The Rega Naia is yours for a cool £9,999 without a cartridge; with the Aphelion 2 MC cartridge fitted, the total Naia package costs a hefty £12,500. Not only is that the most high-end turntable Rega has ever produced, but it also goes head-to-head against another new high-end turntable just announced, the Musical Fidelity M8xTT (£8249 without cartridge).
We're excited to hear the Naia for ourselves once we get the turntable into our listening rooms. Let's hope it lives up to its ambition.
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