Gold may be the traditional gift for a 50th anniversary, but Rega has other plans. Getting its first-look preview at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023, the Rega Naia is a new high-end turntable from the British hi-fi specialists launching this year.
The Naia isn't officially launching until Autumn 2023, but Rega couldn't resist bringing it over to show Bristol Show visitors for an early preview. The new turntable was very much on static display – but we managed to get the key details.
The Naia is the production version of the £30,000 Rega Naiad – a no-cost purely engineering exercise that was so popular that Rega ended up making 50 limited edition models (38 of which have already sold, the rest are on backorder).
With the Naiad being rather impossible to make in large quantities (everything is handmade too), it's great to see that Rega has figured out ways of making a production version of the deck. Many of the Naiad's design and engineering concepts have been used in the more affordable Planar 10 and Planar 8 decks, too (both of which received five-star What Hi-Fi? reviews).
But the new Naia is closer to the Naiad's ambition (in engineering, materials and performance), and features plenty of firsts for Rega. The Naia's skeletal plinth design may look familiar, but it's now entirely made out of carbon fibre for the first time, and is infused with graphene material. The usual Tancast 8 foam core (used in Planar 10, Planar 8 and Planar 6) is used in the plinth, too.
The RB titanium tonearm is new, there's a titanium vertical bearing housing and spindle, tungsten balance weight shaft and weight, and it uses Rega’s one-piece polished aluminium arm tube.
The central bearing is a ZTA zirconium-toughened alumina (ceramic) – the very same material used in the Naiad.
A triple drive belt is used for improved stability and drive characteristics. The platter is made of ceramic and is "resonance controlled", and has an improved flywheel effect, which should help with speed stability. And to top it all off, the deck has "low mass" skeletal aluminium feet.
The turntable comes with a separate AC power supply unit, which is the same one used in the Planar 10.
The Rega Naia is available with or without the company's reference Aphelion 2 moving coil (MC) cartridge.
On its own, the Naia turntable costs £9200. With the Aphelion 2 MC fitted, the total cost is £12,000. That's a hefty price tag, but Rega says you can make a "big saving" of £655 on the Aphelion 2 (£3465 on its own) if you have it factory fitted.
We said of the Naiad-inspired Planar 10 in our review: "The result should be something that offers a good slice of the Naiad’s performance but at a far more approachable, though still premium, price."
The new Rega Naia is pricier, but more importantly, it should give us an even bigger slice of the fabled Naiad's performance. And what with Rega's rather excellent proven track record with turntables, the upcoming Naia could really be something quite special. We can't wait to get our mitts on a proper production sample of the Naia in our listening rooms for a listen later in the year.
Read our review of the Rega Planar 10 / Apheta 3 turntable
Here's our guide to the best turntables you can buy