Rega has finally unveiled a new version of its legendary Elex stereo amplifier. The Elex Mk4 – a direct replacement for the multi-Award-winning Elex-R – promises a sleeker design, improved circuitry and integrated DAC.
The new "custom case" aims to match Rega's recent hits such as the premium Aethos integrated amplifier. There are four line level inputs and whereas the analogue-only Elex-R had no digital inputs, the Mk4 boasts two: optical and coaxial.
The internal DAC is based on Rega's own DAC-R circuit, while a Wolfson DAC and Rega-designed discrete line-driver circuit are used for output. Rega assures everyone that "the analogue side of the circuit is not affected in any way by the introduction of digital inputs."
Rega has also added a handy headphone output on the front panel with a 6.3mm jack.
Driving difficult loudspeakers? Rega's class A/B power amplifier circuit provides 72W per channel into 8 ohms or 90W into 6 ohms – more than enough oomph for most systems, if not enough to shake the floor.
Power is provided by a "quiet, multi-stage linear supply" while digital and analogue supply rails are "galvanically isolated" to nix any signal interference and help you extract the maximum amount of detail from (almost) any source.
As before, Rega has carefully integrated a good quality MM phono stage – one that should be talented enough to make the most of a turntable such as Rega's own Planar 1, a 2022 What Hi-Fi? Award-winner, or the enduring Planar 3.
Rega reckons that the Elex Mk4 delivers the "purest musical performance" for the money. At £1199 – we wouldn't bet against it. But whether it will be able to convey emotion as well as its £900 predecessor remains to be seen. Stay tuned and we'll bring you a full and frank review just as soon as we can.
P.S. If you were thinking that the Elex-R might now be reduced to clear, you'd be wrong. Not yet anyway. Prices appear to be holding firm at £1045, which gives you some idea of the regard in which the Elex-R is held. If you are on the hunt for bargain hi-fi separates why not head over to our pick of the best Black Friday deals?
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