REGA Research may have started out as a specialist turntable maker, but the UK company has made some enduring amplifiers, CD players and speakers over the decades. In more recent times, its midrange Elex-R integrated amplifier has stood out as an example of just how much can be achieved sonically at its price point.
While the Elex-R remains a game-changer, it’s a bit long in the tooth now… and to rectify the latter, Rega has introduced the MK4 iteration of the Elex. Be prepared for a shocker – it has a DAC on board!
It’s not just about a new feature, though – the entire Elex circuit board has been re-engineered to optimise performance.
“MK4 builds on previous Rega designs by using our multi-award-winning Class A/B power amplifier circuit to deliver a powerful 72W per channel into 8Ω loads. This power is provided by a quiet multi-stage linear supply while supply rails for digital and analogue sections are galvanically isolated,” according to Rega.
“New rear connectivity options are available, including a Rega DAC circuit with two digital inputs and an intelligently integrated high quality headphone output conveniently located on the front panel.”
The DAC is based on the Rega DAC-R circuit. “The digital inputs utilise a Wolfson S/PDIF receiver IC to provide exceptional detail and clarity from any connected source. Output is provided by a Wolfson DAC and Rega designed discrete line-driver circuit.
“Our engineers have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that the analogue side of the circuit is not affected in any way by the introduction of digital inputs.”
As for the MM phono stage, “The RIAA equalisation has been split into two stages to minimise interaction. Polyester capacitors have been used in the signal path and polypropylene capacitors are used in the equalisation circuits.”
A new custom case design and construction aligns the Elex MK4 with the rest of the current Rega range; it also improves heat dissipation by using the entire case as a heat sink. And to prevent the risk of damage from excess heat, excessive currents or short circuits, the amp has thermal cut-out, and short-circuit/DC protection features.
Let’s see if the Elex MK4 will be another winner.