Rega’s Saturn MK3 is a CD player AND a DAC

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In a year when the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) seems to be losing interest in CDs, the British turntable and electronics manufacturer has announced an MK3 version of its Saturn CD player. Like Rega’s entry-level CD player, the Apollo-R, the new Saturn has a flip-top lid that exposes the spindle on which a CD is clipped. Unlike the Apollo, the Saturn MK3 is a full-width component.

On the Rega website: “The Saturn MK3 uses a high-stability master clock and high-capacity power supply in the CD circuit, a high-performance PLL digital interface receiver…and a high-performance power supply architecture in the DAC circuit.” This DAC circuit is built around a pair of Wolfson WM8742 DAC chips. Those who suffer from DAC chip myopia should note how Rega emphasizes the importance of signal timing and power supply in the DAC circuit.

Rega also cites the Saturn MK3’s internal DAC circuit as being capable of decoding PCM at up to 24-bit/192kHz. Yet CD audio data is firmly fixed at 16-bit/44.1kHz. Which give? Peek’ round back and we note not only analog outputs for connecting the Rega CD player to an amplifier – and coaxial and TOSLINK outputs for connections to a third-party DAC – but also two coaxial inputs, two TOSLINK inputs and asynchronous USB, each to access the Saturn MK3’s internal D/A converter without running a CD. BYO PC, Mac, network streamer or games console.

According to Rega, the USB input has the same galvanic isolation as used in the Rega DAC-R The website also tells us that “Signal switching between CD and DAC functions is performed in the digital-to-analog conversion stage. The signal path of the CD section in CD mode is reduced to a minimum.

Pricing for the Saturn MK3 is yet to be confirmed, but should be closer to the previous Saturn-Rit is 2200€ requested.

Further information : Rega

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