Rega Aphelion 2 Moving Coil Cartridge
Please Note: This product is a special order item which normally takes 6-8 weeks to arrive in our store, ready for pickup or despatch. Thank you for your patience and for shopping at Audio Trends.
Reference Quality MC Cartridge With World’s Most Powerful Miniaturised Neodymium Magnet
Unique Fine Line Profile Nude Diamond Stylus
Innovative & Unique Iron Cross & Coil Assembly
Graded Zero Tolerance Black Anodised Aluminium Body, Three Point Fixing
About The Rega Aphelion 2 Moving Coil Cartridge
The Aphelion 2 Moving Coil is the only Cartridge in Rega’s Reference range of products. This is Rega’s elite range and there are only a handful of models Rega consider worthy of this designation. Using the Aphelion 2 with other reference grade products such as the Planar 10 turntable and Aethos integrated amplifier will form the basis of a world class system, second to none.
Aphelion 2 is the 4th generation of Rega’s unique handmade moving coil cartridges. Taking the technology developed from the original Aphelion and the latest Apheta 3 to the next level, Rega’s engineers have now fine-tuned every aspect of the original designs.
The Aphelion 2 is the ultimate in micro engineering and design. The unique hand-wound micro cross and coil assembly is built directly onto a Boron rod cantilever. The advanced ‘fine line’ profile nude diamond is then mounted through 90 degrees which offers extreme levels of stiffness and control over the stylus. This design requires a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to engineering to achieve the highest level of performance from a Rega cartridge to date. Designed to complement the reference range of Rega turntables including the Planar 10 and the mythical Naiad (not easily found in captivity).
Rega’s Moving Coil cartridge design is unique in its approach to achieving an ultra-low mass generator which is undamped (no tie wire) using a unique rhomboid pivot for the cantilever powered by a purpose designed, exclusive to Rega, Neodymium magnet system. This type of design requires a zero-tolerance engineered cartridge body which is Rega’s area of expertise and with the Aphelion 2 these bodies are machined from one piece of the highest quality aluminium. This is a difficult and expensive process requiring all of Rega’s years of experience to achieve. In particular, the “zero” tolerancing of the body is required in the alignment and dimension of the pivot pad mounting hole and the magnet mechanism mounting hole relationship.
Conventional MC cartridges utilize a steel suspension system (tie wire) which creates a high amplitude H.F. resonance (normally around 8-12 kHz). Such resonance is unacceptable and is usually damped by a rudimentary piece of foam rubber. However, the foam rubber deteriorates with age and cannot prevent the complete structure from vibrating and “ringing”. The specifics and adjustment of the tie wire and damping determine whether the cartridge is under damped (bright) or over damped (warm and bass heavy). A happy medium is rarely achieved. This encouraged Rega to pursue a new direction inspired by modern materials and the basic laws of magnetism. The Aphelion 2 contains neither a tie wire nor a foam damper. Moving coil aficionados will all recognise the long search for super clear, high frequencies combined with firm, tight bass, characteristics all Rega moving coils exhibit.
In The News
“The Aphelion 2 might look very much like any of Rega’s metal bodied moving coil cartridges but there are small but significant differences that put it in a completely different league.
We have become used to the idea that moving coil cartridges can cost thousands of pounds but when a company with a high value ethos like Rega produces one that is nearly three times more expensive than the model beneath it, questions have to be asked. On paper the differences between Aphelion 2 and Apheta 3 appear to come down to a boron cantilever on the former and an aluminium one on the Apheta 3, both have ‘fine line’ styli, an aluminium body, a tiny neodymium magnet and Rega’s tie-wire free cantilever fixing system.
Rega’s MD Phil Freeman explained that there is a lot more to it than that, for a start the Aphelion has a more powerful magnet which allows for fewer coil windings on the iron cross at the top of the cantilever, less mass here means faster recovery at the stylus and equals greater detail retrieval from the groove. The Aphelion 2 also has a very different fine line stylus that rather than being bonded onto the tip is fixed in a slot at the end of the cantilever for an even stiffer connection. The critical element that differentiates this Aphelion from its predecessor is the stylus profile, this was developed with Ogura of Japan and is unique to Rega, it has fine ridges on the sides that ‘read’ a wider patch of the groove in order to deliver higher frequencies than other tip profiles.
The other key differentiation between Aphelion and Apheta is the grading of the body, just as Rega select the very best bearings for their top tonearm they also measure every machined aluminium cartridge body and save the most accurate for Aphelion. The differences between an Apheta body and an Aphelion one are tiny, too small to see without magnification, but not as tiny as the modulations in a vinyl groove: when it comes to maximum data extraction very high precision counts. That said all this was true of the first Aphelion, which remains a fabulous cartridge and one that I enjoyed thrilling results with for several years, but the Aphelion 2 with its new stylus is a giant leap for cartridge kind, it really is a milestone. Initially it seems to be on the bright side, incredibly fast and immediate but short on body, but after a few weeks it calms down and you are left with the most revealing, highest resolution sound yet encountered with vinyl.
I am a speed freak, there I’ve said it, where’s my support group! Immediacy is what makes recorded music sound like the real thing to me and the Aphelion 2 on the P10 does this so well that I can’t stop staying up late listening to music old and new. It does wide bandwidth with meaty, weighty bass that is incredibly nimble but powerful too. It does image scale, depth and three dimensionality with ease when the requisite information is in the groove, and it does tonal finesse that will keep a tube lover’s head in the clouds. In effect this cartridge makes your record collection a voyage of discovery, where you get to hear right into every recording and find out how it was put together. There is so much potential for variety when making a recording, from the performance, the studio, the equipment, the mixing right through to the mastering, that records should sound totally different from one another, yet so many turntable and cartridge combinations have a homogenising effect that blurs these differences. This Rega pairing does the opposite, it really shows you what the artist, engineers and producers did.
This cartridge is a revelation, there’s no other word for it. In combination with the Rega P10 it resolves detail that you hadn’t imagined was in the groove, it cuts through the myth of vinyl warmth to reveal that this format is as neutral and capable of high resolution as anything, especially any format that offers a wide variety of material to suit all tastes. If you want to know exactly what your records sound like it is very highly recommended.” Jason Kennedy - The Ear
Our Take On The Rega Aphelion 2 Moving Coil Cartridge
A reference product from Rega is an example of the very best this British Icon know how to make and the Aphelion 2 is the only cartridge to be added to this very distinguished 'Reference Products' list that includes the Planar 10 turntable, Osiris & Aethos amplifiers, the Aura MC phono stage and of course the Isis and Valve Isis CD players. A combination of some of these stunners with a pair of suitable speakers (we have a few we could recommend) would result in the sort of high class system that sounds so spectacular it might make it difficult to pull yourself away from the music and actually leave your listening room.
These days, we’re all familiar with ‘social distancing’. Well maybe the owner of a Rega Reference set up would be advised to try ‘system distancing’ every so often so they can reconnect with friends, family and, you know, actual life. Damn you Rega, how dare you take up so much of our time and money and still leave us with a blissful smile on our face. If you have the wherewithal, just buy it!
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: Reference Moving Coil Cartridge
- Body: Graded zero tolerance black anodised aluminium body
- Cantilever: Boron rod cantilever
- Stylus: ‘Fine line’ profile, nude diamond stylus
- MC Generator: Iron micro cross and coil assembly making one of the world’s smallest MC generators
- Magnets: World’s most powerful miniaturised neodymium magnet
- Wire: High specification fine wire 0.018 mm
- Tracking Pressure: 1.9 – 2.0 grams
- Input Load Impedance: 100 Ω
- Output Impedance: 10 Ω
- Nominal Output Voltage: 350μV
- Channel Balance: ≥ 10μV
- Separation: ≥ -29dB
- Mass: 6 g
- Load Settings For Adjustable Moving Coil Phono Stages
- Impedance: 100 Ω
- Capacitance: 1000 pF
- Gain Setting: High ('On' position for Rega phono stages)
- Hand Made in England
- Manufacturer’s Warranty: Lifetime warranty against manufacture defects. Does not cover normal wear on the stylus through use.
Note: Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE