Rega Brio 2000 Integrated Amplifier

Posted by the dood on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

My father decided that he was going to renovate/redecorate his home office, and I was charged with the task of finding him a suitable Amplifier and CD Player combo under $1000CAD. I decided to peruse the used market, as there are typically better values to be had there. I’ve always liked the sound of Rega integrateds, as they have great character and a fantastic midrange which really brings out the inner detail of the music, while maintaining a great pace.

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I happened upon a Rega Brio 2000 New Old Stock (NOS), and snapped it up immediately at $375CAD shipped. The price is fair and good, especially given the performance of the model. The main downside with the Brio is of course the lack of a remote control. Another possible downside, depending on your speakers and room size is the relatively low power of 38 Watts/Channel.

I hooked the Rega Brio 2000 to my Jungson Beauty Deity BD-1 speakers, because these are the speakers that I am giving to my father to use with his new Rega gear (I also snagged a Planet 2000 for him). I was a bit concerned about the somewhat low efficiency (86db) of the Jungsons, and how the 38 watts/ch of the Rega would handle it, but my fears were unnecessary.. the Brio 2000 sounded amazing with the Jungsons! There was tons of midrange detail with fantastic attack. Voices were extremely musical and rich with that inner detail that I’ve always appreciated with Rega. The sound was somewhat warmer than the sound with the Creek 4430SE that I had, and the sound is MUCH better than my Yulong Amp. In fact, I want to sell my Yulong and buy another Rega for myself now!

The Brio 2000 has double knobs on the front, one for volume and one for source selection. The source selector knob is kind of sticky-feeling, and not that clicky. Its not a bad thing, just not what I expected.

The back has non-gold plated RCAs, and 5-way Binding posts for the speakers. Detachable IEC power cord is nice, and the extruded aluminum case is built very well. The front fascia is plastic, as with most of the Rega components. I believe some of the higher end ones are aluminum.

The Brio also includes what some say is a legendary phono stage, but I did not try it out. I didn’t want to lug my turntable into my den in order to test the phono stage. But there are plenty of online reviews that attest to it’s superiority.

Overall the Rega Brio is an excellent amp, and given the modest $375CAD Shipped New price, I don’t think I could have found something better for less. Indeed it is a minimalist amp with no remote, and only two knobs and a button on the front, but it excels in midrange, rhythm and pace. I’m also confident that my father will be extremely happy with it!

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