Just over a year after the launch of the RS series of speakers, Rega have decided to have a little bit of an update. Mostly, it's pretty subtle stuff. In fact, for the stand-mount RS1, there are no changes at all. The RS3 and 5 simply get new feet and more attractive covers on the side-firing bass drivers. For the RS7, however, these modest styling changes come with a re-design of the crossover and the sonic gains are quite dramatic.
We have been keen advocates of all of these speakers and the only mild negative about the RS7 was that it needed a fair bit of power to get it going. With its revisions, the new version joins its siblings in having the lovely 'free' quality that makes this range of speakers so engaging. In truth, the revised RS7 manages to make the old one sound rather grey, flat and uninvolving by comparison.
All share the same front-firing bass / mid driver and Rega - designed low distortion tweeter. As mentioned above, all are spirited too, with a clear and 'open' character. Predictably, the small RS1 (pictured right) gives the lightest balance but it can still surprise with proper bass to go along with the well resolved midband and treble. The rear-firing port does not limit placement all that much either and near-wall sitiing has worked well.
The diminutive RS3 gives a big sound from a small box, can generally be sited fairly close to walls (even corners) and can fill a largish space with ease. The RS5 adds greater headroom, bass extension and more effortless dynamics. Both are subjectively (and progressively) less bright than the RS1 by virtue of having more low-end information to balance things out.
The newly revised RS7 is a bit of a star though. Where the RS1 is a ported two way design and the 3 and 5 are ported with additional side-firing bass drivers, the 7 takes this further by giving the side-firing driver a full transmission line loading. It really is a cracking piece of work and well worth evaluating if you are looking for a speaker in the £1500 - £2500 range.
All are here on demonstration. At the time of writing, we have some clearance offers on the old RS5. Remember the improvement there was in grilles and feet . . . !
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