It's no secret that Rega Research makes exceptional audio equipment. While probably most famous for their multi-award-winning Planar Turntables, Rega has also found great success in building superb phono stages, speakers, and integrated amplifiers. One of the most recent releases in the amplifier market is the Rega Elex Mk4, announced in 2022 and has been delighting listeners all year long. Ed Selley at AV Forums had the opportunity to try the newest Elex amplifier and was so impressed he deemed not only a "Best in Class" amp, but also AVForums' Hi-Fi Product of the Year and the Editor's Choice Aspirational Stereo Amplifier for 2023/2024!
At first listen, Ed Selley wondered if he had accidentally plugged in the higher-end Rega Elicit Mk5 he had previously reviewed. While the new Mk4 is an upgrade to the previous iteration of the Elex amplifier, the performance and sound quality brings it so much closer to the newest Elicit amplifier that he second-guessed himself. Both amplifiers feature an updated case that follows Rega's new design aesthetic and are equipped with both analog and digital inputs. The also feature a similar chipset, with Wolfson DAC boards descended from the popular DAC-R of yesteryear.
However, there are differences between the Elex Mk4 and it's pricier brother. Power is is major differentiator, with the Elex Mk4 pushing 72 watts into 8 Ohms and 90 Watts into 6 Ohms. In many ways, the Elex shows similarities to the smaller Brio amplifier, but with more power and a larger case that allows for electrical engineering that takes inspiration from the Elicit. But how does it sound?
"Like the vast majority of Rega devices I have ever tested, the Elex is not on conversant terms with harsh or aggressive. It manages to have impressive levels of top end energy," Ed writes in his review, "This is an amplifier that makes being exciting something that seems effortless right up to the point where you try it on something else." All comparisons aside, the Rega Elex Mk4 offers astounding performance and functionality at a very attainable price. For those with moderately-sized room, the Elex Mk4 will effortlessly fill your listening space with a wide soundstage and exceptional tonal balance. "There’s no other amplifier I’ve tested recently at the price that offers the imperious ability of the Elex Mk4. The latest refreshed Rega therefore has to be seen as a Best in Class."