Rega has been very busy the past few months! First they released the Planar 10 Turntable alongside a new cartridge, the updated Apheta 3. Then came the Aethos, Rega's newest integrated amplifier. Now, Rega has unveiled a new moving coil cartridge, the Ania Pro!
Intended to improve and boost the performance of Rega's mid-range turntables like the Planar 3, Planar 6, and even the Planar 8, the Ania Pro fills a gap between the baseline Ania and the Apheta 3. At a price of $1,095, the Ania Pro sits comfortably between the Ania's $795 pricetag and the $1,995 sticker price of the (unbundled*) Apheta 3. The Ania Pro improves upon the Ania by utilizing Rega's advanced Vital Profile Nude Diamond stylus, the same used in the Aphelion, Rega's top-of-the-line cartridge. This stylus profile is designed to extract as much detail from the vinyl surface as possible. The Ania Pro delivers tight bass warm midranges and accurate top end frequencies to offer a well balanced and detailed performance.
*You can get the Apheta 3 bundled along with a new Planar 10 turntable for $6,695, dropping the cost of the Apheta 3 down to just $1,000.
Another improvement of the Ania Pro over the Ania is the all new housing. The Ania Pro utilizes a unique PPS rigid body to ensure accurate construction and Rega's three-point fixing method which offers the optimum connection to the head-shell while automatically setting overhang. The new body is protected by a custom-made, CAD-designed red rigid cover to protect the delicate internal fine wires, making handling much safer and easier during fitting. On the Apheta and Aphelion, Rega uses machined aluminum to create the body, which is very difficult and leads to the substantially higher price. In order to reduce costs while maintaining the level of performance Rega is known for, engineers utilized a special polymer with enhanced rigidity to construct the body. Rega says this about the new body construction:
The Ania Pro body uses a unique polymer/ 40% glass combination called Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS-Fortron). The special attributes of this material are its hardness and stability in shape and dimension post moulding, both critical for the performance of Ania. Now came the challenge. Rega designed and prototyped using SLA systems in just a few months, proving the validity of the design direction.
Now we had to design a production mould tool capable of extreme accuracy and long life. PPS is a difficult polymer to mould and requires special attention to how the mould tool operates. Couple this to an almost unmouldable complex shape of the Ania body and a very considerable challenge faced the Rega engineers and the toolmakers chosen. The toolmakers are of the highest technical skill level, using the most accurate Swiss EDM CNC machines, their regular customers being the military and medical industries, routinely working down to a micron (one thousandth of a millimetre).To achieve this intricate body shape required the most complex high pressure injection mould tool that Rega has ever designed. The tool has eight major parts, four of which must move in perfect synchronicity with each other to achieve each cartridge body. The design and manufacture of this “work of art” took an entire year to produce and was made exclusively by the most senior toolmaker requiring all his lifetime of artisanal experience.
The Ania Pro retails for $1,095 and will be arriving in the the United States later this year. As with other Rega cartridges, you can save money by trading in an older cartridge like the Ania or one of Rega's Moving Magnet cartridges. If you're interested in "trading-up" your cartridge for the Ania Pro, contact your local Rega dealer!