Integration (not disintegration) – that’s the name of the game being played by the Brits at Rega. Their new Saturn-R is both CD player and DAC.
The accommodation of external sources on the Saturn-R are handled by two optical inputs, two 75 Ohm coaxial inputs and a galvanically isolated, asynchronous XMOS USB input — each of which handle up to 24bit/192kHz PCM streams. Supervising the decode on the inside is a pair of Wolfson WM8742 which in turn provide user-selectable digital filters.
Rather than lift it verbatim, interested parties can find the technical skinny on Page 2 of the Saturn-R manual [.pdf].
More savvy audiophiles will know that getting digital audio from a computer to sound as good as a CD player isn’t as simple as a direct USB hook-up. To side-step severe cases of digititus and the jitters, you gotta think re-clockers, USB cables that keep the bloody noise down and software players that keep CPU action on the down-low.
The Saturn-R is for listeners not wanting to go all in with computer audio. It’s a US$3000 two-fer, squarely aimed at those wanting to transition slowly or folk long-hauling the shiny silver alongside a computer.
The Saturn-R is available now, ships with a Solaris remote control and is (currently) only available in black.