Autumn brings good news this year for Rega fans with the release of a unique new turntable: the Naia.
Earlier in the year, Rega gave us a preview of the Naia turntable at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023. From that sneak peek we gleaned a few key details about the model, such as the titanium tonearm and graphene-infused carbon fibre skeletal plinth. The company promised its official release in the fall with an estimated price point of around £9,000 with no cartridge and £12,000 with cartridge included.
Now the end of the year draws nearer, and Rega stayed true to their promises. The Naia can now be yours for £9,999 with no cartridge or £12,500 for the full package including an Aphelion 2 MC cartridge.
As we mentioned in our last post, the Naia is a consumer-ready version of the proprietary and conceptual Naiad. Serving as an experiment in engineering, the Naiad was meant to be strictly a proof-of-concept turntable. However, the model was so sought after that the company ended up producing 50 units by hand, strictly for distributors. With the Naia, the idea was for Rega to bring their 50 years of expertise and all the engineering principles they learned with the Naiad into a product that consumers can afford.
The basic principle employed in the Naia is one long held by Rega: low mass and high rigidity. To achieve this, the Naia has a unique skeletal plinth with a Tancast 8 foam core (the same one seen in the Planar 8 and Planar 10). With the Naia, however, Rega added the uses of carbon fibre infused with graphene, which adds a balance of lightness and rigidity. To strengthen the plinth even further, the Naia has two ceramic aluminium oxide braces. The same material is also sported in the redesigned resonance-controlled ceramic platter, which features an improved flywheel effect.
In recent releases, such as the Technics SL-1200GR2 direct drive turntable, Rega has turned to advanced computing to achieve stellar performance. The SL-1200GR2 utilizes in-house digital technology to improve rotational stability. With the Naia, however, Rega relied on superior physical construction rather than finding digital solutions for structural problems. The triple drive belt in the naia is made of a "bespoke new rubber compound" that delivers better drive and, as Rega says, "perfect speed stability."
The next impressive component of the Naia is the brand new RB titanium tonearm. Supposedly the "most advanced and accurate production tonearm" ever released, it's designed to have minimal mechanical joints for practically frictionless movement. The single-piece aluminium arm tube has titanium both in the vertical bearing and in the spindle assembly.
To achieve near-perfection, every piece of the Naia is designed for performance. The central bearing consists of a ZTA zirconium-toughened alumina (or as we like to call it, ceramic), a material taken straight from the Naiad. Fit with a sleek lid and a separate reference AC power supply unit, the Naia is polished head to toe.
The release of the Naia shows us that Rega is committed to raising all standards in turntable performance, and we are ready for it. Hopefully, the company continues to make strides in turntable technology and finds new ways to craft professional level performance at a consumer-friendly price point.
Image credit: Rega