Rega Bias 2 £65
11th Apr 2011 | 08:30
What secrets does Rega have up it's sleeve in the Bias 2 turntable cartridge?
Rega seems to make quite a point of not telling us anything about its cartridges.
Well, not much, anyway – we're told that the Bias 2 is an elliptical-stylus model and that its ideal tracking weight is 1.75g.
There's also mention of parallel wound coils, which are responsible for the particularly high output (at about 7mV for the usual 5cm/s modulation, about 3dB over the average) and also have a hand in giving the cartridge its unusually low resistance of 170 ohms.
Coil resistance isn't often mentioned much in connection with moving magnet cartridges, but it plays a part in determining the cartridge's intrinsic noise and with a suitable phono amp this one will be one of the quietest out there, certainly exceeding the noise performance of any disc, which is all to the good.
The body is part metal, part plastic and the stylus is not replaceable.
We found no cause to disagree with Rega's assessment of optimum tracking force, the sound seeming well balanced between tracking in tonal evenness at the recommended figure.
VTA is forgiving though of course azimuth/overhang adjustment is as critical as ever and this is slightly awkward due to the cartridge's tapered shape. Once set up, though, the Bias 2 is a very civilised performer with very good bass extension and 'kick', though that's never at the expense of insight.
We felt the treble can sometimes sound just a little constricted, most obviously in acoustic recordings which have plenty of sparkle and ambience: these seemed less clear than we've heard them.
Midrange detail is very good, though, and stereo imaging is excellent.
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