Rega Ara Bookshelf Speakers

4.33/5 (3 Reviews)


Product Description

The Ara is a conventional bass reflex bookshelf loudspeaker that boasts a superb natural sound quality. The Ara can perform well with a low powered budget amplifier although when partnered with the highest possible quality amplification at higher power levels the Ara can outperform many of the best bookshelf loudspeakers produced regardless of price. The Ara can be placed away from a wall where it will produce a light bass output or close to a wall for a more powerfull bass. It can be stand, shelf or wall mounted.


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SV a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2016

Bottom Line:   
I'm not entirely sure which model year I have (not sure if they are 1995 or 1996), but nevertheless, if you require speakers for a small to medium-small room, these speakers might do the trick.

What they offer is a two-way design, with a small, approximately 4.5" midbass driver, and a 3/4" tweeter.

Their paper cone woofer throws a very uncoloured, clear picture into the sound, offering detail, space, and great resolution, along with a punch that can be appreciated in a small room. The treble can seem a bit unruly / bright, but that lends to the overall clarity of the speaker. When partnered with the right gear, these little speakers can deliver.

Voices come through in an especially clear way, different than, but akin to the level of vocal clarity one gets from the EPOS ES14, which I have also owned.

Placed on 19"-20" stands, the Aras did not mate very well with my Sugden A48b (modified and highly upgraded) amplifier, but they work amazingly well with my vintage Sansui AU666 integrated (1970-1971). I am uncertain if it is the speakers that are fussy with amplifiers, or if that particular amp is an anomaly in not being a good match for the Aras. With that amp, the speakers sounded harsh and congested; with the Sansui, they opened up like true beauties.

As with most speakers, positioning is crucial in achieving optimal performance; too close to a wall, and the sound field collapses and the bass is muddled. Moving them away from the wall to just the right degree, and setting a bit of toe-in improves things a whole lot. Careful positioning of these speakers can really make the Aras shine, allowing them to throw quite a great sound stage, especially given their size and cost, and to have great focus in terms of being able to pick performers etc. out in space.

These speakers have bounce and boogie and can really get your toe tapping. No, they won't go very low in bass, but what is there is very accurate and punchy. Their mid-range is some of the better in the business, as far as I'm concerned. They project a clearer presentation than my Royd Minstrels (which I also love), and are on par with the amazing EPOS ES14, and although they do not go as low in bass as the excellent Royds (and certainly not the EPOS), they are equally involving (again, given the right circumstances).

I have given these speakers 5 stars in each of the categories listed in order to balance the overall rating a little more in their favour. In reality, I would rate them approximately 4.5/ 5 or slightly more. Oh, by the way - bass heads definitely need not apply. If you are a person who appreciates quality sound in a small space, however, these might be for you. The right amp and front end will reward you with really fun sound.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by LI150 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2007

Bottom Line:   
When I was first interested in the Ara's I looked in the usual places for a review and was surprised at how little review info there is on these. I was interested because I loved Rega's original Ela speaker and these looked to use the same bass driver.
I ended up buying them and am pleased I did. When I listened to them in the store they were hooked up to a Chinese solid state amp and I was impressed enough there to take them home. The pair were the last ones they had and were the floor model so I got a $500 pr for $275 CAN with tax!
As it turns out I have a Rega Brio (Original Super Version) amp. I thought it would be a natural combination. I was right. Once they were set up and hooked to the Brio these little babies shined.
It seams that these speakers are really sensitive to which amp they are matched to. On the Chines (Cayin) amp they were good. But on the Brio they are great.
They are clear with great detail (I can tell when the different tracks are edited in and out on a recording!) and the mids are dead on with rather good bass and P.R.A.T.. If I had to describe them in a word it would be they are a 'Live' sounding speaker.
However they do not do everything. The one thing they trade for all their strong points is that they really do not have a great front-to-back sound stage. (Some one suggested this is my CD player however.) That having been said I have never been to any live gig from Jazz, Rock or Classical that has a great sound stage. If this is something you really want, try the Epos in this price range.
If you want a great little speaker that sounds 'Live',upfront and will not strain your ear, give the Ara a listen.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   Loyalty and Sound



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fransis a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2007

Bottom Line:   
When I was first interested in the Ara's I looked in the usual places for a review and was surprised at how little review info there is on these.
Well I ended up buying them and am pleased I did. When I listened to them in the store they were hooked up to a Chinese solid state amp and I was impressed enough there to take them home. The pair were the last ones they had and were the floor model so I got a $500 pr for $275 CAN with tax!
As it turns out I have a Rega Brio (Original Super Version) amp. Once they were set up and hooked up to the Brio these little babies shined.
To get to the point it seams that these speakers are really sensitive to which amp they are matched too. On the Chines amp they were good. But on the Brio they are great.
They are clear with great detail (I can tell when the different tracks are edited in and out!) and the mids are dead on with rather good bass and PRAT. If I had to describe them in a word it would be they are a 'Live' sounding speaker.
However they do no do everything. The one thing they trade for all their strong points is that they really do not have an front-to-back sound stage. If this is some thing you really want, try the Epos. If you want a great little speaker that sounds 'Live' and will not strain your ear, give the Ara a listen.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   Loyalty and Sound




Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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