Rega started the day with the release of the super affordable Rega Fono MM MK5 Phono Preamp and it would appear that Christmas is coming early for vinyl lovers who prefer the sound of moving coil cartridges. The Rega Fono MC MK4 is their next generation affordable MC phono stage designed to be used with their own cartridges and low output MCs from other brands.
Rega didn’t disclose the gain of the Fono MC MK4 in their announcement but a quick check across the pond revealed that there are two gain settings on the new unit; 63.5 and 69.5dB of gain.
A few things stand out about the Rega Fono MC MK4; the flexibility and price. Rega is charging £249.00 in the UK and we’ll update when the U.S. distributor shares the new price here and in Canada.
The Fono MC MK4 can be set to work with a wider range of low output moving coil cartridges (outside of the models that Rega offer) and we’re curious to find out how this sounds with a few mid-tier low output cartridges from Denon, Audio-Technica, and Grado Labs.
Depending on the price, this could be an interesting addition to a Rega io Integrated Amplifier if you want to use a moving coil cartridge.
The Fono MC MK4 is an exceptionally high quality MC phono stage designed to maximise the potential of any low output MC cartridge. Although specifically designed to compliment the latest Rega range of moving coils you will find full adjustability for gain and loading via dip switches conveniently placed on the rear panel making the Fono MC MK4 compatible with a wide range of third party low output MC cartridges.
Now housed in a brand new redesigned case to match the new Fono MM MK5 and Neo MK2 and Rega’s latest range of electronic components offering a modern look guaranteed to integrate in to any hi-fi system.
The Fono MC MK4 uses the Linear Systems low noise LSK389 FET in an all discrete input stage where low noise and linearity are vitally important to get the best from an MC cartridge.
Because of the high input impedance of FET, the loading effects of the amplifier circuit are minuscule and do not affect the performance of the cartridge.
A MUSE operational amplifier is used in the RIAA equalization amplifier. Polypropylene capacitors have been used in the signal path and in the RIAA equalization circuits.
There is selectable input loading for both resistance and capacitance along with two different gain settings located on the back panel making the Fono MC MK4 compatible with most low output MC cartridges. The new Fono MC MK4 circuit resulted from the development work carried out on the hugely successful Aria phono amplifier.
The aesthetic design of the Fono MC MK4 was as important as the quality of its electrical capabilities, so it benefits from the same new aluminium case as the Rega Neo MK2 PSU and Fono MM MK5 phono stage, giving it a design which offers a familiar feel and moreover brings it in line with its illustrious bigger brothers.
For more information: Rega Fono MC MK4 Phono Preamp