The Mira 3 is nice and compact, and the subtle interplay of curves and sharp edges lend a modernist flair to the design. A ribbed heatsink covers almost the entire underside, and the volume control is ringed with 20 red LEDs that provide a visual indication of the volume level. The calibrated control employs stepped resistive networks in the feedback and input circuits of the amplifier. At first I couldn’t figure out how to change inputs. Ah yes, you simply push the volume control in a bit, and then use it to select any of the six sources, including phono. That’s right: The Mira 3 comes with a built-in phonostage (not too surprising when you consider that Rega is famous for its turntables and phono cartridges).
Tip: Jells with really small speakers like the Usher S-520.
The little Mira 3 produces a big, warm sound that is downright addictive. But to really appreciate what make this amp special, try hooking up a turntable to its suave and refined-sounding phono input.
Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes is for me, at least, the Bob Dylan of his generation. He careens back and forth between his politically charged tunes and lovesick troubadour modes on his live Motion Sickness CD [Team Love] from 2005. The Mira 3 rang true on the acoustic tunes; there’s a wholeness to the sound of the band’s instruments that I found hugely appealing. Rega also makes stellar turntables, so naturally I had high expectations for the Mira 3’s phono section. NRBQ’s self-titled first LP [Columbia] practically glowed on the sweet acoustic tunes and turned downright raucous when I played the band’s rootsy rock sides. CDs sound awfully good through the Mira 3, but LPs sound even better thanks to the amp’s overachieving phono section, making the Mira 3 the go-to integrated for vinyl addicted audiophiles on a budget.