RNLI Music Event update

   

 

 

With just a few days left until the Music & Hi-Fi Evening at The White Horse Hotel, Romsey on Tuesday 28th February we are delighted to say that there is now another very good reason to attend this unique event.

Not only will you get the chance to hear a £250,000 hi-fi system featuring Naim's awesome Statement amplifier, Dynaudio's magnificent Evidence Platinum speakers and The Chord Company's spectacular ChordMusic cables, but thanks to Naim Audio's generosity you will now have the opportunity to win a Naim Mu-so QB!

The Naim Mu-so QB is a deceptively compact cube packing a 300 watt punch and a whole host of features including AirPlay, Bluetooth/aptX, Spotify Connect, TIDAL, UPnP, Internet Radio and USB, analogue and digital inputs, all fully controllable via Apple IOS and Android App.

This magnificent prize, worth £650, could be yours!  Raffle tickets will be on sale only at the event with all proceeds going to the RNLI.

Other prizes may well be available on the night, subject to confirmation. There's still time to buy tickets from Audio T Chandlers Ford, Hundred Records, Romsey, or direct from RNLI Romsey, tel: 01794 323602, email: romseylifeboats@yahoo.co.uk so come along, give your ears a treat with this unique opportunity to hear a truly aspirational hi-fi system, whilst supporting the RNLI.  Surely the most noble of causes and an essential charity.  Tickets are just £10 each...

You might even go home with a superb raffle prize too, maybe a Naim Mu-so QB!

We look forward to seeing you at The White Horse Hotel, Romsey on the 28th February.  The event starts at 7.30pm but you are welcome to arrive an hour earlier to meet representatives from Naim, Dynaudio and The Chord Company, ask them questions, and admire the music system!

We are very much looking forward to this event and will both be there!

Alan and John

P.S.  More great news!  The Chord Company are supplying a Shawline Analogue Interconnect worth £200.00 as a raffle prize at the RNLI event.

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Yet another good reason to come along on Tuesday!

Not wanting to be left, out Audio T will contribute three of our 50th Anniversary record bags worth £50 each to the prize raffle too.  Just what you will need for the new vinyl you can buy from Mark from Hundred Records during the event!  Mark is also generously supporting the RNLI with contributions from record sales so please don't forget to bring your wallets!

 

 

 

 

AURALiC Streaming Products Coming Soon To Audio T Brighton

The AURALiC range are highly specified streaming products supported by an outstanding control app. The sound quality that is possible and the convenience of accessing your music collection by streaming is a joy to behold. 

We are expecting our first delivery from AURALiC this week, and arriving very soon will be the Aries Mini Network Music Player. Aries Mini can stream high-resolution music extremely fast over WiFi signal at virtually any sampling rate, even for the latest Quad-Rate DSD and DXD. 

AURALiC Mini Linear Power Supply

This PSU is based on AURALiC Purer‐Power™ technology with an advanced AC filter and very low noise circuit design. It is identical to the external power supply that comes with the AURALiC Aries High End Streaming Bridge.

Auralic Mini Linear Power Supply

Auralic Mini Linear Power Supply

Aries Network Music Player

The AURALiC Aries serves as a “bridge” between music files on network storage or high quality online streaming services and your DAC. The Aries is essentially a Digital transport that enables your DAC via the various digital outputs included to stream high-resolution music quickly and wirelessly in virtually any sampling rate

Altair Wireless Streaming DAC Preamp 

The AURALiC Altair is a perfect single-box music source. It combines a High-End DAC with world class wireless streaming solution.

Polaris Streaming Amplifier

AURALiC Polaris is a wireless streamer, a music server, a DAC, a pre-amplifier and a stereo power amplifier – the ultimate solution for music lovers seeking high quality streaming from a single, compact audio component.

AURALiC Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolCheltenhamReadingSouthampton

QUAD Z1 Stand Mount Loudspeakers At Audio T Cheltenham

New to the Cheltenham branch, the QUAD Z1 stand mount loudspeaker. The new QUAD Z1 utilises the latest generation of their ribbon high frequency drive unit.

Designed using a unique sandwich formation the new tweeter retains the delicate sound associated with conventional ribbon tweeters but is also exceptionally robust, offers very high power handling, high sensitivity and increased dynamics allowing it to seamlessly integrate with the bass/mid drive unit.

The ribbon tweeter is paired with a woven Kevlar bass/mid drive unit. This utilises a unique double roll surround especially designed to control the edge break up of the cone. This allows the drive unit to offer exceptional bass performance but also gives smoothness and transparency in the mid frequencies. This allows it to seamlessly integrate with the ribbon tweeter.

The drive units are housed in a beautifully curved bass reflex cabinet with high gloss one piece wrap around veneer. The 4 high quality gold plated binding posts allow for single or bi-amplifier connection.

Listening:
We paired the QUAD Z1 with a Rega Elex-R and streamed from an Innuos Zen Mini hard drive (FLAC) via a Sonos connect and Rega DAC. Firstly we played 'Lontano Mystery' from Pacific Coast Highway by Christopher Franke (Tangerine Dream). The QUAD's gave an exceptional level of detail and clarity with no hint of harshness at the top end. The sense of space in the mid-range and top end was excellent and the integration with the bass was seamless. Playing 'Just a little loving' by Shelby Lynne showed how well the vocals are portrayed, every nuance of her vocals where apparent giving a truly life like performance. We the put the bass performance though it paces by playing 'And the Druids Turn to Stone' by Ayreon' The extension to the bass was outstanding for a speaker of such a compact cabinet. Integration between the bass and midrange was excellent and the speakers never appeared to struggle with the quantity of bass even at extended levels.

These truly are an outstanding compact loudspeaker for the money. If a high quality compact monitor loudspeaker is on your list, I cannot recommend the QUAD Z1 highly enough. 

Specifications:

Enclosure Type                                  Bass Reflex

Bass Driver                                         150mm Woven Kevlar

Tweeter                                               90mm x 12mm True Ribbon

Sensitivity                                           86dB

Power Handling                                  40 - 150W

Peak SPL                                             102dB

Frequency Response (+/- 3 dB)         56Hz - 20kHz

Dimensions                                          283mm Depth x 219mm Width x 383mm Height

Available in High Gloss Piano Black, High Gloss Piano White and High Gloss Piano Rosewood.

Available at the Cheltenham branch for demonstration.

QUAD Hi-Fi products are also available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPrestonSouthampton
Swindon

The Queen Is (Not) Dead' And Neither Are The Smiths!

We are delighted to have on display in the shop, some outstanding music related photographs from one of our regular customers, none other than the photographer Stephen Wright!

'The shot' The Smiths 

'The shot' The Smiths 

Stephen's most famous shot is arguably that of the Smiths, taken outside the Salford Lads Club for the 1986 classic album, 'The Queen Is Dead', gracing the inside gatefold. (see above).

Prince

Prince

Other artists that Stephen has photographed include: Prince, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, U2, John Lydon, James Brown, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and many more.

Miles Davis

Miles Davis

James Brown

James Brown

John Lydon of PIL

John Lydon of PIL

Madonna

Madonna

Nina Simone

Nina Simone

U2

U2

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder

Many now grace our upper showroom display area and demo room for all to come and see. These are also available as limited edition photographs and you can see more of Stephen's work at http://www.smithsphotos.com

Below is a collection of Smiths shots from that cold winter day session plus some live performance photos of the band.

QUAD's 80th Anniversary Brings A Modern Twist To An Old Classic

In this month we are going to take a good look at a brilliant system made up of QUAD’s Artera play, QUAD Artera stereo and QUAD Z1 loudspeakers. We’ll look at each component separately and then give our overall thoughts on the system as a whole.

Artera Play

The Artera play is a pre-amplifier with an in built CD-player and DAC, making it a great compact system.  The Play has a strikingly unique design, certainly helping it stand out from other pre-amps in its price range. It features a touch sensitive display on the front that allows for some limited controls, although it does come with a remote which is much more convenient to use, it’s still a nice touch.

Both the play and the stereo features a recessed top which means you can easily stack one upon the other and has been designed so there is no effect on the sound, both also have a lovely glass plate included in the box which can sit in this recess if nothing is sat on top of the unit. All in all this makes for eye-catching aesthetics.

The Play boasts an impressive array of inputs including two RCA phono inputs, two coaxial inputs, two optical inputs and a USB-b to connect a laptop or similar device to. All the digital inputs are then fed through the ESS Sabre32 9018 chip, this is a very good choice by QUAD as it supports files up to 32-bit/384kHz as well as DSD 64/128/256 meaning the unit is well feature-proofed for high resolution digital files. To finish it off the Play features both XLR and Phono outputs which brings us on to the next part of our system.

Artera Stereo

While the Play could be partnered with a large range of power amps the Artera Stereo is the natural choice. It produces an impressive 140 watts per channel RMS, more than enough to drive even fussy speakers. Indeed in the shop we have tried the Artera with a huge range of speakers from small stand mounts to large floorstanders and didn’t have any problems with any of them.

The Stereo uses QUAD's famous ‘current dumping’ technology, which in basic terms comprises of two separate amplifiers, one very high quality class A low-power amp which provides the details of the signal, while a high-power current dumping section provides the grip to keep the speakers under control. This helps the amplifier produce an astonishing signal to noise ratio of 115dB, furthering the accuracy that QUAD is renowned for.

Z1’s

The first thing that strikes you about Quads new Z series is the absolutely gorgeous design and finish. The speakers come in gloss black, gloss white or Rosewood and have a unique ‘cone’ shape that really makes them stand out from other speakers in their categories.

The Z1 is a two way bookshelf speaker with a 150mm woven Kevlar bass driver and a 90x12mm ribbon tweeter. QUAD has been using ribbon tweeters for a very long time and they are very good at it. On the Z1 the ribbon really helps give a large dispersion in the sound stage, it is made from a composite of materials which really helps it be very durable and is suspended in a strong magnetic field to increase sensitivity. The Z1 has a typical frequency range for a compact bookshelf speaker of 56hz to 20Khz, a recommended amp power of 40 to 150 watts and a sensitivity of 86db.

The Verdict

We settled into our demo room after setting the system up and sat back and enjoyed Jo Harman’s newest album People We Become on CD, playing directly from the Artera Play. ‘Enjoy’ is really the definitive word here as this system is detailed without being clinical and still offers a warmth and musicality that make the listening experience very enjoyable. The single ‘When we were young’ is a particular highlight, helped by the expansive soundstage of the QUAD system, helped by the ribbon tweeters. The guitar and background organ are easy to point out while still staying cohesive and Jo Harman’s soulful voice really sounds like she’s in the room with you.

The Piano led ‘Lend me your love’ is another that stands out, the combination of the DAC in the Play and then the power in The Artera Stereo bring out all the details in the piano, pushing that sense of realism that is oh so important when it comes to piano. Yet at the same time this track feels so relaxing, as the instruments wrap around and envelop you, it helps that it has such a wide soundstage as it allows you some room in the listening position to sit back and relax.

We have been very impressed with Quad’s latest outings, in both the electronics and speakers but as always don’t just listen to us, get in touch and we can set up a demonstration.

QUAD Hi-Fi products are also available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPrestonSouthampton
Swindon

Rich And Tasty Rega Brio che!

Our newest member of staff, Simon, was lucky enough to be invited to visit Rega Research recently. This now makes him officially part of a select fortunate few, who have seen Rega in all of its non self proclaimed, rather humble, glory. After expecting to see this vast, industrial scale, high end, research laboratory producing around the clock goods, instead we were greeted with a rather modest sized, high tech factory in South End on Sea in the fair county of Essexshire.

To see first hand the level of detail going into their products, whilst meeting the high standards demanded for their goods was extraordinary. The very fact that they test every single product before it leaves the warehouse is astonishing and sets the bar very high for quality assurance. All of this makes it even more impressive when you witness pallet stacks upon pallet stacks of Fono MM's, A2D's, Elicit amplifiers, Planar 1's to RP 10's. All heading out to the USA, Europe, South America and of course the good old Blighty.

And most excitingly of all, was a pallet, with the words Brio 2017 printed on it. So read on people, as we make first contact with rich and tasty Brio...

...with the Rega Brio 2017

...with the Rega Brio 2017

First thing to catch the eye on the all new Brio 2017 is the new case work. It has an ergonomic feel to it as you pick it up, your initial impression is the quality of the metal work.  A lovely new sweeping front fascia with a sleek gloss black finish. Every case is examined and inspected, any anomalies detected are rejected. Using sophisticated machinery in quality control throughout, even the measurements of the screw holes are examined to a nanometre, this should hopefully give you an idea of the extent Rega go to, ensuring they produce perfect products. Rega work very closely with other British manufacturers to build the perfect Brio case every time. So when you buy a Brio, you can take pleasure in knowing that someone has examined your case and said;

'Yes this meets our standards, we can use this.'

The Brio also has plenty of inputs  “plus all the usual refinements 007”.
Rega have included  their great sounding phono stage, 4 line-in inputs and a record out, leaving you with plenty of options for analogue connectivity.

Headphone socket: You may notice a new port on the front which looks like something not too dissimilar from a headphone socket. You would be in fact right. Using a new noise free, isolated headphone circuit output for your cans; not only does it introduce no noise to the amplifier, you also don't have to alter any settings to get a perfect sound. The moment you plug in, the binding posts on the rear are disabled, along with unnecessary electronics, resulting in minimal crosstalk of components, which means you can listen for much longer at louder levels with no sacrifice to sound, long after you almost definitely should have gone to bed!

Hail to the six point three five millimetre jack.

Hail to the six point three five millimetre jack.

If you want to take a look under the hood Chromey, you need to take the lid off, you won't find what you're looking for there.

If you want to take a look under the hood Chromey, you need to take the lid off, you won't find what you're looking for there.

Hmmm well done, now please be careful, those caps are fully charged. 

Hmmm well done, now please be careful, those caps are fully charged. 

What's this? What have you spotted Chromey? 

What's this? What have you spotted Chromey? 

I've been fettled with a drop of mojo. If you pop on your X-ray specs, you will notice that someone at Rega has left a little message on the printed circuit board.

As we investigate further we notice the initials 'TB' further along the board and realise that this is in fact the work of electronics Guru at Rega, Terry Bateman. Another great product from Rega worthy of Terry's quirky quote and of course his design skills. 

But what does it mean Terry? "fettled with a drop of mojo" Hmmmmmm.....answers on a postcard please.

Now, unfortunately we don't have any X-ray specs here at Manchester and had to use Chromey, with a good old screwdriver to take the lid off ours, so please, don't try and open your Brio at home without the help of an engineer, otherwise you run the risk of invalidating the warrantee.

Our Chromey just had to pose with the new beautifully machined volume knob for the Brio 2017.

Beautiful binding posts: Chromey just loves those binding posts, maybe it's because he has insider knowledge that an actual engineer, not an automated machine or production line has produced them. Rega have an on site workshop where two metal work engineers work tirelessly producing hand made speaker binding posts, brilliant. They actually make the tools needed for machining specific components to produce the Planar turntables which are built by the same engineers. So you know exactly where to go for a service Chromey! Now please climb down. Thanks.  


Reviews and what our customers think: The Rega Brio is an outstanding product with a solid reputation worldwide, from many a 5 star review online,  to magazine double page spreads. 
We have yet to come across a customer or reviewer who has not found the Rega Brio (old and new) impressive. Check out another review here.

Brio's past and present have been sold by us to people from China, Japan, and (mainland) Europe. One gentleman on a business trip from Greece loved the Brio so much that he brought his suitcase in, just to see if he could fit it in with all his clothes. It left such an impression with him, making all the right noises in the our demo room. People from many different backgrounds have stepped through our doors here at Manchester solely to listen to the Brio and never left disappointed. The saying 'You should never meet your heroes' is completely irrelevant in the Brio's case.
We love it.

Ok, so there you have it, the new Rega Brio for 2017.

We have ours on demo at the Manchester store. So come along and audition the Brio at your earliest convenience.

Simon, Munir, Mike, Haden and Dave will be there to answer any questions you may have. 

Rega Hi-Fi products are available from all branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

QUAD Bolster Their Glowing Reputation With The VA-One Integrated Valve Amplifier

It's small, has glowing tubes, is packed full of features and can drive a floorstanding speaker with ease. The QUAD VA-One is a superb amplifier and it's really cute too!

This is no gimmicky amplifier, but a fully specced great sounding little amplifier from QUAD Electroacoustics.

It has one line input, 3 digital inputs (coax, optical and USB) and on-board aptX Bluetooth. The build quality is superb with good speaker binding posts and a very nice sounding headphone amplifier as well.

The valve complement is 4 x EL34, 2 x ECC82, and 1 X ECC83 delivering 15W into 6 ohms, or 12W into 8 ohms.

It has a beautiful liquid open sound which we found especially good with female vocals. The old HiFi favourite Sarah McLachlan filling the room effortlessly, but it can rock too. We gave it a try with the other latest QUAD creation: the Z3 speaker and it was a revelation. With only 15W it won't go to "party" levels but what it does deliver is expansive and open, giving a real insight into the music. The QUAD VA-ONE  is even small enough to be used as part of a desktop audio system, for which the USB input is an added bonus.

We have this little beauty on demonstration in the shop, so give us a call and we'll arrange a demonstration for you.

The QUAD VA-One Integrated Valve Amplifier At Audio T Oxford

The QUAD VA-One integrated valve amplifier is the latest Hi-Fi product to join the QUAD family.

FullSizeRender-1.jpg

The Quad VA-One is a small but perfectly formed Integrated amplifier, its footprint measures just 18x33cm. The VA-One includes a DAC, a headphone amplifier, a valve-based pre-amplifier and power amplifier for £1299.

Three digital audio inputs – optical, coaxial and asynchronous USB – support data up to 24-bit/192kHz, and an RCA-phono input gives the option to connect an analogue source like a CD player or a turntable (though it does not have a built in phono-stage).

The preamp section incorporates an ECC83 high-impedance triode. The output stage uses two EL84 pentodes per channel, delivering 2x15W.  Despite its relatively low output it can still pack a punch when paired with easy to drive speakers. It delivers a warm and open sound and would be the perfect amp for fans of female vocals, Jazz, Blues and Soft Rock.

QUAD VA-ONE PICTURED WITH QUAD S1 STAND MOUNT SPEAKERS

QUAD VA-ONE PICTURED WITH QUAD S1 STAND MOUNT SPEAKERS

In a recent Review Ken Kessler summed it up perfectly:

"It's everything a modern integrated amp/DAC should be, yet with the retro warmth of valves" Ken Kessler, Hi-Fi News.

If you would like to come and have a listen call the Audio T Oxford shop on 01865 765961 and book a demo.

QUAD Hi-Fi products are also available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPrestonSouthampton
Swindon

QUAD Artera And Z Series Loudspeakers Make For A Modern Hi-Fi System Classic

Almost every Hi-Fi aficionado will know the manufacturer QUAD Electroacoustics and the old amplifier and speaker combination of 33/303 or 44/405 with the famous ESL electrostatic loudspeakers.

Quad have now got what could well be a modern classic in the range, a classic brand name with a modern twist. The "Artera" range of electronics and the "Z" series loudspeakers offer a stunning performance at a reasonable price.

We first heard the Artera system around a month or so ago and thought it was something we really should have available in the store, so shortly afterwards we placed our order for the demonstration pieces. It is a rare thing nowadays to have a manufacturer offer a complete system that performs to the standard that this system can offer. Often, the electronics from a manufacturer will work together but get used with a different brand of loudspeakers. It is great to be able to once again offer a complete QUAD system.

The first thing we have in the line up is the ARTERA PLAY CD/PRE-AMP

The Pre-amplifier also features a DAC that can be used from external sources as you would expect from a modern digital player, featuring USB, optical and co-axial inputs. The styling and quality of finish is stunning.

Quad Artera CD Player & Pre-amplifier

Quad Artera CD Player & Pre-amplifier

The ARTERA STEREO Power amplifier harks back to the looks of the old 606 and 909 power amps, sticking to the classic QUAD look with a modern design. The ARTERA STEREO is a brand new ground up design featuring QUAD's current dumping technology which in sonic terms gives the system an effortless sound even with very demanding dynamics.

Quad Artera Stereo Power Amplifier

Quad Artera Stereo Power Amplifier

With the design of the case work and glass top plate it looks great when placed alongside each other or on top.

Quad Artera CD / Pre & Power Combination

Quad Artera CD / Pre & Power Combination

We chose the QUAD Z1 series standmount loudspeakers in the stunning Piano Rosewood finish. The "Z" series feature Quad's unique sandwich formation ribbon tweeter design giving them such a smooth and tonally detailed sound it has to be heard!

We have given the system a few days to run in so far, the system sounded great from brand new but after about 40hrs use it really came on song. We have thrown all sorts of music at it and have been amazed. Perhaps the most surprising thing is the quality of vocals, it is simply fabulous! I listen to a lot of folk and blues so have tried a lot of acoustic guitar based music and have been amazed at the tonality of the system - you can hear so much more tonal information of the instrument and strings it is quite different to any other system. But, going back to what I have previously said, it is an amazing performance from a one make system.

Other products in the ARTERA range to follow are the "ARTERA LINK" which will be the CD player/Pre-amplifier with added Network Streamer, and the "ARTERA ONE" integrated amplifier.

QUAD Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPrestonSouthampton
Swindon

Naim Audio Uniti Core CD Ripper & Music Server Has Arrived At Audio T Swindon

This month we would like to talk about the Naim Uniti Core, Naim's reference CD ripper, streamer and music server. It is one of the new Naim Uniti range that comprises 4 network music products: Uniti Atom, Uniti Star, Unit Nova and Core.

The Uniti Core enables you to save (rip) your CD collection to a hard drive. It stores your existing digital music collection, serves your music to Uniti systems, Mu-So, Mu-So QB and Naim Audio's standalone network streamers and backs it up for you. The Uniti Core can also be used as a player connected to a standalone DAC or DAC pre-amplifier and control/play your music via the Naim Audio control app.

Let's have a look and see what's included in the box: 

The Uniti Core comes supplied with a Powerline Lite mains cable, a BNC/SPDIF adapter (so you can use your existing digital phono-to-phono coax cable , 4 HDD screws and 4SSD screws. The Uniti Core does not come shipped with a built-in hard drive disc (HDD) or solid state disc (SSD) drive for storing the music as they don't know what capacity drive the customer might needs to store their music.

Naim Audio recommends either the Seagate Pipeline HD 3.5" internal drive or Samsung 850 2.5" SSD and both are available in different storage sizes. Once you have purchased your hard drive of choice, we can fit it it your Uniti free of charge - this service is available at all Audio T stores.

IMG_1708.JPG

The Core is very well built and it sounds fantastic. Before you start recording/ripping your cd's you need to select the streaming format, either FLAC or WAV. We prefer WAV as the files are uncompressed and you can hear it.  The sound has more weight to it, a bigger presentation - very nice to listen to.

Here are a few screenshots

With your music ready for playback/stream, simply open the Naim Audio app and start browsing through your music library. There is only an IOS version at the moment but there will be an Android version soon.

When you click the little window on the bottom left it will enlarge the playback screen and you see all the controls. This is the same on all Naim Audio streaming products - extremely easy to use, reliable and sounds very musical.

So what about your existing music files on a NAS or USB drive? Select Manage Music > Import Music > select the drive with your music on and press Import and you're done. The Core can also see and access music on other shared network storage devices without importing them.

Have a look here :

And a rear view of the Uniti Core

We think setting up a music library for streaming should be easy and fun to do and this is exactly what is is. Me (Stefan) and Andy look forward to showing you how the Naim Uniti Core works, how to use it and of course most importantly how it sounds.

For all enquiries please give us call on 01793 538222 or visit us here in the Swindon shop.

Thanks for reading.

Stefan & Andy

Naim Hi-Fi products are available from all branches of Audio T: 
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon