Audio T Southampton get DIRACTly to the point!

Having just recently returned from Arcam's headquarters in Cambridge to complete my Advanced DIRAC training I thought I would take a few minutes to guide you through what it can do for your system in the context of one of Arcam's wonderful home cinema receivers.

Part one of the course was all about getting the basics of your system right, the simple things we all know but perhaps don't take the time to get right. DIRAC is a wonderful tool but it can only do so much, so it's important to get the fundamentals of your system right.

Firstly, set up your speakers so they meet the ITU standards for a home cinema system. This is the specifications that all mixing studios use to set up a 5.1 system so engineers travelling around the world know that as they go from studio to studio they will experience the same conditions for mixing their soundtracks. This is something that can be replicated within your home environment with a simple chart and a laser guide.

Make sure your speakers are level and don't rock and make sure your speaker stands are filled and don't ring, check your cables are all free moving and not twisted around mains cables. These are simple things that can make a big difference to your system before you begin any form of room calibration.

DIRAC as a room calibration tool is an incredibly powerful piece of software but it's only as good as how well you know the software and how to achieve the soundstage you are looking for, whilst retaining the things you loved about your system before applying DIRAC.

Taking the measurements is one of the early steps in the calibration process and there are several important things to take into account.

1. The first measurement is absolutely key. It has to be in the exact sweetspot for your listening position and at ear height.

2. You need to remove as much ambient noise from the room as possible. Turn off the projector if you have one. Aircon units can be very noisy, also ensure no noise intrudes from other rooms in the house. If the microphone can detect it then its going to affect your calibration results. If something happens whilst your taking any of your measurements, like the phone ringing or someone walking across the floor upstairs, the simplest thing to do is stop the measurement capture and start again.

3. Depending on your seating position you can use DIRAC to help make your sound stage more consistent. If you get a bass boost from your rear wall directly behind your listening position you can adapt your measurement points to counteract this and get a far more seamless bass performance across your listening position.

After you have completed your 9 different measurements its time to look at saving your progress before moving on to customising your EQ curves and counteracting room problems.

When it comes to using the software its always easier to take away than it is to add, so looking at your EQ measurements you should be able to see natural problems in your room below 400Hz. You are always looking to achieve a nice smooth EQ curve and if your room is giving you some things for free like extra bass weight at the really low end you can use this to your advantage without letting things get out of control.

Below are the recordings taken from our own demonstration room. It adds some energy at the really low end which I have attempted to keep whilst dealing with a fairly substantial bass suck at about 135Hz.

The target line in Orange is what DIRAC will try to achieve and the green line is how close it managed to get to the target line.

Above the 400hz frequency point most of the things you will see are the natural characteristics of the speakers you own. If you use DIRAC on its auto system it will try to implement the perfect speaker curve into the system but this will change the sound of the speaker you love and bought because of its sound characteristics. The key is to work with the software to emulate the original sound of the speaker whilst dealing with problems created by the room and interaction with items in your room. Here you can see the natural sparkle in the Monitor Audio speakers used in this calibration. They both measure a rise towards the 5Khz mark and I have emulated this within DIRAC to keep the characteristics of the speakers.

Listening is always the key, you can always go back and change things after everything is finished and make further fine adjustments.

The other thing to watch out for is high frequency break up. As speakers rise above 20khz they can begin to break up and will give odd measurements. You can use DIRAC to give an equal response to both speakers so they tail off to the same point in the very high frequencies.

Once you have finished your custom curves for all of your loudspeakers, including your Atmos in ceiling speakers, which you can now do after Arcam's last update, it's time to send your curves off to DIRAC themselves to do the number crunching for you.

After a few minutes you will get the results back of how close DIRAC has managed to get to what you wanted to achieve in terms of your custom EQ curves, This is represented by the green line.

Also very much worth mentioning is the amount of work DIRAC does in the time alignment and phase control domain. Shown on the picture below the spike on the left is the original impact response and decay from your speakers, On the right in green is what DIRAC have achieved, notice how much sharper the impact is and how much noise from the decay has been removed. This has the ultimate result of resolving more information from the system as detail could easily be lost in all the decay noise of that original impact.

A great example of this is Dolby's own Atmos demonstration disc where there is a track called Rainstorm. By the time you have used DIRAC and got your system singing it sounds as if there are twice as many raindrops compared to DIRAC turned off.

The final stage of the process is to drop your new calibration file into your Arcam AVR. This takes a few minutes to install into your receiver but once it does it is safe to start having a play and see how effective all the work has been.

Although the calibration programme will guide you through the set up and you can achieve good results with the microphone in the box , we would like to recommended that you get someone fully trained in getting the best out of DIRAC to come and set up your system for you. We have invested in a higher quality £350 calibration microphone and have the experience to get the best out of your system for you.


I find it hard to express how impressed I am with the results you can achieve with the system but with time and effort it will bring you a great deal closer to action or music than perhaps had been possible before.

Come in and see us to hear what Arcam's home cinema amps can do. The range will very soon include the new FMJ AVR390 which at just £1999 still features the same full DIRAC calibration system found in the AVR550 and AVR850 at £2699 and £4499 respectively.




Win One Of 3 Exclusive And Unique RP1 Turntables Monogrammed by 3D From Massive Attack

We are very fortunate to have been kindly donated 3 personally monogrammed Rega RP1 turntables from artist and founding member of electronica and trip hop band Massive Attack, 3D (Robert Del Naja). These are completely original works of art melding music and art together and there are no others in existence!


A good long time friend of one of our members of staff, having known him for many years, 3D kindly donated them in exchange for doing some extensive install work at his home.

If you are a fan of the band or vinyl, this is an absolutely fantastic opportunity to win one of only 3 examples in existence and a copy of their platinum selling album, Mezzanine.

To be in with a chance of winning one of these amazing prizes, all you need to do is visit either our Audio T OxfordPreston or Swindon branches where the turntable is on show and do the following:

1. Complete the prize draw form in store and sign up to our audio eClub.

2. Check into the store on Facebook - Oxford | Preston | Swindon

3. Like the Audio T Facebook page

T&Cs - Entries in store only. One entry per person. Need to complete all steps for a valid entry. No purchase necessary. Winner will be announced in the December 2016 eClub newsletter. Closes Wednesday 30th of November 2016

Good luck!


A Chord Co Cable Listening Event At Audio T Portsmouth

On the 7th and 8th October the Chord Cable Company will be showcasing part their fantastic new range from speaker cables and power leads to streaming leads  to analogue and digital interconnects.

Chord have brought out new models in familiar ranges such as Signature and Epic and several entirely new ranges including Shawline, Clearway and C-series. Every cable that makes up each of these ranges will feature in the event.

Chord Shawline Speaker Cable

Chord Shawline Speaker Cable

Chord Epic 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Chord Epic 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Come on the Chord journey and witness the transformative qualities of these world leading cables can have on your Hi-Fi and the music that you play.

Chord Signature Aray Power Cable

Chord Signature Aray Power Cable

There will be exclusive offers for all those who attend during this intriguing and informative event.

Chord Shawline 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Chord Shawline 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Come and hear for yourself what the remarkable cables can do

Chord C-View HDMI

Chord C-View HDMI

Chord Clearway Speaker Cable

Chord Clearway Speaker Cable

The Chord journey starts in Audio T Portsmouth on Friday the 7th of October from 2.00pm until 7.00pm and the on Saturday the 8th from 10.00am until 5.00.

Chord Clearway Digital Coax Interconnect

Chord Clearway Digital Coax Interconnect

Join, Nick, Joe and James at Audio T Portsmouth and a representative from the Chord Co to hear how cables can make a very cost effective upgrade to your Hi-Fi system, which will have you rediscovering your music collection.

Come And Hear The New PMC twenty5 Series Saturday 29th October

Join us as we put the new PMC twenty5 range through its paces in Hi-Fi and Home Cinema set ups.

We invite you to take a closer look and listen to the new twenty5 range as we put on yours and our favourite pieces of music in our Hi-Fi demo room. We will be working through the range from the twenty5 21 to the twenty5 26's.

twenty 26's pictured, the new twenty5 range will be shown on the day.

twenty 26's pictured, the new twenty5 range will be shown on the day.

In our Home Cinema room we will also have the twenty5 range set up in a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos configuration. The Twenty5 23's, Twenty C, Twenty5 21's & Twenty Sub.

twenty 22 and twenty Centre pictured.

twenty 22 and twenty Centre pictured.

The PMC representative will be attending to answer any questions you may have. We welcome you to bring down your favourite pieces of music or films to test the new twenty5 range.

We looking forward to seeing you.

Many Thanks

Simon, John & Mahmood.

Audio T
159A Chase Side

Tel: 0208 367 3132

Join Us For A Hi-Fi And Home Cinema Weekend Featuring Denon, Marantz & JVC

Join us and come and have a listen to Denon and Marantz multi-channel Home Cinema and two-channel stereo Hi-Fi systems on Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd of October.

Take a closer look & listen to Denon's Flagship Hifi products the DCD-2500NE & PMA-2500NE..

Take a closer look & listen to Denon's Flagship Hifi products the DCD-2500NE & PMA-2500NE..

We will also be showing Marantz's AWARD WINNING Hi-Fi the CD6006 & PM6006.

We will also be showing Marantz's AWARD WINNING Hi-Fi the CD6006 & PM6006.

In the Home Cinema room we will be exploring Denon & Marantz options with a JVC DLA-X5000BE 4K Projector providing the visuals.

We will start by showing the AWARD WINNING AVRX2300 AV receiver running a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos set up.

We will start by showing the AWARD WINNING AVRX2300 AV receiver running a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos set up.

Later we will move up to the flagship Marantz AV8802 processor & MM8077 power amp running a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos setup.

Later we will move up to the flagship Marantz AV8802 processor & MM8077 power amp running a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos setup.

The Denon, Marantz & JVC reps will be attending on Friday who will be happy to ask any questions. On Saturday we will still be running these wonderful systems so bring your favourite Music or Movies to test these systems.

Many thanks

Simon, John & Mahmood.
Audio T
159A Chase Side

Tel: 0208 367 3132

PMC, Naim and Rega Events At Audio T Brighton In November

PMC on Saturday 5th November with Tom Barron from PMC

We will be featuring the new and rather good twenty5 series loudspeakers.


Naim on Saturday 12th November with Jason Gould from Naim

It's too early to announce what we will be presenting, but be assured it will be good, and new !

Keep in touch and we will provide more details in October.


Rega on Saturday 19th November with Rob Noble from Rega

‘Rega look forward to the release of some exciting new products for the autumn of 2016. More details to follow soon prior to their appearance at the Brighton open day. Watch this space………………’ 


Live Music Event At The Norwegian Church Cardiff Featuring Spendor And Nytech

We love a music event here at Audio T Cardiff and this October we are holding our best yet! Held at the iconic Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay there will be an evening of live music and of course a chance to listen to some stunning Hi-Fi.

The event starts at 7pm on Thursday the 6th of October and we will have the Welsh debut of Spendor's brand new D9 loudspeakers being driven by the excellent Nytech CP202 Pre-amplifier and CPA402 power amplifier. We will be listening to the equipment using the new Project classic turntable as well as high resolution streaming as sources and will be playing a selection of music to really show off what the system can do.

As an extra treat live music will be provided by renowned Cardiff musicians Erin Williams-Jones and Cat Vonhausenberg. We also have an former BBC sound engineer recording the duo so we can play it back through the Hi-Fi to look at how close a good system can get to live sound.

There is no cost to get into the venue so please feel free to come along for an enjoyable night of music. Any questions about the event at all please get in contact with us at the shop.

It's A Classic Pro-ject Turntable Unboxing And Set Up At Audio T Preston

The aptly named Pro-Ject “Classic” has been made to celebrate Pro-Ject's 25th anniversary and is a fusion of modern technology and traditional design.

At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking that this is a photo of a Thorens or a Linn turntable from back in the swinging 60's, it is however one of the latest offerings from Pro-Ject Audio.


This new turntable sports a dual plinth design which allows the motor to sit separately from the bearing and tonearm. This helps to greatly reduce unwanted electrical and mechanical noise..

Instead of the bouncy spring loaded isolation of the traditional designs, Pro-Ject have employed “Thermo-Plastic Elastomers” to separate the two plinths. This resonance damping material can also be found lining the aluminium platter.

The Classic also has a new tonearm design made from a combination of carbon fibre and aluminium. It comes pre fitted with the Ortofon 2M Silver moving magnet cartridge an is available in three colours , eucalyptus (black) , rosenut and walnut.

All in all this is a really good looking turntable with fantastic sound quality. Don't believe us? Why not come and see for yourself. Give us a call and book your demonstration today.

Pro-ject Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:

Hear The Difference That Mains Conditioning Can Make To Your Hi-Fi System

Visit us at Audio T Oxford on Friday 4th November (1pm - 5:30pm) and Saturday 5th November (10am - 5:30pm) and come and hear for yourself the benefits of mains conditioning in conjunction with IsoTek. 

The quality of the electricity we feed into our Hi-Fi and Home Cinema systems has a profound effect on how our music and films sound. As the electronic devices we use at home grow and the demand for electrical power increases, the quality of the electricity we feed our systems continues to degrade from RF interference and mains noise.

Win an IsoTek Premier Mains Cable worth £99.95 In Our FREE to enter competition

Win an IsoTek Premier Mains Cable worth £99.95 In Our FREE to enter competition

IsoTek is a leading brand of power management products for Hi-Fi and Home Cinema use. Its product range includes high-performance mains cables and connectors, plus a range of performance enhancing power conditioners focused on the specific requirements of individual systems. IsoTek have earned numerous accolades from specialist audio and AV publications worldwide. The product ranges comprise of the following solutions:

Mains Cables and Blocks:

The standard black mains leads supplied with your Audio and AV components are designed to do a basic job, no more. They lack the quality of materials and construction needed to protect the integrity of the electricity they feed your system, thereby degrading performance. The first rung on the IsoTek ladder is to replace these leads with EVO3 Premier power cables. We will have the following on demonstration:


Mains Conditioners:

These are designed to remove noise contamination from both Differential noise that is created by the power supplies in all electronic devices and Common Mode noise in introduced by RFI and the wireless communications. We will have the following products available for demonstration:

  • IsoTek EVO3 Sigmas - Provides 6 Mains Outlets (2x16A outlets for Power Amplifiers, etc and 4x10A outlets for CD Players, Pre Amps etc) £2195
  • IsoTek EVO3 Titan - Designed for use with high power components such as power amplifiers, Active loudspeakers, etc - £2695


These are state of the art hybrid power cleaning systems. They effectively take the mains and regenerate it having taken out all the noise. We will have the following products available for demonstration:

  • IsoTek EVO3 Genesis One - Designed for single front end components. Multiple Genesis ones can be used from a single mains outlet. £1495
  • IsoTek EVO3 Mosaic - Designed for system use offering three medium power outlets and two high power outlets. £5995

Prize Draw

We will put the names of all attendees into a prize draw giving you the opportunity of winning an IsoTek EVO3 Premier mains cable worth £99.95. The draw will be made at the end of the event day on Saturday.

This is a great opportunity to hear how much you can improve the sound quality of your system and an affordable and worthwhile Hi-Fi upgrade.

Refreshments and snacks will be served over two days and of course we will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. 

We look forward to seeing you. Jon, Dom and Paddy.

Come And Hear The New Cable Ranges From The Chord Company

Join us on Friday 30th September (12 noon - 5pm) and Saturday 1st October (10am - 4pm) at Audio T Oxford, when we will be running a music event featuring the new cable ranges from The Chord Company.

The Chord Company has been designing and producing cables for Hi-Fi and home cinema systems since 1985. Recently The Chord Company completely restructured its cable line-up, with new ranges, new additions and a simplified grouping system.

The Chord Company’s product portfolio now comprises seven distinct ranges, from the entry-level C-series, to the flagship, ChordMusic cables. The new ranges make it easy to discern between price points and performance levels and offers consumers a high-quality Chord cabling solution, regardless of budget.

So come and join us to take a trip through the new Chord Company cable ranges and see how this most cost-effective of upgrades can work wonders with your system.

We will be demonstrating new Interconnects, speaker cables, power leads and digital audio cables (coax & ethernet) from the C-Line range through to the Signature Range.

This is a great opportunity to hear how much you can improve the sound quality of your system in a friendly and informal way. It really is one of the most cost effective upgrades you can make to improve the sound quality of your Hi-Fi system that will have you rediscovering your entire music collection. Refreshments and snacks will be served. Over the two day event we will be more than happy to answer any questions you have and also you will be able to borrow the cables to try at home in your own system. There will be exclusive special offers for attendees in over the two days.

We look forward to seeing you....Jon, Dom and Paddy.