We Get up Close and Personal With Bowers & Wilkins 805 D3, Stand Mount Loudspeaker

The Bowers and Wilkins 800 series has always been a leading light in high end speaker manufacture. In this month’s blog we thought we would whet your appetite for a high quality stand mount loudspeaker and take a closer look at entry point of their flagship 800 series, the B&W 805D3.

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Let’s get stuck into the nitty gritty of what makes these small but impressive stand mount speakers sing! As the world’s only diamond equipped stand mount loudspeaker the 805D3 is packed with cutting-edge technology. The 2 way vented box design delivers phenomenal performance. The diamond dome tweeter is encased in a solid aluminium body and just like the predecessors to the 805D3 it has that unmistakable look with the tweeter separated and situated on top of the cabinet. This separates it from the main cabinet allowing for a spacious and lifelike reproduction of the music.

Diamond Dome Tweeter

Diamond Dome Tweeter

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The B&W 805D3 diamond dome tweeter is now complimented by the new Continuum cone bass midrange driver. Eight years down the line of research and we have a progression, or a “continuation” of the well known yellow woven Kevlar drive unit found in the older 800 diamond series. The new Continuum cone delivers a pristine midrange and bass performance and the new technology has been designed to eliminate the break up behaviour that can really affect the response in this part of the frequency spectrum. We would like to elaborate more on the continuum technology but B&W are keeping their cards close to their chest on this one.

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The revised cabinet for these small but impressive loudspeakers are described as a metal-reinforced Matrix. This structure provides incredible internal bracing ensuring that the sound we hear is produced by the drivers and not influenced by the cabinet. The cabinet construction consists of layers of wood ply with metal reinforcement. This construction teamed with the curve of the cabinet makes for an incredibly rigid platform for the bass midrange driver to operate. The 805D3 cabinets are available in three finishes, gloss black, satin white and rosenut, which are featured in these pictures.

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What do they sound like I hear you cry! Well, we have been getting to grips with the 805D3 since they arrived at Audio T Cardiff this summer. They definitely need a good amplifier to keep control of them. The combinations we most like is on the end of a Naim NAP300DR which offers plenty of grunt and a smooth but upfront presentation. However, the NAP250DR and NAP200DR have what it takes to keep them under control.  The midrange frequency performance is stunning and you can kick back and listen to these loudspeakers all day long.  At this level of speaker things can sometimes sound too clinical and the detailed presentation can lack musicality. The 805D3 does not have this problem. The mid range and treble performance is spatial, transparent and full of the accurate details we have come to expect from Bowers and Wilkins 800 diamond series.

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Team the B&W 805D3 up with the FS-805 stand and you have the basis for a world leading stand mount loudspeaker. You have probably seen the recent release of the new Naim UNITI range, such as the ATOM, STAR and NOVA. Well, a demonstration of any of these streaming amplifiers is a must with the 805D3 before making your final decision on what to partner them with.

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In their own words, "B&W have been dedicated to helping listeners get closer to the music they love for 51 years." All of the 800D3 series are designed and hand built in the Bowers & Wilkins factory in Worthing in the UK. Bowers & Wilkins have kindly invited us to their factory in January 2018 so we can bring you first hand information on the design and manufacture of the 800D3 series.

We will be showcasing the 800D3 range at an event in Cardiff in early 2018, so keep your ear to our blog for details of the date and location for this event.

Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers are available at the following branches of Audio T: 
Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea and Swindon. Bowers & Wilkins 800D3 series are only available from Audio T Cardiff.

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Series Stand Mount Speaker Stunners!

When B&W announced that they were replacing their popular and classy CM range, we were pleased and intrigued as to how they would develop an already successful product.

B&W 705 S2

B&W 705 S2

The more expensive CM models had the tweeter placed in a discrete housing on top of the cabinet, decoupling it from the main enclosure. This looks a bit odd, but has the happy effect of providing a much more open and airy soundstage by placing instruments firmly in a solid stereo image. This is direct trickle down technology from the imperious and top of the range B&W 800 Series. Curiously, we found them more difficult to drive than the non-discrete enclosure versions that required much more capable amplification. However the demanded increase in amplification (and source) quality was always rewarded well. 

Tweeter without the Monkey Man

Tweeter without the Monkey Man

The Bowers & Wilkins 700 range has strong echoes of this former glory, in that the top of the range floorstander the B&W 702 and standmount B&W 705 (picutred) have an advanced version of the trick tweeter housing on top of the cabinet, plus a whole host of developments, not the least of which is the ‘Carbon’ tweeter itself. Colour choice remains the same at Satin White, Gloss Black and a very handsome Rosenut.

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With the need for quality amplification in mind, we thought we’d set Naim’s £2k Uniti Atom one-box media player/amp the job of driving our 705s. We were very pleasantly surprised. The music sprang rich, solid, full and remarkably clean from the speakers, with a much bigger soundstage than we were expecting. A bit easier to drive than the outgoing model, so it appears, plus sweeter sounding and better timing. Insightful with instruments and vocals locked in space, lets acoustic music wash over and melt you into the sofa. If you’re in the mood for something more aggressive, you’ll be leaping about the lounge like a crazy lounge leaping thing! They're a lot of fun too.

Would I have these in my home? Yes. In white please Father Christmas.

Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers are available in the following branches of Audio T: shops, BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwansea and Swindon. Bowers & Wilkins 800D3 series are only available from Audio T Cardiff.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas at Audio T Preston

It's that time of year again when stress levels start to rise and we have to juggle our already busy lives with even more shopping. We are of course talking about the dreaded Christmas shopping and all that it entails. Who gets this, who gets that etc and did we remember Auntie Mildred?

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But fear not as we at Audio T Preston have a few stocking filler suggestions for those of you who have loved ones who love vinyl.

A jealously guarded sanctuary to some and a mystery to others, the humble turntable or “record player” or 'record deck' as it is often called, has risen in prominence again and is once more a core feature in any respectable Hi-Fi system. No matter whether you are the proud owner of one of these disc spinning lovelies or know someone who is, we have got a whole load of great gift ideas to make the whole experience even more enjoyable.

The tonar Dustaway brush is a great little accessory for cleaning the the surface of your records and removing unwanted dust before playback. With soft carbon fibre brushes and a velvet pad it's a steal at only £17.

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Another great vinyl cleaner is the new Project Vinyl Clean putty. A green gelatinous substance (think 80's slime) that you roll around the surface of the record as it picks up all the nasties and removes static. It can also be used to clean the stylus and for only £10.95 it would be rude not to.

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For a deeper clean give your older records a good bath with the Knosti disco-antistat cleaner. £50

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For the ultimate clean you could use the very effective Pro-ject VCS Vinyl Cleaning System. which will bring your old records back to life! Don't take our word for it. Why not bring a few of your older records and test its effectiveness for yourself.

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Weight for it!
One of the most important factors in any turntable is getting the correct balance in the tonearm so as to provide the right amount of downforce for the cartridge. Most decent turntables give you the ability to do this in their setup but if you want to be super accurate you'll need one of these.

The mighty Rega Atlas, a digital weighing scale, which will tell you exactly how much downforce is being applied to your stylus.

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Also for you consideration is the Pro-Ject Measure It Digital Stylus Force Gauge.

Can you hear me Mother?
If you are buying a turntable to give to someone this Christmas then make sure that they will be able to use it on the big day. You need to know if they have an input labelled “Phono” on the hi-fi / amplifier / sound system. If not then you will probably benefit from one of these:

The Project Phono Box MM is a phono pre-amplifier that boosts the signal from a turntable and makes it suitable to play on any other analogue line input. 

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The Rega Fono A2D does the same job and also features a USB output so you can record any of your records onto your PC or Laptop.

These are just the entry level phono stages, we do carry a much wider range is store for newcomers or veterans who have more advanced record player based Hi-Fi systems.

We hope to see you in store before the big day, but if we if we don't we hope you have a great Christmas

Ian, Gavin & Andy

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

Rega Hi-Fi products are available from all branches of Audio T.

Naim Uniti Atom and Bowers & Wilkins 707 Combine For Sublime Sound

We have partnered two of the most respected brands in Hi-Fi together to create a fantastic sounding Hi-Fi system for under £3,000. We have paired the extremely well reviewed Naim Uniti Atom £1,999 all in one music streamer with the new released compact B&W 707 speakers £799.

B&W 707 in Rosenut

B&W 707 in Rosenut

The Naim Uniti Atom is a compact, stylish, music streaming system in a single box. Amongst its features are UPNP streaming, Internet Radio, Spotify, Tidal and Chromecast, combined with a high quality amplifier, make it a remarkable sounding and versatile piece of hi-fi. 

Naim Uniti Atom

Naim Uniti Atom

The B&W 707 standmount speakers are the smallest speakers in Bowers & Wilkins new 700 series range that recently replaced the popular CM range. The new 700 series employs trickle down technology from their flagship 800 series. They come in 3 attractive finishes, real wood rosenut veneer, gloss black and satin white. The range counts down to the biggest 702 model (£3299) which along with the 705 (£1799) have the distinctive tweeter on top, separated from the main cabinet.

B&W 702 in gloss black

B&W 702 in gloss black

When paired together the two make a very compact and capable music system, with a big presence. The combination offers plenty of insight into the music and a surprising amount of bass weight, and should work very well in a small or medium sized room.

Naim Atom and B&W 707 system

Naim Atom and B&W 707 system

We have this set up on demonstration at Audio T Portsmouth, so why not pop in for a warm beverage and have a listen in our comfortable demonstration room.

Thanks for reading, Nick, Joe and James and we hope to see you in store soon.

Bowers & Wilkins Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

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

Bowers & Wilkins Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones PX Have Arrived

Bowers & Wilkins have launched a brand new pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones, called the PX. They are available in a space grey and a soft gold finish.

B&W PX

B&W PX

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What's in the box? The Bowers & Wilkins PX come shipped with a nice case, a usb-cable for charging and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable so you can use them wired to your phone or tablet, just in case you run out of battery power. The 40mm full-range drivers are angled inwards for better sound performance and are hidden under the magnetic ear pads.

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We charged them out of the box and not long after we are able to have a good listen. They are very light, comfortable and sound amazing.  

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We paired the B&W PX via Bluetooth to an Android phone and later to an Apple iPad and it paired within seconds. Music from Tidal HiFi, a music streaming service, was the first we tried and wow, the PX’s soundstage is big and open and they can go fairly loud without any hint of distortion. 

Play "Till Tomorrow" of Yello's "Touch Yello" Album or "Hey Laura" of Gregory Porter's "Liquid Spirit" Album and you know what I mean. 

The built in proximity sensor called 'Wear Sensor', which stops playback as soon as one ear cap is lifted or when you take the headphones off. Put them back on and playback continues - it's a nice feature when someone wants to talk to you. This option can be switched on or off via the PX set up app if you prefer.

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How well does the noise cancelling work?

Bowers & Wilkins have designed an app  (Bowers & Wilkins Headphones) available for the Android Play Store and Apple App Store to set up the noise cancelling for the PX. Open the app, touch the volume + button on the PX's and you are ready to go.

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Now you see a button called environment filter, switch it on and this gives you the choice of 3 settings - Office, City, Flight and Voice Pass-through if you prefer to hear a bit more what is going on around you. 

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The noise cancelling works really well and it is up to you if you use it with music or just to cancel off the noise around you whilst on a long-haul flight and you want to close your eyes for a while.

All in all we are very impressed with the build and sound quality of these stunning Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones.

Please feel free to come in for a listen. 

Thank you very much for reading our blog and we hope to see you soon.

Stefan & Andy - Audio T Swindon  

Bowers & Wilkins Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:

BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

It's A Kind of Magic! Dynaudio’ Focus XD Active Speaker Listening Event At Audio T Oxford

Visit us at Audio T Oxford on Saturday 9th December (1100 - 1730) to hear the amazing Dynaudio Focus 60XD and 20XD Loudspeakers. We will also have a representative from Dynaudio to answer any questions you may have.

The Dynaudio’s Focus XD Active Speakers redefine the high-end loudspeaker and high-end audio system: The perfect combination of a high end loudspeakers and high performance digital amplification.

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The great benefit of active speakers is that the built-in amplifier helps streamline a system: you just connect source components (Record Player, CD Player, Streamer)  directly to the digital or analog inputs on the speakers and press play. Full 24/192 operation with the Focus XDs requires a digital cable connection from a source to one speaker, and a second cable run from that speaker’s digital output to the second speaker. Then you are up and running, it is as simple as that.

Another huge bonus, is they have settings for freestanding, wall and corner positions, using their advanced onboard Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to adjust the bass output accordingly or just to personal taste.

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We think they are absolutely stunning, and would love to show you the amazing performance and benefits of having such a speaker in your own Home system. 

Attendees have the chance to win two IsoTek Premier Mains Lead worth £230 and those that are interested in buying Dynaudio equipment can save 15% OFF on the day!

Refreshments and snacks will be provided and of course we will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. You can reserve your place here. We look forward to seeing you and enjoying your company and the music together. Jon, Dom and Paddy.

Dynaudio loudspeakers large and small are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolManchesterOxfordPortsmouthReadingSouthamptonSwindon

REL 212SE Sub Bass System Unboxing and Demonstration at the Manchester Store

REL acoustics based in Bridgend in Wales, are renowned for producing the worlds best sub bass systems for the most demanding stereo and multichannel Hi-Fi systems. Recently, they went beyond the call of duty by personally bringing a 212SE subwoofer and demonstrating it for a customer in our Manchester store.

A very big box contains the REL 212SE

A very big box contains the REL 212SE

Unboxing the REL took us the best part of best part of 10 minutes, we were impressed with the welcome pack you receive and it felt more akin to unboxing military equipment with just the flight case missing.

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Piano black finish is widely used in the Hi-Fi industry and varies from one manufacturer to the next. REL take considerable pride in their finishes and will go that extra mile to give them the edge over others. The 212SE simply looks stunning and the gloss black just looks deeper, akin to concours d'Elegance. 

Here comes the Mirror Man...

Here comes the Mirror Man...

REL use Australian MDF for the cabinet. Speaking to a representative from REL, he explained that it was because they have found it to be flatter and smoother and the quality much higher than other suppliers. 

Shiny happy people..

Shiny happy people..

The REL 212SE has two active 12inch drive units and a passive radiator keeps the design in a closed cabinet, meaning no restriction on where the REL can be positioned because of porting issues. The 3rd drive unit at the back of 212SE helps too.

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REL's demonstration really revealed another depth of music unheard by many stereo loudspeakers due to the physical limitation of their cabinets. Obviously bass is far more prominent with the REL, not in the sense that you automatically assume; bigger is better comes to mind, however this could not be further from the truth! Agility, depth and subtlety are all expanded within the soundstage. The REL 212 SE revealed ambiance which was lost in translation before introducing the 212SE.

Chromey bling bling badda bling!

Chromey bling bling badda bling!

Customer Film and Music Heaven

Customer Film and Music Heaven

And the end result is a triple sub set up using twin REL 212se's with a REL T7i enforcing the centre channel. All using REL longbow and Arrow wireless technology, which means no trailing cables.

The customer is over the moon.

REL subwoofers and sub bass systems are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Join The Queue And Hear the New KEF Q Series Speaker Range

Now in store is some of the new Q Series range from KEF. We have the new Q 150, Q 350, and Q 550 on display in the shop.

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With their sleek new looks and colour coordinated drive units these speakers really do look very smart indeed. KEF have improved all aspects of the design over the older Q Series (which was a very well received range in its own right.

KEF's famous Uni-Q driver has been improved again as has the bass unit giving a better performance-for-price than ever before.

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The sound is great too. The little Q 150 sounding like a younger brother to the famous LS50 with its small footprint it was pumping out Rag'n'Bone man like a floorstander!

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The Q 350 was put through its paces with some female vocals courtesy of Bjork and the detail clarity and precision was astounding, the soundstage is huge with these speakers.

Yes the driver is dark blue!

Yes the driver is dark blue!

For a relatively compact floorstander the Q 550 really does give that big room-filling sound, a little bit of classic Queen really made these speakers sing for their supper! We followed it with some Muse.......just to make sure, but they can also do delicacy, Sarah McLachlan's plaintive voice proved that they can.

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It seems safe to say KEF have come up with a winner in the new Q Series. They have all the hallmarks of the KEF Uni-Q designs with great dispersion and imagery, and great dynamic range and presence for their price points. They will work equally well in two channel stereo or multi-channel home cinema systems, so come and have a listen.

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On the subject of KEF we also have the magnificent Blade 2 speakers here for a short time so grab the chance to have a listen while you can!!

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You can contact us to arrange a demonstration or just pop in for a listen at Audio T Brentwood.

Thanks for reading. Paul, Jason and Francis.

KEF Loudspeakers are also available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterOnlinePortsmouthPrestonSouthampton,
SwanseaSwindon

Linn Sondek LP12 Turntable Open Day At Audio T Brighton this Saturday 18th November

Join us between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm to explore the range of performance available from the legendary Linn Sondek LP12. We will have on demonstration the 3 main variants of this classic design; Klimax, Akurate and Majik.

First introduced over 40 years ago, it has been refined and developed and being a modular design, older LP12's can be upgraded with improved modern parts, including the motor and power supply, sub chassis, tonearm and cartridge, etc.

You are welcome to bring along your own LP12 for upgrading assessment, and to compare with the demonstration LP12's. Bring along some favourite records too.

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Majik LP12 the first step on the LP12 ladder

Akurate LP12 external power supply, upgraded sub - chassis tonearm and cartridge

Klimax LP12 fully loaded LP12 with all the top upgrades.

Please call 01273 609431 to book a time.

We look forward to seeing you and talking Linn LP12 turntables!

Julian, Paul and John

Linn LP12 turntables are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolManchester

IsoTek Performance Upgrades Event 17th & 18th November At Audio T Swindon

Visit us at Audio T Swindon on Friday the 17th  (12pm - 5:30pm) and Saturday 18th (10am - 5:30pm) and come and hear for yourself how the benefits of mains conditioning in conjunction with IsoTek can give you more enjoyment from your music.

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.

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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:

The  Evo3 Initium , Premier, Elite and Optimum mains cables

The IsoTek Aquarius and Sigmas mains conditioners, plus the new Genesis One and Mosaic mains regeneration units.

Evo3 Initium Mains Cable

Evo3 Initium Mains Cable

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.

Regenerators:
These are state of the art hybrid power cleaning systems. They effectively take the mains and regenerate it having taken out all the noise.

Prize Draw
We will put the names of all attendees into a prize draw giving you the opportunity of winning 3 Isotek Evo3 Premier 1.5m with a value of each £115. 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. To book your place on Friday, click here, to book your place on Saturday click here

Exclusive offers available for attendees on the day.

We look forward to seeing you.

Stefan and Andy