Winter Sale Now On! Christmas Hi-Fi Stocking Fillers from Arcam, KEF, Rega, Bowers & Wilkins

If you are finding it hard to find to that perfect gift or stocking filler, DON'T PANIC, here at Audio T Preston, we can help with a few ideas for any Hi-Fi or music lover in your life.

WINTER SALE NOW ON!

First up we have the Arcam mini-Blink at just £99 this is a great stocking filler that will fit into any amplifier and let’s you Bluetooth sound from your phone/laptop or tablet.

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Very easy to set up and use, this Bluetooth DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) sounds so much better than connecting through the headphone output even when using a good quality cable, more output and much more dynamic.

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The Arcam mini-Blink comes with all the cables and power supply included, so you can be up and streaming in no time. We recommend downloading the Tunein radio app via the Apple app store or Android Playstore, to give you access to internet radio.

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Keeping it Bluetooth we have the KEF Muo portable speaker.

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At just 21cm wide and 0.94kg this little rechargeable speaker, packs a punch and is perfect for the listener who is on the move.

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The Muo has a battery life of up to 12 hours when fully charged (3hours charging time) and 10m Bluetooth range.

 Available in gold/silver/blue and grey at £150 it's a great option.

Available in gold/silver/blue and grey at £150 it's a great option.

It's been another great year for turntables with sales overtaking CD players again, a great place to start is the Rega Planar 1 at just £249.

 NOT SUPPLIED WITH PINK VINYL.

NOT SUPPLIED WITH PINK VINYL.

This is a great plug and play record player is easy to set up and it can be up and running in no time, the only thing to check is to make sure your amplifier has a designated phono stage.

 NOT SUPPLIED WITH PINK VINYL.

NOT SUPPLIED WITH PINK VINYL.

If you don’t have a phone stage, fear not! The Rega P1 Plus has one built in and all you need to do is connect it to any line level input on your amplifier.

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Both available in black or white.

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If your looking to make that daily commute a little more enjoyable we have the award winning Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones.

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These noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones even have their own app to perform updates and settings to match your environment, they are a closed back design so do not leak out sound and annoy your fellow commuters.

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With a 22 hour battery life they are perfect for that long haul flight and can be wired, just don't forget the adaptor.

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The PX's can be folded up for easy transporting and are supplied with a carry bag/usb charging cable & 3.5mm wired cable.

 Available in black or soft gold.

Available in black or soft gold.

These are just a few suggestions, please call in and we will be happy to chat about other options that would make a perfect gift, especially as our Winter Sale has just started!

On a different note (no pun intended ed) a big thank you to all who attended our Classic album evening on 20th November. Having not done one in a long time it was great to see a few familiar faces...and a few new ones too. Thanks for coming along and supporting the event.

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We look forward to seeing you all over the festive period.

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Have a great Christmas and New Year!

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Ian and Gavin.

Rip, Serve and Play - The New Innuos Zen Mini MK3 Music Server Has Arrived At Audio T Swindon

Innuos, a company that was founded in 2009, offer an easy solution to store your CD collection to its internal hard drive. This can be done by either ripping your CD’s or importing an existing music library via USB. Internal disk storage is available from 1TB up to 8TB.

We were really impressed by the previous model and this new Innuos Zen Mini MK3 is even better.

 Innuos Zen Mini MK3 Music Server

Innuos Zen Mini MK3 Music Server

 Innuos Zen Mini MK3

Innuos Zen Mini MK3

The new Zen Mini MK3 now features analogue and two digital outputs (coaxial & optical) so it can be directly connected to an amplifier. Another option is to connect the server to a USB DAC via one of the four USB sockets - Nice. A second low-noise Ethernet socket to which one can directly connect a third party Roon Ready / UPNP music streamer.

Set-Up and Connecting it:

We connected our Zen Mini MK3 via an Ethernet cable to our network, applied power to it and switched it on. It was found on the network within seconds.

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Once switched on you will see a menu bar and we go straight to settings.

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In there, we set the ripping file format to either WAV or FLAC and left the ripping speed set to Quick Mode (and it is quick!) - That’s it We are ready to rip our first CD.

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Not long and the correct artwork and information has been found and the Zen Mini MK3 starts ripping the first CD.

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Very useful: Missing artwork and CD information can be added or edited if necessary.

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As mentioned before existing music libraries can be imported .

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For those who have a have a Tidal, Qobuz or a Spotify account, just add your log-in details and the services will be available via the control app.

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All in all, the new Innuos Zen Mini MK3 sounds great and is easy to use.

Please get in touch with us here in the shop and we will be happy to give you a demonstration.

Thanks for reading. Stefan & Andy Audio T Swindon

Innuos products are available from the following branches of Audio T

Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon and our Online Store

Lagom & Hygge From Sweden Introducing Primare Prisma

Lagom (“lah-goam”) = Everything in perfect balance. Hygge (“heu-gah”) = The highest expression of living. The deep satisfaction of time well spent.

Two words that permeate through everything that Swedish company Primare make and do. Something that we can well appreciate and understand now that we are the proud sellers of all things Lagom and Hygge!

There is a sense of perfect balance and satisfaction that comes together very neatly in Primare’s new I35 integrated amplifier. As part of the Prisma range the I35 is the latest version of their iconic 30 series integrated amplifiers and is the first one to feature their brand new all analogue Class D amplifier technology, what they call UFPD2. Primare boast that this new power platform fully exploits the potential of Class D amplification.

A big boast. Can they back it up with action!?

According to the official blurb (I love that word) The I35 amplifier can deliver 150 watts at 8 ohms across the entire audible bandwidth and to see (or hear) how this equates into sound quality in the real world we decided to pair it up with the rather brilliant Martin Logan Electromotion X electrostatic loudspeakers and see what occurs!

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Now, because the I35 is available in three versions…….

  1. Basic amp with no extras

  2. Amp with rather nice DAC built in

  3. Amp with DAC and Streamer module…….. and we have the third option we can stream as much as we like!!

So first up from Tidal was the totally amazing thing that is the album Khmer by Nils Petter Molvaer on the ECM record label. This is an album that is amazingly well recorded with an especially juicy bass sound. A great one for demo use and for putting speakers through their paces.

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As a pairing this combination of amp and speakers possessed that holy grail of hi-fi systems in the way it totally brought the music to life. The sound is fast, clean and agile. Soundstaging was wide and deep. The Primare i35 allowing the Electrostatics to deliver an un-coloured window into the music.

Next through the streamy bit on the Primare was the new helping of Prog Rock genius that is Roine Stolt’s new album called Manifesto of an Alchemist.

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Again the Primare showed an ability to be both viscerally exciting and revealing in detail way beyond its price! This is one of those really magical amplifiers that should prove once and for all that Class D really can offer quality and affordability and make you think, do I really need to spend more? It is a fantastic amplifier, a very good DAC and a more than decent streamer! I can honestly say that I have not had this much fun with an amplifier since the days of chrome bumper Naim gear……remember them!!

Prisma provides multi room/multi zone connectivity and control for playback of stored and streamed media. Wired or wireless all managed from any mobile device through a dedicated control app. In addition to Bluetooth, Airplay and Spotify Connect Prisma features Chromecast built in a unique streaming portal allowing effortless direct connection to literally hundreds of streaming applications.

There is also a well nifty matching CD35 CD player should you want to add one to the system …..perhaps more on this at a later blog!!

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All of these Primare products be auditioned at the Cheltenham branch! We hope to see you soon - Jon, Farid & Andy

Primare Hi-Fi is available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Bristol, Cheltenham, Manchester

Deck Your Halls With The Sound Of Vinyl

Here at Audio T Cardiff we have come up with six excellent value turntables for you to consider for Christmas. A great gift to give for a music loving loved one or to give yourself a treat. We have picked these as we believe at their respective price points, they offer tremendous value and more importantly superb sound!

 Project Primary Turntable

Project Primary Turntable

First on the list is the Pro-ject “Primary” A simple plug and play unit that is simple to use. Very little set up is needed, you simply place the platter on the spindle, fit the belt, connect it to your amplfier or phono stage, power it up and away you go.

 Rega Planar 1

Rega Planar 1

Second on our list is the “Rega Planar 1”. Again like the Pro-ject above it has the same kind of set-up and will having you listening to your vinyl in no time

 Project Debut carbon

Project Debut carbon

In third place we have the Project “Debut Carbon”. This is one of our best selling turntables. Fitted with the superb Ortofon 2M Red cartridge a carbon fibre tone arm and a heavy steel platter, it gives the best possible performance for the money. This is also the first turntable on our list that is upgradeable. You can swap the felt mat for a cork one, upgrade the stylus to a 2M Blue or even swap the steel platter for an acrylic one.

 Rega Planar 3

Rega Planar 3

The fourth on our list is the iconic Rega Planar 3. The Planar 3 has been around for many years over which it has been steadily improved. With its distinctive glass platter and a superb tonearm that is compatible with many different cartridges both MM (moving magnet) and MC (moving coil), this is indeed a very versatile record deck. It can be supplied without cartridge or as a package with the Elys 2 with considerable saving on the price.

 Project Classic Super Pack

Project Classic Super Pack

In fifth place we have the Project “Classic Super Pack”. Similar in looks to the Linn LP12 or the old Thorens TD160 this record player uses a high quality tonearm a damped heavy steel platter and a very clever sorbothane suspension to eliminate vibrations. Now adding electronic speed selector and fitted with an Ortofon Quintet Red cartridge this deck will give you many years of happy listening. This turntable is also supplied with a leather mat and record clamp.

 rega planar 8

rega planar 8

In sixth place we have a new kid in town, the stunning Rega Planar 8. Stunning in looks and performance this deck truly deserves all the accolades bestowed on it so far. It has an electronic speed box that is fine tuned and matched to every individual unit. Fitted with the Apheta 2 cartridge this turntable sounds sublime. Certainly the best we have heard for the price for a long while. However just don’t take our word for it, pop in and have a listen. Bring along your favourite vinyl records and pick the turntable that suits you best!

Pro-ject turntables are also available at the following branches of Audio T:

Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Swansea, Swindon

Rega is available at all branches of Audio T.

The All New KEF R7 Speakers Available At Audio T Preston

The original KEF R Series was a very highly regarded speaker range and was popular with both Hi-Fi and Home Cinema enthusiasts alike. For over 5 years each model in the range earned itself many awards and 5 star reviews.

Back in September KEF relaunched and proudly presented the new R Series speaker range promising that they would be even better.

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We've been taking a closer look at the KEF R7 floorstanding speakers to see what has changed.

Well as it turns out they've changed quite a lot. The new KEF R Series has been completely re-engineered from the ground up, with 1,043 changes undertaken during the design process, all done to further improve upon the performance, build and finish of original R Series speaker range.

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The R7 is the mid-sized floor standing member of the new R Series. Featuring two 165mm (6.5 in.) hybrid aluminium bass drivers and a Uni-Q combining a 125mm (5 in.) mid-range driver and 25mm (1 in.) aluminium dome tweeter, R7 outperforms all expectations. Equally at home with music and film, R7 proves to be just as flexible as the rest of the R Series range. Placing the tweeter in the acoustic centre of the midrange cone brings the acoustic ideal of a single point source closer to realisation. The new R Series benefits from a new 12th generation of the legendary Uni-Q driver array.

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The new R Series also utilises a new internal bracing system called Constrained Layer Damping originally developed for the LS50.

We unboxed the R7's and immediately put them to work on a Naim Uniti Nova, we then left them playing all day and overnight to help them run in a little. By the time we could sit down for a listen they had been playing for over 48 hours and boy was it worth the wait. The audio separation and imaging they produce is superb and has plenty depth and space. We found the R7's to be both gentle and subtle when required but also commanding and authoritative when the music demands it. So if you are listening to the sweet voice of Agnes Obel or getting a bit heavier with the likes of Muse or The Prodigy, the R7's will hold your attention for many hours.

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Also in the new R Series range and available for a demonstration we have R3 and the R5. Or if you are thinking of putting together a stonking home cinema system we have the R2C Centre channel and the R8A Dolby Atmos speakers.

Book your demonstration with us today on 01772 883958, you wont be disappointed.

KEF Loudspeakers are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon

Chromey Takes A Trip Along The i35 With Primare.

For those of you that may already know of the Swedish Hi-Fi manufacturer Primare, you will know that they have been around for over thirty years and have produced some of the best looking Hi-Fi to come out of the Scandinavia.

So when we got introduced to the new i35 integrated streamer amplifier from Primare, it wasn't a surprise to see a stunning looking piece of Hi-Fi. The only question was, will it sound as good as it looks.

So without further ado, here it is and it doesn’t disappoint…

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Interestingly our favourite bespoke men’s clothing retailer also stock one of the best Swedish tie and shirt designers in Sweden, Eton. So, for our blog we needed some pictures and we thought why not take the photographs over at Doherty Evans & Stott and keep the Swedish theme going.

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Right then, to the sound quality, 150 watts into 8 Ohms of class D amplification, delivered through ultra-short signal paths. Primare have built their theories into metal and circuity, utilising ultra-short signal paths thus reducing the signal to noise ratio, lowering the noise floor and giving way to cleaner sounding musica. So the result is an impressive open sound that doesn’t disappoint.

To give you an example, we have the i35 running on the our ground floor at Manchester store. A gentleman popped in and asked to listen to the Naim CD5si CD player. Our demonstration room was busy upstairs, so we connected it to the Primare i35 on the shop floor, which was driving a pair of Dynaudio Contour 60’s. The results were stunning, we played Solid Air from John Martyn via the standard RCA output from the CD5si into one of the analogue inputs on the i35. All we can say is that as a regular Hi-Fi amplifier with analogue inputs the i35 is more than capable of holding its own against other £3k+ amplifiers. (and the customer purchased the CD player!).

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But that’s not all, remember the Primare i35 is also a very capable network streamer and DAC, and as good as it is with the RCA inputs it’s even better with its digital streaming duties. Using the slick looking Prisma app we directed the i35 to our ever-burgeoning collection of hi-res music files and pow!!. The i35 takes another leap forward in sound quality. With insane amounts of detail the Primare just plays music with aplomb.

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Around the back we have an array of inputs. Multiple optical and electrical co-axial inputs with USB. 2 balanced XLR analogue inputs for those high end sources. Throw in a few RCA inputs and outputs and even network LAN in and out and you have a full compliment of connections.

For those of with a keen eye you may have noticed the gold plated threads for attaching a Bluetooth and wireless aerials. (we didn’t have those connected in as we had our unit wired via an ethernet connection). So you can cast your music straight from an Apple or Android device, be it a tablet or PC or phone.

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Now, as we mentioned earlier, we took the photographs at Doherty Evans & Stott in order to snap a few shots with other products from Sweden. In this case beautifully crafted ties and shirts from Eton. And it looks like Chromey is keen on those lovely ties too, but at 43mm tall his only option is to tuck himself in…

…ah well. (bless him)

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  Primare have the finest selector switches, the impeccably polished chrome selector switch offers such a satisfying clunk as you change inputs, just oozing quality. “yes my selecta”

Primare have the finest selector switches, the impeccably polished chrome selector switch offers such a satisfying clunk as you change inputs, just oozing quality. “yes my selecta”

 Everything in this picture is designed in Sweden, the shirt, the ties, the Primare i35. However, Chromey was hewn out of solid steel somewhere in the Empire.

Everything in this picture is designed in Sweden, the shirt, the ties, the Primare i35. However, Chromey was hewn out of solid steel somewhere in the Empire.

 The Prisma app running on our Ipad.

The Prisma app running on our Ipad.

 The front display on the Primare i35.

The front display on the Primare i35.

Right then, that just about covers it. The rest is up to you, does the Primare i35 streaming amplifier tickle your fancy? If it does, why don’t you arrange for Audio T Manchester to demonstrate it to you.

Our demo model is up and running on the shop floor at the moment.

Munir, Dave, Simon, Mike and Haden are waiting on standby and ready to help!.

Primare Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Bristol, Cheltenham, Manchester

Brentwood Comes Of Age 21st Birthday Week & B&W 800 Event

It’s hard to believe but the store is 21 years old in a couple of weeks. In that time we’ve seen brands and formats come and go but in all that time our core beliefs have remained the same; by offering home audio and visual equipment, that will give people the maximum enjoyment and pleasure from listening to their music or watching films.

So to celebrate turning 21, and to show off our newly decorated store, we’re going to have a birthday week celebration!

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The main event will be on Thursday the 29th with Bowers and Wilkins and Chord Electronics.

We will be showing off the 800 series speakers, which have recently arrived in the store plus some goodies from Chord Electronics for source and amplification. There will be food and drink supplied and music to suit all tastes.

For the rest of the week we’ll be happy to see you, give you a cuppa and maybe even a slice of birthday cake! Ask us about our special Birthday Offers and fill in an entry form in our FREE prize draw.

1st prize - A personal guided tour of the B&W 800 production facility - Priceless!

2nd prize - B&W P5 wireless headphones worth £229.

3rd prize - B&W umbrella

Four 4th prizes - of Audio T record bags worth £49

Book your tickets for the Thursday event here

There’s no charge, but it helps us predict the space and catering requirements!

 No Boswell is NOT a prize!

No Boswell is NOT a prize!

So there you have it, 21 years is a long time but we hope to be going for many more.

Come in and say hi and help celebrate with us.

Paul, Francis, Jason and Boswell - Audio T Brentwood

New Rega Planar 8 Record Player At Audio T Brighton

We enjoyed hosting our Rega Planar 8 launch and Diverse Vinyl ‘pop up shop’ on Saturday 3rd November, as it gave us and a good number of customers the first opportunity to experience just how good the new Planar 8 is.

 Planar 8 with Neo power supply.

Planar 8 with Neo power supply.

The rather beautifully formed new Planar 8 was inspired by the ultimate Rega turntable, the Naiad. The 8 is full of innovation and clever solutions to engineering issues, with improvements over its predecessor in many areas.

 The skeletal Planar 8 excluding felt mat and acrylic cover.

The skeletal Planar 8 excluding felt mat and acrylic cover.

It can be chosen without a cartridge or configured with Ania MC or Apheta 2 MC with a price advantage. The Planar 8 inc Apheta provides a very fine performance for the price and is likely to prove very popular, with the Planar 8 inc Ania also punching well above its weight.

At our launch event, we had two Planar 8’s with the cartridge options on demonstration and it was interesting that everyone could clearly hear a substantial difference. We have of course chosen to keep the Apheta 2 version as our demonstrator, so come along with a few records and give it a good listen. So, if you haven’t yet had the chance to hear it, we think you will like it!

 The exciting box opening…

The exciting box opening…

Join us at Audio T Brighton

Rega products are available are available from all branches of Audio T.

New Rega Planar 8 Turntable And Aria Version 2 Phono Stage Available At Audio T Swindon

The new Rega Planar 8 turntable and the Aria Version2 MM/MC phono stage have arrived here with us and we can’t wait to have a listen to them!

The Rega Planar 8 is the newest member of Rega’s turntable range and it is available without a fitted cartridge or with two factory-fitted cartridge options (with Ania or Apheta2).

Let’s take a closer look at the Planar 8.

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 A deconstructed Rega Planar 8

A deconstructed Rega Planar 8

The ultra lightweight plinth (Tancast 8 polyurethane foam - a material developed for the aerospace industry) with a double brace mounted between the tonearm and main hub bearing. It prevents energy absorption and unwanted resonance.

 Planar 8 plinth and new RB880 tonearm

Planar 8 plinth and new RB880 tonearm

 Rega Planar 8

Rega Planar 8

The super flywheel effect triple layer glass platter

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The Planar 8 is powered by the supplied Neo PSU . It offers a smooth power supply and electronic speed adjustment.

 NEO PSU

NEO PSU

 NEO PSU (Rear)

NEO PSU (Rear)

Our demonstration Planar 8 with the factory fitted Apheta 2 moving-coil cartridge.

 Rega Apheta 2 cartridge

Rega Apheta 2 cartridge

But there is one more thing!

What about a lid/cover? No problem. There is a nice lid in the box.

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Before we connect it up to our system, we have a look at the Rega Aria phono stage. This is the newer version that matches the design of the Rega Apollo-R CD player and Brio-R integrated amplifier.

The Aria has two entirely separate high performance phono stages, a fully adjustable moving coil and a moving magnet stage. Each stage has its own input sockets and input pre-amplifier circuitry.

The MC input allows to select resistive input loading of 70 ohms to 400ohms and capacitive loading of 1000pF to 4200pF. The input sensitivity can be changed by 6dB.

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 Rega Aria Phono Stage

Rega Aria Phono Stage

With both , the Planar 8 and the Aria, connected to the award winning Rega Elicit-R amplifier and a pair of Spendor A4 floor standing speakers we started listening to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memory.

Straight out of the box, the Planar 8 turntable sounds fantastic. The detail and rhythm are amazing, there is groove and it makes you want to listen to more vinyl.

Next on the list is Nirvana’s Album Unplugged in New York. I watched this concert live on MTV many years ago and listening to it on the Rega Planar 8 brings back memories. Voices and instruments stand out into the room with so much depth and space around them. Fantastic!

 Planar 8, Aria, Elicit-R, Neo PSU

Planar 8, Aria, Elicit-R, Neo PSU

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Come in and have a listen and bring some of your favorite records. We will provide tea and coffee. Thanks for reading Stefan & Andy - Audio T Swindon

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

Audio T Bristol Welcomes Primare Prisma Range

Primare have been making quality Hi-Fi for over 30 years and their equipment is incredibly well engineered which isn’t just for appearance as it sounds great. The move to streaming has not passed the guys at Primare  by. Their streaming system, called Prisma, is a very capable media solution offering Airplay, Bluetooth, Spotify and Chromecast built in. This allows a seamless solution for all your streaming and multi-room needs.

Primare i35 Range

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The Primare i35 streaming amplifier is a cleverly thought out piece of audio engineering. It’s modular design means it can function in any which way you want. So you could buy it as a standard Hi-Fi amplifier which provides ample power, 150w per channel, just add the matching high quality Primare CD 35 CD player. If you already have a streamer you can buy the amp with a card installed for high quality digital playback. If you don’t have a streamer all is not lost as you can buy the i35 with the previously mentioned Prisma solution. If you have an amplifier and need a CD player but you also want to delve into the world of streaming you can buy the i35 CD with Prisma and away you go. I think Primare have all combinations covered here.

Primare i15 Range

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The Primare i15 amplifier and DD15 CD player s is similar to the i35 range but in a small package. The amplifier is only available with prisma installed so you could buy that for a complete streaming solution or as part of a muiti-room system. It will drive most speakers with its 60 watts per channel output. If you need CD playback there is a matching CD transport and if you just need a CD player come streamer then it is available with Prisma built in.

We have tried all the above with different speaker combinations and genres of music. We think they perform admirably in terms of the sound they produce and functionality they offer. The streaming side of things is a pleasure to use, which means you can simply get on with listening to music.

As always we say don’t take our word for how good the Primare is, come along and have a listen and judge for yourself. Martin, Max and James - Audio T Bristol.

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

Bristol, Cheltenham, Manchester