Denon DM41 - An Introduction To Hi-Fi & A Fully Featured Alternative To A Soundbar.

While Denon's DM41 has been around for a little while now, it remains as popular as ever and is the latest iteration in long line of Award winning compact Hi-Fi products from Denon.

DM+41+front.jpg

Offering a wealth of features and connectivity, coupled with strong amplification and tucked in a box no larger than the footprint of a A4 piece of paper, the DM41 is perfect if space is at a premium. But it most beguiling feature is it’s capacity to offer a genuine taste of sonic benefits, and the enjoyment to be had, from a separate’s Hi-Fi system; it's a fantastic way to start your Hi-Fi journey.

Denon has been at the right at the forefront of Award-winning compact, one-box solutions for a good 20 years and while FM radio, DAB and CD have always been the mainstay of Denon's previous iterations, consistent improvements and refinements have lead to today's DM41, which now offers a much wider range of facilities. An additional feature for this model is the inclusion of a Bluetooth receiver module, ideal for straight-forward streaming of music from a phone, tablet or laptop. And if wish add a turntable, a single set of RCA’s connections will do the job perfectly, and what’s more, if your turntable has a built in phono-stage, these is no need for any further investment, just settle down and enjoy your vinyl.

The Denon DM41 also offers a neat little solution for enhancing your TV sound, in glorious 2.1, that will offer clarity and dynamics that just can't get from the vast majority of TV speakers. Small enough to slot easily into most TV stands, the real beauty of using the DM41 for TV sound is the inclusion of "sub-out" connection allowing you to experience real impact while watching films and TV and also allowing you to enjoy enhanced detail with both speech and ambient sounds, making even everyday viewing a much more enjoyable experience. Amplification is rated at 30 watts into 6 ohms which should be more than enough power to drive and control speakers to more than acceptable levels in small and medium rooms.

dm41+rear.jpg

We partner our display DM41 with a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 1 speakers, which, to our ears, an ideal match. But stepping up to the Monitor Audio Silver 50 makes the world of difference, with clearer separation, a more realistic sense of an tone and timbre to instrumentation, clearer vocal presentation and a more rounded and detailed bass output.

The Denon DM41 offers fantastic value for money and also gives a great introduction to the world of Hi-Fi and all of the reward a well chosen components can bring.

Denon Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon

Audio T Southampton's (well John's) Top Ten Home Cinema Demo Movie Scenes!

Our resident Home Cinema fan John has some personal favourite movie scenes which he uses to set up and calibrate AV systems. We thought we would share a few with you in case you want to put your own Home Cinema through it’s paces.

Are you ready? Here’s John’s top ten! (His choices…)

IMG_3020.jpg

Straight in at No.10 is Battleship, scene 15 running into 16. I would just like to make it clear at this point that artistic quality is not a factor here. This is just a dynamic visual and audio extravaganza which tests dialogue coherence (but sadly doesn’t improve content!) during action sequences.

IMG_3022.jpg

No.9 is another movie which majors on automotive action rather than subtle characterisation… Fast and Furious 8 (is that all..?), scene 17, will give your system a thorough work out, although the language is a bit fruity.

IMG_3033.JPG

No.8. Iron Man 2, scene 16. Not an Art House film, although there’s a bit more acting and dialogue here, but being John’s choice, it is mainly gunfire and explosions… again. Good surround effects though, from the laser sequence.

IMG_3047.jpg

No.7. X Men Apocalypse, scene 14. I think you get the picture, as it were, by now. Not exactly cinema verite, but this scene includes some clever slow motion CGI and very effective Dolby Atmos accompanied by the Eurythmics backtrack.

IMG_3052.jpg

No.6. Terminator 2, Judgement Day., scene 4. A bit of a classic now, albeit not in the same sense as Citizen Kane, for example, but these are John’s selections…This is a well filmed vehicle chase sequence with an excellent soundtrack. The Harley sounds convincingly throaty on a good, well set-up system.

IMG_3053.jpg

No.5. Top Gun, scene 1. Stepping even further into the past, John has gone with the opening scene with it’s full throttle soundtrack providing a test for anyone brave enough to turn the volume up to 11. WARNING! John has damaged speakers doing this so please do exercise some caution. Top Gun top tip is to play the DTS soundtrack to avoid audio disappointment.

IMG_3080.jpg

No.4. Back to the Future III, scene 15, the duel. Guns again… However, central to John’s selection this time, is the atmospheric sound and musical soundtrack during the gunfight. It’s a fair cop.

IMG_3059.jpg

No.3. Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott’s, scene 11. At last we can do away with guns and pick up an axe instead. Well, listen to Jeff play his Fender Stratocaster anyway. This welcome musical break from action movies shows how a concert video can be enhanced by a well recorded DTS surround soundtrack, perfectly capturing the intimate atmosphere of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

IMG_3070.jpg

No.2. The Greatest Showman, scene 8. Keeping his focus on music now instead of pyrotechnics, John likes the gripping soundtrack in this scene which draws one’s attention to the spectacular choreography on screen, if you like musicals…

IMG_3075.jpg

And at No.1. Bohemian Rhapsody, scene 23. A masterful recreation of Queen’s 1985 performance at Live Aid. John would have loved to have been there, if only he wasn’t five, but this movie gives him more than a taste of the real experience with Dolby Atmos providing the requisite acoustics in order to suspend disbelief.

We will be hosting a Movie Night at The White Horse Hotel Romsey on 30th May. The movie being screened is yet to be selected but please rest assured that John won’t make the final decision without supervision. Perhaps you would like to email us with some suggestions?!

Don’t forget to check out our store blog for Movie Night updates closer to the date.

That’s all Folks!

Alan, John and Wayne

Neat Motive SE2 - Thinking Inside The Box!

For a while now the speaker that we sell the most of has been the Neat Motive SX2. They are that great combination of being easy to drive, small in stature but sound big!

Recently we have discovered that there is an improved version (only made to special order) called the Neat Motive SE2 which boasts a new version of the classic EMIT planar magnetic tweeter that is ordinarily only found in the rather more expensive prestige Ultimatum models. Here the tweeter is very cleverly compliantly mounted within its own discrete cavity and boasts a new and enhanced crossover. And here’s the good news …….. all of this comes for only an extra £100! Bargain or what!! Sorry for all the exclamation marks but in this instance they are entirely justified!!!

SDC11705.jpg

Since we discovered these little gems it is now not often that we sell the SX2. Every time we demo the SE2 people always prefer its sweeter and more engaging presentation of the music.

These speakers are also not too fussy about position either. They do like a little room behind them and a bit of a toe in which will open up the soundstage, but if you are pushed for space and need to get them close to a rear wall or if you are listening off axis they will still do a great job. They also come in a variety of room friendly finishes too.

images-1.jpeg

The Neat Motive SE2 really come to life when partnered with the amazing little Rega combination of Apollo CD player and Brio amplifier. This combination as system punches well above its weight. That all important thing of “system synergy” really comes into its own here producing a sound that is both finely detailed and musically engaging without ever sounding bright or harsh.

Unknown-1.jpeg

Playing a CD copy of the wonderful Prog Rock classic that is the first Riverside album “Out of Myself” the first track which is called The Same River has mid-range detail in bucket loads and proper deep bass that will drag you in and keep you hooked while the band builds up a true epic of the genre and until the very last note fades! This band should be huge. They are masters of creating Prog Rock epics building on the sounds of Porcupine Tree, Dream Theatre and Pink Floyd, this is a great disc for sorting out the men from the boys when it comes to loudspeaker reproduction. Like the soft petals of a flower unfurling to reveal a Venus Flytrap inside with the sting of a Scorpion (ooer!). And if you like this one there are lots more to discover as well!

So to conclude this little bloggy thing, we think that the Neat Motive SE2’s are one of those magical loudspeaker designs that you should really put on your shortlist what ever your budget is! You will not be disappointed!! Yikes …..more of those exclamation mark things again!! Oh Well.

Neat Acoustics loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brighton, Cheltenham, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading

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

Grab Yourself A Hi-Fi Bargain & Save Up To 50% OFF In Preston's Spring Clearance Sale

We are having a bit of a spring clean here at Audio T Preston and we are moving on some top quality Hi-Fi at bargain prices.

preston-google-post.jpg

We have a veritable Aladdin’s cave of open box and ex-demo products including headphones, amplifiers, speakers, streamers , subwoofers and lot’s lot’s more besides.

We have Rotel, Yamaha, Dynaudio, Martin Logan, Ruark, Piega, Monitor Audio, Bowers and Wilkins, Quad and the list goes on…

If you are a member of the Audio T e-Club then you get an extra 5% discount. If you haven’t joined you can click here to sign up.

Don't forget that these are limited offers and when they are gone, they are gone, so don't miss out!

Preston-clearance-items-poster-2019-A0.jpg

Click HERE or on the Clearance List poster above to see the full list of clearance sale products. If there is anything that you like the look of then give us a call on 01772 883958 or email us at Audio T Preston and we can discuss it further.

Listed below are just some of the bargains to be had, enjoy.

MARTIN LOGAN ESL.JPG
QUAD VENA.JPG
PIEGA CLASSIC 3.0.JPG
NOVA 50.JPG
MONITOR AUDIO SILVER 200.JPG
REGA DAC.JPG
dynaudio contour 60.JPG

Record Store Day 2019 at Derricks Music In Swansea Featuring The New Rega Limited Edition Turntable

Record Store Day 2019 on Saturday 13th April is set to be another cracker in Swansea! We will once again be teaming up with Derricks Music on Oxford Street Swansea to play vinyl on some great sounding Rega (official sponsors of RSD) Hi-Fi.

With the success of our previous years prize draw we will again be giving away the limited edition Rega RSD turntable. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning the turntable is call in to Derricks on RSD and fill in the entry form, and we will pull the winner out of the hat at 5pm as usual.

Last year in particular was the best phone call we made to let the winner know the good news. The phone was answered and the news delivered, but the winner was in the pub and already a couple of sherberts in. It took about five attempts to tell him that it was not a prank, it was hysterical!

We managed to present the prize the following week…

prize winner b.jpg

As usual we will be playing vinyl all day, this year we will be playing the very turntable that you can win!

There will be a few more goodies and offers that we will have with us on the day, so keep an eye on our Facebook page as we get closer to the day.

If you’ve not yet seen the list of RSD releases for 2019 you can find them here

We look forward to seeing you there….

audiot0133_2019-Swansea-RSD-poster-V2.jpg

PMC?......The Is' have it! Brighton Review The PMC iB2SE Standmount Loudspeaker

Last June we had the brief opportunity of hearing the PMC MB2se, which are now happily residing with our customer as his speaker of choice. Since then we’ve been wanting to spend some more time with a speaker of this type to give it a proper evaluation.

PMC IB2se walnut

PMC IB2se walnut

Fast forward to the end of February this year and we took delivery of a pair of PMC IB2se, these are said to be more of a domestic version of the MB2se. Although they are still a very substantial speaker they are slightly more conventional in styling and driver layout, but before doing any evaluation we set about running them in, as we felt they needed a few more hours to get them to sing.

The IB2se business end!

The IB2se business end!

The main differences here are that these are passive speakers, using a smaller flat sectioned bass driver, slightly smaller in size all around, slightly lighter in weight with small differences in transmission line length, sensitivity, impedance and frequency response but still using the same stunning mid range and treble units which result in its ability to give the music its clarity.

It’s all about the bass!

It’s all about the bass!

In the short time we had the MB2se we were completely blown away by them, so we were looking forward to hearing what these would do considering the smaller size and cost. We hooked them up to our reference system here in the shop; a full Naim system comprising of a Linn Klimax LP12 for vinyl playback, a Naim ND555 network player for streaming our ripped cds from a Naim Uniti Core hard disc player into a Naim NAC252 pre amp, Naim Supercap DR pre amp power supply and Naim NAP300 DR power amp.

Time for some tunes!

Time for some tunes!

Differences? yes, but these speakers are most definitely cut from the same cloth, the level of detail and musicality is incredible, the bass is full but in no way over blown, the mid range is full of delicate subtlety and the treble is insightful and full of sparkle without being relentless or hard, these really are a speaker that bring all of the accuracy that is required by a studio engineer for mastering music but with the added bonus of being a speaker to come home to after a long day at work, put on some of your favourite music and spend the evening in musical bliss.

IB2se Treble and Mid Drivers

IB2se Treble and Mid Drivers

Whilst listening a customer, who was in the shop at the time, said with a big grin on his face “WOW! I’ve not heard that level of insight in to the music being played since I was in a studio and feel I could just spend hour and hours trawling though my music collection with these

Unfortunately these speakers will not be with us forever, so if you get a chance pop in and give them a listen, you’ll not be disappointed, Julian, Paul and John will be happy to play them for you…..it gives us a good excuse, as if we needed one!

PMC Loudspeakers are available at the following branches of Audio T:

Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Enfield, Manchester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swindon

Seeing How They Are Made: The Bowers and Wilkins 800 Series Loudspeakers

We recently had the opportunity to visit the Worthing based production facility for Bowers and Wilkins 800 series speakers to see first hand how their flagship range are made.

1.jpg

We were greeted at the door by the iconic Nautilus loudspeaker, this one resplendent in its Union Flag livery.

2.jpg

Our guide to the process and factory was Peter, who has been working for Bowers and Wilkins for more than 25 years. He took us around the complete production facility explaining processes and technologies along the way in a very informative, and entertaining, way.

One example of this was the machine used for forming the cabinet for 800 series. This is created from multiple layers of wood and glue which are formed at high pressure and temperature by folding down across a folder like this:

3.jpg

The tour was like the audiophile version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a huge array of machines and people finishing, sanding, painting etc etc.

We saw the famous Bowers and Wilkins Matrix being inserted into one of the 800 series floorstanders.

The Matrix is assembled separately

The Matrix is assembled separately

With the cabinet prised apart by metal jaws the matrix is positioned and glued into place. When the jaws are released the natural spring of the cabinet form will add compression to the matrix

With the cabinet prised apart by metal jaws the matrix is positioned and glued into place. When the jaws are released the natural spring of the cabinet form will add compression to the matrix

Peter was full of interesting information most of which highlighted the amount of time and care which goes into making these speakers. They are not just built, they are truly hand crafted!

From paint which is applied in up to 13 layers with a four day drying time for each layer, to creating, forming, and metalising the Continuum cones for the drivers everything is done with so much care and attention to detail. The people who work at this production facility are justifiably proud of the products they create!

The factory also produces the iconic Nautilus speakers and the Custom Theatre range which includes beasts like this:

it’s big!!

it’s big!!

Also some funky special edition colours.

8.jpg

All in all we were incredibly impressed with the dedication of the people on site and the pride and care which was taken over every aspect of the production of these phenomenal 800 D3 speakers.

Part of the production floor

Part of the production floor

Alien anyone?

Alien anyone?

The finished article

The finished article

We came away with a new found admiration and respect for the Bowers and Wilkins 800 D3 series

We already knew they sounded stunning, now we have a better understanding of why due to the care and attention to detail that goes into creating them,

Last but not least these two poor cabinets were marked “no partner” maybe they need a dating app? I’m thinking Timbr possibly!

12.jpg

The Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series are available for demonstration at the following branches of Audio T:

Brentwood, Bristol

Big Sound, Small Package! Rega Brio Stereo Amplifier & Apollo CD Player Made In England

These two award winning Rega Research products, the Brio amplifier and the Apollo CD player make a very nice sounding music system and all you have to add is a pair of loudspeakers. Let’s have a look at the two.

On the front of the Brio you find the on/off switch, input selector, volume control knob and a headphone socket designed to avoid interference with the main audio circuit.

IMG_4469.JPG
IMG_4470.JPG

On the rear you find 4 sets of input sockets, a dedicated input ( No.1 ) for turntables with moving magnet cartridges and a set of record output sockets.

IMG_4472.JPG

The Rega Apollo CD Player, similar in size , is a perfect partner for the Brio. The unique top loading mechanism stands out

IMG_4463.JPG
IMG_4465.JPG

On the back there is a set of analogue outputs and two digital outputs, optical and coaxial.

IMG_4466.JPG

Both the Rega Brio R and the Apollo are supplied with a remote control.

IMG_4476.JPG

These two together are a musical combination with a nice crisp top-end and plenty of detail.

IMG_4473.jpg

The Rega Brio and Apollo are on demonstration here in the shop. Please feel free to come in for a listen . Coffee and tea will be provided.

Rega Research products are available from all branches of Audio T

The Hills Are ALive With An ACE Sound. Benz Micro Ace SL MC Cartridge From Switzerland

Benz Micro cartridges have been in production since the 1980s, earning recognition throughout the world as one the top brands in the field. Ernst Benz, founder and designer of the original Benz-Micro cartridges, retired in 1994 and sold the cartridge production to Albert Lukaschek, his close associate and designer of the Benz-Micro PP-1 phono stage.

Ernst Benz (1932 - 2014)

Ernst Benz (1932 - 2014)

Albert relocated and modernized the factory, employed a highly skilled workforce, introduced many new models, including the ACE which we are looking at here. Though best known among audiophiles as a cartridge designer and manufacturer, Ernst Benz was also a well respected watch designer. He also developed and manufactured a high temperature vacuum oven for bonding diamond to steel that resulted in a line of diamond cutting tools.

IMG_0664.JPG

Hand-building a phono cartridge is a highly developed skill, requiring specially trained technicians working with microscopes and ultra small-scale manufacturing. A competitive global business environment and technically demanding jobs have made finding skilled workers a major concern. On-going changes in the Swiss workforce, including the growth of both the high-end watch industry and high tech, have reduced the pool of these skilled technicians and the potential for new trainees. Benz Micro’s current production team represents the best of the best for producing state-of-the-art phono cartridges. These changes in the labour force, combined with further advances in design and materials, have resulted in new Benz-Micro models that surpass all previous versions in music reproduction.

Hand built to perfection

Hand built to perfection

The Benz ACE S-L has become one of our favourite phono cartridges. It is a low output device (.4mV) based on the generator system and stylus assembly of the Benz Glider with a protective acrylic body, The ACE is the first handmade cartridge in the range and one of the only hand-built cartridges at this price point! The Benz ACE is simple to install thanks to the inclusion of threaded mounting holes, no nuts were needed during set-up, which was welcomed as, with its exposed generator and lack of stylus guard, any mistakes could have been costly. The translucent shell projects the vital parts inside. This low output version is distinguished by its red casework, and features a solid boron cantilever and line contact stylus, rather than conical or elliptical profiles. It is also available in both medium and high output versions

Complete with level and tool kit

Complete with level and tool kit

The Swiss pedigree is obvious from the packaging and accompanying accessories alone, which include a circular bubble level and stainless miniature screwdriver. Albert Lukaschek listens to every Benz Ace cartridge before it leaves the factory ensuring that they all meet the high level of sound quality he demands.

Dashing in its red livery.

Dashing in its red livery.

To describe it as both warm and neutral might sound contradictory but that’s exactly what it is. There is never a sense of “character”. The Benz micro is a pure musical tool; it delivers exactly what the record intends, whether it is life and propulsion or calm and introspection and without even a hint of harshness. Instruments are portrayed realistically and with occasional surprise; sounds sometimes leap out that you wouldn’t expect, giving that spine tingling sensation. This is a true music lover's cartridge, warm and natural through the mid-range, with great bass extension and silky smooth high frequencies. If you just want to play record after record with a big smile on your face...the ACE is the cartridge for you.

Fitted to A  Michell Techno “a” Arm”  ready to play!

Fitted to A Michell Techno “a” Arm” ready to play!

The Benz Micro SL MC Cartridge is available from all branches of Audio T.

Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series At Audio T Bristol

Bowers & Wilkins is not the kind of company that sits on its laurels. It is the kind of company that likes to innovate, with every new range you get new technologies or tweaked technologies from the range above. The latest 700 series is a perfect case in point. We get a newly developed tweeter and bass/mid cones developed for the 800 diamond series.

The 700 series range consists of 8 models. 3 stand mounts, 3 floor standing models and 2 centre speakers.

Most of the 700 series

Most of the 700 series

The new tweeter is not aluminium which has been the go to material for Bowers and Wilkins ranges below the 800 series for a long time. The new tweeter, featured in all of the 700 series speakers, is a carbon design which extends the upper range of the tweeter to 47khz. This gives the listener a much cleaner musical image plus more subtle details thus  bringing you closer to the musical performance.

The floor standing models are all three way designs which feature a midrange driver derived from the 800 series.

The smallest in the range is the 707 standmount. It is a fantastic little speaker with a surprising amount of bass for its size. Midrange is superb and the detail from the carbon tweeter exceptional.

706 and 707

706 and 707

Next up is the 706 standmount. It is bigger than the 707 so would suit a larger room. You will get decent levels of bass and a wonderfully detailed in room experience.

The last standmount in the range is the 705. The design of this speaker takes performance to the next level. The tweeter has its own enclosure which sits on top of the box containing the bass/mid. The benefits of this arrangement are immediately obvious when you listen to them. The soundstage gets bigger and even more in the room with the sound appearing to hang in front and around you. If you want a speaker at this price point, even if you think you want a floor stander, then these are a must listen.

Bowers and Wilkins 705

Bowers and Wilkins 705

The Bowers & Wilkins 704 is first of three floor standers in the 700 series  (Note as the size of the speaker goes up the number given to it goes down). As it is a floorstander, you get more bass than the stand mounts. Not only that but you also get a dedicated mid-range driver resulting in, unsurprisingly, a better mid-range performance. This is a slim speaker that is very room friendly with just a few compromises compared to bigger speakers for example the 703. Same configuration as the 704 but not as slim. This gives room for bigger drive units and results in a bigger sound with more depth to the sound stage. The biggest in the range is the 702. Here again we see Bowers & Wilkins moving the tweeter to its own enclosure on top of the box. The results are much the same as with the 705 standmount. It’s immediately obvious with the speakers disappearing, leaving just the music floating unobstructed around the room.

702.jpg

You still have till the end of March to bag yourself a fantastic deal and receive up to £400 worth of Chord Company cable when you buy a pair of 700 series loudspeakers. For details click here.

Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon