Primare And The Wonderful Prisma Technology Arrives At Audio T Brentwood

We’ve just received our new stock of Primare equipment and we’re mightily impressed! This Swedish company has been making exceptional Hi-Fi products for over thirty years and always with a beauty of style and sound. They have now launched a new “connectivity and control technology” called Prisma which can be incorporated in their new modular range of separates.

Firstly they’re beautiful!

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And the fit and finish is exceptional.

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The first two models to show are the 35 range comprising I35 integrated amp and CD35 integrated CD player or DD35 CD transport. They sound gorgeous. Appropriately we put a CD of Eivor into the player, the album Slor, and the sense of scale and imagery through the Bowers and Wilkins 805 speakers was breathtaking. The addition of the Prisma technology takes them to another level adding app control, Bluetooth, Airplay, and Spotify Connect. Prisma also has Chromecast built in allowing you to cast from your phone or tablet direct to the Prisma module.

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The I35 has analogue (balanced and single ended) and digital inputs as well making it a truly versatile and comprehensive performer.

Down from that is the 15 range comprising the I15 integrated amp and DD15 CD transport

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These are equally beautifully built and can also be equipped with the same Prisma technology as their bigger siblings.

Sticking with the Scandinavian theme, we put some of Bjork’s most recent Utopia album on playing through the equally Scandi Dali Oberon 5 speakers. This album has an incredibly wide dynamic range which just sang through the speakers being driven by the little I15 (they’re only about 2/3 width).

We are really looking forward to getting to know these lovely components better, why not come in and try them for yourself.

We would like to thank all of our customers this year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Paul, Francis, Jason and Boswell

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

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

New Arcam HDA Range SA10, SA20 And CDS50 Arrives At Audio T Swindon

The new Arcam HDA range has arrived! HDA stands for High Definition Audio and the range comprises the new SA10 and SA20 integrated amplifiers as well as the new CDS50 CD/ SACD player which also boasts network streaming.

The new Arcam SA10 (replaces the Arcam A19) integrated amplifier and delivers 50 watts per channel. The new Arcam SA20 (replaces the Arcam A29) and delivers 80 watts per channel.

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Both integrated amplifiers offer analog and digital inputs. There are 3 sets of analogue inputs, a MM phono input for a turntable and 3 digital inputs (2x coaxial and 1x optical). Pre-out sockets on both amplifiers which will allow and upgrade path should you want to add a power amplifier in the future.

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The new Arcam CDS50 player supports playback of both formats, CD and SACD and offers network streaming via the Arcam Music Life app, which we will show you more about later.

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On the back of the CDS50 you will find 2 sets of analogue outputs (phono & XLR), 2x digital outputs and even 2 digital inputs (1x coaxial & 1x optical) . The digital inputs allow you to connect a TV or a set-top box to the CD player. You can select the inputs via the supplied remote control.

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Analog and digital in and outputs

Analog and digital in and outputs

The Arcam CDS50 offers network streaming. You can se it up wirelessly via the supplied aerial or hard-wired via the ethernet socket on the back. Once connected to your network you use the Arcam Music Life App to control, select and play music. There is a lot of choice of what you can play. Let's have look.

Arcam CDS50 connected to the network

Arcam CDS50 connected to the network

You can access your own CD collection that you ripped (saved) to a network hard drive (NAS), Internet radio (thousands of stations for free) and podcasts. Available music steaming services (provided you are a subscriber) are Tidal, Napster, Deezer, Qobuz and Highresaudio. There's lots of choice and fantastic if you like the highest available audio quality!

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Let's set it all up and have a listen!

Arcam HDA set up with HiFi Racks Podium Slimline

Arcam HDA set up with HiFi Racks Podium Slimline

The new Arcam HDA range with Spendor A2 speakers

The new Arcam HDA range with Spendor A2 speakers

We connected a pair of Spendor A2 speakers and the results were very nice indeed. We listened to Amy MacDonald's Album "This Is The Life" through the Arcam SA10 and CDS50 combination and the sound is very clean and open, her voice and the instruments sound very rich. We changed the amplifier to the SA20 and we can hear the extra control the SA20 offers at low and higher volume levels. There is more separation between the instruments, Amy MacDonald's voice stands out more in the room and the bass sounds tighter.

Please come in for a listen and bring your own CD's, usb stick or hard drive. We will provide tea and coffee. Thanks for reading.

Stefan and Andy - Audio T Swindon

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

Marantz Premium Hi-Fi System lives up to its name

The Marantz Premium System comprising the PM8006 amp, ND8006 CD/Streamer, and TT15SI Turntable has been setting our dem room alight.

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Starting with the PM8006 amp, although it has the same visual styling as Marantz' less expensive offerings it shows a major step up in build quality with battleship construction and outrageous speaker terminals! 

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The PM8006 has all the Marantz trademark tech and features designed to get the best sound quality possible from the design, including HDAM amp modules, a very high quality volume control, and a newly designed phono stage.

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The second unit in the system is the ND8006 CD player and Streamer.

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The ND8006 is a complete digital music hub offering a CD player, access to a multitude of streaming services, multiple DAC inputs, Apple Airplay and Bluetooth! Add to that a high quality headphone amp with its own volume control and you have a complete system hub.

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The ND8006 also has a high res DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) and so can cope with all file formats.

Last but not least is the superb TT15SI turntable

This beauty has a large acrylic chassis with special isolating feet, a separate motor, and a very high quality tonearm and mm (moving magnet)cartridge fitted. It is gorgeous to look at and listen to!

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This is a serious system from Marantz. We've been listening with the very capable KEF R500 speakers and whether it's the electronica of Goldfrapp's Silver Eye, the complex production and rhythms of Steven Wilson's To the Bone, or the delicacy of Jane Siberry's voice on The Walking, the system remains unphased and in control at all times. Each component is very very good in its own right (and they are all available individually) but put the PM8006, ND8006 and TT15 together and you have a stonkingly good music system.

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We know you'll be impressed when you come along for a listen at Audio T Brentwood.

Marantz Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T: 
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxford
PortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Rotel 15 Series RA-1592 & RCD-1572 with Bowers and Wilkins 703 S2

Last year in December we reviewed the Rotel 14 series and we were impressed by the build and sound quality. Now a year later we are happy to report that we could get our hands on the Rotel RA-1592 integrated amplifier and RCD-1572 cd player. Both are part of Rotels 15 Series.

Let's have look at the RA-1592 integrated amplifier.

Rotel RA-1592

Rotel RA-1592

Rorel RA-1592

Rorel RA-1592

The RA-1592 is an integrated amplifier with a dual-monoblock design that offers an output of 200 watts per channel and we can hear that controlled sound.

It is packed with many features and we like that. A moving magnet phono stage for a turntable; a headphone output, Bluetooth, optical (for a TV or set-top box) and coaxial inputs, a USB-B input to connect a PC or a Innuos music server, analog inputs including balanced XLR inputs (for use with the Rotel RCD-1572 if you like).

There is a set of subwoofer outputs and a RCA pre-output if you want to use the RA-1592 as a pre-amplifier. Two sets of speaker binding posts allow to connect 2 pairs of loudspeakers (for one set of speakers in the main listening room and perhaps another pair in the kitchen?).

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The Rotel RCD-1572 is the flagship CD player in Rotel's 15 Series. It can connect to the RA-1592 via RCA (unbalanced), XLR (balanced) outputs and there is a digital output. The digital output allows you to connect to an external DAC (Digital to Analogue converter) if you have one.

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Rotel RCD-1572

Rotel RCD-1572

Rotel RCD-1572

B&W 703 S2

B&W 703 S2

We partnered the Rotel combination with a pair of Bowers & Wilkins 703 S2, from the new Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series.

Rotel RA-1592, RCD-1572, B&W 703 S2

Rotel RA-1592, RCD-1572, B&W 703 S2

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The new B&W 700 Series replaced the previous CM Series and it incorporates studio-grade technologies from the flagship 800 Diamond Series. The 703 S2 feature a new tweeter and a carbon dome tweeter. This new carbon dome tweeter delivers a cleaner and sweeter treble.

The dedicated midrange drive unit, the Continuum Cone, has been adopted from the 800 Diamond Series and is big step up from the Aramid Fibre drivers, used in the previous CM range. It is a de-coupled design that reduces cabinet colouration and improves midrange performance.

The two bass drivers are Aerofoil profil bass cones. They have a variable thickness and provide stiffness and rigidity for a deeper and more dynamic bass.

So much for the features, what does this system sound like?
We listened to Beck's Album Sea Change. It is a great sounding Album and the vocals and instruments are well presented in the room . It is stunning to hear this clarity and big sound stage. We then played James Taylor's Album "Before This World " and it is nice how much it draws us in. Just close your eyes,  sit back and enjoy.

The last Album we listened to was Yello's Album "Touch Yello". We put on "Till Tomorrow" or "Kiss in Blue " and we loved the controlled big bass we heard.

So what's not to like?
All in all we think this is a great sounding music system that makes us want to listen to more music. Please feel free to book a demonstration or just come in for a chat and a listen.

We are always happy to talk to you.

Thanks 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

Rotel Hi-Fi products are available from these branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolCardiffManchesterPrestonSwindon

Naim Uniti Star Streaming System Offers Flexibility and Outstanding Performance

Just add a suitable pair of loudspeakers to the Naim Uniti Star for a comprehensive and rather beautiful modern music system, incorporating all the features below!

With control by the Naim iOS or Android app. your music will be at your fingertips.

With control by the Naim iOS or Android app. your music will be at your fingertips.

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Under the Skin of Uniti Star
This all-in-one player packs a heavy punch.  Uniti Star includes a CD player alongside streaming and amplification technology. The custom integrated CD drive also doubles as a ripper, making Uniti Star the most versatile all-in-one in the range. State of the Art digital technology comes together with the legendary Naim sound quality!

Suitable for use with a wide range of loudspeakers, but the Neat Iota Alpha is proving to be a popular choice with the Naim Uniti range.

As you would expect within the Uniti range there are clear performance differences between the models, and it really makes good sense to come along and hear for yourself what they are capable of. 

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Julian, Paul & John look forward to seeing you in store, for a listen to some of the amazing equipment we keep on demonstration.

Naim Uniti products are stocked at all branches of Audio T.

The New Rega Apollo CDP CD Player Has Arrived!

The new Rega Apollo CDP CD Player has arrived and it is designed to match the style of the award winning Rega Brio-R amplifier. Is is a top loading design housed in a custom compact aluminium case.

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Top Loader!

Top Loader!

The Apollo CDP sounds really nice, detailed and rich as we expected it from Rega. We connected it to the Rega Brio-R amplifier and yes , this is a very nice music system and all you need to do is to add a pair of speakers - Done.

A rack of Rega!

A rack of Rega!

Next to the analogue outputs are one optical and one coaxial output. This gives you the choice to use the analogue outputs into your analogue inputs of your amplifier or connect it to a DAC like Rega's DAC-R .

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It comes supplied with a system remote control that can also control a Rega amplifier.

Please feel free to come in for a listen in one of our demonstration rooms and please bring some of your favorite CD's if you like.

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

Stefan and Andy - Audio T Swindon

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

Rega Apollo CD Player and Brio Amplifier Two Compact Hi-Fi Wonders

We've been playing with the latest versions of the Rega Apollo CD player and Brio Amplifier and are loving the music they make.

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The new Rega Brio is an improved version of an old shop favourite. Not only has the casework been redesigned but the circuitry has been given a good going over and now includes a high quality headphone amp for all you can fans out there. Of course, being Rega, there is still the great moving magnet phono stage for your precious turntable!

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The Rega Apollo CD player is another tried and trusted favourite of the shop. It has also been re-housed in the new sleek casework. With its manual lid and push on CD mechanism it gives a little bit of the turntable experience to CD users.

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I could talk for ages about technical specs and improvement, but the thing about these little bricks is they just make great music sound great. Most of all they're fun to listen to. Partner them up with some good interconnects and speakers of your choice - we've been having fun using the new B&W 707, or the Dali Zensor 3, or of course Rega's own RX1 and they sing. Kraftwerk's wonderful "3D the Catalogue" is rich and full of texture whilst on the album "Haunted" by Poe her vocals come across with wonderful warmth and clarity. They'll handle any music that you throw at them with ease and aplomb. Another hit for British made Hi-Fi!

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So to sum up, with their sleek new styling and improved features the Rega Brio and Apollo continue to make music with a great sense of fun.

Come and have a look and listen we know you'll enjoy what you hear.

Paul, Francis, Jason and of course Boswell at Audio T Brentwood.

Rega Hi-Fi products are also available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReading,SouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Cyrus Audio British Hi-Fi Products From Vinyl Replay To Digital Streaming

I recently visited Cyrus Audio's headquarters in Huntingdon near Cambridge and it was quite an experience. The company is run by a very dedicated team and have been producing high quality Hi-Fi components for over 30 years.

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Their range now emcompasses everything from integrated amplifiers like the One pictured above, through pre-power combinations, DAC's, CD players and transports, and streaming solutions, plus the fantastic PSX-R2 power supply, which can be added to many of the units to further improve sound quality.

During the visit I watched the technicians build a Cyrus One and a Cyrus Signature Phono Stage (below) with meticulous care. This was followed by extensive quality control testing with a dedicated suite of computer programs.

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Everything about their operation showed the great amount of care taken by the people there and the pride they have in the Hi-Fi products they produce. Cyrus also offer extensive upgrade paths for existing owners, always offering attractive pricing to help you get to the latest level of equipment.

Having recently bought a Cyrus Phono Signature for myself I have to admit to being a fan!

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So all in all a Cyrus is a great British brand with a lot of solutions for the music lover. Their Signature (sic) half width casework makes them easy to accommodate and they make some very very beguiling music.

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Whether you are an existing owner looking to upgrade, or are completely new to Cyrus Audio brand, why not pop in and have a look, chat and a listen?

The New Rega P6 Turntable, It's Planar To See That It's Not Just A New Platter

Audio T Manchester recently held a Rega event showcasing the new Rega Planar 6 and the brand and ever popular Rega Apollo R CD player. 

Chromey took up directorial duties for the event, shooting a video in the process.  

Chromey took up directorial duties for the event, shooting a video in the process.  

The Rega Planar 6 upon first glance, is noticeably different from the rest of the very successful Planar series. A two tone smoked platter, giving an almost 'floating platter' effect is the first thing you notice. We all think it looks great here at Manchester. Secondly, aesthetics, Rega have opted to go with distinctive matte finishes to identify and differentiate the Planar 6 series.

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Under the hood is where the Planar 6 really has come on in development Rega's signature foam filled plinth makes it the lightest deck in it's class and price point, similar to the Rega RP8 & Rega RP10, the foam plinth at this price point really is a feat of engineering.

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Using a brand new bearing housing design unique to the Planar 6 has had us excited, a combination of a lightweight aluminium sub platter to a matched hardness with an ultra low friction central brass hub.

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Using new upgraded feet with anti resonance rubber soles, it helps to keep vibration at bay.

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Rega have used higher tolerance bearings within the RB330 tone arm, so improving an already fantastic arm.

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The TTPSU has been completely re-engineered and running version 2.0, it shares similar traits to the RP10, using a hand tuned NEO power supply which matches the 24v engine that drives the platter.

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Check out the video below of the days events. The new Rega Apollo CD R is shown along with the new Planar 6.

The new Planar 6 and the new Apollo CD R will be with us imminently, in the mean time we stock a range of Rega products here at Audio T Manchester. Why don't you pop along to the store and take a peep.

Thanks for reading.

Simon, Munir, Mike, Haden and Dave.

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