The Audio Technica AT-VM95 Family. Cartridges With A Built In Upgrade Path

Audio Technica have a very long and illustrious history in the cartridge world and their little AT95e which this replaces was for years the go to entry level cartridge.

The new AT-VM95E is a completely different beast eschewing the old plastic body for a metal one with threaded inserts for the cartridge bolts.

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Above is an Audio Technica AT-VM95E cartridge. It’s £45 and probably the cheapest upgrade you could make to an old turntable.

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The At-VM95E is a marked improvement sonically over the older model too with loads of detail and resolution for the money.

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The fun doesn’t stop there though. With the VM95 series Audio Technica have cleverly produced a single body and a range of styli which can take this from a humble budget moving magnet cartridge to something really quite special.

The range includes Conical (C), Elliptical (E), Nude Elliptical (N), Microlinear (ML) and Shiabata (S) styli.

Each one giving a marked improvement over the previous thus forming a nice logical upgrade path, there is even a 78 stylus for all you bakelite lovers out there.

To say that we are impressed is to put it mildly, even the humble AT-VM95E sounds wonderful with old classics like Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and more recent albums like Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer alike.

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We will happily fit one to your turntable, and maybe sell you some new records while we’re at it!

Thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you at Audio T Brentwood soon.

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

Three Into One Does Go! The All New Audio Note (UK) TT3 Turntable

It seems as though a new turntable is launched every day such is the plethora of new decks hitting the marketplace. Many are true Goliath’s, incredibly sophisticated designs made of the most exotic materials costing ever more outlandish sums of money and many more are clearly ‘wannabes’ cashing in on a buoyant market.

Audio Note TT3, Arm3, PSU3 & iO Gold

Audio Note TT3, Arm3, PSU3 & iO Gold

First announced more than four years ago, Audio Note (UK) started work on what would be their first in-house all newly designed ‘affordable’ turntable. Many of the design principles have been taken from their ultimate deck, the Reference but as with all good engineering projects, simplified; thus proving the original concept to be sound.

Finally after many supplier set-backs and delays the final result, the TT3 is with us and oh boy was it worth the wait?

Outwardly the deck looks very simple; a solid plinth on top of which are mounted not one, or even two, but three motors! These turn a lightweight acrylic platter by means of a flat belt around its circumference, each of the three high torque AC motors being mounted equidistant from each other. Within the gaps between each motor is the suspended sub-chassis that is ‘Y’ shaped; one leg of which is mounted the arm and the other two terminates with a weight the mass of which is exactly that of the former. This sub-chassis is suspended buy means of three ‘Pram’ springs mounted on hidden turrets beneath the sub-chassis each of which is adjustable for levelling but no ‘tuning’ is needed as the weight is evenly distributed.

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Suspension Turret

Suspension Turret

Power is provided by one of three external power supply options PSU1, 2 & 3, each more sophisticated, accurate and costly than its predecessor; all have switchable 33 & 45.

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Unlike the vast majority of turntable designs that feature ever more massive platters that rely on the flywheel effect to keep the rotational speed at a constant, the TT3’s platter is intentionally light to reduce the flywheel effect to the minimum. The overriding principal here is total control of the platter’s rotation via high torque motors and a highly accurate power supply governing them. This may seem at first an easy task but in practice is anything but, as the motors must be very finely toleranced and the power supply equally so or the motors will oscillate with disastrous results.

With this arrangement the platter’s equivalent mass is many times greater but without the potential over-shoot associated with the flywheel effect.

First listen immediately confirms that they have got it right such is the absolute solidity of the presentation. There are very few decks at any price that can produce such incredible pitch accuracy in my experience let alone in such a compact and easy to live with design.

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From such an impressive foundation every other element of the sound reproduction sits. Pitch and timing are flawless as is the pace. Weight of sound when called for is in abundance, which is especially necessary for large scale orchestral work or rock music, yet the most delicate of sounds are easily rendered, such are the dynamics on offer. Sound-staging is rock solid too.

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When asked by Audio Note (UK) MD ‘ how does it sound’ I replied ‘I can’t hear it’ which is the best compliment I can think of as the TT3 just allows you to be immersed in the music

One of only two in the U.K. at present, the TT3 is now available for demo with either PSU1 or PSU3.

£5950-£10450 excl. arm & cartridge

Audio Note arms from £806

Audio Note cartridges from £380

Come on in and have a listen at Audio T Reading.

Rega Record Store Day Special Edition Turntable Available On Saturday 13th April

Just 500 limited edition versions of the Rega Planar 1 Plus turntable will be manufactured. 125 of those will have some special and rare prizes hidden at random inside. Ranging from £25 record tokens, to artist signed albums, posters and pictures, and a super prize of two tickets to this years Mercury Music Prize awards!

In Brighton we’ll be featuring the Linn Sondek and Rega Planar turntables on Record Store day.

The Rega RSD turntable benefits from a high quality built in phono stage, custom printed mat, matching lid badge, Record Store Day screen printed plinth, premium smoked cover, Rega Carbon cartridge, and is a plug and play design.

Because of hidden prizes we have restrained ourselves and held back from opening one of our RSD decks, which means that we cannot bring you a photo we’ve taken of one, so here is a Rega image

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Our homage window to support Record Store Day. With thanks to John for the coloured vinyl and the display

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And in case any of you were to doubt the commitment of Rega in the support of playing records, we bring you the redesigned Rega Planar 78 turntable. Yes, that’s right it plays at 78 rpm (and only 78 rpm!).

Another Rega photo as we do not keep this in stock. It is available to order £349 excluding cartridge.

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Join with Julian, Paul and John to explore what Linn and Rega turntables can bring to you and your record collection. Discover more of the music from your records.

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

Linn Hi-Fi products are available at:
BrightonBristolManchesterOxfordSwindon

Record Store Day 2019 fun

For this year’s Record Store Day we’re going to have a fun day in store, when we’ll set up a couple of fab vinyl based systems and play a selection of classic albums all day.

This sort of thing…..

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The fantastic Audio T offer of one of our excellent record bags free with any turntable purchased will be in full effect.

We will of course have the limited edition Rega Record Store Day turntable available on a first come first served basis.

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Of course we’ll be happy to offer advice on upgrading or servicing your turntable as well as having a selection of vinyl based accessories from stylus brushes to phono stages to help you get the most out of your deck. Or try out one of our record cleaners and see how that can improve the sound quality of your music.

Oh and we have actual records for sale too!!!!

Come in and join in the listening

See you then!

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.

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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.

Audio Note UK Level 2 System

Our Audio Note UK brand launch back in November 2018 at the Roseate Hotel here in Reading, where we demonstrated their flagship £800K system proved to be an overwhelming success. Equally the response we have had from those who have visited our store and heard a more affordable system in our all new dedicated Audio Note UK demo room has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Level 2 system in our new dedicated Audio Note UK room

Level 2 system in our new dedicated Audio Note UK room

In this demo room we have in permanent readiness, two full systems of vastly different costs to showcase the Audio Note UK sound; it is the lower cost system I would like to describe in this post.

 This system, all hand built in Hove, Sussex, comprises of a choice of source components in the form of a CD player and/or a turntable, an integrated amplifier and a pair of loudspeakers.

 At this point I would suggest reading Audio Note UK’s philosophy to better understand the designs and choices they make. (Saves me from a lot of typing too).

 The CD Player.

Audio Note UK CD3.1x/II

A Red Book integrated CD player designed specifically for sonic performance rather than specifications, it features a vacuum tube output stage being driven by an Analogue Devices AD1865 18bit chip set with no over sampling or digital filters whatsoever. Typically for Audio Note UK, their own in-house wound copper foil capacitors and tantalum resistors are used when commercially made components that meet their exacting demands are not available.

The Turntable.

Audio Note UK TT2 Deluxe

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The TT2 origins are founded in the highly acclaimed Dunlop Systemdek of the 1990s but completely re-engineered to meet today’s exacting standards and expectations.

At the heart of the TT2 is a two motor drive system designed to take full control of the lightweight acrylic platter by means of high torque enabling this deck to have superb speed control and pitch; essential for accurate reproduction of music, especially acoustic, be it piano, orchestral or jazz.

iQ3

The cartridge, their IQ3 is the top of a three model MM (moving magnet) range. It features their very own stylus profile mounted to a unique tapered titanium cantilever as found on their £3k and £6k moving coils. This in turn is mounted onto the top of their three arm range; Audio Note UK Arm 3. A highly rigid, in-house build tonearm featuring pure silver wiring throughout. Arms 1 and 2 differ by use of two grades of copper wiring to reduce costs but the mechanicals remain identical.

 The Amplifier.

 Audio Note UK Oto Phono SE Signature

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Representing something of a sweet spot in the middle of the Oto range of amplifiers, the SE (single ended) Signature features an all vacuum tube phonostage, a perfect match to the IQ3, and an 10wpc output stage comprising of 4 matched EL84 pentode tubes in pure class A single ended configuration with in-house custom designed and built iHib output transformers. Four inputs plus tape monitor, balance and volume controls complete the classic uncluttered aesthetic.

 The Loudspeakers

 Audio Note UK AN-E Spe HE Hemp

The AN-E is the top and largest of a three model series constructed not from MDF but Russian birch ply. These speakers feature a minimum of damping and bracing to allow the the cabinets to enhance the drivers performance to the maximum ensuring the highest level of musical performance possible rather than the usual totally inert designs of their competitors.

 Another sweet spot in a vast range of AN-E options, the Spe HE Hemp feature all silver internal wiring and voice coils. Paper bass/mid cones are replaced with stiffer and lighter HE (high efficiency; 98dB ) Hemp bass/mid drivers and horn loaded silk dome tweeters. The key to the design is high efficiency, full range bandwidth (18Hz -23kHz) and high dynamic range making them perfect partners to low powered, high quality tube amps such as the Oto.

The speakers sit atop a 10” mass filled custom designed stands and are available in 20+ high quality exotic veneers at no extra cost unless one specifies high gloss lacquer. They are designed to be placed close to a wall, indeed preferably in the corners whereby they pressurize the room for maximum efficiency and an optimal tonal balance.

 The Cables

 Audio Note UK ISIS LX Reference

Isis LX Reference  interconnects  and  speaker cables

Isis LX Reference interconnects and speaker cables

Finally, the system is wired with a complete loom of Audio Note UK’s own custom designed cables. Isis Reference represents their flagship in copper and only topped by their ranges of all silver cables at considerable cost too.

All cables are copper litz in configuration and hand built to order.

 The Sound

Rather than attempt to dissect this into describing the sound of the individual components I shall allude to the system as a whole, indeed, as good as any Audio Note UK components are, it’s when they are assessed as a collective then their true magic shines.

 The first thing that strikes you is the sheer sense of scale, that an event is taking place before you.

Instruments, singers, indeed the whole ensemble is present in the room, or rather, when the recording allows, you are present in the recording space; often almost life size.

The second, is the dynamics. No one expects the sudden change in volume this system can muster, from the tiny sound of a triangle to full blown orchestra in an instant, (Scheherazade, Living Stereo, Analogue Productions AAPC 2446). With such high efficiency speakers this comes easily and without any trace of distortion or strain promoting the desire to increase not decrease the volume; low volume listening is equally rewarding though. 

What grabs next is timbre accuracy. Instruments sound like they are supposed to, not Hi-Fi caricatures; each and every one in its own space with its own correct scale.

PRaT (pace rhythm and timing) come so naturally that you don’t even think about it leaving your grey matter to concentrate on the composition or the musicians’ virtuosity whilst the dense harmonics course through each piece with ease; it all adds up to a natural, unforced sense of completeness and above all in a totally coherent fashion; in a word, effortless.

Think not that a valve based system necessarily sound overly warm and soft, many do but not Audio Note UK; this system astounds in it’s ability to rock when required; John Bonham’s drums pound, Jimmy’s guitar soars as if his amp is in the room (‘Heartbreaker’ LED Zeppelin II, Atlantic 588198) or play some dub-step such as Noisia’s ‘Split The Atom’ (Maustrap MAU5CD010P) and the sheer force almost bowls you over; the bass shakes both you and the room.

 Music should surprise and be unpredictable, be immediate and involving otherwise the killer of all killers, boredom sets in. At any volume this Audio Note UK system delivers in spades and at the cost offers supreme value for money and promotes long term satisfaction.

Our most recent Audio Note UK customer commented when first hearing the above system “my God, I’ve wasted the last 20 years faffing about with HiFi”. Says it all really. Needless to say, he bought it.

Audio Note UK components are categorised by levels 1-5, 1 being entry and 5 being state of the art, albeit that there are many products of different performance and cost within each level. They recommend not mixing between levels beyond one above or one below so as to maintain system performance. The above system falls within level 2 with the exception of the speakers, which are level 3 in this instance.

So why not pop in anytime, no need to book a demo, and have a listen. Bring an LP or CD you like and maybe make a new discovery?

 We’re thrilled to be in partnership with Audio Note UK and hope you’ll enjoy it too.

 The cost

 TT based system £24,400

CD based system £23,400

TT&CD based system £30,300

Each includes 3.5 Isis single run bi-wire speaker cables and Isis cabled mains block.

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Rega, QUAD and Spendor Hi-Fi System Focusing On Vinyl And CD!

We realise that not everyone wants to stream their music, some people like to keep it simple with CD and Vinyl. With this in mind we put together a quality mid range system (Under £4000 excluding cables) for a small to medium room that sounds great and focuses on more traditional formats.

Quad Solus, Rega Planar 3 & Fono MM

Quad Solus, Rega Planar 3 & Fono MM

The honest shot showing the connecting cables!

The honest shot showing the connecting cables!

Starting with the hub of the system, we have the Quad Artera Solus. The Solus is an amplifier / CD combo in the very high quality Artera casework giving it a really solid, hefty feel.

Quad Artera Solus

Quad Artera Solus

For our record spinner we chose the latest version of the iconic Rega Planar 3 with Elys cartridge and the Rega Fono MM phono stage. The Planar 3 is available in Black or White as well as the Red finish shown below, and without cartridge if you would prefer to choose your own.

Rega Planar 3 with Elys

Rega Planar 3 with Elys

Rega Fono MM

Rega Fono MM

And last but not least, one of the most compact floorstanding speakers we have, the Spendor A2 in black. The Spendor’s are also available in Dark Walnut and Natural Oak. White is available at a premium. Grills are available as an optional extra.

We tried several pairs of speakers with the system and liked the Spendor’s the most. Although they struggle to fill a big room, the combination of subtlety and a very natural musical presentation won us over against some of their bigger rivals.

Spendor A2

Spendor A2

Although this system is excellent with CD and Vinyl it does have potential to expand. The Quad Solus does have Bluetooth if you want to dip your toe into the streaming world. It also has digital inputs, and analogue outputs for the Quad Artera Power amplifier for a bigger room / speakers.

Quad Artera Solus Rear

Quad Artera Solus Rear

Feel free to come in and have a listen. Thanks for reading Nick, Joe & James - Audio T Portsmouth.

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

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

Spendor Loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T: Cardiff, Cheltenham, Portsmouth, Swindon

The Majik Of Linn Hi-Fi Products Are Now Available At Audio T Oxford

After an hiatus of 25 years, we are proud to announce that we are now an official Linn dealer at Audio T Oxford.

Linn, based in Glasgow is one of the oldest and most respected British Hi-Fi manufacturers. An engineering firm; building turntables, loudspeakers, amplifiers and digital network music players. Never one to follow the herd, Linn led the development of digital music streaming and network systems.

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The iconic Sondek LP12 - (pictured above) has been in production continuously since 1973. Every single Sondek LP12 is made by hand and signed by the person who builds it. Every single Sondek made, has the capability to be upgraded to the latest specification. Our resident turntable Guru, Chris Henry, has been servicing, upgrading and generally fettling them for over 40 years!.

The three ranges are Majik LP12, Akurate LP12 and Klimax LP12.

We are stockists of the Linn Majik DSM, a true one-box two-channel music system (available in black or silver) with a powerful 90W per channel amplifier, 15 digital (HDMI, coaxial, optical ) & analogue inputs, a built-in phono stage (MM) for connecting a turntable, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streams are supported, streaming from a NAS and Internet radio.

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The system can be controlled via both iOS and Android apps, a computer desktop option is available too. A remote control for convenience is supplied.

The Linn Majik DSM is a truly versatile system that allows you to connect a turntable, TV, set-top box or a games console - No problem. There are 3 optical, 3 coaxial, 4 HDMI and 4 analogue inputs (one of them for a turntable).

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Linn have had years to perfect the control system and the Linn Kazoo control app is well designed and is a delight to use. Choose your source, select your music and play - That’s it.

This is a great music system, at a very reasonable price. Packed full of detail and rhythm. It will make you want to listen to more music. Whether that be your favourite records or to stream your music digitally it’s fantastic!

So come on in and have a listen to one of the best British Hi-Fi brands around!

Linn Hi-Fi Products are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Oxford, Swindon

2018 Record Recommendations And Ortofon Cartridges to Play Them On!

In 2018 the Danish Cartridge manufacturer Ortofon celebrated its centenary. Yes you read that right. One hundred years and still going strong! Still making some of the best reproducers of music that your vinyl will ever give up its information for! And guess what? We love them!

Whether you decide to go for a moving magnet type from the 2M range or a more expensive option from the moving coil ranges such as Quintet or Cadenza your vinyl will be reproduced in such a way that you will hear way more of those tiny details, more space around all the instruments and a more open soundstage with music coming at you from further outside of the speaker cabinets than ever before!

2M Red

2M Red

Of course the Cadenza range will be the logical port of call for those with a higher quality turntable and arm combinations and will eke out so much detail that you will be playing all your vinyl all over again because it will sound so amazing!

Cadenza Bronze

Cadenza Bronze

Of course the range we sell the most of are the 2M, which is a great range to pick from if you have something like an entry level Rega or Project deck and are hankering after a nice upgrade from the supplied cartridge (we will even fit it for you free of charge too!). The Ortofon 2M red is the place to start!

The Ortofon Bronze with its nude (ooh err!) fine line stylus is a great tracker and will help to reduce record wear and groove distortion. The body being made from a newly developed Noryl plastic/glass combination giving precise and accurate retrieval of the information. Designed by Ortofon former chief engineer and cartridge genius Per Winfield the 2M range really do punch above their weight!

Over the past year we have been using various of the Ortofon cartridges to play a selection of our favourite albums from the past year. Here are a few recommendations all of which sound amazing and all of which will help to show off just how good that new turntable can sound. So in no particular order, here goes………

Equinox Infinity

Equinox Infinity

This was Jon’s pick…..Equinox Infinity by Jean Michel Jarre. This one really is a welcome return to form from the French Synth wizard and quite possibly his best piece of music since the original Equinox. This one uses themes from the first Equinox but weaves them into lush undulating soundscapes of analogue synthiness that will make your hifi really come to life!

Riverside

Riverside

Next we have Farid’s choice cut of the year in the form of an album titled Wasteland by Polish prog rockers Riverside. This is their first album since the untimely death of their guitar player Piotr Grudzinski and it has a distinctly melancholy feel to it. Again it is superbly recorded with a lush expansive open soundstage and features a great set of songs beautiful in its bleakness and exquisitely played. wasteland features some of the most gorgeously painful moments any band has ever committed to vinyl.

All Traps On Earth

All Traps On Earth

Andy’s album of the year by miles and miles and miles is the very lovely thing that is A Drop of Light by All Traps on Earth. I have mentioned this one in a previous blog so will keep it short! A double album in a gate-fold sleeve beautifully packaged and even more beautifully sounding. This is proggressive rock of the highest quality and is one of those that just keeps on getting better every time you listen to it. This is basically what the band Anglagard have become and features twisted rhythms of astonishing virtuosity and has some of the deepest bass you will ever hear on a rock music album. And they have not one but two Mellotrons! Nuff said!!

GoGo Penguin

GoGo Penguin

A (very) honourable mention goes to this one ….. A Humdrum Star by GoGo Penguin. The bands fourth album and second one for the BlueNote record label finds them mixing electronic sounds with jazz rock elements and wickedly good interplay between acoustic bass grooves and wonderful rolling piano melodies (the drummer isn’t too bad either!). Another one of those albums that genuinely is of demo quality. Many thanks to Red House Records in Swindon for the recommendation.

You genuinely will not be disappointed with any of these and if you have any Christmas prezzie money burning a hole in your pocket……….well you know what to do!

See you again in the 2019 for more bloggy loveliness.

Andy, Jon and Farid - Audio T Cheltenham

Ortofon cartridges are available at all branches of Audio T.

Rega record players are available at all branches of Audio T

Pro-ject record players are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Swansea, Swindon

Michell My Belle! Customer Upgrades His Gyro Turntable With Michell Techno Tonearm

Christmas arrives a little early for one of our customers as he has treated himself to a new tone arm on his Michell Gyro turntable. He had an ageing Rega RB300 previously installed on the turntable that was starting to become troublesome. With our advice the customer chose the obvious choice, the Michell Techno A tonearm in black to match the existing finish of the turntable.

Michell Gyro with new Techno A arm fitted

Michell Gyro with new Techno A arm fitted

At the same time we have also removed the old acrylic plinth and lid giving the deck a much slicker look and feel. This was achieved by adding the Michell Gyro Spyder kit as shown below. The old deck is dismantled and the feet are removed from the plinth and threaded on to the new Spyder.

Michell Gyro Spyder kit

Michell Gyro Spyder kit

Techno A arm unboxing

Techno A arm unboxing

New arm mounting plate

New arm mounting plate

The old arm mounting plate needs to be replaced as it is the single mounting point plate. The new mounting plate is seen fitted in place above. The new three point mount all ready for the new tone arm.

Tonearm mount from top

Tonearm mount from top

Techno A arm fitted

Techno A arm fitted

Next we need to fit the cartridge to the tonearm. Our customer decided to go for the Rega Ania MC cartridge as shown below.

Rega ANIA MC cartridge during fitting

Rega ANIA MC cartridge during fitting

Rega ANIA MC cartridge

Rega ANIA MC cartridge

Now we need to adjust the height of the tonearm to make sure the vertical tracking angle is correct for the cartridge installed. This is achieved by the clever Michell thread at the mounting of the arm. In this case no adjustment was needed so the three mounting screws can tightened to fix the tonearm in place.

Tonearm height adjustment

Tonearm height adjustment

Michell Techno A arm Scallop counter weights

Michell Techno A arm Scallop counter weights

Two different weight scallops are supplied depending on the weight of your cartridge. In this case the larger of the two has been used.

Scallop counter weight in place

Scallop counter weight in place

Checking tracking force

Checking tracking force

Above we are checking the tracking weight using Project Measure IT stylus balance gage.

Ready for the first play

Ready for the first play

Cue up ready……”drop the needle on the record”

Cue up ready……”drop the needle on the record”

Michell HR power supply + Nytech CDP122

Michell HR power supply + Nytech CDP122

Above is the is older Michell HR power supply (this has now been replaced with a more modern looking box and case work) alongside the Nytech CDP122, our weapon of choice at the moment when it comes to supplying moving magnet or moving coil setups.

Final pic of the completed setup

Final pic of the completed setup

Thanks to Steve for his permission to blog about his latest audio upgrade. In the pic above we have the front of his home cinema setup. The classic Pioneer plasma, Arcam AVR550, REL S3, Oppo UDP-203 & the now discontinued Bowers & Wilkins 683S2 teamed with the HTM61S2 center speaker. He finishes off his surround system with two B&W M1 speakers on the rear and B&W CCM665 in the ceiling for Dolby Atmos, creating a very impressive 5.1.2 system. Michell Techno A arm and Rega ANIA MC cartridge is available from all branches of Audio T.

Michell Engineering turntables are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Cardiff, Manchester, Southampton, Swansea

Thanks for reading: Hefin, Nick (blogger) and Kerrin Audio T Cardiff.