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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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….

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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.

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

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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.

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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

AURALiC Aries G1 Wireless Streaming Transporter For Great Digital Music Streaming In Brighton.

The ARIES G1 connects over Wi-Fi to digital sources like network attached storage, Internet streaming services like TIDAL and Qobuz, Internet Radio, and USB drives to bring high performance streaming to your home audio system. Infused with AURALiC technologies and designs developed for the premier G2 line.

Aries G1 provides a digital output so will require connecting to a Digital to Analogue Converter. A perfect choice for anyone already happy with the DAC performance in their system.

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The well made and very handsome G series styling with high quality colour display is winning friends. Spotify Connect, AirPlay, and Roon Ready, ARIES G1 connectivity is more expansive than ever.  A perfect choice for streaming audiophile-grade resolutions up to DSD512 and PCM 32bit/384k.

Take control with user apps like Lightning DS or Roon, and gain true audiophile streaming.

AURALiC Aries G1 Rear View

AURALiC Aries G1 Rear View

Visit Julian, Paul and John at Audio T Brighton to explore the great performance from AURALiC products and compare with the competition. 01273 609431 brighton@audio-t.co.uk

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

''Incredible!'' ''Wow!'' ''Fantastic!'' ''Better than going to the Movies!''

These are just some of the words and sentences that customers have said to us when they have experienced the Audio-T Enfield demo rooms with our Dolby Atmos Home Cinema systems. 

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Audio-T Enfield has now added a second Dolby Atmos room to complement the main big demo room.  We are now one of the very few dealers in the UK to have two Dolby Atmos Home Cinema rooms.

Dolby Atmos demo room 2
B&W IN CEILING SPEAKERS

Our main demo room comprises of a complete Home Cinema system comprising of the following components :

Dolby Atmos Room 1

JVC 7900 4K compliant Projector

Grandview Fixed Frame 106’’ Cinema Screen

Panasonic UB820 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player

New JVC 7900 4K UHD projector

New JVC 7900 4K UHD projector

For your auditory pleasure we have :

Speakers in a Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 System are

PMC Twenty5 26 Left/Right Speakers

PMC Twenty5 Centre

PMC Twenty5 24 Surround Speakers

B&W CCM 665 x4 In Ceiling Dolby Atmos Speakers

REL S5 Super High Output Subwoofer

Marantz AV8005 13.1 Channel Dolby Atmos Processor

Marantz MM8077 7 Channel Power Amp

Marantz and PMC
4k on a 106'' Screen
Mission Impossible Fallout in 4K 106'' Screen

Pop over to Audio-T Enfield and save the money going to the cinema. We guarantee you will be impressed.

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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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