Italy Goes For Gold With The Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage

The Gold Note PH-10 phono stage is designed and built by Maurizio Aterni (CEO and Founder) and Giovani Rialti (Chief Engineer) in Montespertoli (Florence) Italy. With a host for features including various equalisation curves and nine load impedances, MM and MC inputs the Gold Note PH-10 becomes a very versatile unit. Available in silver, black or gold finishes, the non-magnetic anodised aluminium is milled from a solid piece of metal.

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On powering up, you are greeted with a bright 2.8” TFT screen which displays the status of the unit (this can be switched off once your preferred settings have been found). By using the single control knob you can set the Gold Note PH-10 to match almost any cartridge thus giving the best possible sound and enjoyment from your vinyl records. This can also be useful for changing and fine tuning “on the fly”. No awkward dip switches here! As well as the adjustments for gain and impedance there is also a choice of three equalisation curves. All modern LP’s use the RIAA curve, however some older pressings like Decca/London or American CBS/Columbia would have been recorded using a different curve. For example some of the early Decca SXL pressings using the Decca/London setting sounded more airy in the higher frequencies.

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On the back of the unit we have a selection of two inputs. We have the two RCA phono inputs both of which can be set to MM or MC, complimented by their individual grounding posts. Outputs consist of a pair of balanced XLR and a pair of unbalanced RCA. Also there is a 8-pin socket for adding the PSU10 power supply, a micro USB for future software upgrades and finally the IEC mains socket with the master on/off switch. The unit can be switched to standby from the from panel.

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As well as following closely the curves of the three record standards this unit even allows you to select an “enhanced” curve following the Neumann 3.18us/50kHz single pole filter. This gives a more exciting sound at higher frequencies. A dotted red line on the display shows when this is selected. This is very effective at giving some extra life to dull sounding pressings

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While listening to this Gold Note PH-10 phono stage we found nothing but pleasure. We could find no vices, just music delivered the way we love to hear it. It had our toes tapping and bought many a smile to our faces. With 6 EQ patterns, 4 choices of gain and 9 impedance settings this new baby from Gold Note is an amazing product. You can get speed, depth, detail and transparency from your vinyl, a sound that belies its price point

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Gold Note products can be ordered from all Audio T branches and are on demonstration now at our Cardiff and Bristol stores.

Two Cracking New Hi-Fi Products From Pro-Ject! The T1 Turntable And Stream Box S2

No one can accuse Pro-Ject of resting on their laurels when it comes to bringing out new products. We have just had two of the latest arrive with us in store: the Stream Box S2 miniature Hi-Res streamer and the T1 Phono SB turntable and they are both great performers and offer great value for money.

The little Stream Box S2 is an incredibly affordable and flexible way to dip your toe into music streaming.

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This tiny box really is a marvel. it will handle 24/192 streams, has its own dedicated Android and IOS app and full Tidal integration.

Round the back of the  Stream Box S2  you’ll find fixed and variable analogue outputs, an optical output, line in, plus Ethernet and WiFi network connection.

Round the back of the Stream Box S2 you’ll find fixed and variable analogue outputs, an optical output, line in, plus Ethernet and WiFi network connection.

It really does sound incredibly good for the money seemingly equally at home with the funk of Janelle Monae and classic rock from Pink Floyd. The dedicated app works a treat and is intuitive to use.

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There is the ability to use in a multi-room configuration or even to stereo pair two together with active speakers. All in all the Stream Box S2 is a fantastic product.

Next up we have the first in the T-Line series of Pro-Ject turntables: the T1

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This extremely handsome turntable is available in three variants, standard, Bluetooth with phono stage built in, and built in phono stage with a speed switch.

The one pictured here is the T1 Phono SB (speed box) and this is the walnut finish. Other finishes for the T1 are white and black.

The  T1  has a beautiful frosted glass platter.

The T1 has a beautiful frosted glass platter.

The well built tonearm is fitted with an old favourite, the Ortofon OM5e cartridge.

The well built tonearm is fitted with an old favourite, the Ortofon OM5e cartridge.

Add to that the options of speed control or Bluetooth capability and it’s a range which will suit most people….oh and it sounds great too! Very clean and controlled with good resolution on all types of music.

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It also looks great on our Hi-Fi Racks wall bracket in walnut.

We think Pro-Ject have come with a couple of winners here, why not come in and have a listen yourself.

Pro-ject Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Swansea, Swindon

Take Note! Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage

Introducing the Gold Note PH-10, a phono stage that we love and we are sure you will too. The PH-10 phono stage makes good first impressions with its slick Italian design and attractive front display. Not only does it look great, more importantly it sounds great. We listened to a “Herbie Hancock” track which had a trumpet piece and it had never sounded so in the room. Gold Note have out done themselves - the Ferrari of phono stages!

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It boasts a range of unique features such as the EQ curvature adjustment, as well as load and gain adjustments, allowing you to pair it up with your own cartridge (Moving magnet or moving coil) which in turn will ensure you are getting the best out of your turntable. Did we also mention that it’s the first phono stage with two inputs and 6 EQ curves in one box?

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The Gold Note PH-10 doesn't stop there, it’s also upgradeable by adding on its own unique power supply called the Gold Note PSU-10, this allows the phono stage to breathe, adding noticeably more depth, a higher degree of musical realism and much more established dynamics. As it is not essential to run the PH-10 its a nice upgrade to consider for the future. Gold Note proudly, and rightly so, boast that they design, craft and assemble every single part of the unit, which clearly reflects in the final product, sonically and visually.

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To conclude, the Gold Note PH-10 and power supply are a fantastic pair of units that can enhance the performance of a wide range of turntables. We can’t stop listening to them currently with our Linn LP12 Akurate

But don’t take our word for it, why not pop in store and we’d be delighted to show you!

Gold Note Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Bristol, Cardiff.

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.

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

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

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

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

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A deconstructed Rega Planar 8

A deconstructed Rega Planar 8

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

Planar 8 plinth and new RB880 tonearm

Planar 8 plinth and new RB880 tonearm

Rega Planar 8

Rega Planar 8

The super flywheel effect triple layer glass platter

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

NEO PSU

NEO PSU

NEO PSU (Rear)

NEO PSU (Rear)

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

Rega Apheta 2 cartridge

Rega Apheta 2 cartridge

But there is one more thing!

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

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

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

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

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Rega Aria Phono Stage

Rega Aria Phono Stage

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

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

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

Planar 8, Aria, Elicit-R, Neo PSU

Planar 8, Aria, Elicit-R, Neo PSU

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

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

An Aura of Sophistication - We Take A Closer Look At The Rega Aura MC Phono Stage

The new Rega Aura is the culmination of many years of research by Rega. As a reference MC phono stage, Rega have created a no compromise phono pre-amplifier that will deliver all the subtle nuances extracted by your prized moving coil cartridge.

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This truly is a heavy weight in every sense, weighing in at 14kg, it's a solid unit that exudes quality with its completely re-designed custom case. The slick front panel allows you to easily switch capacitance and load settings with minimal effort to ensure your MC Cartridge and the Rega Aura match perfectly. On the rear you get balanced outputs as well as RCA.

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In order put it through its paces. we put together a great sounding system consisting of Rega's fantastic RP10 turntable, fitted with their top of the line cartridge the Aphelion, hooked up to a Rega Osiris amplifier and Bowers and Wilkins 702 speakers. To make things more interesting and to give a comparison we first listened through Rega's Aria Phono stage.

Pumping up the volume on Massive Attack's Mezzanine album everything sounded great through the Aria but then switching to the Aura definitely took things to the next level. The bass we previously thought moved along very nicely suddenly became much more focused and fluid. The separation and detail improved exponentially, more than justifying the extra cost of the Aura! We carried on listening with some Pink Floyd and we instantly became Comfortably Numb whilst thinking the Aura was right on the Money.

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At £4000 it isn't cheap, but if you are lucky enough to own a cartridge from say £1000 upwards then the Rega Aura should definitely be on your short list.

Come and have a listen at Audio T Bristol

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

The New Rega Planar 1 Plus Offers A Better And Tidier Entry Level Record Player

One could be forgiven in asking the question; does the market really need another budget turntable, indeed, another Rega? Well, as it happens absolutely!

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With the amazing resurgence in all things vinyl, we are being continually asked for an affordable entry level record player. In particular for those who have a ‘now defunct’ turntable residing in the loft, or an antiquated that doesn't have a phono stage, we often get asked for a record deck that can be used with an all-in-one system or an amplified speaker.

The obvious answer would normally be the Rega Planar 1 with a Rega Mini Fono A2D phono stage - £249 + £90 plus an additional interconnect; a formidable combination indeed. However, in typical Rega style, they have both managed to surpass its performance and dispense with the separate phono stage which costs less.

Enter the new Rega Planar 1 Plus £329

The Planar 1 Plus is the exact same turntable as the venerable Planar 1 but with a higher quality phono stage built directly into the deck, which allows you to connect the deck to any line input (aux on many products) with the supplied phono to phono or phono to 3.5mm lead (upgrades are available).

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Removing both the USB interface and the 1.5m armlead (replaced with a short connection to the phono amp) and using the funds to further refine the circuit, Rega has managed to extract even more performance from the Planar 1 design and make for an altogether cosmetically tidier solution and for less money to boot, nice one Rega!

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The Rega Planar 1 Plus is available for demonstration at Audio T Reading and all other Audio T stores.

Project Tube Box DS2 Phono Stage Arrives at Enfield

We have just taken delivery of our new Pro-ject Tube Box DS2 phono stage. It features variable loading impedance 10-1000 ohms, variable capacitance and gain settings and it can drive two separate turntables!  It has a valve output stage (2X ECC 83/12AX7) and a dual mono design. It makes your music played on vinyl sound lovely!

After a few hours of running we connected this beauty up to our resident Rega Planar 6 (fitted with Rega Ania cartridge).

Sound
First impressions were of a very stable image, coupled with the unmistakable mid range clarity which is a signature trait of valve phono stages.

What make this different to other phono stages at the same price point?
Having a variable adjustment for impedance and gain means you can tailor the sound to your particular tastes and equipment. By using the controls on the front of the DS2 - which you can alter during use means can instantly hear the difference and arrive at the sound you like.

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Other phono stages do not provide these controls and limit the user to whatever the manufacturer believes to be right. So the Pro-ject DS2 phono stage can suit a wide variety of vinyl replay music systems at very different price points and ears!

Come in and have a listen at Audio T Enfield or borrow it and try it at home using our home loan service.

Pro-ject Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSwanseaSwindon

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?