New Rega Ania Moving Coil Cartridge

Rega have been pushing the boundaries of cartridge design for a good number of years, and none more so than the moving coil type.

The Rega Apheta was the first of these in 2005, and that was re-worked and improved when the Apheta 2 was introduced in 2014. The top of the range Aphelion followed in 2015 and demonstrated just how far Rega had progressed the design and manufacture in this highly specialised discipline.

All these turntable cartridges are manufactured by Rega at their UK facility in Southend-on-Sea which is quite an accomplishment.

The Ania is the new addition to the moving coil range which opens up ownership due to the wider compatibility with tonearms and turntables, and of course its price, which offers great value and exceptional sound for the money.

Indeed the Rega Planar 3 combines very well with the Ania, and as you go up through the Rega turntable range greater musical delights become apparent.

Rega moving coil cartridges are the low output type and require a moving coil phono stage. It just so happens that Rega are also introducing the Fono MC that is an obvious partner, although other MC stages will work.

The newly announced Rega Planar 6 completes the perfect package of Planar 6 (inc Neo PSU), the Ania MC cartridge and the recently released Fono MC stage.

The Ania and Fono MC are already the beneficiaries of a fine review by Jason Kennedy in where he extols the virtue of their performance partnered with the Rega RP8 turntable.

We have the Ania, Apheta 2 and Aphelion on demonstration and expect the Fono MC in mid July and the new Planar 6 around the end of July.

So, give us a call to hear the combination of your choice, and we will arrange that for you.

Julian, Paul and John at Audio T Brighton  Tel: 01273 609431

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

The Rega Ania MC Cartridge, Hand Made By Rega In Southend-on-Sea

The new Rega Ania has just arrived here at Manchester, seen as the baby brother of the wonderful Apheta 2, the £498 moving coil cartridge could well a be winner in the making.

Officially the third in the range of moving coil cartridges from Rega, this is a much needed price point (in our opinion) and bridges the gap nicely between the Rega Exact and Apheta 2.

 Can you spot the Rega Ania?

Can you spot the Rega Ania?

Hand made completely at Rega headquarters in Southend-On-Sea the Rega Ania is hand wound by the bods at Rega. Amazingly, but not surprisingly the build quality of the Ania is on par with our Japanese cousins, who as you know, can make a mean cartridge.

Rega Ania (2 of 11).jpg

The neodymium magnet is housed in the high quality and unique rigid plastic body, using the same technique Rega use for the Apheta 2 and the Aphelion but at half the cost of the Apheta 2 because of the materials used. With meticulously wound finer than fine copper wire (as seen below), it requires an infinite amount of patience during the process. This task is not for the coffee drinkers.

The Ania uses Rega's 3 point “tried and tested” mounting to remove any tracking errors. Rega have said it will be factory fitted as an option on some of the turntables. The RP6 and RP8 come to mind straight away, but what a great upgrade it would be to the ever popular Planar 3

 The Rega Ania will make a great upgrade for the Planar 3. Watch this space for an update on how it sounds. 

The Rega Ania will make a great upgrade for the Planar 3. Watch this space for an update on how it sounds. 

You may have noticed the words “Hand Made In” in our blog. This is something we try and get across every once in a while just to remind  people that we still make great products "by hand" in good old Blighty. The beautiful pocket squares used in the photographs with the Rega Ania are sold by Doherty Evans & Stott, a high end bespoke tailors just up the road from us.

These colourful squares were a collaboration between the Manchester School of Art, silk weavers based in Macclesfield and DE&S. The winning designs were chosen by Andy, Matt and Tom at DE&S. So well done to Jazmine Darson, Kauser Farhan and Maya Elbourki. I'm going to be buying one.

So, in a nutshell if you want to add a bit of pizzaz and and splash of musical colour to your vinyl, why not take a look the Rega Ania. And if your suit needs a splash of summer to brighten your day try one of the colourful pocket squares from DE&S. Simple.

The Rega Ania will be on demonstration at our Manchester store and at our up and coming secret Rega product launch event on the 15th July.

Mike, Dave, Simon, Haden and Munir are usually loitering somewhere in the store. So feel free to ask any questions you may have. 

Hope to see you soon.

New Rega Ania Moving Coil Cartridge

Building on the success of the Apheta 2 and Aphelion moving coil cartridges Rega have introduced the new Rega Ania.

Rega's design approach is unique for moving coil cartridges using an undamped ultra low mass generator with a rhomboid pivot for the cantilever coupled with an exclusively designed neodymium magnet system. This approach requires a cartridge body that has virtually zero tolerances to allow exact positioning of the magnet system relative to the pivot mounting hole. This is achieved in the Apheta and Aphelion models by machining ultra high grade aluminium to achieve the tolerance levels required (Within one thousandth of a millimetre).

 Rega Ania

Rega Ania

The process of machining aluminium to this tolerance level is exceptionally expensive so when Rega decided to design the Ania moving coil cartridge their solution was to use a moulding process using an unusual poly/glass combination called 'Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS-Forton). The special attributes of this material are its hardness and stability in shape and dimension after the moulding process. Rega have designed and built a new production mould tool to enable this extremely complex body shape to be achieved to the exacting specifications required.

To achieve the performance of the Ania cartridge they have combined the PPS body with an elliptical tipped diamond stylus and cantilever with an iron cross and micro coil assembly (one of the smallest MC generators). Special three point stainless steel inserts have been used for secure three point coupling to the tone arm.

 Three Point Mounting System

Three Point Mounting System

Sound Quality:

With the Ania MC cartridge firmly fixed to a Rega Planar 3 my first impression was that it shouldn't be able to do that for the money. It wasn't just good, it was astonishing. I first played Crazy Love by Poco off the album Legend and even though I thought I knew this one inside out the Rega combination laid out the harmony vocals and acoustic guitars within a huge soundstage of those "shivers down your spine" moments! To make sure this wasn't a fluke, on went another demo fave in the shape of Faron Young by the rather wonderful Prefab Sprout and sure enough everything was bigger more open and more detailed than I have ever heard a Planar 3 before. The Thomas Dolby production work really coming alive with great deep but tight and fast bass allied to a wide open mid-range and a sweet top end.

Appetite whetted we then decided to put the Ania in the RB808 arm on the Rega RP8 turntable where it really excelled. The Poco and Prefab Sprout tracks opening up to reveal yet more detail. This really is one of those items of Hi-Fi that makes music fun to listen to and that will have you rooting through your record collection to hear what delights it will reveal next. In fact we were so impressed that Jon has ordered one for himself and I am thinking that my Rega P7 turntable may be paired up with one when my Dynavector wears out!!

The unique design concept of the new Rega Ania MC cartridge has produced a market leading cartridge with exceptional musicality, speed, clarity and detail retrieval not before achieved at this price point (£499.00 Inc VAT).

We have fitted our demonstration Ania to the Rega RP8 and have coupled it with phono stages from the Rega Fono MC, Arcam R-Phono and Rega Aria with outstanding results. If you are looking for a new moving coil cartridge that does not cost the earth a demonstration of the new Rega Ania is highly recommended. 

 Almost forgot Kung Foo Hamster

Almost forgot Kung Foo Hamster

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Farid, Andy and Jon - Audio T Cheltenham

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

The Brilliant And Gorgeous Hana EL Cartridge

Audio T Manchester have just added a new range of Hana cartridges to our collection. This relatively new brand of cartridge from the land of the rising sun is causing quite a stir amongst people who have already heard them, and although first introduced in 2015 the company behind Hana, Excel Sound Corporation, have been producing cartridges for over 50 Years. We took in the Hana-EL and SL as our first foray into this new range.

Today's blog will take a quick look at the beautiful moss green Hana-EL MC cartridge and at the slick black Hana SL Shibata and maybe a few puns from a galaxy far far away.....

Hana in Japanese actually means "brilliant and gorgeous" which, for all intents and purposes is exactly how it sounds. Tested with our own Michell Gyro'SE' the Hana EL didn't let us down.  it gets you a lot of bang for your galaxy credits.

Stereophile magazine also took the Hana EL "low output" for a test drive and said "the EL's basic sonic character was highly musical and exceptionally non mechanical." (Vol.39 No.8 WWW)"

Excel Sound Corporation have being making cartridges for other manufacturers for over 50 years now and only recently have they decided to put their own name to a range of cartridges called Hana, which are hand made in Tokyo Japan.

All Hana cartridges have a highly rigid aluminium cantilever and a diamond stylus.

Ok, so our opinion on the Hana twins. Dave our manager and turntable jedi wanted to give the pair a whirl. He tested both the EL and SL Shibata on a Linn  LP12, Ekos arm with exceptional results. To begin with, the EL low output did an admiral job of sounding musical and detailed, certainly worth the admission fee.  

Then the Hana SL Shibata, is equally impressive, but is much more open, the extra height in the soundstage just lifts everything out and away of the speakers. What's more, the very low surface noise just adds to the detail, more than you would expect from just a Shibata upgrade, very good and again great value.

Hi-Fi Choice, Hifi World and Hifi Pig all gave the Hana cartridges glowing reviews.

Hana EL and Chromey (6 of 11).jpg

Headshell Chromey! Headshell!! Thats a half inch mount....not your headshell mate...ahh never mind, come on now move along, move along and put your helmet back on, there's nothing to see here. 

The Hana SL Shibata mounted on our Michell Gyro SE.

The Hana cartridges are both on demonstration at our Manchester store and we have the Michell and Rega turntables on standby ready to show off the Hana's capabilities.

So please do pop along to our store on Bridge Street in Manchester and just ask Munir, Dave, Mike, Simon or Haden (on a Sunday) if you're interested in listening to the Hana, they will be more than willing to help.

Oh, and may the vertical tracking force be with you, all 2 grams of it.

Hana products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodManchester and Reading

How To Take Care Of Your Precious Records In The New Age of Vinyl

With vinyl sales soaring and turntables becoming ever more popular it's important to care for your records and record playing equipment so here's a few tips and products that we'd recommend for seasoned vinyl addicts and newbies alike.

 The Bear essentials for great sounding vinyl replay!

The Bear essentials for great sounding vinyl replay!

There are many products out there to help with this but first and foremost is a humble duster! If you keep the area around your turntable free from dust there will be less to build up around your stylus and on your records, remember records tend to generate static so they'll attract dust. This is where the humble anti-static brush comes in very handy like the one from Audioquest in the picture above. There is also a similar product for cleaning your stylus (also pictured above) It's not uncommon to have a major build up on a stylus which can make it sound like the cartridge is failing.

For cleaning records with a heavier level of grime Pro-ject make two great products. The Spin Clean is a manual "wet cleaning" system for only £90 and if you want your records restored to sparkling brilliance try the fantastic Project VCS machine, which removes dirt and grime brilliantly. Then store your records in anti-static sleeves to help maintain their condition.

 Boswell is the original vinyl care bear and says that "V inyl hygiene is imperative for the best sound reproduction ".

Boswell is the original vinyl care bear and says that "Vinyl hygiene is imperative for the best sound reproduction".

This is where we come in. Getting the set up of your turntable right will give the most rewarding musical experience, whether you're a Dire Straits or Ed Sheeran fan. We can adjust and set up almost any turntable here in store and are always happy to help you do this.

For those of you who like to tweak and play, and there are many opportunities for this with turntables, we have a wide range of mats, stylus force measures, and pucks and clamps available.

One other essential accessory to keep your precious vinyl safe in transit, is our wonderful limited edition Audio T 50th Anniversary record bag and teddy bear carrier modelled here by Boswell.

 It's available from all our Stores (bear not included!)

It's available from all our Stores (bear not included!)

No matter what turntable, as long as it's working and of a decent standard, it is always possible to improve its performance. You can change the cartridge, sometimes the cables, and the phono stage as well. At Audio T we have always prided ourselves on our knowledge of turntables and getting the best performance out of them. Why not come in and see us, or give us a ring and have a chat about how we can do that for you.

We look forward to seeing you. 

Paul, Francis and Jason

Project Classic Turntable Arrives At Audio T Cheltenham

The Cheltenham Branch have just taken delivery of the new Project Classic Turntable. Designed by Project for their 25th Anniversary the aptly named Classic has taken design inspiration from 1960/70s classics such as the Thorens and Linn.

The Classic is a two plinth design allowing the motor to be well isolated from the main bearing and arm greatly reducing the transfer of mechanical and electrical energy produced by the motor. Rather than using springs for the suspension (renowned for causing set up issues) the Classic utilises Thermo Plastic Elastomers to isolate the two plinths. This not only offers excellent isolation and anti resonance properties but also allows easy set up straight out of the box. We had our demonstration deck up and running and sounding fantastic in two minutes.

 Kung Fu Hamster hasn't seen a spinning wheel like this before!

Kung Fu Hamster hasn't seen a spinning wheel like this before!

The deck is supplied with a newly designed tonearm with some radical design concepts. The arm tube is constructed of a composite sandwich material comprising of carbon fibre and aluminium. The carbon fibre offers excellent rigidity and reduced mass while the aluminium provides excellent damping. A new ultra low friction bearing assembly is used enabling excellent tracking. Even the the nickel counterweight is TPE damped to reduce resonances. The arm has full VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle) and Azimuth adjustment allowing easy cartridge change / upgrade.

 Kung Fu Hamster takes a closer look at the Pro-ject Classic platter

Kung Fu Hamster takes a closer look at the Pro-ject Classic platter

The deck is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Silver moving magnet cartridge. This allows the Classic to perform to a very high standard out of the box but with the quality of components utilised in the deck a cartridge upgrade is a great opportunity in the future.

To audition the Project Classic we set it up with a Rega Elicit amplifier using its excellent on-board phono stage and coupled this with a pair of Neat acoustics SX2 Loudspeakers. We played a wide range of vinyl and achieved excellent results with all types of Music.

Phil Collins - I don't Care Anymore (Hello I must be Going Album):
The Classic provided excellent bass weight and control. The drums were extremely tight and fast and at no time did the sound become confused. Information retrieval was  very good with an excellent soundstage. At no time did the deck become confused.

Helen Watson - You're not the rule (Blue Slipper Album):
The Classic offered a great sense of timing. The sound was exceptionally tuneful and for such a complicated piece of music at no time did the classic get confused or appear to lose detail. The vocals were portrayed with excellent realism and emotion.

Stanley Jordan - Eleanor Rigby (Magic Touch Album):
This gave a superb sound stage with a great sense of openness and clarity. The attack on the strings was easily heard and again we were surprised how a deck at this price point held everything together. In fact my biggest problem listening to this track was concentrating on the deck rather than the music as the Classic made it sound so involving.

Overall this record deck offers outstanding sound quality for such an affordable price. It offers superb build quality and standard of finish. It is easy to set up and integrate into virtually any hi-fi system. It also offers the opportunity to upgrade with the addition of a better cartridge. The Ortofon 2M Silver offers great sound when purchased with the deck but a future upgrade will reap great benefits. Overall we cannot recommend this record player highly enough and would strongly advise a demonstration if you are in the market for a turntable at this price point.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future and be rest assured if you come in for a demonstration you will be given a warm welcome. (And tea and coffee).

Jon, Farid and Andy

Click here to read more about the Pro-ject Classic Turntable tech specs and customer reviews.

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

It's Christmas Time And We Have Hi-Fi Gifts To Suit All Budgets!

We've got all sorts of Hi-Fi goodies in store for the music lover in your life to give as a major present, stocking filler, or just to treat yourself for Christmas!

Here's Boswell with a small selection for your perusal.

There's the new fabulous B&W P9 Signature headphones, a new level of sophistication from this renowned company

We have of course all of the other B&W headphones for you to try.

Or how about the fabulous Chord Mojo portable headphone amplifier and DAC currently available with a FREE leather carry case. (Offer ends 05-01-2017).

How about helping your system to fulfill its potential with a cable upgrade? We have a wide range from Audioquest  and The Chord Company

 Non Christmassy colours are available!

Non Christmassy colours are available!

If you listen to your music on vinyl, there is also a wide variety of accessories for your turntable. From a little carbon fibre brush to keep your most prized needle sparklingly clean, through record cleaning brushes, new cartridges from Ortofon and Rega, and the wonderful Project VC-S record cleaning machine. We even have record players for under £200.

Of course we also have our full range of excellent electronics and speakers to choose from and don't forget our Big Red Sale Winter sale has started, so there are some fantastic savings to be made!

We'll take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you over the holiday period.

Paul, Francis, Jason and, of course, Boswell the bear. 

Audio T Brentwood 

01277 264730