Chromey Takes A Trip Along The i35 With Primare.

For those of you that may already know of the Swedish Hi-Fi manufacturer Primare, you will know that they have been around for over thirty years and have produced some of the best looking Hi-Fi to come out of the Scandinavia.

So when we got introduced to the new i35 integrated streamer amplifier from Primare, it wasn't a surprise to see a stunning looking piece of Hi-Fi. The only question was, will it sound as good as it looks.

So without further ado, here it is and it doesn’t disappoint…

Primare i35-4.jpg

Interestingly our favourite bespoke men’s clothing retailer also stock one of the best Swedish tie and shirt designers in Sweden, Eton. So, for our blog we needed some pictures and we thought why not take the photographs over at Doherty Evans & Stott and keep the Swedish theme going.

Primare i35-5.jpg

Right then, to the sound quality, 150 watts into 8 Ohms of class D amplification, delivered through ultra-short signal paths. Primare have built their theories into metal and circuity, utilising ultra-short signal paths thus reducing the signal to noise ratio, lowering the noise floor and giving way to cleaner sounding musica. So the result is an impressive open sound that doesn’t disappoint.

To give you an example, we have the i35 running on the our ground floor at Manchester store. A gentleman popped in and asked to listen to the Naim CD5si CD player. Our demonstration room was busy upstairs, so we connected it to the Primare i35 on the shop floor, which was driving a pair of Dynaudio Contour 60’s. The results were stunning, we played Solid Air from John Martyn via the standard RCA output from the CD5si into one of the analogue inputs on the i35. All we can say is that as a regular Hi-Fi amplifier with analogue inputs the i35 is more than capable of holding its own against other £3k+ amplifiers. (and the customer purchased the CD player!).

Primare i35 display-4.jpg

But that’s not all, remember the Primare i35 is also a very capable network streamer and DAC, and as good as it is with the RCA inputs it’s even better with its digital streaming duties. Using the slick looking Prisma app we directed the i35 to our ever-burgeoning collection of hi-res music files and pow!!. The i35 takes another leap forward in sound quality. With insane amounts of detail the Primare just plays music with aplomb.

Primare i35.jpg

Around the back we have an array of inputs. Multiple optical and electrical co-axial inputs with USB. 2 balanced XLR analogue inputs for those high end sources. Throw in a few RCA inputs and outputs and even network LAN in and out and you have a full compliment of connections.

For those of with a keen eye you may have noticed the gold plated threads for attaching a Bluetooth and wireless aerials. (we didn’t have those connected in as we had our unit wired via an ethernet connection). So you can cast your music straight from an Apple or Android device, be it a tablet or PC or phone.

Primare i35-11.jpg

Now, as we mentioned earlier, we took the photographs at Doherty Evans & Stott in order to snap a few shots with other products from Sweden. In this case beautifully crafted ties and shirts from Eton. And it looks like Chromey is keen on those lovely ties too, but at 43mm tall his only option is to tuck himself in…

…ah well. (bless him)

Primare i35-8.jpg
  Primare have the finest selector switches, the impeccably polished chrome selector switch offers such a satisfying clunk as you change inputs, just oozing quality. “yes my selecta”

Primare have the finest selector switches, the impeccably polished chrome selector switch offers such a satisfying clunk as you change inputs, just oozing quality. “yes my selecta”

 Everything in this picture is designed in Sweden, the shirt, the ties, the Primare i35. However, Chromey was hewn out of solid steel somewhere in the Empire.

Everything in this picture is designed in Sweden, the shirt, the ties, the Primare i35. However, Chromey was hewn out of solid steel somewhere in the Empire.

 The Prisma app running on our Ipad.

The Prisma app running on our Ipad.

 The front display on the Primare i35.

The front display on the Primare i35.

Right then, that just about covers it. The rest is up to you, does the Primare i35 streaming amplifier tickle your fancy? If it does, why don’t you arrange for Audio T Manchester to demonstrate it to you.

Our demo model is up and running on the shop floor at the moment.

Munir, Dave, Simon, Mike and Haden are waiting on standby and ready to help!.

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

Audio T Bristol Welcomes Primare Prisma Range

Primare have been making quality Hi-Fi for over 30 years and their equipment is incredibly well engineered which isn’t just for appearance as it sounds great. The move to streaming has not passed the guys at Primare  by. Their streaming system, called Prisma, is a very capable media solution offering Airplay, Bluetooth, Spotify and Chromecast built in. This allows a seamless solution for all your streaming and multi-room needs.

Primare i35 Range

i35.jpg


The Primare i35 streaming amplifier is a cleverly thought out piece of audio engineering. It’s modular design means it can function in any which way you want. So you could buy it as a standard Hi-Fi amplifier which provides ample power, 150w per channel, just add the matching high quality Primare CD 35 CD player. If you already have a streamer you can buy the amp with a card installed for high quality digital playback. If you don’t have a streamer all is not lost as you can buy the i35 with the previously mentioned Prisma solution. If you have an amplifier and need a CD player but you also want to delve into the world of streaming you can buy the i35 CD with Prisma and away you go. I think Primare have all combinations covered here.

Primare i15 Range

i15.jpg

The Primare i15 amplifier and DD15 CD player s is similar to the i35 range but in a small package. The amplifier is only available with prisma installed so you could buy that for a complete streaming solution or as part of a muiti-room system. It will drive most speakers with its 60 watts per channel output. If you need CD playback there is a matching CD transport and if you just need a CD player come streamer then it is available with Prisma built in.

We have tried all the above with different speaker combinations and genres of music. We think they perform admirably in terms of the sound they produce and functionality they offer. The streaming side of things is a pleasure to use, which means you can simply get on with listening to music.

As always we say don’t take our word for how good the Primare is, come along and have a listen and judge for yourself. Martin, Max and James - Audio T Bristol.

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

Bristol, Cheltenham, Manchester

Don't Be Afraid To Catch Feels: The Arcam SA20 Amplifier

Arcam aficionados and Hi-Fi buffs with good memories will recall Arcam's previous series of amplifiers (the A29, A39 and A49) had a clever output stage design (Class G), whereby it ran Class A for the 1st 20 watts or so, then kicked in Class A/B when more power was required; the cannon and kettle drums at the crescendo of the 1812 Overture, to use a worn-to-the-point-of-transparency example. This gives it a generous soundstage, and a very solid, clean, open, grown-up sound.

IMG_2170 B.JPG

The Arcam A-series of amplifiers was so well received and successful, that they've kept the design idea for the new HDA range, (currently 2 amplifiers and a disc/network audio player) plus given it a thorough re-working. So much so, the current baby model - the SA10 now has better performance than the old A29 and our eponymous hero the SA20, better performance than the old A39. In addition to the considerable performance upgrade, Arcam have added a very useful DAC (I shall expand on this in a later blog) derived from their work with the famous irDACMk2. Taken with the moving-magnet phono stage, this is very much the modern amplifier.

Customers demand lots under the hood these days.

IMG_2173 B.JPG

That's all well and good, shiny toys for all the good boys etc, so what?

Well; I recently had a gentleman walk in with a couple of LPs tucked under his arm and ask me
about suitable turntables for him. After a bit of chat (*highly* skilled sales technique surely?-ed), we settled on the Rega Planar 3 Elys2. It's a cliche for a reason - there's not much to touch it at the price.

"May I have a listen?" says he, raising his vinyl (very nearly an armful*)

"Of course" says I, "Can you give me a minute to take it up to the demo suite?"

"Please take your time" (What a nice man.)

Casting about for an amplifier with a phono stage, my eye settled on the SA20: nice amp,
got a magnet phono stage, not terribly expensive, will drive these Monitor Audio Silver 200s I've got upstairs already, it’ll put the Planar 3 under a microscope, chap's got M.A. speakers at home, happy days.

*couldn’t resist

IMG_2187 B.JPG


We settle in with a cup of tea (thanks Chris!) and after a couple of piano concerto snippets (all very nice, the recordings aren't exactly brilliant but it doesn’t diminish our enjoyment) things are going pretty well. After twenty minutes and everything's warmed up, my gentleman pulls out an album featuring Yo-Yo Ma (hey! I've heard of him) and the pianist Katherine Stott....

IMG_2188 B.JPG

...and he asks me to play Le Cygne (The Swan) by Camille Saint Saens.

Wow!

Four bars in and I turn to look if he's getting what I'm getting. He's all glassy-eyed and pulling a tissue out of his jacket pocket, whilst I notice my throat has gone a bit thick.

"Ieusu Mawr" he says, "That's got me where I live"

I nod in agreement and mouth the word "Fantastic".

IMG_2186 B.JPG

Thanks for reading. You’re all very welcome to pop in anytime for a listen and chat - Nic, Chris and Adrian (blogger). Audio T Swansea.

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

The All New Cyrus One HD Integrated Amplifier With aptX Bluetooth

New into Preston store this week is the brand new Cyrus One HD. Based on the award winning Cyrus One, the One HD is housed in the same size cabinet but features much more on the inside.

With an impressive 2x 100 watts per channel and featuring (SID) speaker impedance detection, which automatically matches the amplifiers output response to the electrical load of the loudspeakers.

h socket.JPG

We paired it up a pair of Neat Acoustic SX2 speakers and the legendary Rega Planar 3 with Elys 2 cartridge and were blown away with what we heard from such a compact unit. It filled our demo room and drove the Neat SX2 with ease!

Unlike the Cyrus One, the One HD relies on the Cyrus ONE HD control app, so there is no IR remote supplied in the box. This is a free app that is easily downloaded from the Apple or Android app stores and works great.

app.JPG

If headphones are your thing, the on board class AB headphone amplifier will not disappoint. When the headphones are connected, a large toroidal transformer is switched just to power the headphones, giving a presentation that is on par with most standalone headphone amplifiers we’ve tried.

For the audiophile that likes to stream their music, the built in aptX® HD compatible Bluetooth will allow you to stream at better than CD quality straight from your phone or tablet, or connect via the asynchronous USB 2.0 input for even higher resolution files.

usb imput.JPG

The Cyrus One HD has three line level inputs, (one of which is an optional AV integration option for the movie enthusiasts out there). An Optical Toslink digital input perfect for TV audio and a Coaxial SPDIF digital input. With dimensions at just 85mm high x 220mm wide x 390mm deep, the amplifier will integrate with any existing equipment perfectly.

on box.JPG

We look forward to playing it for you. Ian, Gavin & Andy - Audio T Preston.

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

PMC enCORe (Did You See What We Did There?!)

At the risk of banging on about the PMC Cor again and saying we told you so...  Well, we told you so... or rather here is what one of our customers wrote to PMC after reading all about Cor on our store blog:

coramp4.jpg

"Just ordered the Cor amp from Audio T Southampton after a home trial. What a stunning piece of kit. I knew my PMC Fact8s were capable of more but never thought I would be able to afford an amp good enough to really make them sing. As soon as I saw their blog about it I was straight over!!

The review in The Ear told me it was wonderful. It just ISN'T THERE.!!!!  IT'S MAGIC.

Both CD and FM are transformed. Don't know what the wait time is but it won't matter as it is incredible.

Hope you sell lots of them. At the price they should fly off the shelf 'cos they beat anything else in that price bracket out of sight."

- Mr. F, United Kingdom

Mr F didn't have to wait very long and is now the very happy owner of a brand new PMC Cor amplifier.  Our demo Cor is back in store, ready for anyone else wanting to experience the magic, either here or on a home trial.  You really won't want to miss out on this one!

See you soon,

Alan, John and Wayne

Cor! The PMC Integrated Amplifier Is Here and It's Awesome!

We are delighted to announce that our long awaited and much anticipated PMC Cor integrated amplifier has finally arrived!

IMG_0887.JPG

It is currently warming up (just what we need in this weather!) and running in nicely in our demonstration room.  The unlikely looking system we have set up for this purpose may not be the most harmonious visual match, but sounds absolutely stunning.

IMG_0876.JPG

Punching way above it's diminutive size, and very modest price, is the Auralic Aries Mini Wireless Streamer, supplying high resolution music from Qobuz Sublime and Tidal Masters.  The USB digital output is linked via a Chord Shawline USB cable to the magnificent Chord Electronics DAVE DAC.

IMG_0877.JPG

We have heard nothing that comes anywhere close to the sheer musicality of the Chord Electronics DAVE DAC.  Any digital signal input emerges sounding totally engaging and the high resolution music such as those from Qobuz Sublime sound, well, sublime.  Digital doubters really need to hear DAVE...

IMG_0878.JPG

DAVE is connected to our PMC Cor with a ChordMusic RCA analogue interconnect.  Well, we weren't going to take any chances, and you can't get anything better than ChordMusic to let the music flow, totally unimpeded, hence it's name.

IMG_0880.JPG

PMC Cor has sounded every bit as good as we remembered, even from new and cold, so can only get better and better as it runs in and components warm up.  It just sounds effortless and capable of dealing with the most demanding music into any speaker at any volume.  Fortunately it doesn't run hot, a definite bonus in the current climate!  

IMG_0881.JPG

To complete our Cor running in system we have a pair of our most popular speakers, the PMC Twenty5 23.  Compact and slim enough to guarantee domestic harmony they deliver enormous clarity and PMC's Advanced Transmission Line guarantees agile deep bass which belies the unimposing cabinet dimensions.

We are having a ball listening to this system.  Playing Diana Krall's album 'Turn up the Quiet' 192Khz/24bit from Qobuz Sublime, it's as if she is in the room and piano and double bass sound so solid and real. It really is magical!

Just give us a call if you would like to listen to any, or all, of the above.  

See you soon,

Alan, John and Wayne - Audio T Southampton

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

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

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

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

IMG_3559.JPG
IMG_3560.JPG

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

IMG_3558.JPG

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

IMG_3564.JPG

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

IMG_3569.JPG
 Analog and digital in and outputs

Analog and digital in and outputs

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

  Arcam CDS50 connected to the network

Arcam CDS50 connected to the network

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

IMG_3582.PNG

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

 Arcam HDA set up with HiFi Racks Podium Slimline

Arcam HDA set up with HiFi Racks Podium Slimline

 The new Arcam HDA range with Spendor A2 speakers

The new Arcam HDA range with Spendor A2 speakers

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

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

Stefan and Andy - Audio T Swindon

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

Arcam FMJ AV 860 and FMJ P429 Reference Home Cinema Comes To Enfield

Audio T Enfield we love music and film. Sometimes the challenge is finding a system that is good with both. Let's face it, if you are a movies and music fan you probably wouldn't say no to a system that handles both passions with equally superb sound quality. 

Enthusiasts and audiophiles will know that separate components almost always sound better than their all in one counterparts. Well, we think we have a system that does the job admirably.

Introducing the Arcam FMJ AV 860 Processor and Arcam P429 Power amplifier combo. 

 Arcam AV860 and 2 x Arcam P429 Power Amps

Arcam AV860 and 2 x Arcam P429 Power Amps

The Arcam 860 is a reference class home cinema pre-amplifier that handles both music and films with aplomb. As it has no power amps on board, the signal path is cleaner with no interference and this adds greater dynamics and separation. The Arcam P429 4 Channel Power amplifiers take the signal from the AV 860 processor and then on to the speakers. 

 Pre Amp outputs supply audio to the Power Amps.

Pre Amp outputs supply audio to the Power Amps.

The 860 Processor features balanced outputs which provide a clean signal path. A custom power supply was designed for the AV 860 for even better sound quality. It has 7 4K compliant HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs for zone 1 and zone 2. 

 Send 4K Goodness to different rooms.

Send 4K Goodness to different rooms.

Each P429 Power amp has 4 Class G amplifiers on board and we have two of these to power our Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 Home Cinema. So a total of 8 channels of power are available.

 Back connections and Front of the Arcam P429

Back connections and Front of the Arcam P429

As our REL S5 subwoofer is already powered, so we have a spare amplifier channel unused. However this does not mean that we cannot use it!

You see, the beauty of the Arcam P429 amplifiers is that it is highly configurable and whilst it comes out of the box as a 4 Channel amp, we can bridge either of the two amplifier modules together and use it as a 4, 3 or 2 channel amplfiier as well. 

 You can see in the image above that Channel 3/4 in the Power can be configured individually.  ST = Stereo / DM = Dual Mono / BR = Bridge

You can see in the image above that Channel 3/4 in the Power can be configured individually.

ST = Stereo / DM = Dual Mono / BR = Bridge

Home Cinema fans will know that the single most important speaker in a cinema system is the centre channel so as we have a spare we bridged 2 amplifier channels on one of the P429 amps to supply our PMC Twenty 25C centre channel with the required power it deserves. 

 Our resident PMC Twenty5 Speaker package has never had it so good!

Our resident PMC Twenty5 Speaker package has never had it so good!

The 860 features world class room correction is also provided by DIRAC to add the icing to an already fantastic cake....

 When it comes to the 860 Processor, Arcam takes things very seriously.....

When it comes to the 860 Processor, Arcam takes things very seriously.....

So if you fancy taking your music and movie enjoyment to the next level, please call us to arrange a time to come and experience a truly wonderful home cinema and stereo system.

John, Keith, Mahmood - Audio T Enfield

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

The All New Arcam HDA SA10 Integrated Amplifier Is Now Available At Audio T Preston

Just arrived here in Preston is the new Arcam SA10 integrated amplifier. This is the latest offering of an entry level amplifier from Arcam and replaces the very capable and successful A19.

As we unboxed the Arcam SA10 the first thing we noticed was a new look to the front facia giving it a fresh modern appearance. Also the addition of a new display panel that is larger and brighter than the earlier A19.

front.JPG

The SA10 has 5 analogue inputs in total, one of which is a moving magnet phono input and on the front you can find a 3.5mm stereo jack input. If that wasn't enough Arcam have also added three digital inputs, two coaxial and one optical, making it more versatile than it's predecessor.

digi.JPG
rear plug.JPG

At the rear of the amplifier new gold plated speaker terminals have been added along with a network input and an RS232 connection. 

rear net.JPG

The network input can be used for controling the amp via the Arcam Music Life app, which can be downloaded free of charge on any Apple or Andriod smart device, and the RS232 allows for remote connection to a third party home automation system or computer.

head in.JPG

For the late night listener a 3.5m headphone socket can be found on the front facia.

remote.JPG

The IR remote control supplied by Arcam is ready to use on many Arcam products but it is also a learning remote and can be programmed to control other products for your convenience

We set the SA10 up and partnered it up with the Rega Planar 3 inc Elys 2 cartridge along with the KEF R100 speakers and it didn't disappoint. The 50w of power was driving the speakers with ease, giving a presentation that was both engaging and revealing.

Priced at £699 we feel that this amplifier has a lot to offer and while there may be cheaper models available, however the SA10 is a great starting point for any music lover.

Why not come along and have a listen at Audio T Preston 

We look forward to seeing you. Ian, Gavin & Andy.

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

Cor Blimey Governor/ness. Do We Have A Cracking New PMC Amplifier For You!

We may have been quiet on the blog front for a while but only because we have been so incredibly busy in store, so busy in fact that there are now slightly more than two and a half of us with Wayne joining our team for three days a week!  Enormous thanks to all of our loyal customers, both new and old, who have contributed to our success. It's been our best year for a very long time and goes to prove that it needn't be all doom and gloom in retail!

We are delighted to announce that we will very soon be taking delivery of our PMC Cor integrated amplifier.  When Tom from PMC first brought his demo model in for us to hear we were totally amazed.  The Cor simply blew away any other integrated amplifier we had heard previously.  It just delivers the music effortlessly and never runs out of steam!

cor.jpg

We took our first Cor order whilst we had the early demo model on loan and knew instantly that we just had to stock this magnificent amplifier.  It is the perfect partner to the PMC Twenty5 series range of speakers which we have stocked in full, and been massive fans of from day one, and is especially well-suited to the top model Twenty5 26, but equally at home driving any high quality speakers.

Interest in Cor is likely to be high because of the initial limited build, so please let us know if you would like us to contact you when we are in a position to book a demonstration, or arrange a home loan over a weekend.

We look forward to seeing you very soon.

Audio T Southampton - Alan, John and Wayne