An Amazing Brighton Customer Hi-Fi Journey With Linn And Naim

For this months blog we have chosen to highlight a long standing customer who epitomises the old adage of buying well and upgrading over time.

With an original purchase in the 1980’s of a Linn Sondek LP12 turntable and Naim amplifier combination, this customer improved and expanded his system over many years with us, and has taken advantage of rejuvenating original equipment with servicing, as Naim recommend for their electronics at 8 to 10 year intervals.

 Waiting for the  ND555  &  PS555 DR  that are due in July.

Waiting for the ND555 & PS555 DR that are due in July.

Building to a classic system with Linn LP12, Naim CDSII, NAC52 pre amp and Naim SBL loudspeakers driven actively with a four pack of NAP135 power amps this was a formidable combination, providing many years of superb performance and great enjoyment.

In 2007 we returned his Naim equipment for servicing, and his Linn LP12 was left with us to service and add an internal Naim Prefix phono stage. He added a Naim Hi-Line interconnect for the CDS2 and upgraded his equipment racks to Quadraspire Q4.

Once again with the LP12’s modular design, meant in 2009 he was able to upgrade to the Linn Keel, introduced in 2006. A machined one piece aluminium sub chassis and arm board for his Naim Aro tonearm. A rigid support for the bearing and arm that reduces unwanted vibrations and improves mechanical integrity, meaning less distortion and more music.

Moving on to April 2018 and he embarked on bringing the system up to date. We returned the amplification to Naim for servicing once more. This time he is trading in the Naim CDSII and XPS combo for the new top of the range Naim ND555 network player with Naim 555DR power supply, and a Naim Core CD ripping music server. The Quadraspire racks have been changed for a combination of Naim Fraim and Fraimlite stands, and all of the interconnects to Naim Super Lumina and mains leads to Naim Powerlines. This is another big commitment towards continued and improved musical enjoyment.

It was also time to look at what Linn had been up to since his last visit with the turntable. First produced in 1973, Linn have strived to keep the LP12 at the forefront of many a Hi-Fi system. Always looking to advance performance, in 2009 they introduced the Linn Radikal and Urika. This has replaced the customers Naim Armageddon turntable power supply with the Radikal, a power supply and DC motor, significantly improving performance, along with the Urika inbuilt phono stage replacing the Naim Prefix. This is connected to his pre amp using a Naim Super Lumina 5 pin Din interconnect along with a new cartridge to replace his dearly loved Linn Troika. 

The Linn Kandid cartridge introduced in 2013 is the best cartridge Linn have ever made and is designed to extract as much musical information from your records as possible. All those still holding on to old or well loved cartridges such as the Troika should really hear how things have come on in the world of cartridge development.

And to add a little spice to the occasion, the Tiger-Paw Tranquillity has been included as a final touch to the proceedings. This clever addition is a two piece magnetic combination fitted to the bearing housing and opposing section to the underside of the inner platter, reducing the force between bearing and thrust plate. Pop in and borrow one for the weekend to see how you like it.

What could be next you may ask? Well, having addressed obtaining the best input to the system, the hierarchy moves to the pre-amplifier. The next upgrade may very well be from the NAC52 pre- amp and Supercap to the legendary Naim NAC552 and 552PS and adding a Supercap DR  to power the active crossover and get another leap in performance. There is generally more to be had!

Of course this is a system of real magnitude, but if you have a Linn LP12 turntable or a Naim Amplifier of any vintage, yours can be given a new lease of life by being serviced and upgraded as appropriate.

So, purchase high quality components and they can remain at the heart of a marvellous  Hi-Fi system for many years, giving exceptional value for your original investment. When you next want to upgrade your Hi-Fi system, buy the best you can!

Our sincere thanks and very best wishes go to this special customer for his tremendous loyalty over many years. We wish you many more years of musical joy!

A comment from the customer himself...

I’d just like to add that none of this would have have happened without the incredible support of Julian, John and Paul at Audio-T in Brighton. The depth of knowledge that they have accumulated between them over the years is amazing and they have been able to advise wisely every step of the way.

Buying a music system is a very personal thing and in many ways it grows and adapts with you over your life. We all know where we were when certain tunes are played, but imagine hearing that tune again many years later but this time Kate Bush is in your room singing it! It’s like a time machine.

 As they say a 1000 mile journey begins with a single step!

Contact Julian, Paul and John at Audio T Brighton T: 01273 609431 E: brighton@audio-t.co.uk

Naim Hi-Fi products are Available at the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Linn Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolManchester

Wired for Sound! Choosing The Right Cable Can Make All The Difference!

The interconnect cable is very often an afterthought when buying a Hi-Fi system. Sometimes taken for granted or even forgotten about altogether! A good interconnect can make a system sound fantastic, just as easily as a ropey one can ruin the sound completely!

This overlooked gem in the Rega range is quite possibly one of the world's best kept secrets along with the Hapsburg Napkin Fold, the Worcester Sauce recipe and the answer to Fermat's Last Theorem!! Well I think it's time that one of these secrets was revealed and the only one I know anything about is the Rega Couple phono to phone analogue interconnect, so here goes as we attempt to tell the whole world (well the Audio T Blog readers) what this cable can do.

Here at Audio T Cheltenham we have been trying, testing and listening to phono to phono leads for rather longer than it took for life to crawl up the beaches from the primordial oceans in the days before even the dinosaurs had ancestors. We have tried the good the bad and the ugly and have learned how to recognise a gem when we hear it and this one really is flawless.

Obviously it works wonderfully in a Rega system. Whether it is being used with a Rega Apollo CD player and Rega Brio integrated amplifier or going further up the range with the Rega Saturn CD Player + DAC or the Rega Elicit R integrated amplifier, it always sounds great. So a very flexible (in both senses) cable then!

We always keep coming back to the Rega  Couple as the phono lead of choice to use in our main demo systems in store and to those doubters who say that cables do not make any difference we say come and try this one and you will be converted.

Build quality is excellent and even has locking phono plugs for a better connection and to make it less likely that the plugs will be accidentally knocked out. Conductors are full of top notch copper of the high purity type and it also uses Rega's own design of gold plated plugs the signal pin and screening clamp of which are joint free which helps to keep the music signal pure.

Choose a well recorded album, (preferably on vinyl of course) such as Radiohead's latest wonderful thing, A Moon shaped Pool - this one happens to be a white vinyl copy.....pick a track....could be any of them because they are all great!

 Kung Fu Hamster Highly Recommends The Rega Couple 2

Kung Fu Hamster Highly Recommends The Rega Couple 2

A Moon Shaped Pool.jpeg

When played using a lower prices cable (better not say which) and then comparing the same track using the Rega couple the immediate impression is that the sound stage now has much greater depth and width. Sounds now come from further left and right of the soundstage and the loudspeaker cabinets just disappear! Rhythms have a greater propulsion, bass is tighter and deeper and it is now much easier to follow all the music and the vocals at the same time. The vocals have also now become more distinct and all the tiny inflections in Thom Yorke's voice now come through....... spine tingling stuff!!

If you are of the Green persuasion you may be pleased to know that the packing is 100% recyclable.

Remember though ...... a phono cable will not improve the signal, it just makes certain that you do not lose information between components! Yes there are better phono to phono leads out there in the big wide wacky wonderful world but that next jump up takes you up to about £200 and that's a whole other blog!

The price of the Rega Couple is £126 for a one metre pair, but remember if you are buying a new system, not only will we make you a cup of tea or coffee, we will do you a bit of a deal on that price too!!

Now it's time to blog off!

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

A New Look For Audio T Preston Showcasing Naim Rega & KEF

We've been busy creating a new look at Audio T Preston. We hope customers old and new like the new record decor!

 Phase one, a blank canvas

Phase one, a blank canvas

By far, our most popular products at the moment would have to be the turntables, so we wanted to create a display to show off the range we keep.

We also wanted to have a great sounding Hi-Fi stereo system to show off what's possible, and by partnering the Naim Audio & KEF Reference together we have definitely achieved that.

 With just a little help from Ike ....who knows his stuff!

With just a little help from Ike ....who knows his stuff!

So come and have a listen, we have Tidal ready to play any genre of music you like on a world class Hi-Fi Naim NAC-N 272.... Naim NAP 250DR.... KEF Reference 3 speakers.... Chord Company Sarum cables

The Naim NAC-N 272 is a state of the art streaming pre-amplifier, which has features such as Spotify, Tidal, UPNP, Internet radio and Bluetooth all built in as standard for all your streaming needs as well as the conventional analogue and digital inputs for connecting other devices to it.

This Naim NAC-N 272 pre-amplifier can also be controlled by the remote control supplied but, for ultimate control you can download the free Naim control app for sit down palm of your hand convenience. We have connected this to the Naim NAP 250DR power amplifier which provides plenty of power whilst being able to deliver the level of finesse that Naim electronics is known for world wide.

We then added a pair of KEF Reference 3 floorstanding speakers in the stunning copper black finish which looks fantastic and delivers a very detailed and big sound stage. A great partner for the Naim system.

Finally we added the Sarum cables by The Chord Company which when connected to your Hi-Fi of any ilk lifts veils and uncovers layers of music that you didn't know was there!

Naim Hi-Fi and home audio products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

KEF Hi-Fi products (Preston reference only) are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterOnlinePortsmouthSouthamptonSwansea
Swindon

Chord Co Cables are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxford
PortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon
 

Chord Company Sarum Super ARAY Arrives At Audio T Preston

We are very proud to be one of only 38 dealers nationwide who stock the very impressive Chord Sarum Super ARAY. This cable is an upgrade for your Hi-Fi like no other!

 Chord Sarum Super ARAY Digital

Chord Sarum Super ARAY Digital

There are a great many technical reasons as to why this range of cables are a must for your Hi-Fi system from the new PTFE RCA plug covers, teamed together with the micro polished silver plated conductors, to the tuning process that this cable has gone through which arguably has been one of the biggest steps forward in cable manufacturing in recent years, and it is all brought together in this amazing cable. However, the real magic happens when you add one of these cables into your Hi-Fi system, sit down and listen to the music that you thought you knew. This stunning cable by lowering the noise floor and reveals new levels in the sound stage that simply has to be heard to be believed.

 Chord Sarum Super ARAY Speaker Cable

Chord Sarum Super ARAY Speaker Cable

The Chord Sarum Super ARAY is available in a wide variety of cable formats with a range of different connectivity from the humble RCA analogue cable to mains and even USB to suit any requirement for any system.

 Chord Sarum Super ARAY Analogue RCA

Chord Sarum Super ARAY Analogue RCA

These cables are available in store for demonstration and we can arrange for you to try these cables at home in your own system, where you will be able to truly appreciate how this cable can make you rediscover your entire music collection.

 Chord Sarum Super ARAY Power Cable

Chord Sarum Super ARAY Power Cable

Chord Co Cables are also available from: 
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxford
PortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

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 

Tel: 
01277 264730

Cyrus And Chord Co Listening Event At Audio T Enfield

Join us on Thursday 24th Nov 12:00 - 6:00 and come and listen to some of great music, played on Cyrus electronics, connected together with Chord cables, including the new Cyrus One integrated amplifier and next evolution of Chord Co cables.

In our smaller listening room we take a closer look & listen to the new Cyrus ONE amp partnered with a Rega RP6 turntable & B&W CM6 S2 speakers. All accompanied by Chord Cables.

In our bigger listening room we will be running a Cyrus Pre / Power set up. The CDI CD player, PSX-R 2 power supply, Stream XA streamer , Rega RP10 turntable, Pre DAC pre amp, Stereo 200 power amp, PMC Twenty5 23 speakers. This set up will have the new C-line, Clearway, Shawline, Epic & Signature cables ranges demonstrated on it.

A friendly and informal opportunity to play your music through some amazing yet affordable hi-fi gear, with special offers available for attendees on the day. Bring some of your favourite tunes and your ears. We will bring the hardware, comfy seats and refreshments.

We look forward to seeing you.

Simon, John, Claire & Mahmood.

Audio T Enfield

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

Chord Co cables are available from: 
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxford
PortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

A Chord Co Cable Listening Event At Audio T Portsmouth

On the 7th and 8th October the Chord Cable Company will be showcasing part their fantastic new range from speaker cables and power leads to streaming leads  to analogue and digital interconnects.

Chord have brought out new models in familiar ranges such as Signature and Epic and several entirely new ranges including Shawline, Clearway and C-series. Every cable that makes up each of these ranges will feature in the event.

 Chord Shawline Speaker Cable

Chord Shawline Speaker Cable

 Chord Epic 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Chord Epic 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Come on the Chord journey and witness the transformative qualities of these world leading cables can have on your Hi-Fi and the music that you play.

 Chord Signature Aray Power Cable

Chord Signature Aray Power Cable

There will be exclusive offers for all those who attend during this intriguing and informative event.

 Chord Shawline 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Chord Shawline 2RCA-2RCA Interconnect

Come and hear for yourself what the remarkable cables can do

 Chord C-View HDMI

Chord C-View HDMI

 Chord Clearway Speaker Cable

Chord Clearway Speaker Cable

The Chord journey starts in Audio T Portsmouth on Friday the 7th of October from 2.00pm until 7.00pm and the on Saturday the 8th from 10.00am until 5.00.

 Chord Clearway Digital Coax Interconnect

Chord Clearway Digital Coax Interconnect

Join, Nick, Joe and James at Audio T Portsmouth and a representative from the Chord Co to hear how cables can make a very cost effective upgrade to your Hi-Fi system, which will have you rediscovering your music collection.

ChordMusic Arrival Leads To Summer Fever At Audio T Southampton!

We are thrilled that our much anticipated ChordMusic demonstration cables have just arrived!

 ChordMusic Cables

ChordMusic Cables

Just out of their luxurious packaging we have a 1m stereo RCA pair at £3800, a 1m RCA digital interconnect at £3500, a 1m 4DIN to 1XLR for Naim NAP250 at £3500  and a 3m pair of ChordMusic speaker cables retailing for £6600.

These aren't insignificant sums but once we'd heard how much ChordMusic raised the performance of high quality systems we just had to have it.

We will now get on with running in our demo ChordMusic cables.  It's a tough job but...

Watch this space for our thoughts once everything has settled in and for details of forthcoming events which will feature the stunning ChordMusic range.

In the meantime please feel free to phone us or call in to arrange a demo or home loan of ChordMusic, just give us a week or two to run them in.  It won't take us too long!  Whatever the weather this summer we will be happy to stay in and listen to the ChordMusic!

Alan and John

The Importance Of Selecting The Right Cables For Your Hi-Fi

The cables you choose play a vital role within any Hi-Fi system. It can turn a tired old system into a rejuvenated energetic one and vice versa, if poorly chosen.

As with any investment, cost is always a key consideration and you could find yourself spending as much on a cable loom (Speaker cable, interconnects and power leads) as you do on some of your Hi-Fi components. However you may also find that after careful selection and testing, that you settle for something more cost effective because it just works. At the end of the day, if it makes your toes tap, your hair stand on end and makes you smile then it is the right choice. There are a wide selection of products available from our shops, suitable for all systems and all budgets. So if you're considering an upgrade or a new system just ask and we will be more than happy to help.

Recently while purchasing a new Hi-Fi for myself I tested a number of cables from different manufacturers and budgets. One suite of cables in particular really impressed me with its value for money: The QED Reference Range, consisting of XLR, RCA, Digital and Speaker Cables.

 QED Reference 40 RCA Interconnects

QED Reference 40 RCA Interconnects

QED is an award winning British company with over 40 years of experience. They make a vast array of cables for all manner of budgets. Over the last 3 months I have had QED Reference 40 RCA £100 + XLR £150 Interconnects and XT40 Speaker Cable £10p/m in my system and quite frankly they are brilliant. I have given a short review below:

 QED Reference 40 XLR Speaker cables

QED Reference 40 XLR Speaker cables

The QED Reference 40 XLR

XLR 40 is designed primarily for low capacitance as this has been identified by QED as a major factor in leading to a high fidelity experience. Steps have been taken to eliminate minute timing errors in the cable by the use of a special floating zinc ferrite jacket alongside use of QED's 'Tri-Conductor' technology (reducing signal to ground capacitance to vanishingly low levels).

The Build quality is excellent and so in the Sound. I found them to have great timing and tight bass. The cables delivered excellent detail with everything from Choral music to heavy Dubstep. The connectors on both the XLR and RCA cables are easy to fit, and the locking collars on the RCAs offer a firm connection. I have a vary varied taste in music and no matter what I played on my system it just sounded right. After testing I would be happy to say it is one of the best Interconnects on market under £200.

The QED Reference XT40 Speaker Cable

 QED All Plugged in nice & neat

QED All Plugged in nice & neat

Acclaimed by What HI-FI? Magazine; this 'Five Star' award winning pure copper loudspeaker cable boasts QED's X-TubeTM technology and has a 4mm2 cross sectional area. Resulting  in a cable that delivers a flat frequency response within the audio band.

As soon as I had plugged these cables in I just thought they were a bargain. Easy to strip and prepare, flexible and have quite a small profile. In my system they delivered great depth and scale, and in combination with the Interconnects they were superb. They have a smooth delivery with an expressive & open midrange. Whatever I played, be-it Simon and Garfunkel, Rimsky-Korsakov or Chase & Status, they just delivered. I compared them against similarly priced competition and just found myself wanting to go back to the QED cables.  

I would be foolish to say they are perfect for my system as there are better cables out there but none that I have found at this price point.  This series of cables would be perfect for the first upgrade to an existing system or as a purchase with almost any Mid-Level system. The Speaker Cables would also be brilliant for use within an AV / Home cinema system. 

I will be testing more cable suites at higher end price points in the months to come and will report back on my findings, but at the moment I am happy..

I would strongly recommend that if you are in the market for an upgrade or just want to see what your system is capable of, do like I have done, borrow and listen to cables at home on your system, in your own time.  

QED cables are available from the following branches of Audio T: 
BrentwoodBrightonCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon