The Latest News From Audio T Cheltenham

This is a bit of a break from the normal specific product related blog as we're not blogging on one particular Hi-Fi topic! This time around the intention is to keep you up to date with a number of things that are new or about to happen.

The first thing is...........

Naim 555 Network Player Summer Roadshow

We are very excited to have the opportunity (alongside our Bristol store) to host one of the Naim summer roadshows to launch the amazing new ND555 Network Player/Streamer. Tickets are available to book from the We Got Tickets website and they are FREE!!

A not to be missed opportunity to hear what is being hailed as the best streamer in the world being put through it's paces by the guys from Naim in person! If you have any Naim type questions of your own this will be the place to be!

The event takes place at the Gables Hotel in Falfield on Thursday 6th of September at 7:00 pm which is just off Junction 14 on the M5.......it's got to be a fun evening!! I will not add any more except to advise you to read the previous two blogs from the Brighton and Oxford stores for lots of in depth stuff to whet your appetite. 

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The second thing is...........

We now have the rather lovely Spendor A7 floorstanding loudspeakers in store and available for demonstration. We think they are the best thing Spendor have made for a while and that's really saying something!

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The third thing is...........

We are rather proud to announce that we now have ATC loudspeakers in store! 

We have three models in total the little SCM7 the slightly bigger SCM11 and the floorstanding SCM40 all of which sound great and are running in nicely.... see the picture below....

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The fourth thing is...........

We have totally redecorated our AV demo room and given the shop a fresh coat of paint. Our AV demo room now has a 9ft fixed frame screen and an Optoma UHD65 4K projector looking rather lovely, in fact the best picture we have ever had in our dem room! Come and see!! There is always something playing and it always looks great and sounds even better!!! By now you'll probably have noticed that I like exclamation marks!!!

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And fifth and finally...........

One of those "you really must listen to this" moments. 

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This is a fairly recent album by the Yes legend Jon Anderson and Flower Kings Guitar maestro Roine Stolte. It sounds more like Yes than Yes have done since the 1970's and I'm not making that up .......it's true!! This comes across as a companion piece to the work of genius that is Tales From Topographic Oceans and if that was ever your fave Yes LP then you will adore this one.  It is called Invention Of Knowledge and does not have a dull second on it. If you thought Yes were no more then think again!! There go those exclamation marks again!!! 

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Well that's it for this blog ....I'm off to play this on the new ATC SCM40 floorstanders to put them through their paces properly. You are always welcome to bring in some of your favourite music too and do the same .... you will be forever smitten!!

ATC Loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T: BrightonBristolCheltenhamPortsmouth

Spendor loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T: CardiffCheltenhamPortsmouthSwindon

JVC LX UH1 4K Projector Arrives At Audio T Enfield

Here at Audio T Enfield, we love our movies. No normal sized TV can beat the grand scale of watching films on a large projector screen at home. So, if you think your 65" TV is good, you really ought to see how films are meant to be experienced on the big screen

With the above in mind, we know that not everyone has deep pockets, so if you are looking for a fantastic value for money solution, we present to you the brand new JVC LX UH1 4K projector.

 NICE AND COMPACT JVC POWERED UP IN OUR DOLBY ATMOS DEMO SUITE

NICE AND COMPACT JVC POWERED UP IN OUR DOLBY ATMOS DEMO SUITE

This small and compact projector, has the power to bring your movie watching to life. It's a 4K compliant Home Cinema projector that accepts UHD sources such as 4K Blu-Ray and SKY Q. It is equally at home with HD sources such as Sky HD. 

The JVC LX UH1 is small enough and light enough to be installed anywhere. Shelf, ceiling or table top. Attach your HDMI lead into the HDMI input on the rear and you're in business. 

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 NICE COLOURS FROM THE JVC UH1 

NICE COLOURS FROM THE JVC UH1 

Having fantastic images is key on any display, however one of the most important features to look for when choosing a Projector is lens shift. Why is this important? Lens Shift allows you to position the JVC LX UH1 and gives you flexibility for where you position the unit. 

We have our JVC firing onto a 105" Grandview Screen and are very impressed with the results. Whilst it is not as good as our reference JVC DLA X595900BE projector, this dinky little unit will do nicely for people who want to watch movies on the big screen with a more modest budget.

 A BIT OF LENS FLARE - JJ ABRAMS STYLE......

A BIT OF LENS FLARE - JJ ABRAMS STYLE......

As with any home cinema equipment, proper set and calibration is key to get the JVC LX UH1 looking at its best. The combination price of the JVC LX UH1 and our Grandview Fixed Frame 106" 16:9 ratio screen is £3220. That is 50% of the price of a 77" OLED TV. 

  however you will be very surprised at what we have been able to achieve watching 1080p content. Just check out these screenshots!

however you will be very surprised at what we have been able to achieve watching 1080p content. Just check out these screenshots!

Naturally the best source for watching movies on the JVC LX UH1 is UHD Blu-Ray and 4K content

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So if you fancy seeing what your favourite films look like AND sound like in our Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 equipped cinema room, bring them into Audio T Enfield and we'll show you whilst you sip a nice cup of tea or coffee. No sales pressure, just good old fashioned service by people who love what they do.

 THe JVC UH1 IS 4K AND HDR COMPLIANT

THe JVC UH1 IS 4K AND HDR COMPLIANT

Epson TW7300 Home Cinema Projector Brings The Big Screen To Your Living Room!

We have just taken delivery of the new Epson TW7300 Home Cinema projector. This fantastic projector has everything you need to enjoy movies and TV shows on a grand scale in your home.

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Let's have a look at some of the features :

  • The Epson TW7300 will accept 4K UHD movies from a UHD player or 4K Streaming services such as Netflix as well as provide enjoyment from your Blu Ray collection
  • High Dynamic Range capability to bring out the best from UHD content
  • 12v Trigger to enable automatic drop down of electric screens
  • 3yr Warranty provided by Epson UK
  • Back lit remote control for use in Cinema rooms
  • 3D Playback from Blu Rays with optional glasses
  • Motorised Lens Shift, Zoom and Focus to aid quick set up in any room
  • Calibration controls for fine tuning of the picture in any given room
  • Lens Memory function for 2.35:1 ratio cinemascope screens if you have one
  • Available in White finish so you can even use this beauty in a living room environment
  • Quiet operation of the fan in Eco mode so you hear the soundtrack and not the Projector when watching your favorite movies and TV shows

We have hooked up the Epson 7300 to our resident Oppo UDP 203 Ultra High Definition blu ray player. At first viewing our jaw was on the floor with the image we saw on screen - so much so that we had to double check we had not ordered a more expensive model by mistake! The image got even better after we had calibrated the projector to our 8ft wide 16:9 ratio screen and cinema room.

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The Epson TW7300 projector comes in at a retail price of £2,200 and we feel that you will not get a better projector for the money. 

It has all the features of more expensive projectors such as motorised lens shift, zoom, focus and calibration controls. The high brightness of 2300 lumens helps provide an excellent image in either a living room or cinema room environment. To a certain extent you can enjoy this projector with ambient light however the best results will be displayed in darker environments.

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The Epson 7300 is not a 'native 4K' projector, however Ultra HD Blu Ray content still be enjoyed as the unit will use its' own 4K enhancement to provide an image to 3840 x 2160 resolution.

So why would you want to have a look at the Epson?
Well, if you love watching movies and TV shows from Blu-ray, Netflix, Amazon or are starting to dip your toes into Ultra High Definition movies then one of the best ways to do this is to have a projector, or if you have a Sky Q package, the Epson will help you enjoy the subscription service even more.

We have our projector set up on a 106'' diagonal screen. Bear in mind you will not get a 106'' TV screen for less than £15,000 - which is why we feel that the Epson 7300 along with an 8ft Screen is a bargain of epic proportions. 

We are seeing many clients who are now looking to enhance their viewing enjoyment and choosing projectors by utilising spare bedrooms and converting garages into cinema rooms. You can also use the Epson in a living room environment as mentioned previously.  

The Epson 7300 has absolutely fantastic colours and when calibrated, a Ultra HD Blu-ray will really bring out the best from this projector - see the screenshots below.

Come in and we'll show you what the Epson TW7300 is capable of in our Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 demonstration suite. 

John, Keith, Claire and Mahmood - Audio T Enfield

 Yes - this is from a Projector...

Yes - this is from a Projector...

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 'Yes CAPTAIN, projectors are a very good way of enjoying movies'...

'Yes CAPTAIN, projectors are a very good way of enjoying movies'...

Epson Projectors are available from the following branches of Audio T: CardiffEnfieldSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Dolby Atmos arrives in Manchester.

Dolby Atmos arrives at our Audio-T store in Manchester...

...but first, here is a quick diary of our trip to Dolby Labs in Soho, London.

After a quick 2hr's and 9 min train journey from Manchester to Euston, I arrive at Dolby Europe in the heart of London. 

Spot the Chrome Trooper..??

The famous Ray Dolby even has a lounge named after him. Did you know Dolby was actually founded in London in 1965.

After tea and biscuits we enter Dolby's custom built cinema.

In all honesty, from personal point of view, I think its probably the best cinema sound I have ever heard.

Dolby Atmos creates an "atmosphere" around you that simply envelopes you and pulls you into what is happening on screen

as well as letting you know what is happening off screen. Truly convincing, Clever stuff!

More so than anything else out there, á la DSP modes found on most surround amplifiers.

The exclusive movie clips that were played to us demonstrates exactly why there is such excitement around this great new format.

 

Chromey actually got his own private viewing...show off!!

And now!! how to bring this wonderful format to the home, well...

...introducing the all new Pioneer SC-LX88 Dolby Atmos enabled surround receiver.

It's coming back with me, to Manchester.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and back in Manchester we are up and running with our KEF in ceiling CI160 QR.

We have 4 of these installed in the ceiling, giving us the true Dolby Atmos experience.

Our configuration is a true 7.1.4 or a 5.1.4 speaker setup. Click on the links to be directed to Dolby's website. 

Our ever faithful KEF R Series make up the fronts and rears in our set up.


The most excellent Sony VPL-HW55ES projetor takes care of our video duties.


Et voila!! The brand new Pioneer SC-LX88 and Pioneer BDP-LX58 now sit proudly in our demo room working their magic with Dolby Atmos.

Pioneer have gone back to their high end roots with the beautifully built BDP-LX58.


 

We were also given some dedicated and exclusive footage by Dolby for use in our Dolby Atmos demo room.

Dolby's Silent animated short was made exclusively for Dolby to demonstrate the new Dolby Atmos format.

It's great fun and it's definitely worth popping in to experience it.

There are several Dolby Atmos clips to get your teeth into.

And some informative shorts telling you about how the whole "object based software" helps the Dolby engineers

to get the mix just right.

This is how Dolby explain it on their website.

Here is a small excerpt.

"The limits of channel-based audio"

There’s no question that channel-based audio can produce great sound. But the format is fundamentally limited because it is created to play back on a specific type of speaker arrangement and doesn’t have the necessary information to deliver a fuller, richer sound if you expand your system.

If a movie is mixed in 5.1, for instance, it has just the information it needs to play back to five speakers, set in predefined locations, and one subwoofer. There’s no point in adding more speakers because the 5.1 mix doesn’t know what to do with them. If you don’t place your speakers in the “right” locations, your movies won’t sound quite right.

The fact that it’s object based makes Dolby Atmos much more adaptable because it’s not locked to a certain number of speakers. Instead, the object-based nature of Dolby Atmos gives the soundtrack a wealth of data about the sound in a scene.

In Dolby Atmos, each sound in a movie scene—a gunshot or a woman’s scream, for instance—can be an object. Filmmakers can precisely specify where those sound objects should originate and how they should move.

 

So there you have it, the rest, as they say, is down to you popping into Audio-T Manchester and trying it out for yourself.

Munir (me), Mike, Kevin and Dave will be on hand to give you a demonstration of Dolby Atmos,

in what we believe is the only store in Manchester to have true Dolby Atmos up and running.

See you soon.

 

An afternoon of 4K delight with Sony.

When Sony invited Audio-T along to Sony Music in Kensington to introduce us to the stunning new 4K VPLHW300ES 3D projector. I got the opportunity to attend.

So a quick walk to Manchester Piccadilly Train station and 2 hrs 9 mins later I’m at London Euston.

A couple of underground stations later and I’m at 99 Kensington High street outside Sony Music. Easy, who needs HS2.

The folks at Sony kicked off the proceedings with a demo of this year’s world cup, where Sony’s own dedicated native 4K broadcast cameras were used for filming, the footage is simply stunning and shown through the 300es it is genuinely jaw dropping. The last time I saw anything as good was through the 500es in our demo room in Manchester and apart from a clearly brighter image from the 500es the 300 holds its own in every other aspect of picture quality. Truly impressive.

Next up was a clip of concert footage from Muse. Once again, the 4K 300es deals with black level and detail with aplomb. Muse always seem to use at lot of purples and violets during their concerts and against dark backgrounds the Sony just picks out the detail with ease and the colours almost start to drip off the screen. I really, really want one.

Finally, and in my opinion most importantly we were shown a regular blu-ray disc to show off the upscaling capabilities of Sony’s digital reality creation (DRC).

Well, I have to admit I was blown away with DRC’s ability to resolve even more detail from blu-ray, while at the same time not having any adverse effect on the colours or sharpness.

So, in reality, this means that all of your old Blu-ray collection (and mine) will get a new lease of life just by scaling it through the 300es. Happy days!! I love this job and the VPL-VW300ES.

The Sony 300ES has the same case size as the 500ES.

For more information on new Sony VPL-VW300ES please follow the links below.

You can also contact the guys at Audio-T Manchester or pop in and pick up a dedicated brochure on the Sony 4K range of projectors.

Sony Website

See you at the store.

Munir

Lots of new goodies to tempt you...

February kicks off with a host of new products and various categories.

First off, a brand new product from Chord Electronics in a new area for them, called Hugo. Hugo is a top specification mobile headphone amp and DAC. Battery powered, it is full HD compatible and sounds amazing. This time it's a small box for a very good reason.

Unboxing:

 


Full specification:

 

Secondly, Rega's long awaited RP10 turntable. We were mightily impressed with the RP8 as was the rest of the world but oh boy is this a step up? Looks the business too!

 

 

 

Next we have new AV receivers from Anthem. Capitalizing on their successful range last year we have all new and much improved (inc esthetically) models in the form of MRX310 (£1199) and MRX710 (£2199) and (MRX510 £1699) to order.

These, alongside the new Arcam receivers complete are AV Receiver line-up for 2014. Fabulous receivers that also do what so many of you ask for, ie, play music well without unnecessary gimmicks.

 

 

Lastly. JVC's latest mid-range Projector, DLA-X500. 4K compatible, outstanding colours right out of the box and fully calibrate-able too.

 

Sony 4K Projector Event Coming to Audio T Manchester.

On Thursday 5th December our Manchester store will be showcasing the brand new Sony VPL-HW500ES. 

We will be hosting an all day event from 9:30am till 5:30pm and we will be demonstrating true 4K footage.

Sony will be bringing along their dedicated 4K media player which is able to show true 4K.

The VPL-VW500ES can show up to 60 frames per second in 4K. It’s the new 4K industry standard and is much higher than the earlier 24p. The result is a smoother image with superior colour and realism.

Drawing on optical technology developed for the VPL-VW1000ES, Sony have achieved both high brightness (1,700 ANSI lumens) and high contrast (200,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio) in the VPL-VW500ES. So, you’ll see crystal-clear, bright, detail-packed images – even in well-lit rooms.


Now, to add a lot more excitement to what will no doubt, already be a truly cinematic experience , we are introducing the new pre/power Yamaha CX-A5000 & MX-A5000 AV surround amplifier.

This behemouth will power the KEF R Series R900 AV package.

The MX-A5000 discrete structured 11-channel Power Amplifier.

The CX-A5000.  ESS 9016 DACs for all channels including front and rear presence channels.

The ever popular KEF R Series.

We will be hooking up the R900s as the fronts, the R600 center and R800DS and R100s as rears...

...and the KEF R400b will take care of the bass.


Although there is no need to book an appointment, it would be helpful for us know the numbers interested in attending so if you could drop us a line on the info below it would be most helpful.

Thanks.

Munir, Kevin, Dave and Mike.

Tel: 0161 839 8869
email: manchester@audio-t.co.uk
web: www.audio-t.co.uk
We are open Monday to Saturday 9:30 - 17:30
and Sunday 11:30 - 16:30

Audio T & Sony Go To IFA Berlin.

As many of you may already know, one of the worlds largest consumer electronics shows took place in Berlin,Germany. Sony very kindly offered to take myself (Munir) and Gavin from our Manchester and Preston stores to the Sony stand at IFA Berlin.

We were shown a range of high end hifi products from Sony's now legendary ES range and the latest 4K home cinema projectors and TV's from Sony.

Here's a quick diary of our day at the show.

We arrived at Hall 4.2 on Monday morning at 9.30am... 

...and were promptly whisked away to the inner sanctum. 

Eric Kingdon from Sony UK was on hand to give us a brief overview of the upcoming delights from Sony.

Starting with reference speakers from Sony.

The SS-NA2ES from Sony use custom designed drive units made by Scan-Speak.

Sony's innovative I-Array tweeter system.

Superlative design and cracking build quality is used in the cabinet design.

Thats birch ply-wood. 

The baffle on the SS-NA2ES cabinet is made of Scandinavian birch ply-wood.

The new range of ES Hifi streaming products certainly caught our attention.

The HAP-Z1ES – HDD Audio Player and the TA-A1ES 2 channel amplifier.

The TA-A1ES is the first 2-channel analogue amp Sony has developed since the TA-FA777ES, 14 years ago.

The decision was taken to create an analogue 2-channel separate amp (not digital) in order to provide the best sound quality possible.

Here's a quick rundown on the specifications

Push-pull type amplifier

Speaker output – 80w + 80w (1 system)

Equipped with discreet headphone amp (impedance selectable)

Lo: 8Ω and Mid:150Ω 500mW + 500mW

Hi: 3 00Ω 250mW + 250mW

Size: 430 x 420 x 115mm

Weight 17Kg

I quite like the size of those binding posts, easily accommodating chunky speaker cable like the Chord Epic or Chord Sarum.

All controlled from a beautifully sleek remote.

The HAP-Z1ES from Sony has a range of extra features which establish the device as the highest quality audio player made by Sony.

Music that is stored on a PC can be copied over the network onto the integrated 1TB HDD (this HDD is expandable via a USB socket on the back of the product). It can be controlled with a free app for Android or iOS.

The HAP-Z1ES includes the unique Sony technology ‘DSD Re-mastering Engine’ this technology upscales all standard music files (MP3, AAC, WMV) into DSD files. This results in stunning Hi-Res Audio quality from your entire music collection.

It includes a digital-to-analogue converter (analogue FIR filter) to reduce high frequency noise in DSD signals. FIR filters are ideal for D/A conversion of DSD signals.

The Sony HAP-S1 all in one network player seems to tick all the right boxes.

With ES build quality thrown in, this product could seriously mix it up with other high end brands.

Here's a quick overview of the specs.

Built-in 40W x 2 Analogue Amplifier

High Quality D/A Converter

Will playback,DSD (DSF, DSDIFF), LPCM(WAV,AIFF), FLAC, ALAC, ATRAC Advanced Lossless, ATRAC, MP3, AAC, WMA music file decode

“HAP music transfer” free app (Win/Mac)

Built-in WiFi

Built-in 500GB HDD (expandable via USB port at rear of product)

vTuner

Opt in x1, Coax in x1, Analogue RCA in x 2

RCA analogue out x1, Headphone x1

Ethernet x1

“HDD Audio Remote” free App (Android/iOS)

And now into the wonderful world of 4K. 

The amazing 4K 84 inch  KD-84X9005.

The new FDR-AX1 4K Handycam. This'll make your home videos look spectacular.

Yep...that's a curved screen. Quite clever actually. Looks like the bods at Sony have been working overtime.

We all know how good Sony's video projectors are, so you can image our anticipation at seeing one projecting in 4K.   

The all new Sony 4K VW500. 

Sony had a projection room set up for visitors to pop in to and take a peek at 4K projection, I kid you not, it was spectacular!!

The VPL-VW500ES can show up to 60 frames per second in 4K. It’s the new 4K industry 

standard and is much higher than the earlier 24p. The result is a smoother image with superior colour and realism.

Drawing on optical technology developed for the VPL-VW1000ES, Sony have achieved both high brightness (1,700 ANSI lumens) and high contrast (200,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio) in the VPL-VW500ES. So, you’ll see crystal-clear, bright, detail-packed images – even in well-lit rooms.

You'll go blind standing there Chromey!!

At Audio-T Manchester, we plan to demonstrate the Sony VPL-VW500 ES at some point before the end of the year. We are hoping to get our hands on a VPL-VW500ES and make a day of it. Keep an eye on our blogs for any updates. 

The Sony portable audio area.

Sony also wanted to show off the new portable linear PCM audio recorder, which can also read Hi-Res DSD files.

It looks like a pretty serious piece of kit. I want one!!

Our last stop came at the home cinema area where Sony were showing off  the worlds slimmest Sound Bar?

As you can see the claim is real but does it sound any good.

Sony invited us to the dealer area again, away from the crowds and let us listen to the new HT-ST3 sound bar in a quieter room.

It's in the picture below, just in front of the TV, priced at £599.95

It's as good many other sound bars on the market...

...but with one exception. Look how slim it is!! It's shorter than Chromey.

Even Chromey was feeling quite smug. He looks positively gargantuan compared to the HT-ST3.

Ok little guy...ahem! big guy. It's time to go..

As we were leaving, even the staff on Sony stand had to say goodbye to Chromey.

Auf Wiedersehen fair lady.

Right then Chromey!! Your chariot awaits you, and British built as well. You can drive.

I need a nap!!!

Pictures and some of the words by Munir.

Contact details for Audio T Manchester.

email: manchester@audio-t.co.uk

Tel: 0161 8398869

Sony VPLHW50ES Projector Brings Home Cinema To Life

Having had the Sony VPLHW50ES projector set up and working for a couple of weeks and tried some of our trusted 2 and 3d movies, we have to say how impressed we've been with its performance.

The inital picture we got straight from the box was fantastic and what a help it was having the vertical and horizontal lense shift available on top of the unit making the final positioning a breeze, less faff more time to watch your favourite movie before getting into those little fine adjustments.

The menu screens for making those adjustments to tailor the projector for the image which best suits you are very comprehensive  and easy to follow so getting what you want could not be easier.

It has a great colour balance, excellent black levels and beautiful fine picture detail, not only that you can get all of this in a room with some low lighting on, very handy for those who are easily scared in the dark.

2d movies we tried we thought looked amazing, but going on to 3d, well this is one of the best 3d viewing experiences we've had to date, you can even make adjustments to the depth of the 3d,wow.

There are so many areas of this projector we could go on about, but 1 more thing we feel is a major benefit is the whisper quiet fan so even in the most tense, quiet moments of a movie you'll not be distracted from the action by a fan.

All this for £2799.95 and now on a special offer price of £2399. We believe this projector should be on any movie fans must have list, do yourself a favour put a couple of discs in your bag and pop in and see for yourself. Read the Sony VPLHW50ES What Hi-Fi? review here