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

Pro-ject Jukebox E - Instant Vinyl Replay Hi-Fi System - Just Add Speakers!

Pro-ject audio systems have always strived to make excellent vinyl audio quality as accessible as possible and by creating the Jukebox E take this a step further by providing a everything you need for excellent vinyl sound in just one box.

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The business of listening to music on vinyl is one that nearly always involves at least a few boxes e.g. turntable, phono stage, amplifier and speakers and of course all the cables in between! This can sometimes put people off as equipment can take up a fair bit of space which can sometimes be at a premium in front rooms and of course the collective cost of the various components! Pro-ject audio Systems have come up with an elegant solution to this by combining their expertise in high quality entry level turntables, phono stages and amplification to come up with the Pro-ject Jukebox E.

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Along with a pair of suitable speakers the Jukebox E is a complete vinyl and Bluetooth playback system. The turntable itself is based on Pro-ject's hugely successful Primary turntable, modified to fit the Jukebox chassis. The arm is a 8.6” and made from aluminium with sapphire bearings with an Ortofon’s excellent OM 5e cartridge pre installed. It is a belt driven turntable with a low-vibration synchronous motor with very reliable speed stability. In the interest of keeping things simple there is next to no setup needed straight out of the box, with only the belt being separate and needing to be installed.

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The Jukebox E also features a Bluetooth input, handy for those times you don’t feel like getting out of your chair to turn a vinyl over! Being able to control music through your Bluetooth enabled smart device gives the Jukebox E plenty of versatility. A line level phono input on the back also allows you do add any other sources you would like such as a streamer or CD player, while a line level output means you can add a headphone amplifier or integrate into a larger system.

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The system boasts a surprisingly powerful 50w in to 4 Ohms per channel integrated amplifier which has a moving magnet phono stage built in based on Pro-ject's brilliant Phono Box technology. We find the Jukebox E very easy to operate; there is a clear display on the front that has the volume and current input which are controllable either from the front panel or the supplied remote control which also gives you some customisation with the sound by adjusting the bass and treble.

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Build quality is also very impressive the sturdy, heavy high gloss plinth, special decoupling feet and removable dust cover all give you the impression of a premium piece of equipment which is only helped by the small details like the high quality display and luxury aluminium pulley.

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There are any number of loudspeakers that can be paired with the Jukebox E, though typically keeping with the theme of saving space you will most commonly see them paired with small bookshelf speakers. We have found fantastic results with the Dali Spector 1 and Dali Zensor 1. This is a combination that produces an impressive large sound, a surprisingly deep bass response, plenty of detail and a better sound stage than you would expect from such a small and reasonably priced setup.

If you are just starting out in vinyl or want a ‘second room’ type system but want to keep it small and simple then the Pro-ject Jukebox E is the perfect product for you, the fact that is is an ‘all in one’ system does not mean there is any compromise on the quality you get out of the system, just add speakers and you are ready to listen to some music! The Jukebox E is well worth a listen and is in our store as well as a large range of loudspeakers to pair with it and find the combination that suits you the best, please get in touch to book a demonstration.

Project Audio Systems Products are available in the following stores:
Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Swansea, Swindon

Naim Multi-room Firmware Update For Uniti And Mu-so Also Improves Sound Quality

This latest firmware update from Naim, not only improves functionality, but also offers a noticeable improvement in sound quality.

The new Uniti and Mu-so are updated Over-the-Air so just update via the Naim app. Please ensure you read the information below before carrying out the update on manually updated products.

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The firmware updates will enable you to seamlessly play music between Naim streaming products. This update also includes known bug fixes.  For Mu-so and the new Uniti ranges, the Naim app will notify users that an update is available.

N.B. For legacy streaming products that don't have the over-the-air update feature, Naim will publish the download links as usual on the Naim website and Forum.

Products to be Updated

Over-the-air (App prompted)

Mu-so
Mu-so Qb
Uniti Nova
Uniti Star
Uniti Atom

Manual Product Update
Except for Mu-so and the new Uniti ranges that will update over-the-air, all other products will require a manual update. To update the unit you will need a PC or Mac and a USB to mini-b or USB to RS232 cable, depending on the age of the product. A simple step-by-step video on how to update a unit manually can be watched below.

Manual update - IMPORTANT - In order for the unit to perform the update it MUST be 24bit/192kHz capable).

NDS
NDX
ND5 XS
• SuperUniti
• NaimUniti
• NaimUniti 2
• UnitiLite
• UnitiQute
• UnitiQute 2
• NAC-N 172 XS
NAC-N 272

To identify if the unit is a 24bit/192kHz variant, follow these instructions:

1. Press the ‘Settings’ button on the remote control
2. Scroll and select ‘Factory Settings’
3. Scroll and select ‘System Status’
4. Scroll to ‘BC SW’. If the code starts with ‘3D’ you have the latest hardware and the update can be made. If it displays anything else then the update cannot be made. 

If you have any questions regarding the update or are experiencing any issues installing the new firmware please contact the Naim Technical Support team.

Join Julian, Paul and John in the Brighton store to explore Naim in depth.

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

Pro-Ject Jukebox All In One Vinyl Replay System with Bluetooth Music Streaming

If you are interested in vinyl but do not have the space for a big system, have a look at a fresh release from Pro-Ject. This isn't just a turntable but comes complete with an amplifier built in so all you need to do is add a pair of speakers and some of your favourite records.

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The Pro-Ject Jukebox doesn't stop there though, this clever device also has a Bluetooth receiver built in so that you can stream music to it from a mobile device that gives you access to a streaming service music or a network storage device if you use one.

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The amplifier in this turntable system solution is rated at 50 watts per channel and comes with a remote control allowing you to control not only the volume and switching between inputs but also the bass, treble, loudness and even mute features with ease. There is an illuminated display on the turntable also for those times that you might not be able to find the remote quickly.

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It also has an analogue RCA input so you can connect other devices such as a CD player if you so choose.

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The arm is already set up and balanced ready for use with the Ortofon OM5E cartridge that is supplied and fitted as standard.

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This Pro-ject Juke Box record player system is available in 3 different finishes, Black, White and Red all of which are high gloss finishes.

Come and have a listen and bring a few of your favourite records.

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

Marantz Premium Hi-Fi System lives up to its name

The Marantz Premium System comprising the PM8006 amp, ND8006 CD/Streamer, and TT15SI Turntable has been setting our dem room alight.

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Starting with the PM8006 amp, although it has the same visual styling as Marantz' less expensive offerings it shows a major step up in build quality with battleship construction and outrageous speaker terminals! 

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The PM8006 has all the Marantz trademark tech and features designed to get the best sound quality possible from the design, including HDAM amp modules, a very high quality volume control, and a newly designed phono stage.

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The second unit in the system is the ND8006 CD player and Streamer.

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The ND8006 is a complete digital music hub offering a CD player, access to a multitude of streaming services, multiple DAC inputs, Apple Airplay and Bluetooth! Add to that a high quality headphone amp with its own volume control and you have a complete system hub.

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The ND8006 also has a high res DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) and so can cope with all file formats.

Last but not least is the superb TT15SI turntable

This beauty has a large acrylic chassis with special isolating feet, a separate motor, and a very high quality tonearm and mm (moving magnet)cartridge fitted. It is gorgeous to look at and listen to!

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This is a serious system from Marantz. We've been listening with the very capable KEF R500 speakers and whether it's the electronica of Goldfrapp's Silver Eye, the complex production and rhythms of Steven Wilson's To the Bone, or the delicacy of Jane Siberry's voice on The Walking, the system remains unphased and in control at all times. Each component is very very good in its own right (and they are all available individually) but put the PM8006, ND8006 and TT15 together and you have a stonkingly good music system.

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We know you'll be impressed when you come along for a listen at Audio T Brentwood.

Marantz Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T: 
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxford
PortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Project Continues the Vinyl Revival with the Juke Box E

Project have come up with a devilishly simple little all-in-one vinyl replay system. The Juke Box E is a fully featured Project turntable with all the technical know-how of that great company.

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On the surface it looks like a traditional offering typical of Project. The turntable is nicely finished in a high gloss black with a clear acrylic lid and the pulley outside the platter to make speed changing simple.

Dig a little deeper however and you'll realise that this is, in fact, a turntable system!

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In the Juke Box E we have a turntable with an integrated amplifier, so all you have to do is add some speakers to make music in any space and for relatively little outlay. The display shows source and volume, there is a remote control and a manual volume knob on the front of the unit.

Sources are line in and Bluetooth so a full mix of old and new technology!

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All that is needed to complete the system is a pair of speakers. We've had great results with the Zensor range from Dali pictured here, but the little amp is well capable of driving bigger speakers with aplomb.

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So all in all the Project Juke Box E is a stonking little hi-fi system, perfect for anyone with restricted space for components or on a limited budget and so much better than the many one box record players seen on the high street. Come and have a look and listen at Audio T Brentwood and we think you'll enjoy what you hear.

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

New Ruark R7Mk3 High Fidelity Radiogram Re-Defined

This lovely all in one system from Ruark has been three years in development and is well worth the wait! Ruark made their name by making really high quality loudspeakers with a reputation second to none. Their passion for great looks, great build quality and great sound all gels together in the latest version of the R7.

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We have always been big fans of the previous incarnations of Ruark's all in one music system and the new model does not disappoint.

It has built in CD player, streamer, DAB/DAB+/FM radio, Internet Radio, Bluetooth, Subwoofer, Phono input for vinyl, Headphone socket and sports two 140mm dual concentric drive units. All of this plus USB charge /  playback and plenty of analogue and digital inputs too! 

It is a great pleasure to be able to champion a UK design. The styling is gorgeous giving the new model a more sleek Scandinavian look compared to the older retro 60's and 70's look. Colours available are Walnut with black spindle legs or Soft Grey with pale pine legs. There is also a very clever TV mount available as an optional extra so it can be used as a sound bar! 

If you wish to you can also multi-room the R7 Mk3 by using the smaller Ruark R2 Mk3 radios enabling you to stream your music to other parts of the house, even vinyl! It helps that Spotify Connect is built in to the R7 Mk3 so if you have a Spotify Premium account you can select the R7 as your playback device and then control music using the R7's Roto Dial remote control.

The electronics inside the R7 have been specially designed to eke out the best possible sound for the size and the price. The two front firing speakers give a lush, clean and detailed sound which is all underpinned by the integrated subwoofer which adds scale and weight to the bass performance which makes all types of music more involving and realistic. Proper HiFi sound!

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There are plenty of spare inputs available to cover all future eventualities and perhaps most important of all in these days of vinyl resurgence there is a phono input too!

The Ruark R7 Mk3 comes with the long spindle legs or little puck feet for mounting on an existing sideboard or AV cabinet. 

Available for demonstration in the Cheltenham store.

Ruark Audio Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxford
PortsmouthPrestonSouthamptonSwansea

The Joy Of Music! The Naim Uniti Atom Music Player Revisited

Now this blog is not so much a review but a revisit and a quick look at how we are doing so far with this brilliant little Uniti Atom from Naim.

Where do we start?

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Since taking delivery of our Naim Uniti Atom in late in July we have been nothing but totally blown away by what this little power house is capable of. 

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Built to the usual high standards of one of our favourite Hi-Fi manufacturers, Naim Audio, the Atom is just a beautifully made piece of Hi-Fi. Taking design cues from their flagship Statement amplifier, the Uniti range including the Uniti Star, Uniti Nova and Uniti Core all look absolutely gorgeous and the Atom looks even sweeter because of its diminutive size.

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Whats Up Doc?
40 watts per channel, “that's nothing” we hear you say, it's not enough, is it a valve amp!?
Calm down audiophiles, it's an integrated, and a good one at that. Atom out competes the competition with similar power, with drive, rhythm and timing. And to just emphasise that, we recently had a Naim event at Audio T Manchester and the Atom happily played
great music through a pair of £8000 Dynaudio Contour 60's. 

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The Naim Uniti Atom uses the Naim App to help you control your music. With options for streaming from Tidal, Spotify and even Google Chromecast. The ability to play almost all Hi-Res files stored on your own music server is the icing on the cake.

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Beam me up Scot.......ahem. Sorry to interrupt Chromey but that's from Star Trek. If it's the tractor beam you're after that'll be on the death star. Merry Christmas.

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As demonstrated by Chromey below, you can play direct from a USB too.

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Naim also use what we like to call "silent running" technology. Because all streamers use a mini or micro computer to control the app and Uniti, this naturally generates heat. And as we know things that get too hot don't quite run as smoothly as when kept cool or within operating temperature. Naim don't use fans in the Atom to dissipate the heat but heat sinks, and the heat sinks on the case work  just add to the overall look and style the unit. 

  Brutalist architecture Chromey!!! No no... it's just the lovely naim case work. .  

Brutalist architecture Chromey!!! No no... it's just the lovely naim case work..  

Come and hear this fantastic amplifier, streamer, music system sing. It really is musical, fun and a joy to listen to.

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

Naim Uniti Star Streaming System Offers Flexibility and Outstanding Performance

Just add a suitable pair of loudspeakers to the Naim Uniti Star for a comprehensive and rather beautiful modern music system, incorporating all the features below!

 With control by the Naim iOS or Android app. your music will be at your fingertips.

With control by the Naim iOS or Android app. your music will be at your fingertips.

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Under the Skin of Uniti Star
This all-in-one player packs a heavy punch.  Uniti Star includes a CD player alongside streaming and amplification technology. The custom integrated CD drive also doubles as a ripper, making Uniti Star the most versatile all-in-one in the range. State of the Art digital technology comes together with the legendary Naim sound quality!

Suitable for use with a wide range of loudspeakers, but the Neat Iota Alpha is proving to be a popular choice with the Naim Uniti range.

As you would expect within the Uniti range there are clear performance differences between the models, and it really makes good sense to come along and hear for yourself what they are capable of. 

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Julian, Paul & John look forward to seeing you in store, for a listen to some of the amazing equipment we keep on demonstration.

Naim Uniti products are stocked at all branches of Audio T.

We Get up Close and Personal With Bowers & Wilkins 805 D3, Stand Mount Loudspeaker

The Bowers and Wilkins 800 series has always been a leading light in high end speaker manufacture. In this month’s blog we thought we would whet your appetite for a high quality stand mount loudspeaker and take a closer look at entry point of their flagship 800 series, the B&W 805D3.

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Let’s get stuck into the nitty gritty of what makes these small but impressive stand mount speakers sing! As the world’s only diamond equipped stand mount loudspeaker the 805D3 is packed with cutting-edge technology. The 2 way vented box design delivers phenomenal performance. The diamond dome tweeter is encased in a solid aluminium body and just like the predecessors to the 805D3 it has that unmistakable look with the tweeter separated and situated on top of the cabinet. This separates it from the main cabinet allowing for a spacious and lifelike reproduction of the music.

 Diamond dome tweeter

Diamond dome tweeter

The B&W 805D3 diamond dome tweeter is now complimented by the new Continuum cone bass midrange driver. Eight years down the line of research and we have a progression, or a “continuation” of the well known yellow woven Kevlar drive unit found in the older 800 diamond series. The new Continuum cone delivers a pristine midrange and bass performance and the new technology has been designed to eliminate the break up behaviour that can really affect the response in this part of the frequency spectrum. We would like to elaborate more on the continuum technology but B&W are keeping their cards close to their chest on this one.

 contimuum bass/midrange driver

contimuum bass/midrange driver

The revised cabinet for these small but impressive loudspeakers are described as a metal-reinforced Matrix. This structure provides incredible internal bracing ensuring that the sound we hear is produced by the drivers and not influenced by the cabinet. The cabinet construction consists of layers of wood ply with metal reinforcement. This construction teamed with the curve of the cabinet makes for an incredibly rigid platform for the bass midrange driver to operate. The 805D3 cabinets are available in three finishes, gloss black, satin white and rosenut, which are featured in these pictures.

 Rosenut cabinet

Rosenut cabinet

What do they sound like I hear you cry! Well, we have been getting to grips with the 805D3 since they arrived at Audio T Cardiff this summer. They definitely need a good amplifier to keep control of them. The combinations we most like is on the end of a Naim NAP300DR which offers plenty of grunt and a smooth but upfront presentation. However, the NAP250DR and NAP200DR have what it takes to keep them under control.  The midrange frequency performance is stunning and you can kick back and listen to these loudspeakers all day long.  At this level of speaker things can sometimes sound too clinical and the detailed presentation can lack musicality. The 805D3 does not have this problem. The mid range and treble performance is spatial, transparent and full of the accurate details we have come to expect from Bowers and Wilkins 800 diamond series.

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bass reflex port

Team the B&W 805D3 up with the FS-805 stand and you have the basis for a world leading stand mount loudspeaker. You have probably seen the recent release of the new Naim UNITI range, such as the ATOM, STAR and NOVA. Well, a demonstration of any of these streaming amplifiers is a must with the 805D3 before making your final decision on what to partner them with.

 naim uniti star

naim uniti star

In their own words, "B&W have been dedicated to helping listeners get closer to the music they love for 51 years." All of the 800D3 series are designed and hand built in the Bowers & Wilkins factory in Worthing in the UK. Bowers & Wilkins have kindly invited us to their factory in January 2018 so we can bring you first hand information on the design and manufacture of the 800D3 series.

We will be showcasing the 800D3 range at an event in Cardiff in early 2018, so keep your ear to our blog for details of the date and location for this event.

Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers are available at the following branches of Audio T: 
Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea and Swindon. Bowers & Wilkins 800D3 series are only available from Audio T Cardiff.