Style and Substance. The Ruark R5 Music System

The Ruark R5 System is absolutely gorgeous! There you go, we’ve said it and we mean gorgeous in its styling, its versatility, and its sound.

Wrapped in rich real walnut or in soft contemporary grey with contrasting grilles this system looks amazing.

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But the beauty of the R5 is not just skin deep. This is one seriously well equipped system. The R5 has:

Bluetooth with aptX HD

Internet streaming services including internet radio, access to the most popular music services, and Spotify Connect

A DAB, DAB+ and FM radio section

CD

A phono stage built in for moving magnet cartridges

Optical digital in

Analogue in

Analogue out (subwoofers anyone?)

USB in with charge

and a Headphone output too

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There’s the now familiar circular control on the R5 which makes navigating the menus and functions very easy and intuitive. This is also mirrored in the remote control which has identical form and function.

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The really surprising thing about the R5 however is its sound. It sounds like serious Hi-Fi. OK it’s not going to beat a big pair of floorstanders on the end of an expensive separates system, but what it does do is play music and communicate on a far bigger scale than it should.

You can certainly tell the difference between Billy Eilish and Lorde, or Ariana and Mariah. The R5 handles midrange subtleties wonderfully. Put on some bigger scale rock or orchestral and you get the impact immediately.

There’s even a proprietary app from Ruark to control it and to integrate it with other Ruark products into a complete home multi-room system.

We simply can’t think of any other one box solution that sounds anywhere near as good as the Ruark R5.

Pop into Audio T Brentwood and we’ll be more than happy to show you why we think it is so good!

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Ruark Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Swansea

Linn Selekt DSM. The Ultimate One Box Hi-Fi Solution?

More than 20 years ago, Linn produced, what was probably, the first high end all in one system’. The Linn Classik Music. Priced just short of £1000, it was a tremendous sales success.

Over the following years, Arcam and then Naim took over this mantel, however, Linn are now back, with a product aimed at the very edge of what is capable from a one box system. The Linn Selekt DSM.

Priced from £4000 for a source only version, increasing to £6750 for the top specification Katalyst DAC enabled, stereo integrated model, it represents a serious investment. The sound and build quality, however, more than justify the price.

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Gorgeous in appearance and solid in build, the Linn Selekt DSM possesses a cut glass multi-functional dial (that glows when approached). It can also be App or remote controlled, whatever your preference may be.

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A look to the rear and you will notice the modular input/output construction. This is a product that is designed to be future proof and easily upgradable (both DAC upgrades and multi-channel surround amplifier units are available at present). This is a very well thought out design.

As well as being a top end streamer, it is supplied with a plethora of inputs (including very high quality MM and MC phono stages). Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz are embedded and it is also Roon enabled.

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Linn offer a very effective room correction facility called ‘Space Optimisation’. Unlike other systems, which use a microphone to measure the room, with Linn, you enter the room dimensions and construction. The end results are that, with the loudspeakers in their optimal positions, they will sound their absolute best. Alternatively, the loudspeakers can be moved to a sub optimal position and still sound amazing!

Partnering up the Linn Selekt DSM with a good pair of loudspeakers (we tried the new Dynaudio Evoke 30 speakers). The sound quality is amazing, tremendously detailed, clear and punchy. If you are a lover of classical or jazz music in particular, then this machine will absolutely excel!

If you would like a demonstration, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at Audio T Oxford.

Linn Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Oxford, Preston, Swindon

Michell My Belle! Customer Upgrades His Gyro Turntable With Michell Techno Tonearm

Christmas arrives a little early for one of our customers as he has treated himself to a new tone arm on his Michell Gyro turntable. He had an ageing Rega RB300 previously installed on the turntable that was starting to become troublesome. With our advice the customer chose the obvious choice, the Michell Techno A tonearm in black to match the existing finish of the turntable.

Michell Gyro with new Techno A arm fitted

Michell Gyro with new Techno A arm fitted

At the same time we have also removed the old acrylic plinth and lid giving the deck a much slicker look and feel. This was achieved by adding the Michell Gyro Spyder kit as shown below. The old deck is dismantled and the feet are removed from the plinth and threaded on to the new Spyder.

Michell Gyro Spyder kit

Michell Gyro Spyder kit

Techno A arm unboxing

Techno A arm unboxing

New arm mounting plate

New arm mounting plate

The old arm mounting plate needs to be replaced as it is the single mounting point plate. The new mounting plate is seen fitted in place above. The new three point mount all ready for the new tone arm.

Tonearm mount from top

Tonearm mount from top

Techno A arm fitted

Techno A arm fitted

Next we need to fit the cartridge to the tonearm. Our customer decided to go for the Rega Ania MC cartridge as shown below.

Rega ANIA MC cartridge during fitting

Rega ANIA MC cartridge during fitting

Rega ANIA MC cartridge

Rega ANIA MC cartridge

Now we need to adjust the height of the tonearm to make sure the vertical tracking angle is correct for the cartridge installed. This is achieved by the clever Michell thread at the mounting of the arm. In this case no adjustment was needed so the three mounting screws can tightened to fix the tonearm in place.

Tonearm height adjustment

Tonearm height adjustment

Michell Techno A arm Scallop counter weights

Michell Techno A arm Scallop counter weights

Two different weight scallops are supplied depending on the weight of your cartridge. In this case the larger of the two has been used.

Scallop counter weight in place

Scallop counter weight in place

Checking tracking force

Checking tracking force

Above we are checking the tracking weight using Project Measure IT stylus balance gage.

Ready for the first play

Ready for the first play

Cue up ready……”drop the needle on the record”

Cue up ready……”drop the needle on the record”

Michell HR power supply + Nytech CDP122

Michell HR power supply + Nytech CDP122

Above is the is older Michell HR power supply (this has now been replaced with a more modern looking box and case work) alongside the Nytech CDP122, our weapon of choice at the moment when it comes to supplying moving magnet or moving coil setups.

Final pic of the completed setup

Final pic of the completed setup

Thanks to Steve for his permission to blog about his latest audio upgrade. In the pic above we have the front of his home cinema setup. The classic Pioneer plasma, Arcam AVR550, REL S3, Oppo UDP-203 & the now discontinued Bowers & Wilkins 683S2 teamed with the HTM61S2 center speaker. He finishes off his surround system with two B&W M1 speakers on the rear and B&W CCM665 in the ceiling for Dolby Atmos, creating a very impressive 5.1.2 system. Michell Techno A arm and Rega ANIA MC cartridge is available from all branches of Audio T.

Michell Engineering turntables are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Cardiff, Manchester, Southampton, Swansea

Thanks for reading: Hefin, Nick (blogger) and Kerrin Audio T Cardiff.

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