Take The Snap Crackle And Pop Out Of Your Vinyl For Good (Part 1)

Have you got beloved vinyl albums that are past their best, impossible to replace and hard to listen to because of snap crackle and pop? If so, then the Sugar Cube (SC-1) from Sweet Vinyl is something you really have to listen to. Seriously, you really really do. IT WORKS!

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At Portsmouth we have recently taken delivery of the Sugar Cube SC-1 by Sweet Vinyl. In short it makes the unlistenable, listenable. It sounds too good to be true doesn't it. As an unremitting lover of all things vinyl and analogue I completely dismissed the idea of putting a digital box anywhere near my turntable. To be honest I dismissed it somewhat contemptuously and was adamant it was an utterly terrible idea. I am now eating very large helpings of humble pie. I do not mind admitting, I was quite wrong.

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I know what you are thinking, what if my vinyl is in mint condition, does it kill what was a perfectly good sound? I thought that too. If we accept the fact that it does what it says on the tin and takes pops and clicks out of vinyl, what else is it doing? Well you would be surprised. The SC-1 has 10 levels of filtration and a bypass mode. What I have found in my two or so weeks of playing with it, using vinyl of many varying qualities and ages, is that the bypass mode really does work. However I did discover that using a very low level of filtration on what I classed as a pretty minty album, Eddie Reader, Songs of Robert Burns, it took out some noise I didn't even realise was there and it sounded better than bypass mode. Now, with some classical albums from the late 50s early 60s that were quite unpleasant to play, I found that the more filtration I added the more the sound became rounded but that was at the top end of the filtration level. To be expected I think, mainly due to the age of the recording which even when new, I doubt it sounded perfect. So you might find there is a bit of a pay off in some cases. However, it never sounded dull or lifeless, just a little smoother.

One of my favourite albums of all time Extravaganza by Stackridge has been on my deck loads over the past two weeks. It's hard to find and even harder to find one that hasn't been trashed. For me that one album alone is worth it. This brings me to one of the other functions the SC-1 has. The click button. It allows you to hear exclusively what it is removing, so you only hear pops and crackles. That is a real eye opener, or should I say ear?

 System used  Rega Planar 6 ,  Rega Aria ,  Rega Elicit . Sc-1 second shelf. We played with various speakers.

System used Rega Planar 6, Rega Aria, Rega Elicit. Sc-1 second shelf. We played with various speakers.

For the sake of science I also committed a heinous crime. I bought a battered looking album by Bill Haley and the Comets from a charity shop. I hurled it on the floor and proceeded to dance on it. I then put it on our work bench and savagely scraped in circles, that seemed to do the job. To look at it you would throw it in the bin. IT PLAYS. Not all tracks to be fair but, but those that do... WOW!

 It's looks worse in the flesh

It's looks worse in the flesh

The SC-1 does not come with a standard remote but as you may have spotted it does have an ethernet port. Yes. there is a wireless setup and control app. I know it does not sound very analoguey but if you want to use it, it is really easy to set up and and simple to use. I will talk more about that in the next blog as well as using the set 7'' set up disc.

I purposely left the price bit until the end to make sure you kept reading. It's £1550. If you think about it, it's not unreasonable as it means there is, (within reason), nothing you can't now play. Old, new or worn albums become enhanced. Let's say you had £1550 to put towards your system nothing will do what the SC-1 can. You could get a great cartridge, for your vinyl and it will still snap crackle and pop like a bowl of rice krispies. You could make some massive improvements to your cables and again your vinyl will still be crackle..... you get the idea. The SC-1 will be on our website shortly and another blog will be here next month.

We look forward you seeing you at Audio T Portsmouth soon. Until then happy listening.

James, Joe and Nick.

A New Look For Audio T Brentwood And For Those Who Have Turntables We Now Sell Vinyl

We have recently been giving the the shop a fresh new look in readiness for some exciting new products which will be arriving in the not too distant future. All will be revealed in the coming months and there will be exclusive events, so stay tuned!

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We have changed the wall colour and updated the product displays to give a brighter more appealing look.

 Jason sorting out another fabulous AV system for a customer!

Jason sorting out another fabulous AV system for a customer!

We have also brightened up our smaller dem room getting ready for some exciting new products (stay tuned!)

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And we've given the front of the shop a facelift as well!

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The eagle eyed among you will have noticed the SALE posters and there is still time to take advantage of some really good Hi-Fi bargains. But you'll have to hurry as the Sale ends on Saturday 16th June.

The other big news is that we now have LP RECORDS for sale! We have a selection of those big black shiny discs that we all love which are now available for you to purchase.

As a little teaser here are some album cover images for you to work out - no prizes I'm afraid other than the kudos of getting them right!

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Come and have a look at the new look shop and a browse the records. We look forward to seeing you at Audio T Brentwood. Paul, Jason & Francis

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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

The Vinyl Countdown! Mike our Resident Punk from Audio T Manchester Delves into his Record Collection

In this months blog Mike Hennessey from Audio T Manchester gives the inside track on his vinyl collection. Be warned, some of the cover art may make you feel a bit queasy.

  Rega Brio   Rega RP8  Rega Ania

Rega Brio Rega RP8 Rega Ania

First Record I Ever Bought? NOFX - Pump Up the Valuum

 Technics SL-1210GR

Technics SL-1210GR

It’s pretty fitting that the first record I ever bought was a NOFX album. As you will see, I’ve bought a lot more since then but back when no one wanted records, this would have been purchased in 2000, it was easy enough to pick up the coloured first pressings from NOFX.

Oldest Record I Own? Mary Poppins soundtrack. 

This one I inherited from my Grandad when he passed away. It came inside a Ferguson Stereogram, fortunately, not something I had to listen on. Unfortunately, at some point during a house move, I have managed to lose the bulk of the records I inherited, which was mainly Ella fitzgerald, Perry Como and The Seekers. Not exactly my taste in music but losing records is never a good thing, especially when they have sentimental value.
 
Most Interesting Record? Pizzatramp - Blowing Chunks.

This was released by TNS Records back at the end of 2016, the record was shipped in January 2017. Delivered in a hand painted and numbered pizza box, containing the album on green vinyl, a screen print of the album artwork and a slice of pizza. 

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I varnished the pizza to preserve it. Here it is 1 year on.

Most Collected Band? NOFX

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54 records, not including CDs or compilations.  36x7”, 2x10”, 16x12”. 12 Albums, 1 Bootleg, 2 splits, 8 EPs, 31 Singles including a 12 part set.

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Most Valuable Record?
This one is tricky really. Not being the kind of person to part with records, any value attributed to them is purely academic. Unless of course there is something I need to buy! I’ve used the Discogs and Popsike websites to try and value what I have. I’ve included a selection as values vary depending on where you look and what extras you still have with the record et cetera. This just gives an idea of the records that have the highest priced sale on the two websites mentioned above.

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Everything Everything - ARC Sold for £127 on DIscogs, £122 on Popsike
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Take a Break £147 DIscogs, £135 Popsike    
Mad Caddies - Just One More £295 Discogs, £151 Popsike
NOFX - HOFX £99 Discogs, £161 Popsike
NOFX - Liberal Animation £175 Discogs, £145 Popsike
NOFX - War on Errorism £101 Discogs, £135 Popsike
NOFX/Rancid Split £125 Discogs, £122 Popsike
The White Stripes - De Stijl £111 Discogs, £130 Popsike

Smallest Amount I’ve Paid? 29p. 

Wild Cherry - Self Titled/Band Aid - Do they know it’s Christmas? 12” single. 
Both were bought on the same day from a charity shop on Hillgate in Stockport and both cost the same amount. Wild Cherry had no sleeve and has been sadly lost, which reminds me, I must keep an eye out for another copy.

Any Unusual Sized Records? - Dropkick murphys live on a five.

I’ve only ever encountered one unusually sized record. At the time I bought it, I don’t think I realised it was unusual. This is just two live tracks on one small record.

The Last Record I bought - Sonic Boom Six - Cardiac Address / Stand Out Riot - Gentlemen Bandits

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Cardiac Address was a Pledge Music release from Sonic Boom Six, used to raise funds to get them to the Vans Warped Tour last year, it took a while but the 10” record finally arrived in January 2018.

Gentleman Bandits is a re-release from TNS Records, although it is the album’s first time on vinyl. This wasn’t bought by me but as a present from my wife for Christmas.

I also have at least 3 records currently on order that were purchased after Cardiac Address but I don’t have them yet, so they can’t count. They are, The Bennies - Natural Born Chillers, Harker - No Discordance, Marmozets - Knowing What You Know Now. 
Let’s face it, I’ll probably buy more before I finish this blog. 

Most Out of Place? Young Love.

This is a compilation album of love songs. I bought it for a communal Valentine's dinner with friends at university. And that’s all I have to say about that.
 
Record I Should Own But Don't? Guns N’ Roses - Live Like A Suicide

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Guns N’ Roses are probably my second most collected band, so it’s a surprise to me that they haven’t appeared in this until now. These are seemingly always available but I’ve never had the funds and the opportunity at the same time. The worst part is, my brother who doesn’t own a turntable, does have a copy. Framed on his wall. Sacrilege! Although, he did bring it in to the shop for its one and only play in his possession.

Thanks for reading! Rock on...vinyl!

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas at Audio T Preston

It's that time of year again when stress levels start to rise and we have to juggle our already busy lives with even more shopping. We are of course talking about the dreaded Christmas shopping and all that it entails. Who gets this, who gets that etc and did we remember Auntie Mildred?

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But fear not as we at Audio T Preston have a few stocking filler suggestions for those of you who have loved ones who love vinyl.

A jealously guarded sanctuary to some and a mystery to others, the humble turntable or “record player” or 'record deck' as it is often called, has risen in prominence again and is once more a core feature in any respectable Hi-Fi system. No matter whether you are the proud owner of one of these disc spinning lovelies or know someone who is, we have got a whole load of great gift ideas to make the whole experience even more enjoyable.

The tonar Dustaway brush is a great little accessory for cleaning the the surface of your records and removing unwanted dust before playback. With soft carbon fibre brushes and a velvet pad it's a steal at only £17.

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Another great vinyl cleaner is the new Project Vinyl Clean putty. A green gelatinous substance (think 80's slime) that you roll around the surface of the record as it picks up all the nasties and removes static. It can also be used to clean the stylus and for only £10.95 it would be rude not to.

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For a deeper clean give your older records a good bath with the Knosti disco-antistat cleaner. £50

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For the ultimate clean you could use the very effective Pro-ject VCS Vinyl Cleaning System. which will bring your old records back to life! Don't take our word for it. Why not bring a few of your older records and test its effectiveness for yourself.

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Weight for it!
One of the most important factors in any turntable is getting the correct balance in the tonearm so as to provide the right amount of downforce for the cartridge. Most decent turntables give you the ability to do this in their setup but if you want to be super accurate you'll need one of these.

The mighty Rega Atlas, a digital weighing scale, which will tell you exactly how much downforce is being applied to your stylus.

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Also for you consideration is the Pro-Ject Measure It Digital Stylus Force Gauge.

Can you hear me Mother?
If you are buying a turntable to give to someone this Christmas then make sure that they will be able to use it on the big day. You need to know if they have an input labelled “Phono” on the hi-fi / amplifier / sound system. If not then you will probably benefit from one of these:

The Project Phono Box MM is a phono pre-amplifier that boosts the signal from a turntable and makes it suitable to play on any other analogue line input. 

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The Rega Fono A2D does the same job and also features a USB output so you can record any of your records onto your PC or Laptop.

These are just the entry level phono stages, we do carry a much wider range is store for newcomers or veterans who have more advanced record player based Hi-Fi systems.

We hope to see you in store before the big day, but if we if we don't we hope you have a great Christmas

Ian, Gavin & Andy

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

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

New Rega Ania Moving Coil Cartridge

Building on the success of the Apheta 2 and Aphelion moving coil cartridges Rega have introduced the new Rega Ania.

Rega's design approach is unique for moving coil cartridges using an undamped ultra low mass generator with a rhomboid pivot for the cantilever coupled with an exclusively designed neodymium magnet system. This approach requires a cartridge body that has virtually zero tolerances to allow exact positioning of the magnet system relative to the pivot mounting hole. This is achieved in the Apheta and Aphelion models by machining ultra high grade aluminium to achieve the tolerance levels required (Within one thousandth of a millimetre).

 Rega Ania

Rega Ania

The process of machining aluminium to this tolerance level is exceptionally expensive so when Rega decided to design the Ania moving coil cartridge their solution was to use a moulding process using an unusual poly/glass combination called 'Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS-Forton). The special attributes of this material are its hardness and stability in shape and dimension after the moulding process. Rega have designed and built a new production mould tool to enable this extremely complex body shape to be achieved to the exacting specifications required.

To achieve the performance of the Ania cartridge they have combined the PPS body with an elliptical tipped diamond stylus and cantilever with an iron cross and micro coil assembly (one of the smallest MC generators). Special three point stainless steel inserts have been used for secure three point coupling to the tone arm.

 Three Point Mounting System

Three Point Mounting System

Sound Quality:

With the Ania MC cartridge firmly fixed to a Rega Planar 3 my first impression was that it shouldn't be able to do that for the money. It wasn't just good, it was astonishing. I first played Crazy Love by Poco off the album Legend and even though I thought I knew this one inside out the Rega combination laid out the harmony vocals and acoustic guitars within a huge soundstage ....one of those "shivers down your spine" moments! To make sure this wasn't a fluke, on went another demo fave in the shape of Faron Young by the rather wonderful Prefab Sprout and sure enough everything was bigger more open and more detailed than I have ever heard a Planar 3 before. The Thomas Dolby production work really coming alive with great deep but tight and fast bass allied to a wide open mid-range and a sweet top end.

Appetite whetted we then decided to put the Ania in the RB808 arm on the Rega RP8 turntable where it really excelled. The Poco and Prefab Sprout tracks opening up to reveal yet more detail. This really is one of those items of Hi-Fi that makes music fun to listen to and that will have you rooting through your record collection to hear what delights it will reveal next. In fact we were so impressed that Jon has ordered one for himself and I am thinking that my Rega P7 turntable may be paired up with one when my Dynavector wears out!!

The unique design concept of the new Rega Ania MC cartridge has produced a market leading cartridge with exceptional musicality, speed, clarity and detail retrieval not before achieved at this price point (£499.00 Inc VAT).

We have fitted our demonstration Ania to the Rega RP8 and have coupled it with phono stages from the Rega Fono MC, Arcam R-Phono and Rega Aria with outstanding results. If you are looking for a new moving coil cartridge that does not cost the earth a demonstration of the new Rega Ania is highly recommended. 

 Almost forgot Kung Foo Hamster

Almost forgot Kung Foo Hamster

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Farid, Andy and Jon - Audio T Cheltenham

Rega Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Convert Technologies Plato Class A All In One Music System At Audio T Bristol

We auditioned the Plato Class B about a year ago and thought that it was a fantastic product well thought out and well engineered but we had some misgivings about the sound quality. Not that it sounded bad but it didn't quite hit the mark when factoring in what our customers expect us to be selling.

At Sound & Vision - The Bristol Show Convert launched the Plato Class A all In One Hi-Fi system which we are taking a closer look at here.

Essentially it's the same product as the earlier model but with a better Class A amplifier.

Normally a class A design would generate a lot of heat and as such you will find that they are usually large with an array of heat sinks to dissipate the heat. Convert have used some clever technology to avoid this and as result you get class A performance without the bulky box. In fact we think that it looks very modern, uncomplicated with clean lines and just the right amount of curve. It would even look good on a sideboard we think.

The 15 watts you get with the class A operation doesn't sound a lot, and indeed it isn't when you turn up the wick, the Plato caters for this scenario by switching to A/B operation when needed pushing out 50 watts of A/B power. What do they say, “when the going gets tough...”

So, what else does the Plato do? It would probably be easier to describe what it can't do. The initial idea Convert had was to create a device that will record Vinyl in a sophisticated no nonsense way.

 Plenty of ins and outs on the rear.

Plenty of ins and outs on the rear.

That initial idea is delivered in spades as there is not a better vinyl ripper on the market. It will handle both MC and MM cartridges and records up-to 24bit 192khz. When you drop the needle on the record it will intelligently look up the recording online and deliver the album art and track names as well as split the recording into tracks. This is very clever and couldn't be simpler.

As well as recording Vinyl you can also record your cassettes or any other analogue format just plug in and away you go. The Plato is also a streamer and a ripper. The observant amongst you will have noticed from the picture that it doesn't have a CD draw. They get round this by supplying a USB drive along with an android tablet which gives complete control over the unit. The 2TB of internal storage you get should be enough for most but as it is a streamer as well it would be easy to expand on that if needed.

We listened to the unit using a variety of music including ripped vinyl (which sounds really good) recordings from the hard drive and recordings off our network. The class A 'sound' smothered us not in a soft gooey way but in way that is very pleasing to the ear. Nothing we played tripped the unit up. So the Pixies Doolittle album didn't sound harsh at all as it often can. Massive Attack's Mezzanine sounded great with a very pleasing bass that was not necessarily as tight as some A/B amps can muster but with texture that those amps only hint at. The all important mid range is handled excellently, with Teardrop off Mezzanine touching the back of the spine if you know what I mean.

All in all we think the audio performance is excellent and that coupled with it's massive feature list the Convert Plato deserves a place in the shop. You may not need all the features it offers but even if you just need storage and streaming in an attractive package it is well worth a listen. As always don't take our word for it, come and have a listen.

Convert Technologies Plato Class A is available for demonstration at Audio T Bristol.

Tiger Paw Tranquility Linn LP12 Turntable Bearing Upgrade

As the saying goes good things often come in small packages and in this instance they are not wrong! Yesterday a small cardboard box measuring 20cm x13cm x7cm found its way into our shop from Tiger Paw.  It was with some excitement, after reading lots of good things about it, that we opened it to reveal two metal discs with a unique array of rare earth magnets in them.

  Tiger Paw Tranquility  LP12 Turntable Upgrade Kit

Tiger Paw Tranquility LP12 Turntable Upgrade Kit

There is nothing new about about magnetic levitation in fact it is used by some other small exotic turntable manufacturers and has been on the news recently showing a floating platter, in fact we can remember this technology dating back to the Pickering Gyropoise from the early 1960s'.In this instance, though, it doesn't actually raise the inner platter from its thrust pad but it does dramatically reduce the force and friction between the two surfaces by up to 90%.

 Disc 1 friction fit around  Linn LP12  inner platter

Disc 1 friction fit around Linn LP12 inner platter

Another major advantage of this upgrade is the fact that no changes to the original turntable are required and the 2 sections fit around the existing bearing spindle and inner platter with no screws or bolts required. It is also fully backwards compatible with pre Cirkus bearings and standard sub chassis, so no matter what level of LP12 you have everyone can benefit.

 Disc 2 fitted around the Linn LP12 bearing

Disc 2 fitted around the Linn LP12 bearing

We started our listening test with Bjorks' early Gling Glow album, a close miked and slightly forward recording, and straight from the off the differences weren't small, in fact, it was dramatic, the control on the bass, unveiling of the top end and the drop of the noise floor all contributing to an overall spatial effect creating a more natural feel to the tracks, less like a record more of an experience. Record after record went on everything from the newly re-issued Paul Weller Wild Wood all the way back to lesser well recorded albums such as the The Allman Brothers live A&R studios recording from 1971. Whilst it can't make a bad recording great, they can become a whole lot more believable meaning you can just relax and listen to the music rather than getting hung up with the limitations of the recording.

 Full spec  Linn Klimax LP12  with  Ekos tonearm ,  Kandid cartridge  and  Radical power supply . MC Billy Blaster can't wait to jump in, spin some discs and throw some shapes!

Full spec Linn Klimax LP12 with Ekos tonearm, Kandid cartridge and Radical power supply. MC Billy Blaster can't wait to jump in, spin some discs and throw some shapes!

This is a must have for those treasured vinyl discs, it is  easy to hear to why and in our opinion a big upgrade for a small investment. So don't delay, bring in one of your favourite LP's and have a listen for yourself.

Join Julian, Paul and John in the Tiger Paw Tranquility of vinyl replay and give us a call on 01273 609431 to arrange your personal demonstration.

Tiger Paw Hi-Fi products are available in our BrightonReading and Oxford stores.

How To Take Care Of Your Precious Records In The New Age of Vinyl

With vinyl sales soaring and turntables becoming ever more popular it's important to care for your records and record playing equipment so here's a few tips and products that we'd recommend for seasoned vinyl addicts and newbies alike.

 The Bear essentials for great sounding vinyl replay!

The Bear essentials for great sounding vinyl replay!

KEEP IT CLEAN!
There are many products out there to help with this but first and foremost is a humble duster! If you keep the area around your turntable free from dust there will be less to build up around your stylus and on your records, remember records tend to generate static so they'll attract dust. This is where the humble anti-static brush comes in very handy like the one from Audioquest in the picture above. There is also a similar product for cleaning your stylus (also pictured above) It's not uncommon to have a major build up on a stylus which can make it sound like the cartridge is failing.

For cleaning records with a heavier level of grime Pro-ject make two great products. The Spin Clean is a manual "wet cleaning" system for only £90 and if you want your records restored to sparkling brilliance try the fantastic Project VCS machine, which removes dirt and grime brilliantly. Then store your records in anti-static sleeves to help maintain their condition.

 Boswell is the original vinyl care bear and says that "V inyl hygiene is imperative for the best sound reproduction ".

Boswell is the original vinyl care bear and says that "Vinyl hygiene is imperative for the best sound reproduction".

CAREFUL SET UP
This is where we come in. Getting the set up of your turntable right will give the most rewarding musical experience, whether you're a Dire Straits or Ed Sheeran fan. We can adjust and set up almost any turntable here in store and are always happy to help you do this.

For those of you who like to tweak and play, and there are many opportunities for this with turntables, we have a wide range of mats, stylus force measures, and pucks and clamps available.

One other essential accessory to keep your precious vinyl safe in transit, is our wonderful limited edition Audio T 50th Anniversary record bag and teddy bear carrier modelled here by Boswell.

 It's available from all our Stores (bear not included!)

It's available from all our Stores (bear not included!)

THERE'S ALWAYS AN UPGRADE PATH
No matter what turntable, as long as it's working and of a decent standard, it is always possible to improve its performance. You can change the cartridge, sometimes the cables, and the phono stage as well. At Audio T we have always prided ourselves on our knowledge of turntables and getting the best performance out of them. Why not come in and see us, or give us a ring and have a chat about how we can do that for you.

We look forward to seeing you. 

Paul, Francis and Jason

Project Classic Turntable Arrives At Audio T Cheltenham

The Cheltenham Branch have just taken delivery of the new Project Classic Turntable. Designed by Project for their 25th Anniversary the aptly named Classic has taken design inspiration from 1960/70s classics such as the Thorens and Linn.

The Classic is a two plinth design allowing the motor to be well isolated from the main bearing and arm greatly reducing the transfer of mechanical and electrical energy produced by the motor. Rather than using springs for the suspension (renowned for causing set up issues) the Classic utilises Thermo Plastic Elastomers to isolate the two plinths. This not only offers excellent isolation and anti resonance properties but also allows easy set up straight out of the box. We had our demonstration deck up and running and sounding fantastic in two minutes.

 Kung Fu Hamster hasn't seen a spinning wheel like this before!

Kung Fu Hamster hasn't seen a spinning wheel like this before!

The deck is supplied with a newly designed tonearm with some radical design concepts. The arm tube is constructed of a composite sandwich material comprising of carbon fibre and aluminium. The carbon fibre offers excellent rigidity and reduced mass while the aluminium provides excellent damping. A new ultra low friction bearing assembly is used enabling excellent tracking. Even the the nickel counterweight is TPE damped to reduce resonances. The arm has full VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle) and Azimuth adjustment allowing easy cartridge change / upgrade.

 Kung Fu Hamster takes a closer look at the Pro-ject Classic platter

Kung Fu Hamster takes a closer look at the Pro-ject Classic platter

The deck is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Silver moving magnet cartridge. This allows the Classic to perform to a very high standard out of the box but with the quality of components utilised in the deck a cartridge upgrade is a great opportunity in the future.

LISTENING
To audition the Project Classic we set it up with a Rega Elicit amplifier using its excellent on-board phono stage and coupled this with a pair of Neat acoustics SX2 Loudspeakers. We played a wide range of vinyl and achieved excellent results with all types of Music.

Phil Collins - I don't Care Anymore (Hello I must be Going Album):
The Classic provided excellent bass weight and control. The drums were extremely tight and fast and at no time did the sound become confused. Information retrieval was  very good with an excellent soundstage. At no time did the deck become confused.

Helen Watson - You're not the rule (Blue Slipper Album):
The Classic offered a great sense of timing. The sound was exceptionally tuneful and for such a complicated piece of music at no time did the classic get confused or appear to lose detail. The vocals were portrayed with excellent realism and emotion.

Stanley Jordan - Eleanor Rigby (Magic Touch Album):
This gave a superb sound stage with a great sense of openness and clarity. The attack on the strings was easily heard and again we were surprised how a deck at this price point held everything together. In fact my biggest problem listening to this track was concentrating on the deck rather than the music as the Classic made it sound so involving.

CONCLUSION
Overall this record deck offers outstanding sound quality for such an affordable price. It offers superb build quality and standard of finish. It is easy to set up and integrate into virtually any hi-fi system. It also offers the opportunity to upgrade with the addition of a better cartridge. The Ortofon 2M Silver offers great sound when purchased with the deck but a future upgrade will reap great benefits. Overall we cannot recommend this record player highly enough and would strongly advise a demonstration if you are in the market for a turntable at this price point.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future and be rest assured if you come in for a demonstration you will be given a warm welcome. (And tea and coffee).

Jon, Farid and Andy

Click here to read more about the Pro-ject Classic Turntable tech specs and customer reviews.

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