Dynaudio Focus 600 XD Amazing Active Speakers At Audio T Oxford

The Dynaudio Focus 600 XD are speakers that redefine the high-end loudspeaker and high-end audio system: The perfect combination of a full-size floor standing loudspeaker and high performance digital amplification.

Both of the newly developed Focus XD ultra-long-throw Esotec+ woofers feature extremely large and powerful magnets, and each is driven by its own individual 150W power amplifier to ensure that an impressive low frequency output (down to a staggering 20 Hz) is always delivered at the highest level of precision and accuracy.

The Esotec+ midrange driver and tweeter in the Focus 600 XD are also each individually driven by a high-performance 150W power amplifier, and the four drivers are perfectly harmonized through the highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art DSP.

In practice, you connect a digital source to one 600 XD, and then run an RCA cable from that 600 XD’s digital output to the other speaker’s digital input. If you don’t run this cable between the speakers, the speakers will connect to each other wirelessly. The 600 XD includes both analogue and digital inputs. They can be operated via remote control and expanded to deliver wireless and or multi-room playback and the firmware can be updated.

dyn 600 Back.jpg

With regard to our listening experience:
Having decided that digital active speakers were the way forward we researched the market and came across these gems and immediately contacted Dynaudio's UK Sales Director Bill Livingstone to arrange to borrow a pair.

We eagerly awaited their arrival and duly wired them up in our demo room to a high quality CD transport.

We were immediately bowled over by their excellent integration, dynamics, timing and accurate wide bandwidth frequency response. We heard a precision and musicality in the bass that we have never heard before especially on some of our favourite dub reggae and EDM tracks.

They have an open window accuracy to them that allows you to enjoy all recordings, music genres and sources with equal aplomb, in fact I was so impressed I ordered a pair for myself and I have been thoroughly enjoying them ever since!

I have tried them with CDs, high-res recordings on DVD/Bluray music formats, TV broadcasts etc and they sound consistently excellent.

Another huge bonus, other than not needing multiple amplifiers/DACs/cables etc is the variable bass output control on the rear that allows you to tune them to your chosen room location rather than having to fit your room around them.

They have settings for freestanding/wall and corner positions,  using their advanced onboard DSP to adjust the bass output accordingly or just to personal taste.

Overall we are exceedingly impressed with these marvels and with 600 watts of amplifiers on board they also go exceedingly loud if you get a bit carried away after the pub!

And it would appear that the Worlds audio Press have similar thoughts....

The Absolute Sound:
Dynaudio has looked into the future and seen the dawn of a new era for active wireless digital loudspeakers. The 600 XD actually offers technical and sonic advantages not possible in traditional passive systems of this price. A case in point is the 600 XD’s spectacular bass reproduction, which is the direct result of Dynaudio’s active digital technology. The overall tonal balance was quite neutral, with very low coloration. The midrange was flat and smooth, with excellent rendering of timbre.

Image Hi-Fi :
Without any doubt, the Focus 600 XD is one of the very best speakers in this price class. More than that, it is close to ‘the last ever loudspeaker needed’ because it authentically reproduces the music and the recorded room, and it recreates the atmosphere and timbre in your own listening room.

Sound & Image:
The clarity of the sound issuing from the 600 XDs was jaw-droppingly good… The bass is almost bottomlessly deep and can deliver anything from the sledge hammer - like impact of an aggressive kick drum to the subtle caress of a viola with equal authority and with unparalleled accuracy. Vocals in particular are delivered with a crispness and a ‘you are there’ liveness that will have you shaking your head in wonderment. It’s a different way to do hi-fi — perhaps even the future of hi-fi. Simply magnificent.

The Dynaudio Focus 600 XD are £7995 (as of typing) and are available to order in the following finishes: Maple, Walnut, Rosewood, Black Ash, Piano lacquer Black and Piano lacquer White.

If you would like more information or would like to arrange a personal demonstration please contact us or call us on 01865 765961

Dynaudio loudspeakers large and small are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolManchesterOxfordPortsmouthReadingSouthamptonSwindon

Auralic Aries Mini Wireless Streamer / DAC Audio T Bristol

The Auralic Aries Mini streamer and DAC has a very small footprint (13.5cm x 13.5cm x 2.8cm). It is a wireless streaming node that is full of features fit for music lovers and audiophiles at a real world price.

Auralic.jpg

It is designed to fit seamlessly into an existing Hi-Fi system by either plugging straight into your amp via its RCA outs or connecting to a DAC. The Mini supports all your usual file formats, with PCM resolutions of up to 32bit 384Khz and DSD 256 (FULL FAT NO COMPRESSION, yes come on). The unit can be set up, via an ethernet cable or via WiFi, to stream from either a local network, attached storage, Tidal, Qobuz and Internet Radio.

Despite its small dimensions Auralic have left room inside for a hard drive so you can store your music on the device itself. You can also connect to it via Airplay and Bluetooth there isn’t much this thing can’t do!

Control is everything where network devices are concerned and Auralic have produced, and continue to improve, a fantastic app (Lightning DS) that can be used with any IOS device. This user friendly app is a dream to operate, look at and is easily one of the better apps out there. It comes with a simple in-app set up guide to activate the product and sync up everything you want to use it with.

We have used the mini in the shop for a couple of months now and it has not let us down once. Connected via its RCA outputs it performs really well considering it's price. Even on a system costing thousands it does not draw unwanted attention to itself. Connected to a DAC in the same system it will perform even better making it a good choice if you plan to upgrade your system in stages. We also used it in a headphone setup feeding a Naim DACv1 using the £800 Focal Elear and it proved to be an excellent combination with an expansive detailed sound that just made you want to sit and listen.

Auralic Aries, Focal Elear Headphones and Naim DAC V1

Auralic Aries, Focal Elear Headphones and Naim DAC V1

We tried it with a wide range of music from Pink Floyd to Dvorak and pop to full on EDM. It delivered a balanced presentation that didn't lean toward any particular genre it just played everything really well.

We absolutely love the Auralic Aries Mini, so if you're looking for a simple plug and play streamer then please come and have a listen.

DEVICE CAPABILITIES

  • Local UPnP/DLNA Network Player
  • Tidal, Qobuz and WiMP online streaming
  • Internet Radio
  • Airplay, Songcast and Bluetooth
  • USB Playback with optional internal HDD/SSD

Auralic Hi-Fi products are also available from the following branches of Audio T:
BristolCheltenhamReadingSouthampton

RNLI Music & Hi-Fi Evening

We are very proud to announce that Audio T Southampton will be assisting the RNLI to host a charity music & Hi-Fi evening with support from key manufacturers, Naim Audio, Dynaudio and The Chord Company plus local independent record store Hundred Records.

The Hi-Fi system for the event will be of the highest quality with Naim's now legendary Statement amplification providing more than adequate power!

Dynaudio's stunning Evidence Platinum will be the suitably elegant speakers to match Statement and to ensure that the venue is filled with perfect sound.

Linking it all together The Chord Company's high end ChordMusic cables and interconnects will ensure that this £250,000+ system will really sing!

A wide range of streamed music and vinyl will be played with demo albums generously provided by Mark Wills from Hundred Records in Romsey.

What better way could there be to spend an evening? This will be a unique opportunity to hear a truly awesome esoteric Hi-Fi system in a comfortable and spacious venue whilst supporting one of the most vital and highly valued of all charities, the RNLI.

Tickets are now available for £10 in store at Audio T, Chandlers Ford and at Hundred Records, Romsey and from RNLI Romsey, tel: 01794 323602  

Tickets are now available for £10 in store at Audio T, Chandlers Ford and at Hundred Records, Romsey and from RNLI Romsey, tel: 01794 323602

 

Details of money raising prize draws and raffles are still being finalised so please check our store blog regularly for updates.

We look forward to working with the participating Hi-Fi manufacturers, Hundred Records and The White Horse Hotel, Romsey, who are generously providing a superb venue free of charge, to ensure that a great evening is enjoyed by all and, most importantly, that it is a very successful fundraising event for the RNLI. 

Alan and John

Kudos X2 Speakers Small And Perfectly Formed At Audio T Brentwood

We've just taken delivery of our Kudos X2 speakers for demonstration and wow! This tiny pair of floorstanders is having no problem filling either of our dem rooms with music.

They're only 780mm x 166mm x 206mm (hwd) but boy do they produce the goods. Put them on the end of a Naim system, or a Rega Saturn/Elex and they really sing. We've also had great results on the end of the Unison valve amplifiers.

The Kudos X2 drive units are specially designed by SEAS and the cabinet is cleverly tuned to produce a big expansive and, most importantly musical performance.

Boswell for scale!

Boswell for scale!

They're at home with all types of music from the expansive electronica of Malia and Boris Blank's album "Convergence" to the acoustic blues/country sound of Chris Jones' "Roadhouses and Automobiles" two of our favourite dem albums of the moment.

So, tiny speakers, room friendly, huge sound, and available in a variety of finishes: what's not to like?

Their bigger brothers the Kudos X3 will be arriving shortly as well.

Visit us at Audio T Brentwood and have a listen, we think you'll be very impressed.

Kudos Loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolManchesterPortsmouthReading, Swindon

Martin Logan Electromotion Electrostatic Loudspeakers At Audio T Cheltenham

We are very pleased to announce that we are now stocking the new Martin Logan Electromotion Electrostatic loudspeakers. These use electrostatic panels rather than conventional dynamic drive units to produce the mid-range and high frequencies.

How an Electrostatic Works:
Electrostatic loudspeakers comprise of three basic components - Stators, diaphragm and Spars all assembled as a sandwich structure. The diaphragm is an electrically conductive plastic film that is stretched taught between the stators. The stators are are perforated steel sheets coated with an insulator. When in operation the diaphragm is charged to a fixed positive voltage by a high voltage power supply. (This is why all electrostatics are mains powered). The stators are connected to the speaker outputs of the amplifier via a step-up transformer. This converts the amplifiers output to a pair of high voltage signals of equal strength but opposite polarities. As the positive charge in one stator grows the negative charge in the other grows an equal amount. As like charges attract and negative charges repel the positive charge on the diaphragm will force it to move forwards and backwards depending on the charge. Therefore the stronger the charge the greater the movement and produces the movement of the diaphragm normally seen in a conventional drive unit. To help stiffen the panel and prevent the diaphragm from coming too close to the stators non conductive strips called spars are placed along the length of each panel.

The Benefits of an Electrostatic Loudspeaker:
Conventional loudspeaker drivers use a cone attached to a voice coil; the centre of the cone is only being driven and the rest of the cone is just following along. This means the cones have to be made as rigid as possible creating additional weight. The tweeter however needs to be as light as possible to enable it to achieve higher frequencies. Electrostatics overcome this as the diaphragm is driven across its entirety so it does not need to be rigid and can be made of an exceptionally light material. This enables the panel to produce sonic details with exceptional precision. The panel can operate over an exceptionally wide frequency response which eliminates the need for a crossover network between the mid range and the tweeter. Conventional loudspeakers can have the the problem of cabinet colouration and there will always be an effect on the drive units from the cabinet. This is eliminated in the mid to high frequencies of an electrostatic as there is no cabinet. Another key benefit of an electrostatic is that it operates as a true dipole. This enables them to offer exceptional clarity and an astonishing deep open sound stage.

The only drawback to the electrostatic is that they cannot reproduce the deepest of bass sounds. Martin Logan have overcome this by utilising a hybrid design. The very lowest frequencies are reproduced via a very high quality dynamic woofer. These are crossed over to the electrostatic panel via a carefully tailored cross over network. The critically damped woofers used ensure a seamless transition between the two types of drivers.

Electromotion ESL:
The ESL incorporates an Xstat Electrostatic panel with a total radiating area of 129 square inches. The panel is coupled with an 8 inch high excursion doped fibre coned woofer designed exclusively for the ESL. The lightweight cone achieves remarkably low distortion levels allowing seamless integration with the electrostatic panel. Connection to the amplifier is via high quality binding posts and the speaker is supplied with heavy duty spikes allowing tighter coupling between the speaker and the floor.

Electromotion ESL-X:
The ESL-X features a larger electrostatic transducer and utilises dual 8 inch woofers. The Xstat panel has a radiation area over 50 inches larger that the ESL and is coupled with two 8 inch doped paper high excursion woofers housed in a non resonant bass reflex enclosure. This achieves a frequency response of 41Hz to 22kHz. Offering an easy load of 6 Ohms and power handling of 20 to 400 Watts.

Listening:
We have had the Martin Logans set up with numerous systems. These have included Naim ND5XS Streamer coupled with an Arcam A39 class G amplifier, Clearaudio Performance DC turntable coupled with a Unison Research S6 valve amplifier. In all the systems we have tried the speakers have provided exceptional mid range clarity and high frequency performance. The sound stage provided is almost holographic. There have been instances when you could not tell where the speakers were as the sound stage was so expansive that the speakers appeared to disappear. As a hybrid  the integration of the bass is of paramount importance. To test this we played 'Drones' by Muse and they produced exceptionally deep and tight bass akin to a conventional high end loudspeaker. However at no time did you feel that this was at the expense of the open midrange and top end performance. 'Pacific Coast Highway' by Christopher Franke (Tangerine Dream) again has thundering bass with a very open midrange that at times just sounded truly astonishing. Vocals are also truly lifelike. We played Tracey Chapman 'Fast Cars' and the emotion portrayed in her voice was up there with the best I have ever heard. Classical music is somewhere these speakers really do excel, playing a string quartet the players are so well positioned you can place them to within inches to such an extent that you really do feel that they are in front of you. Full scale orchestra such as Shostakovich Symphony No 8 also has exceptional power and depth.

We really do feel that these speakers are capable of producing certain aspects of music that conventional loudspeakers find very difficult to attain. A demonstration is highly recommended.

Contact Jon and Farid, Audio T Cheltenham 01242 583960 to book your personal demonstration.

Reflecting on 25 Years Of Service at Audio T

It only seems like yesterday when as a teenager I first set foot in Audio Excellence in Swansea to purchase my first Hi-Fi, and who knows that it would have led to this....

At 16 years of age I had saved all of my part time job money so that I could become the very proud owner of a new Dual Turntable, NAD amplifier and Celestion speakers. That is where (what was to be) my life long love of music and hi-fi began.

I had only bought a few LP's up until that point which I played on the family music centre which was very average at best! I had heard a friends system and I wanted one of my own. A few months later I had my system and had started buying a lot more music to listen to. This then lead to going to see the artists I liked in concert and more visits to Audio Excellence, although these trips were mainly to buy more anti-static record sleeves for my ever growing collection.

A few years later and I found myself being made redundant and making daily visits to the job centres around the area, until one day I saw an advert for an electrical retailer with the hours Tuesday to Saturday. I instantly knew who it was, so I grabbed an application form and headed off to a friends workplace to fill it in as it was on the way to the shop. Once filled in I carried straight on straight to Audio Excellence to hand the application form in and was lucky enough to have a preliminary interview straight away. A few days later and it was off to the Cardiff Head Office for an interview with Tony Revelle. This is one day that I can remember very well indeed as I drove up in my Vauxhall Viva that was not in the best of running order, but not having money to fix it I arrived at Cardiff a little oily due to several maintenance stops. Laying on the floor under the car greasing the ball-joints in your best clothes somewhere near Bridgend was not the best of things to doing but the car got me there. I remember not being able to shake hands with Tony as I had dirty hands, but once we had started talking about the car while I freshened up it put me at great ease and that's where the story began...

A few silver whiskers and beard hairs these days!

A few silver whiskers and beard hairs these days!

25 years later I still have the same feelings about music and hi-fi, to the point that I could write exactly the same things on that application form as I did over 25 years ago; "I love listening to vinyl, I love listening to live music and love getting the best from my hi-fi".

So what has changed in all these years? Well I guess I'd have to say that why we do what we do hasn't changed at all, we still want to make sure that people get the same enjoyment from music as we do. People often ask me if I am still into "the gear" and I have to reply that "it's the music I love", and if you want to enjoy music to its fullest then there is simply no substitute for a well set up hi-fi and helping other people to get the same enjoyment has always given me great pleasure.

Thinking about how the methods of listening of music for so many people has changed over the years it did make laugh to think that as a teenager I was very excited about coming in to listen to my first turntable based system and I am now demonstrating the very same things to teenagers myself! Who would have predicted that one eh?

The cable guy...

The cable guy...

Also, to think that I have worked at the Annual Sound & Vision - The Bristol Show for over 20 years is amazing. Again, I remember most of these as if they were yesterday although there are some days that are a little fuzzy but nothing to do with too much to drink.... obviously!

We recently celebrated Audio T's 50th Anniversary with a great evening at the shop, and 2017 also sees the 10th Anniversary of Record Store Day which is one day of the year I really look forward to. We hope to do something very special this year to celebrate as we were one of the first shops to team up with our local Record shop and make it a big day for us.

As you can imagine; I have made some wonderful friendships over the years with colleagues and customers alike, which makes me feel very lucky. Here's looking forward to the next part of the story......

Rotel 14 Series Has Arrived At Audio T Swindon

We have taken the new Rotel 14 series of integrated amplifiers, tuners and CD player on board.

The range comprises 3 integrated amplifiers: Rotel A10 £389, Rotel A12 £799 and Rotel A14 £999 2 tuners: Rotel T11 £329 and Rotel T14 £699 and a new CD player: Rotel CD14 £549. All of them are available in black or silver.

All 3 amplifiers come with a build-in MM (moving magnet) phono amplifier for a turntable, 2 sets of loudspeaker terminals (if you want to run 1 pair in the main room and 1 pair in the kitchen) and sound control settings (bass, treble and balance). The A12 and A14 offer Bluetooth and various usb inputs. The USB-A front input can be connected to an iPhone, iPad or iPod, the rear USB-A can be used for charging or powering USB devices and the PC-USB (A12 and A14) allows you to connect a PC (drivers supplied for playback higher than 96khz). The front displays and the led's on the A12 and A14 are dimmable .There are 4 digital inputs (2 coax, 2 optical) on the back of the A12 and A14. That means you can connect up a TV or a set-top box.

From the top : A10, A12, A14

From the top : A10, A12, A14

From the top : A10, A12, A14

From the top : A10, A12, A14

The Rotel CD14 CD player offers digital and analogue outputs and can also be controlled via IOS/Android control app when connected to the A14 or T14.

CD14

CD14

CD14

CD14

The two tuners in the range are the T11 and the T14. Both offer FM/DAB+ . The T14 also offers internet radio and provides access to music sources like Qobuz, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and more.

Rotel T11

Rotel T11

T11

T11

All in all we think the new Rotel 14 Series sounds very good so why not come in and have a listen and enjoy some sweet sounds and a nice cup of tea or coffee.

We look forward to seeing you.

Stefan and Andy - Audio T Swindon Tel: 01793 538222

Rotel Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolCardiffManchesterPortsmouthPrestonSwindon

The 12 Days of Christmas, with Apologies from Audio T Southampton

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Twelve DAVE's a DACing (ahem!)

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On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Eleven Pioneers playing (groan!)

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Ten Chords a linking (yes, I know!)

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Nine Aries playing (Oh dear!)

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Eight Naims a streamin' (did you see what I did there?)

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Seven stands supporting (yes, really!)

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent me:

Six sleeves for vinyl (this isn't easy you know!)

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Five Goldrings (Yes! Success at last!)

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Four Cyrus Ones (OK, it's not even close)

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Three Flexsons (kind of works...)

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Two turntables (Close? No. OK, one more try...)

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

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A cartridge in a fir tree!  Oh, yes!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of our customers

from

Alan and John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Full Size Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

We have recently received the new P7 Bluetooth Headphones from B&W and straight out of the box we think they are fantastic. A quick look through the press and you will quickly find that we are not the only ones.

B&W's P7 over-ear headphones go wireless, with spectacular results."

B&W has produced one of the best-sounding wireless headphones you can buy at any price.

Winner of What Hi-Fi? Awards 2016 -  Best wireless headphones £300+

The P7 Wireless combines advanced acoustic technology with aptX™ Bluetooth® connectivity to deliver a seamless audio experience. They sound great with a deep articulate bass and open wide soundstage. The P7's are a very comfy fit and have a great wireless range.

The P7's aptX Bluetooth is controlled by the power button simply slide it across to turn on and off, and push it inwards to make the headphones discoverable to new devices. They charge up via a micro USB cable and have a @15hr battery life. Therefore within seconds of opening the box you can experience the gorgeous sound quality and brilliant comfort of these headphones. 

Pop in to try them out, we think you will be amazed. We also carry a wide range of other Headphones, Headphone Amplifiers and Accessories. Our Big Red Winter sale is now on, with some great offers and package savings.

From Jon, Dom and Paddy, at Audio T Oxford we wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Bowers & Wilkins H-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon