Auralic, Russell K & Cyrus: New Product Additions At Audio T Reading

We are delighted to announce the inclusion of a number of new products, two of which are wholly new suppliers to the Reading store.

Auralic

For us the timing could not be better than now to introduce Auralic to our range. In an age of ever decreasing CD player sales, we have been looking, as have many of our customers, for a streaming solution that is universal, i.e. matches any existing brand and at the same time is affordable. Auralic are just such a brand. Indeed maybe the only one at present?

From as little as just £449, the Aries Mini is a serious quality, tiny (about the size of an Apple TV) full HD streamer (up to DSD even over WiFi) and client in one. With analogue outputs included and the ability to fit an SSD drive internally, it can be a complete solution and simultaneously serve other rooms.

For the audiophile the Auralic Aries (£1495) is their high-end solution for streaming, just add your own DAC to the required level.

For those looking for an entire digital streaming compact separates system we have the Altair streamer/pre-amp and Merak 200w Monoblock amps. Just add speakers. £5747.

Key to the Auralic experience is their fantastic IOS app, Lightning DS. By far the most powerful and intuitive music app we've used to date. Giving you full access to your local music library as well as direct to your Tidal or Qobuz accounts.

Innuos

To complement the Auralic and any other streamers we have chosen Innuos. Innuos make a range of Server/CD rippers starting from as little as £699.

Simply slide in a CD and the unit rips, downloads metadata and artwork and builds your library. Full editing access is by an excellent cross-platform browser support page.

Russell K

In a crowded market place full of great speakers (well here anyway) there seems little room for more. That would be true if they didn't offer something new and fresh, a different perspective perhaps or a different set of priorities. 

In Russell K's designs we have just that; a fresh outlook. Russell's top priority was to convey the artist's message more than anything else but not at the expense of tonal colourations and other distortions; a tall order. His solution was not to follow, but to lead by thinking afresh the design parameters. His designs have to internal wadding whatsoever, thin cabinets walls and a thick baffle. The result; speakers that cut straight to the performance with no perceivable time smearing and are capable of serious musical engagement. They have an incredible bass response belying their size and can be driven by affordable amplifiers. We rather like them!

Three models are available; The original RK Red 100 and the smaller Red 50, both standmounts and available in gloss black (premium) or a variety of wood veneers. The Red 150 floorstanders, small but full range.

Cyrus

Welcome back, Cyrus One!

After what must be over 25 years, Cyrus again have a model One. Naturally, apart from its dimensions and overall design it's all new and technologically up-to-date.

A little powerhouse of an amp capable of driving any speaker likely to be used at the price point, it's immediate and fun with a great sense of drive, a truly worthy successor.

Cyrus One rear panel

Cyrus One rear panel

Features include; Bluetooth connectivity and a decent phono stage, so should appeal to all the family's needs. £699

Auralic streaming Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BristolCheltenhamSouthampton 

Innuos rippers and music streamers are also available from: 
BrentwoodBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxfordPortsmouth
SouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Russell K Loudspeakers are also available at: EnfieldPortsmouth

Cyrus Hi-Fi products are also available from: 
BrentwoodCardiffEnfieldManchesterPortsmouthReadingSouthamptonSwindon

Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z Headphones Now On Demonstration At Audio T Enfield

We have just taken delivery of the Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z ART Monitor on ear Headphones.

Visually the ATH-A990Z are excellent, the lightweight green aluminium housing looks and feels like quality craftsmanship.

The ATH-A990Z's feature a "3D wing support" which Audio-Technica claim that provides a great fit and long-wearing comfort. I couldn't of put it better myself, they are certainly one of the most comfortable sets of headphones I have tried.

Here you can see the premium, soft ear pads for a comfortable fit.

Here you can see the premium, soft ear pads for a comfortable fit.

The ATH-A990Z feature a 3.0m cloth-wrapped tangle-free cable. Also the 6.3" jack screws onto the 3.5mm jack, which I thought was a nice touch.

The ATH-A990Z feature a 3.0m cloth-wrapped tangle-free cable. Also the 6.3" jack screws onto the 3.5mm jack, which I thought was a nice touch.

Every 53mm driver is hand-assembled in Japan for highly reliable performance. The yoke magnetic component contributes to the high-resolution audio reproduction with its superior transient response. OFC bobbin-wound voice coils enable efficient signal transfer. The top-mounted PCB contributes to smoother airflow for precise diaphragm movement.

The one thing that surprised me the most about the ATH-A990Z is how open and airy they sound considering they are a closed-back design. Audio-Technica have created what they call a Double Air Damping System (D.A.D.S.) structure which they claim provides deep bass reproduction. In my opinion it does more than this, by giving a more "open-backed" performance, rather than a "bloated" or "closed" sound.

For me the Audio-Technica ATH-A990Z does nothing wrong. The comfort is amazing and the sound defines its closed-back design. For £199 I've not found any better.

Many thanks for reading. Why not come along and have a listen!

Simon Harknett @ Audio T Enfield Tel: 0208 367 3132

Audio-Technica Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxford,PortsmouthSouthamptonSwansea

Compact Neat Iota Alpha Floor Standing Speakers Need To Be Heard To Be Believed

We take a closer look at the Neat Iota Alpha compact floor standing speakers. Aesthetically, we think these are a great looking pair of speakers, which are available in four finishes: American walnut, black oak, natural oak and satin white.

They sport three drive units consisting of a ribbon tweeter a mid-range and a downward firing bass driver. The tweeter and mid-range driver are angled upwards, which give them the ability to produce a wonderfully wide soundstage and a surprising room filling capacity for a speaker that stands only 48cm high. Yes that's right 48cm, 480mm just under 19''. No matter how you measure it, that's small! Whatever you do, don't dismiss them based on their diminutive size, because the Neat Iota Alpha is a discrete speaker that still produces a big sound!

They are an ideal match with the new Naim Uniti Atom Cyrus ONE  the Rega Apollo, Brio-R,Elex-R  combination and many others.

If space is limited and discretion is paramount but you don't want to compromise on sound quality, then the Neat Iota Alpha's priced at £1,385 offer a very neat (pardon the pun) solution. They must be heard to be believed!

Give Nick, Joe and James a call at Audio T Portsmouth on 02392 663604 to book your personal demonstration and prepare to be amazed.

Neat Acoustic Loudspeakers are available at the following branches of Audio T: BrightonCheltenhamOxfordPortsmouthReading

Chord Electronics Mojo Portable Headphone Amplifier And DAC

I have only been at the company a short time and I was very excited to be given the opportunity to write a blog, so I decided to pick one of my current favourites, the Chord Electronics Mojo, an award winning portable headphone amplifier and DAC (digital to analogue converter). While it may look small it’s certainly not light weight, it feels very solid in your hand and gives you the impression that it is built to last.

Fits comfortably in the palm of your hand - hand not included ;-)

Fits comfortably in the palm of your hand - hand not included ;-)

The device has a very simple layout and is operated with the use of only 3 buttons these are power on and 2 volume controls (+ and -). By using a series of button press combinations you are able to easily adjust the input / output settings of the DAC. For example holding down the volume control buttons when the device is being powered up will set it to the LINE out function.

How do I use it?
The Mojo can be used with a variety of different digital sources. It can be used with a PC or Mac an iPad or Android tablet or phone. It can also turn its hand to being used in a system as a standalone DAC.

What does it sound like?
To listen to the Chord Electronics Mojo I used two different sets of headphones: the impressive Audioquest Nighthawks as well as my trusty Sennheiser HD 25-1 so I would be able to see how it would sound using two different brands of headphones.

USB, optical and coaxial inputs

USB, optical and coaxial inputs

The sound ‘quality’ was immediately noticeable, clarity and dynamics stood out, with the DAC doing wonders and the amplifier giving grip and drive to the headphones. I used a variety of music genres so I could get an honest opinion across the musical spectrum. On the Audioquest Nighthawks I got the impression that there was smooth clear balance to the sound and they quite obviously benefited being plugged into such an accomplished DAC come headphone amp. My trusty HD25’s have never sounded so good and I honestly didn’t think they could sound that good!

This product is in my opinion the leader in its class and will not disappoint when it comes to a great audio experience, really bringing out the sound stage enhancing the listening experience, in the grand scale of things the Chord Electronics Mojo really packs its punch for the buck.

For the techno minded and audiophile readers the technical specs are as follows:
Mojo has 3 digital inputs 1 x TOS-Link optical capable of playing 44.1KHz to 192KHz PCM and DSD64 in DoP format. 1 x 3.5mm COAX SPDIF capable of playing 44.1KHz to 384Khz PCM (768KHz special operation) and DSD64, DSD128 in DoP format. 1 x micro USB capable of 44KHz to 768KHz PCM and DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 in DoP format

Blogger and Audio T Bristol Store staff member  - James Cannon

Chord Electronics Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxfordPortsmouthPreston
ReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Audio T Oxford 50th Anniversary & Naim Statement Event

To celebrate our 50th Birthday, we would like to invite you to an open day on Saturday 26th November for some food, fizz and fun.

We will be showcasing Naim’s flagship Statement system. The pinnacle of Naim’s engineering knowledge and artistry. The series comprises the NAC S1 preamplifier and NAP S1 mono power amplifiers.

To partner such an amazing system we will be demonstrating the outstanding Dynaudio Evidence Platinum speakers. This stunning combination is quite possibly one of the greatest Hi-Fi systems available today, with a price ticket to match at a cool quarter of a million pounds!

If Carlsberg did Hi-Fi systems this would be it.

The event starts at noon on Saturday 26th and finishes at 5pm. We will be playing a wide selection of Hi-Res and Streamed Music and will be more than happy to take requests.

Come and celebrate with us.

We look forward seeing you.

Jon, Dom and Paddy

For more information please email us at oxford@audio-t.co.uk or call us on 01865 765961.

7db94d9d72a99a84aa21104b9700fe40.jpg

Unison Research Simply Italy. An Italian Job That Won't Blow Your Bloody Doors Off!

Audio T Manchester now have the wonderful Unison Research Simply Italy to add to our stock profile. This little beauty picks up the mantle from the equally wonderful Simply Two amplifier.

Sharing many of the characteristics and sonic attributes of the Simply Two, the Simply Italy is a more compact design with a shoe box size footprint, a single ended ultralinear class A design with 12 watts of power and utilizing LE34 valves in the output stage and ECC82 in its pre-amplifier and driver stages. Perfectly suited for small to medium size living rooms.

Unison Research have been around for more than 20 years. The Simply Italy is made at the Unison Research factory in Italy. 

The beautiful wooden panel not only looks good but helps to dampen any chassis resonances.

Nice and simple! An Input selector with a tape loop and the volume dial.

A small toggle switch takes care of the negative feedback and allows adjustments of 1.8db or 5db. You can switch between settings while listening, we prefered the 5db setting but the choice is yours. So you can tailor the sound to your musical tastes.

Chromey thinks he's back in his old pod racing days, that's not a gear lever matey. Bless him...

What Hi-Fi? reviewed the Simply Italy and loved it. Read the review here.

Canada Hifi also reviewed the Simply Italy here.

How many valves do you see?

The Russian made pentode EL34 valves and the ECC82 twin triodes with Chromey the clone trooper, all round super nice guy.

Behind bars for living a life of chrome.....ba dum tish.

Our Simply Italy valve amplifier is on demonstration at our Manchester store.  You may spot it sitting there proudly as part of our window display. So come along to the store and take a peek or even a listen if you so choose.

Keep an eye out for Dave, Munir, Mike, Simon and Haden who will be more than willing to help.

Unison Research Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
CheltenhamOxfordPortsmouthReadingManchester

Cyrus And Chord Co Listening Event At Audio T Enfield

Join us on Thursday 24th Nov 12:00 - 6:00 and come and listen to some of great music, played on Cyrus electronics, connected together with Chord cables, including the new Cyrus One integrated amplifier and next evolution of Chord Co cables.

In our smaller listening room we take a closer look & listen to the new Cyrus ONE amp partnered with a Rega RP6 turntable & B&W CM6 S2 speakers. All accompanied by Chord Cables.

In our bigger listening room we will be running a Cyrus Pre / Power set up. The CDI CD player, PSX-R 2 power supply, Stream XA streamer , Rega RP10 turntable, Pre DAC pre amp, Stereo 200 power amp, PMC Twenty5 23 speakers. This set up will have the new C-line, Clearway, Shawline, Epic & Signature cables ranges demonstrated on it.

A friendly and informal opportunity to play your music through some amazing yet affordable hi-fi gear, with special offers available for attendees on the day. Bring some of your favourite tunes and your ears. We will bring the hardware, comfy seats and refreshments.

We look forward to seeing you.

Simon, John, Claire & Mahmood.

Audio T Enfield

Cyrus Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: 
BrentwoodCardiffEnfieldManchesterPortsmouthReadingSouthampton

Chord Co cables are available from: 
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxford
PortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Project Essential MkIII Turntable A Stunning Record Player For Christmas

Those lovely people at Pro-ject have given us an early Christmas present with their new Essential MKIII turntable

This is a major step up in "performance for the money" over its predecessor the MkII. It has a new acrylic platter which would have been unheard of at this price point a few years ago...it's only £239! A quality main bearing and a "proper" tonearm with good bearings and adjustability.

The cartridge is a step up on the old model as well, the Essential MkIII now has an Ortofon OM10 which has a better stylus than the OM5e on the previous model.

Also the Essential MkIII comes with a new high gloss finish in three colours: Black, White and Red. The usual sturdy acrylic lid is included to keep your turntable dust free. The external pulley allows quick speed change without having to remove the platter.

All in all we think the Project Essential MkIII is going to be a big hit so why not come in and have a listen.

Paul, Francis, Jason, and of course Boswell.

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

Rega Brio Launch Event at Audio T Brighton This Saturday 19th

We're proud to be previewing the new Rega Brio integrated amplifier this weekend.
Come along for a look and listen to the fabulous new Rega Brio.

New Rega Brio Integrated amplifier

New Rega Brio Integrated amplifier

Brand new case design.
The Brio has a completely new case to house its improved circuits and parts. It now sits in a fully aluminium two-part case which boosts the Brio’s heatsinking capabilities and improves on Rega’s already solid build quality and reliability. The sleek and minimal look was designed to bring elegance to Rega’s classic style but still harks back to the swooped features hidden away in Rega’s past amplifiers.

Re-designed circuit.
Key improvements have been made to the circuits. The PCB layout has been fully upgraded to handle higher specifications for all critical parts.

A second raw power supply has been added to provide further isolation between output stage and the driver stage/line and phono amplifiers.This improves the isolation between high and low level signal stages of the amplifier. Higher specification MUSES operational amplifiers have been used in the line and phono amplifier.

Headphone Socket.
For convenience, the Brio has the capability to drive standard hi-fi headphones from the internal amplifier. Adding a headphone socket was only possible by finding a way to reduce its impact on the main signal path so it doesn’t disrupt the overall sound quality. We have paid special attention to the switch that deactivates the main speakers. This is achieved by the same relay used in Rega’s other amplifier models.

Power.
50Watts RMS both channels driven into the rated load of 8Ω
73Watts RMS both channels driven into the rated load of 4Ω

Throughout the design process the Brio has been meticulously improved in every aspect, from the quality of materials to the manufacturing process, to make this new Brio a step ahead in Rega’s engineering and design for amplifiers.

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

Introducing The Innuos Zen Mini Mk2 CD Ripper, Streamer and Music Server

As everyone knows the way we listen to music has been revolutionised over the last decade. A whole new generation of streamers, digital to analogue converters and music servers means that we can now listen to our digital music from CD rips, music streaming services, or Hi-Res downloads in very high quality.

One such device that has become very popular recently is the CD ripper and music server; a way of both storing, archiving and playing your music collection wirelessly or hardwired in your home. Amongst the very best of these devices are the Innuos Zen series.

Innuos have three models in the series, the Zen Mini Mk2, Zen Mk2 and Zenith Mk2, it’s the Zen Mini we are looking at today although all three have the same functions just with increases in sound quality as you go up the range.

The Zen Mini’s functionality is incredibly vast but we’ll keep things simple to start off with. Inserting a CD into this slick looking black box will result in it being automatically ripped to the internal hard drive (available in 1 or 2TB) in FLAC or WAV format. Track information and album work will be found by the system and then the CD will be ejected once the rip is complete and hey presto! You have the start of digital music collection. If your music that is already stored digitally, on a computer for example, it can also be transferred on to the hard drive via your network (more on that later).

You have plenty of options on how to play your music from there; the Zen Mini is compatible with a huge range of wireless, multi-room systems, Sonos being the prime example.  It is a UPnP server so any streamers attached to your network will also be able to pick up your music either wirelessly or via Ethernet.  Playback is also supported via the USB port which can be connected to a DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter). Finally for those streaming fans the Zen Mini includes, Qobuz (We're offering a FREE 1 Month Trial and a FREE Hi-Res download until the end of November 2016), Tidal, Spotify, Iplayer and internet radio.

By visiting the Innuos page from your web browser (www.my.innuos.com) you can access the Zen Mini’s library and there you have a huge array of options like editing the track names, order, art work etc. It's here that you can also manage your collection by moving music from other places on your network, such as your computer onto the Zen Mini.  There is also a large array of apps available for both Apple and Android that are capable of controlling the playback from the unit, meaning you don’t need to use a computer at all.

The Zen Mini has no fans at all so when we tested it in our demo room it made no noticeable noise at all. We tested it with multiple systems both through the network and through the USB into a DAC and we were very impressed with the reproduction of the digital files, it simply sounds fantastic.

With its huge range of functionality, high build quality, ease of use and fantastic sound quality the Innuos Zen series may just well be the future of music storage and playback. For further information or if you would like a demonstration please get in touch!

Hefin, Nick and Gareth - Audio T Cardiff

Innuos Hi-Fi rippers, streamers and servers are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineOxfordPortsmouthSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon