Archive for July, 2016

Rega Planar 1 – Pure Plug & Play Pleasure

28th July 2016

It was, in hindsight, predictable. First in 2016 we had Planar 3, followed last month by Planar 2 and now, Rega Research complete their comprehensive range of accessible turntables with the remarkable Planar 1, replacing the massively popular RP1.

It may be their entry-level deck by name but don’t be misled, this is a turntable that packs a real punch. Mirroring the glossy new aesthetics of it’s older siblings, 2 & 3, Planar 1 boasts it’s very own catalogue of upgraded features:

Tonearm
Brand new RB110 tonearm built with the new Rega designed bespoke zero play bearings with ultra-low friction performance (Patent Pending).

New bias assembly and integrated arm clip. Includes automatic bias adjustment – so 100% ‘plug & play’.

New ergonomically re-designed and stiffer headshell for improved usability and appearance.

24v Motor
The first entry level Rega turntable to use a 24v synchronous AC motor with a new motor PCB and aluminium pulley, offering low noise and better speed stability.

Plinth
Brand new thermoset gloss laminated plinth with vastly improved appearance and new ergonomically positioned on/off switch located on the underside. Plinth finishes available – gloss black and gloss white.

Central Bearing housing
Re-designed brass main bearing, offering improved fit and reducing stress on the bearing itself whilst minimising the transfer of potential energy. (Patent pending)

Platter
Brand new 23mm higher mass phenolic platter with improved flywheel effect for improved speed stability.

Re-Designed feet
New improved feet to increase stability and reduce vibration transfer.

Motor cover tray
New motor cover tray with integrated cooling.

Balance Weight
New 111g ‘plug and play’ balance weight.

Cartridge
Rega Carbon cartridge supplied fitted as standard.

 

£250 of pure plug & play pleasure.

Quadraspire X-Reference

Every performance needs a stage.

Just as a musical performance needs a stage so a HiFi needs one to bring the music to life in your home. Let us introduce the Royal Albert Hall of HiFi stages – Quadraspire X-Reference.

X-Reference is the culmination of over 20 years’ research, development, fine-tuning (by ear), trialing and testing by British manufacturer Quadraspire. Their experience in developing HiFi furniture has let them establish the optimum combination of materials, shapes, weights and construction for the perfect rack. And now Quadraspire have amalgamated all of that knowledge to produce the incredible X-Reference series.

Laminated Bamboo SVT shelves in a light but rigid construction are curved to avoid parallel lines and hence reduce standing waves as well as mass, and coated on the underside with Nextel for sound deadening. The shelves are decoupled from X-Frame by adjustable Bronze spike and cap assemblies and brass collars, shaped conically to give a natural sound and each frame/shelf is individually tunable meaning sound can be balanced for each individual component in the system. Large diameter, curved aluminium columns to lock shelves together in a rigid but light structure.

The result is a rack that allows your equipment perform to unprecedented level, offering a very low noise floor for greater definition of music and opening up the soundstage in all dimensions.

Even with a streaming-only source and hence no moving parts, the X-Reference shelves give a frankly astounding leap in performance.

Modular and with varying column heights, this can be tailored to your unique system requirements.

Pioneer SE-Master 1 Headphones – Masterful Indeed

15th July 2016

You would expect a company with a 50+ year history in headphone design and manufacturing to be pretty awesome at it by now; and judging by Pioneer’s latest creation, you would be absolutely right. Their flagship SE-Master 1 headphones are one of the best we’ve heard.

5 years in development, the Pioneer SE-Master 1 headphones are certainly worth the wait. Each pair is assembled by a master craftsman at the Tohoku Pioneer Plant in Japan and that attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the finished product.

The SE-1s produce a clarity of sound seldom achieved by headphones – superb audio reproduction with real power behind the bass and precise detail at higher frequencies. And just as important, they are supremely comfortable. Three of our most discerning headphone customers have already replaced their existing – and more expensive – pairs with SE-1s.

Handcrafted from a combination of duralumin and aluminium, with soft leather ear pads the SE-1s feature newly developed 50mm driver units with a Parker Ceramic Coating helping to reduce distortion, add rigidity, enhance its natural performance and deliver excellent sound quality. The result is high resolution sound across all frequencies with minimum noise.

The diaphragm’s edges are ribbed and made with a sturdy poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK) film to deliver a smooth sound and reduce distortion.

Pioneer specialists used computer aided engineering (CAE) to select, prototype and test the best materials for the diaphragm and magnetic circuits, ensuring superb sound characteristics and clarity.

Rubber is inserted in the links between the base, housing and hanger parts to prevent vibrations and interference. This floating structure also improves separation between left and right to deliver an enhanced sound stage.

3.5mm-thick aluminium alloy housing minimizes resonance from the driver units to produce an accurate sound with a clearly defined, tight bass and high-res mids and highs.

The headband and hanger parts use a super duralumin alloy to achieve a light, natural fit that lets you forget everything but the music you are immersed in.

The wide, suede-feel head cushion can be adjusted to 14 different positions, giving you excellent comfort and stability.

Innovative three dimensional ear pads adapt to fit your contours thanks to a proprietary design using two thicknesses of memory foam- thin at the front and thick at the back. The ear cups are covered with a soft leather-type material for extra comfort.

The SE-Master 1s feature the industry’s first detachable lateral pressure rods, enabling you to choose your preferred headband tension. Simply change the tension rod to achieve strong or weak lateral pressure and enjoy superb sound isolation and comfortable wear over long periods.

The robust cord uses a detachable MMCX type connector so you can replace the cord as needed. The cord is cloth-wrapped between the plug and the branch, and coated with lead-free PVC from the branch to the ear cup- to reduce touch noise, increase strength, and eliminate tangles.

New Rega Planar 2 – 40 years young

14th July 2016

Rega Research certainly have been busy this year. Hot on the heals of their recently launched and revolutionised Planar 3, comes the all-new Planar 2, in its 40th birthday year. And what a present it is.

Originally launched in 1976, Planar 2 has been absent from the Rega line-up for 10 years. This incarnation retains only the drive belt and hinge mouldings from the original and follows the smart new design of Planar 3 and solid build quality expected of Rega’s long-established success at this price bracket. (more…)

Introducing our new partner – YG Acoustics™

12th July 2016

Loud & Clear are thrilled to announce a new addition to our elite manufacturing partners – YG Acoustics™; world-leading ultra-high-end speaker manufacturer.

YG Acoustics™ design and build a range of simply sublime loudspeakers – and we are delighted to have them here in the shop for your listening pleasure.

Established in 2002 and located in Denver (Arvada), Colorado, U.S.A., YG are one of very few manufacturers to make their own drivers, cabinets and most other high-precision parts in-house, allowing them to design and produce loudspeakers that are incredibly accurate. BilletCore™ (drive units), ForgeCore™ (tweeters), DualCoherent™, ToroAir™ and FocusedElimination™, just some of the in-house, proprietary technologies and software that set YG apart from other loudspeaker manufacturers.

The beautiful Carmel™ 2 loudspeaker is the culmination of years of research, and a near-obsessive desire by YG Acoustics™’ lead-designer Yoav Geva, who insisted that his inevitable responsibility was to extend the leading-edge technologies of Sonja™ and Hailey™, to Carmel™ 2. The result is astonishing – world-class performance in a gorgeous marvel of industrial design and precision-manufacturing.

Carmel™ 2 is a champion of transparency, 3D-soundstaging, dynamics, inner-detail and the natural sound of a live performance that YG Acoustics™ is famous for, all presented in a refined, elegant speaker with an exquisite fit-and-finish.

Linn Summer Offers – The Power of 3

8th July 2016

Summer has arrived! From Linn if not from the weather Gods….

Our friends in Eaglesham have announced three powerful offers for existing and aspiring Linn customers:

FREE upgrade when you buy integrated speakers
Upgrade your Klimax or Akurate DS or DSM to the latest version featuring Exakt Link connections absolutely FREE when you buy an integrated speaker with Exakt technology (Klimax 350, Akubarik or Akudorik) or Exakt upgrade modules for those speakers. Klimax and Akurate DS owners can alternatively choose to upgrade to Exakt DSM for half price.

FREE upgrade with Exaktbox
If you want to keep your existing speakers and upgrade via Exaktbox, this is the offer for you. Buy two Klimax Exaktboxes and receive a FREE upgrade to latest specification with Exakt Link for your Klimax or Akurate DS or DSM. Buy a single Klimax or Akurate Exaktbox and receive the same upgrade for half price.

PLUS 2 channels of amplification
Last year’s favourite offer returns – buy an Akurate or Majik power amplifier this summer and receive an extra 2 channels FREE. So:

Linn’s summer of offers runs from now until 15th August 2016 so don’t delay!

Naim Audio Mu-so bundle offer

5th July 2016

Another spectacular summer offer from a Great British manufacturer – buy a Naim Mu-so and Mu-so Qb together and save £150 with a special ‘bundle’ price.

With two products in the Mu-so wireless music family there is now exciting possibilities for streaming seamless audio in multiple rooms in your home.

Mu-so + Mu-so Qb Bundle Price: £1,340
(RRP £1,490)

Offer runs 1st July-30th September 2016.

ARCAM Solo Road to Rio trade-in offer

4th July 2016

ARCAM have announced a sizzling summer Olympic promotion – Road to Rio – for aspiring new Solo Music and new Solo Movie 5.1 owners.

Bring in your old HiFi or Movie system (ANY manufacturer, age or condition….including broken) for a guaranteed £400 or £200 trade-in!

Offer 1 – £400 off a Solo Movie 5.1 – offer price £1,600 (including trade-in) RRP £2000.

Offer 2 – £200 off a Solo Music – offer price £1,300 (including trade-in) RRP £1500.

This offer will run until the closing ceremony of the summer Olympics @ the Estádio Olímpico in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, August 21st 2016.

What Hi-Fi reviews the Music here.

 

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