New Products news

Quadraspire X-Reference

28th July 2016

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.

Portable Perfection – the AK380

24th June 2016

A mobile revolution is here…

Astell and Kern have long led the way in engineering products that allow audiophile performance on the move. Their latest release, the AK380, continues that tradition in shamelessly decadent style.

Supporting 32 bit/384kHz high definition and native DSD playback, the AK380 is without doubt the best sounding portable player around; but that may be understating it. The AK380 is designed to integrate with a host of other high performance components. It’s charging cradle comes with speaker outputs to create a full-blown high resolution playback system. The AK380 portable amp will effortlessly drive high-end headphones, while you can rip CDs directly to your player with the AK CD-ROM drive. And it is beautiful. Crafted from a single block of aluminium, anodised five times to give it that dark colour, with sharp but seamless angles. Shamelessley decadent it may be, but for those who must have the best of everything, this is the new high-resolution portable player to beat.

AK380 completes Astell and Kern’s 300 range – AK320 and AK300 are the 380’s little sisters and all 3 models are available for listening with a range of headphones here in the shop.


New ProAc Response DB1 Bookshelf

13th June 2016

ProAc Loudspeakers have long been a favourite here at Loud & Clear and since we heard these little beauties at Bristol earlier this year, we’ve been eagerly awaiting their arrival in our dem room. Now they’re here, the wowing has begun. Close your eyes and you will swear you’re listening to a pair of floorstanders. A very good pair.

The Response DB1 replaces the ever-popular D1, and like all ProAc loudspeakers are noted for their robust and impressive build quality, as well as their commitment to the ‘perfectly natural’ design philosophy. Every ProAc loudspeaker is crafted by hand with delicacy and meticulous attention to detail, with each solid cabinet constructed, acoustically-damped and then finished in real wood veneer.

The Response DB1 is small and compact but the DB1 cabinet is slightly bigger than the D1 model and is comprised from different thicknesses of high density MDF and bituminous damping panels. This means that unwanted resonance is drastically reduced. Within the cabinet is a newly developed long-throw bass driver, with a raised spider and linear motor system. The high quality bass/midrange driver works in unison with a 1″ silk dome tweeter, joined by a newly developed crossover that’s been designed specifically to produce a flatter response at higher sound levels.

The result is a fabulous sounding bookshelf that truly belies it’s size.


MOON Neo ACE – the finest sounding all-in-one amplifier / digital streamer yet!

20th May 2016

MOON Neo ACE has arrived in the shop and we are smitten already! Digital streamer, pre and power amp in one beautifully sculpted unit; it even incorporates a moving magnet phono stage. Simply hook up a pair of speakers, connect to the internet and you are ready for music, lots of music.

ACE can do virtually anything expected of a high-performance audio component of this nature. Accentuated by MOON’s sonic signature – visceral tight bass, transparent midrange, precise natural highs – along with lifelike sound, plus countless features, the ACE will be the “heart and soul” of all your musical indulgences.

Featuring MiND (MOON intelligent Network Device) module which provides convenience and a full graphic interface, allowing you to effortlessly access your digital music library with power and flexibility; add TIDAL and an unlimited world of music awaits you.

The ACE is both intuitive and easy to use, with all new advanced set-up software, this is the most configurable and customizable MOON component yet. Bridging digital and analogue audio at a price-to-performance ratio that is impossible to beat, the ACE includes a high resolution DAC with DSD decoding up to DSD256 and 32-bit/384kHz PCM.

At the other end of the audio spectrum, a moving magnet phono pre-amplifier completes this incredible package.

Of course, key features you’d expect in a MOON Nēo Series product are present such as SimLink™, RS-232 and IR ports for custom-install environments.

For more information check out the MOON website >>

Retailing at £2,500 and available in our Glasgow and Edinburgh stores.


Rega Planar 3 – re-designed and revolutionised!

Replacing the multi award winning RP3 was never going to be an easy task. But now after two years of development, the all new ‘Planar 3’ is here following the biggest re-design in this iconic product’s 40 year history.

Every aspect of the turntable has been improved – ergonomics, usability and first and foremost, sonic performance. The new ‘Planar 3’ is truly a new turntable for 2016 carrying over just two components from the previous model.

Planar 3 builds strongly on its award-winning predecessor delivering a class-leading combination of sound, build and ease of use. To date, the generational changes have always been about steady evolution, with the aim of improving performance. But by Rega’s usual standards, the shift from the RP3 to this new 2016 Planar 3 is seismic.

Almost every part has been revised to give a proper jump up in sound quality and it looks a lot slicker too. It starts with the glossy plinth – available in black or white acrylic laminate – smarter and better finished than before. and more rigid thanks to a pair of phenolic braces on the top and bottom surfaces, strengthening the area between the tone-arm and main bearing.

That main bearing is redesigned to improve fit and reduce stress, and there are also upgrades to the sub-platter, platter, motor PCB and feet. Add a new tone-arm, the RB330, new bearing housing and redesigned arm tube and it’s pretty much a new design altogether.

Despite the scale of the upgrade, the 2016 Planar 3 remains what it has always been: a simple, well-engineered deck that puts performance first.

All New Arcam Solo Music & Solo Movie – better than ever!

28th April 2016

A decade ago, Solo redefined the style and performance of compact Hi-Fi & Movie systems, bringing Arcam’s legendary sound quality into ‘non Hi-Fi’ homes.

The new third generation Solo Movie and Music systems use technology and components from Arcam’s latest home cinema products and hi-fi separates, including Class G amplification, high-end disc replay and app-controlled music networking.

Arcam’s Solo Movie: the high-end heart of your cinema system.
The Solo Movie supports Blu-ray, DVD, CD and SACD playback, has a total power output of 250 watts, and uses a housing designed to reduce any vibrations. Connections include one HDMI output and four HDMI (1.4) inputs, plus a couple of digital inputs. There’s also built-in Bluetooth that lets you beam audio to the Movie or you can simply stream over your home network. With the same components as its £4,000 AV receivers, Arcam’s new one-shot cinema box could be all the movie tech you need.

The Arcam Solo Music meanwhile supports CD and SACD playback and has a total output power of 160 watts (all channels into 8 ohms). It uses the same cabinet construction as the Solo Movie. It has the same array of connections and a similar set of features, including Bluetooth and a DAB/DAB+/FM tuner.

New Chord Company product range

18th April 2016

We have been waxing lyrical about Chord’s new reference cable series, ChordMusic, since we first heard it back in October. But not everyone can afford £2k a metre… Chord have been busy working away across their entire range, introducing three new cables – Shawline, Clearway and C-line – culminating in a new, simplified product range:

Chord range

We have the full range in the shop; drop in, email or call us for more information. 0141 221 0221.


Naim Audio Mu-so Qb is here

22nd March 2016

One, two, three….awwww! Mu-so’s cuter little brother, Mu-so Qb has arrived from Naim and is just as adorable as we had hoped.

Small but perfectly formed, this unassuming cube delivers a staggering 300W of musical power and is packed full of today’s must-have features – TIDAL, Airplay, Internet Radio, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, to name a few.

Qb will playback FLAC, WAV and AIFF files up to 24-bit/192 kHz, as well as Apple Lossless, MP3, AAC, OGG and WMA.

Available in black, or customisable with the Mu-so range of coloured grills – Vibrant Red, Burnt Orange, Deep Blue.

Qb – cube? or Quite brilliant? Pop into the shop to hear just what this little box can do….

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