Saturday, 8 December 2012

Black Rhodium 4mm plugs

Yet another new product posting from Black Rhodium, they seem to be working flat out at the moment!

Many many years ago Graham from Black Rhodium suggested to me that plating connectors with Rhodium would give impressive results....and after much experimentation with 4mm plugs, Mains plugs and IEC connectors, I had to agree that the process, though expensive, was well worth doing.

Black Rhodiums latest product follows on from there


Their latest 4mm plug uses a similar arrangement to the classic RS plug which has always been favoured by the likes of Naim Audio and Chord Company .... with the addition of a grub screw a good metal to metal contact can be ensured ... you can then solder in behind this to seal the joint but it is not particularly neccessary.

Rhodium plating has the biggest effect on the treble .... much better definition... but generally the sound has more scale

These may seem expensive at £120 for a set of four ... but we think they are great value!

see them here:

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/Connectors.html





Friday, 7 December 2012

Rega Cartridges

Regas range of cartridges are one of our most popular and it's not difficult to see why, every one of them is exceptional value. The £69 Bias2 easily competes with models at around the £100 mark and this price differential holds up right through the range. They are very compatible and will work equally well in just about any arm .... Rega, Linn, SME are all ideal.
 
Bias2 (red) Elys2 (blue) Exact (yellow) RB78 (black)
 
The Bias2 has become our 'budget' cartridge of choice. Ok, It's not as budget as say an Audio Technica AT91 or AT95 (£19 and £38) but this is true audiophile product, for not a lot of money. It has a decent profile tip to make the best of your older recordings and has a very clear and dynamic presentation.
 
The Elys2 has a much better tip profile and this shows in its tracking ability .... the sound has much more body and impact than the Bias.
 
The Exact is one of the few MM designs which gives MC levels of performance without the cost and necessary MC phonostage ....The Exact is very refined ( like an MC ) but still retains the MM dynamic that it not usually found in MC designs at this price.
 
The RB78 is quite a rarity ....a 78 only profile to use with the RP78 turntable ( or any 78 only record player) and surprisingly, as there is still quite a following for 78s, sells quite well
 
We will, in some cases take working cartridges (of any brand) back in part exchange against a Rega... ring for information 01270 580734
 
 
 
 
 

 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

New Black Rhodium Samba Speaker cable

We seem to have a very Black Rhodium theme going on on the blog at the moment, partly due to Black Rhodium's Graham Naulty, whose almost obsessive pursuit of cable perfection ensures a flow of excellent new models for us to try

Delivered today the new Samba Speaker cable

Black Rhodium Samba

Samba owes a lot to our favourite budget cable BR's 'Twist' (as previous blog) ... its twisted pair construction and careful choice of connector make it suitable for mid and even quite high end systems.

The connectors look a lot like WBT but are branded as Black Rhodium and Rhodium plated .... I need to find out a bit more about these, but John at BR suggested that even though the connectors effectively doubled the cost of made up lengths, the difference more than made up for it.


We need to get this run in and properly evaluated, but the gut feeling here is that Samba is likely to be a winner ..... You get to know which manufacturers are driven by passion and Black Rhodium are up at the top of the list ... the excited phone call I got from John about Samba said it all really

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Upgrade on a budget - Black Rhodium Twist cable

Following on from the previous post

Years ago the first upgrade anybody did to their Hifi was to replace the budget Bell Wire cable normally supplied with QED 79 strand ....the improvement in clarity was easy to demonstrate. It was a long time before the technology around cable design was properly understood, so only years later did higher end cable start to appear.

Now the starting point tends to be 79 strand cable ...usually a poor quality copy of the QED original. So where do you go from there? There is a fairly big jump in price when you look at most of the cable available from specialist companies and most of them are aimed at mid to high end systems. What we need is a good, straight forward cable that comfortably outperforms 79 strand for not a lot of money ... We think we have the answer

Black Rhodium Twist is based on one of their top models, but just uses the 'bare essentials' of the design ... the result is a very open and clear sounding cable which is very compatible and will really lift the performance of budget to mid range set ups .... particularly good on 'old kit' (we've run it on an early 80s A&R A60 and a slightly older Nytech CA252 and were really impressed)


Black Rhodium Twist, put new life into your classic Hifi

 
For more information call us on 01270 580734 or email mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/copy_of_copy_of_Black_Rhodium.html

Classic Hifi in your loft?

We have had quite a few phone calls recently from customers who are recommissioning old hifi systems ... Its seems to be due to the resurgence of interest in vinyl

Most classic kit from the 70s and 80s is still in good health (or easy to rescue) and perform easily as well as modern equipment (sometimes better)

We've had a series of Linns and Regas in for service  ... various speakers for recone ... a memorable set up was a Rega 3 / A&R A60 / HB1. The Rega just needed a service and a cartridge .. the A60 a squirt of switch cleaner. The Heybrooks needed a bit more work. It is quite common with speakers over 20 years old for the bass unit surrounds to have crumbled...we can replace these (at around £50 per driver) and £100 is very good value for a speaker as capable as the HB1

If you would like any advice or would like anything serviced ... give us a call on 01270 580734



Friday, 9 November 2012

Atacama Eris ECO bamboo rack

What Hifi - Best Equipment support 2012

The Atacama Eris ECO

The Eris is yet another product benefitting from the use of bamboo ... the shelves are of a bamboo / resin composite and extremely light and rigid. These properties are ideal for shelving as transmittion of resonance is kept to a minimum.

The Eris is similar in design to previous Atacama hifi racks, being a modular.... a very simple design, each unit just sits on top of the next located by spikes and cups.

A two shelf base unit cost around £230 and each extra single shelf module is £115. We have bundled a base and two modules for £415 as we feel this is the most likely combination ....if you would like any other permutation just give us a call

 
Various colours are available for the columns ... Red, as above, but also white, black and silver
 
 
The only shelf colour available at present is the natural bamboo, but Atacama tell us that stained versions are in the pipeline
 
 
See the range here
 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Ortofon reintroduce the MC20 Super

Good, and quite intruiging news from Ortofon

They've reintroduced the classic MC20 Super cartridge, 25 years after its original launch. Priced at £750 and supplied in a cute miniture case it perhaps seems a little expensive at first... but actually it still holds its own even at that price and if you remember the original and had always aspired to owning one ... here is your chance!

It makes me wonder though ... what other classics from the past would be worth resurrecting? Quad have had similar ideas with the Valve Pre Power .... I'd like to see the original Naim Nait amplifier ... Acoustic Research AR18s speakers ... Nytech NA252 amplifier .... Crimson 510/520 pre/power ....Pink Triangle PIP preamp

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/Ortofon.html



Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Atlas Asimi V Nordost Valhalla part2

The evaluation of Atlas Asimi continues ....

It has been very interesting. Up to now our favourite speaker cable by quite a margin has been Nordost Valhalla...it doesn't always match systems, but generally it is very compatable and wins with it's complete lack of colouration and astonishing dynamics. Asimi, or at least so far, has it beaten, even greater dynamics, better image placement, much much better defined bass. I would say the Asimi even beats Valhalla in the one area that it really excels at, rhythm ....it pulls the music out of the recording in a much more tangeable way.

Obviously system synergy will play a part, and it's always wise to pull out the new cable after a couple of weeks and live with the old one again as sometimes you only hear the new stuff and dont realise if somethings missing .....but so far, I think we may have a new champion!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Atlas Asimi cable v Nordost Valhalla?

We have just been give a set of Atlas Asimi cable to try out.

We're great fans of Atlas's range, other than Nordost there are very few ranges of cables which have a 'family sound'. I dont mean colouration, but a linear characteristic which marks them out.... I've been selling Nordost for many years and one of its main virtues is that you can start off in the range with say, a Blue Heaven interconnect... and when it comes to upgrading you can just pick something from further up the range and you know its going to have all the attributes you are used to but have more dynamic ... more detail etc. There are so many cable companies out there who have quite random ranges with very different sounding models.

Most good cable ranges work better the more you use .. so if you follow through from interconnects, to speaker cable and on to mains leads of the same brand you get a cumilative result that is greater than the whole. Nordost does that ... and so does Atlas

The Asimi is Atlas's top flight cable ... so this needs to be wonderful

We are setting up a comparative dem against our favourite Nordost Valhalla shortly and will post the results up here



Friday, 14 September 2012

Sound Smith Cartridges

We have now completed the listing for the Soundsmith Cartridges ....


See them here

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Could this be the best Hifi system in Cheshire?

A good Hifi system is not necessarily about having the most expensive components, though, saying that, this is by no means a cheap set up. We've taken a lot of care over a period of time to match each individual item and tailored cables and isolation to suit. Isolation alone here has cost as much as a small family car...but the improvements at each stage have been quite remarkable.


The System comprises

Turntable : Michell Orbe / SME iv / Lyra Skala
Pre Amp : Tom Evans Vibe and Vibe Pulse power supply
CD player : Naim CDS3 / NAP555
Phonostage : Tom Evans Groove Plus phono stage
Power Amps : Trichord D300 monoblocks
Main distribution : Nordost Thor
Interconnects : Nordost Valhalla / Nordost TYR
Speaker cable : Nordost Valhalla
Isolation : Sonority Platform / Sonority Roller Platforms and Sonority Roller Platform Ultra
Rack : Upgraded Target modular with mass loading and Sonority laminate shelves
Speakers : Sonus Faber Elipsa

The system has been designed around the constraints of the room ... this is not a dedicated listening room so compromises needed to be made

The end result is a set up which has a natural musicality and presence rare in a system even at this price... this is not a one disc 'statement' system that falls apart with any music outside a specific genre .. it will play anything, and play it in a way which thoroughly enchants every time.

If you think your set up could be better ... call us, we'd love to hear it!

The Sonority platforms, which are a lot of the reason for the extra ordinary performance of this set up are available for home loan

More customer systems to follow soon


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sound Smith Cartridges

It's not often that I buy something  Hifi without listening to it first, but this was how I came to acquire a Sound Smith Otello cartridge. Soundsmith are being brought into the UK by the same guys who distribute Stax, Sumiko, Ayre etc and previously Mark Levinson and Proceed... so the credentials were good....also their guy 'on the road' is a good friend and fellow vinyl nut, so when he told me they were taking on the UK support for Soundsmith I knew things could only be great.

On first examination the Otello looks a bit shoddy to be honest .. .constructed out of machined metal (brass?) and ebony, with a fixed plastic stylus carrier, the fit is a little ... generous. Things are good and tolerances tight where it matters though (body to headshell interface) alignment was very easy and the stylus well protected by the plastic moulding, but very visible for cueing.

What is unusual about the Otello ... and stands it apart from its competition is that each Sound Smith cartridge is hand built ....you dont get that under about £3k generally... and the Othello is just £245.

Sonically I was certainly not disappointed either .. in fact, apart from a slight loss of refinement at the top end the Otello was very close to my current Ortofon Cadenza Black in a lot of ways...ok smaller scale and less information  ... but the musical experience is very similar.

Soundsmith Otello fitted to our trusty Sondek testbed

If you are wondering what the cartridge fittings are ... more of those later!


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Rega RP1

We now have Rega RP1 turntables and Rega accessories

See the RP1 here:- Rega turntables

and cartridges here :- Rega cartridges

More will be added later... we should have stock of the new EAR headphone amp and FONO phonostage soon

We can also service or repair any Rega turntable - ring for advice 01270 580734


Atlas cables

Just added the Atlas range of RCA interconnects to the site

Find them at :

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/Atlas.html

We will be adding the rest of the range over the next few days ...and adding a lot more info to the RCA page too



Any questions, give us a ring at 01270 580734 or email mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Naim 555PS secondhand

Coming into stock shortly we have a secondhand,but very recent, Naim 555PS Power supply for Naim 555 CD player ... this can also be used with the CDS3 or CDX2 as an upgrade. Also compatible is the new NDS the DAC and the HDX

The 555PS is essentially a much higher spec XPS power supply. The jump in performance adding this to any appropriate Naim product is quite remarkable, even over the XPS.

We will trade in any XPS or other Naim product, so give us a call if you are interested

Telephone 01270 580734

or email mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

Pictures to follow


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Atlas cables ...coming soon!

We are now agents for Atlas cables ... we have been following this range for a few years.


Atlas use a very straightforward and logical approach to cable design and the result is a superbly neutral and highly compatible portfolio of products

The first time we heard Atlas was a number of years ago in a demonstation using a Naim system ... which was an interesting choice as Naim tends to be very difficult to improve with cables as its loading requirement is only satisfied correctly with Naims own NACA5. Naim cable is ok, but can be a bit ruthless sounding for some people... with Atlas Hyper the results were so much more refined .. but also more dynamic and musical which is normally where non-Naim cables trip up.

We will be stocking a number of cable for home loan ... so if you want to give them a try... give us a ring




Thursday, 28 June 2012

Heed Audio

We are now agents for Heed Audio

Heed made a name for themselves with the Orbit 'add on' power supplies for the Linn and Rega range of turntables. The circuit design of their range of amplifiers can be traced back to Ion System amplifiers and their predecessor Nytech Audio from the 70s. All top class designs and not just in their day, a 70's Nytech 252 is still hard to beat.

More recently they have introduced a range of Phonostages a Headphone amplifier and a DAC, which we have introduced to our own range

Heed Audio Canamp Headphone amplifier £350-00

Have a look at their phonostages here :-Heed Phonostages

The Orbit turntable power supply here :-Heed Turntable Power supply

and the Headphone amp here :-Heed Headphone Amplifier




Friday, 22 June 2012

Linn Axis / Basik Plus / K9

Now in and fully refurbished


If you are interested, give us a call .... we will always consider trade ins, even against secondhand items

Phone number 01270 580734

or email : mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

see our Axis listing on ebay at: Cheshire Audio Ebay link

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Linn Axis trade in

Coming next week! Linn Axis turntable. Quite a sought after model this one as it has a lot of the Sondeks componentry but without the complex suspension.

This will be fully serviced on arrival and put up for sale

Any enquiries ring on (0044) 01270 580734

or email on mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

We''ll have a full complement of Linns when it arrives, with our own reference Sondek and a pristine Basik turntable which is in for service and currently on the bench being fettled!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Naim Headline

Received in today, and in 'as new' condition

Naim Headline Headphone amplifier


Any enquiries, ring me at 01270 580734 or email mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Naim Headline

We will be trading in a Naim Headline headphone amplifier shortly

contact us on 01270 580734

or email mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk with any enquiries

Picture and details to follow

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Stax SRM212 Pictures

Quite 'low end' for Stax, but this unit drives really well and can be partnered with the likes of the Lambda Signatures quite successfully

Stax SRM 212 Energiser

In excellent condition ( only mark a slight dent in the casework at the back corner)

New phono sockets fitted and wired in with Trichord cable and WBT solder

Contact us for any info on this or the Lambdas at mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

Stax Lambda Nova Signature pictures

As promised pictures of our newly traded in and serviced Stax SR Lambda Nova Signatures

Stax SR Lambda Nova Signature

 Newly fitted Headband assembly and earpads

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Stax Lambda Signature and SRM212 trade ins

We've just had traded in a set of Stax Lambda Signature headphones and a Stax SRM212 energiser. They didn't come in from the same source, but would work very nicely together.

The SR Lambdas have just come out of the workshop with new Signature Earpads and a new headband, so look like new

We've also uprated the phono sockets on the SRM212 as the standard Stax ones were looking a little tired

Give us a call if you are interested in either (or both) of these on :- (0044) 01270 580734

Or email mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

Photos to follow

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Turntable accessories

Just updated the Turntable accessories page with a few new and interesting products.

Project have a really nice selection of tweeky gadgets now, a favourite of mine is the fully adjustable cartridge alignment protractor called the 'Align IT'. This is really really useful as it can be set up for pretty much any tonearm effective length, so you dont need to source the particular protractor for your arm.


Also in the listing

Cartridge tracking force gauge, Perspex cover, Record Clamps, Mats, Cartridge wires, Tonearm cables

Come and have a look

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/Turntable_accessories.html

or ring us at : 01270 580734


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Stax Omega

Shortly to arrive.....

Our new set of Stax Omega headphones. These are our 'loan out' set, so if you are interested in trying a pair out give us a call on 01270 580734 or email mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

The Omegas...until the new top range SR009s become more easily available, are by far the best sounding headphones on the market today

Dont forget, we will always trade in your old Stax ... or other brands if you have something interesting


To have a look at models and prices, go to :-

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/Stax.html

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Stax SR507 and SRM600Ltd combination

We are expecting a set of Stax SR507 and a SRM600 Limited Edition Energiser in secondhand in the next few days .... these are only 3 or 4 months old and in 'as new' condition

If you are interested please email

The SR507s are a fairly new model and unheard of secondhand ... the SRM600 is a limited edition unit and much sought after - all the new ones have gone now! so this is the only way to get one!

mail@cheshireaudio.co.uk

Project Phono Stages

Just updated the Project Phonostage page.

Added in the new(ish) budget unit called the Project MM. As the name suggests, this is purely a MM design and aimed at lower end systems where vinyl is perhaps second source and the amplifier doesn't have a Phono input...very capable all the same.


http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/Project.html

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Nordost Sort Kones

New out and roughly a development of the Quasar cone, these new isolators of quite interesting. Ranging in price from around 160 Pounds for a set of three up to nearly 1000 they are obviously not 'just cones' or 'Kones'

The principle is to contain and control internal resonances from transformers and components within the equipment .. not as with most other designs, external vibration.

The results are quite spectaculer, particularly on the Brass and Titanium versions .... many of you who have experienced the old Nordost Pulsar points will already know, the material used can make a huge difference.

See the range here : Cheshire Audio - Nordost Sort Kones

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New Nordost speaker cables

I've just updated the Nordost pages with 'Mk 2 ' versions of Heimdall, Frey and Tyr.... these feature in the interconnect range etc. but the most radical differences to be seen are with the new versions of the speaker cables. Now single wire only (bi-wiring seems to have dissappeared somewhat now) the new range look like a big step forward if the new versions of Red Dawn and Blue Heaven are anything to go by.

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/copy_of_Nordost_Factory_terminated.html

Monday, 27 February 2012

New 0144 from WBT

The new model WBT-0114 is an excellent product with all the advantages of the “nextgen™” technology at the price of the midline range and with a very attractive finish. The body will be the same as WBT-0110 Cu and the sleeve will be made from brass, same as the model WBT-0102 Cu, but anodized in black. Also the cap is anodized in black.
Prices will be the same as the old 0144 and the loose version is available immediately, the packed version probably in 2-3 weeks.

The above was cut and pasted from the German press release, hence the dodgy grammer.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Furutech IEC connectors

I've experimented quite a bit with better quality plugs and sockets over the years. Results can be a little patchy sometimes and, as these things tend not to be too cheap it is very easy to become disallusioned.

The one brand that seems to give consistently good results is the Furutech series .... Once you have navigated the vast, and to be honest, quite confusing range of products you can replace connections all the way from the wall socket, right through to the socket on the back of your amp/cd etc.

The easiest to replace is the mains plug .. and straight away the sound becomes more focused and together. As you go up the range definition and soundstage are quite radically improved too.

The surprising thing to me was that replacing the IEC plug gave similar results. ...and then changing the IEC socket on the back of my amp did the same again! I havent played with the Furutech wall sockets yet .... but I think its going to be just as impressive

.... I've added some more IEC plugs to the site

http://www.cheshireaudio.co.uk/acatalog/IEC_Plugs.html

Sockets will follow


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Rothwell Attenuators

These are really useful devices!

Most line level components (CD, Tape, Tuner etc) have rather too much gain (particularly CD) which results in an amplifiers full volume point being reached around halfway on the volume control. This gives the impression of lots of power but can make it all too easy to damage speakers. More importantly though volume controls are actually quite inaccurate and degrade the sound more when they are at lower levels.

Rothwell attuators go between your CD Player (or Tape / tuner) output and your amplifier. Simply unplug your connecting leads from the units 'line out' and then connect the Rothwells ... reconnect your leads to the back of the Rothwell and hear the difference.
Sound quality at low volumes will be more punchy and dynamic and channel 'drift' ( one channel louder than the other ) should be eliminated

This does not limit the full volume potential of your amplifier, it mearly moves the point at which it acheives this further up the dial.

With a record Player or a Radio 3 live broadcast outputs are much lower so the amplifier needs more volume sweep ... but this has always been at the expense of reduced sound quality for other components

Rothwell Attenuators are available in RCA and XLR versions .... 30 day trail available

Link to Rothwell Attenuators

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Stax SRM 323s trade in

We will be getting in a secondhand Stax SRN323s (the latest type) shortly. Only 6 months old.

If you are interested send an email