1lyriclogosml

Welcome to Lyric Hifi

429 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7EY Tel: +44 (0)2890 381296, From ROI 04890 381296
Open: 10:00am - 5:00pm - Monday to Friday, 7pm Thursday, Saturday 11:00am to 3:00pm

Call in for a mosey round, tap us for good advice, and have a listen to great sounds

What's happening with Uniti?

So what's going on with Naim and Unitis?

Excellent question, it was summer 2016 when it was announced that Naim's Uniti range of Qute, Lite, and Super would all be replaced in Sept/October with all-new models

We ordered what we needed from the range and waited for new models, and waited, and waited. Scroll on to Jan 2017, still waiting, despite having info and pictures to whet the old appetite the latest news is April, May?, June?

Approaching a year with no production of one of the biggest selling ranges what is going on? At the same time the old guard at the top of Naim have moved on, or retired. Is this because of the launch screw-up? Who knows, perhaps it was just the right time anyway.

Happier news the new gear looks great and is a simplified range.

First to arrive will be the UnitiCore, a cd ripper and server. The Core can store up to 100,000 tracks of uncompressed music and serve out to multiple rooms on a network.

It has no analogue outputs so to be used as a player you need a DAC or an amplifier with digital inputs. Control is by the Naim APP

Uniti20Core20Correct

Available March-ish orders are now being taken, priced at £ 1799, looks fabulous doesn't it?

The three all-in-one music players to complete the range are the Atom, Star, and Nova.

This the Nova, colour screen to see what's playing, stream from internet services, nas drive, bluetooth

and then a 40 watt amplifier. The standard ver sion is £ 1750, add £ 99 for an HDMI input

Uniti Atom

 

 The next two are the big boys, full width case, more power, better power supplies.

UnitiStar at £ 3299 will do all the Atom above does and also features a cd drive for playing and ripping your cds

to an external hard drive or to a Uniti Core. Sound performance is notched up a level as well.

UnitiStar

 

Top of the range is the Uniti Nova

Without the cd drive the case is packed with amplification for superior sound quality

Can't wait to get our hands on this one!

uniti nova2

Full Naim 80 watts per channel in a gorgeous case, £ 4099

 

So while the wait for these beauties has been frustrating it looks like it will be worth it

 

 

Vinyl Ripping

 

I've always thought that ripping vinyl to a nas drive is a ridiculous thing to do

About 7 years ago I started into my collection of over 3000 vinyl albums and stopped at number 5 or 6

It wasnt just the playing and turning them over it was mostly typing in the artist and track information

I decided that life was too short and I would just play the records on my LP12 when I felt like it

As I was doing away with my cd player and ripping my cd collection I was happy to live with the split

Play a cd from the streamer, play vinyl on the turntable. Simple

I still feel that's a good way to go but often I'm lazy when I have a vinyl record that's not on my hard drive, isn't available online in cd resolution from Tidal, and I dont feel like getting up to look for it.

Then I probably just choose other music.

Last week I was shown a product that changes all that, the Plato from Entotem.

plato-pre 550

This young British company produces a one-box solution in various guises.

Entry level is a streamer and 1Tb Nas drive all in one box, connect to your existing system and you're streaming and ripping your vinyl to the internal hard drive, £ 1899

Next up is the same gubbins but adding a very high performance turntable input with both moving magnet and moving coil capabilities and a 2Tb drive, £ 2400

Then you can have this with a built-in power amplifier so it becomes a complete one box system for £ 2999

And to top it off you can have a Class A power amplifer included for £ 3999

 

So I hear the cynics say why would I want to downgrade my vinyl performance to cd level? and here's the clever answer:

You don't, this uses 24 bit Studio Master encoding to give a near perfect copy of your vinyl sound

I have recorded from a Rega Planar 3, a Rega RP8, and from a Linn Sondek LP12. With each improvement in source the recorded sound is noticeably and obviously better.

Simply better, garbage in, garbage out, etc, etc

 

I am so impressed I have bought one to demonstrate here, they don't give them away you know, to demonstrate it I have to invest my hard-earned!

There are some options for the amount of storage, SSD, solid state silent storage, and even a range of high gloss colours to appeal to your inner Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Platohifi-award

 

 

Everyone knows the name Plato is from the Greek philosopher

I didnt know that he said this:

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything

Good man Plato

 

 

 

 

 

Linn Exakt Video

Linn's Exakt technology has been developing fast over the past two years

From starting out at the highest end Linn are now making this ground-breaking system more affordable, accessible, and more beautiful.

If you want a beautiful simple system that sounds just spanking then you should probably drop me a line or call for a chat through the options, looks, and prices.

linn 520-Aubergine-Fire-x1280

If on the other hand you also want to understand some of the technical side then click the link below for a more technical introduction on a Youtube video

Exakt Explained

This is me about the technology, the order of the elements and what they do

If you get that then physically where they are positioned is easy to understand

You can upgrade a normal system in boxes by adding an Exaktbox crossover and more poweramps or you can change your speakers to a Linn model that has all the electronics built-in as shown above.

The Linn 520 speakers , above, and the 530s below, have all the electronics inside so that all you have is one box for connections and these two speakers

Elegant, even in Harris Tweed!

linn 530-Harris-Tweed-Lounge-x1280

Rega Factory Visit

 

We set off very early to arrive at the Rega factory near Southend at 8.30 am! It's a modern purpose-built factory, very different from the old converted mill they inhabited when I first visited over 30 years ago.

Although built by Rega in the early 90s there was forethought in the design allowing for the addition of 2 mezzanine floor levels to triple the floorspace

As I visited a space was being prepared for another mezzanine to further expand cartridge production.

That's because Rega are surfing the crest of a huge wave of interest not only in turntables but also in handmade performance products. Wouldn't you rather have your hifi made by real people who care about sound than a machine in China?

Its quite an operation now too, with 105 people now working at Rega in several teams. The Planar1 is their volume turntable seller at £ 248 complete with arm and cartridge and it has it's own dedicated team. Other teams make tonearms, cartridges, electronics, wiring sub-assemblies, loudspeakers, and higher level turntables.

It is a very efficient operation with 26,000 sft split into separate production areas.

After a full day talking to every department, and even trying my hand at adjusting RB1000 tonearm bearings, not easy, we settled down for a listen to a very good system with the Rega RS10 speakers.

These are very underrated and can really sing, especially as part of Rega's Reference system with the RP10 turntable and Isis/Osiris cd and amplifier.

So how do you top that?

rega naiad

Easy, go to Roy Gandy's house. he is the founder and still the head designer at Rega. The listening area at his home is part living room, part demo room, part R&D room with all kinds of Rega products in some never before seen guises.

We listened to the Rega NAIAD turntable, £30,000, feeding an IOS phono stage, £ 3998, into the Osiris amplifier, £ 6125, into speakers that resembled the £ 7100 RS10s but were heavily modified. This is not for a production model but instead as an R&D tool testing small modifications to move forward the performance of Rega speakers generally.

So how does £ 47,000 sound?

Pretty amazing! Shame the turntable was a limited edition now sold out, although the RP10 with the new Aphelion moving coil cartridge is the next best thing and the system will 'only' be £ 22700 for the system

I was going to upload lots of poorly taken photos from my trip however there is now a much better option

Take the Rega Factory Tour by clicking this link, enjoy

Take the Rega tour

 

 

 

Good Music System, movies secondary?

There is a part of choosing your system that often throws up a particular quandary.

You want a better music system but also want it to work well with movies?

This is very common, you want a music system of the Arcam/Rega specialist level, better than the Japanese equipment, and dont want the complexity of a big surround amp with more buttons and set-up modes than you would ever get around to trying.

Also you could well do without lots of boxes and cables!

Arcam have a new solution just for you

Several years ago Arcam had a range called Solo, well they have done it again, except to keep things clear it's now called.....Solo

arcam solo

 The new Solo also has a few clever tricks so that you can't say no

There are two versions, although they look identical

Solo Music features a CD/SACD drive, 80W Class G amp (that's important, the Class G bit), an FM/DAB tuner,

Network connection to control your music library via a free Arcam App, and Bluetooth.

That's pretty much all you could ask for, especially for £ 1499

You could also ask for HDMI inputs to get the best sound from dvd/blu ray/sat box, so it has 4

You could also ask for it to sound really good, so it does that too

I have blasted the Solo Music with The XX on Kef R700s and it really rocks

I also played some Miles davis and Paolo Nutini with the new Rega RX3s and it has all the delicacy you need

 

As you can see from the pic there is also a Solo Movie, they look identical

The Movie version also plays dvds and blu rays and has five channels of amplification on board

Again you can stream, listen to radio, and connect your sky box, and again it sounds reall y good!

If you want to get really geeky then it isnt quite as good in stereo as the Solo Music, no big surprise, however these are both ingenious solutions.

Want really good music and occasional tv sound from 2 speakers?  Simple, £ 1499 please

Want the 5 channel surround experience which also sounds great on music? Simple £ 1999 please

For many who want the quality without the boxes these tick all the boxes

Just how many speakers do you want? Simple

arcam solo music

 

Of course Arcam have levels of performance above this for music and movies, but that's another story!