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, Saturday by appointment only

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

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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




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

New Sonos Play 5

sonos p5 up

Sonos dont change models very often, and not without going forward

Expectations were high then when we were told that the Play5 was going to be replaced

sonos p5 2

Over the years we have sold many many of these to delighted customer s

Whether its your main music player or an add-on for an extra room the Play5's performance and simplicity have been key factors in it's incredible success

With the market overcrowded with me-too wireless music systems it's easy to forget that when Sonos first introduced the Play5 most people in the hifi trade didnt know what it was, let alone consumers. It was Sonos's original all-in-one box music streamer/amplifier/speaker

It really was that ground-breaking!

Replacing this 7 year old design was never going to be easy and an experienced (cynical?) hifi geek like me is notoriously difficult to impress

I'm impressed!

Yes it sounds much clearer,

yes the larger cabinet gives more bass ,

and yes the wifi is even more stable,

however there is even more..

sonos p5 new


While Linn's space optimisation has been the first such system to really work with no downsides the new Play5 has a feature called TruePlay which gives a simplified ver sion

Sure the limited frequency range compared to a Linn speaker means that the improvement isn't in the same league but what it does do it does very well

It really works, and it's great to see a mainstream company giving real actual improvements!

That's the cynic in me, most products in this range have no new design, copy everything else around and are plain boring

This isn't boring, it's really clever, it will sell extremely well

sonos p5 exp

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!

Arcam Kef AudioQuest Evening

If you missed our recent manufacturer evening then you missed a treat!

We started with a Q&A with Jonathan Johnson from Kef. His message was a fast one about Kef's ethos, the point being that for all the talking he could do, and he can talk, that he wanted the speakers to talk for themselves.

We progressed to..... clients in the shop take precedence, sorry

Back a week later, getting busy now, 

We played the Kef LS50s on the small Arcam system, CDS27 with A29, total 2600 and sounding really sweet

Great comments all around

Then we were meant to have a short presentation by Audioquest about their cables.

If you look at their website AQ make cables of all types and prices from 20 to thousands and that's far too many to demonstrate so we thought let's do something simple and controversial.

Using the Arcam streaming system we had an ethernet cable directly back to the router so we listened to that followed by placing a network switch beside the Arcam and a short AQ ethernet cable from it into the Arcam.

It sounded much better, which is of course impossible.

We then changed from a 30 ethernet cable to an 89 one and it sounded better again.

This is of course impossible

A final change to a 250 cable gave another distinct and obvious improvement

This is of course impossible!

Better earthing, better copper, better screening, yes of course these will make differences to analogue audio cables but how can it do this to a digital networked system?

Actually I dont really care, I just want that improvement!

Moving on to Mick from Arcam giving some background to the company and to where they are now, with some ground-breaking new Class G amplifier designs.

Demonstrations followed, comparing the A29, 999, to the A39, 1499, and then the daddy A49 at 3499


In the middle of this we also changed from the small Kef to the new Reference series featuring the bookshelf Reference 1s at 4500 and then the amazing 7500 Reference 3s.

Love them to bits! They're great