Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The first pair of pairs (see what I did there?) of the KEF Q300 have arrived. Black ash and English cherry are now in stock!
New look, new engineering (simple first order crossver), new technology (new 6.5 inch UNI-Q driver with vented one-inch tweeter, gold-plated terminals) and ridiculously EXCELLENT value at just $599/pair. Still breaking our demo pair but I'd say that these compare favorably with the store-favorite XQ series at less than one-third the price of the XQ20.
Perfect set of speakers for a second system, bedroom or office. Heck if they sound this good in our big, boxy store, I can only imagine how great they would charge up a proper-sized room. In fact, I might have to take them home over the holiday weekend and try them in my home studio.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
It's been a while since we posted some updates, so let us do a little roundup of new goodies while waiting for everyone to complete and submit their 2010 Top-10 music lists (yeah, I'm having some problems with that myself, since about half of what I've been listening to came out 30 years ago...)
First off we have the Rega RP1 turntable, at just $445 (and now in cool grey, titanium silver, and white white), the RP1 has substantially raised the bar on entry level turntables. Even beyond that, the performance is much, much closer to the thousand dollar P3-24 than anyone might expect:
Designed and engineered to achieve outstanding performance way beyond the expectations of a product at this price point.
Excellent build quality, reliability and ease of use combine to make a product which will offer a lifetime of musical enjoyment. Omitting all the usual gimmicks allows us to concentrate the manufacturing costs on the high quality parts necessary to reproduce records accurately.
Using a manual speed change rather than an automatic mechanism, eliminates speed inconsistencies and reduces wear of the drive belt. The money we save is spent across the design including a new hand assembled RB101 tonearm, precision main bearing, phenolic resin platter and a high quality low vibration motor which would normally be used on a turntable costing two or three times the amount.
The minimalist design of the Rega RP1 and the use of extremely high quality components ensure that this turntable will last for many years. The RP1 is the first in a new generation of Rega turntables offering far greater performance than their predecessors.
We are confident the performance of this amazing new product will impress you. Rest assured the only thing entry level about the RP1 is the price !
The all new completely British-made RP1 features:
- Brand new Rega RB101 tonearm.
- Precision main bearing and sub-platter assembly.
- High quailty low vibration motor.
- All new Phenolic resin flywheel effect platter for excellent speed stability.
- Factory-mounted Ortofon OM5e moving magnet cartridge.
- Rega sound quality at an unrivalled price.
(from Tone Audio Magazine)
"Rega has always been known for producing great value with a minimalist approach, but the new RP1 is a legitimate high-end turntable at a budget price."
"The only way you can get a more effortless analog setup is to have someone else do it for you and how much fun would that be? You will be amazed at how good the RP1 is"
Also available is an all-in-one Rega Turntable Upgrade package for the RP1 (@$195) which bundles together the stellar Rega Bias2 cartridge, a plush wool turntable mat, the accessory Rega belt upgrade and a spacer shim for perfect setup. Cool upgrades, low price. And if you buy it in person, we'll install and balance the cartridge for free. How great is that?
We also have in a black ash pair of Rega RS5 speakers which have a low, low price as the line is undergoing some cosmetic tweaking...
On the KEF side, we still have a full compliment of the gorgeous XQ series (20, 30 and 40) set up for audition. Marketing tzarina Stephanie at KEF has promised her Top-10 list at any moment, and our first look at the Q series - the Q900 - are expected to arrive imminently. At $1598/pair they promise to fuse technology, aesthetics and silky sweet sound with extended bass response at a can't-be-beaten-even-by-Tom-Brady-price. Woohoo!
On the Cayin Audio side, there is always lots of excitement over the astounding A50T tube amp; while we also have a A88T with nuclear-tipped (no, just kidding) KT88 tubes for warmth of both sound and room. For those who desire a bit more power and control on the bottom end (and who doesn't) we also have the hybrid H80a which combines the strength and signal response of a Mosfet power stage with the sweetness of a tube pre-amp circuit. For the computerphile, the Cayin iDAC is still a solid performer, with the flexibility of two distinct DAC chips combined with tube warmth and detail.
Uhhh, okay, it's almost tea time...there's also the usual assortment of CDs, SACDs, DVDs and an exponentially-increasing selection of vinyl which threatens to overrun the whole store. Analog is back in a BIG way, it's kind of fun to see the bemused and confused expressions when I tell them that VINYL is now outselling CDs almost 4 to 1 for us...
That's it for now, as usual, call if you have any questions or if you want to special order a pair of KEF Muons for that special someone in your life. We can probably even arrange for one of those stupid red bows omnipresent in every car commercial during the "most special joyous event time" of the season.