Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rega RP8 Tickles The Turntable Fancy

The reviews are rolling in on the exotic Rega RP8 turntable, and whether it is Tone Audio magazine, The Absolute Sound or, all agree that the RP8 is a crowning achievement for a brand that has been turning high-quality analog gear for 40 years now! Rega has seen no reason to rest on the accolades, and even with it's ultramodern design aesthetic, the RP8 delivers the goods with the wax on the platter.

Review highlights, with a link to the full review, follow:

"If you want a high performance record player with next to zero fuss required, I can think of no better choice.

My Rega journey began with the Planar 3 in 1982, and somehow over thirty years later, I have the feeling it’s not over. Roy Gandy and his crew are a clever group, and as long as they keep refining their turntables, there will be new vinyl adventures from this fine British company. I’m very happy to award the RP8/Apheta combination one of our Exceptional Value Awards for 2013." - Jeff Dorgay, ToneAudio

"This design vaults Rega into the big leagues. Meaning that, while yes, the RP8 as reviewed is another fine value from a company known for value, in this case one needn’t add the qualifier “for the money.” It’s simply among the best mid-level designs on the market." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound

"Without a spare gram on its ribs, it is reduced to the essentials with great cunning and fabrication from the power supply to the triple-layer glass platter, tone arm and captive RCA cable. These Brits view a record player as an interdependent mechanical system which relies on a completely holistic approach to take full control of all parameters by design. Such thinking pays off sonically. In this price class I've not come across a competitor that would convey music with more liveliness, drive or propulsion." - Ralph Werner,

Of course, if you are done drooling and desire the RP8 for your own home listening room, give us a call RIGHT NOW at Puretone Audio HQ 603-865-5471!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

ToneAudio Cranks Through the KEF R300 Bookshelf

"The R300 puts Gustavsen’s piano squarely between the speakers in a very deep space, keeping the recording well organized amongst the rest of the players. The brushwork on drums emphasizes the low distortion of the Uni-Q driver—there is some real magic going on in this small cabinet."

Full-line speaker manufacturers, like Focal, B&W and the brand featured in this review, often deliver the most bang for the buck in the middle of their product ranges. These products may not have the ultimate performance of the flagship, but they don’t cut corners either, as can often be the case with entry-level models. And while KEF has been garnering a lot of justified praise on its specialty speaker models, like the Blade and the LS50, the potential buyer looking for a relative audio bargain would do well to investigate the KEF R Series.

There’s some fine stuff happening in this range, folks.

The R300 is the larger of the two bookshelf models in the R Series. And unlike its smaller sibling, the two-way R100, the R300 is a three-way bookshelf, which is not the most common of layouts for a stand-mounted speaker. It is interesting to note that the smallest speaker in KEF’s Reference Series, the 201/2, is also a three-way stand-mounted model. I’ve heard the Reference 201/2 on a number of occasions and have always been really impressed with its honest presentation of music. I’m here to tell you that the R300 gets within a stone’s throw of the 201/2, doing so at a much more reasonable price; the R300s cost $1,800 per pair, compared to $6,000 for the 201/2s.

Technology and Performance

Unlike KEF’s former middle range, the XQ Series, which were great sounding and gorgeous to boot, these R Series products won’t win any beauty contests. They are simple-looking boxes, albeit ones that are superbly finished and constructed. The review pair of R300s arrives in a nice black-gloss finish. (Rosewood and walnut veneers are also available.) The beauty of this range is in the technology and performance. Some nice touches with this line include the magnetically attached grilles and the strapless bi-wire capability, which makes for easy bi-wiring and lets you forget about losing the gold-plated brass strap usually supplied with speakers in this price category.

The R300 features yet another generation of KEF’s Uni-Q driver, which is central to most KEF products, giving them their signature coherent sound. For those unfamiliar with the Uni-Q, it is KEF’s way of making the midrange and treble drivers into a point-source radiator—the often sought-after but rarely attained ideal for a lot of speaker manufacturers. This generation Uni-Q benefits from the same technology in KEF’s flagship Blade speakers. The midrange cone is made from an aluminum-magnesium composite, which makes for much-desired lightness and stiffness. Ribs across the surface of the driver cone minimize resonance, while the surrounding material provides further dampening. The tweeter, which is made from the same material, is rear vented to reduce backward pressure, minimize distortion and increase power handling. KEF’s tangerine wave guide fits over the tweeter diaphragm to further control the already wide dispersion characteristics, particularly those at the highest frequencies. (cont.)

READ the full review here

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Prestige SACD Series Hits the Right Notes!

When it comes to SACD and vinyl reissue selections, Analogue Productions seems to be always hitting the right note. With more classic titles from the vaults of the legendary Prestige Records in the pipeline, including blues from the legendary Lightnin' Hopkins and Willie Dixon, jazz from John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, and a number of more obscure titles, the 50 volume Prestige series will tickle every vintage musichead's fancy. Meticulously mastered by audio savant Kevin Gray from the original analogue tapes, the Prestige series is winning accolades for sound as well as historical significance. Of course, we at Puretone Audio will carry the entire line as they are available. So get into it now and crank it up!