The Sound Counsel - News, Reviews & Special Offers

GlennC

Active Member
Hi Glenn,
In a word, excellent. I've sold a number of these since it was launched and I think it offers something different to the usual run of the mill hifi pre amplifiers on the market at this price. I tend to think of it as a lite version of the Trinnov Amethyst although the Trinnov is really on a different level sonically. The STR was one of the first items on the demo kit list when we opened.

There have been a few reviews of the STR products over the last year or so, pretty much all of them positive. I think if the new AVR's sound half as good at the Hifi kit we are in for a treat.

Dan

Dan

Many thanks for the response in the middle of a full system re-revamp to make it more oriented toward music and the Anthem STR range is very interesting as I would like a level of room correction to help with sub integration.
 

The Sound Counsel

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Dan

Many thanks for the response in the middle of a full system re-revamp to make it more oriented toward music and the Anthem STR range is very interesting as I would like a level of room correction to help with sub integration.
Indeed, one of its strengths. We have a demo model we can loan out if you wanted to hear one. Just get in touch when you are ready.

Dan
 

The Sound Counsel

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Sumiko Songbird - £899

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We have added to our Sumiko range on demonstration. Given the performance of the Blue Point Special EVO III, I cant wait to get this mounted and see what it can do.​
 

The Sound Counsel

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Christmas and the New Year are fast approaching and as our 2020 projects will all be wrapped up this week, a festive break is in order. This year has had plenty of challenges but ours have been minor in comparison to many. We are acutely aware how fortunate we are to take a holiday and immensely grateful to everyone who chose to purchase from us this year. Almost all sectors need support going forward into 2021 but if we are to continue to have real choice of goods and move customer service forward the independent sector is vital. If you can buy from an independent outlet please do consider that.

The Sound Counsel will be on holiday from Wednesday 23rd December and will re-open for enquires in the New Year on Monday January 4th refreshed and ready to go.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Nick & Dan​
 
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The Sound Counsel

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Audiovector joins The Sound Counsel


We are now official dealers for Autovector loudspeakers. These have been on my radar for years, and now, we can finally represent them in the UK which we are very excited about.

In 1979, Ole Klifoth founded Audiovector with a desire to make the perfect loudspeaker for the global high-end market. The vision of the company is still, to produce high quality and natural sounding loudspeakers for music lovers and audiophiles around the world. Mads Klifoth, CEO and owner has a great desire to honour this unique DNA and tradition. Audiovector products are handcrafted from the finest materials and hand assembled with great detail and care. Every loudspeaker is designed, developed and produced in-house to exceptional standards.

AUDIOVECTOR is a family owned company based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

We will shortly have some units on demonstration and when normality returns we would love to let you listen to them.

www.audiovector.com

 

The Sound Counsel

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Solo in Limited Edition Teak Finish

As wood lovers, Davone always wanted to try working with teak because it has this unique orange-like glow. But teak can be difficult to work with and it can be quite extreme in its texture. By handpicking finishes at the supplier of raw veneers in Hamburg, their hand picked selection means the finish on this new limited edition is super consistent. Davone now have a limited number of teak Solo available. In the pictures above and below, the Solo to the left is shown with Walnut veneer, the Solo on the right shows the teak veneer. Because of the work involved it is not likely they will ever make speakers in teak again, so check with us for availability and pricing before they are gone. All wood finishes are from a sustainable source.

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The Sound Counsel

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Lumin joins The Sound Counsel

One of the best reviewed streaming brands of the past few years has arrived in store. Having tested a number of streamers we found that the Lumin products didn't really wane in the face of any, and as a result it will be a brand which we will be proud to support going forward.

We currently have a D2 on demonstration with an X1 to follow shortly.

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The Sound Counsel

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Roon Labs joins The Sound Counsel

If you have not tried Roon as an interface and you do a lot of streaming, you should. It really has revolutionised the way streaming music is presented and with the number of brands producing compatible devices it looks like it will continue to be the go to interface for serious digital music consumers.

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Being an official re-seller means we can supply both Nucleus products to use as your Roon "core".

ROON WEBSITE HERE
 
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The Sound Counsel

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Anthem MRX & AVM

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We still have very limited stock of MRX740 & AVM70 from our first batch if anyone is still on the lookout. First impressions of our demonstration units are positive and I hope to have my initial thoughts on paper shortly.
Dan

drop us an email at - [email protected]
 
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The Sound Counsel

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We really like Ascendo not just for their crazy huge subs but also for the speakers and more modest sized subwoofers. Getting on the ladder with the Ascendo sound is now that much easier with the all new SV-12. The new subwoofer still uses a 12″ drive unit so not quite as discreet as some units but when you marry the output to articulation the SV-12 is one serious package. Factor in the price and this should be the most popular Ascendo subwoofer yet. On paper the SV-12 is not hitting the lowest of frequencies but the ones it does hit can all be delivered with real power and control behind them. No point in going really low if all the sound nearby is reduced or fuzzy, give us a call if you wish to discuss bass.

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The ASCENDO SV-12 subwoofer @ £899 sets the standard for bass output, low distortion, and affordability. With chest thumping bass that plays deep down the SV12 subwoofer unleashes cinema level volume, with the ability to convey and articulate the subtle nuances of music.​
 
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nigelk1

Active Member
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MRX & AVM 2020/21

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Nick and I have been working with Anthem since before the launch of the original MRX300, cutting our teeth on the mighty impressive D2V back in 2006 at The Home Cinema Centre. As one of the UK’s longest standing Anthem dealers we have high expectations of the new range and where would a key product launch be without an attractive opening gambit? If you have purchased an AV amplifier or processor from us at The Sound Counsel we will give you 100% of its purchase price* against any upgrade to the new Anthem MRX or AVM products. For those who have shopped with us before but not at The Sound Counsel we are offering a great returning customer promotion and for anybody looking for a new dealer with years of experience and a different approach to service we have plenty to offer you as well. Contact us for a tailored package.

*The amplifier must be in full working order with remote​
Wow, I wish the dealer I bought mine from had offered this.
 

nigelk1

Active Member
Sorry I didn’t type my message properly. What I meant was I wish fhey were offering this sort of deal so I could trade my avm60 in for an avm70.
 

The Sound Counsel

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Sorry I didn’t type my message properly. What I meant was I wish fhey were offering this sort of deal so I could trade my avm60 in for an avm70.
Have you got the original receipt, I might be able to get close for you?

Dan
 

nigelk1

Active Member
I'm trying to get a copy of it from Hifi Corner, as I was having problems with the Lexicon RV-9/MC-10 at the time, and ended up with the AVM60 instead. So I have a few receipts and payment requests, but looks like I didn't get a final one for the AVM60.

I paid £2994 in April 2020.

Is there a rack mount kit available for the AVM70, or does the AVM60 version fit ?
 

The Sound Counsel

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I'm trying to get a copy of it from Hifi Corner, as I was having problems with the Lexicon RV-9/MC-10 at the time, and ended up with the AVM60 instead. So I have a few receipts and payment requests, but looks like I didn't get a final one for the AVM60.

I paid £2994 in April 2020.

Is there a rack mount kit available for the AVM70, or does the AVM60 version fit ?
It might be best to continue this on PM but I can surely help you, I think we can extend the same offer to you on upgrade almost as if you did originally buy it from us. Let me know.

Dan
 
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The Sound Counsel

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Anthem MRX740 Review – Is it any good?

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Our first thoughts are up on the Anthem MRX740, I will likely do a follow up in a month or two but overall the results were very positive.

Read it HERE
 

The Sound Counsel

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The start of Velodyne's new range subwoofers are here The Deep Blue (DB) series is a brand new subwoofer platform development based on Velodyne Acoustics technologies with a modern styling, unmatched performance with a dynamic and accurate output. Velodyne have been as good as it gets for bass for some time and have been a firm favourite with us for a number of years, having run in our range of new Deep Blue subwoofers it would appear that this tradition continues. We expect to see a further two ranges in the coming year with some really special bass weapons in the offing.

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The Sound Counsel

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We are now stockists of some of the best digital CD playback systems in the world, from mythical manufacturer C.E.C. To put is very simplistically C.E.C produce very analogue sounding digital devices, packed with soul. This comes from their unique deployment of a belt drive for the mechanism.

The development of the CEC Belt Dive System started on the technical premise that in their basic form, analogue turntables and digital CD players are fundamentally the same. Although the speed of a CD varies, the change takes place in tiny increments. In other words the speed during a certain time period can be seen as constant.

Based on this result CEC developed a completely new CD playback system, which is free from acoustic feedback, has a higher signal to noise ratio and eliminates jitter. For this development CEC has worldwide patent rights.

Test reports in international magazines as well as the testimony of our satisfied customers worldwide confirm that they have achieved music reproduction on its highest level.

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The Sound Counsel

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Reavon UBR UHD BD Players

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We will shortly be stocking new 4K UHD Players from French manufacturer, Reavon. Two models are due imminently and are now both available for pre-order. We should have both units on demonstration and also loan units of each model. The two models available will be the Reavon UBR-X100 at £699 and then a premium unit the Reavon UBR-X200 at £1499. All units will come with UK support and also a two year manufacturer warranty.


Contact us at the office to place your order

www.reavon.com
 
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The Sound Counsel

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Screen Innovations Solo Pro 2

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Pretty excited to have finally taken delivery of our new Screen Innovations Solo Pro 2 screen over the last week. This will be the next screen up for review after the Celexion ALR screen I reviewed recently. This screen has Solar Grey Material which has 15% ALR, so very subtle which should still maximise contrast while minimising any potential distortion from the active material. The screen is also battery powered and can run up to a full year on one charge. I cant wait to see what it can do, full review coming soon.

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www.screeninnovationssolo2pro.com
 

The Sound Counsel

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Spring & Summer 2021 Round-up
The last year has been testing for everyone concerned, and it is with relief we start to move towards a level of normality again. We are now back in the shop and open again for appointments Monday to Friday. We have been working hard over the lockdown period to prepare for re-opening including adding to our demonstration equipment. Ill briefly round up what we have added and some other product news.

Pre/Power Amplifiers
We have added the Trinnov Amethyst preamplifier, Optimiser & DAC. Something we have coveted for a while given our experience with the Altitude 32 and 16. This will offer reference performance for both our 2.1 channel digital sources and enable us to bestow the benefits of proper room correction on a 2.1 system as well as seamless subwoofer integration, something that cannot be underestimated.

We have had a parade of cinema processors over lockdown. I have had the opportunity to spend significant amounts of time with the Lyngdorf MP60, Trinnov Altitude 16 and Storm ISP Mk2 in my cinema at home. We are the only business with direct regular experience of all three of these platforms and having them at home for assessment really brought into tight focus the differences between all three competing platforms putting us in a unique position to offer detailed advice on the best solution for every room we come across. Currently the cinema in the shop is being powered by the Anthem MRX740 and MCA525 and as the software develops on the new Anthem platform you can really hear these products start to come alive. It is important that we have the new products on demonstration for a consistent period. This enables us to thoroughly test and put them through their paces. We always find that these times early in a product life cycle are the most beneficial for us to be able to offer detailed support and assistance to our customers, whatever question they may have.

As of today, we also welcome Arcam products to our installation portfolio. Both Nick and I have a long history with Arcam and can now supply their full range for installations in cinema and hifi applications including the Arcam AV10, AV20, AV30 & AV40.

Sources
We have added to our two channel sources in the shape of the CEC CD5N Player and TL5N transport. To put is very simplistically CEC produce very analogue sounding digital devices, packed with soul. This comes from their unique deployment of a belt drive for the mechanism. The development of the CEC Belt Dive System started on the technical premise that in their basic form, analogue turntables and digital CD players are fundamentally the same. Although the speed of a CD varies, the change takes place in tiny increments. In other words, the speed during a certain time period can be seen as constant. Based on this result CEC developed a completely new CD playback system, which is free from acoustic feedback, has a higher signal to noise ratio and eliminates jitter. For this development CEC has worldwide patent rights, the design is as unique as the sound.

This joins our existing Bluesound, Sonos and Lumin X1 & Lumin D2 network streamers along with our existing turntable range from Project and Technics. We have a few things cooking with the turntables within the shop but nothing we can announce at this time, the main addition in this arena is the new Hegel V10 Phono Stage. A fantastic phono preamplifier punching well above its weight and a perfect companion to the Technics SL1210GR and Sumiko Songbird combination. We can still offer a fantastic Technics turntable refurb packages as well. This includes fully customised plinths, arms, buttons and internal wiring. We can essentially take a battered old 1210MK2 and turn it into a dream high fidelity turntable which will last for ever.

On the cinema front we are about to imminently welcome the Reavon UBR-X100 & UBR-X200 BD UHD Players, these seem to be offering an upmarket option for people who covet the old Oppo players and may hopefully stop some of the ridiculous pricing on eBay of these older Oppo disc spinners. The performance of the Oppo units was bettered by the Panasonic UDP-9000 almost immediately after Oppos exit from the sector and the Panasonic still one of the best players available, so the inflated prices on eBay have always been a little baffling to say the least.

Speakers & Subwoofers
We have had some major additions in this area, by far the biggest in terms of size and sound is the completion of our Ascendo fabric wall system in the main cinema. This features 3 x Ascendo CCRM12P Passive 12” monitors and two Ascendo SMSG15 WL, 15” subwoofers. We have had some fantastic results with Ascendo products in customers systems, so we thought it was time commit to a full array in the office. The speed to which the system now responds is utterly amazing, so much so I have upgraded half the cinema at home to Ascendo CCRM6-P monitors with a huge bump in performance as a result. I would not be surprised if we added the infrasonic 24” subwoofer later in the year to this system to really put the cat among the pigeons. These now sit alongside our Wisdom Insight P2m’s as our preferred options to reproduce cinema sound to a supremely accurate degree.

We have added to the hi-fi speaker selection by adding Audiovector QR series. We are extremely picky about what brands we stock as they need to not only produce a good sound but be perfectly accurate across the frequency range, the less is more approach. Audiovector as a brand we have had an eye on for some time and after extensive listening tests realised it fits in with the sound we are trying to achieve. Quite different to Davone and Amphion our other main brands, probably down to their use of the unique tweeter drive unit which can work like a perfect piston over several octaves of the frequency band without the distortion normally found in aluminium/diamond drive units. This means music sounds warm, precise and detailed, yet dynamic and musical, the sound literally jumps out of the speaker at you. Speaking of Amphion, we have also added the highly regarded Amphion 7LS to our shop system. Recently awarded best speaker under £10,000 by Hifi+ Magazine, these really are big, stunning speakers, particularly on the end of our very capable Hegel H30 Power Amplifier.

There has also been quite a bit of movement on subwoofers, Velodynes new Deep Blue series have been a welcome addition coming in a variety of guises for 8” up to 15” variants. We also expect to see some higher end units this year which should be special given the pedigree of their predecessors. REL have upgraded the T series to the all-new Serie T/x models. REL do split people into two different camps, those who have heard them properly demonstrated and those who have not. If you look at the specifications on paper, I will tend to agree that they do not look like they should be anything special, and I admit that I was in that camp as a non-dealer for several years having not heard or experienced them. I can only think that REL are very fair with their measurements and as a result form that fairness they suffer from being on paper at least, lagging. But that does not tell the whole story. Listen to one and you can instantly hear the level of engineering and harmony at play in these products and you can literally hear where they are coming from in their approach to the design of bass. They do not do bass like anyone else, and that is a good thing. I would estimate 99% of people who give them in a chance in a demonstration get it, and then struggle to see past them. This is one of the reasons why experienced reviewers constantly sing their praises. If there is one negative, the flashy design is not for everyone, but we love them for what they are, great subwoofers.

Home Control
The big recent news is that Harmony is now no more. Many people have relied on the Harmony platform to control multiple devices seamlessly within their home and their removal from the market will be a big blow for many. We can only hope that the technology will be for sale and someone else will pick up the baton and run with it. While it only accounted for a small part of Logitech’s portfolio, there must be a space in the market for a small company to make it work. In the interim we are left with a rather large hole in this area, something we can fill to an extent. We are currently testing an RTI control system which is remote based and while more advanced and more expensive than the Harmony equivalent, will offer an answer for those juggling remotes.

Television & Projector
Televisions these days are a bit like hook a duck at the fairground, if you are not quick the next one comes along. I do not think the television business will change significantly this year, short throw projectors and ALR screens are trying to make inroads into the TV market, but penetration and quality is still minimal compared to that of a decent OLED or LED. We currently have OLED sets on display from LG, Sony & Panasonic and should cover all the current 2021 ranges as they emerge. There is still no definitive movement from Samsung on Micro LED which could potentially be a revolution to the sector and have a bigger long-term impact than plasma did in the early days. As soon as we can buy one at a reasonable cost, we will have one on display here for certain.

The projector sector has been a little quiet of late, Sony have launched some new models; VPLVW290es, & VPL-590es, but these seem to build on previous versions rather than being a huge step change in terms of cost and performance, but they are slowly edging toward laser rather than traditional bulb-based performance. I would expect some news from the likes of Epson & JVC maybe later in the year when things have calmed a little, 2020 being the topsy turvy year it has been.

With regards cinema screens, I currently have the SI Solo Pro 2 screen at home to review, so this should be on the cards for one of my next published reviews once I have spent some more time with it over the next month or so. So far it looks great and being battery powered is a stroke of genius, I cant really understand why anyone has not done it before to be honest.

Furniture
One of the big questions raging in the shop was what do you sit £50,000 of hifi equipment on? Our Custom Design Tuscan stand has done a great job during lockdown but with the addition of some key components it made sense to take on a premium Hi-Fi furniture brand. The key bit was to find something big and strong enough to be a sturdy home for the HEGEL H30 power amplifier, weighing in at 45kg this was no mean feat. So, it is with open arms that we welcome NEO Luxury Audio Racks to the shop. Handmade in Slovakia, these must be some of the best hifi supports I have seen, and I have seen a few. We currently have the NEO high end on permanent display at Slateford Road.



Links for Reference -

Trinnov Amethyst

Storm ISP Mk2

Anthem MRX Range

CEC CD Players and Transports

Hegel H30 Power Amplifier

Reavon UHD BD Players

Ascendo Speakers & Subwoofers

Audiovector QR Series Speakers

Amphion 7LS Speakers

REL Serie T/x Subwoofers

RTI Remote Control Systems

Samsung Micro LED

Sony UHD Projectors

SI Solo Pro2 Cinema Screen

NEO High End Equipment Racks

Arcam AV & Stereo
 
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DodgeTheViper

Moderator
Hi Dan,

Are there any snippets of info on the higher end Velodynes that are touted for this year ?
 

The Sound Counsel

Well-known Member
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Hi Dan,

Are there any snippets of info on the higher end Velodynes that are touted for this year ?
@DodgeTheViper My suspicion is that the range above the DB range are essentially going to be the DD+ range in a different box without the accelerometer. The high end ones are still shrouded in mist I'm afraid. I'm yet to have an update on an ETA on either but I would imagine the range above DB wont be too long.

Dan
 

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