+Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition
With the +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition solutions, all-in-one systems are available whose primary source is a record player. With +Audio THE+SYSTEN and +Audio THE+SYSTEM Special Edition, even these solutions are available including a suitable rack system.
+Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition are the names given by the English company +Audio, a brand of IMS&M Technology Ltd, to those solutions aimed at users who want an all-in-one system that is as compact as possible, but who do not want to do without records. Because that is exactly what these solutions are, all-in-one systems that rely on a record player as their primary source. The manufacturer speaks of products with high-quality audio performance in a compact form factor and elegant design.
Behind this company are Alexander Åhnebrink as product designer, Bob Hazelwood as engineer, and Gordon Cook as acoustic engineer. All three describe themselves as passionate music lovers who also have years of experience in development, design, manufacturing and sales.
From own development
The +Audio company explicitly emphasises that all solutions come from their own development and that, in contrast to many other companies, they do not use off-the-shelf solutions and only stick their own logo on them. In fact, the London-based company describes it this way: The design comes from Alexander Åhnebrink from Milan in Italy, the development took place in Boston by Bob Hözelwood and Gordon Cook in the USA, and finally the products are manufactured in China.
The company relies solely on high-quality components and materials and works with hand-picked manufacturers to achieve the highest quality standards.
This description is an essential hint, after all, there are many manufacturers on the market who have also adopted solutions that are built as all-in-one systems around a record player. However, these can hardly live up to the high expectations that consumers associate first and foremost with the reproduction of music from records.
However, this is supposed to be the case with the products of +Audio, which promise a performance that can be expected from a hi-fi solution, as well as durable products for lasting music enjoyment for many years.
+Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition
The solutions +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition are described by the manufacturer as all-in-one phono systems, which for the first time feature a powerful stereo amplifier, use high-quality loudspeaker systems and – especially important – also rely on a high-quality record player.
Connoisseurs of the scene will be quite familiar with the turntables used here; they rely on no less than solutions from the world market leader in the field of record players, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, whereby a distinction is also made between the two solutions +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition based on the turntable.
The +Audio THE+RECORD Player is equipped with an aluminium tonearm and the MM Ortofon OM10 cartridge. The +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition also uses an MM cartridge from the specialist Ortofon A/S, but a particularly fine one in its class, the Ortofon 2M Red. It is pre-mounted on a tonearm made of carbon.
From vinyl to streaming
When playing records, the user can of course easily switch between 33 and 45 revolutions per minute to play not only LPs but also singles. Another feature of the +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition that is probably not unimportant for many users is that they have a USB port so that they can be connected to a PC or Mac and thus digitise records directly.
But this USB port also works in the other direction, if you want to put it that way, you can also use the PC or Mac as a source to play back audio data directly from the computer or via various streaming providers.
But that’s not all, Bluetooth is also available, so that smartphones and tablets can also be used directly as a source to access content from various streaming services. Whether Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, TIDAL or Deezer, it is always just a question of the app that must be installed on the mobile device.
If you want to connect other sources, there are two analogue inputs and an optical S/PDIF interface. It should also be mentioned that these solutions also have a pre-out to connect a subwoofer, for example.
External solutions such as streaming devices or smart home solutions from Google or Amazon can also be supplied with power via a USB port (5 V, 1 A), while these are used as sources via the analogue or, better, the digital input described above.
Two-way loudspeaker system with Class D amplifier
The heart of the signal processing is a DSP, which is supposed to guarantee an optimal control of the loudspeaker systems fired by a Class D amplifier module. Two 3.5 inch woofers and two 1 inch soft dome tweeter are used, so it is basically a two-way system. The Class D amplifier modules deliver two times 35 watts for the woofers and another two times 15 watts for the tweeters, resulting in a total output of 100 watts.
The aforementioned DSP-based signal processing is supposed to have another advantage here, namely a so-called wide listening mode. As with all such solutions, the speakers for the left and right channels are arranged very close to each other, so the reproduction of the stereo stage would not be optimal. The aforementioned Wide Listening Mode should guarantee exactly this, even with such compact dimensions.
The +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition are easily controlled via the front panel, which has all the essential buttons in a central position for selecting the source, controlling the volume and, as already described, determining the speed of the record player. The operating status is shown on a simple but clearly readable display.
Of course, a suitable infrared remote control is also included in the delivery, which has exactly the same buttons for simple control as those on the control panel described above.
It should also be mentioned that one of the already mentioned analogue inputs is available as a 3.5 m stereo mini-jack, but there is also a connection for headphones, which is also designed as a 3.5 mm stereo jack.
The manufacturer explicitly emphasises the high-quality workmanship of the +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition systems.
The basic frame is made of aluminium, but the user will find a noble finish in walnut for the +Audio THE+RECORD Player and maple for the +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition. The bottom part is always covered with a textile fabric in anthracite and the top of the record player is also presented in matt black, so that the aluminium control panel, for example, forms an attractive contrast.
+Audio THE+SYSTEM and +Audio THE+SYSTEM Special Edition
As we already mentioned in the introduction, the manufacturer is not content with the two All-in-One systems alone, he also provides solutions that result in a complete piece of furniture, if you want to paraphrase it that way.
The two All-in-One systems +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition can also be purchased as +Audio THE+SYSTEM or +Audio THE+SYSTEM Special Edition, respectively, and thus each receives the All-in-One system with matching HiFi rack, which offers ample space for numerous records.
Prices and availability
The +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition solutions, as well as the respective +Audio THE+SYSTEM and +Audio THE+SYSTEM Special Edition rack system extensions, are available immediately from specialist dealers. The recommended retail price for the +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER is € 1.799,- and for the +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition € 1.999,-. If you opt for the versions with matching hi-fi rack, you will have to budget € 2.100,- for the +Audio THE+SYSTEM and € 2.300,- for the +Audio THE+SYSTEM Special Edition.
Getting to the point
Until now, all-in-one systems that rely on a record player as their primary source have often been treated with caution. The market has been flooded with cheaply produced solutions, most of which have had to be classified as cheap “plastic bombers”, or at best as somehow quite nice, but ultimately not really recommendable from the point of view of the quality that can be achieved with them. However, the company IMS&M Technology Ltd. wants to approach this differently with the solutions of the +Audio brand, here quality is to be the focus, high-quality components, high-quality materials and last but not least a solid construction with elegant design are to distinguish the products +Audio THE+RECORD Player and +Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition.
|PRODUCT||+AUDIO THE+RECORD PLAYER|
+AUDIO THE+RECORD PLAYER SPECIAL EDITION
|Price||+Audio THE+RECORD Player € 1.799,-|
+Audio THE+RECORD PLAYER Special Edition € 1.999,-
+Audio THE+SYSTEM € 2.100,-
+Audio THE+SYSTEM Special Edition € 2.300,-
|Manufacturer||IMS&M Technology Ltd.|
|Distribution||IDC Klaassen International Distribution & Consulting oHG|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|