‘SME’ RCA plugs.

Many years ago I used to curse the overly complex 4-5 piece RCA plugs which were often referred to as ‘SME’ plugs.

I don’t know if SME made them but they were dreadful.

Often attached to arm leads the wires would shear, come loose and cause all sorts of intermittent problems.

The screen wires were trapped by a threaded portion which would soon enough break off the filaments or develop a loose connection.

To my surprise, some Chord cables use a similar design of RCA plug with a plastic outer casing.

My Chord iChord lead has been very unreliable with the centre pins sometimes sticking in the socket and the plastic body sliding off the plug (hence the ugly glue fix) and the same issues with the screen- pinching piece needing tightening and the screen coming detached.

Now, the last straw, the earth has sheared causing a rare drive-unit to be blown…


Peerless 100-20 co-ax drivers – offers

Rare 9 inch drivers with tweeter on frame in front of bass-driver dust cap.

Alnico magnets.

Not the first time I find a good co-axial driver outperforms a good full ranger. E.g. Visaton B200, Fostex etc.

Peerless did not bother replying regarding driver parameters but sensitivity seems very high – about 95db.

Original Jensen caps (which measure fine) supplied but have replaced them just in case. – see image.


There has been some confusion about our status. We never traded as Audioflair Ltd. We applied to be a Ltd Co to protect the Audioflair name but it remained dormant until it was voluntarily dissolved by us in 2016.  I have always been a sole trader and still am.

Croft amplifier logos and badges £1-£4 each

Selection from old ranges.
E.g. You could change Absolut, Charisma, Epoch Elite, Vitale knob surround label to gold, silver or purple for a new look. I also have a 2 hole stereo pot version of the label available.
I have a few logo lenses too.
Or just replace your missing labels.

Mantrasound Naturelle speakers £1500

95db 8 ohm super fast 5 inch Supravox bass/mid drivers with special wooden phase plugs.
Silver inductors and top quality capacitors in outboard 1st order crossover.
Best sounding bespoke dipole tweeter ever.
Great with 300B amps and amps with fullsome bass e.g Monarchy SM 70 etc.
Retail was about £5000

click on images below for full-size pictures …

”Highly recommended!”

Nome: Guido Brivio

Professione: Docente universitario.

E’ molto raro, come è noto, che uno specialista di Hi fi – e in genere di qualunque servizio – lasci completamente soddisfatti e non mostri pecche. Ma questo è il caso. Adrian Parsons di Audioflair ha mostrato eccezionale competenza, pazienza  e raffinatezza nel mettere a punto un impianto hi end di inaudita – è il caso di dirlo – qualità, sapendo ascoltare le mie esigenze e trovando la soluzione ideale. Il tutto, incredibile a dirsi, a un costo davvero ragionevole per la qualità dei componenti, dimostrando un’onestà, correttezza e trasparenza che sembrano non avere nulla a che fare con il mondo del mero commercio ma piuttosto con quello dell’amicizia. Highly recommended!

Gold Note Tuscany Gold cartridge – £2795

Top of the range Moving Coil with silver coils.

Amazing detail and even-handedness.

Very neutral.

Will consider exchange for a Miyajima cartridge which has a deliberately warmer tone.

Not run-in yet – less than 50 hours.

Can be inspected.

£6200 retail.

The Tuscany Gold phono cartridge features the smallest, highest precision micro-coils Gold Note has ever produced. Featuring one of the shortest and stiffest cantilevers available, the Tuscany Gold is able to guarantee great tracking ability that allows the cartridge to be matched with almost any tonearm on the market. The revised body of the Tuscany Gold made of 7000 silicon alloy injected with semi-fluid polymers provides total vibration control for a top audio performance. Due to its excellent internal impedance of 40 ohm the Tuscany Gold can be easily matched with MC active phono preamps without any Step-Up transformer.
MC Low Output Phono Cartridge
– Output level: 0.15mV
– Frequency response: 10-70000Hz
– Impedance: 40ohm
– Suggested load: >400ohm
– Compliance: 15×10-6cm/dyne
– Channel separation: >35dB
– Suggested tracking weight: 1.4 to 2.0g
– Cantilever: extra short magnesium alloy
– Diamond: Super Micro Elliptical shape
– Mounting hole diamond distance: 5mm
– Total weight: 11g
– Body: solid block machined hardened aluminium and Sustarin
– Color: black body with gold logo and name

Fake Balanced Leads

Many balanced leads available in the HI-FI World are not – one earth pin is either not connected internally or bridged in a pseudo-balanced way. Glue-up plug barrel – Hey Presto!

Role Audio Kayaks £750.

Excellent sub-compact 2 way loudspeakers in natural birch finish.

Extremely good, seamless crossover design.

Better than LS3/5a IMO.

Amazing imaging.

Include elegant magnetic grilles.
Dimensions: 8 X 5.5 X 6.5 inches, 20 X 14 X 17 cm


Gold Note PH-11 MM/MC phono stage, Ex-dem – £2695

Gold Note PH-11 MM/MC 3 box phono stage – ex-dem.

Quadruple battery powered MM/MC state of the art phono stage with intelligent battery charging system. Amazing ‘inky black’ background silences.

Same circuit as the PH-10 but PH-11 adds higher quality componentry, superior outboard power supply and intelligent charging system.

Great insight into the musical performance – amazing piece of kit.

Retail is £3995.


Reflecting back on Stereophile’s Croft Integrated review

I have had many Croft Series 7 hybrids through my hands over the years and they do not run hot. They run warm as owners will attest. Yet, when being technically measured by Stereophile, they managed to make the Croft Integrated amplifier run ‘very hot’ and considered it a fair report.

My suspicion is that a music signal is less stressing to some amp topologies than the ‘steady-state one third power signal into a simulated load’ used by the technical reviewers.

So a topology of amp which tolerates this will have a technical advantage over one that does not. Of course, if you like to listen to a single note all the time….

This is one way in which you can achieve the contradictory situation where the reviewers rave about the amp, as occurred with the Croft Integrated, while the technician finds fault.
You can bet the Integrated did not run hot at the reviewer’s houses (before and after the measurements were taken) when sounding so musical.
As is often the case their testing is not what they think it is. If it ran hot on test bench they were overloading it in some way and inducing distortion.
The trouble with this kind of ‘science’ is that readers of such reviews tend to feel obliged to bow to the measurement facts unquestioningly.
Many years ago Glenn Croft said, ‘When you know what you’re measuring, measure it!’
It seems the measurements were taken from the Tape Out rather than the speaker outputs which would have loaded-down the amplifier’s output and induced the 6db roll-off.
Let’s not forget that Total Harmonic Distortion is also overstated as many Jap amps had vanishingly low figures such as 0.01% distortion and sounded rather thin and unengaging in reviews. In the meantime most speakers distort by about 33%…
If you prefer a more objective perspective regarding magazine technical measurements, Steve Elford of Vertex AQ cites that:
“Fourier transform theorem or FFT software is the wrong way to measure because it’s in the frequency domain and is an iterative process over time so you only see the presence of constant sine waves. By analysing the signal in the time domain, only then can you see the tracking error.”

10/10/15 Further thoughts on Vertex.

As mentioned I have loaned out all my Vertex gear to a customer for a 1 week trial period.

A pair of large 3 way speakers with 12 inch bass drivers are out on demonstration to another customer who has concluded that they need to be played too loudly to be at their best in his set-up. In my room, with Vertex installed and the same Croft amplification, there is no such problem and they play excellently at low volumes – interesting…

Thoughts on Vertex equipment.

One of the first things that strikes you about the Vertex range is that it is fantastic at controlling boom levels * – my 10.5 ft wide demo room with suspended floor can now work with unfeasibly large speakers even with 15 inch bass drivers thanks to Vertex.

I have loaned out all my Vertex gear to a customer for a 1 week trial period and the boom is back and unbearable forcing me to change back to mini-monitors!

I remember this being a big issue before discovering this brand.

(* Actually, the first thing that strikes most people trying the Vertex gear is the better image placement/separation and lower noise floor. But each system is different and my main issue had been boom levels and the need to demonstrate various speakers of all sizes. )