Christmas at Totally Wirednz

Thinking of Christmas…

Music brings happiness to everyone.  Treat yourself, your family or loved one with a new addition to your home whether it be a bluetooth or WiFi speaker, a new radio, a music streaming system, a new touch screen control centre – scroll on down to find inspiration in our selection of gift ideas, click on the links to find out more …and remember we’ll do a special gift wrapping for you at no extra charge.

Natvi Vita music server & control center @totallywirednz Christmas
Nativ ‘Vita’

Nativ ‘Vita’

The newest thing to arrive at Totally Wired is the Nativ Vita. This is a world class music server and touchscreen control all wrapped into a perfectly engineered and beautifully finished package. It combines digital music replay – storage, delivery and control, and is the best sounding digital source we’ve heard. We love it so much we have no doubt that if this is something for you you’ll love having this particular package wrapped and waiting for you on Christmas morning. You’ll have so much fun!

Vifa 'Oslo' Bluetooth speaker @totallywirednz
Vifa ‘Oslo’ Bluetooth speaker

Vifa Speakers

One of these these divine, absolutely gorgeous looking, new speakers would so totally make the perfect gift! Vifa make portable, wireless speakers with built-in rechargeable batteries and innovative engineering for uncompromised sound. Choose from the range of five – three come under the ‘portable’ banner and the other two ‘home.’ The ‘portable’ ones are stand-alone systems and the two larger ‘home’ speakers can also be multi-room/user/source-systems. From NZ$429.

D-Stream WAMP-200SB digital & wifi amplifier @totallywirednz
D-Stream WAMP-200SB digital and wifi amplifier

D-Stream WAMP 200SB digital amplifier

Is there someone in your household who would like a music system for listening to their digital library of music or internet source like Spotify? On sound quality alone, the innovative D-Stream WAMP-200SB stands as the best sub-$1000 amplifier we’ve had the pleasure of listening to. It’s engaging, balanced, and produces room filling sound. French designed, its astonishing sound, affordability, compact size, and features make it ideal for a number of applications. Simply put it  with a pair of speakers, then stream music. Its astonishing sound, affordability, compact size and features make it ideal for discreet living, bedrooms or offices – NZ$795.

Tivoli PAL portable radio with bluetooth @totallywirednz
Tivoli PAL $349

Tivoli Radios

A long time Christmas favourite the Tivolis never fail to please. We’ve got the most popular of the range ready to go – the authentic Model One table radio in both standard or with bluetooth; the summer fun PAL BT, portable and with bluetooth; the Model Three BT alarm clock; and the Music System BT with everything, including CD! Tivoli radios from NZ$349.

Pryma headphones by Sonus faber @totallywirednz
Pryma headphones by Sonus faber $795

Headphones

Headphones always make for a truly thoughtful gift. In a world awash with headphones where do you find ones that will really bring music alive? Well, right here. We have two suggestions, each unique in their own way: Stax  is the ultimate for relaxing at home, and the very elegant Pryma for music on the go. Both are of audiophile quality so you can be assured of your choice.

KLEI interconnect cable @totallywirednz
KLEI interconnect cable

Cables

This is a great way to go if there is someone in your life (or you yourself), who loves listening to their stereo. They would be over the moon to get something which would make it even more enjoyable. Putting in better cables is an easy way to do this. We simply can’t say enough about how good the KLEI cables really are and the improvements they make to music listening. We understand that this can sometimes be a tricky one to know what to get so we are very happy for you to ask our advice. There is a range of types and prices.

Everything else…. An Aotearoa summer Christmas means many things. For most its family, fun and festivities. A holiday time of cheer, and time to slow down. A time to simply enjoying living. So you can sit back and enjoy, now is the time to consider your music system aspirations. Have you always wanted a turntable? Is it time for a new cartridge? See our Analogue page. Maybe you are keen to upgrade your cables?

Christmas @totallywirednzPerhaps  it’s time for a new amplifier or pair of speakers to replace old tired ones, or you’ve been thinking of adding an outside pair for balmy summer evenings on the deck? Between our two chosen speaker brands – the highly esteemed Monitor Audio and Sonus faber,  and the NuPrime amplifiers, we have a variety of excellent options. Or maybe you’d now like to access your music digitally? At Totally Wired there are solutions to all things for music listening.

We have some great and varied ideas on whole systems – check out our Suggested Systems, or see what there is to get down on in our SPECIALS.

Peruse our site (yep, we’ve inserted loads of links…), or tell us of your aspirations, and we’ll point you to the best options, or Shop on-line.

Connect to us on Instagram or Like our Facebook to keep up to date 🙂

Happy summer days and holiday festivities from Carolijn & John at Totally Wired. ❤

Suggested Systems #1.

Expressing your individuality – 2 different system choices: 

In a one-size-fits-all world where every phone is basically the same, few things can be more individual than your choice of system to replay music in your home. The downside of this is that our choices can seem bewildering. So I’ve been doing some serious thinking about how we put together  a system – even then it’s a challenge to decide what we call it – a stereo or music  system, an AV media or surround system? Digital, analogue or both?

It’s become obvious that the old rules that were arbitrarily applied to system design just don’t work any more. Linn had a hierarchy of components starting from source but how does this work when the source is an iPhone? Wattage used to be the go-to specification for choosing speakers and amplifiers but with modern living loudness is hardly a desirable  attribute – quality is what counts.

And if you have an existing system, will be the best solution be to upgrade a single component or just to replace as a means to the end of better sound?

With all these considerations in mind I’ve decided to highlight 2 quite different system choices that we’ve been enjoying over the last few months. Working from home has allowed us to spend much more time listening and really coming to grips with how components will perform in your own environment.

System 1.

The first system centres on the new little French designed D-Stream WAMP-200 SB digital amplifier. This is a completely modern take on the idea of an entry level integrated amplifier and while intended to be a very simple to operate, there is a depth of features and flexibility that simply didn’t exist at any price a few years ago. That, and it sounds insanely good for very little.wamp3

The D-Stream hardly even looks like an amplifier – it’s a sleek and compact clamshell with two rear mounted wifi aerials that suggest in a completely reasonable way that this is essentially a network component first and foremost. So while the physical input and output array on the rear panel is modest, this is more than supplemented by wifi, Bluetooth and LAN connectivity and the entire world of possibilities that come with steaming services and shared music collections.

The D-Stream not only opens up all these channels for you, it is more than capable of making great sound with a wide range of speakers. Because it sounds so good, it will make low cost speakers sound better and allow you to build an easily affordable system that doesn’t skimp on quality or features.

But at the same time I’ll point out that the low cost of the D-Stream enables you to select speakers that are better than you might have otherwise allowed for. When carefully set up and connected in the same way we would with a high end amplifier, the D-Stream WAMP 200 SB is the literal giant killer.

IMG_0356.jpg
My wee office system with a big sound – Quad 12L.2s and the D-Stream WAMP-200SB.

As our suggested system, I’ve matched the D-Stream with a pair of rather nice trade in speakers – the Quad 12L.2s which have just come in – these shelf mount speakers have a generous and rich sound which builds on the D-Stream’s clarity and evenhanded presentation. Together they are easily our best sounding entry level system for just $1400 complete.

Now let’s take things up another level – System 2.

There is absolutely a place for a carefully put together component system where each part is purpose built. Because I’m continually evaluating new components I want a baseline system of high transparency at a realistic price point that reflects what I know many of you can afford. Simply put, I want to know that you’ll be able to hear what I do and that you’ll be able to trust what I write.

So I’ve put together a complete system where no individual part is more than $3000 and most are much less – this approach gives a huge degree of flexibility. Each component stands as what I’d hope is best in its class so you can look to put any one of them in your own system.

I’m intentionally using both analogue and digital sources, and the aim is to be able to appreciate both in equal measure.

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Is this your kind of component system – NuPrime, Sonus faber and the Consonance Wax Engine.

On the analogue side, we have the Consonance Wax Engine turntable, fitted with the new Dynavector 10X5mk2 high output moving coil cartridge. The digital foil for this is the NuPrime CDP-9 player and DAC – this deals not only with CD but has multiple digital inputs allowing you to stream in from smartphone, network, TV and more.

In keeping with the ethos of separate components we have NuPrime’s remarkable little HPA-9 analogue preamplifier. This is the unsung hero in the NuPrime range – resolutely analogue and running in pure Class A, you couldn’t ask for a simpler product that sounds great and even has an excellent phono stage built in. Originally intended as a headphone amplifier (and there are 3 outputs for this), I’ve found it to be a supremely capable preamplifier that adds quality and drive to almost any system.

Match this with the proven STA-9 120 watt power amplifier and you have a combination that will make the most of almost any form of music coming and and drive any speaker system you wish to connect. And don’t forget the STA-9 can be easily bridged so you can upgrade your system to two mono 280 watt power amps at any stage in the future.

We’ve been completely spoilt for choice with new speakers lately – the new Monitor Audio Silver series or Studios would be obvious choices for this system. But we’ve always loved what Sonus faber do and right now the Chameleon T’s are by far our best value speaker proposition – these are a full sized floor standing speaker the combine the essential ‘voice’ of Sonus faber with the efficiency, depth and solidity you’d expect with two bass drivers in a generously ported cabinet that stands around 1m high. Throw in a choice of Italian racing red or beautifully finished walnut side panels and you have a speaker system that looks every bit as good as it sounds.

Combined with the NuPrime electronics  and the Wax Engine turntable, the Chameleons do pretty much everything you could ever hope for – above all they produce the kind of sound that you can just fall into – rich and warm but always involving enough to keep you coming back for more.

Good as all the individual parts are, it’s the connections that make them work and turn it into a functioning system. The timely arrival of a new generation of cables from Keith Eichmann delivered a transparency and balance that is difficult to describe but easy to understand once you hear it. As it stands, this system includes two of the new ‘special’ gPower3 AC power cables, a couple of pairs of the the new QFlow3 analogue interconnects, a set of 2m QFlow7 speakers cables plus the matching bi-wire jumpers. And from the turntable we use a custom made Mogami interconnect with the KLEI Absolute Harmony RCA plugs – this ensures a complete absence of hum which is often the by-product of in -ine power supplies.

It says something about how I regard the importance of connections that when we do a quick add up of all the cables used, if considered as a component, they are the most costly part of this system. Sound crazy? My question to you would be what do you think would make this system perform at a higher level for less? We could change individual components, but would they really improve the system as a whole? And anyway, it would be easy enough to select Keith’s entry level KLEI cables which deliver a remarkably consistent performance – this would quickly bring the total back in line with the individual components.

The nature of component systems is that they are often built up over time – so you may only take one or two parts of the above system as being relevant to you. Think of it as a bit of a real world testbed.

What you’ll find striking is that you could migrate from the little D-Stream system in my office, to the NuPrime 9 based system above, and then to the boots and all Well Tempered/Nuprime Evolution set up, and not feel short changed at any step. Obviously as we go up there are marked improvements in qualities such as detail and precision, a vast increase in available power and dynamics. But each gets to the heart of music and is genuinely enjoyable. We’re not about audio elitism – I’m happy to work at the level you are comfortable with and will do my best to put together the best sound at whatever that happens to be. 

Consonance Wax Engine Turntable $1695

Dynavector DV 10X5Mk2 $1100

NuPrime CDP-9 player and DAC $2800

NuPrime HPA-9 preamp $1250

NuPrime STA-9 power amplifier $1250

Sonus faber Chameleon T speakers – on special – were $5000+ Now $2700 (red panels) $3000 (walnut)

KLEI gPower3 AC cables 1m $750

KLEI QFlow3 Interconnects $900

KLEI QFlow 7 Speaker cables 2m  $1575

KLEI Q7 Bi-wire jumpers $320.

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At the same time as I’ve been writing this, my partner Carolijn has been working through the new Vifa range of wireless speakers from the remarkable little Reykjavik (just $429) though to their elegantly proportioned Stockholm ($2700). Read her take here.

Vifa Copenhagen#vifaofficial in Pebble Grey at Totally Wired
Vifa Copenhagen#vifaofficial