Ruark R2 Mk.3 (RuarkAudio) Tabletop Stereo (https://goo.gl/mm1chY)
Been looking for a compact solution (in this day and age of miniaturisation of everything) to replace my broken and sadly retired Cambridge Audio One (https://goo.gl/Al9huk) and separate speakers. There are plenty of options out there for these compact tabletop audio units (Yamaha, JVC, Roberts etc.) but very few with an RCA input for my record player in this mid-tier price-range. In order to get that support you have to go bigger, different format, not so compact or very expensive. Note - there appears to be no pre-amp built-in, which means that the Phono option needs amplifying. Many turntables have this built-in, but for those which don’t, you’ll need to buy something like the Pro-Ject Phono Box MM Amplifier (https://goo.gl/IESzYk).

It had to sound good, too. No point in degrading the experience by ditching the great hifi and replacing with tinny rubbish. So I did a lot of research and stumbled on this unit. I’d never heard of Ruark. Seems to be British. Well, in the same way that Marshall Phones or Wileyfox is! Anyway, the sound is great and when placed nearby on a tapletop, the stereo separation is noticeable. There’s also a 3D mode which, when turned on, makes the separation even better. Deep, rich bass and a fine quality sound for a small to mid-size room.
Nice and compact, it also benefits from having a USB for Music Playback/5W device charging. Internet Radio (with podcasts with seriously limited options! TWiT Network is there, along with major stuff but no sign of our band of podcasts in the UK apart from BBC), Spotify, DAB/+, FM(RDS), BlueTooth (A2DP, aptX), Wifi, Remote Control, Network and USB Music Player, DLNA Media Streaming, Line In from 3.5mm jack, Line in for RCA, as I said, telescopic aerial on the back, radio, alarms, clock etc.

OK, so it’s £399 but to me that’s worth it for this seriously qualitative kit. There is also a Ruark R4 (https://goo.gl/GFWJFL) which adds a CD player for £649, but I thought that a bit excessive - and it’s physically bigger. I was able to listen to both units in my local John Lewis - and made everyone in there raise their voices!
I can’t stress enough how good it sounds.
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