What HiFi

What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, January 2007
AT1000 & AT5000

‘Astin Trew – odd name, great amps’

Smarter than the average valve as well built and finished as anything the big brands have to offer…’

‘The AT1000 preamp is a slick, remote-controlled unit, with none of the excess noise or flaky behaviour found on some other valve powered units.’

Always an entertaining listen …Partnered properly, this pairing turns in a full bodied, dynamic performance… an entertaining listen almost regardless of recording quality… Astin Trew has managed this balance perfectly – there’s enough sparkle to keep things interesting… enough authority to do justice to large scale music without sacrificing intimacy. A talented and intriguing debut.’

VERDICT : A strong debut for Astin Trew: match [loudspeakers] carefully and you’ll be impressed.’
5star

 

What HiFi

Hi-Fi Choice

Hi-Fi Choice, March 2009
Reviewed by Jason Kennedy.
AT2000

The AT2000 is a remarkably transparent amp in all important respects – it produces attractively open results and reflects the quality and nature of the incoming signal with a very natural and fluent precision. There’s no sense here of the sound being mechanical or etched; rather, instruments and voices are placed in the context in which they were recorded.
hi-fi_choice_best_buy_five_stars
With the AT2000, Astin Trew is offering a genuine alternative to the majority of integrated models in this price range. It’s a design of such subtlety and finesse that it rivals Sugden’s classic A21 amp, but without the thermal and power challenges of that model. The fact that it offers so much flexibility is the icing on a highly musical cake.

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Hi-Fi Choice

Audio

Audio, February 2009
AT2000
‘Obwohl seine Doppeltrioden gar nicht verstärken, erinnerte der Amp im Hörraum frappierend an eine Röhre: Er musizierte fein, anmutig, offen und mit verblüffend weitem Raum, konnte in lauten Passagen an der großen, nicht ganz einfach anzutreibenden KEF aber auch leicht diffus und unentschlossen wirken. Mit etwas mehr Wirkungsgrad schwand diese Neigung fast vollständig – wunderbar harmonierte der Astin Trew beispielsweise mit der erschwinglichen Heco Celan XT 901
5star

 

Audio - http://www.audio.de/

Hi-Fi World

Hi-Fi World, October 2006
AT1000, AT3000 & AT5000

“…the music was communicative and convincing …serving up a wide and deep spatiality …superb instrumental separation.”

The amplifier “…proved a most beguiling and musical performer…”

The CD player has “…surprisingly high resolution sound for the asking price.”
fourglobes

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Hi-Fi World

Area DVD

AREA DVD, April 2008
AT1000, AT3000 & AT5000
Reviewed by Lars Mette.

‘Sie sehen: zaubern kann auch Michael Osborn nicht, auch Astin Trew kocht nur mit Wasser. Andererseits gehört er auch nicht zu den Anbietern, die gewöhnliche Hausmannskost als Gourmetware unter die Leute bringen – ganz im Gegenteil: Astin Trew bietet tatsächlich einen enormen Gegenwert für das Geld und ist deswegen eine Hörprobe absolut wert.’

 

Area DVD

User review, January 2011
Review sent in by Steve Paines.
AT8000

“The standard of finish is very high and much better than some of the others I tried.”

“How does it sound? In one word, ‘musical’… Pace and rhythm are spot on… the soundstage is very wide… there is low listening fatigue so you can listen for hours… the range of output and loading options is great to get the best from your analogue front end.”

“I would summarise the AT8000 as a product that doesn’t attract attention to itself… so you can get on with enjoying the music. If you want to improve on its performance you can, but it’s going to cost you a lot more money.”

User review

Hi-Fi World

Hi-Fi World, June 2010
AT8000
Reviewed by David Price.

“If you’ve heard Astin Trew’s AT3500 CD player, with its rich but crisp, expansive and envelopingly musical sound, you’ll recognise the new AT8000 phono stage immediately. From a company with no ‘previous’ in this field, it’s an unexpectedly accomplished performer, with a combination of real musicality allied to oodles of detail and insight. This is a rare and desirable mix of attributes, and one that puts this phono stage right at the front of the fray; there are other excellent rivals too, but the Astin Trew AT8000 stands its ground with impressive resolve. An essential audition.”fourglobes

Hi-Fi World

Puresound

Puresound, May 2010
AT8000
Reviewed by Onno Kiviet.

“Deze Astin Trew AT-8000 is mooi ontworpen en volledig dual mono opgebouwd en voorzien van goede en kwaliteits onderdelen. Hij heeft zeer uitgebreide instelmogelijkheden v.w.b. impedantie en gain. De phonotrap kan zowel met MM als MC elementen overweg en het apparaat heeft zowel een cinch (RCA) als een symmetrische (XLR) aansluiting. De cinch aansluitingen zijn verguld en de XLR aansluitingen zijn zilver. Deze AT-8000 kan zich met gemak meten met duurdere phono versterkers v.w.b. bouwkwaliteit en geluidskwaliteit. Als we kijken naar de aanschafprijs is er maar één conclusie mogelijk en dat is dat Astin Trew een nieuwe mijlpaal in deze prijsklasse heeft neergezet, want 1000,- € voor deze phono versterker is eigenlijk te goedkoop in deze klasse. Kortom, als u op zoek bent naar een vervangende of nieuwe phonoversterker leg u oor eens zeker te luisteren bij deze phonoversterker. Wij waren erg onder de indruk ervan, zowel qua bouw als qua kwaliteit en (het belangrijkste) luisterindrukken. Van harte aanbevolen
!”

See full review.

Puresound

Hi-Fi Choice

Hi-Fi Choice, May 2010
AT2000plus

Integrated Amplifiers Ultimate Group Test, £1,450-£1,860
hi-fi_choice_best_buy_five_stars“…this amp offers some impressive material value for money… as far as the sound is concerned the AT2000plus does a lot of good things… this amp is clearly differentiated from the rest, it’s the way it combines a slightly warm, smooth balance with a really sparkly treble when needed… to handle bright sounds like cymbals very naturally… the bass is solid and well-defined, causing our listeners to be very impressed… Stereo imaging is good and the sound has plenty of pace to it across the board. A confident dynamic spread makes for equally assured handling of forces large and small.”

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Hi-Fi Choice

Music Emotion

Music Emotion, March 2010
Reviewed by Jo Mullers
AT2000 and AT3500

“This CD player is simply too cheap, a bargain that you should definitely audition, if in the market for a CD player. Some well-known and much more expensive players will disappoint in comparison. I wonder what the AT3500plus will do! I could live with this combination and a good set of speakers.”

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Music Emotion

Fedeltà del Suono

Fedeltà del Suono, December 2009
Reviewed by Andio Morotti
AT3500plus

“The Astin Trew [AT3500plus] worked well in all the systems I tried it in – the sound is balanced, very musical and is the very best you can expect in this price range…”

“Operated without upsampling, our Astin Trew was neutral, with perhaps a hint of warmth in the midrange that confers naturalness, while the bass is deep and authoritative; the high frequencies reveal every detail in a very pleasant way. In short, this player sounds like analogue and allows you to enjoy extended listening…”

“Musical details are numerous and very naturally presented. I would say that the naturalness, effortlessness and musicality are keystones to its sound – it is sure footed, does not strain in the slightest and is very transparent…”

“The fact is, if the AT3500plus was the reader’s CD player, even the analogue lovers amongst you may wish for a long life for the (CD) format. The AT3500plus proves that even a CD player for less than 2,000 Euros can offer you pleasant, relaxing, accurate and natural music. I do not think many audiophiles could wish for or want more at this reasonable price.”

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Fedeltà del Suono

Hi-Fi World

Hi-Fi World, December 2009
Written by David Price.
AT2000plus, AT3500plus & AT2000

hi-fi_world_dec_09_astin_trew‘The Astin Trew room was a particularly fine sounding one, showing Michael Osborn’s obvious system set up prowess.’

‘On dem was the latest AT2000plus integrated amplifier and AT3500plus CD player, while an AT2000 was given away in prize draw.’

‘Here, Michael (left) holds the hat while show promoter Justin Bird pulls out the name of the lucky winner (David Armitage from Northampton).’

Hi-Fi World

TNT-Audio

TNT-Audio, October 2009
Reviewed by Maarten van Casteren
AT2000plus

‘I love Astin Trew. I reviewed the At3500 CD player last year and liked it so much that I bought it. It has been my reference CD player since, and has already beaten quite a bit of competition, without too much effort… Astin Trew make more things than CD players though, so I was quite eager to find out about their amplifiers. Michael Osborn, ‘Mister Astin Trew’, kindly offered the At2000plus for review and I was more than happy to accept…’

‘…This is a wonderful amp, very versatile and easy to use with many practical features. The sound is smooth and refined, if a little bit soft. It has a very musical personality, with natural sound and great transparency. For the money this is a fantastic amp, very much in the tradition of the venerable At3500 CD player. Very highly recommended.’

See full review IT.

 

TNT-Audio

Hi-Fi World

Hi-Fi World, September 2009
Reviewed by Paul Rigby
AT3500plus & AT2000plus

‘…I swapped the AT3500plus with Naim’s CD5 to see how the balance might alter. It did, but not for the better – the CD5 added brute strength to the bass, but no finesse… You could almost imagine the AT3500plus running behind it with a large sack, collecting the broken detail pieces to use later… then the AT3500plus amplifier was replaced with the Naim NAC 112/NAP 150 pre/power duo. The broad frequency spectrum suddenly took a nose dive into a bucket of treacle… It was with a sense of relief when I switched the Astin amp back into its rightful place…’

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Hi-Fi World

Alta Fidelidad

Alta Fidelidad, July 2009
Reviewed by Miquel Riera
AT3500

‘La fuente de lectura digital que examinamos a continuación es una demostración de cómo aunar con acierto tecnología fiable y una concepción de corte clásico en un producto musical y asequible.’

‘En definitiva, es el ASTINtrew At 3500 una fuente digital que musicalmente forma parte de la “crème de la crème” de los productos de su clase y precio y que demuestra la validez de los planteamientos audiófilos adoptados con disciplina e inteligencia.’

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Alta Fidelidad

Hi-Fi nl

hifi.nl, March 2009
Reviewed by René van Es
AT2000

‘Destijds was ik erg te spreken over de prestatie die Astin Trew realiseerde met de At3500 cd-speler. De At2000 versterker laat zien, dat het merk toen geen uitschieter leverde, maar over de gehele linie kennelijk een prestatie weet neer te zetten. De At2000 kan ik vanaf nu rekenen tot mijn favorieten, als ik een versterker zou zoeken of aanbevelen rond de 2000 Euro. Dat de At2000 daar nog een geriefelijk stukje onder blijft in prijs, is mooi meegenomen.’

‘Als ik de platenspeler buiten beschouwing laat, luisterde ik naar een complete set die pakweg 5500 euro mag kosten, inclusief kabels en stands. Dat is nog steeds een prijskaartje waar velen meerdere keren bij slikken, maar ik garandeer u daarmee een brok muziekplezier, waar menigeen die meer heeft uitgegeven het nakijken heeft. Daarbij krijgt u een keur aan aansluitingen, opties voor multiroom, afstandbediening, fraaie afwerking enzovoort. Astin Trew is een sterke speler in de markt aan het worden. Wie in deze prijsklasse zoekt, mag de At2000 eenvoudig niet overslaan.’

See full review NL

 

Hi-Fi nl

fairaudio

fairaudio, January 2009
AT2000

‘Astin Trew’s AT2000 is musical, very honest, less an amp for audiophile bean counters and more the ticket for pleasure animals… stunningly coherent presentation and the realism of instruments and particularly vocals… a sonic character which squarely serves musical enjoyment. Very British!’

See full review DE
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fairaudio

Hi-Fi News

Hi-Fi News, Winter 2008
AT3500

hi-fi_news_yearbook_2008Hi-Fi News Yearbook 2008
Our AT3500 CD player has been awarded ‘ultimate hi-fi’ status by Hi-Fi News in their 2008 Yearbook, available now.

VERDICT
‘To hear this level of resolution and sure-footed musicality is just about unheard of at the price. As if the open, transparent sound of the AT3500 were not already making a good impression, it also proved well worth trying different grades of triode valve in its output stage.’

See full review

 

Hi-Fi News

hifi.nl

hifi.nl, November 2008
Reviewed by Marnix Bosman
AT1000, AT5000 & AT3000

‘…these are top class quality products; the sound is very good indeed. When you listen to these products, there can only be one conclusion: Astin Trew is a great new asset for the audio market.’

See full review NL

 

hifi.nl

hifi.nl

hifi.nl, June 2008
Reviewed by René van Es
AT3500

‘Ik houd van muziek. Ik houd van jazz, van pop, van klassiek, een beetje van opera. Ik houd ervan om meegevoerd te worden door de artiesten. In instrumentale delen, in zang, in ritme, in rust. Wat daar voor nodig is, is een set met een fraaie bron, een (h)eerlijke versterker en een paar luidsprekers met kwaliteit. Dan zak ik achterover en laat me gaan. Soms lukt dat goed, soms maar matig of niet. Eigenlijk zelden tijdens recenseren, omdat ik geacht word mij volledig te concentreren op het apparaat dat het onderwerp van de recensie is. Ik kan de Astin Trew nauwelijks beter beschrijven dan als een component die mij in de muziek trok, weghaalde van pen en papier.’

‘De speler boeit, geeft alles wat van cd verwacht mag worden. Zijn kwaliteiten overstijgen ruim de lichte tekortkomingen. Nobody is perfect, ook de AT3500 niet. De AT3500 komt wat mij betreft wel heel dicht in de buurt van het ideaal. Dicht genoeg om een ferme aanbeveling mee te krijgen. Uitgedrukt in korte kreten staat de AT3500 voor dynamiek, zuiverheid, rust in het digitale domein, kracht, overtuiging. De AT3500 weet de essentie van muziek op de luisteraar over te brengen. Hoe ik er verder over denk staat hierboven. U kunt dat ook laten voor wat het is en naar de winkel hollen om u daar lekker te laten verwennen door een Astin Trew AT3500 met bijvoorbeeld Maria Cecilia Bartoli in de lade.’

See full review

 

hifi.nl

hifi & records

hifi__records_editors_choice_2008

hifi & records, April 2008
AT3000

hifi & records Editor’s Choice 2008 award for Astin Trew’s AT3000 CD player

We are pleased to announce that our AT3000 CD player has been awarded hifi & records’ Editor’s Choice 2008 by editor Wilfried Kress.

Download certificate

 

hifi & records

TNT-Audio

TNT-Audio, March 2008
Reviewed by Maarten van Casteren
AT3500

‘The AT3500 is so smooth, articulate, warm and shamelessly musical that it is impossible not to become enthusiastic about it. The fact that none of these wonderful attributes come at a price makes it about as perfect as one could expect, given the asking price.’

‘This player represents brilliant value. Build quality is excellent and the sound is the best I’ve experienced at this price level. The fact that this has been achieved by a one man company is difficult to believe. This product shows that there’s still plenty of life in the British audio industry and also that two channel audio is not dead yet. If you are looking for a CD player up to about £1500 then this is a product you simply have to hear. I for one would be surprised if you didn’t end up buying it. I bought it, and that is the highest recommendation I can give.’

See full review GB
See full review IT

 

TNT-Audio

Audio

AUDIO, March 2008
Reviewed by Andreas Günther
AT3500

‘Drei Player im gemeinsamen Auftrag: der CD das Maximum entreißen. Jeder kann es, ohne Einschränkung. Doch der Astin Trew legt noch eine Qualitätsstufe drauf. Er hasst die Einzelmomente und gibt das Ganze – die großen dynamischen Bögen, den Sinn, die Emotion. Technische Tricks und Gehilfen hat er gar nicht nötig.’

AUDIO TEST SIEGER’Dynamisch, farbstark – ein perfekter Player mit Gespür für musikalische Zusammenhänge.’
Awarded five Ears by AUDIO magazine
fiveears

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Audio

Hi-Fi News

Hi-Fi News, February 2008
Reviewed by Andrew Harrison
AT3500
hi-finews_highly_commended
Hi-Fi News HIGHLY COMMENDED award’ A highly accomplished CD player regardless of budget, and all the more impressive given its £1,150 price, able to play music across any genre without fear or favour. It has a natural flow and great grasp of dynamics, well-timed bass without unnecessary added weight and classy, sweet treble that can beguile. A very easy player to recommend for its silky seductive sound quality.’

See full review GB

 

Hi-Fi News

fairaudio

fairaudio, December 2007
AT3500

‘Da gerade das Stichwort “Leben” fiel: Lebendigkeit, Spielfreude und zupackendes Temperament sind als Eigenschaften ohne Zweifel zu nennen, will man die klanglichen Grundwerte, auf denen das Konzept des Astin Trew AT3500 fußt, kurz und knapp zusammenfassen. Dabei ist der Engländer zusätzlich auch noch ein guter “Auflöser”. Es gibt sicherlich viele Hörer, die diese Kombination spannend finden. Wenn beim Probehören, je nach persönlichem Gusto, auch noch die etwas “eigen” geratene Bühnendarstellung ihren Segen findet – dann wird man mit dem Astin Trew AT3500 sicherlich auch zu Hause seine nachhaltige Freude haben …’

See full review DE
See full review GB

fairaudio

hi-fi+

hi-fi+, November 2007
Reviewed by Jimmy Hughes
AT3500

‘By now, it should be clear that I rate the AT3500 very highly indeed. Its combination of warmth and solidity with incisive detail and transparency offers tremendous musical insight, allowing it to stand aside from the performance, so that you concentrate on the players not the player. The only question remaining is whether those of you with an AT3000 should consider having your player upgraded to the AT3500 spec for the £650 this costs. I’d say it’s definitely worth doing, though (as always) try and get an A/B comparison before committing yourself. That way you’ll be absolutely sure of just how big the difference is. The AT3000 is an excellent player, but the AT3500 is at another level altogether.’

See full review

hi-fi+

Hi-Fi World

Hi-Fi World, November 2007
AT3500

‘If ever there was any doubt about this ‘Johnny Come Lately’ to the CD player market, it was assuaged after two bars of ‘Riders’ by The Doors. The Astin Trew threw out a massive soundstage, better than all others including the superb Cambridge, and (in the case of the latter) instead of hanging everything around the plane of the speakers, it was cavernous front to back, as well as left to right. The smiles didn’t end there either, as the AT3500 duly went through each other player’s strengths, delivering them a nonchalant cuffing. In some cases, it didn’t so much beat them, as whip them without breaking into a sweat.’
Awarded five Globes by Hi-Fi World magazine.
fourglobes

‘And the winner is… the Astin Trew AT3500. This surprised me frankly – although we all liked its cheaper AT3000 brother here at Hi-Fi World, it’s one thing doing a good £600 machine and another mixing it with this lot. In the AT3500, we have – basically – the best of all worlds. It has the width and sweetness of the Cambridge Audio, the depth of the Cyrus, the rhythmic drive of the Quad, and the wide shouldered bombast of the Marantz. The result is an extremely listenable bit of kit that has virtually no weak points and plenty of strengths. Whatever music you play on it is big hearted yet subtle and sweet too.’

Group test
Conclusion

Hi-Fi World

AUDIO

AUDIO, August 2007
Reviewed by Lothar Brandt
AT1000, AT3000 & AT5000

‘Astin Trew – das mag für deutsche Zungen schwer auszusprechen sein. Die player- & Vor/End-Kombi der Brit-Chinesen geht dafür umso leichter ins Ohr.’

Se full review DE

AUDIO

hifi & records

hifi & records, August 2007
Reviewed by Stefan Gawlick
AT3000

‘Der derzeit wohl heißeste CD-Player-Tipp in der Klasse bis 1,000 Euro: Astintrew AT 3000’

Se full review DE

hifi & records

Audio Tech, May 2007
AT3000

‘So why would you want to choose the AT3000? …it offers value for money, it is unabashedly a statement of quality and form; and design is also a major consideration. Would a sensible user worry much about whether this player compares more exceptionally than other products in the same price range… This writer’s answer is simple, the AT3000 offers high a standard of performance, there is no need to spend a lot more money, as one is able to enjoy the feel of live stage recitals from the luxury end of the market [with the AT3000], putting you into a life-like ambience with a rich complement of musical and instrumental sounds that can bring true pleasure.’

Se full review CH

Audio Tech

hi-fi+

hi-fi+, May 2007
Reviewed by Jimmy Hughes
AT3000

‘The AT3000 sounds impressively sharp and focused – it’s crisp and open; smooth and clean. It’s quite sweet, but does not produce the classic euphonic tube warmth. It’s a very lucid and detailed CD player – focused and crisp – not especially warm or rich in terms of tonal balance… even on bright recordings the treble is sharp and tactile, yet smooth and clean, with good definition and impressive dynamics.’

‘Essentially, it is a very honest, even-handed sonic presentation.’

‘The player’s bright airy treble and crisp lucid transient attack is matched by a clear strong bottom end. The bass is very clean and firm – impressively powerful and deep when the music demands muscle and weight.’

‘It combines excellent fine detail with impressive dynamics and realistic tonal qualities, sounding smooth and natural yet producing plenty of bite and attack when this is called for. The 24/96 option gives you the choice of two sonic presentations, one which should produce near ideal results depending on the music and recording, making this a superb player for the price.’

See full review

hi-fi+

Audio Tech, April 2007
AT1000 & AT5000

‘In conclusion, to reproduce the true dynamic elements of instruments and the intense passion of vocals, Astin Trew has faithfully created this AT series of products. Embodying British design quality, [the AT1000 / AT5000] is offered in a package that satisfies the connoisseur, but will not deter the budget-conscious. …offering a broad spatial depth and above-benchmark reproduction performance. The design philosophy is to render music reproduction with finesse and a realistic live stage ambience, and there is no skimping!’

‘When you listen to the AT1000 / AT5000 combination carefully and consider the sensible and reasonable prices for them, you can appreciate at first hand the true quintessence behind the design. When used as stand-alone units with other products, made by high-end manufacturers, they each maintain a superior reproduction performance, and can be widely acclaimed for this.’

See full review

Audio Tech

hi-fi+

hi-fi+, February 2007
Reviewed by Jimmy Hughes
AT1000 & AT5000

‘With the Astin Trew, first impressions were of a sharper more immediate presentation [than an all valve amplifier], with a brighter tonal balance and crisper attack. It sounded clean, lucid and detailed… The sound had energy and impact, yet still sounded smooth and integrated, I liked it… the sound was clean, open and impresively sharp and detailed… it always kept things under control… the bass sounded deep and clean, with plenty of power and drive… the combination is actually very neutral and truthful sounding… it’s certainly an amplifier I’d be happy to live with.’

See full review

hi-fi+