2017 Sound and Vision - The Bristol Show - 30th Anniversary
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A fantastic, British-designed music system forming the audio centrepiece of any home

Our rating

five stars out of five

Where to buy

You can buy the Ruark R7 MKII (Mark 2) from Amazon in a walnut real wood finish. They also have it in black and white finishes.Alternatively, you can buy from John Lewis in the walnut finish, and as a package with the AV mount, or buy the AV mount separately, if you already have the R7.

Ruark R7 high fidelity radiogram in walnut finish
Ruark R7 Mark 2 radiogram review

27th February 2017

Now in its second revision, the R7 is as much a finely-crafted piece of furniture as an all-encompassing music system. With an optional AV mount, the R7 can become the centrepiece of your home entertainment system.

A one-off edition R7 with a polished concrete finish formed the centrepiece of Ruark's display at The Bristol Show. Resplendent with its removable, tactile remote control, the R7 packs quite a punch, even over the hubbub of the Show’s bustling terrace. With two downward-firing bass ports hidden underneath the sturdy unit, hiding an eight-inch long-throw subwoofer inside, the R7 looks every part a fine piece of craftsmanship, packed with a multitude of sonic features above its slender laquered legs, behind stereo speaker grilles and accessed by a tactile RF RotoDial removable remote control held in a scalloped aluminium dish.

The R7 is feature-laden with internet radio capabilities, a slot-loading CD player, DAB, DAB+ and FM tuners for maximum futureproofing (with separate aerial inputs for the digital and analogue tuners). Ruark are working on an update for the R7 to access the BBC's high-quality audio streams through the built-in internet receiver, but for the moment there's always the DAB and FM tuners as alternative and easier ways to listen to live radio.

The R7 supports the newer Bluetooth aptx profile, found on some higher end audio devices and 'phones, to enable you to stream high quality audio wirelessly between the device and the R7. Don't have aptx? No problem, the R7 also handles standard Bluetooth audio, which is handy if you just want to quickly hook up a feature 'phone to the system.

You can adjust treble and bass settings through the menu to tweak the R7's sound to your liking, plus there's a 3D sound setting for a more expansive audio experience, with an impressive 160 Watts (total RMS) on tap. Situated next to a bustling mezzanine atmosphere at The Bristol Show, the R7 can go loud enough to be heard above the party. You don't even have to point the remote control at the main unit to change the volume, since it works on radiofreqeuncy signals, not infrared.

There are ample rear panel connections on the Ruark R7 Mark II - twin gold-plated RCA phono inputs sockets for plugging in a CD player and turntable phono pre-amp, for example, together with a USB port for charging a 'phone, and external aerial connectors for both DAB and FM. There are also optical and coaxial digital inputs - handy for connecting the sound from your TV to the R7. On the front, there's a useful 3.5mm headphone socket.
Ruark R7 Mark II rear panel connections
Rear panel connections on the Ruark R7 Mark II

The R7's beautiful build quality, long-throw active subwoofer, together with separate woofer and tweeter drivers, working alongside the Class A-B amplifiers in a wide and deep enclosure of the walnut-clad unit, means that you'll still get a wonderful and involving sound through the radiogram.

Build quality is exceptional, with the R7 available in a variety of finishes - soft (i.e. satin) black, soft white and real walnut. With its aluminium fascia and rear panel, the R7 is robust. It also has a large fluorescent display, which can be seen from some distance away.

With the surface of the R7 650mm above the floor, the R7 is about the right viewing height for a 42 inch screen placed on the optional AV mount. The R7 is 1metre wide and 400mm deep. The radiogram is a reassuringly sturdy 30kg.

At £2000, the R7 isn't cheap, but its combination of considered design using contemporary materials, optional AV mount to add TV and DVD units, and impressive amplification means that the radiogram becomes a one-unit audio solution for your home.

Check out the left-hand column for where to buy the Ruark R7 Mark 2 edition online, or scroll down to see more photos of the R7 - including that one-off polished concrete edition.
Ruark R7 MK II radiogram music system in one-off polished concrete finish - front fascia
Ruark R7 Mark II radiogram music system in one-off polished concrete finish - front fascia
Popout remote of the R7
Ruark R7 Mark II popout RotoDial remote control
Ruark one-off polished concrete edition R7 radiogram
Ruark R7 Mark 2 in a one-off polished concrete finish - not available to buy
Ruark R7
Ruark R7 Mark II in a real walnut finish
Ruark R7 RotoDial
Ruark R7 RotoDial
Ruark R7 display
Ruark R7 speaker grilles, fascia, slot-loading CD player and display
Ruark R7 bass ports
Ruark R7 ported enclosure for active subwoofer

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