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Showing content with the highest reputation since 18/01/19 in Blog Entries

  1. 5 points
    Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019, Meeting my Motorsport Hero! Hi Everyone, I’m sure loads of you have attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the years, I actually went to the very first one way back in 1993, it was almost like a garden party back then, and I have been going on and off ever since and have seen it grow massively over the years and it is still an incredible event to attend. Now I wasn’t going to go this year but a couple of weeks ago I read that a particular car was going to be there, now I was sceptical if it would be the actual car as it was also supposed to be paraded before the start of Le Mans this year but that was actually a replica, I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to this particular car, but I really didn’t want to risk missing this car coming over to the UK, I was actually planning to go out to make the trip to see it is it’s normal museum residence in the states so this actually seemed to good to be true. But anyway I got there Friday morning at 7am and started my hunt, it isn’t easy trying to find one car amongst thousands at the biggest car gathering in the world, but after a couple of hours I saw those iconic Gulf Colours out the corner of my eye, I rushed over to the car and to my amazement it was the actual Ford GT40 Chassis Number P/1075, I actually really couldn’t believe that I was standing next to such an iconic car and it was just sitting there with no security and to be honest most people probably didn’t realise the significance of this particular GT40. I have seen it read many times that it is considered the most valuable race car in the world today and as I mentioned it normally resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit where I was planning to go to see it so I really never thought such a piece of history would be in the UK and be so accessible, I guess that is the power of Goodwood, So why is it so special? Well basically it is the only car to win Le Mans on 2 consecutive years of 1968 and 1969, I guess most car enthusiasts will know that Ford was in talks to buy Ferrari and when they fell through Henry Ford made it his mission to beat Ferrari at LeMans which he did for 4 consecutive years from 1966 to 1969 with the GT40, actually there is a big Hollywood film coming out later this year about this story, anyway not only is GT40 P/1075 remembered for it’s 2 wins it is also considered the winner for the greatest Le Mans race of all time in 1969 where is won by only 100 meters after 24 hours of racing, changing the lead 5 times on the last lap with the faster Porsche, you can view the video I took at Goodwood of Jackie Oliver discussing this incredible win below - Finally another iconic moment of the 1969 race was that Jacky Ickx made a protest about safety at the start of the race, this was when the drivers used to race across the track to their cars and speed off without doing up their belts til they got down the Mulsanne Straight to get a quick start, so Jacky walked slowly across the track, climbed in, did his belts up then left the grid in last place and as it happened there was a big crash on the first lap where John Wolf was killed as he hadn’t done up his belts to get a quick start, so in the end with Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver behind the wheel they fought their way from last to win with Ickx crossing the line by the smallest of margins after 24 hours, quite incredible. Anyway it was an amazing day and a real honour to see P/1075 up close and personal, I probably looked like some weird stalker as I spent all day admiring the car taking loads of video’s and pictures and I really struggled to leave at the end of the day as the chances are it may never come back to the UK again but at 8pm I dragged myself away. There are a few more video’s on our YouTube page below and probably far too many pictures below. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPJOUerA5TrUPs0HpWORopg?view_as=subscriber Jacky Oliver Re-United With P/1075 50 Years after it’s famous Le Mans win. Cheers, Paul.
  2. 1 point
    Unfortunately there are no pics as Photobucket appears to be down, there is a better formatted version on our website which you can access from the below link - http://bit.ly/2ShCxNs Hi Everyone, I love this time of year where we look back and I have to say that 2019 has been another brilliant year for HiFi, Music and Hifi Lounge in general, so before we get stuck in I’d like to firstly thanks all our customers throughout 2019, many new faces and many returning customer’s, this year has been another brilliant year for us but without our brilliant customer’s we are nothing so we’d like to send out a huge thanks to everyone who came in to see us. It still amazes me how busy we get but I love the fact we actually get people visiting us from all over the world, a big shout out to Paul and Sue from Aukland, NZ who popped in to say Hi during the summer, it really is much appreciated so thanks again everyone. 2019 Open Days I would argue that we have had our best selection of open days this year which have all been great fun and I look forward to continuing this with some more for next year, the first is already planned for February 15th, more news to follow, and our Boys Toys Go Karting Day was also great fun, even though I did get punted out of 2nd place on the first lap, it’s going to take a while for me to get over that I feel, so hopefully we will arrange a similar event next year as everyone was keen to have another go. New HiFi in 2019 I would say 2019 was a really good year for new HiFi but maybe a bit quieter than some previous years for new kit but there were standout products from Rega with their Planar 10 which has been a huge success for us and their new Aura phono stage and Aethos Amp which are both selling well, Rega really are on it at the moment, but we also had the new fact Signature Range of speakers from PMC, Wilson launched the incredible Chronosonic XVX speakers, if only I had a spare £350k, plus we’ve had the new Nait amps from Naim, the new Arcam AV Cinema range of amps plus Sonus Faber have just launched their stunning new Olympica Nova range and Bryston have just given us their new BDA-3.14 which I have to say is a brilliant piece of kit and Fyne Audio seem to be going from strength to strength with their new speakers so all in all it has been another stellar year for HiFi in general, long may it continue. HiFi Lounge Upgrades As well as new HiFi in 2019 we had 2 reasonably exciting things happen at HFL, firstly we finally launched our new website, anyone who has done this themselves will know how stressful it can be, it just takes so much time but in the end we couldn’t be happier with the end result, hopefully now it is even easier to find the info and products you are interested in. A much more important thing was that we finally took on our first member of staff, now I am a bit of a control freak so that was never going to be easy for me to work alongside someone but we are so excited to welcome Ady on board as he has fitted straight in, a lot of you will know him already as he has been helping out here at open days for years now, for me I didn’t want anyone from sales as that is not what we do here so Ady is perfect as he loves his HiFi and Music and that is all that matters really, the rest he will learn, it has certainly made things easier having him here. Music of 2019 Now I am the first to moan about the state of current music but I have to say that this year has been a real cracker with some great new music being released. The year started extremely well for me as I discovered Greta Van Fleet, basically a band comprising of 4 very young guys, 3 of them brothers, who play rock heavily inspired by bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Rush etc, what I love is the fact that they are playing this kind of rock but bringing it to a new generation, Wendy and myself went to see them at Rock City last month and they were incredible, they have a very bright future ahead of them that is for sure, if you like your Rock then check them out. For great albums released this year there are too many to list but for me the below are the standout albums of 2019. Rammstein – ‘Untitled’ – You can’t beat a bit of Rammstein, their new album which is their first new material for 10 years really didn’t disappoint, it is worth the asking price alone for the track called ‘Puppe’ which is an instant classic, if you haven’t heard it yet check it out on Tidal, you can’t help but love it, we saw them live during the summer + we are going to see them twice more next year, can’t wait. Bruce Springsteen – ‘Western Stars’ – Now I am a huge Bruce fan as many of you will know but I would say this is the best album he has released in many, many years, even if you are not a Bruce fan you should listen to this as it is very different to his past work, and if you have this album make sure to check out the Film Soundtrack version as it is arguably better as it is recorded live with an orchestra which gives a much more dynamic sound, highly recommended. Lana Del Ray – ‘Norman F———G Rockwell’ – I love Lana Del Ray, I have bought every album over the years but when I listened to this new one for the first time I thought it is just another very similar LDR album but how wrong I was, after a few listens it really came into its own and I would now say this is her best album to date, by some margin, so please give it a few listens and hopefully you’ll feel the same. James Blunt – ‘Once Upon A Mind’ – As I have got older I have really got into James Blunt but there is one stand out song on this album you must listen to, ‘Monsters’, I was driving home one day and was listening the album for the first time and half way through this song I started to cry, I had no idea why, so I played it again and listened to the lyrics and yet again I got all emotional, it is probably the most powerful song I have ever heard so please give it a listen, it is very moving, make sure you have your hanky ready. David Bowie – ‘Conversation Piece’ – I nearly missed this album but a customer put me onto it and thank god he did as it is superb, basically it is a boxset based around Bowie’s 2nd album ‘Space Oddity’ but the standout piece is that Tony Visconti has gone back and remastered it as he says when they did it originally they only had a couple of weeks to put it to bed so to go back and spend as much time as needed to give us the release it should have been is incredible, it really does sound amazing, for me this is how all albums should be re-done, not just a remaster but almost a total re-recording, a bit like Giles Martin is doing with The Beatles at the moment, again the release of Gile’s remaster Abbey Road this year was another highlight. Album of The Year 2019 This was actually really easy this year and it has to go to Nick Cave’s ‘Ghosteen’ I really have never heard an album like this before, obviously it was born out of sadness for the passing go his Son but as well as being melancholy, dark and emotional it is also uplifting and inspirational at the same time, Nick Cave never makes a bad album in my view but this transcends everything he has done before, it truly is a special album, a unique offering that can pick you up and take you somewhere that only music can, an incredible album so please do give it a listen or 2 over Christmas. An Interesting Read Finally one other quick thing a customer put me onto, thanks Dave, is a book called ‘The Memoirs Of Billy Shears’ now I don’t read books but this sounded like such an interesting story that I bought a copy and haven’t put it down since, in a nutshell basically Paul McCartney died in a car accident in 1965 and Billy Shears took his place, I know it sounds pretty far fetched but there is so much evidence out there to support this that many people now consider this to the truth, in fact the remaining Beatles apparently left clues on album covers and in their lyrics which this book unveils, I know it blew my mind when I first heard this conspiracy but if you have a mind like mine then I would highly recommend picking up a copy as it makes fascinating reading. HFL MotorSport in 2019 A lot of people ask how our racing is going so I just wanted to do a quick recap on our Motor Racing exploits in the Radical SR1 Cup during 2019, basically I was much quicker over 1 lap than in 2018 but my race pace still is not the best but over the last 3 race weekends I qualified much higher up the grid only to get taken out of the races but over opportunist moves by the guys around me which has left me with unfinished business for 2020, I’m not sure if I will do a full season next year due to the costs involved but am certainly keen to do a few races and I may enter a Go Karting Championship at Rye House as I really enjoyed Karting again for our BTD but I’d like to thanks all our Sponsors again for their support in 2019. So finally to wrap up, I knew I would end up babbling on once I started, again we’d like to thank you for all your support throughout 2019 and we look forward to doing it all again next year, I also just want to mention that you can keep up with all our goings on through Social Media, you can actually see our Instagram posts from our Homepage below which I update regularly – https://hifilounge.co.uk/instagram/ Wishing you all a Great Christmas and Healthy and Prosperous 2020. Best Wishes, Paul & Wendy.
  3. 1 point
    Hi There, Just a quick blog of an install I did yesterday with some of our favourite brands, could almost be a copy of the system I have run at home for years comprising of Arcam for cinema, Bryston for power, source and pre-amp and PMC with the awesome Fact.12 Signatures. The beauty of this system is that we used Unity Gain on the Bryston BP173 so the customer can have a really nice cinema setup then switch to 2 channel for his music with no compromise and I have to say that it works a treat, we were hoping to install the new Arcam AV40 Processor and PA720 amplifier at the same time but they didn’t quite make it to us in time so they will be going in shortly. It goes without saying what great synergy there is with PMC and Bryston and for the beady eyed amongst you may notice the new Bryston BDA-3.14 DAC/Streamer/Pre-amp, this was the first installed in the UK, only arriving fresh from Canada on Thursday, even though our demo one arrived at the same time I haven’t had time to play with it yet but it installed pretty smoothly and sounded great out the box, I have to say this seems like an incredibly well priced piece of kit at £4000, especially being a Roon endpoint also. And finally it is all sitting beautifully on a Quadraspire Bamboo SV2T rack that went together easily and looks epic in the customers room. So to sum up please see a list below of what we installed - PMC Fact.12 Signature Speakers Bryston BDA 3.14 DAC/Streamer/Pre Bryston BP173 Pre-Amp Bryston 7B3 Mono Blocks Quadraspire SV2T Rack Coming Soon to finish off the system - Arcam AV40 Processor Arcam PA720 7 Channel Amplifier Already owned - Michell Engineering SE-R (one of only a few out there) Kiseki Blue MC Cartridge Whest Three Phono Stage OPPO UHD-203 Very Nice Indeed Please find some pictures and links below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/pmc-speakers/fact/ https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/bryston/ https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/quadraspire/ From This - To This - Cheers, Paul.
  4. 1 point
    Here are a few pics from our Radical SR1 race weekend at Snetterton a couple of weekends ago. It wasn't my best race weekend as the weather really threw up a few challenges and I just don't have the confidence in the wet but it is always great fun to drive the SR1 and we survived unscathed which was more than can be said for some. Cheers, Paul.
  5. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, The races are coming thick and fast this year as we were at Brands Hatch this past weekend for race 5 & 6 on our calendar, unbelievably we are now half way through the season, I was really looking forward to racing at Brands again as I really enjoyed it last year but the weather really had different ideas. In all honesty I much prefer dry conditions, especially at Brands as it is a track that really rewards a little attack but for the Friday test it was pretty much wet all day, we woke up Saturday morning to more rain and a drying qualifying session that got quicker with every lap which made it tricky to know how much grip there was but the weather looked promising for both races. Race 1 So for race 1 we are all in the assembly area where we gather 20 minutes before race start, all on dry tyres but in the distance we could all see this very dark and menacing cloud getting closer and closer and then with only a few minutes to go the heavens opened as everyone was running around swapping the tyres over from dry’s to wets, it was all a little chaotic but I have to say a big thanks to the team who did a stellar job getting the car ready under pressure for the race start. I must admit at the start of race 1 I really had no confidence, I actually think I drive my van quicker in the wet, but anyway at least I survived with a top 10 finish which when the conditions are like this then I’ll take that, below is the first lap of race 1 where you’ll see 2 cars spin off then another hits the pit wall at the end of the lap, all very entertaining Race 2 For race 2 it was almost DeJa Vu as the track had dried out between races and what looked like the same cloud was hovering again in the same place but luckily the wind changed direction and the race stayed mainly dry, I was a bit hesitant at the start and got overtaken by a couple of cars then 2 cars went off into the barriers at Paddock Hill bend so we spent quite a bit of time behind the safety car then I had a great race with one of my competitors, I knew I was quicker but I just couldn’t find a way past but in the end with 2 laps to go I found an opening, overtook and pulled away but before I knew it the race was over, another top 10 finish though so could have been worse. Have to say it was a brilliant weekend though where we had every condition to deal with in true British summertime fashion and it ended up being a lot of fun and the car stayed in one piece which was quite an achievement in my book. Snetterton next at the end of July, I really hope this is a dry one and that I can attack more as I am a fair bit quicker this year so really want to race with the mid pack more as I have been racing more this year and it really has wetted my appetite for more. Anyway please find a few pics below, thanks as ever to Ollie for taking some brilliant pictures and to the guys from 360 Racing for their support and our great HiFi Sponsors Cheers, Paul.
  6. 1 point
    Cadwell Park Race Weekend Report! Hi Everyone, This is just a quick one as I wanted to share my quickest lap from last weekend as I feel that I probably did my best lap yet in our Radical SR1, it is a slow process getting on top of these cars but everytime we go out we get a little bit faster which I guess is all I can ask for. My problem is that I love chasing lap time and here I can find reasonable speed now but I go slower in the races for some reason, not ideal I know so just need to treat the races like qualifying. This past weekend at Cadwell Park went pretty well, closed the gap to the front guys again, have to say that I absolutely love cadwell Park, probably my favourite track of the year, it is a stunning location and the track really is quite technical and challenging but it definitely rewards an attacking driver and getting air at the mountain is definitely a unique experience which keep you awake. So I went 4 seconds quicker than when I was Cadwell last year, I put it down to my new helmet design, if I knew it was going to make that much difference I would have done it earlier I was concentrating on carrying more speed into the corners which I am getting the hang of now, for once the below lap actually looks reasonably fast whereas last year they looked pretty pedestrian. I was mortified when I got home to watch my lap and find that the file was corrupted somehow but luckily I found some guys in California who somehow un-corrupted the file for me which was a huge relief, thanks guys. So anyway here is the lap, for me it is worth watching just for how beautiful the track is - Next Stop Brand Hatch in a couple of weeks Cheers, Paul.
  7. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, I just thought I would do a quick blog to say that I have a traded in pair of the Wilson Audio Sabrina Speakers, these really are one of my favourite speakers. These are a customer trade in who has upgraded to Wilson Sasha DAW’s, they are in black, as new condition and boxed with all the accessories. New Price - £18,998 Our Price - £13,998 If you’d like a listen anytime please feel free to get in touch. http://hifilounge.co.uk/wilson-audio-sabrina-loudspeakers Below are a couple of pictures when in use at the customer’s house before we swapped them for the DAW’s. Cheers, Paul
  8. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, Some more Munich news, this is quite a big one as I use Fact.12′s at home at the moment so the news of a new and improved Signature version is great news. The Signature applies to both the Fact.8 and Fact.12, both have been extremely popular speakers over the years so the fact they have been given a re-fresh can only be good news. From what I can gather PMC learnt so much from developing the epic Fenestria, especially the crossover, that they have now passed that down to the Fact.8 and Fact.12 to give a more open and insightful sound whilst reatinging their sheer musicality. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Fact.8 as it is quite unique in its presentation, extremely quick, open and resolved so I can’t wait to hear the new Signature version, we’ll have these on demo shortly. They are available in White Silk or Metallic Graphite which sounds quite interesting but I have to say that I think they look really cool in white so I may order a white pair for demo. The good news is that the prices are staying the same, so £6995 for the Fact.8 and £14,495 for the Fact.12. Please find a few pictures below and if you’d like to book a demo anytime please feel free to get in touch. PMC Fact.8 Signature PMC Fact.12 Signature Cheers, Paul.


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