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Vipers

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Everything posted by Vipers

  1. Hi Mark,

    Hope you don't mind me getting in touch direct, As a fellow Esprit owner I just wanted to say top job, your car looks stunning, it was just a quickie, I asked this question in your post on Saturday but I guess you haven't seen it yet, I was wondering if you don't mind divulging who did your garage and a rough idea of cost please as I have just ordered my dream car and in my head I wanted to build a showroom in my garden to put it in so I could see it everyday rather than locking it away in a garage, when I saw your pics on Instagram it was exactly what I had in mind.

    Enjoy driving the Esprit.

    Cheers,

    Paul.

    1. Vipers

      Vipers

      Thanks Mark, appreciate the reply, I'll give Gary a call, roughly how much would you say it cost as I have no idea what to budget?

      Cheers,

      Paul.

    2. Suddabym

      Suddabym

      Including doors, but excluding all the paint work (which I did) - £35k 😯

    3. Vipers

      Vipers

      Worth every penny 👍 Thanks Mark.

    4. Show next comments  12 more
  2. Hey Mark, I saw the pic of your awesome car on Instagram yesterday but in all honesty I am equally as interested in your garage as I have just ordered my dream car and am looking to build a shrine in my garden to it as it isn't road legal, sad I know, and what you have done is exactly what I have in mind, when I saw your garage on instagram it really was a eureka moment, I'm just up the road in Bedfordshire, would it be possible to let me know who did the work please? really sorry if you have already mentioned it, and a rough idea of cost, please feel free to PM me so as not to hijack your post, awesome job on the car and its home though, epic
  3. New Audio Research Reference 6SE Preamp + 160S Power Amp Now on Demo! Hi Everyone, So I guess I've had worse days at work as I have just unboxed and setup the brand new Audio Research Reference 6SE Preamplifier and Reference 160S Stereo Power Amplifier and it is certainly sounding pretty sweet straight out of the box. For me the Reference 6 is one of the best Pre's in the world so that fact Audio Research have improved upon it with the new SE couldn't have been easy but I am certainly looking forward to hearing where the improvements are. As for the 160s, this is the stereo version of the 160 Mono's and it is certainly a big amp but then fitting the 2 x 160 Mono's into one chassis was certainly never going to be easy but the end result is stunning in looks as well as sound, I have set it up with our demo Reference CD9SE and it really is singing on our Wilson Audio Sasha DAW's, anyway here are a few pictures but if you'd like to come in for a listen anytime please feel free, below is a link to Audio Research Reference products on our site. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/audio-research/reference-series/ Reference 6SE Preamp! Reference 160S Power Amp! We Also have the Audio Research 160m Mono's if you'd like to compare! Cheers, Paul.
  4. Hi Everyone, So I guess I've had worse days at work as I have just unboxed and setup the brand new Audio Research Reference 6SE Preamplifier and Reference 160S Stereo Power Amplifier and it is certainly sounding pretty sweet straight out of the box. For me the Reference 6 is one of the best Pre's in the world so that fact Audio Research have improved upon it with the new SE couldn't have been easy but I am certainly looking forward to hearing where the improvements are. As for the 160s, this is the stereo version of the 160 Mono's and it is certainly a big amp but then fitting the 2 x 160 Mono's into one chassis was certainly never going to be easy but the end result is stunning in looks as well as sound, I have set it up with our demo Reference CD9SE and it really is singing on our Wilson Audio Sasha DAW's, anyway here are a few pictures but if you'd like to come in for a listen anytime please feel free, below is a link to Audio Research Reference products on our site. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/audio-research/reference-series/ Reference 6SE Preamp! Reference 160S Power Amp! We Also have the Audio Research 160m Mono's if you'd like to compare! Cheers, Paul.
  5. New Brand - Computer Audio Design - Ground Control to HiFi Lounge! Hi everyone, So late last year we added CAD or Computer Audio Design to give them their full name to our portfolio, now I am fully aware how important good quality mains is for a HiFi system but I must admit that I had never explored the area of grounding as having to stick earth spikes in your garden seems like a lot of hassle to be honest but at the Ascot show last year Nic Poulson of Trilogy and Isol-8 introduced me to the guys at CAD, as he himself is a big fan of their products, so I thought if Nic likes these then I must take a listen, now they do a High End DAC and Music Server but it was their grounding products that intrigued me the most. So we arranged a day where Scott and Isabel came over from CAD and we would have a play, first trying their Ground Control 1 on various equipment then me moved onto the Ground Control 3, so the million dollar question is what do these products actually do? well if I am 100% honest I don’t really know how they exactly work but I know that they definitely make a real difference. So at their most basic description they are passive boxes, so they don’t plug into the mains for their power, the GC1 as an example has 2 connections which you can connect to 2 components, you can try them on anything other than power amps, so as an example on a music server like our Melco had a real positive effect, also on phono stages, pre-amps, DAC’s etc, basically it is a bit of trial and error but generally they will make a difference on whatever they are connected to. So let’s try again, what do Ground Control boxes actually do? So from what I understand they convert negative energy and high frequencies in your system to heat which dissipates through the ground control boxes but I guess you really don’t need to know how they work other than they really do, for a more detailed description I would check out Jason Kennedy’s review on the Ear below as he makes a lot more sense of it than I can. http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/cad-gc-3-noise-reduction-system Ground Control 1 Below For our test day with CAD we used a pretty Highend system but the Grounding Boxes are just as effective on smaller systems, we started with trying the GC1 on our Melco which instantly made a difference, everything seemed to open up, then we put another GC1 on our dCS Rossini which again bought another improvement then finally we added the 2nd connection on the GC1 to the Rossini clock which again made a positive improvement but not as much as when going into the Rossini but for the cost of another cable it was a worthwhile step, by the time we finished we all agreed that the music became more fluid and rhythmic with a lower noise floor, greater dynamic and transient response but for me I just found myself tapping my foot more, everything just seems to move along faster and was more captivating and enjoyable. Talking of cables, basically a GC1 is £1995 with one cable and each additional cable is £300 but there are a large array of different cables so they will fit all types of products, eg RCA, XLR, Spade, USB + another aspect I should mention is that you can plug it directly into a mains socket which basically grounds your mains as far as I am aware and that also has proved to bring positive gains in performance. So to sum up If you love your music and you want to get the very best from your system then I strongly recommend that you borrow either the GC1 or CG3 from us to try at home to see how much better your system can sound with one installed, the problem is that I actually don’t think one will be enough hence why I bought 2 GC1’s for demo and a GC3’s as CAD tell us that a lot of their customers run multiple GC1’s or GC3’s once they have heard the benefit, a telling story is that at the Munich High End show last year when the Air Force Zero turntable was launched which cost £450,000 they used a GC1 to help maximise its performance which says it all to me. Anyway please find a link below to the range but any questions or to arrange a home demo please feel free to give me a ring. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/computer-audio-design/ It is fascinating this HiFi lark as just when you think you have experienced everything something new comes along which really can help get more from your system. Cheers, Paul. Ground Control 3 Below CAD Audio Transport + DAC Below!
  6. Hi everyone, So late last year we added CAD or Computer Audio Design to give them their full name to our portfolio, now I am fully aware how important good quality mains is for a HiFi system but I must admit that I had never explored the area of grounding as having to stick earth spikes in your garden seems like a lot of hassle to be honest but at the Ascot show last year Nic Poulson of Trilogy and Isol-8 introduced me to the guys at CAD, as he himself is a big fan of their products, so I thought if Nic likes these then I must take a listen, now they do a High End DAC and Music Server but it was their grounding products that intrigued me the most. So we arranged a day where Scott and Isabel came over from CAD and we would have a play, first trying their Ground Control 1 on various equipment then me moved onto the Ground Control 3, so the million dollar question is what do these products actually do? well if I am 100% honest I don’t really know how they exactly work but I know that they definitely make a real difference. So at their most basic description they are passive boxes, so they don’t plug into the mains for their power, the GC1 as an example has 2 connections which you can connect to 2 components, you can try them on anything other than power amps, so as an example on a music server like our Melco had a real positive effect, also on phono stages, pre-amps, DAC’s etc, basically it is a bit of trial and error but generally they will make a difference on whatever they are connected to. So let’s try again, what do Ground Control boxes actually do? So from what I understand they convert negative energy and high frequencies in your system to heat which dissipates through the ground control boxes but I guess you really don’t need to know how they work other than they really do, for a more detailed description I would check out Jason Kennedy’s review on the Ear below as he makes a lot more sense of it than I can. http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/cad-gc-3-noise-reduction-system Ground Control 1 Below For our test day with CAD we used a pretty Highend system but the Grounding Boxes are just as effective on smaller systems, we started with trying the GC1 on our Melco which instantly made a difference, everything seemed to open up, then we put another GC1 on our dCS Rossini which again bought another improvement then finally we added the 2nd connection on the GC1 to the Rossini clock which again made a positive improvement but not as much as when going into the Rossini but for the cost of another cable it was a worthwhile step, by the time we finished we all agreed that the music became more fluid and rhythmic with a lower noise floor, greater dynamic and transient response but for me I just found myself tapping my foot more, everything just seems to move along faster and was more captivating and enjoyable. Talking of cables, basically a GC1 is £1995 with one cable and each additional cable is £300 but there are a large array of different cables so they will fit all types of products, eg RCA, XLR, Spade, USB + another aspect I should mention is that you can plug it directly into a mains socket which basically grounds your mains as far as I am aware and that also has proved to bring positive gains in performance. So to sum up If you love your music and you want to get the very best from your system then I strongly recommend that you borrow either the GC1 or CG3 from us to try at home to see how much better your system can sound with one installed, the problem is that I actually don’t think one will be enough hence why I bought 2 GC1’s for demo and a GC3’s as CAD tell us that a lot of their customers run multiple GC1’s or GC3’s once they have heard the benefit, a telling story is that at the Munich High End show last year when the Air Force Zero turntable was launched which cost £450,000 they used a GC1 to help maximise its performance which says it all to me. Anyway please find a link below to the range but any questions or to arrange a home demo please feel free to give me a ring. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/computer-audio-design/ It is fascinating this HiFi lark as just when you think you have experienced everything something new comes along which really can help get more from your system. Cheers, Paul. Ground Control 3 Below CAD Audio Transport + DAC Below!
  7. iFi Audio Aurora Wireless Speaker Now On Demo, Something a Little Different! Hi Everyone, So here we go, the first new product on demo at HFL for 2020 and a new brand actually, now I must admit that I really do try hard to not bring on so many brands as I have in the past but when the iFi guys bought in the Aurora I was so impressed that I couldn't resist, firstly I love the styling, it really does bring something new to the Wireless / Bluetooth speaker category, admittedly it isn't going to be to everyone's taste but there is no denying that it makes a statement but mainly the main thing that impresses is the Aurora's sound quality. This is a product that you can tell has been designed with a lot of thought and care, firstly it performs in the analogue domain with no DSP applied, it has a 6N3P valve in the Preamp stage, it even scans your room when starting up to tune it to get the best sound possible and it has so many inputs that it can cater for the most demanding of listener, it even has a pair of RCA input so you can hook a turntable up to it, it supports all streaming features via an app and needless to say is BlueTooth also with a cutting edge Sabre DAC at the heart of it all, there is much more to this product than this but please see below for all the info but the long and short of it is that it gives a very analogue sound so if you fancy a listen anytime please pop in - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/ifi-audio/ Cheers, Paul.
  8. Hi Everyone, So here we go, the first new product on demo at HFL for 2020 and a new brand actually, now I must admit that I really do try hard to not bring on so many brands as I have in the past but when the iFi guys bought in the Aurora I was so impressed that I couldn't resist, firstly I love the styling, it really does bring something new to the Wireless / Bluetooth speaker category, admittedly it isn't going to be to everyone's taste but there is no denying that it makes a statement but mainly the main thing that impresses is the Aurora's sound quality. This is a product that you can tell has been designed with a lot of thought and care, firstly it performs in the analogue domain with no DSP applied, it has a 6N3P valve in the Preamp stage, it even scans your room when starting up to tune it to get the best sound possible and it has so many inputs that it can cater for the most demanding of listener, it even has a pair of RCA input so you can hook a turntable up to it, it supports all streaming features via an app and needless to say is BlueTooth also with a cutting edge Sabre DAC at the heart of it all, there is much more to this product than this but please see below for all the info but the long and short of it is that it gives a very analogue sound so if you fancy a listen anytime please pop in - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/ifi-audio/ Cheers, Paul.
  9. Install Bog, PMC Speakers + Wilson Audio! Hi There, Belated Happy New Year, I have a feeling this year is going to be a great year for Hifi. It has certainly started well so I thought I would share a couple of speaker installs from the last couple of weeks, neither of them on the small side. PMC MB2 SE Install So this was a nice local one in Devon, so around a 6 hour drive, install, quick bite of lunch then turn round and come home, all in a day’s work, albeit a long one The customer already had PMC MB2i’s so it was just a matter of a quick swap over to the new MB2 SE’s, have to say they sounded incredible straight out the box – The below Cherry MB2i’s are available for £10,000 if anyone is interested, boxed in as new condition, an incredible speaker for this price, just get in touch if of interest. Out with the Old And in With The New! Wilson Audio Alexia 2 Install! This was a nice install just before Christmas of the awesome Wilson Audio Alexia 2 speakers, we will be going back soon to spike them and try some different amplification, sounds awesome as it is now to be fair. Let’s see what the rest of the year has in stall for us all, All the best for a great 2020 Cheers, Paul.
  10. Hi There, Unfortunately it looks like my old photo sharing website, Photobucket, has gone down so for the time being all my previous posts are pictureless, anyway onto this post with a new picture sharing client. Belated Happy New Year, I have a feeling this year is going to be a great year for Hifi. It has certainly started well so I thought I would share a couple of speaker installs from the last couple of weeks, neither of them on the small side. PMC MB2 SE Install So this was a nice local one in Devon, so around a 6 hour drive, install, quick bite of lunch then turn round and come home, all in a day’s work, albeit a long one The customer already had PMC MB2i’s so it was just a matter of a quick swap over to the new MB2 SE’s, have to say they sounded incredible straight out the box – The below Cherry MB2i’s are available for £10,000 if anyone is interested, boxed in as new condition, an incredible speaker for this price, just get in touch if of interest. Out with the Old And in With The New! Wilson Audio Alexia 2 Install! This was a nice install just before Christmas of the awesome Wilson Audio Alexia 2 speakers, we will be going back soon to spike them and try some different amplification, sounds awesome as it is now to be fair. Let’s see what the rest of the year has in stall for us all, All the best for a great 2020 Cheers, Paul.
  11. About time I made it along to one of the meets so count me in Chris Vipers - 3-Eleven 430
  12. Excellent, Well Done Mate, can be tough going but it really is something quite special
  13. 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.
  14. A Look Back at 2019, Another Great Year! 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.
  15. New Bryston BDA-3.14 Now On Demo and It’s Superb! Hi All, I just wanted to say that we now have the new Bryston BDA-3.14 now on permanent demo and it really is a brilliant bit of kit, every now and again a HiFi company brings out a real gem, something that deserves to be a big success and I would say after a few days playing with the BDA 3.14 that this is a real killer product from Bryston. I have been a Bryston user probably for around 10 years+ now, I still run 7B3 mono’s at home and have had various Bryston Preamps, Dac’s and Streamers over that time so when I heard of the BDA 3.14 I didn’t hesitate to order one to put on demo as it sounded like an intriguing product. So our demo model arrived on Thursday and I took it home over the weekend to play with and it really didn’t disappoint, if anything it far exceeded my expectations, now it is easy in this game to get flippant about how much kit costs but to me at £4000 this seems like a genuine bargain as in it’s loosest terms it is a very high performing DAC, a Streamer, a Digital preamp and a Roon Endpoint but in reality it is much more than that thanks to it’s support of Tidal, Qobuz, Internet Radio and with HDMI inputs for SACD Playback it really does stand it part from a lot of other DAC’s on the market. The beauty of this product is it’s simplicity, all you need is a power amp and a pair of speakers, needless to say a Bryston 2.5B3 or 4B3 would be ideal, and you are up and running, at home I just run a couple of XLR’s into my 7B’s and I was listening to music in no time at all and it really did sound excellent, to start with I controlled it with the BDA’s own on board software then I set it up as a Roon endpoint and then it came into it’s own, as for anyone who has used Roon will know it is the interface to end all interfaces and the hours just flew by as I spent the evening putting it through it’s paces, amongst other songs I listened to Nick Caves Ghosteen in it’s entirety and got totally swept away by it, totally captivating, now I know the whole system plays it part but the source is where it all starts and is incredibly important and the BDA-3.14 really did shine. So to sum up, this is a great bit of kit, you don’t need to be a Bryston fan to appreciate how good this is, I can’t think of anything that is as complete a package as this at this price point, to me I look at it as a cheaper version of the dCS Rossini as they do similar jobs but that costs £18,000. Anyway if you feel this is something that may appeal to you feel free to get in touch to give it a try, I guess I need to take it out of my rig at home and bring it back to the shop, bugger. Please find more information below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/bryston/digital-audio/ Cheers, Paul.
  16. Hi All, I just wanted to say that we now have the new Bryston BDA-3.14 now on permanent demo and it really is a brilliant bit of kit, every now and again a HiFi company brings out a real gem, something that deserves to be a big success and I would say after a few days playing with the BDA 3.14 that this is a real killer product from Bryston. I have been a Bryston user probably for around 10 years+ now, I still run 7B3 mono’s at home and have had various Bryston Preamps, Dac’s and Streamers over that time so when I heard of the BDA 3.14 I didn’t hesitate to order one to put on demo as it sounded like an intriguing product. So our demo model arrived on Thursday and I took it home over the weekend to play with and it really didn’t disappoint, if anything it far exceeded my expectations, now it is easy in this game to get flippant about how much kit costs but to me at £4000 this seems like a genuine bargain as in it’s loosest terms it is a very high performing DAC, a Streamer, a Digital preamp and a Roon Endpoint but in reality it is much more than that thanks to it’s support of Tidal, Qobuz, Internet Radio and with HDMI inputs for SACD Playback it really does stand it part from a lot of other DAC’s on the market. The beauty of this product is it’s simplicity, all you need is a power amp and a pair of speakers, needless to say a Bryston 2.5B3 or 4B3 would be ideal, and you are up and running, at home I just run a couple of XLR’s into my 7B’s and I was listening to music in no time at all and it really did sound excellent, to start with I controlled it with the BDA’s own on board software then I set it up as a Roon endpoint and then it came into it’s own, as for anyone who has used Roon will know it is the interface to end all interfaces and the hours just flew by as I spent the evening putting it through it’s paces, amongst other songs I listened to Nick Caves Ghosteen in it’s entirety and got totally swept away by it, totally captivating, now I know the whole system plays it part but the source is where it all starts and is incredibly important and the BDA-3.14 really did shine. So to sum up, this is a great bit of kit, you don’t need to be a Bryston fan to appreciate how good this is, I can’t think of anything that is as complete a package as this at this price point, to me I look at it as a cheaper version of the dCS Rossini as they do similar jobs but that costs £18,000. Anyway if you feel this is something that may appeal to you feel free to get in touch to give it a try, I guess I need to take it out of my rig at home and bring it back to the shop, bugger. Please find more information below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/bryston/digital-audio/ Cheers, Paul.
  17. Install Blog PMC / Bryston / Quadraspire! 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Yep that is me, not really had much time to drive it this year unfortunately but plan on taking it for some good trips next year, LeMan etc
  20. New Sonus Faber Olympica Nova Range of Speakers Now on Demo! Hi Everyone, I've said this before and I'll probably being saying it until the day I retire but no one makes speakers like Sonus Faber, they really are a work of art and with the new Olympica Nova range they have taken it to another level at this price point, they really are quite stunning. It amazes me that with every new generation they manage to make them more and more beautiful, the Olympica range is by far our most popular speaker range from Sonus Faber and the new Nova lineup is certain to continue that, Sonus Faber really do appreciate that speakers are a bit of furniture in your room and they really do go the extra mile to make something that is stunning to look at, so will blend into most people living spaces, but they also create a speaker that is captivating to listen to giving a very organic and natural presentation. With the new Nova range they have expanded the line up a fair bit to 1 standmount, 4 floorstanders, 2 center speakers and a wall mount option so that you can create an awesome cinema setup. They are available in Walnut and the new Wenge finish which I have to say is my favourite, we have the Olympica Nova II on demo at the moment with the I & III to follow very shortly so please feel free to get in touch to arrange a demo anytime, please see the full range below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/sonus-faber/olympica-nova-collection/ Cheers, Paul.
  21. Hi Everyone, I've said this before and I'll probably being saying it until the day I retire but no one makes speakers like Sonus Faber, they really are a work of art and with the new Olympica Nova range they have taken it to another level at this price point, they really are quite stunning. It amazes me that with every new generation they manage to make them more and more beautiful, the Olympica range is by far our most popular speaker range from Sonus Faber and the new Nova lineup is certain to continue that, Sonus Faber really do appreciate that speakers are a bit of furniture in your room and they really do go the extra mile to make something that is stunning to look at, so will blend into most people living spaces, but they also create a speaker that is captivating to listen to giving a very organic and natural presentation. With the new Nova range they have expanded the line up a fair bit to 1 standmount, 4 floorstanders, 2 center speakers and a wall mount option so that you can create an awesome cinema setup. They are available in Walnut and the new Wenge finish which I have to say is my favourite, we have the Olympica Nova II on demo at the moment with the I & III to follow very shortly so please feel free to get in touch to arrange a demo anytime, please see the full range below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/sonus-faber/olympica-nova-collection/ Cheers, Paul.
  22. All Set For Our Rega Vinyl Open Day Tomorrow! Hi Everyone, After a busy day setting up it is now time to quickly post this and sit back and test the various systems in preparation for tomorrow's Rega Vinyl open day, it's a tough job but someone has got to do it. We will have 4 rooms running + Chris on hand selling his records so please feel free to come along and feel free to bring any vinyl you'd like to hear. Please find a few pics below of the various setups, in all of them the speakers are a fair bit more expensive than the amps driving them but it seems to really work. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Regards, Paul.
  23. Hi Everyone, After a busy day setting up it is now time to quickly post this and sit back and test the various systems in preparation for tomorrow's Rega Vinyl open day, it's a tough job but someone has got to do it. We will have 4 rooms running + Chris on hand selling his records so please feel free to come along and feel free to bring any vinyl you'd like to hear. Please find a few pics below of the various setups, in all of them the speakers are a fair bit more expensive than the amps driving them but it seems to really work. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Regards, Paul.
  24. New Arcam HDA Cinema Range of Receivers and Processor's Now On Demo! Hi Everyone, This is a real quick one to say that Arcam's new range of HDA Cinema Receivers and Processor's has now started to trickle through, at the moment we have just taken delivery of our demo AVR10 and AVR30 Receivers with the AVR20 and AV40 processor to follow shortly then next month we will see the new 2, 4 and 7 channel amplifiers, personally I am really pleased to see the return of Arcam's 7 channel one box amplifier which should make an awesome partner for the new AV40 processor making a pretty potent 2 box system. I have said this many times before but I firmly believe that when it comes to cinema equipment for home then Arcam is impossible to beat at these prices and I am sure this will continue with the new range, it has probably been around 4-5 years since Arcam's last range so I look forward to getting to know this new range, we've already got a couple of demo's booked in our Atmos demo room. I must say when I saw the photos of the new range I really wasn't sure on the new styling but once you see them in the flesh they look really classy and solid and I love the new screen. Anyway if you are in the market for a cinema upgrade please don't hesitate to get in touch as it is always fun getting our cinema up and running and I look forward to announcing a cinema open day early next year to preview the new range. Please see the full range below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/arcam/arcam-hda-range/ Cheers, Paul
  25. Hi Everyone, This is a real quick one to say that Arcam's new range of HDA Cinema Receivers and Processor's has now started to trickle through, at the moment we have just taken delivery of our demo AVR10 and AVR30 Receivers with the AVR20 and AV40 processor to follow shortly then next month we will see the new 2, 4 and 7 channel amplifiers, personally I am really pleased to see the return of Arcam's 7 channel one box amplifier which should make an awesome partner for the new AV40 processor making a pretty potent 2 box system. I have said this many times before but I firmly believe that when it comes to cinema equipment for home then Arcam is impossible to beat at these prices and I am sure this will continue with the new range, it has probably been around 4-5 years since Arcam's last range so I look forward to getting to know this new range, we've already got a couple of demo's booked in our Atmos demo room. I must say when I saw the photos of the new range I really wasn't sure on the new styling but once you see them in the flesh they look really classy and solid and I love the new screen. Anyway if you are in the market for a cinema upgrade please don't hesitate to get in touch as it is always fun getting our cinema up and running and I look forward to announcing a cinema open day early next year to preview the new range. Please see the full range below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/arcam/arcam-hda-range/ Cheers, Paul
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