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Blog Entries posted by Vipers

  1. Vipers
    Hi All,
    I’ve been thinking about bringing on a record cleaning machine for years so I’m really pleased at last to be able to offer the Okki Nokki range of Record cleaners and accessories at HFL.
    There are many different price points when it comes to record cleaning machines but the Okki Nokki is definitely considered one of the best and at £435 it really isn’t going to break the bank and if like me you love your vinyl then you really should consider a record cleaning machine as the difference from before and after a clean really can be very noticeable indeed, and not everyone realises that even new vinyl will benefit from a clean as it helps wash away the releasing agent used when records are pressed.
    I haven’t put it on our website yet but any questions please feel free to get in touch and we now have a unit on permanent demo so if you fancy having a demo then feel free to bring in a record you know is a bit noisy and we can give it a clean so you can hear the difference.
    You can see the Okki Nokki product range below -

  2. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Just thought I would share a recent review in HiFi+ for the excellent combination of the Chord Electronics Hugo TT 2 + M Scaler, this really is proving an extremely popular combo, we have both on permanent demo so please feel free to come in to demo anytime.
    If it is not very clear below just e-mail me and I’ll mail over the PDF.

  3. Vipers
    Hi All,
    2 of our most popular products have recently had a makeover so I am pleased to say that both came in last week and are now on permanent Demo.
    Spendor D7.2.
    I’m a big fan of the original Spendor D7 so now that they have had a makeover to .2 spec I am sure they will be equally as popular if not more so.
    So what has changed? Basically there are subtle visual changes with fully magnetic grilles and a slimmer plinth but more importantly there sonic improvements that come from additional cabinet bracing and an improved dynamic damper system which give a more musical sound without loss of transparency or resolution according to Spendor so who am I to argue

    PrimaLuna Evo 400
    So PrimaLuna have always been really popular with our customers, everyone that buys one really does love them, I never get a bad comment about them to be fair, with the soft start and Auto Bias they really are easy to live with valve amps and they really are extremely reliable, we have sold loads and never has one had to go back for repair which is pretty good going.
    So just recently Primaluna announced that they are updating their full range to the Evo range, so at the moment we have the new top integrated on demo which I should add really does have a brilliant headphone amp built in, we also have the top Pre/Power combo on order which is fully balanced as well as the their new Valve DAC which I am really keen to hear and shortly we will add the Evo 200 integrated at £2698.

    So as both of these came in together it seemed a good idea to run them in together as they are actually a really good match.
    If you’d like to come in to demo either of these please feel free to get in touch.
    Many thanks,
  4. Vipers
    Hi All,
    Being a bit of a Bruce fan it is always big news when he releases a new single, it has been 5 years since we last had new material from Bruce and his new single ‘Hello Sunshine’ really doesn’t disappoint.
    In all honesty when Bruce announces he is doing a solo album I’m always a little disappointed as I just love Bruce with the E-Street band, especially live, seen them around 85 times since 1985, but funnily enough I probably listen to Nebraska, Tunnel of Love and Ghost of Tom Joad more than any other of Bruce’s albums so the fact that the new album ‘Western Stars’ is a solo effort really does bode well, available June 14th and available from our friends at Badlands if you’d like a copy -
    Below is a link to the video of ‘Hello Sunshine’ I have to say that I really love it, can’t stop listening to it and I can’t wait to next year when he hits the road with it, beware HiFi Lounge may be shut a fair bit next summer as we follow Bruce around the globe
  5. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    So after a busy day setting everything up yesterday we are ready for today’s open day with dCS and Constellation Audio so as the weather is definitely HiFi listening weather today please feel free to join us.
    Our main system is the new dCS Bartok which will be run alongside a full 4 box Vivaldi system with the Wilson Audio DAW Speakers powered our newest brand, Constellation Audio all hooked up with Transparent cables, to get the best experience we are limiting the listening to 5 at a time so that everyone can hear it at it’s best but we will run multiple sessions throughout the day, I have to say that it does sound pretty epic

    Upstairs Demo Room
    To show a more attainable system but still big bucks to be fair we are running the dCS Rossini into a Bryston 4B3 amplifier into the excellent PMC Twenty5.26 speakers, this is actually quite a simple and small system but it really does sing, I can see this room be very popular today.

    Headphone Room
    Finally to show the Bartok off for what one of it’s main uses are, a highend end headphone amp, we will have one running in our dedicated headphone shop with a selection of headphones.

    Look forward to seeing everyone today.
  6. Vipers
    Hi All,
    It's certainly not been an easy decision but I have decided to sell 3 of my Lotus Collection to fund a car that is a once in a lifetime purchase, more details to follow if I pull it off 🙂
    So I am selling below, if of any interest just either fire me over a PM, e-mail me on [email protected] or give me a ring 0n 01767 44121
    Exige - 380 Cup, 1700 Miles, fully loaded, as new condition - £75,000

    1985 Turbo Esprit - Fully Restored, Stunning Condition - £42,000

    2000 Elise - Only 6800 Miles - Stunning, as new Condition, Larini Back box, original also supplied - £29,000

  7. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Time for another Open Day, this time 2 of the big guns together, dCS and our newest addition to our portfolio, Constellation Audio.
    Hear the dCS Vivaldi Stack + much more!

    In all honesty this was going to be a standalone dCS day with a Constellation launch day to follow but as so many people came our Wilson Audio day recently it seemed a shame to use the same electronics when we had something new in the wings so we thought this would be a good idea to give a really different flavour to this open day.
    So from dCS we are really pleased to have the epic 4 stack Vivaldi setup, this is arguably the best digital front end in existence so this is a great opportunity to hear how good digital really can be, at around £80,000 this is serious kit, this will be running in our Highend Room with a pair of Wilson’s, I have requested that our friends at Absolute Sounds can lend us a pair of Alexia 2′s for the day so let’s keep everything crossed.

    Introducing the new dCS Bartok

    It’s not all about Vivaldi though as dCS have just released the Bartok DAC / Streamer / Headphone Amp and Pre-amp, we will have 2 of these running, one in the headphone shop to show how capable it is as a one box solution for your headphone needs and also we will use one running into a hifi system, spec yet to be confirmed.
    As well as this we will have Rossini running into our 500 Naim system into a pair of Sonus Faber Amati Tradition speakers, I tried this the other day with a customer and it worked really well and also we will run the dCS Network Bridge into another system, so there is definitely plenty to keep everyone busy there.
    Constellation Audio Join HiFi Lounge

    So we have decided to bring on Constellation Audio, I really feel they will add something different to what we presently have on offer, at the moment we have bought on the Inspiration series, we went with the 2 x Mono’s and the Pre-amp, this is the entry level for Constellation but on doing my research they get absolutely stunning reviews with plenty of trickle down technology from their far higher end offerings, so basically we will be running a full Vivaldi stack into this setup so I can only imagine it will absolutely sing, especially if we bag a pair of Wilson Alexia’s for the event :)
    You can see more about the range on Constellations Website in the link below -
    We will have representatives from dCS and Absolute Sounds here to help run the day as well as refreshments throughout the day.

    RSVP Please!
    If you would like to come along could you please just fire over a quick e-mail to the below to let me know, thanks -
    [email protected]
    Many thanks and look forward to seeing everyone on April 27th which will offer a real taste of Highend Audio.
  8. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Firstly, a massive thanks to everyone who came to our Wilson Audio Open Day on Saturday, most definitely one of our busiest open days, thankfully we opened the gates into the barn area to use for an overspill car park, needless to say that the Sasha DAW room was the star of the day
    Anyway, onto PrimaLuna
    So this is pretty big news as PrimaLuna are one of our most popular brands, we really do sell a lot of their amplifiers so it is fantastic news that they have just launched a 100% new range of integrated amps, Power amps, Preamps and even a Valve DAC, looking forward to listening to that I have to say.
    The new range is called the EvoLution range and it is pretty straight forward, there are 4 new Integrated’s, 4 new Pre’s and 4 new powers and a DAC, so 13 new products in total, all I need to decide now is which ones to put on demo, I really like the look of the smaller chassis 100 series and the most powerful integrated, now the Evo 400, has always been our most popular product so we definitely need one of those.
    The great thing with PrimaLuna is they give a very natural presentation, are extremely reliable and are still cost effective solutions to getting a very Highend Sound, in all honesty I get more positive comments from customer’s who have bought PrimaLuna than any other amp brand we sell, people really do love their PrimaLuna’s, and for anyone who thinks Valves are going to be nothing but trouble then think again as PrimaLuna really are one of our most reliable brands, thankfully, as they weigh a tonne so I wouldn’t want them coming back too often.
    We will have a selection of the new range on demo shortly but please see below for all the new products just released -
    PrimaLuna Evo DAC Below

    More Pics of the rest of the range.

  9. Vipers
    Hi All,
    Just doing a final sound check ahead of our Wilson Audio Open Day tomorrow, been a busy day setting up but everything really is sounding great, certainly looking like it is going to be a busy day with people coming from all over the country and with more people registering for this open day than any before so Wendy has been busy turning 10 loaves of bread into sandwiches, it has been like a military operation in the kitchen
    Really looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow, it’s going to be a good one.
    A fine selection of Wilson Speakers ready to rock.
    The TuneTot’s are in the upstairs demo room fed by the Melco N100, Chord Electronics Hugo TT2 and M Scaler with Bryston BP17 Pre and a 4B SST3 power amp and the iconic Michell Orbe turntable.

    The Sabrina’s are in the Naim Lounge fed by the full 500 System and the Rega Planar 8 Turntable.

    And the star of the show, the new Sasha DAW’s are in the Highend Room driven by Audio Research 160M Monos Blocks, a REF 6 Pre, dCS Rossini and Melco N1ZS and the cherry on the top, the VPI Prime Signature, all very nice indeed.

    Let the fun begin,
  10. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    So I certainly love a gadget and have to say this is pretty cool, matching one of the oldest HiFi brands in the world with cutting edge Alexa Voice control, basically partnering an Amazon Echo Dot with the new McIntosh RS200 Wireless speaker allowing you to control it via speech, this really does feel like we are finally getting to what was portrayed in Back to the Future all those years ago
    It is all run totally wireless other than the mains of course but it was pretty straight forward to setup, even for a dinosaur like me who is all a bit out of touch with all this kinda tech, basically first you setup the McIntosh with the Play-Fi app, then setup the Echo Dot with the Alexa app, then you have to install the Smart Home Play-Fi app within the Alexa app, then do a search and Alexa finds the RS200 and off you go, loads of talky fun
    It is definitely a gadget but I have to say it is good fun and personally I would be pretty keen to see this implemented into proper hifi as originally I thought about adding a DOT to my hifi at home for fun but I could only do this via the 3.5mm analogue out of the Dot, unfortunately it hasn’t got a digital out, so this would mean I would be using the DAC in the Dot and considering this is a £50 product you can imagine how rubbish that would sound but this way all the DOT is dong is controlling the RS200 so you don’t lose any of the sound quality.
    Certainly a technology to keep an eye on, if you’d like to come in at any time to have a chat with Alexa please feel free as we have this setup on permanent demonstration.
    Oh yeah, so how does the RS200 sound? very good to be fair and it means you can get those blue meters in your house without spending a fortune, I’m going to hook a REL T Zero up to it later today which will definitely improve things, it is certainly a versatile piece of kit.
    Please find a video below of me playing with the system this morning, look forward to trying some other stuff later.

  11. Vipers
    Hi All,
    So this is something I didn’t think I’d ever see from Stax, a battery powered portable energiser with a DAC built in, think of it like a Mojo for Stax Earspeakers, brilliant idea, all we need now are a closed back pair of SR-009′s and I’ll be sorted when travelling
    Anyway we now have the SRM-D10 on permanent demo if you’d like to come and try it anytime with the Stax Earspeakers of your choosing.

    Compact electrostatic headphone amp/DAC Battery-powered, rechargeable Li-ion built-in battery pack High-resoluton Digital-to-Analog converter, supports up to DSD128 User selectable line-in and USB DAC All-aluminum chassis

  12. Vipers
    Hi There,
    Well it has certainly been a busy week dashing around the country installing some great HiFi so I thought I would share the 2 from below -

    Install one

    Have to say there was a great synergy with this system, the Sonus Faber Guarneri Traditions speakers give such a big but controlled sound they will play anything and driven by the Big Mc it was all so effortless and in all honesty is there a better looking system
    Please find the kit installed below -
    Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition Speakers
    McIntosh MA9000 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier
    HiFi Racks Podium XL (V)
    All Hooked Up With Atlas Hyper Cables
    Just waiting on the Chord Hugo TT 2 now to finish it all off.

    Install 2
    This one was a nice 200 mile round trip to deepest Norfolk but I will travel anywhere to install a pair of Wilsons
    This time it was to upgrade the customer’s Wilson Sabrina’s to the new Sasha DAW’s, needless to say he was very happy when we left him.
    From The Sabrina -

    To the Sasha DAW

    Wilson Audio Sasha DAW Loudspeakers
  13. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    For our next Open Day we are going to be showcasing Wilson Audio Speakers, without doubt makes of some of the finest speakers in the world, you get certain moments in your HiFi life where you hear something for the first time and you know that is the sound for you, it happened many years ago when I heard my first pair of PMC Speakers and more recently I got that same feeling again when I heard my first pair of Wilsons and to be honest with the release of the new Sasha DAW there has never been a better time to hold a Wilson Audio Open day as these speakers who have been designed by Daryl Wilson in tribute to his Dad, Dave Wilson the founder of Wilson Audio who sadly passed away last year, hence his initials DAW, are quite exceptional, they really are a stunning tribute to Dave.
    So what is the day going to comprise of? well we will be running 3 rooms, the final setups are yet to be 100% confirmed but I thought it was time that we also run turntables in each room as well as digital so if you’ve got any vinyl you’d like to bring along please feel free, please see below for what we’ll be having running on the day.

    Room 1 - Upstairs Demo Room

    As well as the DAW’s being new the TuneTot’s were only released a few months ago and really are an incredible speaker, giving all those brilliant Wilson attributes but in a smaller package that isn’t fussy in placement, we will be running these in our upstairs room driven by a Bryston Pre/Power with the dCS Network Bridge or Bartok and the Michell GyroDec for Vinyl duties so make sure you venture upstairs as this room is bound to sound excellent.

    Room 2 - The Naim Room

    In here we’ll be running one of my favourite Wilson’s, the Sabrina, what I love about these speakers is the size and quality of sound they give from a small speaker, they are just so musical and they always make me smile when I’m listening to them, there really do defy their size, so we will be running our Sabrina’s on our 500 Naim System with the new Rega Planar 8 on hand for vinyl duties, again this is a another combo that will really sing.

    Room 3 - The Highend Room

    So this is the big one, all guns blazing in here to really show what the Sasha DAW’s are capable off, I stayed late this last Saturday night listening to this exact system and I was sitting there wondering how things could really sound any better as it really was singing.
    So we will have the DAW’s driven by the epic Audio Research Reference 160M Mono Block valve amps with the matching Reference 6 Pre-amp, for digital duties we will be using the dCS Rossini running the new version 2.0 firmware which really is a step up in sound quality and for vinyl duties we will be using our newest Turntable brand, the brilliant VPI Prime Signature running a Lyra Kleos cartridge which I must say sounds brilliant.

    RSVP Please
    So there should be enough there to keep everyone busy for a while, we will also be having american themed food for the day + drinks and help will be on hand from the guys from Absolute Sounds who can answer any Wilson or Highend HiFi  Questions you may have, it will be great if you can come along but if you could please just let me know on the below e-mail address that will be great, thanks -
    [email protected]
    I’m really looking forward to this one as I know we will have 3 fantastic sounding rooms so hope to see you on March 23rd, we’ll be starting from 10am till 5pm so hope to see you then.
    Please see below for the Wilson Audio Range of Speakers on our website below -

    Wilson Audio Visit 2017
    Finally for those who didn’t see my original blogs back in July 2017 when I was lucky enough to visit Wilson Audio in Utah for a factory tour and more importantly visit Dave Wilson’s house to hear the incredible WAMM’s which is an experience I will never forget, please see below for a couple of links
    What it is like being Wamm’d -

    Wilson Audio Factory Tour -

  14. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Here is the 2nd video in our Time Lapse series as we try something different, just a bit of fun really, anyone know the song being played? most definitely one of my favourites
    Bartok’s First Demo!
    So here we go, just finished setting up for a demo today with the dCS Bartok v the Chord Electronics Hugo TT 2 with Scaler, this is our first demo of the Bartok going up against it’s main rival, I have a feeling Dave will be entering the shootout at some point, certainly going to be an interesting demo.
  15. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    So we have been waiting for some time to get our hands on the new and very exciting dCS Bartók so I am very pleased to say that our demo model arrived on Friday and already we have quite a few demo’s booked in for it which is great news and just goes to show the anticipation for this product.
    There is certainly a lot of excitement around the Bartók and rightly so, for one it is built around the legendary dCS Ring DAC that is seen in the dCS Highend Vivaldi systems with it’s user selectable filters and DXD oversampling and switchable DSD upsampling all of which would have been great in itself for £9999 but it is so much more than that as it is also a streamer which can be fed from local storage such as a Melco or from streaming services such as Tidal and is full MQA Compatible, it also supports Roon which I know is a must have for a lot of our customers nowadays, it is also a pre-amp with XLR and RCA outputs and for an extra £2000 you can spec it as a Highend Headphone Amp with a 6.3mm and 4 Pin XLR outputs, I mean for £11999 in this guise it really is an incredible product, almost like a swiss army knife for Highend HiFi especially if going with the Headphone version which we have here on demo, I certainly don’t know of any product that is this complete and if like me you love your headphone listening as an all in one solution there really is nothing to compete.
    As for sound quality, well we have only been playing it on headphones since it arrived and it has performed brilliantly, even headphones that are not my favourite sound great on the Bartók which is a good start, I have now moved it into one of our demo rooms to run it all week to get some hours on it to get it at it’s best before the demo’s start but I should say that until the new recent firmware came out for the Rossini the Bartók sounded very similar, so much so that dCS had to up the performance of the Rossini to make the step up more noticeable, which I should say really has taken the Rossini to another level, but considering the Rossini starts at £17,089 again this is another indicator to what great value to Bartók is. The above Rossini upgrade is also worth mentioning as this is a really big positive for dCS as when you buy a dCS product if they find a way to improve the performance and sound quality they will release new firmware for free so it is like getting a new product a few years into its life which is no bad thing.
    Also if you want to get more performance from the Bartók you can also add the external Rossini clock which will take it to another level again, when adding the Clock to the Rossini it really does focus the presentation and tighten everything up, it isn’t a subtle change and is definitely worth considering, it’s like adding the Chord Electronics M Scaler to DAVE, it does a different job but the gains are equally as impressive.
    Talking of DAVE, this leads me nicely into the million dollar question that I know I am going to get asked an awful lot of times going forward, what is better, Bartók or DAVE? Well the demo’s I have booked for the Bartók so far all want to compare it to Chords Brilliant DAVE and it goes without saying these 2 are going to be going head to head a lot in the future, one thing I know is that Chord and dCS approach their DAC technology in very different ways and they really do both sound quite different so without wanting to appear to be sitting on the fence it really will be down to personal preference and I can’t wait personally to start these demos’
    But one thing is certain the Bartók is a brilliant addition to the DAC and Headphone market and if you are looking for the ultimate one box solution for your headphone listening I would say the search is now over and I should just say that the built quality of the Bartók really is quite stunning, dCS have always been known to make beautiful equipment and it is the same with the Bartók, it just oozes quality.
    A Rather Nice Headphone Setup.

    I just couldn’t resist setting this up on Friday as soon as the Bartók arrived, my 2 favourite headphones fed by the Bartók, the Focal Utopia’s fed direct by the Bartók and the Stax SR-009S’s with the T8000 Energiser fed by the Bartók’s XLR outputs and the beauty is that to switch between the 2 you just press the output button on the Bartók and it switches between the headphone sockets and the analogue outputs on the rear and it remembers the volume for each output individually which just goes to show the amount of thought gone into this product.
    Anyway I’ll shut up now but please find a link to the Bartók on our website and some pictures below and if you’d like to come and experience the Bartók for yourself please get in touch to arrange a demo -

    Running the Bartók In with Bryston 28B3′s and the new Wilson Audio DAW’s, Not too Shabby :)

  16. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    I just can’t resist McIntosh so when they announced their new RS200 wireless system I was straight onto the UK Distributor to order for one for demo which should be with us in a couple of weeks.
    It looks like McIntosh are looking to move on the wireless speaker market with the RS200 offering all kinds of connectivity and I would expect it to sound very good, especially with a sub hooked up to it, time will tell but for me personally I was sold on it as soon as I saw it, the reality is that I can see it being a great 2nd system for another room or being used as a high-end sound bar which can be used for music playback also.
    Look forward to having a play with it shortly and if like me you’ve always fancied some McIntosh for home this is a great way to start so please feel free to get in touch to arrange a demo.

  17. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Well this one came out of the blue, last week Focal announced their new Highend closed back headphones, the Stellia, and today we had 2 pairs arrive, I had no idea they were this imminent but it is great news as from what I can tell this is a closed back version of the Utopia which I consider to be one of the best headphones currently available, so if Focal can get a similar performance from a closed back they are going to have a real winner on their hands.
    At the moment I consider the Sennheiser HD820 to be the best closed back headphone on the planet but just maybe it’s reign at the top is about to come to an end, we’ll find out tomorrow once we get them un boxed and up and running.

    Introducing the Focal Digital Headphone Amp - Arche!

    Again, another surprise from Focal, they are about to release their own digital headphone amplifier called Arche, what is unique about this is that it will have presets built in to get the best from which ever Focal headphone you own from the Elegia to the Utopia which is a cool idea.
    This isn’t due for another couple of months but needless to say we will have it on demo once available.

  18. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    So we all know that Wilson Audio makes some of the best speakers in world but I have a feeling that the new Sasha DAW holds quite a special place in the Wilson Audio speaker lineup bearing in mind that the initials DAW stand for David Andrew Wilson, the founder of Wilson Audio who sadly passed away last year, thankfully Wilson Audio’s speaker design has been left in the very capable hands of Dave’s son Daryl Wilson so I am really pleased to have one of the first pairs of these new speakers on demo in the UK.
    I don’t know what to say really as these really are a very special speaker, the word that keeps coming to mind is ‘Ethereal’. We had the previous Sasha 2 on demo which I knew well as I spent a lot of my time listening to them so I can’t help but compare and for me the main difference in this totally re-engineered speaker is in the mid range, it is so open with a real air of space and openness that it really is quite captivating, you really feel you are hearing every little thing, they really hold nothing back but without becoming sterile, there is still a naturalness to the presentation.

    It goes without saying that the DAW bass is equally as good, it is tight, fast, resolved but with real depth and solidity when called upon, I am finding it quite hard to write this as words just don’t do these speakers justice, you have to be sat in front of them to appreciate what they can do, what really blows my mind is that these are at the more sensible price of the Wilson speaker hierarchy but you just can’t imagine things getting much better, saying that I was extremely lucky to visit Dave Wilson’s house in 2017 to hear the utterly incredible WAMM and I can honestly say that was the best HiFi experience of my life, I just need to win the Euro Lottery to get a pair for myself, but until that happens I will be more than happy with the new SASHA DAW’s.
    I should say that the colour we went for, the same as our previous Sasha’s, has become know and ‘Wendy Blue’ as Wendy chose it to match a Farrow and Ball paint she likes and as you can see from the pictures the way it changes colour in different lights is quite incredible, it really is a chameleon speaker, she went with adding an extra gold and silver flake to the paint which really helps the speaker pop and come alive in sunlight, it’s a great colour.
    Open Day!
    A date for your diary, we will be holding a Wilson Audio Open day on March 23rd so please put that in your diary and I will have more news shortly.
    Time Lapse Un-Boxing Video!
    So this is something a little different we are trying, this is the first time we have put it into action, Ady who is in the video and is helping us out, a lot of you will already know him, came up with the idea, have to say I really like it and is something we will do more often I think, anyway hope you like it.
    Needless to say if you ever fancy coming in for a listen to the new Sasha DAW please feel free to get in touch to make an appointment, please find a link to the Wilson Audio range on our website and some picture below -
    Next job is to get them off the wheels and onto their spikes but before then I want to wheel them into the ‘Highend Room’ to try on the Audio Research Reference 160M Mono amps with the dCS Rossin as I heard the DAW’s on a very similar system at the Windsor show last year and it really was a magical combination so until I find their final resting place they can stay on their wheels as at 107KG’s each they are certainly not the easiest speaker to move around.

  19. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    This is just a quickie regarding an upgrade I did for the van a couple of months ago but never got round to sharing it so here we go.
    Basically the sad truth is that although I am surrounded by some of the best HiFi in the world I listen to most of my music in the van, whether it is the hour a day I spend going back and forth to HiFi Lounge or when driving all over the country installing HiFi so when we got our new van I saw this as a great opportunity to take out the system that comes with the van and replace it with something more in keeping with the sound I am accustomed to, not easy in a van I know but the search began for someone who would understand what I was looking for.
    It had been years since I was last into In Car Entertainment, in fact it used to be a real passion of mine that I quickly found out could empty your bank account out as quickly as home hifi but after talking to a few people one of my customers, hello Bruce, recommended that I speak with Carl at Studio Incar, what a great bit of advice that was, as not only is Carl brilliant at his job he is also a real HiFi guy so he understood my needs exactly, so one Sunday morning I took the drive down to Fareham between Portsmouth and Southampton, in some of the worst conditions I have driven in, all in the name of good sounds and left the van with Carl for a week whilst he worked his magic.

    Needless to say the improvement was epic and was not silly money for the results, I wasn’t after thumping bass but I wanted more clarity and resolution and volume really, the head unit stayed but the speakers were changed with a dedicated amp and Subwoofer fitted under the seats to great effect, but in true HiFi upgradeitius I know that I need to pop back down to see Carl to change out the head unit as like we all know the Source is extremely important and apparently the Ford unit in the van is seriously limiting the quality of the sound output, here we go again, on the slippery slope again
    Seriously though it was money well spent with Carl making the whole process very easy, he works in a very similar way to HiFi lounge, making the whole process very easy and enjoyable with great results at the end so if you are looking at getting better audio for your car or van give him a shout, you can find a link to his website below -
    And a full write up on my Van upgrade below, really goes to show the lengths Studio InCar went to give me the sound I was after, it is certainly a lot more involved that installing a home HiFi, at least I don’t need to fabricate on site, thanks guys, top job, needless to say I’ll be back shortly   -

  20. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Just a quickie to say that I am pleased to say that I passed my Melco training the other day which now means HiFi Lounge is one of the select few of Melco dealers who are considered a ‘Master Dealer’ I even got a really lovely certificate to prove it

    As far as I am concerned if you want to get the very best from your digital music you need a Melco server / player at the heart of it, they are all designed from the ground up to get the very best from your music collection unlike a NAS drive and other options on the market.
    Fair enough a few years ago we all used NAS drives as there wasn’t really an alternative but now with Melco there really is no need to use a NAS, especially if you want to get the best from your digital collection, whether that be CD rips or from Hi Res downloads as a NAS drive is solely designed for storage with no importance given to music playback at all and we all know that when it comes to 2 channel playback everything in the chain matters, yep even in digital
    We now also have the new Melco N10 on demo, this sits just under the top of the range N1ZS but offers a different solution as the power supply sits in a seperate box and it really does give a different presentation compared to the rest of the range, it comes across as a little more forward and lively which I really like.

    Anyway I won’t bang on too much longer but I really do believe Melco make the best servers out there so if you’d like to get the best from your music collection please feel free to give me a ring anytime to explore the range.
    Below is a excerpt from the Melco website on our Melco Master Dealer Status and a link to their dedicated Master Dealer website -
    ‘Melco is a unique high-performance digital music source – quite unlike the alternatives of IT devices or servers comprising basically a PC in a box.
    It is therefore important that Melco is demonstrated by Hi-Fi experts who really know and understand not only Melco, but all aspects of digital music including music formats, tagging, streaming, control, and infrastructure. The same experts would be able to properly integrate Melco into HiFi systems without any compromise, and help the user understand and enjoy the whole Hi-res Digital Music experience.
    Melco have a training programme dedicated to creating a network of skilled MELCO Master Dealers who have been trained and assessed in respect of Melco Features, Installation and Support, as well as Advanced Hi-res Music Techniques and Network Infrastructure of Hi-Fi devices.
    The Melco Master Dealers are listed below – you can be assured of an expert reception and guidance on all aspects of Digital Music and streaming.’

  21. Vipers
    Hi Everyone!
    Now I must admit that I am a bit of a speaker tart, I really do love speakers, for me it is the most important part of a system and it can also be the hardest part of a system to choose as it is the part of your HiFi that actually talks to your room which can transform how your HiFi Sounds so careful choosing is a must.
    Now I have always been a floorstander kinda guy, I always felt I was being short changed by a standmount speaker, well that was until I heard the awesome Brigadier Mu.2 speakers, this changed everything for me and since then I have been bringing on quite a few stand mount speakers to feed my addiction, I can really see why people prefer standmounts, there really is speed, agility, rhythm and a tightness that you don’t always get with a floorstander.
    So in my search for the ultimate Stand Mount speaker I had to bring on the Wilson Audio TuneTot for Demo as I think everyone agrees that Wilson make some of the best speakers in the world, now I am a little late to the TuneTot party as they have been out for a few months now and initially I wasn’t going to bring them on but as the Brigadiers and Wilsons share a similar Mid/Bass unit I just couldn’t help myself in the end and I am so pleased I did as they are truly epic.
    How such a small speaker can give such a big sound I have no idea, that is the Wilson magic I guess, you get that great Wilson mid and top but they really do give a fair bit of punch at the bottom end and I am running them in free air where to get the best from them they are designed to be on a unit or shelf close to the rear wall to help reinforce the bottom end.
    You can spec your TuneTot’s as you please but I fully loaded mine with the IsoBase, Grills and Aluminium Ring which hides the mounting screws for the mic/base driver.
    They really do look stunning in the red finish we went for which is a standard colour, it is like a semi matt which really works but as good as they look it is the sound that really impresses, what I love is that for people that haven’t got a large listening room they don’t have to compromise as you can now get that Wilson sound no matter what, well other than the £10,998 price tag which I guess could be an issue for some.
    Anyway they are now on permanent demo so please feel free to come in anytime for a listen, so now for some unboxing pics -

    Time to get unwrapping the protective film!
    With Grills!

    No Grill or Trim Ring!

    With Aluminium Trim Ring

  22. Vipers
    The Problem Room and the PMC Fenestria Update!
    Hi Everyone,
    Firstly I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who came to our Fyne Audio open day on Saturday, way more people than I expected, really impressive turnout for a speaker brand that most people had never heard of 12 months ago so thanks again everyone, maybe we should offer free Whisky at every open day

    So onto the point of this blog, I get asked quite a lot from customers who read the original blog explaining how important the room is to any HiFi install and how we recently encountered this head on when installing a pair of the excellent PMC Fenestria’s before Christmas if the issue had been resolved yet, and the good news is that yesterday we got the Fenestria’s singing as they should.
    Basically there was no real reason why the speakers wouldn’t work in the room as it is a nice size room driven by a high end Naim system, it turns out that we think the issue, which was 2 very large bass lifts at 2 certain frequencies, is caused by the composition of the stud wall behind the speakers as the rest of the room is solid wall.
    So active bass traps were tried at the back of the room a couple of weeks ago which helped a fair bit but not enough really, to use this option it was recommended that 4 traps should be used ideally, one in each corner, this wasn’t really feasible so it was back to the drawing board, I knew what the answer was but it was finding the right implementation.
    For me DSP in HiFi is massively overlooked, the rest of the world seems to welcome it’s advantages but for whatever reason in the UK it is frowned upon, personally I think this is the future of hifi as it is just getting better and better, I was first introduced to a system I liked with Dirac in the Arcam Cinema Receivers and Processors, this was the first EQ system that I actually liked and actually prefered to not using any EQ, so it was a matter of finding a good enough solution to slot into a Naim system which has it’s own challenges.
    Testing the Idea of putting the Trinnov between the Naim NAC 252 and NAP 300, worked a treat

    Step forward Trinnov, this is something I have tried in here a few years ago and was impressed then but just couldn’t see if anyone would adopt it but in this situation it is the perfect solution other than the fact you are looking at just over £6000, saying that if you want to hear your system at its best then if you can eliminate the problems with the room it is money well spent, especially on a system at this price.
    And this was the case here, after a quick few measurements it showed the 2 big bass lift issues which once the processing was complete it almost eliminated, it actually did such a good job we actually put a little bass back in but by controlling these issue it allowed the mid and treble to shine through as well as giving a much tighter central image with better separation, focus and soundstaging, in this scenario the difference was chalk and cheese and I should mention that the Trinnov was totally invisible, you still kept the Naim sound that the customer loves and the Fenestria’s sounded just like they do in our showrooms, so other than the extra cost in this system it really did let the system shine and the music come through with no negative side effects.
    I should say though that DSP shouldn’t just be used when you have a issue, you may think your room is fine but I am quite confident once you have tried something like this in your system you would prefer it, hence why most of the recording studios use solutions like Trinnov as if you can eliminate the room to hear the music more accurately then it really is a no brainer.
    Anyway I’ll get of my high horse but the main thing is that this install almost felt like a case study on what can go wrong when the room isn’t on your side, I was confident we’d find a solution but was relieved when we finally did so now we are happy as the customer can enjoy his upgrade and music again.
  23. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    This is a real quick one just to say that the roads are very clear round here so it is full steam ahead with out Fyne Audio Open day.
    We spent all day yesterday setting up and we have now got 4 demo rooms running with a combination of Fyne Audio speakers ranging from £599 to £17999, I have to say that what impresses me most about Fyne Audio is that 10 months ago they hadn’t released any speakers to the world and here we are now with a full range and everything I hear from them I am always impressed, I know they may be a new company but they have decades of experience between them and it really does show.
    I had my first listen to the F1-10′s last night, they really are fantastic, very different to anything else I have heard before really, very captivating giving a really big and ethereal sound, look forward to trying some more tunes on them today.
    Please see a few pics of the rooms we have setup for today’s Fyne Audio Open Day -
    F500′s on a Naim Uniti Atom

    F501′s on a Naim Uniti Star with a Rega Planar 3

    F702′s on a dCS Rossini and Audio Research Ref 160M Mono Blocks

    F1-10′s on a full Naim 500 System fed by a Melco N1SZ

    I have to say all the rooms are sounding great so hope you can make it over today.
    Oh yeah don’t forget the Whisky and Stovies

  24. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Really looking forward to this weekends Fyne Audio Open Day and to get in the spirit, quite literally, we have decided to go all Scottish, firstly thanks to Loch Fyne Whiskies who have sent down 5 bottles of Whisky and a bottle of gin to help us enjoy the day, thanks guys, better bring your sleeping bag if anyone is going to try a tipple from each or at least organise a lift home.

    The Menu for the Day!
    Wendy is also busy preparing a Scottish themed menu of Stovies with Nairn’s Oatcakes, I taste tested some last night and it was gorgeous, perfect for a winter’s day, we’ve also got Scotch Pies, Oatcakes with Salmon Mousse and some Loch Fyne Smoked Salmon which I am sure washed down with some Whisky will be most agreeable, below is Wendy’s Stovie test from last night, Mmmmm.

    But What About the Speakers?
    So obviously the whole point of the day is to listen to the excellent Fyne Audio Range of speakers, we will be running the F501′s upstairs with a Naim Uniti Atom to show how good a sensible priced system can sound, then we will run the F1-10′s in the Naim Lounge, these arrived yesterday in 2 awesome flight cases on wheels, a very easy way to transport speakers that weigh nearly 60KG’s each, and Finally we will be running the mid level F702 in the Highend Room with some dCS and Bryston for something a little different, please see the full range of Fyne speakers on our website below -
    Here’s a sneak peak of the F1-10′s as I haven’t unboxed them yet -

    Looking forward to seeing what this dial does.

    So hopefully the weather behaves itself and everyone can get in as once here we will definitely have enough music, food and booze to keep you warm
    Hope to see you on Saturday, Kilts are optional by the way 😉
  25. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    So every now and again you stumble across things to do with music that really float your boat, last week this happened twice to me so I thought I would share them with everyone so you can give them a try to see if you enjoy them as much as I do.
    Greta Van Fleet!

    So I am a little late to this band but one of my customer’s mentioned them last week and now I am totally obsessed having bought both albums on CD and Vinyl and have booked tickets to see them at Rock City in March.
    Basically they are a young band of 3 brothers who share guitar, bass and vocal duties and a friend on drums coming out of Michigan, basically they are heavily influenced by their parents music growing up so if you like Led Zeppelin, Rush, AC/DC and even some Gun’s N Roses you need to listen to them, I would say they are one of the most exciting bands in decades.
    They really seem to split people’s opinion though with people like me and Wendy who have really fallen under their spell and there are others who really don’t like them and see them as a tribute band which I really don’t get as it was around 40 years ago we had rock like this so it is great to bring it back in a fresh way for a new audience, the way I see it they have got a huge possible audience with old time rockers like myself + they appeal massively with the young, it must be a really exciting time for them as they start to gain some real momentum, anyway check out the video below to see if it is something for you, I know your first thoughts will be of Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin, someone described them as the most important band since Guns N Roses which I have to agree with, personally I just can’t get enough at the moment, roll on the gig in March
    Vinyl Heaven

    Another great find last week was when I was looking on internet radio for Virgin to tune in to the new Chris Evans show I stumbled across a UK station called Vinyl Heaven and I have been listening to it ever since during the day, their big thing is that they only play Vinyl which I guess is a little questionable when being played out on a digital radio station but there is no questioning the music they play, I turned it on yesterday to Bruce’s Thunder Road and today they have just played Prince’s Paisley Park, 2 of my favourite tracks of all time.
    A couple of cool time slots are 70′s at 7am and 80′s at 8am but basically if you are of a similar age to me, 50, then I would most definitely recommend a listen as they really do play tracks I haven’t heard on the radio for years like last week they played Boxer Beat and Let’s Go All The Way, 2 of my favourite 80′s tracks.
    You can listen online from their website below if you fancy giving it a try.
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