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Vipers

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Blog Entries posted by Vipers

  1. Vipers
    Hi All,
    There is certainly no rest at HFL, as soon as we finished the new showrooms it is time to give our old showrooms a bit of a makeover, starting with our trusty old upstairs demo room that has done us proud for the last 5 years and many of you will know well.
    As we have 5 demo rooms now we thought it would be a good idea to give the upstairs room a bit more of a cinema feel as this is where we have our Atmos 5.4.1 setup with all our Arcam receivers, processor and Sony Projectors, basically we needed to darken the wall down a few shades to help with the contrast for projecting + we took the opportunity to add some soundtrack Vinyl to our Vinyl wall and also add a movie poster form one of my favourite films of all time.
    So what with our Arcam Cinema open day coming up this Saturday I would say we are all set to make the most of the best Hollywood has got to offer.
    Here are a few pics -

    Dismantling The Room Is Never Fun!

    Andy from AW Decorations Doing A Great Job


    Some Great Soundtracks Here!

    Room Re-Assembled and Looking Great!



    Time to test the Projector

    Planet Earth II Really is a Reference 4K Disk


    The Darker Walls Certainly Seem to Help With the Black Levels


    Cheers,
    Paul.
  2. Vipers
    [URL=http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Open%20Days/banner-hfl-classicrock_zpsxn86tbge.jpg.html][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Open%20Days/banner-hfl-classicrock_zpsxn86tbge.jpg[/img][/URL]

    Hi all,

    Just a quick update, we will now have vinyl for sale at our 'Classic Rock Saturday' open day on March 21st as Barry from The Cherished Music Store will be bringing along a collection of used vinyl and CD’s for sale on the day so it will be an opportunity to maybe pick up some bargains along with getting your favourite records cleaned. We will set Barry up in the downstairs demo room for cleaning and selling, so this will be the chillout room, with all the rocking happening upstairs :-)

    Cheers,
    Paul.
  3. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    I thought I would just jot down a few thoughts from my first drive in the Radical SR1 at Oulton Park on Friday, I must say I was very relieved to finally get out in the car after our first 2 tests being cancelled due to snow and with my first race less than 1 week away.
    So how did it go? well looking back a couple of days later I would say I was fairly happy although I need to go a fair bit faster but for my first drive in the car at a circuit I didn’t know and to be fair is a pretty scary track, then I was reasonably happy at the end of the day.
    Blimey It’s Fast!
    So as an overview of the day, basically it was a general test day so there was some seriously quick machinery there of all kinds, it was quite cool start to the day when sitting in the cafe on my own eating a sausage sandwich and Matt Neal walked in, the triple British Touring Car Champion, to get his breakfast, that actually bought it home a little that this was all about to get quite serious.
    The day was broken down into 4 x 30 minute sessions, I had 2 drives in the morning and another 2 in the afternoon, below are my thoughts on how each session went.

    Session 1
    So to say I was nervous would be a slight understatement as I had only driven 3 track days before and done some karting a few years ago but the guys as UPE Motorsport really helped me settle into the car and made me feel like there was no pressure and I need to get to feel the car first and to find my own limits.
    So bearing in mind that the car had never been driven before in an ideal world we would have had someone who knows Radicals shake the car down but due to the test day cancellations this was never done so came down to me, so it was a case of going out for one lap then coming straight back in which I did and to me at least everything felt great, then I repeated the same but this time for 3 laps and then back in, again all seemed good so then I was free to go out until the end of the session and to start building my speed up but before I knew it the 30 mins was over and I was back in the pits but happy with my first drive.

    Session 2
    So now it was time to start pushing the car a little, as the track was still damp we did session 1 and 2 on wets which still felt very quick indeed and to be fair I still wasn’t reaching the limits of the tyres or the car, it’s really hard to describe how fast and physical these cars are, I had been practicing on Project Cars on Xbox which is great for learning the circuit but has no real way of giving you the sensation of speed and how scary it can be, in the game I can take some corners easily flat but in real life this is a very different story.
    So during this session I was reasonably happy with my progress and got down to a 1m 59 second lap time which apparently on wets was pretty respectable, one thing I did notice was that when going down the main straight I was noticing that my head was being pushed back due to doing over 100 mph without a wind screen and after a while my neck was really starting to hurt, so after a couple of trips into the pits the guys added extra padding to the headrest which ended up helping a lot, looks like I need to get down the gym to start working my neck out

    Session 3
    So after a quick bite of lunch I was back in the car, this time on dry tyres so I was expecting to take quite a chunk of my time but in the end it ended up being a bit of a messy session with yellow flags then a red flag to stop the session and I was still concerned about my neck pain so I actually ended up going 2 secs slower, to say I was not impressed is a understatement so I went off, sat in the van and gave myself a telling off This was actually becoming a lot harder than I thought as the quick guys were doing 1 min 50′s so I was 10 secs of the pace which was quite shocking as it felt like I was going really fast, It’s much easier watching it on the TV that’s for sure.

    Session 4
    So with this being the last session of the day and my last drive in the car before qualifying the following weekend for my first race I was determined to try harder and to find some time, in the end I got down to a 1 min 56 which made me a little happier as at least I improved and I got within 1 sec of my team mate who raced his Radical last year so he is a very good benchmark but there is still a lot more speed in the car, I just need to find it in myself to man up and to throw caution to the wind a little more.
    I have spent all weekend watching quick laps round Oulton Park in Radical’s on You Tube and to be fair I am pretty happy with my lines and breaking but there are 3 really quick corners at Oulton and I am sure it is here that I am loosing most of my time as well as that I am lifting when approaching Druids which should be flat out so I am confident that when next back in the car for Qualifying I can find some more time.
    Doing quick laps on your own is one thing though but once it comes to racing then I am sure that will be a totally different experience again.

    1st Race This Weekend


    So this Easter weekend I have qualifying on Saturday followed by 2 x 20 minute races, certainly going to be a fun weekend, I hope my body has recovered by then as my arms and neck are still aching a fair bit, I have ordered some brave pills from the chemist as I know that all the extra speed I need is in me not being such a wimp in the quick stuff, to be honest though I am gagging to get back in the car to see if I can find that missing time.
    Watch this space and I will report back after the first race weekend and will hopefully be able to load up some race footage.
    Cheers,
    Paul.
  4. Vipers
    So that is the first race weekend done and dusted and what an experience it was, for me as I had spent so little time in the car the main thing was all about getting to the end of the day unscathed, which we just about did although I definitely had a few hairy moments, and to learn how a race weekend works, procedure, time tables etc and not to do anything silly.

    Qualifying
    Heading Out For 1st Qualifying Session

    Firstly we were blessed with the weather, I had been watching forecasts all week and whichever you looked at we would get wet at some point but miraculously other than the odd drizzle we had a day of dry running. Qualifying was at 10.40am and was a 20 minute session where your quickest time set the grid for race 1 and your second quickest set the grid for race 2.
    Now I had been watching YouTube video’s all week on how to drive a Radical SR1 round Oulton Park, so in my head I knew what to do I just had to actually go out and do it, in an ideal world I to achieve a time of 1min 51 seconds which was 5 seconds quicker than I went in testing the week before, so we all drove down to the holding area 20 mins before qualifying was due to start and I sat there running the lap through my head, just like a real racing driver :-)
    The only fly in the ointment was that due to heavy rain the night before the track was damp so it was declared a wet session so qualifying would be run on wets, so out we went but in all honestly on the racing line the track was pretty much dry, you just had to be careful to not go onto the wet stuff.
    I slowly built up my speed and had a good few clear laps and by the end I could really feel the car moving around under me as I pushed it, in the end I got to the point on a couple of corners where the tyres were at their limit and I had a few scary sideways moments but at the end I achieved a couple of laps in the low 1min 52’s which I was delighted with especially as we were on wet’s, so this meant I started race 1 in 6th and race 2 in 5th, out qualifying my more experienced team mate on both occasions, so after Qualy it really felt like job done, now it was just a matter of 2 races to go.


    Post Qualy Interview

    Race 1
    Getting Ready!


    I must admit both races flew by and in all honesty I really don’t remember much as I was so focused on keeping it on the black stuff everything else was a blur, you don’t even notice anyone watching until the end and also my team were displaying my pit board every lap but I never noticed it once, Oulton Park really is a challenging circuit that grabs your attention with the quick corners as there really isn’t any run off before you hit the barrier so it is really difficult to balance speed with bravery.
    So race 1 was at 1.30pm so you meet in the holding area 20 mins before the start in race order, get yourself strapped in and comfortable then follow the pace car onto the track for your lap to the grid, here it is about warming the tyres and bakes, then you take your grid position, not really sure what happened here but the marshall’s got myself and 5th mixed round so we had to swap positions after our green flag lap which followed next, again this is all about getting the car up to temperature, So now it is time for my first race start, the first mission here is not to stall.
    Once we were all in grid position we waited for the 5 second board then everyone ups their revs to around 6000 RPM which is all very exciting then the lights go out and we are off, miraculously no one stalled and we were off racing. In all honesty my problem here is that once the lights go out you have to be at 100% straight away, no building up slowly but it did take me a couple of laps to get to where I should be so lost a couple of places.
    In the Radical SR1 Cup there are three different championships, I’m never going to win the overall as some of the younger drivers are much quicker at the moment but there is also a Rookie Cup and the Fangio Cup for drivers over 45, needless to say the Fangio Cup is my focus at the moment, it is here that we had a good battle, for the whole race I kept one of my competitors behind me, he was quicker on some parts and I was quicker on others, but then my team mate took me only to spin on one of the quick left handers but he recovered then came at me again, this time he got me down the straight but then the next time I saw him he had spun and hit one of the barriers but overall in the race he was definitely quicker than me, in the end I came home as the winner of the Fangio class which meant a trip to the podium and a trophy from my first race which in my wildest dreams I never expected.
    A 20 minute race really doesn’t sound long but I was so happy to see the chequered flag, these cars as so physical and mentally draining I really had enough by the end, I really don’t know how the F1 and LeMans drivers do it.

    Really Happy with Race 1

    Another Interview as Winner of the Fangio Class.



    Race 2

    So we had a spot of lunch and waited for the 2nd race at 5.30pm, by this time the temperature had dropped noticeably and whilst sitting in the holding area it started to drizzle again, we had to wait longer as in the previous race someone had put it into the barriers and done some serious damage to the barrier so this had to be repaired first, but eventually we were on the grid revving the engines waiting for the red lights to go out.
    Now this race didn’t go quite as well as the first, unfortunately the car in front of me stalled so I had no where to go so by the time I had drove around him I was pretty much last but I caught one of my fellow Fangio competitors and then ensued a great race where I finally threw it done the inside going into the chicane and took the place, I didn’t realise at the time but my team mate also stalled it on the grid so I was now the lead Fangio car but then it all went horribly wrong.
    I really don’t know what happened but looking in the racing drivers book of excuses I think I was trying a little too hard on a cooler, damp track and going through one of the chicanes I floored it on the exit only to hit the inner kerb and the car instantly spun round and before I knew it I was on the grass and facing the wrong way, bugger, all that hard work lost, basically I just run out of talent.
    So now I started to panic a little and for whatever reason I couldn’t get it into first gear so I tried to pull away in 2nd and then got it on the track only to stall it in everyones way, bugger again, so in the end I had to retire and just watched the rest of the race with the marshalls behind the barriers, once the race was over I jumped back in the car and drove it back, so in the end no damage was done, in reality I was very lucky as when I was driving back one of my competitors had binned in into the barriers on the last lap and had done some serious damage but luckily he was OK.
    So in the end it was a very mixed weekend with a great Qualifying, a race one trophy then a spin and DNF for race 2 but overall I left the circuit with a big smile and an eagerness to get in the car again as I know there is still a lot of speed left in the car and myself.
    Still Smiling after a rather eventful race 2!


    A Big Thank You!
    Firstly I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone who came to support us, some driving a long way to get to Oulton, it was brilliant to see so many friendly faces there and despite the cold weather everyone seemed to have a good time.
    Also a big thanks to Simon and Darren and UPE Motorsport for doing a stirling job in giving me a brilliant car to race and also thanks to Radical for doing such a brilliant job of making everyone feel so welcome, there were 8 rookies but there is such great sense of comradeship in the paddock it is a brilliant place to spend the day.
    Next Race meeting and hospitality.

    So the next race isn’t until the 12th May at Snetterton but if anyone fancy’s coming along just let me know as we can get a limited number of passes and also if you want full hospitality please let me know in advance as I need to book it with Radical, basically it is £30 a head and you get breakfast and lunch on race day + drinks and nibbles through the day, I have to say the food was epic, if I had been given this in a restaurant I would have been happy so as you can imagine it is much better than any other race track food + you can spend the day in the paddock.

    I am going to try and edit some video footage later for my qualifying and races so if I can figure it out I will upload it.
    Roll on Snetterton but until then back to the day job of being a HiFi dealer :-)
    Thanks for reading,
    Cheers,
    Paul.
  5. Vipers
    Hi All,   Had my first track day this week over at Bedford Autodrome, watch out Lewis :-)   The morning session was very wet which made trying to learn the circuit a challenge as the Caterham was constantly trying to swap ends on me but I actually really enjoyed it which surprised me but luckily the afternoon dried out which was much more fun, really loved the fast flowing parts of the track.   I think I have well and truly got the bug now though with another one booked for a couple of weeks time, I can see this being a slippery slope :-)             Cheers, Paul.
  6. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    So now the dust has settled to this years Munich Highend Show, which looks to have been a great year, it’s time to look back at what exciting new products we have to look forward to for the rest of this year.

    Hugo TT 2 DAC / Headphone Amp / Pre-Amp

    For me two of the hottest products have got to be from Chord Electronics, the first being the Hugo TT 2, as a Hugo TT user at home I have been eagerly awaiting for the new Rob Watts FPGA chipset seen in the Hugo 2 and Qutest to make its way to a revised Hugo TT and here it is and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
    With revised casework it also offers a more powerful headphone side, 4 different filter settings, lower noise floor and has removed the internal battery as seen in the original TT.
    It will be available around Autumn time priced at £3996 which bearing in mind the only DAC more powerful than Hugo TT 2 is Chord’s own DAVE then it is great value, we will have a Hugo TT 2 on demo asap and if you would like to get to the front of the queue for one once available then please feel free to get in touch to place your order, we would just need a 10% deposit and are happy to look at anything regarding trading in any other equipment.



    Choral Etude Stereo Power Amplifier

    So this is big news for Chord as it is the first time in nearly 30 years that they have developed a new analogue topology which heralds a new era for powerful, wide bandwidth, low noise and low distortion amplifiers that will no doubt filter into other Chord amplifier designs going forward.
    This new amp is conservatively rated at 150 Watts Per Channel into 4 ohms in stereo mode or 300 WPC in bridged mono mode with the new design giving faster power delivery than existing Chord Electronics designs, offering ‘unrivalled dynamics, a life-like delivery of transient information, plus effortless control over loudspeaker drive units’ according to Chord.
    It is designed to be part of Chord Choral range so is the perfect partner for DAVE + BLU II which when the 3 are stacked in Chord’s really cool Choral Stands makes an extremely high-end and stylish system that does’t take up loads of floorspace.
    Bearing in mind how many DAVE customers there are out there I can see this being a very popular product for Chord to complete customers systems, it is due around Autumn and will be priced at £3900 making very attractively priced, needless to say we will have one on demo asap.

    Cheers,
    Paul.
  7. Vipers
    Hi All,
    A real quick one with 2 big highlights from CES which is running in Las Vegas at the moment -
    Chord Introduce their new ‘Qutest’ DAC
    So whenever Chord Electronics announce a new DAC it is always big news and this is no different as their new DAC called the ‘Qutest’ is the replacement for one of our most popular Dac’s, the 2Qute, this new version has a funky new look, is based on the Hugo 2 Rob Watts Dac Chip and also has user switchable filters and 3 different output voltages and priced at £1195 this is going to be another huge success for Chord.
    The phone has been red hot today with people placing orders so with limited numbers available this month please feel free to give us a ring to place your order, if you have a 2Qute and would like to P/X it for a Qutest please feel free to get in touch also as we give very competitive trade in prices.
    http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/chord/chord-qutest-dac




    Sennheiser Announce the HD 820 Closed Back Headphones!
    I have a feeling that these are going to quickly become the reference for closed back headphones and are really going to move the game on much like the original HD800′s did when launched a few years ago.
    Promising HD800 levels of sound quality in a closed back really is saying something but if anyone can then Sennheiser are are the guys to do it, also I have to say that they are also the coolest closed back headphones I have seen, using Gorilla Glass so you can see the drivers inside but this glass is also used to help the sound keep that open presentation, they just look stunning.
    I am not sure just yet when they are going to be available but we are taking pre-orders now, I have a few pairs on order so if you’d like to get a pair reserved from the limited supply that will initially be available please give me a ring, we just need a £200 deposit.
    http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/sennheiser/sennheiser-hd-820-closed-back-headphones




    So there we go two really hot new products to start 2018 with, I have a feeling this is going to be a good year
    All the best,
    Regards,
    Paul.
  8. Vipers
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Open%20Days/banner-hfl-2ndyr_zpsb6ee7399.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Open%20Days/banner-hfl-2ndyr_zpsb6ee7399.jpg[/img][/url]

    Hi Everyone,

    Wow, where did that last year go, it only seems like yesterday that we were preparing for our 1st anniversary and here we are a year later making plans for our 2nd Anniversary. This is a very special one for me as when we were discussing starting a HiFi shop I hoped we would make it to 2 years as I knew we had enough money to pay the rent till then but I had no idea what would be in store after that, luckily everyone has been brilliant and we are still here and fighting fit, so thanks to everyone who has helped support us so far and has made this the perfect job, well that is if you can call it work :-)

    So after the success of last years vinyl bash we promised to make it a yearly anniversary event, this year it is made even more special as we are holding it in collaboration with Rega, probably the worlds most Iconic and successful turntable manufacturer around who have been making turntables for over 40 years now. There aren’t many vinyl lovers who haven’t owned a Rega deck at some point in their lives, so Rob from Rega will be here all day to answer any questions you may have and to help spin the tunes all day.

    As last year Chris, and hopefully Martin, will be coming along with their great selection of new and used vinyl for sale, this proved extremely popular last year, and ended up costing me a small fortune as I couldn’t resist adding to our collection, if I remember right we went on late into the evening with people still buying vinyl at 8pm, then running upstairs to put it on for a quick listen, be warned, buying vinyl can become a real addiction.

    This year we will have 2 vinyl systems setup, downstairs we will be running the excellent Rega RP6 with a Dynavector 10x5 cartridge, a match made in heaven in my opinion, we will run this through the Fono MM Phono Stage going into the excellent Rega Elicit-R amp with a pair of Rega speakers which are to be confirmed. In our upstairs demo room will be running the stunning RP10 turntable with the Apheta cartridge, if you love your vinyl you really do need to hear this turntable, we will run that into Rega’s Reference Ios phono stage then into the Rega Osiris flagship amplifier and a pair of PMC Fact.12’s or Twenty.26’s to finish of the system. Don’t tell anyone but there were rumours that Rega may be able to bring along their state of the art Naiad £30,000 turntable, this is far from guaranteed as none are available just yet but we live in hope :-)

    In celebration of our 2nd Anniversary and as part of our partnership with Rega we are offering some special packages for any Turntables purchased on the day, please see below for more details -

    [b]1, Buy a RP1, RP1 Performance or RP3 Turntable and receive a Fono Mini A2D phono stage worth £89 absolutely free.[/b]
    [b] [/b]
    [b]2, Buy a RP6 Turntable and receive a Fono MM Phono Stage worth £198 absolutely free.[/b]
    [b] [/b]
    [b]3, Buy a RP8 or RP10 Turntable with the Rega Apheta Cartridges and save 50% off the price from a Aria Phono Stage, so £399 instead of £798.[/b]

    You can see the full Rega range on our website below -

    [url="http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega"]http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega[/url]

    This event last year was great fun, one of the best we did, this year to keep it fresh we would like to try and do it with a 1970’s theme, don’t worry you haven’t got to dress up in flares and wear flowery skirts, but please feel free to do so if you want to :-) It would be great if we can play 70’s music all day as it was such a brilliant era for music in general. I will need some help here though as I haven’t got loads of 70’s vinyl what with being a bit of an 80’s boy. So if you’ve got any vinyl from that era that you’d like to hear through a great system please feel free to bring it in, this can be from any genre from dance, jazz, blues and rock etc.

    We will have croissants and coffee for breakfast with nibbles throughout the day, so look forward to seeing as many of you as possible to help celebrate our 2nd Birthday but more importantly to have the chance to play some great music throughout the day.

    Here are a couple of pictures rom last years event -

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Open%20Days/DSCF2743_zps0211d509.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Open%20Days/DSCF2743_zps0211d509.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Open%20Days/DSCF2740_zps0e59f06d.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Open%20Days/DSCF2740_zps0e59f06d.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Open%20Days/DSCF2739_zpsfc97872d.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Open%20Days/DSCF2739_zpsfc97872d.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Open%20Days/DSCF2731_zps5999e059.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Open%20Days/DSCF2731_zps5999e059.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Open%20Days/DSCF2749_zps9fcef747.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Open%20Days/DSCF2749_zps9fcef747.jpg[/img][/url]

    Cheers,
    Paul.
  9. Vipers
    Hi all,
    So here we go again, just a quick headsup for anyone that is following my Radical SR1 race adventures that the 2nd race weekend is with us already this coming Friday / Saturday at Snetterton, basically practicing on the Friday with Qualifying and 2 races on the Saturday. Snetterton looks a little more straightforward than Oulton Park in that it is flat and wide but it is actually a very fast circuit so the car will definitely be able to stretch its legs and I will get more practice at trying to get the hang of keeping the speed up in the fast corners which is my main weakness.
    I feel much more prepared for this weekend now that I know the procedure of how a race day pans out + I have spent more time in the car so feel a bit more confident there. My main goal for this weekend is to be more competitive than at the first race at Oulton but also the main priority is to finish both races being that I only finished one at Oulton as I spun off in the 2nd race.

    New Car Livery
    So in-between races we have had the car’s livery designed in HiFi Lounge colours with our Sponsors put on the car, I actually haven’t seen it myself yet so this weekend will be it’s first showing, can’t wait to see it, we have a photoshoot planned for the following week so that we can announce our Sponsors officially and to get the story in the HiFi mags but at least the car will be more noticeable on track from now onwards.
    Follow Our Progress with TSL Timing
    We actually have quite a few friends coming along to support us for this event as well as taking advantage of the Radical hospitality package so look forward to seeing everyone on the Saturday, for those who can’t make it along but would still like to follow our progress there is a brilliant website called TSL Timing where you can follow qualifying and the race, please see link below -
    http://www.tsl-timing.com/
    So fingers crossed for a dry weekend so that I can hopefully get a better feel for how I fare up against the rest of the competition in the SR1 Cup.
    For those who are coming along please see the event calendar below, looks like it will be a fun weekend of racing.

    Cheers,
    Paul.
  10. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    I really don’t know where the time goes but we’ve been setting up since 7am this morning and now at 6pm we are nearly finished getting everything ready for tomorrow’s PMC Speakers Fact Signature Launch event and I have to say we have 3 brilliant sounding rooms, these new Fact Signatures are seriously good, please see an overview of each room below.
    All we need now is for the weather to actually realise it is summer as we are still ploughing ahead for a BBQ tomorrow
    Room One - Fact.8 Signatures
    I’ve got a real soft spot for the original Fact.8′s, they really are quite unique and the Signature iteration seem to have taken them up another level, I can see it will be a late night tonight.
    For this system we are running a Melco N1ZH into the Chord Electronics M Scaler and Hugo TT2 combo into the PMC Cor amplifier, this system really is singing.

    Room 2 - Fact.12 Signatures
    I run the original Fact.12′s at home so really looking forward to sitting down and getting to know the new Signatures, for this system we are running them on a full Naim 500 System, there has always been a great synergy between PMC and Naim and this certainly continues with this system.


    Room 3 - Fact Fenestria’s
    I know these are not really part of the launch event but they are part of the Fact range and if you’ve got them sitting around then why not fire them up, these really are incredible speakers and to help get them really singing we are driving them with a pair of the incredible Bryston 28B3 Mono’s fed by a dCS Rossini and Audio Research Reference 6 Pre, very nice indeed.


    Anyway we’ll be kicking off around 10 am tomorrow so look forward to seeing everyone during the day.
    Cheers,
    Paul.
  11. Vipers
    Hi All,
    So tomorrow is a big day as I am off to Brands Hatch to take my ARDS Race License test, now that is something I never thought I’d be saying a couple of months ago
    All a bit nerve racking really as it is a 3 hour test and it must be 30 years since I last did a test of any kind and I have never driven Brands in anger before so lots to learn, I have been told that the test is pretty straight forward though which almost makes it worse as if I fail I will then look like a right Muppet
    Anyway plenty of PMA needed for tomorrow and I will post if I pass or fail.

    In other news I want to thank the guys at UPE Motorsports yesterday for collecting my Radical SR1 which was finished being built this week just in time for my first test in the car on Tuesday at Snetterton, exciting times, I wonder what adventures this car will see this year, hopefully not too many trips to the kitty litter of worse.



    Just need to get some HiFi Stickers on it now
    Cheers,
    Paul.
  12. Vipers
    Hi All,
    Both Wendy and myself just wanted to send out a big thanks to everyone who attended the launch of our new Naim Lounge on Saturday and made the day such a big success, we reckon we had between 120-150 people through the doors which is just incredible, at one point people had to queue to get into the new room and apparently there were traffic jams outside as people tried to find somewhere to park, so thanks again for everyone’s support, it really is very much appreciated.
    Also I’d like to thank Chelsea, Mike, Dan and Phil from Naim for their support and help on the day as well as Tom from PMC who had the place rocking with some of his top tunes :-)
    I have to say that the Statement sounded epic on the PMC BB5 SE’s with many people commenting also on how good the Rega RP10 sounded through the system, personally I was really impressed with the Atom on the PMC Twenty5.23′s, that really is a great system for under £5000, I really don’t know how Naim can make the Atom for the RRP of £1800, it is seriously good, finally the Nova on the PMC Twenty5.24′s also got a lot of positive comments with many saying it was there favourite setup of the day, either way it was hard to fault any of these systems.
    Also Congratulations to Charles Macdonald for wining the Muso Qb draw, couldn’t have gone to a better customer :-)
    As mentioned before we will have the Statement and BB5 SE’s here for another couple of weeks so if you couldn’t make it in on Saturday but would still like a listen please feel free to come in.
    So now that the Naim Lounge is well and truly launched it is time to turn our attention to finishing of our Highend Lounge, basically it is just a case of getting the room treatment in place as this made a huge difference to the Naim Lounge, then we will organise a launch event for that where we will be focusing on dCS, Audio Research and Wilson Audio so please keep your eye out for that open day coming soon.
    So once again many thanks for everyones support, it really is very much appreciated, please find a few pics below, unfortunately we were too busy to take many.

    Mike From Naim doing the Muso Qb Prize Draw

    Thanks to John Dawson for the below whacky pics.





    Regards,
    Paul.
  13. Vipers
    Hi All,
    Both Wendy and myself wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who came along and helped make Boys Toys Day II such a success and a lot of fun, I have to admit I was quite worried during the night before as all I could hear was the rain pounding against the window and I feared a total washout but once the cars started arriving the sun broke through and we were blessed with gorgeous weather for the few hours we were at HiFi Lounge.
    We had a fantastic turnout of cars, a great selection of Lotus Cars + Porsche, Aston Martin, Caterham, TVR + many others but the star of the show that definitely the most attention was the McLaren 570S, stunning machine, unfortunately my Esprit didn’t make it, I got it back Friday evening around 5pm and I thought brilliant only to find that although it it now went forward I couldn’t get reverse so decided to not push my luck and decided to leave her at home, hopefully next time.
    I’d also like to thank dCS, Absolute Sounds and Lotus Silverstone for supporting this event, I think everyone agrees that the afternoon part of the day at dCS was awesome, all I kept hearing was how amazing the system sounded, I must admit I could have stayed there all night :-) Also thanks to Alnwick Gin for coming along and offering tastings, looks like we have a few Gin drinkers amongst our customers as they seemed to be very popular and also thanks to our friends, Ross, Louise, Ady and Damo for running the BBQ breakfast which seemed to go down very well indeed, amazing how quick 130 sausage and 100 rashes of bacon can disappear :-)
    So thanks again everyone, already talking about BTD III for 2019 so watch this space :-)
    I must admit I didn’t take many pictures so I have stolen some from a few sources so thanks to Bibs for the drone shots which look awesome, The Speaker Shack and Stephen Crowe, thanks Guys.
















    Then We headed over to dCS for more fun :-)









    A really nice picture of our Naim room with the Wilson Sabrina’s running that was taken on Saturday.

    Thanks again,
    Paul.
  14. Vipers
    Hi All,
    Both Wendy and myself just wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone that came along on Saturday to our 5th Birthday Anniversary bash and really made it a day to remember, it was an amazing turnout and had a really party feel with everyone just getting stuck in playing their favourite tunes.
    What blows me away is that 5 years ago we were starting on our HiFi Lounge journey not knowing what the future held but during that time we have met so many great people, many of them good friends now, so it was really nice to see everyone together enjoying themselves.
    We both really want to send a huge thanks to Peter Thomas for running one of our rooms all day, most definitely the star of the day playing a brilliant mix of music that all sounded amazing, his presentation at 1pm though did throw up one problem, even with the new much larger showrooms we just couldn’t fit everyone in, but it was such a rare opportunity to hear songs we all know and love in different ways with cuts straight from the mixing desks to the released version, it was such a great insight how the version we have at home can sometimes be so different to the original take, in many cases much worse, for me hearing the Freddie Mercury recording with just his vocal track was amazing, so thanks again Peter :-)
    Thanks also to Chris and Dawn for bringing along the vinyl for sale, as popular as ever, I thought I was going to survive without buying any records but resistance is futile and in the end I had to get my wallet out.
    Finally a big thanks to PMC for our awesome lemon Cake that tasted amazing and looked really cool also, classic PMC humour :-) and thanks to Rita for quite possibly the best Carrot Cake in the world which really did get demolished in a matter of minutes and a big thanks to our support team of Ross, Ady, Damo, Kyri who helped run the rooms and make the day run smoothly also a big thanks to Lesley for helping Wendy.
    So thanks again everyone, we really do appreciate everyones support, here’s to the next 5 years :-)
    Please find a few snapshots from the day below -



    Cake Fest!



    Demolished!

    Meet Jtan, Our awesome secret Weapon Web Designer, watch this space.

    I think we need bigger Rooms!


    Peter Thomas, The Star of the show!

    A Big thanks to everyone who helped out!

    Cheers,
    Paul & Wendy.
  15. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,

    It has taken a little while to post this, it has been a busy few days, but both Wendy and myself wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who came along to the launch of our new shop ‘Highend Headphones’ and helped make it such a special and fun day, as ever it was great to see so many familiar and new faces.

    We’d also like to thanks Shaun who came along from KS Distribution and ran the Final Audio Design workshop where customers could build their own Final Audio Design in ears which proved to be very successful, it involved a little patience and a tube of glue so I decided to stay away but everyone else were really happy with the results.

    It took a few late nights last week to get it ready and my main concern was that we hadn’t tested the network to get music to all the amps but luckily it held out until the end of the day when it got a little flaky and is still playing up today but at least we got through the launch event :-) Some more investigating needed later.

    We’ve just got the smaller room to kit out now which we will use as a portable systems room for Astell&Kern, Hugo etc with in-ears and cheaper headphones. Once that is done we will start to think of some open day ideas, we have been talking to Chord Electronics about perhaps doing a Hugo event later this year or maybe early next year so look out for that one, and also I like the idea of a headphone listening party where we hook up 20+ amps and run over 20 pairs of headphones with everyone listening to the same classic albums, just an idea, but could be fun.

    So a big thanks again and now we are open if anyone would like to explore how fantastic listening to music on great cans can sound please get in touch to arrange a demo and please keep an eye on the Highend Headphones website as we are constantly looking at new and exciting developments in the headphone arena.

    [url="http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk"]www.highendheadphones.co.uk[/url]

    Please find a few pictures from the event below -

    [b]This is the favourite part of the new shop :-)[/b]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/2_zpse40988ec.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/2_zpse40988ec.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/1_zps71b47d47.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/1_zps71b47d47.jpg[/img][/url]

    [b]Final Audio Design Workshop Proved Very Popular.[/b]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/4_zpsf1cff714.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/4_zpsf1cff714.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/5_zpsafc53eab.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/5_zpsafc53eab.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/6_zps1f4d7135.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/6_zps1f4d7135.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/7_zpse6332922.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/7_zpse6332922.jpg[/img][/url]

    [b]And in the main room it was starting to get busy.[/b]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/8_zpsc7fa3d8d.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/8_zpsc7fa3d8d.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/10_zps38b1272a.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/10_zps38b1272a.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/11_zps3d532b87.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/11_zps3d532b87.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/12_zps67ab8679.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/12_zps67ab8679.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/13_zps9b1b824e.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/13_zps9b1b824e.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/14_zpsafe2b671.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/14_zpsafe2b671.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/15_zpsac8f1f5a.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/15_zpsac8f1f5a.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/16_zps22abe660.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/16_zps22abe660.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/17_zpsf8bb9209.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/17_zpsf8bb9209.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/18_zpsaf4fa851.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/18_zpsaf4fa851.jpg[/img][/url]

    [b]Champagne anyone?[/b]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/19_zps0882a63d.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/19_zps0882a63d.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Highend%20Headphones/20_zpsf0649228.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Highend%20Headphones/20_zpsf0649228.jpg[/img][/url]

    And that was that.

    Thanks again,

    Cheers,

    Paul.
  16. Vipers
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1465_zpskyowtftx.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1465_zpskyowtftx.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    Hi All,
     
    It certainly all seems to be cars, cars and more cars here at the moment, every weekend we seem to be at a different car event, this weekend though was pretty cool as Wendy and myself got invited along to Silverstone for the Blancpain GT race at Silverstone as guests of Naim Audio and Bentley Cars, Naim are one of Bentleys sponsors, it was a great event with a range of supercars hammering around Silverstone, a really awesome sight to see.
     
    The real highlight though was that we were allowed access to the grid as the cars were forming for the start, I’ve been to countless races over the years but have never had this opportunity, it really was quite surreal, it really did feel like you shouldn’t be there, I’m sure all the mechanics must hate us getting in the way, it was great fun though.
     
    It was a 3 hour race and Bentley put up a good show but it was eventually won by a McLaren, if anyone in interested there is a 2min highlight reel below -
     
    [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLEC8B95916B0BA0A2&v=yq1ntBtYlkk"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLEC8B95916B0BA0A2&v=yq1ntBtYlkk[/url]
     
    So Thanks for Naim for the invite and a great day out, as ever please find a few pictures below -
     
    [b]The Lamborghini’s were racing in their own race series, this is an expensive car park -[/b]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1457_zpsbwtvlx5r.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1457_zpsbwtvlx5r.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [b]OUCH![/b]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1459_zps12wufnam.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1459_zps12wufnam.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [b]How gorgeous are these 2 show Lambo's[/b]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1445_zps1esjjrod.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1445_zps1esjjrod.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1452_zpstfwtnqmp.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1452_zpstfwtnqmp.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [b]On The Grid as everyone gets ready to start the 3 hour race.[/b]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1464_zps32vei8gg.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1464_zps32vei8gg.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1478_zpsksoexbfk.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1478_zpsksoexbfk.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1481_zpsrbo07ftl.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1481_zpsrbo07ftl.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1489_zpsro2x1mng.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1489_zpsro2x1mng.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1496_zpsw1bohzbq.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1496_zpsw1bohzbq.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    [b]Bentley In Hot Pursuit[/b]
     
    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_1520_zpsnzh3lru6.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_1520_zpsnzh3lru6.jpg[/img][/url]
     
    Cheers,
    Paul.
  17. Vipers
    I’m not really sure when the idea popped into my head about going racing with Radical Sportscars but as soon as it did I thought it would be really cool if we could run it as a HiFi Car, then the idea developed into a ‘Best Of British’ HiFi Car, so the next step was to approach all my British brands that we work with, now I knew this wasn’t going to be everyones cup of tea, in fact I did wonder if anyone would be mad enough to agree but luckily enough 6 of our brands were crazy enough to think it was a good idea and they agreed to help with sponsoring the car.
    So the next step was to design the livery in the HiFi Lounge colours and to cover it with our sponsors, I am really pleased how it has turned out, it looks like a real racing car now where as at the first race weekend it did look a little plain but at least it is easy to spot on track now and is also getting people talking in the pit lane, it turns out one of my competitors makes the case work for dCS, small world.
    So I’d like to say a huge thanks to the following companies for supporting this mad cap idea especially as I am finding out that motorsport is definitely not a cheap past time but with their support it is definitely helping but more importantly it is really cool to be driving a HiFi themed Race Car
    So thanks to our 4 main sponsors of (in alphabetical order) Chord Electronics, Naim Audio, PMC Speakers and Trilogy Audio as well as our other 2 additional sponsors of Atlas Cables and Rega, thanks guys, really appreciate your support.
    A couple of weeks ago we had a photo shoot at HiFi Lounge with all the representatives from each company which was a lot of fun, here are a few of the pics from the day with each relevant sponsor -

    Maurice From Chord Electronics
    http://hifilounge.co.uk/chord-electronics

    Mike From Naim Audio
    http://hifilounge.co.uk/naim-audio

    Tom From PMC Speakers
    http://hifilounge.co.uk/pmc-speakers

    Nigel Representing Trilogy Audio
    http://hifilounge.co.uk/trilogy

    Rob From Rega
    http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega

    Donal From Atlas Cables

    http://hifilounge.co.uk/atlas-cables

    Also here are a few random pics from the day + a couple from when on track -









    Thanks again everyone for your support, know I just need to start getting faster
    Cheers.
    Paul.
  18. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    So I have just figured out how to edit video’s, in true apple fashion is is made very easy.
    Qualifying Lap
    This is my best qualifying lap which I was very pleased with, especially as we were running on the wet tyres, to be fair though there is still a lot of time to be had as I really need to brake much later and carry more speed in the fast corners but for a 1st attempt I was very happy.
    https://youtu.be/LJiBSxpYMy8
    From Hero To Zero
    This clip isn’t quite as good, I had just taken the lead in the Fangio Cup runnings but for some reason under acceleration from the chicane I just spun out, I had taken that corner the same lap after lap but maybe due to the colder weather and moisture in the air just touching the kerb was all it took, a lesson learnt definitely.
    https://youtu.be/AtB14FX8j3w
    Cheers,
    Paul.
  19. Vipers
    Hi All,
    Well it’s that time of year again where it is fun to look back at what 2016 ended up throwing at us but firstly both Wendy and myself would like to thank everyone again for your tremendous support throughout 2016 it really is much appreciated as this year has proved another year of growth for HiFi Lounge and Highend Headphones and we are more than aware that without our brilliant customer’s we wouldn’t be having this much fun :-)
    A look back at 2016!

    Just reading back the first paragraph, I said it is ‘fun’ to look back but perhaps ‘fun’ really wasn’t the right word as for music lovers 2016 will be remembered forever as the year where we lost some of our most loved and influential artists, for me the loss of David Bowie followed so quickly by Prince at the start of the year was a real body blow as along with Bruce Springsteen and Elvis I have now lost 3 of my favourite 4 artists, but if that wasn’t bad enough there was also the loss of Glenn Frey, George Martin, Scotty Moore, Pete Burns & Leonard Cohen to mention just a few, a very sad year indeed.


    A Great Year For HiFi
    As for HiFi though, it was a bit of a strange year as many of our brands brought out a lot of new and excellent products but nearly everything was a revision on what had gone before, Devialet brought us their new Expert Pro range and the Amazing Gold Phantom, Rega gave us the new Planar 1, 2 & 3 turntables, how after all these years they keep making their decks better is beyond me, Bryston gave us their new ‘Cubed’ amps which were quite literally stunning, again I thought the SST2 amps were a tough act to follow but Bryston made the jump so big that many people ended upgrading to the new Cubed design, then PMC graced us with their new Twenty5 Series of speakers, again I thought it was impossible to improve on the original Twenty Range but with the help of the new laminair technology and new drivers the upgrade was considerable giving a really effortless speaker that really did disappear, then just last week OPPO finally released their much awaited UDP-203 4K player, these really have been flying off the shelf and finally Naim announced the new Uniti Range which will be un-leashed early in 2017, I had a preview recently and they really are a beautifully designed piece of HiFi, I am expecting big things from Naim here.

    So as you can see there really was a lot of refinement going on here, for me the 2 products that really stood out as bringing something new to the market for 2016 was Musical Fidelity’s Encore range, giving a powerful one box design with the Encore 225 that will rip, store an play CD’s but also has analogue and digital inputs + a powerful 225 WPC amplifier to be a true one box solution and also the Focal Elear and Utopia Headphones really got the phone ringing, I can honestly say I never seen so much excitement over new products in the headphone community and I have to say a special mention to the Utopia, with its Beryllium dome drivers it really did bring something new to the Headphone market and for me is the first headphone to challenge the mighty Stax SR-009, they really are that good, So all in all it was another excellent year for HiFi.

    BRUUUUUCE!

    On a personal note, I had a brilliant year chasing Bruce Springsteen around the world seeing him 10 times this year, now going over 80 Bruce gigs since 1985, I’m not sure if it was spurred on by the passing of both Bowie and Prince but I have always wanted to see Bruce in his hometown of New Jersey so this year I just thought sod it and had a trip of a lifetime to see 3 Bruce gigs at the Meadowlands New Jersey which are already going down in history as 3 of Bruce’s best show of all time, night 3 was just beyond all expectations, we even got to meet Little Steven backstage :-) The other notable Bruce gig this year was Rome in an old chariot racing stadium, what an atmosphere, possibly the best concert I have ever seen.


    Best album of 2016

    I wouldn’t say this has been the best year ever for music but for me there are 2 albums that stand head and shoulders over everything else, David Bowies final album ‘Blackstar’ and Nick Caves ‘Skeleton Tree’, both albums tinged with an air of sadness, obviously with Bowies passing and the loss of Nick Caves son in such tragic circumstances, you can almost hear Nick Cave crying on the album, I have never heard such anguish with heartfelt and harrowing singing put into an album before, it really can be quite tough going but really is quite absorbing. Which is the best album? It really is impossible to say to be honest, to think that Bowie put out such an amazing album as a final farewell is quite incredible, it was almost as if he saved some of his best material over the years for his final album, amazing stuff so I think this year will be a draw between David Bowie and Nick Cave for me and if you haven’t listened to either of these albums I really would strongly recommend it.


    Looking ahead to 2017
    I am sure there will be some amazing new HiFi to sing lyrically about throughout the year but 2017 looks set to be a big one for HiFi Lounge as we are expanding, basically we have taken on 2 more barns which are in-between HiFi Lounge and Highend Headphones so the builders will be in early next year to knock through to make it all one big HiFi Toy Shop which I am really excited about, the idea is that we will have a dedicated Naim room and a Highend Room, we also have some exciting new brands coming early next year such as Wilson Audio, Audio Research, DCS and Quadraspire, please see a couple of pics below as the rooms are now.

    There is an amazing amount of work to be done yet but if all goes to plan the launch event will be April 1st, yes that is no Joke, and the idea is that Naim will be bringing along their Statement to partner up with a pair of PMC MB2 XBD’s so please pencil that date into your diary but keep an eye on the website for confirmation.

    Well I guess I should wrap it all up really as I could talk forever but really again I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last 4 years really as we are now in our 5th year, where did that time go and Both Wendy and Myself would like to wish everyone a great Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
    Look forward to seeing you during 2017 :-)
    Regards,
    Paul and Wendy.
  20. Vipers
    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.
  21. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,

    Highend Headphones has been running for a couple of months now but we are still putting the finishes touches to the converted stable that it is based in, we are really keen to get the smaller demo room up and running but with Christmas looming fast that may well have to wait till next year.

    Wendy is starting to find her feet now being thrown in at the deep end, one minute she is an IT engineer the next she is the headphone Mistress :-) but she is a quick learner and is really starting to understand all the different presentations that all the headphones have to offer and more importantly she makes a better cuppa than me.

    Thanks also to everyone who has been in so far and helped make the first couple of months such a success, being that we are the only dedicated Highend Headphone demo facility in the UK I have been quite keen to get a few pictures taken of the new building but my photography skills on a iPhone really don’t do the property justice, luckily for us one of our best customers is a top photographer, please step forward Mr Jason Beeby, please see below for a sample of his work, if you have any photography needs please do let us know and I will put you in touch with Jason as this guy really does know what he is doing. I have to say that when he first showed me the pictures I was blown away, I really didn’t expect them to be that stunning, they really are as if you are in the shop. He has taken quite a few detailed and up close shots that I hope to post during the week some time, but below are a small sampler.

    Also I want to mention that the art on the wall is also from one of our customers, these are for sale so if you do like the look of what you see please do get in touch and I can put you in touch with Keith Sunasky, the artist, saying that they look so good in the shop that I’d be very reluctant to see them go. Please find a link to his Facebook page below -

    [url="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keith-Sunasky-Art/423068984455793"]https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keith-Sunasky-Art/423068984455793[/url]

    Needless to say if anyone is thinking of a full headphone rig or just a pair of headphones please do get in touch as I’d like to think we have something for all the audiophiles out there :-)

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-1_zps7a06e44f.png.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-1_zps7a06e44f.png[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-2_zps6bb46c34.png.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-2_zps6bb46c34.png[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-3_zps735dad7b.png.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-3_zps735dad7b.png[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-4_zps2d3cef47.png.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Headphones/HighendHeadphonesInterior-4_zps2d3cef47.png[/img][/url]

    Like I say I will hopefully get the other pictures uploaded this week.

    We are always on the lookout for new headphones and amps as this is certainly a faster moving industry than the HiFi side of things so please keep an eye on the website for any new developments.

    www.highendheadphones.co.uk

    Cheers,

    Paul.
  22. Vipers
    Hi All,

    What with the imminent arrival of the LF1 next week and the recent acquisition of a M100 Elan and only having one garage it has been a race against time to get a new garage put up, I looked at several ideas but in the end went for a Murryhill 17x12 as at the moment we are in rented property so didn't want anything too permanent, in the end after the effort required to put it up I think a wooden solution may have been a better idea.

    Luckily I found some great guys who put it up, they quoted 1 day, in the end it took over 3 days, it certainly wasn't the easiest thing to put together, it really is like a giant mechano set, hopefully tomorrow I will get time to get the floor down, then just need to order the Carcoon to help keep the damp out.

    Below are a few pics -

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0894_zpsffd54297.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0894_zpsffd54297.jpg[/img][/url]

    [b]After 1 day![/b]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0895_zps40e5c828.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0895_zps40e5c828.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0896_zps26a8d2ae.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0896_zps26a8d2ae.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0897_zpsc0c8e8a0.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0897_zpsc0c8e8a0.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0898_zps711e2b25.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0898_zps711e2b25.jpg[/img][/url]

    [b]After Day 2![/b]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0899_zpscb1b9bcc.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0899_zpscb1b9bcc.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0900_zps35b3972c.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0900_zps35b3972c.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0901_zps3efcd0b1.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0901_zps3efcd0b1.jpg[/img][/url]

    [b]After Day 3 and a bit![/b]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0902_zpsd2e4d96a.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0902_zpsd2e4d96a.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0903_zps4dd93201.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0903_zps4dd93201.jpg[/img][/url]

    [url="http://s474.photobucket.com/user/Mikawen/media/Cars/IMG_0904_zpsdfed1f12.jpg.html"][img]http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr109/Mikawen/Cars/IMG_0904_zpsdfed1f12.jpg[/img][/url]

    Cheers,
    Paul.
  23. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    A bit late with this one as it was a couple of weeks ago but just back from our hols so just got round to posting, just wanted to say thanks to our competition winners for coming along to Donington Park for 5 laps each round the full GP track, there were a lot of smiles once everyone got out the car, I think everyone was blown away by the braking power and cornering speed.
    Thanks also to Tom for taking everyone round and for Darren at UPE Motorsport for helping run the day that went off without a hitch, well till the end of the day when the diff failed but at least everyone’s passenger laps were completed by then so it was good timing to be honest, also thanks to Ollie Read for taking the excellent photo’s of the day.
    Finally thanks to Chord Electronics and PMC Speakers for helping support the day and great to meet the guys and girls from our new sponsors Hifi Pig, hopefully we can do it again next year
    Please find a few pictures below from the day -












    Playtime Over 😞

    Cheers,
    Paul.
  24. Vipers
    Hi Everyone,
    Exciting times ahead as we get ready to launch our new website, it has been quite a while in the making but the end is in sight and I just wanted to share this short video we have shot, this is the 1 minute version and the director’s cut ‘Lord Of The RIngs’ Mammoth 2 minute version will be on the new websites homepage once launched.
    I’d like to thank Ian at IDB-Creative for doing a brilliant job as he didn’t have the best material to work with in all honesty but once I saw the final edit I was over the moon, please find a link to his website below -
    https://www.idb-creative.com/
    I actually didn’t realise I was going to be in the video in all honesty, so sorry if it is more of a video nasty but hope you enjoy it, I think it paints a pretty good picture of what we offer and the level of customer service we strive to achieve.
    Enjoy and Look forward to hearing people’s thoughts, hopefully
    Cheers,
    Paul.
  25. Vipers
    Hi All,
    Just a really quick one to say that we now have the new Accuphase E-800 Pure Class A Integrated amplifier now on Demo, this is my first foray into Class A solid state amplification and I have to say I can see why people like this kind of amplification as it really does give an extremely natural presentation but with great control, it really is very engrossing.
    The E-800 is basically 50 watts into 8 ohms which at Class A is pretty much enough power to drive any speakers out there, it's certainly not small but if you are looking for an amp to get the best out of your speakers and prefer your HiFi more on the musical side then I would highly recommend giving the E-800 a good listen.
    Cheers,
    Paul.


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