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Vipers

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Posts posted by Vipers


  1. SME Model 12A Turntable now on Permanent Demonstration!

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    Hi All,

    This is just a quickie to say that we now have the SME Model 12A turntable on permanent demo to go with our Model 15 that we also have on demo.

    At £8550 unbelievably the Model 12A is SME Entry turntable but make no mistake this is a real high end offering, the build quality really has to be seen to be believed and you have to listen to it to understand why SME are considered one of the best manufacturers of turntables in the world today.

    It comes with the SME Model 309 tonearm which really takes some beating and at the moment we have it partnered with a Kiseki Blue cartridge which sounds great but we will soon be swapping that out for a Kiseki Purple Heart once with us as I expect this to be a really good match with the 12A.

    If vinyl is your thing and you want the best then please feel free to come for a listen anytime, there is nothing better than a turntable demo

    Please find more info below -

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/sme/turntables-sme/

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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  2. Transparent Reference Cables Now On Demo!

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    Hi All,

    As we continue to up the specification of our main system in our so called 'Highend Room' I am really pleased to now have a full loom of Transparent Reference Cables here in preparation of the last 2 pieces of the jigsaw to arrive, I think it is fair to say that when it comes to High-end Cables Transparent rule the roost so it really is great to be able to now have a full set on permanent demo, this little lot comes to around £50k which is Transparents Mid level, you can spend much more but I think it is also worth mentioning that they also do speaker cables and interconnects starting from only £145 so they really do cater for all audiophile budgets out there, saying that for the very best in Transparent there is their Magnum Opus range where as an example a 2.5m pair of speaker cable will set you back over £70,000, Gulp.

    Anyway I can't wait to get them all hooked up, for any Transparent enquiries or prices please feel free to get in touch.

    https://www.transparentcable.com/

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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  3. We’re Back Open Again and Couldn’t be Happier!

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    Hi Everyone,

    Firstly it goes without saying that I hope everyone has stayed fit well over the last few months and also you have stayed mentally sane as these have certainly been times like no other we have been going through with a variety of different challenges but it does appear that the worst is now behind us, well let’s certainly hope so and like most of the country’s ‘Non Essential’ shops (although I would argue we are pretty essential for a lot of our customers) we will be reopening from Tuesday 16th which I am delighted about.

    I also want to thank everyone for their support through this period, it was really nice to get so many emails and phone calls of genuine concern and like many I really thought we were heading into a really difficult trading period, looking back though it has been the total opposite and I actually felt busier during Lockdown than when we are normally open, obviously we had to adapt the way we worked but lending kit out for people to try at home proved very popular, either sent by courier or by us taking it to peoples houses, Wendy did a 400+ mile round trip one day dropping kit off whilst on the same day I was out also, I think we did 10 drops that day, anyway the main thing is that we got through it but really are ready now to re-open our doors, although I’ve been busy it has still been very strange having the showrooms shut since March 24th and with no one coming in, over the last couple of weeks I have had to get all the kit back though as at one point the shop looked like it had been robbed as most of it was in people's homes but we have everything back now, ready for action.

    So what is the new way forward? For the time being we will be strictly appointment only with no drop in’s allowed, I never wanted to make this place appointment only as I don’t like putting barriers up for people but we really have no choice at the moment so until the country is Coronavirus free (I really hope it goes as quick as it came) then we will work appointment only with 1 to 2 demo’s a day and we will have hand sanitiser available when customers come in, we will have a dedicated customer toilet that we will clean thoroughly after every customer and we will maintain social distancing, if anyone coming in can respect this also that will be great as we all need to stay fit and healthy.

    I have already had quite a few people book demo’s for Tuesday onwards next week so it looks like we will soon get back to some kind of normality, I can’t wait to start demoing again as really missed that but going forward I think we will run the business slightly differently so if you are a little nervous about coming in due to the virus but would like to try something at home just get in touch and we can arrange something and I also think for a lot of people they would rather try kit at home, which does make a lot of sense, so again just give me a shout and we can get something arranged. I think one victim this year will be open days, we love a good open day here but I think any we had planned will be on hold now till next year which actually is a real shame as we’ve got some great new kit that we could have showcased.

    Talking of new equipment we have, just before lockdown I ordered loads of new toys to play with which all just started trickling in before Lockdown was announced so I have had that stored away safely until the moment we could open again so please keep an eye out for more announcements of exciting new products we'll have on demo.

    Anyway I’ll shut up now and look forward to some kind of a normal service resuming at HFL and if you’d like to come in for a demo please feel free to get in touch to make an appointment.

    All the best,

    Regards,

    Paul, Wendy and Ady.


  4. Chord Electronics Ultima Pre 2 Reference Now On Demo!

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    Hi All,

    So I’ve been meaning to partner our demo Chord Electronics mighty Ultima 2 Mono Power Amps with some Wilson’s for a while but I knew we would have our new demo Ultima 2 Preamplifier here soon so wanted to wait till then so we could do a full Chord setup and last week we received our Ultima 2 pre so it was game on, now we normally run the Ultima 2 amplifiers on our PMC Fenestria’s and I can honestly say I have never heard them sound better so I was really keen to give a full Chord setup a listen on our new demo Wilson Audio Alexia’s and I have to say it is a pretty potent combo.

    We ran our Melco N1ZH into Chord’s Dave, unfortunately our demo M Scaler is out on loan, then into the Ultima 2 Pre and the Mono Ultima 2 amps all connected up with Atlas Asimi cabling so there was no doubt it was going to sound good but I was surprised how different it sounded to what I’m used to with Wilson’s, now I am used to running Constellation and Audio Research with Wilson’s which are brilliant partnering equipment but this Chord setup sounded so different, now bearing in mind how big these amps are you expect a big and powerful sound, which you get when called for but what really surprised me was how quick and agile they are and there is a real finesse and delicacy, such an open and airy sound with amazing seperation, it is really hard to put into words but as a total system it was captivating on all genres of music and although we normally run our Dave straight into the Ultima amps adding the Pre certainly seemed to open up the soundstage quite noticeably, is it £12,500 better? well that is always a difficult question to answer but putting it in the chain certainly helped make the system more immersive.

    I love Chord’s kit, one for the sound but also for the looks, it is un-ashmadley attention grabbing and although our new Ultima 2 setup looks stunning it is the sound quality that really impresses, we will have this setup running permantley once we re-open so please feel free to make an appointment to come in for a listen anytime.

    Please find more info on our website below –

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/chord-electronics/chord-electronics-reference/

    HiFi News Review

    Please also read the HiFi News review of the Ultima 2 Pre and Power Combo which got a 90% rating which is virtually unheard of from Hifi News, Chord really do have a winning combination on their hands here –

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/HiFi-News-Ultima-2-and-Pre-2-Review.pdf

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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  5. Wilson Audio Alexia 2 Speakers now on Permanent Demo, They're So Good 🙂

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    Hi Everyone,

    So next in our post Lockdown new demo kit announcements is rather special, what with the Munich Highend Show cancelled this year we thought we would up our reference system to bring a slice of Munich to Millow so starting with the speakers we now have the awesome Wilson Audio Alexia 2's on permanent demo, these are the next one up in the range from the brilliant Sasha DAW's which are a really popular speaker for us but the Alexia really takes it to the next level with a more open and bigger soundstage, they just give you more of what Wilson do really well, making really engaging music that you just want to listen to, longer sometimes than you probably should, at £65,000 I know they should be good but they really are so once we are open again please feel free to book an appointment to come and have a listen, I'm really looking forward to try a variety of different amps on these to see what is the best performance we can achieve.

    We actually now have the Wilson Audio range from the TuneTot to the Alexia 2's on permanent demo, Only Alexx then XVX and Wamm's left to complete the set :)

    This is the start of our new Highend system, more announcements of the rest of the new kit making it up shortly, all very exciting.

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/wilson-audio/

    On with some pictures, further down there is a couple of comparison pics of the Alexia 2 v DAW and if you have any questions regarding these awesome speakers please don't hesitate to get in touch.

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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  6. Accuphase Joins HFL's Portfolio, Now on Permanent Demo!

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    Hi All,

    So the next news we have in readiness for the lifting of retail Lockdown is that we are really proud to add Accuphase to our portfolio of brands and products, for those you don't know Accuphase is considered Japan's High end HiFi offering to the world.

    I must admit that when I was first shown one of the integrated amps by my rep a few months ago I was tottally smitten by the looks even before it had made a single note , I mean what is not to love about the VU Meters and their very retro look but once you start using their products you realise they just ooze class, they are so beautifully made and extremely well engineered, every button and knob is a joy to operate, when you are next in please feel free to have a twiddle, Accuphase really are up there with the best when it comes to understanding that everything matters, I'm actually not using the remote so that I have the joy of using the manual volume knob, anyway enough of my perversions, oh yes and they only come in Champagne Gold, which I know may not be for everyone but it they certainly make a statement and actually look really classy in the flesh.

    But obviously it is the sound that matters and needless to say they don't disappoint here, for a company that is approaching it's 50th anniversary I think it's fair to say they know what they are doing by now, I first heard the 30 watt Pure Class A E-650 Integrated and we used it to drive the Magneplanar 20.7's which are a very difficult speaker to get the best from but it really did make them sing, in all honesty I have never heard them sound better, I think it is fair to say with the limited listening I have had so far that the Accuphase house sound is honest but slightly on the warmer and full bodied side, very much a Class A sound but even their non Class A amps still carry that sound so they have all the detail but they are not bright or forward, just very natural and musical.

    Accuphase Laboratory, Inc. is a Japanese, Yokohama-based high-end audio equipment manufacturer founded by former Kenwood engineer Jiro Kasuga in late 1972 who was unhappy with the direction Kenwood where going in so he took engineers from Marantz and Luxman and formed Accuphase. The name ACCUPHASE was adapted by taking the prefix ACCU from the word “accurate”, and combining it with PHASE which is a most important factor in audio technology. Accuphase are well known for producing extremely high quality products so if you are looking for a new amp and are taken by the looks of Accuphase then feel free to come into HFL to give them a listen as I'm pretty sure you'll be very impressed as I was.

    At the moment we have the new E-380 Integrated on demo which is to be followed very shortly by the new monster E-800 50 Watt Pure Class Amp, really can't wait to get my hands on this, all their integrateds and Preamps can be fitted with either a digital DAC board as well as a Phono Board so they really can be a very neat solution for people who don't want loads of boxes.

    Please find the full range below, unfortunately Accuphase won't let us publish prices so please do get in touch for more info, as an example the E-380 we have on demo is £6800 and the E-800 will be £15,000, if anything else in the range takes your fancy please also get in touch as we have access to the full range for demo that we can borrow at any time.

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/accuphase/

    Cheers,

    Paul.

    Accuphase E-380 Integrated Amplifier

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    Accuphase E-800 Integrated Amplifier (Coming Very Soon)

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  7. Fyne Audio F1-8 Speakers Now on Permanent Demo!

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    Hi Everyone,

    So with the end of retail lockdown now in sight I wanted to do a few blogs of a fair bit of new demo stock that arrived just before lockdown, it seemed weird announcing loads of new demo stock when we couldn't do any demos but all being well we'll be back open on June 15th so hopefully it will be all systems go again soon.

    Anway due to how much I love the Fyne Audio F1-5's I just couldn't resist ordering the F1-8's for demo which arrived a week before lockdown but that was actually a bonus as they have been my lockdown speaker of choice that I have been playing daily to keep me entertained during this crazy time. The first thing that shocked me was their size, compared to the F1-5's they look huge but once I got over that I was smitten with the sound, they really do give a big, open and airy mid range, with such a large soundstage and they do pack a fair old punch at the bottom end although I still like to run a sub with them but then I like a sub with all speakers.

    Their looks really do grab attention and definitely divides opinion but that is a good thing as they really are quite different to anything else out there but one thing is for sure, I know everyone will love the sound the F1-8's give and if you are looking for a highend standmount I would wholeheartedly recommend you give these a listen once we are back open.

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/fyne-audio/f1-series/

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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    Fyne Audio F1-8 v F1-5

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  8. New Speakers For Home, PMC BB5 SE’s, Uncompromisingly Big and Beautiful!

    Hi All,

    So this all goes back well over a decade ago, long before HFL was even a glint in our eyes, when myself and Wendy attended an PMC Open Day at Unilet where the PMC BB5’s where being showcased and I remember it clearly when Wendy looked at me and said ‘We’ve got to get a pair of those’ unfortunately at the time we couldn’t fit them in our living room so we ‘settled’ for the MB2i’s which as I’ve said before inadvertently led to the opening of HFL as I became totally addicted to them and my hifi but that's another story.

    Anyway if I have learnt one thing from this whole Covid-19 thing is that life doesn’t stay the same and it can change in a heartbeat as it has done for everyone in one way or another so I thought to myself what am I waiting for, if there is something you want and you have the means to get it then why wait as who knows what is around the corner, so a quick email to PMC to see if they had any BB5 SE’s in walnut in stock, to my surprise they did and a couple of days later Wendy went over to pick them up from PMC in Luton, so around 12 years later her wish became a reality, have to say a lot certainly changed in those intervening years.

    Now I love speakers, they are my favourite part of the HiFi chain as they really do make the most difference in presentation and I have always believed that you can put a big speaker in a small room but when I saw the size of the boxes of the BB5’s even I thought we maybe had bitten off more than we could chew this time but after a couple of hours of unboxing and manhandling the speaker onto their stands it was time to fire up the Bryston amps and see what we had.

    Needless to say I was extremely relieved when they sounded incredible instantly, extremely open and spacious with a huge soundstage and with tight and punchy bass with no overhang or room issues but for me it was how 'correct' they sounded, from the very bottom to the very top the balance was perfect, not one aspect stood out other than you really feeling you are hearing the presentation as it should be, there is just this big and airy image that hangs in front of you, as they say with car engines, there is no replacement for displacement, and I feel it is the same with speakers, you just can’t beat a big cabinet to free up the sound.

    Now obviously they are on the slightly large side and are not really room friendly for your normal domestic situation but luckily I married a crazy woman who thinks they look awesome in the room and we both love the sound so I think at long last my speaker search for home is now finally over, yes I measured for a pair of BB5 XBD’s but they really won’t fit, now I just want to play with the rest of the system to get the very best from the speakers.

    Cheers,

    Paul.

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/pmc-speakers/se-series/

    Please find some unboxing pics below -

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    Wendy get's her dream speaker at last.

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    Getting a Rough Idea of the toe in.

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    Deep breathe as we now need to lift it onto its stand.

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  9. HiFi Lounge Back on the Race Track in our Radical, Well Virtually!

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    Hi All,

    Hope everyone is continuing to stay safe and well, for me one of the big casualties of this whole mess has been all world motorsport being cancelled for the time being but what has been a real surprise is how well motorsports has adapted to the virtual world and how entertaining it is, Formula One, IndyCar and Nascar amongst others have taken to a piece of Sim Software called iRacing and I have to say seeing the real drivers competing in these races from the comfort of their homes but with full TV production values has been great fun and in many cases the virtual racing has been better than the real thing, seeing Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon change the lead twice a lap for the entire race at Interlagos will go down in virtual racing folk lore, let's hope when real motorsport returns it is as entertaining.

    Needless to say I'm really missing driving my Radical at the moment so when Radical announced they were going to start a 6 race invitational championship I was really keen to get stuck in, now I had never heard of iRacing before lockdown but as Radical where using this as the virtual platform I had to get myself setup with a PC based Sim setup meaning I missed the first 2 rounds but I made the third round on Saturday, we had a practice session on Thursday, Pre-Qualifying on Friday with qualifying and the race Saturday afternoon, now I'm not making excuses, honest, but this is a invitational to Radical drivers from around the world and professional iRacer's but we got through Pre-Qualifying where over 100 drivers were trying to make the 50 car grid, we then qualified 35th which I was pretty happy with, my plan for the race was just to try and keep out of trouble and put in consistent lap times, the first half of the race went really well as I went from 35th to 13th, then unfortunately someone came out of the pits straight into me and took me out of the race which was a tad annoying to say the least but overall it was a lot of fun, there are 3 races left then hopefully we can get back on track for real, Mid-Ohio is this coming weekend so hopefully we'll have better luck there, this is a really tricky track so plenty of practice required this week, then we have Spa which I'm really looking forward to.

    Below is Saturday's race which is broadcast live on YouTube with full commentary, have to say it was a brilliant race up front, if you love your motorsport and you don't watch the whole race just watch the last 5 minutes as it was an incredible finish for 1st place, one of commentators reckons it was the best finish he has seen in 10 years of virtual racing commentating so can't ask for more than that.

    I will update this post with links for the last 3 races once competed for anyone like me who misses real motorsport, or you can watch live on you Tube, the races start at 4pm on Saturday afternoons, please see the remainder of the calendar below -

    • Rd 4 - May 23 - 15:00 GMT - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
    • Rd 5 - June 6 - 15:00 GMT - Spa Francorchamps
    • Rd 6 - June 13 - 15:00 GMT - Road America


     

    Cheers,
    Paul.

    • Like 1

  10. Bonus Album

    Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters

    I really enjoyed compiling the above list but the hardest part was limiting it to 12 albums so there are a couple more that I would have loved to included so thought I would so a couple of bonus album for a bit of fun and to complete the list, the first is the Scissor Sisters self titled album, When I first heard 'Take Your Mama' in 2004 it was like a breath of fresh air as it was pure classic pop that would take me and Wendy on a journey that I thought I would share as it was a few years before HFL so most people don't know, basically we became pretty good friends with the Scissor Sisters that took us all over Europe following them and created some awesome memories, it was great being involved with one of the biggest bands of the time and seeing the music industry from the other side to what I was used to. So how did this happen? well we went to one of their very first gigs which was awesome and after the show me and Wendy were walking back to the car when I noticed Jake Shears, the lead singer, walking just ahead of us so we rushed up to him to say how amazing the show was and how much we loved the debut album then the rest is history really, as the next show he invited us backstage then for every gig thereafter we would go in to sound checks, backstage to chill with the band, get invited to some amazing fancy dress after show parties with loads of celebs, we hang out in the bar with them and Debbie Harry after they headlined the Edinburgh Hogmanay concert, went on a ghost walk with them in Edinburgh also, basically there are just too many great memories to list, we even did the commentary on one of their DVD's, mad, so yeah it was an incredible time, we saw them live countless times, I even missed a couple of Bruce gigs to see the Scissors which I find unbelievable now, but looking back at all the photos we took it really was a crazy time, I'd love them to reform so we could see them live again but at least we've still got that great first album so we can relive those wonderful memories.

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  11. Album 12 -

    Radiohead - The Bends

    So drum roll please as we come to the end of my list of albums that have influenced my taste in music, not only is this album my most influential album but it is also my favourite album of all time, as far as I am concerned The Bends by Radiohead is a total perfection, closely followed by OK Computer I should say but it is The Bends that got me into Radiohead and through following them over the last 25 years has taken me through many different styles of music as only Radiohead can do. Funnily enough when I first heard The Bends I borrowed the CD from a colleague at the Printers where I worked and as much as I listened to it I just didn't get it so I gave it back to him not really sure what all the fuss was about to be honest but then 6 months later after I heard more people raving about it I borrowed it again and this time it clicked and I have been listening to it ever since on a regular basis and everytime it just takes me away to a different place as only music can, it's funny as the albums that instantly click are usually short lived listens for me but albums that I have struggled with initially become albums that I go back to all the time, not sure what that is about. Anyway back to the Bends, Thom Yorke has a voice is like an angel with some beautifully delicate moments and then some thundering rock with great guitar work, it is such a powerful album that really does take you on an emotional journey and is impossible to fault. Looking back I was extremely lucky as I was in Barcelona for the Grand Prix back in 1997 and we heard that Radiohead were playing a small venue in the city centre to be broadcast on MTV for the launch of OK Computer, we went to a local record shop and got tickets and managed to get right down the front, it was an incredible night with all of the Bends played plus preview tracks from OK Computer, if only I had a time machine I would love to relive that night again, especially to take Wendy as it was incredible,  Radiohead have never made a bad album in my opinion, not even a bad song to be honest but the Bends really is a true masterpiece and an album I will be playing forever, musical genius without doubt.

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  12. Album 11

    Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

    This is certainly an album that needs no introduction and although I have loads of rock albums I love as far as I am concerned this is the greatest rock album of all time, everyone knows the hits 'Sweet Child o' mine' 'Paradise City' and 'Welcome to the Jungle' which are all classics but it is also tracks like 'It's So Easy' 'Night Train' 'Mr Brownstone' and 'Rocket Queen' that makes this such a strong album, every song really is brilliant with Axle's voice sounding unique along with Slash on guitar, I mean what it not to like, apparently when first released this album was panned by critics and nearly went unnoticed but a year after release it started to gain some traction and the rest is history as they say. I remember a friend bringing the CD round for me to listen to around 1988 sometime as I had never heard of G'N'R but I could tell he was very excited by his new find and rightly so as I was captivated after the first track and from then on I was sucked into the G'N'R world seeing them live as much as I could, I also went to the midnight launch at Tower Records in London of the follow up albums, Use Your Illusion 1&2, which are also up their with my favourites, now that was a night to remember with tanks driving through Piccadilly with models hanging off them, hilarious, but for me G'N'R are the best rock band out there, it is just such a shame they imploded and only really released 2 proper albums, actually supposed to be going to see them twice this month but I guess that will be postponed till next year now, but at least they are touring again so we can still enjoy some of the best Rock ever live

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  13. Album 10

    Def Leppard - Hysteria

    So if I was going to choose one genre over any other as my favourite is would have to be Rock and these next 2 albums were the 2 that really started that journey with me exploring all kinds of rock and metal which really is the bulk of my music collection from Soft Rock to German Industrial Metal, it is such a diverse genre, there is just nothing better and it was Def Leppard's brilliant Hysteria album that awakened my inner rock demon. I remember it clearly when I first heard it, I was on my way to house party with some friends back in the late 80's, my mate was driving and had Hysteria blasting out the car stereo, I instantly loved it and then the next day I was straight down to Tracks record shop in Hertford to buy it on CD, it was probably one of my first CD's to be honest, I just loved the production and the power of the whole album with such strong drumming which when I found out that Rick Allen only had one arm totally blew my mind, then I found out that my Dad had Def Leppard's 3 previous albums on vinyl which I quickly claimed as my own and then played them to death confirming my love of Rock. Tomorrow's album is what I consider to be the greatest Rock album ever released.

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  14. Day 9 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    Massive Attack - Mezzanine

    In all honesty I am not sure how I got into this album as it wasn't my kind of music at all when released back in 1998 as I was really into my rock and metal back then but somehow I did and it remains one of my most played albums today, again every song on it is brilliant and whenever there is news of a new Massive Attack album I'm always first in the queue to place my order, they just don't release enough though unfortunately. This album is also very influential to me as if I had to choose one demo track to test HiFI equipment it always is Teardrop, I have used that song countless times to test a new piece of kit and used it so often long before starting HFL as I fed my upgrade path personally but even still today it is my go to track when we get new equipment in, when I went to Dave Wilson's house to hear the incredible Wilson Audio Wamm's (£1 Million Speakers) we were invited to bring one song along, my choice? yes you guessed it, Teardrop, my only fear now is that I will never hear it sound that good again as it was quite incredible.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  15. Day 8 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill

    I'm sure a lot of people a similar age to me would have this one in their most influential album lists bearing in mind it is one of the most popular albums of all time, it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, where has that time gone. I really have never been a big fan of female singers, in fact this album is the only one in the 12 album list but when this was released in 1995 I just couldn't stop listening to it, it's an album that has everything from Rock to ballands with an underlying anger and angst and Alanis's voice is just so unique and strong, it is one of those rare albums where every song stands up in it's own right with no filler, the acoustic version done a few years later is also worth a listen as it is brilliantly produced so great for HiFi, if you haven't listened to this for a while put it on as it still sounds as fresh today as it did all those years ago, it's an album I will be listening to for the rest of my life that's for sure.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  16. Day 7 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads

    I read an interesting article about this album the other day that said it was quite possibly the most returned album of the 90's as most people heard the song that was done of this album with Kylie Minogue which is a beautiful ballad, admittedly about death, but definitely out of step with the rest of the album which is very dark and all about murder but every song is a brilliant story and classic Nick Cave, if you don't know this album listen to 'Stagger Lee' or 'O'Malley's Bar' as both these songs are absolute classics and will give you a good taste of the album. This is not necessarily my favourite Nick Cave album, although it is up there, but it is the album that introduced me to the delights of Nick Cave, I used to travel around Europe in the 90's on a coach following Formula One and I met on a guy on the coach, hello Graham, who introduced me to this album and from that moment on I have been a big Nick Cave fan, live he is just superb, if I was going to choose one Nick Cave album to listen to though it would have to be his latest, Ghosteen, as for me this is one of the greatest albums of all time but Murder Ballads is so unique it definitely deserves a listen if you have delved into its darkness before, go on give it a try.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  17. Day 6 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    Adam Ant - Strip

    So this one will probably raise a few eyebrows as it certainly isn't considered one of Adam Ant's best or most liked albums and it was very different from anything he had done previously and I think it just shows that the albums you grow up with are the ones that stay with you as this was released in 1983 when I was 15 and was totally addicted to music and I remember distinctly buying this on tape and listening to it over and over again and if I'm honest it is probably one of my most listened to albums still today as I am always playing it nearly 40 years later. I went to see Adam Ant live last year and he was absolutely brilliant and considering he is now 65 he was dancing around like a teenager, gutted really as I now feel I have missed out on 40 years of brilliant Adam Ant gigs, out of all the 80's artists that I love it is Adam Ant I play the most and I did think long and hard about including this but not only is it one of my favourite albums of all time but most definitely one that helped influenced my taste in music so it had to be added.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  18. Day 5 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    David Bowie - Scary Monsters

    I'm sure that most people who are asked to list their most influential albums would always have some Bowie in there somewhere but I bet there would be such a varied variety of choices as pretty much every album he released was a classic, especially the earlier years, for me it always comes down to Hunky Dory and Scary Monsters, 2 of my all time favourites but I always lean to Scary Monsters, I just love every single track and it's slightly angst overtone, I got into Bowie in the late 80's really when his back catalogue was re-mastered and bought everything up to that point and I can remember clearly how I was blown away by how fresh it all still sounded, there is nothing like discovering a new artist who has a rich back catalogue to discover, My only regret is that I only saw Bowie live once on the Glass Spider tour at Wembley, it was such a spectacle and a brilliant gig but I always say that I would have loved to have been a teenager in the 70's as I would have been such a big Ziggy fan and would have got totally carried away with the clothes and makeup, such a great era, especially for music, but if I had to choose 1 last Bowie album to listen to it would always be Scary Monsters.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  19. Day 4 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    Prince - Around the World in a Day

    So I guess for many Prince fans this may be a strange choice, and although I love many of Prince's albums, he really is one of my top 3 solo artists of all time, it is Around the World in a Day that really cemented my love for Prince, I spent a lot of time in the 80's listening to Prince on vinyl and tape on my Walkman and I remember distinctly going to Tracks record shop in Hertford to buy this on tape and the guy in the record shop, known Bones to anyone who used to shop there, warned me that he had a few people bring it back as it was so different to the Purple Rain album that preceded it that a lot of people didn't like it, looking back now turning to different genres turned out to be Prince's trademark but for me I couldn't get enough of it, every song is pure gold, but one song really stands out, if you don't listen to the whole album just listen to 'Condition of the Heart' Music really doesn't get any better. It was an extremely sad day when he passed away but I have some awesome Prince memories, seeing him on the Lovesexy tour at Wembley was epic and going to a few of the many nights he did at the o2 but the real highlight was going to one of the aftershow concerts he performed at the Indigo after one of the o2 gig, seeing Prince in a tiny venue just chilling with his band after already wowing 20,000 people was one of the best gig highlights of my life, it was just like the a scene from Purple Rain the movie, I think I'll be having a Prince day today at work, he was a total genius and a true legend.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  20. Day 3 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA

    Bearing in mind this list is all about albums that have influenced me then nothing is bigger than this album as it fundamentally changed my life in so many ways, very much like last years brilliant film 'Blinded By The Light’ I remember going shopping with my Mum and Dad in Stevenage in 1984 and while they did their thing I popped into the local record shop and picked up a copy of this on tape then I went and sat in my parents car for my first listen, life would never be the same again, then for the next year or so I listened to it daily on my walkman on my paper round until I eventually wore the tape out.

    Then quite possibly the biggest moment of my life occurred, well other than meeting Wendy of course, on July 4th 1985, Independence Day, I went to my first Bruce Springsteen concert at Wembley Stadium, at the time I only knew the Born in the USA Album, funnily enough when he sang Born To Run I actually knew that as Frankie Goes To Hollywood famously covered it for the Pleasuredome album and I thought he was singing a Frankie song, now that is sad, anyway the concert totally blew my mind in so many ways like the length of the set, the love for Bruce in the crowd, the storytelling throughout the concert but mostly the power of the music with 80,000 people singing along, BRUUUUUUCE! Since that day I have seen Bruce all over the world around 85 times, here’s hoping I can break 100 Bruce Gigs on the next tour, in my opinion there is no better way to enjoy yourself in public than going to a Bruce gig, Jungleland live really is something else.

    So after that gig I got my first job working in a DIY shop in Ware and I earned £50 for my first week and I went straight down to Tracks record shop and spent every penny on the whole Bruce back catalogue, much to my Mum’s disappointment as she thought she was going to finally get some rent but that sealed the deal as I went on a journey of discovery exploring the 6 albums before Born In The USA making Bruce a really important part of my life, now he is 19 albums in and every one is a classic in my book, right I’ll shut up now as I could go on all day about how awesome the Boss is but Born In The USA will always be one of my favourite albums of all time.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  21. Day 2 for the albums that influenced my taste in music!

    Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasuredome

    This was an easy one as I was a total Frankie addict back in the early to mid 80's, admittedly I totally sucked in by the hype but aside from that the music was mostly brilliant and listening years later I realised just how well it was produced by Trevor Horn but back in the 80's it was all about the music, I remember getting the double vinyl on the day of release and just listening to it constantly, must have drove my parents mad, I used to even dress like them, sad I know, and one of my very first gigs was seeing FGTH at Hammersmith Odeon in 1985, I'd love to go to that gig again, I also used to collect all their vinyl, importing it from around the world, not easy before the internet I have to say, and when the follow up album was launched 'Liverpool' I queued all night outside HMV on Oxford Street where it was launched and dived under the shutters once they started lifting to become the first person to buy it in the world, crazy but great times.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.


  22. Top 12 Albums That Influenced My Taste In Music - DAY 1!

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    Hi all,

    So I have been challenged by one of my friends on Facebook to list 10 vinyl albums that greatly influenced my music taste over the years, funnily enough I said to Wendy around a year ago that something similar would make a great blog so I guess with the world in lockdown there is no better time to put my thinking cap on and create a list of albums that helped form my love of music.

    I have given this a fair bit of thought over the last few days and I have got it down to 12 albums that to be fair were all recorded between 45 to 25 years ago, as much as I love finding new music it is going back to my favourite's that really give me the most enjoyment when I sit down to listen at home.

    The funny thing with this list is that although I love all these albums, it is also the artists that I really love, I mean I could have filled the top 10 with all Bruce Springsteen's albums but this is more the albums that I grew up with, changed me in some way and that I go back to regularly to listen to.

    So here we go, these are in no particular order and I apologise for none of them, I will write a few words on each one but will keep it short and sweet and will add another one Daily with my all time favourite album listed last, hope you enjoy and any thoughts feel free to mail me.

    Album 1

    Elvis - Moody Blue

    Elvis was my first love in music, I was 8 when he died and it left a real mark on me how his death affected people around me, this was my first Vinyl record bought by my Nan for me in 1977 and Elvis's last studio album, I went to Graceland in the early 90's and even today Elvis is the biggest part of my vinyl and CD collection which I listen to regularly.

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    Album 2 - Coming Tomorrow

    Cheers,

    Paul.


  23. On 14/04/2020 at 19:27, Loquacious Lew said:

    That's quite a catalog, Paul!  I'll have it all, please!

     I was in the gear end of the pro audio  business for 42 years, the last 30 odd  I was a rep/distributor in the Pacific NW.  No doubt you're aware of  how different the distribution of audio products is in the States vs Europe/UK  due to our geography. Here, manufacturers contract  guys like me to handle the dealer network and sales in a defined area. Mine was the US Pacific Northwest, five states.  I did  representa (very) few hifi lines  too but pro was always our bread and butter. 

    I just stumbled on this thread so if you're open to participation I'll be here!  I'd rather talk about audio on a Lotus forum than Lotus on an audio forum anyway!  

    Here's my  listening room at home. You can figure out who we represented to a certain degree from what you see in the pictures. (Think Harman amongst others). The Salon2s are lovely in this space.  

     

     

     

     

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    Hi Lew,

    Thanks for getting in touch, sorry for the slow reply but due to the current situation I have been extremely busy which has been a real surprise, I guess everyone is at home so they are using their HiFi's more now than ever and I guess listening to music is a great escape for a lot of peole at the moment.

    Certainly a nice system you have there, we are a McIntosh dealer and were an OPPO dealer but other than that I don't really regognise much else, good to see 2 subs though, this is an area where people are still not sure about but for me every 2 channel system needs at least one sub, 2 ideally.

    Take care in these strange times,

    Cheers,

    Paul. 

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