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Vipers

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Posts posted by Vipers

  1. Billy's HiFi Lounge Record of the Week

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    Hi Everyone, This week's album, White Ladder, by singer-songwriter David Gray brings me straight back to my youth. We all have albums that manage to evoke feelings of nostalgia and can transport us back to a moment in time which is a wonderful thing! 

    White Ladder was David Gray's fourth album which gave him his breakthrough and became the 28th best-selling UK album of all time! The fact that it was, recorded in his bedroom adds to the charm and is a remarkable achievement. The entire album is an example of what can be - achieved on a small budget, with multiple obstacles in the way. White Ladder manages to overcome not only recording setbacks but David Grays's critics, alike-resulting in a timeless classic. 

    White Ladder is instantly believable. I think it's why it's so good, coming from a sincere place where everybody can relate. The best albums can do this, and with - White Ladder, you feel its vulnerability. 

    Creatively the album has a folk-inspired foundation within its songwriting and a blend of acoustic and electronic elements for its instrumentation. I believe this is also a contributing factor to its success. Combined production choices place it in its own league in terms of genre, therefore, standing out from the crowd both - creatively and stylistically. 

    The opening track Please Forgive Me is one of my favourites from the album. Somehow it manages to sound melancholic - but optimistic at the same time. The song is driven by a drum n bass style breakbeat which was programmed on a Roland Groovebox accompanied by an emotive chord progression played on the piano. A good example and use of electronic and acoustic instruments working in harmony. There's plenty of ear candy and catchy hooks to pick out, my favourite being the guitar riff that lifts the song in the latter half. The simple yet direct lyrics describe the difficulty of expressing your feelings towards a loved one. What better way to do it than to write a song? What's your favourite from the album? Billy

  2. Billy's HiFi Lounge Record of the Week 

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    Hi Everyone, After spending a lovely Sunday morning revisiting Carol King's remarkable album Tapestry I feel it's only right for me to share my thoughts just in case you were unfamiliar with this beautiful work of art! If you haven’t heard this album, the chances are you’ll be familiar with King’s legacy, having written or co-written a copious number of hits.
     
    Tapestry was released in 1971 and is one of the best-selling albums of all time. This doesn’t surprise me considering the quality of songwriting on show. Usually, there are always one or two tracks on an album that I don’t quite connect with, but Tapestry is left untouched from beginning to end. There are so many stunning songs to pick from including; It’s Too Late, So Far Away, Will You Love Me Tomorrow and Way Over Yonder. Unsurprisingly the list goes on, but if I had to pick a stand-out track, for me it would have to be You’ve Got a Friend.
     
    A timeless classic captured beautifully, delivering a selfless message to anyone in need. The stripped-back arrangement places Carol’s sincere vocals at the forefront, with only a few instruments supporting the song. According to Lou Adler, who produced Tapestry this was done intentionally wanting the whole album to sound open and honest, almost like a demo. You’ve Got a Friend was also recorded and released by another prolific songwriter, James Taylor who allegedly inspired Carol King to write the song after hearing Fire and Rain. James Taylor’s version was recorded simultaneously with Carols and interestingly featured the same players on each. I highly recommend listening to both versions, which manage to connect to the listener in their own inspiring way.
     
    What's your favourite from this wonderful album? Look forward to hearing your thoughts, Billy
  3. German Physiks HRS-130 Speakers and Emperor Extreme Amplifier Now on Demo, Like Nothing Else at HFL!

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    Hi All,

    I've said it many times but speakers have always been my favourite part of the HIFi chain, the main reason being that they can make the biggest single change to the overall presentation of a system and I love all the different designs of speakers, from a traditional box to Panels to horns and all the different variations within each of those categories, well today I am pleased to say that we have the German Physiks HRS-130 speakers on demo along with their monster Emperor Extreme integrated amplifier for a limited time whilst we assess their performance.

    As you can see these are a very different design again being an omnidirectional speaker, meaning that the HRS-130 presents a three-dimensional stereo image as the audio radiates 360 degrees to give a room filling sound unlike most other speakers on the market.

    They are known for their DDD driver which sits on the top, it is a very advanced design made from carbon fiber with a really wide operating range of over 7 octaves so there is no crossover in the midrange like a lot of speakers, this radiates the sound 360 degrees to give a very lifelike and concert hall feel, the DDD is matched with a 10 inch bass driver which integrate seamlessly to give a really full and natural sound.

    I listened to an earlier version of these here a few years ago and was really impressed so when German Physiks asked if I would like to hear the new and improved version I jumped at the chance, I had some free time Saturday afternoon so sat down to re-acquaint myself with the Omnidirectional sound as it is quite different to a more conventional speaker and does take a little adjusting.

    2 things I want to mention first is that they have a very small footprint which makes them easier than some to accommodate, secondly being that they fire the sound 360 degrees you don't have to worry about getting the toe in just right and thirdly there is no sweet spot that you need to tune your listening position to as they are literally filling the room with sound, they are without a doubt one of the easiest speakers to setup, very unfussy.

    How do they sound? well what first impressed me was that in our highend room we really struggle with width to the soundstage, I put this down to the rooms being pretty narrow, but with the HRS-130 the sound really did go beyond the walls plus there was real depth to the image where you could place everything that was going on within the demo tracks I was playing and although I hate saying this, I'm sure I heard things in Massive Attacks 'Teardrop' that I'd never heard before, which is saying something as I have played that on everything over the years, maybe it was just the way that the music was presented so differently to the norm.

    Also the balance is excellent between the treble, mid and bass, it is just a big overall sound that is captivating which you can get lost in, vocals really are sublime, what is most impressive to me is the size and scale of the sound for such a small speaker that most people can accommodate, The HRS-130 is German Physiks most popular speaker I believe and at £19,500 a pair I can see why but if you have a bigger room and bank balance German Physiks do their Emperor MK11's at £239,00, but there are many levels in between.

    I should give a quick mention to the German Physiks Emperor Extreme Integrated Amplifier that we are using to drive the speakers, it really is a solid and beautifully built amp that sounds brilliant with the HRS-130's as you'd expect, I look forward to trying some of our other amps on them though, I have a feeling that our Accuphase amps will really sing on them.

    So yes I am very, very impressed, I will have them here for a little longer so if you'd like to come in for a listen please feel free, I have to say that I think they will become a permanent feature in our showrooms soon though.

    Please find a link to the HRS-130's on German Physiks website for more info on the technical stuff and some pictures below.

    https://www.german-physiks.com/hrs-130-loudspeakers#hrs-130-loudspeakers-lifestyle-picture

    Regards,

    Paul.

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  4. Billy's HiFi Lounge Record of the Week 

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    Hi All, This week's record is one of my go-to albums for inspiration, referencing and pure enjoyment. Daft Punks Random Access Memories covers all the bases for me. From the recording quality and songwriting arrangements to the level of musicianship. The entire album is a learning process from start to finish, taking you on a journey exploring a conglomeration of musical genres.
     
    Random Access Memories pays homage to previous decades whilst still sounding relevant and new. Traditional and modern recording techniques have been seamlessly united, bridging the gap between the analogue and digital worlds. The French duo have always pushed boundaries, not just musically but visually and remain somewhat of an enigma.
     
    It’s hard to pick a favourite from the record, but one of the tracks that stands out for me is Beyond. Beyond manages to squeeze a lot in and has a ‘score-like’ string arrangement for the intro. I’m always using it as a reference, particularly for its wide dynamic range and controlled low end. The production sounds warm and fat whilst retaining a hi-fi sheen across the frequency spectrum. I believe the album was recorded onto tape and transferred back into Pro Tools, which enabled the duo to edit parts easily and further add processing inside the box. The Robots iconic vocoder takes the lead on this one and “speaks of places never seen”. The meaning behind the song is open to interpretation, but for me, it questions the ego, consciousness and concept of becoming awakened. Before I go too deep, we shall leave this one here! Give it a spin and let me know what you think? Billy
  5. Thanks to everyone who came to our REL Open Day + Stereonet review of the day!

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    Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who came to our REL Open day last Saturday, after what seems like forever it was great to hold our first open day since 2019, I wasn't sure how it would go to be honest, especially with Covid still being out there and it was the middle of summer but as ever we had loads of people in with all 5 rooms busy, we even had the sim room going as that had 2 x REL's in there, just shows that you can't keep a good audiophile down and we all do love an open day.

    All the rooms got a great reaction with some preferring our more modest offering upstairs, that room always sounds good + the 2 downstairs rooms where always buzzing with standing room only a lot of the time, thanks also for Rob and Dave from REL who where on hand with advice and generally to help make the day run smoothly.

    I love open days, such good fun, I always say they are like a wedding day as you want to make sure you get round to everyone to make sure they are having a good time and see if they have everything they need, now we have started again I hope to have 2 more this year, one being our 10th Anniversary bash, so watch this space.

    Stereonet Review!

    Please find a really excellent article on the day done by our friend and Audiophile Steve Crowe who many of you will know as he has been to many of our open days, thanks mate, great article 👍

    https://www.stereonet.com/uk/features/hifi-lounge-rel-open-day

    Thanks again all, until the next one.

    Regards,

    Paul.

  6. Good to see it also with the silver wheels as that is my preference but I keep changing my mind as I'm going with the yellow and black pack and do wonder if the black wheels will finish it off better 🤔

    My i4 was due in January but I put it back to April now as it will just sit in the garage till April anyway.

  7. Billy's HiFi Lounge Record of the Week 🎧

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    Hi Everyone, a change in the genre this week with Neil Young's biggest-selling album Harvest. I could have picked many others but Harvest was my first introduction to Neil’s work. In my experience, some of the best albums require a little more patience and persistence and this was no exception.
     
    My uncle used to play the record most weekends and it took me a while to appreciate it. Maybe there was something in the vulnerability in his voice that made me feel unsure but one day Heart of Gold came on and something clicked. I loved it, and soon became obsessed with the entire album and learnt every song!
     
    Old Man has to be one of my favourites from the record. A hauntingly emotive song exploring mortality and reflection. The intro draws you in immediately with the lyrics "old man, look at my life, I'm a lot like you were". The instrumentation further cements the track and the dynamics slowly build throughout, conjuring up the feeling of contemplation. Recently my friend told me that James Taylor played the banjo part, which makes it even better. The overall production is warm and timeless, allowing the song to breathe.
     
    There is an altogether sense of belonging and human connection, an awareness that many of us are treading a similar path, navigating love and loss.
     
    What's your favourite from the album? Billy
  8. HiFi Lounge Record of the Week 🎧

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    Hey Everyone,

    Our shared love and passion for music and HiFi bring us all together. Each week, we’re going to connect with you by sharing our favourite albums. Don’t worry we are open to suggestions and looking forward to being introduced to new music…..it won’t just be Bruce Springsteen records!

    To kick things off, Steely Dan’s classic album Aja! This is a tried and tested album in the audio world and certainly a good one to use as a reference. I have fond memories of listening to the album as a teenager in a rented Chevrolet while on holiday in Florida with my parents. Although I couldn’t quite make sense of Fagen’s surrealism in his lyrics I was completely hooked on their complex harmony and overall sound. 

    Like many of Steely Dan’s albums, the plethora of session players on the record is astounding. In total, nearly 40 musicians participated in the making of Aja. It wasn’t uncommon for the band to mix up the ensemble of players from one day to another.

    One of my favourite tracks from the album has to be Peg. The track has an undeniable groove from the start and an infectious chord structure which cleverly modulates throughout. If you listen closely enough, you might hear Michael McDonald singing harmonies almost pitch-perfect. My favourite moment has to be the guitar solo. This was very carefully thought about and it only took seven attempts by different session guys before they settled on Jay Graydon’s take. There’s a fantastic Classic Albums documentary on Aja where Fagen and Becker humorously dissect each track and share their recording process.

    I could talk about every track on the Album but would be here all day! What’s your favourite song from the album? Look forward to hearing your thoughts, Billy.

  9. 10% Off REL Subwoofers For This Saturday's Open Day!

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    Hi All,

    Really looking forward to this Saturday's REL open day although it is looking like it may be a bit of a hot day so using the downstairs demo rooms with all the glass could get a little warm in the afternoon once the sun comes over, it does meant that we will have the BBQ running though so be nice to use the gardens and enjoy the weather.

    This is just a quick one to say that REL are going to offer a 10% discount for any of their subs that are bought on the day so if you are thinking of adding a sub to your system then there is certainly a great opportunity here to save a few quid.

    The plan is still to run a modest system in our upstairs room, then in our first downstairs room we will run either a S/510 or S/812 with something a little higher end then with our Wilson Alexx V's we will be running a stereo pair of Carbon Specials which I have no doubt will sound amazing.

    Thanks to everyone who has registered so far, looks like it is going to be a busy day, if you'd like to come and haven't registered it isn't too late, just fire a quick mail over to me at the below address, ta -

    [email protected]

    Thanks,

    Paul.

  10. Audio Research I/50 Integrated Amplifier Now On Demo, All I can say is WOW!

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    Hi Everyone,

    Well is has certainly taken some time to arrive since being announced but I am really pleased to say that the new Audio Research I/50 Integrated Valve Amplifier is now with us and it has certainly been the wait.

    I won't go on for too long but firstly I really can't think of a better spend of the £5198 asking price for this amp in HiFi today, it's not very often you put the words 'ARC' and 'good value for money' in the same sentence but this really is, firstly it is all hand assembled and tested at Audio Research in Minnesota to the same exacting standards as their other products, including their Reference range, the look and build quality is stunning, the sound is pure ARC so open, big, organic, full and very natural, and I love 2 pillars at the front that count down from 49 at boot up as the valves warm up then they become the volume control and input select indicators, very cool, It is also available in 6 different colours and can be specced with a phono stage and DAC if required.

    I guess it is pretty obvious that ARC are going after the PrimaLuna EVO400 with this amp but the great news is that we have both here so if you are in the market for a new amp feel free to get in touch to come in to compare, please find a few pics below of the I/50 in place as my new office system amp, works really well with the Wilson Audio TuneTots and HiFi Rose RS150 streamer, really not sure how I am going to get any work done.

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

    All the best,

    Regards,

    Paul.

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  11. Welcoming Billy to Team HiFi Lounge!

     

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    Hi All,

    Unbelievably we are now 10 years old, how did that happen, what an amazing 10 years it has been though and I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone for their support over that time, watch this space for our 10th Anniversary party plans coming soon.

    Over that 10 years it started with me on my own as we got HFL off the ground, then Wendy joined a couple of years later as the business grew, then Ady joined 3 years ago and now it is time for the next chapter as we welcome Billy to our closely knit team here at HFL.

    I would say over the 10 years the hardest part is finding the right people to work with and to represent HFL, for me one of the most important asset is finding someone who is really personable and easy to get on with, it really isn't looking for a salesperson as we don't really sell at HFL but more like advise so customers can make the right decision for them, but the most important attribute has to be a love for music firstly and HiFi a close second and in Billy I really believe we have found the right person to wave the HFL flag and help all our customers.

    A bit of background on Billy, I actually met him when he came in to buy some headphones for his composing and we go on straight away, he is a guitar teacher, composer and played guitar in band called 'New Street Adventure' you can check them out on the streaming services. An important part of working here is to be able to chat about music, that is the main avenue for conversation in here and Billy really does know his music so I have no doubt he will fit straight it. He has a bit to learn about all the kit but he is like a sponge at the moment and super keen to learn so I know he will pick it all up very quickly, I mean how hard can it be.

    The plan is for Billy to write a weekly Music blog discussing new and favourite albums and will also be keen for any recommendations for him to check out and customer participation, we'll put this up on the website and social channels.

    Anyway I'll shut up and leave Billy to introduce himself below -

    'I’m really excited to be joining the team at the Hifi lounge and meeting all of you guys! It’s a great opportunity and I feel very lucky. My background has primarily been playing guitar in bands and live performance. I also studied music production and mixing for a number of years. I’m really passionate about sound and music and completely get the never ending pursuit for audio perfection…..if it exists! Outside of music I have an understanding wife, a beautiful daughter and two rescue dogs that are bonkers! I also enjoy a curry every now and then.'

    I really feel that with the addition of Billy we have a really strong team of Myself, Wendy, Ady and Billy to keep on top of things at HFL and help our customers with any enquiries going forward and I know he is really keen to get to meet all our great customers and become part of the HFL family.

    Many thanks,

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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  12. PetrolPed's No24 Goodwood FOS Adventure!

    Always been happy to share my toys so for Goodwood FOS this year I split the runs up the hill with Peter, better known as YouTuber PetrolPed so he could make this video, He really is a top guy and the No24 couldn't have been in safer hands, thanks Peter for returning her in one piece 🙏
     
    We were both as nervous as each other as neither of us had any experience of a car with this much power but he did a stella job, his film really shows what an experience it was driving the 24 up the hill, just follow the link below, enjoy.
     
    Cheers,
    Paul.
    • Like 1
  13. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022, The Best Few Days Of My Life!

     

    Hi All,

    It’s 6.30 am Monday 27th June 2022 and I am at work the day after the best few days of my life, I really should be looking at the 400+ e-mails I have just come back to but I just want to briefly write down how I am feeling after this years Goodwood Festival of Speed whilst it is still fresh in my mind, there have been so many amazing memories made over the last 4 days that it is hard to know where to start but here we go, have to say that I have mixed feelings at the moment, even getting a bit emotional as I’m still buzzing from what just happened but am really sad that it is now over, it is going to be a huge come down, I’m such grateful that I have the best day job also to help me get back into the daily groove.

    So I went to the very first FOS in 1993, 29 years ago, where it was more like a garden party compared to now and I have been to nearly every one since when I can but this year was very different, after a few months of planning and negotiations we got invited to actually drive up the hill twice a day for 3 days in front of 10’000’s of people and the best part of it all is the car we would be doing it in.

    I am a big Nascar fan, started watching that in the early 1990’s, for me it is the best motorsport on the planet and can be misunderstood in this country but there is no purer form of racing in my view, the skill involved in oval racing is incredible, it is like chess at 200mph as the various strategies play out and the skill to race in a pack on 40+ cars at 200mph cm’s apart is incredible. My Nascar hero was and still is Jeff Gordon, a real legend of the sport, he famously raced No 24 for 22 years, winning the championship 4 times and 93 races from 805 start, it is the reason why I race no24 myself. So to cut to the chase, I was actually going to drive a 2012 Jeff Gordon Nascar up the hill, it is around 900hp and I had only driven it for 10 minutes or so a week before in a quick shakedown at Millbrook Proving Ground, so no pressure then, but never one to turn down an opportunity I just had to go for it, I mean what could possible go wrong.

    Firstly, I have to thank the UK Nascar Community, these guys are awesome, I’d met a couple beforehand at Carfest last year but at Goodwood I met many more of the gang and what a really lovely bunch of guys, within 10 minutes I felt I had known them for years, so knowledgeable and passionate about the sport but more importantly to me just really fantastic people, without these guys it would be impossible for me to drive a Nascar over here but with their support I knew I was in safe hands, when I left Goodwood last night I really felt like I had made some amazing new friends for life, so thanks again guys, thank you so much for the weekend and helping give me a truly off the scale weekend.

    Goodwood FOS Thurs - Sun.

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    So here we go then, let’s run through the weekend, it is all a bit of a blur really of early starts, late finishes, very little sleep, a lot of coffee and thank god for adrenaline. I agreed to run the 24 a couple of months before but once I pulled into the car park on the Thursday it all became a bit real, this was really happening, I agreed to meet the guys in the car park where we sorted out all the passes and tickets then headed into Goodwood where the 24 was sitting in the paddock looking stunning, I want to thank Shaun at Road to Race for his support also in getting the car to Goodwood and collecting it after the event, so Thursday was a day of checking the car over, a few systems checks, getting signed on and collecting our access all areas passes and we even got a really cool medal to which would gain us access to the Driver Club where we were fed and watered for 4 days and then we had a wander around waiting for the big day on Friday.

    Here we go, the first run!

    Did I sleep Thursday night? Very little if I am honest, I really don’t get nervous but this was like nothing I had done before, it would have been nerve racking enough in a normal car but in a 900hp Nascar Monster it is enough to give anyone nerves, especially as it is a big car and the 2nd part of the run up the hill is very narrow, to make things worse as I sat in the holding area 10 minutes before Dario Franchitti, 3 time Indy 500 winner, said ‘Be careful, I’ve crashed loads of these, they are a handful’ thanks Dario.

    From the collecting area you drive back down the track to the Start line, here you line up and wait to be called forward where you are told to wait, you watch this one man and once the car in front is far enough up the road ahead he waves you to go, I sat there waiting and all I could think was not to stall it which is really easy in a Nascar as the clutch is like a switch, on or off, but then I was told to go so I gave it loads of revs and we were off with a little wheel spin, the last thing you want at Goodwood is to be the person who gets it wrong so I drove it more like Miss Daisy than anything and although I had practised it a lot on my sim there is nothing like going up the iconic hill for yourself, the funny thing was though that although the hill was lined with 1000’s of people I never saw one of them as I was so focused on not getting it wrong that I may as well have been the only person there, it was all very surreal, so we poodled up, around the flint wall that everyone made me were of and I have never been so happy to see a finish line before but that was run one complete, I’d just done something that very few people had done before, driven a Nascar up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the sense of relief was amazing but I was absolutely buzzing.

    What is it like to drive a Nascar? It is basically like sitting in the middle of a volcano, it is a very brutal environment, incredible noise and power, you can feel the cars anger as you sit in it as it shakes and rumbles side to side, it seems to want to spin its wheels at every opportunity and it really wouldn’t take much for it to bite you but show it some respect and it is an exhilarating experience, it could be further away from my other cars I race which are generally lightweight but low power, but once you have tasted a thoroughbred top tier race car like this it is very addictive and as the runs ticked by I found myself just wanting to get back in asap for another go.

    We had 6 runs through the weekend but that was my run done for the Friday as I had been introduced to YouTuber PetrolPed, again a really nice guy, and we were going to split the runs, 4 for me, 2 for him, so that he could do a film for his Channel about the experience of running a Nascar up the hill, really can’t wait to see this.

    Next it was Saturday, this was going to be a full on day, as I had 2 runs then it was the Driver Ball at Goodwood House, the 2 runs went really well again, each time I was getting more confident with the 24 as I pushed it a little bit harder each time, that could be dangerous but I really wanted to get a feel what she could do. Our last run finished around 6.30pm and the ball started at 7pm, luckily the drivers had showers so it was chaos as everyone tried to get ready, have to say it is very surreal seeing loads of your hero’s in the their undies getting dressed ready for a night out.

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    The Goodwood Drivers Ball.

    Just when you think things can’t get any better Wendy and myself found ourselves at the Driver Ball, I was looking forward to this just a much as the driving to be honest. So we arrived at Goodwood house around 7pm, where all the Bentley’s and Supercars are pulling up with all the rich and famous, then walk in for a champagne reception in the Goodwood Gardens, again surreal surrounded by loads of your motorsport hero’s, now I feel that you really shouldn’t approach these drivers in this sort of environment, just didn’t seem the right thing to do but another of my real heroes is Mika Hakkinen, I used to follow him all round Europe attending Grand Prix to cheer him on so when I saw him I just had to go and say hello and get a picture with him, he was as lovely as he seems to happily stood there to have picture taken, what a great start to the evening.

    After the reception we are asked to take our table, we were sitting with 6 others, mainly from a Biking motorsport side of things but had some great chats, food was served which was incredible, basically smoked Salmon to start with, Beef for main and what was probably the best chocolate desert I had ever had to finish things off, all washed down with as much red and white wine as we wanted, as I was driving the next morning early I actually drunk more water than anything, what a shame.

    Next we were asked to go outside for the entertainment to start and what a show that was, fireworks like I’d never seen before, amazing singers, pyrotechnics, drone planes firing rockets, a jet man landing on the stage followed by more singing and fireworks, all you could do was watch in awe at the spectacle, I’d certainly never seen anything like this before and what blew my mind was that all this was for just around 1500 of us, Lord March really knows how to throw a party.

    After this was finished we were then asked to go back inside to the concert area for the live band, this is kept very secret and there have been many big bands over the years apparently, I knew that Lord March loves his rock music, as do I, so was looking forward to this, who could it be?

    Well it certainly didn’t disappoint as it turned out to be one of my favourite bands who I have been to see many times before over the years, The Darkness, and what a show they put on, pure rock’n’roll, Justin the lead singer was really on it, again it was like I had been imported into some alternative motorsport universe as I’m down the front row enjoying The Darkness then I turn round and Mr LeMans, 9 times winner Tom Kristensen is jumping up and down behind me standing next to Lord March who was really loving it, I look a couple of people over and there is Jenson Button rocking out along with his Radford partner Ant Anstead, in the end everywhere you looked there were famous drivers and boy do they know how to enjoy themselves, I guess if you are willing to risk your life racing cars at crazy speeds then you really are going to enjoy life at every opportunity.

    The Darkness finished around midnight then a DJ set started to finish things off, it was such an amazing night but I was keen to get to bed as I was going back up the hill in the 24 around 9am, so 3 hours sleep later I was back in the paddock and getting ready for my final run, who knew having so much fun would be this exhausting, although I am sure I won’t get any sympathy.

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    The Final Run!

    Here we go then, my 4th and final run up the hill in Jeff Gordon’s 2012 Nascar, so I lined up behind world rally champion Stig Blomqvist, unbelievable I know, the Stig fired off up the hill and I was ushered forward, when I got to the line for the first time I looked up and as I did that I saw hundreds of people hold their phones up to film me pulling away, really wish I hadn’t done that as straight away the nerves set in, all I could think was don’t stall it now, I was given the go signal and I gave it loads of revs and we were off, I was determined to make this run my fastest attempt but at the 2nd corner I tried a bit too hard, touched the grass and got a little loose, at that point I decided to not be a hero and just get to the finish line which I did and that was that, I had completed my 4 runs up the hill with the car still in one piece, result. Next PetrolPed had one more run at the end of the day which he did successfully and that was that, the 4 best days of my life complete, huge smiles all round.

    I’ve been racing for 5 years now and this was the first time I actually felt like a Race Car Driver, to be in the inner circle at Goodwood is like nothing else I have experienced and being in the drivers club, this is basically where all the drivers hang out away from the crowds, when in your race overall then all the drivers are happy to talk to you, I’ve just jotted down some of the people I spoke to below, talk about a Who’s Who of motorsport. 

    • Jacky Ickx
    • Stig Blomqvist
    • Dario Franchitti
    • Nigel Mansell
    • Mika Hakkinen
    • Damon Hill
    • John Watson
    • Karl Wendlinger
    • Tom Kristensen
    • Jenson Button
    • Travis Pastrana
    • Jackie Stewart

    I even got asked twice for my autograph, I explained that I was no one but as I had driven Jeff Gordon’s car they still wanted me to sign pictures of Jeff, hilarious really but great fun.

    So to coin a phrase, ‘if Carling did dream weekends’ then I have just lived mine, I really couldn’t have had more fun if I tried, I’m hopeful I’ll get invited back one day to do it all again but if not I’ll be fine with that as I now have the memories of a truly incredible weekend.

    Finally I’d like to thank everyone at Goodwood for the invite and the hospitality, it really is an incredible event like nothing else in the world and to be a very small part of it has been such an honour and privilege so thanks again Goodwood and the UK Nascar Community for making this Petrolheads dreams come true, a weekend I will cherish forever and will never forget.

    Regards,

    Paul.

    Please find some random pictures below -

    Damon Hill

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    Nigel Mansell and some stalker!

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    Wendy as a passenger with PetrolPed.

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    Thanks for the Memories Goodwood

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    • Like 1
  14. On 24/06/2022 at 07:06, MJON said:

    @Vipers January for i4 FE sounds good. When did you place your deposit? 👍

    Yes I got quoted January when I spoke with Lotus at FOS which was a pleasant surprise, have to say that the yellow one looked gorgeous, to be honest it is one of those cars which seems to suit any colour, still undecided on the interior, going to have to finalise very soon though.

    Certainly great to see the Lotus stand so busy all weekend.

  15. So quite unbelievably after months of planning here is my drive for the next 3 days going up the hill at The Goodwood Festival of Speed, a 900hp 2012 Jeff Gordon NASCAR, certainly going to be a wild ride this weekend, even got an invite to the Drivers Ball and to hang out in the drivers club where they have free Pizza 😀 I came to the very first ever FOS many years ago and have been countless times since so my mind is totally blown on what is about to happen, 2 runs a day, 1st run tomorrow morning at 9.15am live on You Tube, I’ve always been a huge Jeff Gordon fan hence why I race No24 so this is a real honour to drive a NASCAR he actually raced, anyone got any tips how to tame this beast 😬 288223697_2271387706344093_2577958792216069284_n.jpeg

    • Like 2
  16. In Over My Head!

    As a lifelong motorsport fan something beyond my wildest dreams is about to kick into gear tomorrow for 4 days, here is a clue, any ideas? tbh it is all a bit terrifying and the enormity of it won’t sink in for a few days after I’m sure, all very exciting though and an amazing opportunity, all will be revealed tomorrow 😀

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  17. I'm actually driving a car up the hill for 3 days but I'm more interested to see what Lotus are bringing, hopefully an Emira in each colour with all the interior options but really want to see the red interior with my own eyes before making the final decision.

    • Like 1
  18. REL Subwoofer Open Day - July 16th,  Experience Why You Need A REL In You HiFi!

     

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    Hi All,

    Here we go then, our first Open Day for over 2.5 years, be so good to get things back to normal again as got so many new products to showcase since our last open day in 2019.

    So to kick things off again we have a REL Subwoofer Open Day on July 16th, as a lot of you will know I have been banging on for years about how necessary a Subwoofer is in any HiFi, I have yet to hear a system that won’t benefit from adding a REL, for me a Sub is as integral a part to get the best performance from a HiFi as an amplifier and if you haven't tried it you really should.

    I must admit through the last 2 years we have seen a real up turn in our Sub sales into 2 Channel systems as have REL, I put that down to the fact that people actually had time to do some research and once they have tried a sub there really is no going back, it is the easiest demo we do as it only take 5 minutes to show the advantage.

    As I have said before funnily enough it isn’t always about the bass when you add a REL, it actually changes to whole sound, yes you get more depth and texture at the bottom end but for me the main advantage is that is really helps clean up the mid range and refine the top end too, the thing is that you have the Sub set pretty low to integrate with the speakers so with a bit of time you will get a seamless match between your REL and speakers, it isn’t until you turn your sub off that you notice what you are lacking.

    So I believe that any Sub is better than no Sub and even better is a stereo pair, I used to run 1 REL 212 SX at home with my PMC BB5 SE’s but a little while ago I added another and I certainly have no regrets, running a stereo pair isn’t necessarily about adding more bass but loading the room better so it all sounds more balanced, saying that I ran 1 REL for years and was more than happy.

    My Subwoofer for HIFi Nirvana moment came when I was lucky enough to go to Dave Wilson’s house in Utah to hear the mighty Wilson Audio Wamm’s and they were running with a Sub on each speaker so there and then I realised that any speaker will benefit from a sub, the beauty of REL is that they cater for all budgets, starting at £449.

    Without wanting to go on too much, when you go to a gig it is the bass that really drives the music along, it is the foundation that the music is built on and as good as speakers are a powered Sub really adds to the presentation as it is designed to do one job and it can do things that the speaker just can’t.

    Anyway I think I’ve made my point, back to the open day, we will be running 3 rooms showing the different levels or REL subs from entry level to highend, we’ll probably run something like a T/7X upstairs, an S/812 in our first downstair demo room and one of the Reference subs in our Highend room, there may even be something new to talk about, we will have representative here from REL all day so you can discuss what would be right for your system and refreshments will available throughout the day.

    Please find a link below to the full REL range on our Website - 

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

    RSVP Please.

    If you’d like to come can you just fire me over a quick mail to my below email so we have a rough idea on numbers, thanks -

    [email protected]

    Can’t wait to get the shop buzzing again full of people.

    Many Thanks,

    Regards,

    Paul.

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  19. HiFi Rose RA180 Amplifier Now on Demo, Certainly Very Good 1st Impressions!

     

    Hi All,

    This is a real quick one to say that we now have the new and exciting HiFi Rose RA180 amplifier on permanent demo.

    I really didn't know what to expect with this amp to be honest, the looks and features certainly left an impression when it was first announced but now I have had some hands on time I can also say that the build quality really is impressive too.

    This is such a feature packed amp that I may have to read the manual, Ssshhh, don't tell anyone, that will certainly be a first for an analogue amp but I have it hooked up to our Wilson Audio TuneTots to start with which it is driving with ease.

    Looking forward to getting to grips with this amp but if you'd like to come in for a demo anytime please feel free to get in touch to make an appointment.

    https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/hifi-rose/

    Thanks,

    Paul.

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