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HiFi Lounge - Latest News and Chat for HiFi and Headphones!


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Chord Mojo 2 Now Available, Small but Cutting Edge Tech for Portable and Home!

 

Hi Everyone,

So it is great to have a new product to talk about as over the last couple of years we have been starved of new releases really as everyone just tried to get through the pandemic and to be honest meet the increased demand and parts shortages that the HiFi industry has faced.

The original Mojo was a huge success for Chord, a total game changer and created a whole new genre in HiFi, a really highend portable DAC/Headamp + Pre for sensible money that sounded amazing, it actually went on to become one of our most popular products over the years, I always took mine with me when travelling.

Over the last few years since the original Mojo inception obviously things have marched on, especially in the digital DAC domain so utilising the latest FPGA technology with Rob Watts design the Mojo 2 promises to be a major leap forward for not just portable DAC's but as a DAC to use at home so I am pleased to say that we have had our first delivery with more due very soon.

Rather than me reciting Chords website please see below what the Mojo 2 offers -

  • The British designed and built Mojo 2 is the most advanced portable DAC and headphone amplifier in the world today.
  • Entirely engineered around a powerful, custom-coded FPGA processor, Mojo 2 benefits from several unique technologies.
  • Central to the new Mojo 2 is the world’s first lossless DSP, an advanced ‘digital tone control’ without any degradation in sound quality. The ‘UHD DSP’ gives Mojo 2 unrivalled compatibility with today’s wide-ranging headphones, plus unparalleled flexibility with partnering equipment.
  • A further key feature is the new menu system, navigated via the new (fourth) control sphere, bringing mute, crossfeed, button-lock and tone control adjustment.
  • Mojo 2 offers greatly improved battery management, with faster charging rates, a huge 75 % reduction in power loss, plus a 9 % capacity gain.
  • A new USB-C data input adds greater flexibility, transparency has been greatly boosted, thanks to an improved noise-shaper, lower distortion and greater neutrality, plus Mojo 2 can even be taken wireless with the Poly streamer/server.
  • Handmade in the UK with a robust CNC-milled aircraft grade aluminium chassis, Mojo 2 offers unrivalled performance, class-leading sound and peerless build quality.

If you'd like to come in to demo a Mojo 2 please feel free to get in touch to make an appointment.

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

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Cheers,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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  • 2 weeks later...

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dCS Introduce New Apex Ring DAC to Rossini + Vivaldi, Come In To Compare Original Rossini Against Apex!

 

Hi Everyone,

So this is big news, dCS have just announced that after extensive research and development they have made major changes to the hardware portion of their Ring DAC and have developed an all-new analogue output stage taking both the Rossini DAC + Player and Vivaldi DAC to a whole new level.

The great news also is that if you are an existing Rossini or Vivaldi owner you can send your unit back to dCS for it to be upgraded to full Apex Specification, please feel free to get in touch for more details on this.

Also for a short time, we will have a standard Rossini Player + a new Apex Rossini Player side by side so you can come in to listen to the improvement, for this we decided to hook them up side by side on our Reference system comprising of the Wilson Audio Alexx V speakers, D'Agostino Momentum Pre/Power all with Transparent Reference cables with both Rossini players connected to a Melso S100 ethernet switch so all you have to do is switch inputs on the Pre to compare both units.

We have decided to run them without clocks for now as we only have one clock but I have a feeling this would help show the improvements even more but with a bit of cable swapping this can be tried if required, I had a listen on Saturday and even though the new Apex Rossini Player was brand new and not run in compared to our standard Rossini the improvements are clear to hear, again I feel once the Apex unit has more hours on it the differences will be greater again.

So what did I hear? firstly it is obvious that the noise floor is lower, this is something dCS actually measured but it is clear when you hear it so this gives the music a better foundation to play from resulting in a more open and sweeter presentation with definitely better bass definition and texture, this is what I noticed the most, you really can follow the bass notes better, especially in the upper bass, this in turn really helped to open up the mid range with cleaner and better separated vocals, overall I would say it is an excellent step forward adding refinement, control and an openness that is a true step up over the previous generation of Ring Dac, and let's be honest, that was brilliant before dCS introduced Apex, I guess to sum up I found Apex to be more engaging and insightful which is what I guess we are all after.

Would I upgrade if I was a Rossini or Vivaldi customer? well first I would come and have a listen to our Rossini's side by side to make your mind up but once you hear the difference then there is no ignoring the step forward and I personally would want to go Apex, but first please do and come and listen.

Finally I should also mention that our Vivaldi DAC went back to dCS the other day to be upgraded to Apex Specification, really can't wait to get that back I have to say.

Please find a dCS video below introducing Apex and a link to dCS on our website + a few pics of the 2 Rossini's side by side in our Reference system -

And if you would like to come along to compare please feel free to get in touch.

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

Rossini + Rossini Apex Players all ready to compare on our Reference system!

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
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  • 2 weeks later...

Wilson Audio Announce The New LōKē Subwoofer, It’s Not Just About The Bass!

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Hi Everyone,

So anyone who knows me will know that I love Wilson Audio speakers and am also a huge believer of adding at least one subwoofer to a 2 channel system, ideally a pair, so the fact that Wilson Audio have just announced their new LōKē subwoofer is really great news.

This is Wilson's smallest sub that is designed to work with any speaker but particularly the TuneTots, Sabrina's, Yvette's and DAW's and well any Wilson speakers really, I'm looking forward to trying it on our Alexx V's as although those speakers are incredible we have tried our REL G1 on them and it really does help get the best from the speaker.

As I have said many time before, adding a sub isn't about just the bass, it adds a depth and realism to the whole presentation, it really helps free up the midrange presence and refines the treble but for me it makes the whole presentation more cohesive and engaging, if you haven't tried a sub in your system please feel free to get in touch as I know that once you have tried one there is no going back.

I know there are cheaper subs out there, we do really well with REL, but knowing how good Wilson's speakers are I expect the LōKē to be worth every penny of it's £8999 asking price, we have ordered our demo model so hopefully it will be with us soon and once here please feel free to come into give it a listen, it is almost the easiest demo there is in HiFi, it only takes 5 minutes for the upgrade to be apparent then there is no going back.

Please find a link to LōKē on our website below and a few pictures -

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

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Cheers,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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New PrimaLuna Evo 300 Hybrid Amplifier + Black Michell GyroDec Now On Demo!

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Hi All,

So we've got 2 new products on demo that actually sound really good together, first is the new PrimaLuna Evo 300 Hybrid Integrated amplifier, so basically a Valve Preamp section with a Solid State 100 watt Power amp, I love a valve pre partnered with a solid state amp, it is how I run my system at home so to have it in an integrated makes perfect sense to me as you get the control and solidity at the bass end from the solid state amp section but the warmth in the mid from the valves from the Pre section which results in a really engaging and musical presentation.

Also we now have a new Michell Engineering GyroDec on demo, basically I sold our old Silver one as we supplied a black one for a customer and it looked so good I just had to put a black one on demo, we have partnered it with the Dynavector 20X2 which is the perfect partner really.

For this system we partnered them with the excellent Spendor D7.2 speakers which really does make a superb and nicely balanced system.

Please find a few pictures below and if you'd like to demo any of these items please feel free to get in touch.

https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/primaluna/evo-integrated-amplifiers/

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

https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/spendor/d-range

Cheers,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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  • 2 weeks later...

DeVORE Fidelity Orangutan O/96 Speakers Now On Demo, These Are So Good!

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Hi Everyone,

Speakers really are a magical part of the HIFI chain aren't they, so my designs, technologies and thoughts behind the thousands of different versions that have come out over the decades so it is incredible that something comes along every now and again that really does take your breath away offering something very different and special to anything I have heard before, enter DeVore Fidelity.

I have to admit until around 6 months ago I had never come across DeVore Fidelity speakers before but I got asked by a couple of customers if I could source them so a quick call to Absolute Sounds and I had a pair of Orangutan 0/96's here, unfortunately they went out to a good customer of ours straight away for a home demo so I never got to listen to them but he waxed lyrically about them and ordered a pair so once back here I was keen to have a listen myself and he was right, these speakers are very special indeed and sound like nothing I have heard before.

Firstly they are super efficient and only really need a low powered amp, I'd heard they work well with valves and as the Devore's are all hand made in Brooklyn I thought it would be cool to hook them up with another brand from New York, McIntosh, and I have to say it really is a magical combo.

So onto the Orangutan 0/96's, Firstly the cabinetry is exquisite, a real thing on beauty, stunning really but it is the sound for me that is something else, I have never heard a speaker with so much airiness about it, there is this breathless quality that encapsulates the music, I guess that is helped by the speakers being super efficient, now I know it is a cliche but close your eyes and the music really is there in front of you, the speaker disappears like no other box I have heard before, they are an exceptionally captivating speaker and have been a real pleasant surprise, I have spent a couple of evenings here just getting lost in them as I got that old HiFi Curse of going through all my favourite songs as I was hearing them like never before.

I should also mention that they also give a huge soundstage with fantastic imagery and depth, we have always struggled with width to the soundstage in our demo rooms being narrow converted barns but these really did extend the image beyond the walls with fantastic placement and separation also.

I guess you get the idea and I will stop gushing about them now, so at £13,998 for the standard Lace Walnut finish they are not cheap but if you want something truly special and the budget will take it then I strongly recommend you give these a listen.

Please find a link to DeVore Fidelity on our website and some pictures below -

https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/devore-fidelity/

Cheers,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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Naim / Focal 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Package!

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Hi Everyone,

So this is a little different, to celebrate 10 years of association together Naim and Focal have created a very limited edition system in a Tin / Aluminium look which traditionally celebrates a 10 year anniversary.

I must admit I wasn't sure on the look when I first saw it but it has really grown on me, particularly like the look of the speakers.

The system consists of the below components making a very nice setup indeed so if you fancy something a little different which will be very limited and is going to sound great and ready to go as a complete solution, plus save a few quid compared to if buying it all separately, then please feel free to get in touch to discuss more -

  • Focal Sopra No2 Speakers in a Light Concrete / Tin finish
  • Naim Nac 282 with NAPSC (Tin Special Finish)
  • Naim HiCap DR Power Supply (Tin Special Finish)
  • Naim NDX 2 Streamer (Tin Special Finish)
  • Naim NAP 250 DR Power Amplifier (Tin Special Finish)
  • Naim Super Lumina Speaker Cable (3m Pair)

Price as Seperates - £31,695

Anniversary Bundle Price - £28,000

Launch Video

 

Cheers,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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SME Announce New Flagship Turntable - The Model 60, Stunning!

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Hi All,

It really looks like this is going to be a great year for new HiFi as every week we seem to have something new to get excited about.

This week it is SME's turn to unleash their new Reference Flagship Turntable on the world and being that I love my Vinyl and SME this really is exciting news.

It is a totally new design using machined aluminium for the chassis with a new Reference tonearm based on what is already considered by many to be the best tonearm in the world, the Series V, this new one is known as the Series VA, where the A stands for advanced, there is also a new Controller Unit with the power supply in a seperate box to reduce any unwanted interference, so as you can see no stone has been left unturned to get the very best performance.

Being that it is a ground up new design and from SME you really can expect the ultimate in engineering and precision using only the best materials, it will start at around £50,000 for either the standard Black or Brushed Silver but Premium colours of your choice are available for around an extra 10-15%, have to say that the blue looks stunning.

Please find a few pictures below and if you'd like any further information please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Cheers,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Introducing The HiFi Rose RA180 Integrated Amplifier, Something Very Different!

 

Hi Everyone,

So this is a little different, I've always said that HiFi Rose are a brand to keep an eye on, they have already given us 2 excellent streamers and an all in one player but now they have unleashed an integrated amplifier on the world and it really is like nothing I have seen before, needless to say I ordered one for demo straight away, I'm a sucker for something different and this really does look unique, can't wait to find out what all those dials and knobs do, it retails for for £5499 so certainly looks to be good value for money.

It has a built in MM/MC Phono Stage, Active Crossover ability, Tone Controls, App Control, it also sounds like it has some interesting amplifier technology inside also which is capable of up to 400 watts per channel, please see below from HiFi Rose -

'4 Mono Amplifiers - Multi Output Configuration using Modules

The HiFi ROSE RA180 consists of two modules: one AMP module specialised for stable mid-bass and balance, and another specialised for smooth high-pitched and super tweeter areas.

Each AMP module supports 200 W (8 Ohm) and can output up to 400 W per channel. When two independent modules are connected to a speaker's high and low frequencies separately, the driving force can be greatly improved without being affected by a counter electromotive force.

BTL mode combines two independent modules for rich, balanced sound.'

It is due with us soon as if you are as curious as me then feel free to get in touch to arrange a demo.

Please find some pics below and a link to the RA180 on our website -

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

Cheers,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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dCS Bring Back The Vivaldi One, This Time With Apex, Only 50 Available Worldwide!

 

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Hi All,

So needless to say at around £75,000 the Vivaldi One Apex isn't for everyone but price aside this really is quite possibly the ultimate one box HiFi piece of equipment that ever existed and one of the finest pieces of HiFi full stop, the original was launched in 2017 to mark dCS 30th Anniversary, there were 250 of these and they sold out very quickly, since then dCS have recently released their new Apex DAC technology so to mark this they have decided to put the Vivaldi One back into production, this time for only 50 units worldwide, once these have gone I am told that there will never be anymore Vivaldo Ones released so if you did miss out last time then I'd move fast to get your order in.

We have actually secured 2 Vivaldi Ones for stock as I know dCS are constantly getting requests to bring back the Vivaldi One so we decided to grab a couple whilst we can before they are all sold, we have been told we will get ours from the first batch of 10 produced and will be with us beginning of June.

Please see below for more info from dCS.

Following the launch of the dCS Ring DAC™ APEX, and our new Rossini and Vivaldi APEX models, we’re thrilled to announce the release of a new, limited-edition version of the Vivaldi One—our beloved single-chassis Network Music Player and CD/SACD Transport.

The Vivaldi One was released in 2017 to mark dCS's 30th anniversary. Inspired by the success of our Vivaldi series—which comprises a DAC, Upsampler, CD/SACD Transport and Master Clock—we set out to create a limited-edition system that distilled the Vivaldi’s core features and technologies into a single, exquisitely finished playback device.

Just 250 Vivaldi One systems were produced, and they quickly sold out. We’ve since received numerous emails, letters and phone calls from music lovers around the world looking to purchase a Vivaldi One. Whilst we were delighted to see such a strong demand for the product, and had often considered re-releasing the Vivaldi One, we ultimately decided to focus our efforts on developing new features and enhancements to our Vivaldi and Rossini ranges, as well as developing the dCS Bartók.

This year, however, we launched a major hardware upgrade that allowed us to further enhance the performance of the Vivaldi DAC, Rossini DAC and Rossini Player. Our new dCS Ring DAC™ APEX hardware is measurably better in several ways, and brings a range of sonic improvements, with listeners noting enhanced dynamics, rhythm and timing, greater soundstage resolution and image focus, blacker backgrounds, and a heightened sense of realism.

Following extensive development, and several rounds of testing, we decided to launch new APEX editions of the Vivaldi DAC, Rossini DAC, and Rossini Player, which feature the Ring DAC APEX hardware as standard. We also announced the launch of a global upgrade programme for existing owners of the Vivaldi DAC, Rossini DAC, Rossini Player and original Vivaldi One.

The response to the upgrade programme, and the launch of our Rossini and Vivaldi APEX models, has been overwhelming. The positive feedback we received from the audio community inspired us to explore the idea of releasing an APEX edition of the dCS Vivaldi One, and with our 35th anniversary just around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to release a new, improved edition of a much-loved and celebrated dCS product.

The Vivaldi One APEX combines all of the benefits of the original Vivaldi One with our new, enhanced Ring DAC APEX hardware to deliver an even more profound musical experience.

Just 50 units will be available, in anodised silver or black—classic dCS finishes. The system will be unveiled at the 2022 Munich High-End show, and dCS will host demonstrations throughout the four-day event.

If you would like to discuss the Vivaldi One Apex please feel free to get in touch.

https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/dcs/vivaldi/

Regards,

Paul.

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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Meze Headphone Trade In Promotion, For a Limited Time Only!

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This is just a quickie to mention a promotion that Meze Headphones have just announced, basically trade in your old headphones for a saving on either the Liric, Empyrean or Elite headphones, we have the full range of Meze headphones on demo so please feel free to come in for a listen.

Promotion ends 24 June 2022.

Please find promotion details below -

  • Liric - Trade in your old headphones and save - £299
  • Empyrean - Trade in your old headphones and save - £399
  • Elite - Trade in your old headphones and save - £599

Please find more info on the Meze Headphone range below on our website -

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

Cheers,

Paul

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wilson Audio Loke Subwoofer Now On Demo and Packing a Punch!

 

Hi All,

I know I keep banging on that a sub is a fundamental part of any HiFi but I have never had the pleasure of trying a Wilson Audio subwoofer until last week when our demo Loke Sub arrived, this is Wilson's smallest sub to date and to be honest it really is intended to be used with their TuneTot's, Sabrina's, Yvette's and Sasha DAW's but I couldn't resist pairing it up with our demo Alexx V's and I have to say it is a brilliant match and really enhances what the Alexx V can do.

I still think that there is a misconception with subs for 2 channel but I've been to a couple of Gary Numan gigs lately and when you listen to live music it is the bass that really does drive the music along and it is the same with HiFi, with any passive speaker it just can't do what an active sub can do, being that it has its own amplifier it gives a tighter and more powerful bass that the speaker just can't do, it's not the speakers fault but when you pair them correctly you really can take your speakers and music enjoyment to a whole new level, for me it is the best pound for pound upgrade you can do to your HiFi.

In all honesty my main experience with subs for 2 channel has been with REL, these are brilliant and work a treat with all speakers, until recently I had been running one of their Reference G1 MKII's with our Alexx V's so I was really keen to see how one of Wilson's own subs would partner up and could it really be worth twice the price of the REL.

So to sum it up, it is all about integration, you can tune the REL's in and it is very seamless but there really is a 100% match with the Loke and our Alexx V's, I can probably fine tune it a tad more but as it is now you really just hear one pair of speakers but with a more solid and weighty bottom end which really helps free up the mid and sweeten the top end, it really isn't just about the bass.

I am so used to the way REL's bass sounds which is really full and deep, I run 2 x REL 212's at home and love them but the Loke is a very different type of bass, tighter, punchier, faster a tad maybe but for me it is the way that it seamlessly marry's up with our Alexx V's that is impressive, I guess a lot of people would think when spending £150K on a pair of speakers that you shouldn't need a sub but that really is missing the point as you don't need a sub but it really does help get the best from your speakers once one is added.

My appreciation of what a sub can add was when I was lucky enough to go to Dave Wilson's house to hear the Wilson Wamm's and they had a sub partnered up with each speaker that made me realise that if the Wamm benefitted from underpinning from a sub then surely any speaker will.

No the only thing better than adding one sub is to run a pair, one for each speaker, as I do at home, and I have to say that I really can see me adding another Loke to our reference system before too long.

Please find a link to Wilson on our website and some pictures below, if you'd like to come in for a demo please feel free to get in touch to make an appointment, it is the easiest demo we do as it really doesn't take 5 minutes to hear the benefit that the Loke brings.

Cheers,

Paul.

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Introducing dCS Lina, Taking Headphone Listening To The Next Level!

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Hi All,

Being a big fan of headphone listening myself I find the news that dCS have just launched their new Lina Headphone system which is designed to get the very best headphone listening experience for the most discerning headphone listeners out there very exciting indeed.

It is a 3 box system comprising of a Streaming DAC, Master Clock and Headphone Amplifier, basically I like to think of it as a Vivaldi system for the headphone listener which will give all the key attributes of a dCS System that is guaranteed to get the very best from whichever headphones you use and is guaranteed to drive the hardest headphones out there.

Incorporating a totally new and smaller design you can either stack the 3 boxes or configure them side by side to suit your living space, have to say that I think it looks really cool, can't wait to get my hands on it.

We will have Lina on demo very shortly which will be set up in our dedicated headphone room where you will be able to try it with a selection of the best headphones on the planet.

For me, what I love about headphone listening is the intimacy and insight it gives, I still think some people see it as 2nd best to a full HiFi system but I strongly disagree, I would say it is equally as enjoyable but it is a different experience, in some ways it is better than a speaker system as you are not getting any interaction with the room so you basically just hear the music as intended with no room coloration, I know you don't get the scale of a speaker system but you really can hear into the recording with all its nuances that can sometimes get lost on a more conventional HiFi, for me I'd say there is a strong argument to have both a great HiFi and Headphone system if you love music as they are both 2 very different but equally good ways to enjoy your music and with Lina you know you will be getting the very best headphone experience available.

Please find more on Lina below on our website and if you have any questions or would like to come in for a demo sometime please feel free.

Once I have had some hands on time I will write my thoughts.

https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/dcs/lina/

Regards,

Paul.

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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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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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.

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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.

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Busy day yesterday getting ready for tomorrow’s REL Acoustics Open Day today but we are all set, been pretty much 3 years since our last open day so can’t wait to welcome everyone back, we’ve got 4 very different rooms setup showing the benefits of adding a REL + the sun is going to be out and the BBQ going, what could be better 🤙

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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

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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.

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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

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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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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

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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  • 2 weeks later...

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

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       Specialists In Quality HiFi For the Home Plus the UK's Only Domestic Motorsport Simulator Showroom

       [email protected] - 01767 448121www.hifilounge.co.uk  / www.iloungeracing.co.uk

 
      Please Follow My TLF Blog Here - http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/blog/88-vipers-lotus-and-hifi-blog/

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