HiFi Lounge

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About HiFi Lounge

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    Millow, Beds
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    Paul

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  1. Hi All, So 6 years in it is time for some new HFL wheels, now I must stress that this change was bought on solely by necessity and not because I thought the new van looked cool In all seriousness though as the business has grown my good old Ford Connect was struggling to cope as the speakers have got bigger and transportation space was a real issue, especially with Martin Logan speakers which are bigger than most. Farewell My Old Friend! I have to say I felt a bit sad when my trusty old Connect was trailered away as we started our partnership just before starting HFL with no idea what lay in store but over the 6 years it never let me down once and in the end we covered over 75,000 miles together delivering and installing HiFi all over the country, it really was a great partner. Well Hello There! Once the new van was delivered though I soon got over my feelings of loss I had it in the back of my mind that I needed a bigger van for some time but didn’t really know what I wanted, well that was until I was in the paddock at Silverstone and a Ford Transit Custom MS-RT drove past, needless to say the rest is history, basically a Transit Custom is given to Fords Rally team who dismantle it, fit sports suspension, body kit, new wheels and interior, tickle the engine a little then give it back. The coolest thing is on the option list there is something called a MaxHaust, have to say it is one of the coolest audio gadgets I have ever played with, if you are ever in HFL just ask for a demo As I said at the beginning, this van was solely bought as a workhorse, nothing else Delivery Day! Let’s get some stickers on it! Right, I’m off to play with my exhaust Cheers, Paul.
  2. Hi All, So like buses we have has 2 new closed back headphones arrive this week which are at different price points but both promise to be very popular indeed. Sennheiser HD820 - The New Closed Back Reference! Firstly we have the much anticipated new Sennheiser HD820 Closed Back headphones, you could argue that Sennheiser started the current headphone market we know today with the launch of the HD800′s a few years ago and to be fair they are still a true reference headphone and it looks like Sennheiser have only gone and done it agin with the HD820 in creating a Closed Back headphone that really is pretty special. In fact I would go as far as to say this is the first closed back headphone that doesn’t sound like a Closed back so even if you are not looking for a closed back you should still consider these. For me where the HD800′s won was in their imaging and soundstaging which even today is still unrivalled, the good news is that Sennheiser have managed to keep this with the 820′s but also where the 800′s were criticised for lack of bass, well this really isn’t a problem with the 820′s, the bass is epic, the good news is that also there is definition in the bass, it isn’t just a bloated bass but has a real texture to it and being an 800 you still get the insight and detail so you could argue that these really could lay claim to being pretty much the perfect headphone which is amazing bearing it is a closed back which have always been considered the poor brother to an open back. As you can tell I quite like these so if you are in the market for some new headphones, whether open or closed then I would definitely put the HD820′s on the list. http://hifilounge.co.uk/sennheiser-hd820-cloased-back-headphones Audeze LCD-2 Closed Back Headphones At more competitive price point we have the new Audeze LCD-2 Closed Back headphones also now on demo and for their price they are equally as impressive especially in the mid band where Planars always seem to major. Again these have a very powerful bottom end, not quite with the resolution of the 820′s but still very impressive, what with the LCD-2 Classic and these I do wonder how Audeze make them for the money as they really are beautifully built. http://hifilounge.co.uk/audeze-lcd-2-closed-back Cheers, Paul.
  3. A quick clue to the answer to our competition to win some passenger laps in our Radical SR1 - Question - What year was HiFi Lounge Formed? Clue - It is the same year the classic 'Gangnam Style' was released :-) Cheers, Paul.
  4. Hi all, Ok so no for something a little different We are giving one lucky person the opportunity to win 5 passenger laps around Donington Park on September 7th being driven around by my coach, Tom Gladdis, who is a professional racing driver and is seriously quick so this really isn’t for the faint hearted but will certainly be a day to remember if you are a petrolhead or thrill seeker. All you need to do to enter is e-mail the answer to the below question to my e-mail address and we will hold the draw on August 24th and will announce the lucky winner on our website and social media channels. Also keep an eye out as Chord Electronics, PMC Speakers and our new sponsor HiFi Pig will also also be holding competitions so that they can bring along a lucky winner each also. Obviously you will need to be in good health and as we all know Motorsport can be dangerous so there will be a form to sign to say that you understand the risks, other than that it will be a fun day at the track. Question - Nice and Easy What year was HiFi Lounge Formed? Please Send Answers to - paul@hifilounge.co.uk This Could Be You! Please find a video below of Wendy going out for her first experience in the Radical at Cadwell Park a few weeks ago with Tom driving, she loved it but after a few laps she was quite keen to come back to the pits as she was feeling a bit queasy, she can’t wait to go out again though. More information about the day! I am racing at Donnington on the Saturday, we are testing on the Thursday and the Friday is a general track day so there will be all sorts of cars out but generally the Radical will be the quickest car out there, when you are passing other sports cars it really does help you realise just how quick the Radical SR1 is. If you are the lucky winner please feel free to bring a guest for a bit of moral support, you will need to be at the track from around 9am where we will supply breakfast + a lunchtime meal. Also as a memento of the day Oliver Read, the Radical official photographer, will be on hand to take pictures of the day which you can have copies and also as all track action is filmed on our onboard camera we can give you the video footage of your laps. Life Begin’s at 50, Hopefully! The day we are holding this is actually my 50th birthday so it will be great if you’d like to help me celebrate my mid life crisis, as that is what I am putting this years Radical adventure down to, but I have to say it is an amazing car to drive and also to be a passenger in as it is a real thoroughbred race car so if you love your motorsport as I do then please feel free to enter as this really is a great opportunity to experience motorsport first hand. Please find a quick summary below. Event — Donington Park September 7th. Time - 9am at the track, passenger rides start at 10am Age - Over 16’s. Health - Must be in tip top health. Food - Breakfast and Lunch supplied Memento’s - Photo’s and Video of your laps. Hope that is all clear and look forward to hearing from anyone who may be interested. Regards, Update - Further to the above, I was testing at Donington yesterday in preparation for the forthcoming race weekend so thought I would upload my best lap of the day, really pleased with this one, probably the best lap I have done this year, would have been good enough for 4th on last years Radical SR1 grid so it really feels like I made some good progress as I have been struggling a bit just lately but Donington really seemed to suit my driving style for whatever reason, roll on the race weekend This will give an idea to those who don't know the Doningotn layout a good idea what to expect if you win the competition, it really is a great track that is fast and flowing and with the Craner Curves you have one of the best parts of any track in the world Cheers, Paul.
  5. Hi Everyone, Just a quickie to say that we now have the brilliant Chord Electronics Blu II Upscaling CD Transport on permanent demo, well actually we have had a few on demo now but due to it’s popularity, which in turn creates long lead times, the customer’s have taken our demo model which has left us without one but I am really hoping to keep this one on permanent demo. For those who don’t know one of the reasons for the success of the Blu 2 is that it has the Robb Watts M Scaler built in that Chord have just announced as a stand alone product in the Hugo M Scaler due later in the year, this basically upscales your digital music collection up to 705.6KHz, so if you’d like to get a head start and come in to hear what the M Scaler is going to offer once released please feel free as both these products share exactly the same chipset, as many know I am a big fan of the M Scaler so I know you won’t be disappointed. Finally a date for your diary, we will be having a Chord Open day on October 27th and the great news is that Robb Watts is going to be coming along to hold some talks which will be absolutely fascinating, more news nearer the time, this is bound to be a very busy day. http://hifilounge.co.uk/chord-blu-2-transport Cheers, Paul.
  6. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Brands Reviews!

    Roon Nucleus+ HiFi Choice Review! Hi Everyone, A real quickie, please find a link below to HiFi Choice’s review of the Roon Nucleus+, I guess the same review can apply to the standard Nucelus as the features are the same, the + just gives more processing power for multi room setups, for single rooms the normal Nucelus is fine. I have been using our Nucleus+ now for a few weeks and absolutely love it, works really well with the new Naim ND555 http://hifilounge.co.uk/roon Review Below - http://hifilounge.co.uk/image/attachments/Roon/HFC_439_Roon_Nucleus_Reprint-LOW.pdf Cheers, Paul.
  7. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Installs Blog!

    Install Blog - A Busy Week! Sonus Faber / PMC / Bryston / Quadraspire / Atlas Cables Hi Everyone, Had a nice local install last week around 200 miles away in the Liverpool area, well worth the drive though as the system really did sing, not sure how many other people around the world have partnered the PMC Cor amplifier with the Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition Speakers but it is a combination I can really recommend as the amp really drove the speakers extremely well giving a really open and powerful sound which was really did defy the size of the speaker. Please find the kit list below - Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition Speakers http://hifilounge.co.uk/sonus-faber-guarneri-tradition-speakers PMC Cor Integrated Amplifier http://hifilounge.co.uk/PMC-Speakers-Cor-amplifier Bryston BCD-3 CD Player http://hifilounge.co.uk/bryston-bcd-3-cd-player Quadraspire X REFERENCE HiFi Rack http://hifilounge.co.uk/quadraspire-x-reference-hifi-rack Connected up with Atlas Mavros Cables - http://hifilounge.co.uk/atlas-mavros-cables Naim / Michell Engineering / Dynavector / Spendor Another nice install, this is a good customer who has just downsized from a big system to something a little more modest but still sounding great - Naim Uniti Nova All-in-one Player http://hifilounge.co.uk/naim-uniti-nova-all-in-one-player Michell Engineering Gyro SE Turntable http://hifilounge.co.uk/michell-gyro-se-turntable Dynavector DV-20X2 Low Output Moving Coil Cartridge http://hifilounge.co.uk/dynavector-dv-20x2-hl-cartridge Spendor D7 Speakers http://hifilounge.co.uk/spendor-d7-speakers Rega / Focal This was a really well balanced system, the customer liked an organic, fuller and warmer sound so the combination of Rega and the Focal Aria’s worked a real treat. Rega Planar 6 Turntable http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega-planar-6-turntable Rega Elicit-R Integrated Amplifier http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega-elicit-r-amplifier Rega Apollo CD Player http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega-apollo-cd-player Focal Aria 926 3-way floor standing loudspeaker http://hifilounge.co.uk/focal-926-floorstanding-speakers Stay tuned for more installs across the UK, coming soon Cheers, Paul.
  8. Hi Everyone, Now this is a blog I have been meaning to write for a few months now but for whatever reason I never seemed to find the time which is crazy really as it is regarding one of my favourite speakers that we have on demo at HFL. All the products we have in here are pretty awesome to be fair but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have a few favourites and when it comes to any Maggie well they are right up their giving something truly different, one of the most natural presentations I have ever heard, obviously for their size they are not going to be for everyone, but if you can accommodate a Maggie I know there would never be any regrets and they really are incredibly good value considering their performance. So the point of this post? well a few years ago I had a pair of Magneplanar 3.7′s in here and I was absolutely smitten, they really did leave their mark on me, but we just didn’t have the space to put them on permanent demo well the good news is that with our new’ish showrooms we can definitely now easily fit a pair in so one of my fist jobs once the new showrooms were finished was to order a pair of 3.7i’s for permanent demo which we now have here So if you are a bachelor or have a very understanding wife and really would like to experience something totally different please feel free to come in to listen to the 3.7i’s or alternatively we also have the 1.7i’s and .7′s on permanent demo, I am never happier than when I am doing a Maggie demo http://hifilounge.co.uk/magnepan Cheers, Paul.
  9. Arcam’s New HDA Range Now On Demo! Hi Everyone, Like myself I am sure at some point most of us have owned Arcam or still do, at the moment I run their AV860 at home along with a couple of P429′s for cinema duties so it is always great news when Arcam bring something new to market and with their new HDA range they are offering truly great performance at very competitive prices. We have all 3 new products on permanent demo, the SA10 integrated amp really sings and now with the added DAC section comprising of the excellent Sabre DAC really does give brilliant value for money but for me the pairing of the SA20 with it’s Glass G power and the CDS50 CD/SACD and Network player is a pretty potent combo as you can get both for £1698 and partnered together really do sound excellent. I did a demo of this combo last week with the very impressive diminutive Spendor A4′s and that certainly made a good pairing but the SA20 certainly has enough power to drive bigger speakers. Please find more info below on our website and if you’d like to come in for a demo anytime please feel free. http://hifilounge.co.uk/arcam Cheers, Paul.
  10. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Goes Motor Racing!

    Cadwell Park Race Weekend Photo’s + Video Report! Hi Everyone, Well firstly I have to say that I have never driven Cadwell Park before and I have heard mixed reports from various people that I would either love it or hate it due to it being very narrow with the barriers very close and that you actually get airborne at the so called ‘Mountain’ well I am pleased to say that I actually loved this track, definitely one of my favourites and in a very picturesque setting it really is tough to beat. So how did the weekend go? well in all honestly I am getting really frustrated now that I am just not quicker, everyone tells me the first year is all about learning and that I have jumped in at the deep end with a Radical but in my head I am Nigel Mansell but in reality I am more like Driving Miss Daisy So in the end it was a weekend of highs and lows, one minute I love being in the car and the overall speed, then I get frustrated as I want to be quicker then I relax and love it again, one thing is for sure, this motorsport thing certainly challenges you emotionally as well as mentally, it really gets in your head, which is crazy really as this is supposed to be fun but you just can’t help getting caught up in the whole thing and putting yourself under pressure, which I guess is only natural. Overall though Cadwell was a great experience and I learnt a little more, now I just need to to teach my brain to get off the brakes a little earlier and get on the power quicker, how hard can that really be Off to Donnington Park next for my 50th Birthday weekend over the weekend of September 8th, hopefully I can have a breakthrough here and really get on top if this car which really is easier said than done, loads of PMA needed Please keep an eye out as I will be announcing a pretty cool competition shortly where you can win some laps as a passenger with my coach at Donnington on September 7th. Please find my fastest lap below, never did get the hang of the 1st corner really - Cheers, Paul.
  11. Hi Everyone, Happy to say that we now have the new Naim 500 Series ND555 Network Player now on permanent demo, it’s certainly been a long wait but happy to say that the wait has certainly been worth it as it really is brilliant as anyone will know who came to our launch event a couple of weeks ago. This is Naim’s first 500 Series streamer and although it is a fair bit more expensive than the NDS that it kind of replaces it really is quite a step up in performance. We have it on demo in our Naim 500 system comprising of the NAC 552 Pre-Amp and NAP 500 Power Amp and am also using it in conjunction with the top of the range Melco N1ZS Solid State server to really get the best performance from the ND555 and finally we have our Roon Nucleus+ setup so you can see Roon in action with the ND555 which is a real no brainer for me if you do decide to go with any of the new Naim players. Regarding the rest of Naim’s new Network Players, we are expecting the NDX 2 in around 4 weeks time followed by the ND5 XS2 4 weeks after that. So please feel free to come in to experience this new chapter in Naim’s Network Players in our dedicated Naim showroom. http://hifilounge.co.uk/naim-nd-555-network=player Cheers, Paul
  12. Hi Everyone, Devialet have refreshed their Expert Pro range, firstly the Expert 130 Pro has now become the Expert 140 Pro giving another 10 watts per channel and equally as importantly the price has been reduced to £4490 which does make the entry point to Expert Pro extremely competitive when you consider what you get performance and feature wise. Also Devialet have announced the Dual Mono Expert 210 Pro making the entry point to go Dual Mono with Devialet much more affordable, it really does give a substantial upgrade to run 2 Experts in Dual Mono configuration and with the Expert 210 Pro costing £8900 this really is great value. Another point worth making is that if you have an Expert 130 Pro, with a firmware upgrade you can take it to a 140 Pro and then add another 140 Pro to give you an Expert 210 Pro dual mono configuration, until now it has never been possible to go Dual Mono with the entry level Expert so this is great news also. In a move to make the range easier to understand Devialet have also decided to not offer the Companions as separate products now so if you have a single Expert Pro and want to go Dual Mono then you just buy another Expert Pro this means the range now consist of 3 Stereo products and 3 Dual Mono products which is much tidier. I have ordered an Expert 140 Pro for demo which should be here any day now which will mean we have the full range of Expert Pro on demo including the new Expert 210 Pro so if you’d like to come in anytime to experience just how good Devialet Expert Pro is please feel free to get in touch. Please find the full Expert Pro range below - http://hifilounge.co.uk/devialet-expert-range Thanks, Paul. The Expert 210 Pro The Expert 140 Pro
  13. Hi Everyone, So it is easy to get excited about new products but I have to say once I heard about Chord’s plans to take the M Scaler from the brilliant Blu 2 CD Transport and make it a stand alone device I got a little excited, well the good news is that it is now a reality as Chord announced it at CanJam at the weekend and I don’t think I am being over excited by saying this really is a game changer and if you love your music then you really do need a Hugo M Scaler in your system. Just to take a step back for those who don’t know what the M Scaler is, well it was first seen in the Chord Blu 2 CD Transport, basically it took the data from the CD and upscaled it to 705.6kHz which is 16x a CD’s 44.1kHz native resolution and you really can hear the difference, it is huge, it really is like you are listening to 2 different recordings when you compare with and without the M Scaler, as soon as I heard this I just knew this technology had to come out as a standalone product and here we are so whether you are listening on CD, laptop or streamer you can get a huge step up in performance to your digital collection by adding the M Scaler to your DAC. Rob Watts, the designer, has been chasing 1 million taps for many years now as he believes this is what is required to give digital music the musicality needed and now the technology has caught up with his vision, it is all about the transient response which gives music that lifelike presentation, once you hear the difference you’ll understand what transient response really is if you don’t know already. So it is designed to work with Chord’s own Dac’s, new Hugo TT 2, the Qutest and of course DAVE but the good news is that is can work with other manufacturer’s Dac’s, this is big news as now anyone can add an M Scaler to their system and enjoy those 1 million taps and the even better news is that it costs £3495 which in highend audio terms is almost a bargain for the gain it will bring to your system. I really believe that it has been a long time since such a ground breaking product has been released in HiFi and I personally can’t wait to add a M Scaler to my system at home, Game Changer is a big saying but I truly believe this isn’t an understatement for the M Scaler. Demand for this is due to be huge, so if you think this is something for you please feel free to get in touch to place your order, it is due around Autumn, all we need is a £300 deposit to place the order with Chord, personally I would say an M Scaler with the new Hugo TT 2 is going to be a pretty epic combo. Right, I am going to shut up now but as you can probably tell this is pretty exciting news but needless to say we will have an M Scaler on demo as soon as possible but if you have any questions in the meantime please feel free to get in touch Please find a link to the M Scaler with more information on our website. http://hifilounge.co.uk/chord-m-scaler Cheers, Paul.
  14. Hi Everyone, Just a quick heads up to say that due to rising prices in costs of materials and manufacturing PMC are having to rise some of their prices from August 1st so if you are considering new speakers shortly please feel free to get in touch to discuss how certain products are affected, any that are already on order will stay at the current price. As an example please find the new prices below for the multi award winning Twenty5 Series and Fact Range. in other PMC news the original Twenty Series has now been discontinued due to the success of the Twenty5 range, I remember when I first heard the Twenty series before HFL was even an idea and was truly blown away how PMC had moved things on from the i Series but then came along the Twenty5′s and moved things on again Cheers, Paul.
  15. Hi All, Just a quick blog to say that we now have the new Audio Research 160M Valve Mono Blocks now on Permanent demo and I have to say I have never seen a cooler looking amp with their VU meters that can be switched off if required as it is projected onto the glass, I know it isn’t sound quality related but who said HiFi shouldn’t look great They use 4 x KT150 Valves each giving around 150 Watts Per Channel with also the option for Ultra-Linear or Triode mode and now with Auto Bias this is a very easy valve amp to live with. I have them set up in our Highend Room now to give them a chance to run in and they really do sound quite spectacular with our Reference 6 Preamp being fed by the dCS Rossini. Needless to say if you’d like to come in for a demo anytime please feel free, please find more information on our website below - http://hifilounge.co.uk/audio-research-Reference-160m Also please find a stunning review below from HiFi News - http://bit.ly/2unUVa0 Finally here is a small video showing how cool they look Regards, Paul.