HiFi Lounge

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  1. Hi All, It has been a while since we have done a headphone blog, to be honest I have been re-assessing our headphone side of things and have decided to refine what we offer so we now focus on a few main brands, basically the brands everyone wants to listen to, so we have had a bit of a clear out but we still have over 40 pairs of headphones on demo so we should still have something for everyone. We have also decided to take down the dedicated headphone website, mainly as it is hard enough to keep one website up to date but it became too difficult to maintain both so we have kept our Highend Headphones webpage as a link to all our headphones that are listed on HiFi Lounge. Anyway the point of this blog is that part of the re-focusing is to fill out the ranges of the brands that we have decided to keep representing so we have added to demo 2 very different ends of the Audeze headphone range with the £399 LCD-1 and the £3599 LCD-4z, the LCD-1 is a great sounding headphone but I am really hoping that they release a closed back version soon as that will make a great replacement for the OPPo PM-3 that was discontinued some time ago, as for the LCD-4z, this really is a worthy opponent for the Focal Utopia's as it is a great all rounder headphone and is extremely easy to drive making it easier to accommodate compared to the standard LCD-4, personally I prefer the presentation of the LCD-4z to the original LCD-4 and we have had a lot more enquiries about the 4z. So there we go, we are still loving our headphones but after a few years it is time to refocus, to celebrate we will be having a headphone open day shortly so watch this space. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/audeze/ Cheers, Paul.
  2. Hi all, So PMC announced their new Ci range of speakers towards the end of last year but last week they completed the range by adding 4 new models, taking the range to 6 models, and I have to say they look awesome and I am sure they will sound equally as impressive. The Wafers have always been very popular but have been around a long time now so this new range is most welcome and is bound to be equally popular if not more so, I use Wafer 2’s at home for rears and in the shop so I am hoping to put the new Ci140 in at home and also in the shop very shortly. The model lineup looks very similar to the Twenty5 range really but for cinema and installs, so there are 5 speakers + a sub with prices ranging from £995 each for the Ci30 up to £3495 each for the much bigger Ci140, which in all honesty seems extremely good value, the number basically refers to the height so the Ci30 is 300mm high whereas the Ci140 is a massive 1400mm tall, I can really see a lot of people using these as stereo speakers for their main HiFi as not everyone can accommodate a floorstander and we all know these will sound amazing but will be much more discreet than a conventional speaker so easier to accommodate. Needless to say they incorporate all PMC’s magic tech with ATL and Laminair amongst other goodies + a new ingenious install system for in-wall called Qikfire, all the speakers can be used either in wall or on wall other than the Ci140 which is on wall only, the Ci140 even has its own matching on-wall sub, now that would be a pretty potent combo. Anyway if you’d like more info just let me know as I have a PDF here that I can mail over and hope to have some of the range on demo shortly and will add them to our website once I have all the info. Regards, Paul.
  3. Hi all, So what with the Bristol HiFi show just a few days away Chord Electronics have unleashed 5 new products at both ends of their product ranges, 2 new Stereo power amps in their Ultima Range and a new Ultima 2 Pre-amp + 2 really interesting new products called 2go and 2yu, 2go bolts onto Hugo 2 to make it a dedicated streaming / player unit and 2yu is a really interesting product as it turns 2go into its own Dac'less streamer / player which can be connected to any DAC + can be used with the M Scaler which really is brilliant and it can be used with the Qutest, TT2, DAVE + any other DAC, a really interesting product. I won't go on about each product but please find the relevant links to each product on our website and needless to say they will be on demo shortly - Chord 2yu - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product/chord-electronics-2yu-audio-interface/ Chord 2go - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product/chord-electronics-2go-streamer-player/ Chord Ultima 5 & 6 Stereo Power Amplifiers - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/chord-electronics/chord-electronics-full-size/ Chord Ultima Pre 2 Reference Preamplifier - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product/chord-electronics-ultima-2-reference-preamplifier/ Cheers, Paul.
  4. Hi Everyone, Another very big toy landed earlier this week, since taking on Constellation around a year ago I have been extremely impressed, most definitely my kind of sound, for me they give the perfect blend of warmth, insight, separation, control and dynamics. We started with Constellations entry level, said in the loosest term, of the Inspiration range which sounds gorgeous but it got me thinking what the next level up would be like, in all honesty I struggle to think that it can be any better, well now we have the Constellation Revelation Taurus Stereo power amp on demo so it is time to find out, it is certainly a far big bigger and heavier that our Inspiration amps. We certainly seem to be accumulating an amazing selection of amps lately what with the Constellation Inspiration Mono's, now the Taurus, the Audio Research 160 Mono and Stereo amps, the new Chord Ultima 2's and not forgetting the favourites with the Naim NAP 500 and Bryston 4B and 7B's, at the higher end of amplification I would like to think that we have something for everyone. For now though I am looking forward to getting to listen to the Taurus Stereo to find out what the next level up in the Constellation range brings to the party, needless to say if you'd like to come in for a listen anytime please feel free. Please find a link to the Revelation range on our website and some pictures. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/constellation/revelation/ Which one would you Choose? Cheers, Paul.
  5. Hi All, So to be 100% honest when I was approached recently to consider the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme music server I politely agreed to have a listen as always happy to try anything new but I had no intention of bringing it on for demo as I love the Melco servers we offer and as the SGM Extreme is priced at £25,000 I really questioned who would pay this for a server when Melco do such a brilliant job, I mean really how much better can it really be? well I'm guessing you know what happened next, yep once I heard it I was gobsmacked, I can honestly say that I have never heard digital sound this good before, I really couldn't stop thinking about it, sad I know, so I am really excited to say that our SGM Extreme is on order and will be on demo in around a month or so. I have been thinking alot about the price and there are a lot of people out there that will spend this kind of money on turntables, CD Players and Streamers so this is no different, if you want the best then I would argue when it comes to digital playback then the SGM Extreme has to be considered, whether straight into a DAC or over Ethernet. Every once in a while something comes along that really pushes things forward, not just a bit but a quantum leap, it doesn’t happen very often but when it does it is so noticeable that it can’t be ignored, I really feel that Taiko Audio have achieved this for digital audio with their SGM Extreme, I have never heard digital sound so ‘Right’ and immersive as when played through the SGM Extreme, yes it is a Roon Core and Roon Endpoint but it is the sound quality that astounds, we have some great audio servers out there but if you want the very best from your Digital Music Collection then please come in for a listen to the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme as I am sure you will feel the same as us, it may not be cheap but it is by far the best I have ever heard digital music sound, it really does feel like digital has finally come of age. Taiko Audio are a Dutch High End Audio Company who use cutting edge technology to develop components that are not available off the shelf that create the ultimate in sound quality. With this ethos of no compromise they have created something truly wonderful with the SGM Extreme Music Server which has taken digital music to a new level where arguably the conversation of Analogue vs Digital is finally over, if of any interest please feel free to get in touch. I will post some pictures once here but please find a link to the SGM Extreme on our website and some pictures below, really can't wait to get my hands on it - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/taiko-audio/ The SGM Extreme also was awarded 'Best of 2019' in Mono & Stereo, Please find link to PT 1 of the review below – http://bit.ly/31H6WYd Cheers, Paul.
  6. Hi All, I have to say we are going through an embarrassment of riches at HiFi Lounge at the moment as 2020 has started with some awesome new kit on demo and there is still plenty more to come but I have to say having the new Chord Ultima 2 amplifiers on permanent demo is very special indeed as we are the only place to have them on demo in the UK at the moment, a real statement piece, but first I should apologize to Chord for using a rivals DAC with their amps at the moment, ideally I'd be using a DAVE + Scaler but mine are out on loan at the moment and as I was so keen to post the news about the new amps we had to go with what we had here, so sorry Chord, Dave will be back on the rack shortly. Anyway back to the amps, firstly I was quite shocked at their size when I first opened the flight case, yes they come double stacked in a heavy duty flight case, that certainly makes a statement before you even start, I decided to go with the black side inserts rather than the more tradition Chord in-built leg design and I am really glad I did as I think they really do look epic like this, we then lifted them into place in their new home and fired them up, WOW and WOW again, Chord really know how to make a statement, they just look incredible, it dawned on me the other day that in the UK we really don't do much in the way of Highend Audio, especially amplification, but Chord are certainly flying that flag proudly with their Ultima range. It is nice to make a statement with your kit but in reality the only thing that matters is the sound quality and these new Ultima amps are a total redesign of Chord's amplifier typology and I would say they have created something very special here as we have hooked them up to our PMC Fenestria's, now these are a brilliant speaker but they really do appreciate an amp with plenty of current and I can honestly say that I have never heard them sound as good as they do with the Ultima's driving them, they really do get hold of the speaker giving a really tight and controlled sound but they also have a delicacy and articulation that is quite captivating, when I first powered them up one evening I really did struggle to go home as I kept going from track to track, have to say Halo by Machine Head was mind blowing, for me they are an amp that can do everything from great insight with vocals to controlled powerful bass on rock which needs to be turned up to 11, awesome job Chord. Now they do cost £18,000 each so they should be good but the good news is that Chord are now putting the Ultima Tech into 2 new stereo versions starting around £6k which is obviously a lot more attainable, anyway our new Ultima 2's will be on permanent demo and always on ready for action so if you'd like a listen anytime please do pop in an be prepared to be impressed. Please find a link below to the Chord Reference range on our website and a few pictures. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/chord-electronics/chord-electronics-reference/ Cheers, Paul
  7. Hi All, I think I have a speaker problem as I have just bought another new pair for demo, basically I was adding the new Fyne Audio F1 speakers to our website as there are now 4 in the range and I just couldn't help but order a pair of the new F1-5's, basically because they looked so awesome and seemed ridiculous value at £2999 and I have to say now we have them here I can't actually believe how good they sound, they really are quite incredible, I wish I could share the sound quality through a blog as I know everyone would be impressed, if you are looking for a small speaker with a big sound then look no further and they really are finished to a beautifully high standard, I really don't know how Fyne can do them for this price point, especially as they are built at their base in Scotland but it is the sound quality that really does impress, there actually isn't much more to say which is unusual for me. Anyway please find a link to the Fyne Audio F1 Range on our website and if you'd like to come along to listen to the F1-5 anytime please feel free. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/fyne-audio/f1-series/ When I Grow Up I want to be just like you! The only issue I have is that everytime I look at them I can't stop thinking about Kenny from South Park, just as well I am a big fan of that show also. Cheers, Paul.
  8. HFL Motorsport Season 3 Starts This Saturday! Hi Everyone, So here we go again, I get asked a lot what my plans are for this year regarding motorsport, well things kick of this Saturday morning as I have signed up for a 10 race season’s racing in the Senna Cup at Rye House in the Go Karts that we used for our Boys Toys Day last year as I really enjoyed that and it whetted my appetite for more Karting, the funny thing was that my best session in the the Radical last year was the first practice session at Donington which was straight after the karting where I went 2 seconds a lap faster than my previous best so I am hoping that doing more karting will help my Radical racing as the main thing with karting is that you can race hard and be fearless whereas in the Radical driving to the limit takes some real balls and commitment and in all honesty I am still struggling in fast corners with the Radical so it will certainly be an interesting experiment to see if the Karting helps me in the Radical, either way it will be fun finding out. So the first race is at 10am at Rye, 15 mins qualifying with a 45 minute race, apparently there is a full 26 kart grid, now as Rye is a bit of a proving ground for up and coming talent then I am sure I am going to get my arse whipped by some young whipper snappers who are just out of nappies and weigh nothing but I am really looking forward to giving it a try. As for the Radical racing this year, I don’t think I will be able to do a full season but aim to do at least half the season plus some testing and there is a chance of also racing at Spa which would be a huge tick on the bucket list but need to see the cost involved in that first, may have to get my begging hat out for that one. Anyway If anyone wants to see how we get on Saturday at Rye live timing is available from the link below - https://live.alphatiming.co.uk/rye Can’t wait to find out myself. Cheers, Paul.
  9. Hi All, Just wanted to let everyone know that we now have the new Arcam SA30 integrated amplifier on permanent demo, this has got to be the best value fully loaded amplifier on the market today at £1999 but for me the killer feature is that it includes Dirac room correction in a 2 channel amplifier, as soon as I heard how big of an improvement Dirac made to music through the Arcam receivers a few years ago I knew it was only a matter of time before it was introduced into Arcam's 2 channel amps, it really is a game changer, not only that but it is also a streamer, a Roon endpoint and fully MQA compatible with a MC and MM phono stage built in, all you need to do is add speakers and you are up and running. Please see below for the features this amplifier includes, it really is quite incredible, we have been running it in on our Fyne Audio F702 speakers, now you wouldn't normally put a amp at this price with a pair of speakers costing £6749 but it just shows how powerful the Glass G amplification is in the SA30, it is actually a great pairing. Class G amplification for impeccable sound and efficiency 120W of power per channel into 8Ω, 220W into 4Ω 5 analogue inputs including switchable MM/MC PHONO input 4 digital inputs 1 ARC input GoogleCast, Airplay 2, uPnP Streamer Roon endpoint MQA supported 3 Dirac EQ profiles (input assignable) 32-bit DAC,Sabre ESS9038K2M Full I/P control including Control4 and Crestron Total harmonic distortion + noise = 0.002% Please see below for the SA30 on our website and if you'd like to come in for a demo anytime please feel free. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/arcam/arcam-hda-range/ Cheers, Paul.
  10. Hi Everyone, So I guess I've had worse days at work as I have just unboxed and setup the brand new Audio Research Reference 6SE Preamplifier and Reference 160S Stereo Power Amplifier and it is certainly sounding pretty sweet straight out of the box. For me the Reference 6 is one of the best Pre's in the world so that fact Audio Research have improved upon it with the new SE couldn't have been easy but I am certainly looking forward to hearing where the improvements are. As for the 160s, this is the stereo version of the 160 Mono's and it is certainly a big amp but then fitting the 2 x 160 Mono's into one chassis was certainly never going to be easy but the end result is stunning in looks as well as sound, I have set it up with our demo Reference CD9SE and it really is singing on our Wilson Audio Sasha DAW's, anyway here are a few pictures but if you'd like to come in for a listen anytime please feel free, below is a link to Audio Research Reference products on our site. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/audio-research/reference-series/ Reference 6SE Preamp! Reference 160S Power Amp! We Also have the Audio Research 160m Mono's if you'd like to compare! Cheers, Paul.
  11. Hi everyone, So late last year we added CAD or Computer Audio Design to give them their full name to our portfolio, now I am fully aware how important good quality mains is for a HiFi system but I must admit that I had never explored the area of grounding as having to stick earth spikes in your garden seems like a lot of hassle to be honest but at the Ascot show last year Nic Poulson of Trilogy and Isol-8 introduced me to the guys at CAD, as he himself is a big fan of their products, so I thought if Nic likes these then I must take a listen, now they do a High End DAC and Music Server but it was their grounding products that intrigued me the most. So we arranged a day where Scott and Isabel came over from CAD and we would have a play, first trying their Ground Control 1 on various equipment then me moved onto the Ground Control 3, so the million dollar question is what do these products actually do? well if I am 100% honest I don’t really know how they exactly work but I know that they definitely make a real difference. So at their most basic description they are passive boxes, so they don’t plug into the mains for their power, the GC1 as an example has 2 connections which you can connect to 2 components, you can try them on anything other than power amps, so as an example on a music server like our Melco had a real positive effect, also on phono stages, pre-amps, DAC’s etc, basically it is a bit of trial and error but generally they will make a difference on whatever they are connected to. So let’s try again, what do Ground Control boxes actually do? So from what I understand they convert negative energy and high frequencies in your system to heat which dissipates through the ground control boxes but I guess you really don’t need to know how they work other than they really do, for a more detailed description I would check out Jason Kennedy’s review on the Ear below as he makes a lot more sense of it than I can. http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/cad-gc-3-noise-reduction-system Ground Control 1 Below For our test day with CAD we used a pretty Highend system but the Grounding Boxes are just as effective on smaller systems, we started with trying the GC1 on our Melco which instantly made a difference, everything seemed to open up, then we put another GC1 on our dCS Rossini which again bought another improvement then finally we added the 2nd connection on the GC1 to the Rossini clock which again made a positive improvement but not as much as when going into the Rossini but for the cost of another cable it was a worthwhile step, by the time we finished we all agreed that the music became more fluid and rhythmic with a lower noise floor, greater dynamic and transient response but for me I just found myself tapping my foot more, everything just seems to move along faster and was more captivating and enjoyable. Talking of cables, basically a GC1 is £1995 with one cable and each additional cable is £300 but there are a large array of different cables so they will fit all types of products, eg RCA, XLR, Spade, USB + another aspect I should mention is that you can plug it directly into a mains socket which basically grounds your mains as far as I am aware and that also has proved to bring positive gains in performance. So to sum up If you love your music and you want to get the very best from your system then I strongly recommend that you borrow either the GC1 or CG3 from us to try at home to see how much better your system can sound with one installed, the problem is that I actually don’t think one will be enough hence why I bought 2 GC1’s for demo and a GC3’s as CAD tell us that a lot of their customers run multiple GC1’s or GC3’s once they have heard the benefit, a telling story is that at the Munich High End show last year when the Air Force Zero turntable was launched which cost £450,000 they used a GC1 to help maximise its performance which says it all to me. Anyway please find a link below to the range but any questions or to arrange a home demo please feel free to give me a ring. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/computer-audio-design/ It is fascinating this HiFi lark as just when you think you have experienced everything something new comes along which really can help get more from your system. Cheers, Paul. Ground Control 3 Below CAD Audio Transport + DAC Below!
  12. Hi Everyone, So here we go, the first new product on demo at HFL for 2020 and a new brand actually, now I must admit that I really do try hard to not bring on so many brands as I have in the past but when the iFi guys bought in the Aurora I was so impressed that I couldn't resist, firstly I love the styling, it really does bring something new to the Wireless / Bluetooth speaker category, admittedly it isn't going to be to everyone's taste but there is no denying that it makes a statement but mainly the main thing that impresses is the Aurora's sound quality. This is a product that you can tell has been designed with a lot of thought and care, firstly it performs in the analogue domain with no DSP applied, it has a 6N3P valve in the Preamp stage, it even scans your room when starting up to tune it to get the best sound possible and it has so many inputs that it can cater for the most demanding of listener, it even has a pair of RCA input so you can hook a turntable up to it, it supports all streaming features via an app and needless to say is BlueTooth also with a cutting edge Sabre DAC at the heart of it all, there is much more to this product than this but please see below for all the info but the long and short of it is that it gives a very analogue sound so if you fancy a listen anytime please pop in - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/ifi-audio/ Cheers, Paul.
  13. Hi There, Unfortunately it looks like my old photo sharing website, Photobucket, has gone down so for the time being all my previous posts are pictureless, anyway onto this post with a new picture sharing client. Belated Happy New Year, I have a feeling this year is going to be a great year for Hifi. It has certainly started well so I thought I would share a couple of speaker installs from the last couple of weeks, neither of them on the small side. PMC MB2 SE Install So this was a nice local one in Devon, so around a 6 hour drive, install, quick bite of lunch then turn round and come home, all in a day’s work, albeit a long one The customer already had PMC MB2i’s so it was just a matter of a quick swap over to the new MB2 SE’s, have to say they sounded incredible straight out the box – The below Cherry MB2i’s are available for £10,000 if anyone is interested, boxed in as new condition, an incredible speaker for this price, just get in touch if of interest. Out with the Old And in With The New! Wilson Audio Alexia 2 Install! This was a nice install just before Christmas of the awesome Wilson Audio Alexia 2 speakers, we will be going back soon to spike them and try some different amplification, sounds awesome as it is now to be fair. Let’s see what the rest of the year has in stall for us all, All the best for a great 2020 👍 Cheers, Paul.
  14. Unfortunately there are no pics as Photobucket appears to be down, there is a better formatted version on our website which you can access from the below link - http://bit.ly/2ShCxNs Hi Everyone, I love this time of year where we look back and I have to say that 2019 has been another brilliant year for HiFi, Music and Hifi Lounge in general, so before we get stuck in I’d like to firstly thanks all our customers throughout 2019, many new faces and many returning customer’s, this year has been another brilliant year for us but without our brilliant customer’s we are nothing so we’d like to send out a huge thanks to everyone who came in to see us. It still amazes me how busy we get but I love the fact we actually get people visiting us from all over the world, a big shout out to Paul and Sue from Aukland, NZ who popped in to say Hi during the summer, it really is much appreciated so thanks again everyone. 2019 Open Days I would argue that we have had our best selection of open days this year which have all been great fun and I look forward to continuing this with some more for next year, the first is already planned for February 15th, more news to follow, and our Boys Toys Go Karting Day was also great fun, even though I did get punted out of 2nd place on the first lap, it’s going to take a while for me to get over that I feel, so hopefully we will arrange a similar event next year as everyone was keen to have another go. New HiFi in 2019 I would say 2019 was a really good year for new HiFi but maybe a bit quieter than some previous years for new kit but there were standout products from Rega with their Planar 10 which has been a huge success for us and their new Aura phono stage and Aethos Amp which are both selling well, Rega really are on it at the moment, but we also had the new fact Signature Range of speakers from PMC, Wilson launched the incredible Chronosonic XVX speakers, if only I had a spare £350k, plus we’ve had the new Nait amps from Naim, the new Arcam AV Cinema range of amps plus Sonus Faber have just launched their stunning new Olympica Nova range and Bryston have just given us their new BDA-3.14 which I have to say is a brilliant piece of kit and Fyne Audio seem to be going from strength to strength with their new speakers so all in all it has been another stellar year for HiFi in general, long may it continue. HiFi Lounge Upgrades As well as new HiFi in 2019 we had 2 reasonably exciting things happen at HFL, firstly we finally launched our new website, anyone who has done this themselves will know how stressful it can be, it just takes so much time but in the end we couldn’t be happier with the end result, hopefully now it is even easier to find the info and products you are interested in. A much more important thing was that we finally took on our first member of staff, now I am a bit of a control freak so that was never going to be easy for me to work alongside someone but we are so excited to welcome Ady on board as he has fitted straight in, a lot of you will know him already as he has been helping out here at open days for years now, for me I didn’t want anyone from sales as that is not what we do here so Ady is perfect as he loves his HiFi and Music and that is all that matters really, the rest he will learn, it has certainly made things easier having him here. Music of 2019 Now I am the first to moan about the state of current music but I have to say that this year has been a real cracker with some great new music being released. The year started extremely well for me as I discovered Greta Van Fleet, basically a band comprising of 4 very young guys, 3 of them brothers, who play rock heavily inspired by bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Rush etc, what I love is the fact that they are playing this kind of rock but bringing it to a new generation, Wendy and myself went to see them at Rock City last month and they were incredible, they have a very bright future ahead of them that is for sure, if you like your Rock then check them out. For great albums released this year there are too many to list but for me the below are the standout albums of 2019. Rammstein – ‘Untitled’ – You can’t beat a bit of Rammstein, their new album which is their first new material for 10 years really didn’t disappoint, it is worth the asking price alone for the track called ‘Puppe’ which is an instant classic, if you haven’t heard it yet check it out on Tidal, you can’t help but love it, we saw them live during the summer + we are going to see them twice more next year, can’t wait. Bruce Springsteen – ‘Western Stars’ – Now I am a huge Bruce fan as many of you will know but I would say this is the best album he has released in many, many years, even if you are not a Bruce fan you should listen to this as it is very different to his past work, and if you have this album make sure to check out the Film Soundtrack version as it is arguably better as it is recorded live with an orchestra which gives a much more dynamic sound, highly recommended. Lana Del Ray – ‘Norman F———G Rockwell’ – I love Lana Del Ray, I have bought every album over the years but when I listened to this new one for the first time I thought it is just another very similar LDR album but how wrong I was, after a few listens it really came into its own and I would now say this is her best album to date, by some margin, so please give it a few listens and hopefully you’ll feel the same. James Blunt – ‘Once Upon A Mind’ – As I have got older I have really got into James Blunt but there is one stand out song on this album you must listen to, ‘Monsters’, I was driving home one day and was listening the album for the first time and half way through this song I started to cry, I had no idea why, so I played it again and listened to the lyrics and yet again I got all emotional, it is probably the most powerful song I have ever heard so please give it a listen, it is very moving, make sure you have your hanky ready. David Bowie – ‘Conversation Piece’ – I nearly missed this album but a customer put me onto it and thank god he did as it is superb, basically it is a boxset based around Bowie’s 2nd album ‘Space Oddity’ but the standout piece is that Tony Visconti has gone back and remastered it as he says when they did it originally they only had a couple of weeks to put it to bed so to go back and spend as much time as needed to give us the release it should have been is incredible, it really does sound amazing, for me this is how all albums should be re-done, not just a remaster but almost a total re-recording, a bit like Giles Martin is doing with The Beatles at the moment, again the release of Gile’s remaster Abbey Road this year was another highlight. Album of The Year 2019 This was actually really easy this year and it has to go to Nick Cave’s ‘Ghosteen’ I really have never heard an album like this before, obviously it was born out of sadness for the passing go his Son but as well as being melancholy, dark and emotional it is also uplifting and inspirational at the same time, Nick Cave never makes a bad album in my view but this transcends everything he has done before, it truly is a special album, a unique offering that can pick you up and take you somewhere that only music can, an incredible album so please do give it a listen or 2 over Christmas. An Interesting Read Finally one other quick thing a customer put me onto, thanks Dave, is a book called ‘The Memoirs Of Billy Shears’ now I don’t read books but this sounded like such an interesting story that I bought a copy and haven’t put it down since, in a nutshell basically Paul McCartney died in a car accident in 1965 and Billy Shears took his place, I know it sounds pretty far fetched but there is so much evidence out there to support this that many people now consider this to the truth, in fact the remaining Beatles apparently left clues on album covers and in their lyrics which this book unveils, I know it blew my mind when I first heard this conspiracy but if you have a mind like mine then I would highly recommend picking up a copy as it makes fascinating reading. HFL MotorSport in 2019 A lot of people ask how our racing is going so I just wanted to do a quick recap on our Motor Racing exploits in the Radical SR1 Cup during 2019, basically I was much quicker over 1 lap than in 2018 but my race pace still is not the best but over the last 3 race weekends I qualified much higher up the grid only to get taken out of the races but over opportunist moves by the guys around me which has left me with unfinished business for 2020, I’m not sure if I will do a full season next year due to the costs involved but am certainly keen to do a few races and I may enter a Go Karting Championship at Rye House as I really enjoyed Karting again for our BTD but I’d like to thanks all our Sponsors again for their support in 2019. So finally to wrap up, I knew I would end up babbling on once I started, again we’d like to thank you for all your support throughout 2019 and we look forward to doing it all again next year, I also just want to mention that you can keep up with all our goings on through Social Media, you can actually see our Instagram posts from our Homepage below which I update regularly – https://hifilounge.co.uk/instagram/ Wishing you all a Great Christmas and Healthy and Prosperous 2020. Best Wishes, Paul & Wendy.
  15. Hi All, I just wanted to say that we now have the new Bryston BDA-3.14 now on permanent demo and it really is a brilliant bit of kit, every now and again a HiFi company brings out a real gem, something that deserves to be a big success and I would say after a few days playing with the BDA 3.14 that this is a real killer product from Bryston. I have been a Bryston user probably for around 10 years+ now, I still run 7B3 mono’s at home and have had various Bryston Preamps, Dac’s and Streamers over that time so when I heard of the BDA 3.14 I didn’t hesitate to order one to put on demo as it sounded like an intriguing product. So our demo model arrived on Thursday and I took it home over the weekend to play with and it really didn’t disappoint, if anything it far exceeded my expectations, now it is easy in this game to get flippant about how much kit costs but to me at £4000 this seems like a genuine bargain as in it’s loosest terms it is a very high performing DAC, a Streamer, a Digital preamp and a Roon Endpoint but in reality it is much more than that thanks to it’s support of Tidal, Qobuz, Internet Radio and with HDMI inputs for SACD Playback it really does stand it part from a lot of other DAC’s on the market. The beauty of this product is it’s simplicity, all you need is a power amp and a pair of speakers, needless to say a Bryston 2.5B3 or 4B3 would be ideal, and you are up and running, at home I just run a couple of XLR’s into my 7B’s and I was listening to music in no time at all and it really did sound excellent, to start with I controlled it with the BDA’s own on board software then I set it up as a Roon endpoint and then it came into it’s own, as for anyone who has used Roon will know it is the interface to end all interfaces and the hours just flew by as I spent the evening putting it through it’s paces, amongst other songs I listened to Nick Caves Ghosteen in it’s entirety and got totally swept away by it, totally captivating, now I know the whole system plays it part but the source is where it all starts and is incredibly important and the BDA-3.14 really did shine. So to sum up, this is a great bit of kit, you don’t need to be a Bryston fan to appreciate how good this is, I can’t think of anything that is as complete a package as this at this price point, to me I look at it as a cheaper version of the dCS Rossini as they do similar jobs but that costs £18,000. Anyway if you feel this is something that may appeal to you feel free to get in touch to give it a try, I guess I need to take it out of my rig at home and bring it back to the shop, bugger. Please find more information below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/bryston/digital-audio/ Cheers, Paul.