HiFi Lounge

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  1. Hi Everyone, So here we go again, the first open day of 2019 and being that the introduction of Fyne Audio to our portfolio was one of the highlights of 2018 it will definitely be a good one. Fyne Audio may be a new name in HiFi but between the 7 strong management team they have over 200 years experience so they may be new in name but they most definitely know how to design a fantastic speaker as all the awards and glowing reviews they have won so far show since launching last year. So I have said this before but since launching HFL back in 2012 I had never really found a speaker brand, at the more modest end of the market shall we say, that I really liked and could get behind so I was delighted when I first heard the Fyne Audio F501 as at last I had a speaker at the £1000′ish price point that I really loved and could sincerely recommend to our customer’s as basically if I don’t like it then it can’t make it into the showroom and for me the F501 are incredible speakers that really do punch well above their price point so it will be great to have these running in our upstairs demo room, if you haven’t heard them then I really recommend you come along for a listen. But Fyne Audio are not all about speakers at the more entry level, just before Christmas they released the £5995 F702 which again sound excellent and have been very well received in here to anyone who has heard them, we actually sold the first pair to a customer in the UK, so we will be playing those also and then shortly Fyne Audio will be lunching the F1-10 at £17,999 and the F1-12 at £23,999 so they may be a new company but they have set their sights very high so I am delighted to say that we will have the F1-10′s running also, personally everything I have heard from Fyne Audio so far I loved but I haven’t heard the F1-10 yet so I can’t wait to get them up and running, I’m sure they will sound fantastic. So we will have speakers running from £1199 to £17,999 on various systems plus we will have representatives here from Fyne Audio to help run the day and answer any questions you may have and as usual Wendy will be busy running around sorting out refreshments, being that Fyne Audio are a Scottish company we’ll have to see if we can give the food a Scottish theme, Haggis anyone So if you have not experienced Fyne Audio before please feel free to come along as I know like me and many others you’ll be very impressed, please see the full range below, we also have the F500′s and F502′s available to demo. http://hifilounge.co.uk/fyne-audio RSVP Hope to see you on February the 2nd from around 9.30am onwards, if you are planning on coming along can you please send a quick e-mail to the below address so we know how much Scottish Whisky to get in thanks - paul@hifilounge.co.uk Many thanks, Regards,
  2. Thanks for all the responses guys, it was always going to be a challenge as the customer only wants them to go where they are at the moment and he isn't keen on room treatment to ruin his decor and he love Naim so we can't add anymore power easily so we are going to try a couple of PSi Audio Active Bass Traps as below and I have contacted Minidsp about trying one of their Dirac boxes but I'm hopeful that the bass traps will work as I'd rather not add anymore electronics into the system, the good news is that this needs to work just for the customer in his listening position, he doesn't care how the rest of the room sounds. https://www.psiaudio.swiss/avaa-c20-active-bass-trap/ We won't be beat
  3. Hi Everyone, I was hoping to do a blog a week or so before Christmas about a successful install of a pair of the PMC Fenestria’s Speakers, the first pair sold into the UK in fact, but unfortunately it wasn’t the smoothest installation which after a 2nd visit yesterday proved 100% that it is the room that is the issue, I have always said that your room is the most important part of your HiFi which really does get overlooked by a lot of HiFi Enthusiasts and this really did prove it so I thought it would be worth writing a few words on the issue encountered as I definitely learnt a thing or 2. So the customer, Hi Steve, like me is a big PMC enthusiast, he has a PMC Cinema room + in other rooms he has a pair of 24′s, 26′s and Fact.8′s so as soon as he heard we had the Fenestria’s on demo he was straight in here and was suitably impressed and ordered a pair. Keen to get them in before Christmas PMC were very helpful and with just a few days to spare we went to the customers house to install them, before we get stuck into the issue we were having I should state they were going into a nice size room and were to be driven by a Naim NAC 252/NAP 300 and ND555 Streamer so they should have just slotted in nice and easy and worked a treat as they had some great kit behind them the reality was quite different. So I arrived at the customer’s and with some help from PMC we started to assembling the Fenestria’s which really is a 2 man job and before you knew it we had everything connected up and was ready to enjoy some music so the customer queued up a few tracks and then the issue materialised, basically the mid range and treble sounded gorgeous but the bass was all over the place, I have never heard anything like it before, it just overpowered everything, so not to be beaten we spent the next few hours moving them around the room to several different locations, not the easiest job at 80KG’s each, but wherever they ended up we still had the uncontrolled bass, even the experienced guys from PMC had never heard such a bad room before, so in the end we had no choice but to admit defeat and leave it that we would revisit it in the New Year, which we did yesterday. Now I must admit I was 100% expecting that we would try a few things but in the end I would have to pull the speakers out, I was even thinking I may take them home which wouldn’t have been the end of the world So thinking of different options I took my demo pair of Wilson Sabrina’s with me to see if a different speaker would help but we encountered exactly the same issue, so then we tried the PMC Fact.8′s and again the bass was uncontrolled, so that proved to us that it wasn’t the Fenestria’s that were the problem but it was 100% the room, but we did find that in a couple of areas of the room the bass boom was significantly less and using my demo track of choice, the classic ‘Teardrop’ by Massive Attack we actually found 2 small areas in the room where the sound was pretty much as good as in my demo room but you really had to be in that small sweet spot, in the rest of the room is was still quite poor, luckily the sweet spot was exactly where the customer was thinking of sitting so we set up the listening position here and left much more hopeful that a solution could be found. I still think a little room treatment and maybe even some small DSP applied could really help so we are looking into this now, but I can hostly say I have never heard a speaker behave like this before but in life you will always get faced with certain challenges and as long as you give it your best shot and hopefully learn something along the way then it is actually good experience whatever the outcome and one thing is for sure the Fenestria’s sound so damn good it is definitely worth a little effort to really get the best from them and I am sure by the time we are finished we will have them really singing To Be Continued …….. Cheers, Paul.
  4. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Goes Motor Racing!

    Well This is Surreal :) Hi Everyone, Hilariously there is a picture of me racing at Brands hatch a couple of months ago in this months ‘Motorsport’ Magazine with Mike Hawthorn on the front cover, now that is something I never thought I’d be saying It is actually a really interesting article about a rookie going racing written by the magazines photographer who was given the opportunity by Radical to move to other side of the lens and follow his dream of being a racing driver for one race which reminded me a lot of my first year last year. Looks like I’m going to be changing teams for this coming season which is still being finalised, hopefully they can make my car quicker as obviously it is not me that is too slow Cheers, Paul.
  5. Hi all, I think everyone knows that we love Atlas Cables at HFL, I was using them personally before setting up HFL and continue to be just as impressed as I have always been with them, they just get out of the way and let the music do it’s thing, you can’t really as for more than that. So when Atlas announced their new Asimi Luxe cables I thought the time was right to bring them on for permanent demo, mainly to use in our Bryston 28B, Chord Dave and PMC Fenestria setup as I know from personal experience that Atlas have always had a great synergy with PMC and Bryston. Now it isn’t every day that you spend £15,000 on speaker cable and £6500 on a pair of XLR cables but these are certainly no ordinary cables, basically they are 100% pure silver and come bound in hand stitched Nappa Leather which isn’t just for looks but brings real performance benefits, there are a choice of 4 leather colours and 2 types of different stitching, I went for red XLR’s with a Black baseball stitch which look absolutely stunning and black leather with a red stitch for the speaker cable, needless to say they sound great, the first thing you notice over better separation and openess is a more effortless presentation, everything just sounds more natural, cables really do make a real difference and these new Asimi Luxe cables are making our PMC Fenestria’s really sing like never before I should mention the speaker cables and RCA’s also use Atlas’s Grun grounding system which also can have a real gain, please feel free to read more below + there is an excellent review under the downloads tab from HiFi News which gives an 89% score which is very high from those guys. http://hifilounge.co.uk/atlas-asimi-cables As ever please find some pictures below which hopefully show the quality but if you ever would like to borrow them for a home demo please feel free to get in touch. Atlas Asimi Luxe XLR Unboxing! Atlas Asimi Luxe Grun Speaker Cable Unboxing! Cheers, Paul.
  6. Hi Everyone, One of the highlights for me during 2018 was hearing my first pair of Fyne Audio speakers, the F501′s, I really never expected them to be as goods as they were and they really filled a gap in our speaker lineup as I had never really found a speaker at this price point before that I could really recommend and since that moment we have sold quite a few pairs to some very happy customers which is great news. But it was always Fyne Audio’s plan to bring a full range of speakers at various price points out up to £25,000 so I am delighted to say that we now also have the F501′s bigger brother on demo, the F502 which is considerably bigger and really is incredible value but just before Christmas we also took delivery of our demo pair of the F701 which are the next range up and come in at £5995 and in what is becoming the Fyne Audio way they punch well above their price point. 1st Fyne Audio F701 Install! Funnily enough a couple of weeks before Christmas the Fyne Audio rep bought in the F701 for me to listen to before I decided to take them on and at the same time I had a customer come in for a speaker demo so he had a listen and bought a pair there and then which is a very good endorsement, please find a picture below of the install which are the first pair of F701′s installed anywhere, needless to say he is absolutely loving them. Fyne Audio Open Day! Our first open day of 2019 will be held with Fyne Audio on February 2nd so please put it in your diary, more news to come shortly. Please find some more pictures below of the complete range that we have on demo at the moment plus more info in the link below - http://hifilounge.co.uk/fyne-audio F500′s on Solid Steel Stands! The new F502′s The Brand New F701 Speakers If any of the above is of any interest please feel free to get in touch to book a demo. Cheers, Paul.
  7. Hi Everyone, Firstly both Wendy and myself just wanted to say a huge thanks for everyones support throughout 2018, it has been an incredible year and our busiest so far, the last 2 months have been extremely busy which is great news, it really does feel like a golden age for HiFi again with some amazing products being launched and a real hunger for high quality kit to enjoy music on, I’ve said it before but I find it mind blowing just how many people there are buying quality HiFi, when we set up HFL I really had no idea that there were so many people out there that love their music and are happy to invest it it, so thanks again, it may sound cheesy but we really do have the best customers This is a first for us but we are actually closing over the Christmas period this year, please find our opening time below - December 22nd - Open till 2pm December 22nd - Open till 2pm December 23rd - Closed December 24th - Closed December 25th - Closed December 26th - Closed December 27th - Closed December 28th - Closed December 29th - Open all day December 30th - Closed December 31st - Closed January 1st - Closed January 2nd - Open as normal So thanks again, have a Great Christmas and New Year and let’s all look forward to what 2019 has in store for us all All the best, Paul & Wendy xxx
  8. Hi All, It’s 2 of my favourite brands 70th anniversary’s this year, Lotus Cars and McIntosh Audio, 1948 was certainly a good year Well McIntosh are certainly celebrating in style by releasing 2 new products to celebrate such a landmark, the C70 Pre-Amp and the MC2152 Stereo Valve amp which is the one that has got me excited, surely this is one of the most, if not the most, beautiful amp ever built, the only downside is that they are only making 70 of each so these are to be a real collectors piece, please find more info below - http://hifilounge.co.uk/mcintosh-mc2152-amplifier Cheers, Paul.
  9. HiFi Lounge

    Meze Empyrean Headphones Now On Demo!

    Something weird going on with that link, thanks for the heads up, corrected now
  10. Hi All, We are delighted to have added Meze Audio to our headphone portfolio, Meze are a headphone brand that have generally been at the lower end but with the Empyrean they have definitely gone up market and have created a headphone that is causing a lot of interest due to a world first in a new driver design, they are a Planar Magnetic but they certainly don’t sound like any Planar I have heard before so please feel free to pop in to experience the Empyrean in our dedicated headphone showroom - http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/meze-audio Cheers, Paul.
  11. Hi Everyone, Generally I like to blog each new individual product that we put on demo at HFL but with a combination of receiving a lot of new demo equipment lately and being extremely busy in the run up to Christmas, I’m definitely not complaining, then I just haven’t been able to find the time so I have compiled a list below of a lot of the new stuff on demo, I’ve also bought on a couple more brands lately that I will announce in a separate blog. I have to say that I don’t think we’ve ever been busier, it still amazes me how many people are out there that love their music and their HiFi and are willing to spend serious amounts of money on it as I am constantly aware that everything we sell is a total luxury and no one needs any of it, luckily music is so important to so many people that they are willing to invest in it, here’s hoping it continues, regardless of Brexit Anyway onto the new kit - Sonus Faber Really pleased that we now have the Sonus Faber Sonetto range on demo, at the moment we have the Sonetto II and III on demo with the VIII to follow shortly, I have to say that in classic SF the III are one of the prettiest small speakers I have ever seen, luckily they sound excellent as well, no one makes a speaker like SF and these Sonetto’s have definitely opened the sound up compared to the Venere’s so I am sure these are going to be very popular. http://hifilounge.co.uk/sonus-faber Naim Audio So the ND555 and NDX 2 have really moved things forward compared to the prevois generation of Naim streamers so it is great to now have the new entry level ND5 XS 2 on demo, the big thing with this is that it is screenless but the Naim app is one of the best in the business and it is also Roon ready so you could argue there is no need for a screen and at £2299 it really is great value for the performance you get. Meze Audio This is actually one of our new brands, Meze are a headphone brand that have generally been at the lover end but with the Empyrean they have definitely gone up market and have created a headphone that is causing a lot of interest due to a world first in a new driver design, they are a Planar Magnetic but they certainly don’t sound like any Planar I have heard before - http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/meze-audio/meze-audio-empyrean-isodynamic-hybrid-array-headphones Fyne Audio When we bought on Fyne Audio I really didn’t know what to expect as we haven’t really done speakers at this price point before but the F501′s have proved a big success, have to say stick them on a Rega Elex-R and they really do sing so I am pleased to say that we now have the bookshelf version on demo and they are equally as musical, at £599 they are amazing value. http://hifilounge.co.uk/Fyne-Audio-F500-Speakers Pioneer I have said before that I have always been a big fan of Pioneer’s disc spinners, I used to own their epic LX91 which was my first taste of a high end player many years ago now so I was delighted when I heard that Pioneer had taken up the mantle from OPPO to create 2 audiophile 4K players, we have had the UDP-LX500 on demo for a few weeks now which has been popular but now I am glad to say we have the one I’ve been waiting for on demo, the UDP-LX800 which has not been created to hit a price point but solely to get the best performance and I’m glad to say the wait has been worthwhile as it got a brilliant review in this month Home Cinema Choice saying that this is basically the best sounding UHD player ever built, can’t ask for more than that I’d say I have a scanned copy if you’d like me to send it over, just let me know. http://hifilounge.co.uk/Pioneer-UDP-LX800 REL Acoustics Why we are on a cinema theme I just wanted to announce the REL have just announced a severely limited edition version of their S5 subwoofer, basically a carbon main driver taken from the G1 and the passive driver taken from the 212SE in the S5 chassis to create something very special indeed, it may be priced at £800 more than a standard S5 but I expect it to be very special indeed for music and cinema, I have actually ordered one for home, if this is of interest though you’d better act fast as I think the UK are only receiving 20 form a worldwide run of 100, so very limited indeed. http://hifilounge.co.uk/Rel-S5-Carbon-Limitied-Subwoofer Devialet Reactor Update This is just a quick heads up to say that we now have our Reactor stock in so if you are interested please feel free to come in for a listen and you can take one away, in the run up to Christmas I expect these to be very popular but I have a couple of Reactor 600′s in stock and 4 x 900′s but that is all we could get for this year, have to say they really are incredible considering their size. http://hifilounge.co.uk/Devialet-Phantom-Reactor So I think that is enough for today but as you can see there is certainly a lot going on at the moment which really is great news. If any of the above are of any interest please feel free to get in touch. Cheers, Paul.
  12. Hi All, I know the Chord Electronics M Scaler has been out for a month or so now but we haven’t had it in here much as it has been out on loan for most of that time but I just wanted to do a quick blog to say that we have actually got a demo model if you did want to try it which I strongly recommend if you have a Chord DAC, in particular a Qutest, Hugo TT 2 or Dave as it really does take these Dac’s to another level. I know when we had our Chord Electronics Open Day and I was speaking to Rob Watts about it he really was impressed how well the Scaler had turned out, better than he imagined I think when he started developing it and he is adamant that any system needs an M Scaler in it if possible. I must admit when Chord announced the M Scaler I really thought everyone would be ordering one but in reality the take up was slow, in here at least, I knew how good it was as I had been using it a lot in our demo Blu 2 but I think most people wanted to experience it before they ordered one but now it is actually out and people have heard how it works then now the orders are coming in thick and fast, pretty much everyone who has heard it has ordered one, one customer told me it is the single biggest upgrade he has ever given his system so you can’t ask for more than that I get asked a lot what it does to the presentation, well even though it is upsampling CD to 16x its original resolution to 705.6kHz it isn’t a load more detail you experience but for me it is a more open and effortless presentation with more depth, it’s as if the upsampling is adding more refinement to the digital file which once you have heard it then you take it away is difficult to live without so once again Rob Watts and Chord have definitely worked their magic. If you’d like to experience the M Scaler for yourself please just get in touch to either arrange a demo or feel free to take it home to try in your system, it is actually booked out for the next 2 weekends but anytime after then should be fine. http://hifilounge.co.uk/chord-m-scaler Melco N100 Now On Demo! Also just a quick heads up to say that we also have the new Melco N100 Server / Player on demo, you could argue thanks to it’s smaller size it is the perfect partner for the Hugo TT 2 and M Scaler setup, they most definitely work well together. http://hifilounge.co.uk/melco-n100-server Cheers, Paul.
  13. Hi All, We are selling our demo Wilson Audio Sasha 2's, 6 Months old, very little use, as new, boxed with all accessories, in a premium dark blue finish. RRP - £40,000 Our Price - £28,000 Any Questions please feel free to get in touch. Thanks, Paul.
  14. Hi Everyone, Just a quickie to say that we now have the new Devialet Phantom Reactor 600 on demo with the 900 following very shortly so if you’d like to come in for a demo anytime please feel free. I can’t stress enough how impressive this smaller Phantom is, you just can’t appreciate it really until you see it alongside the original Phantom and hear what it is capable of, quite amazing really for it’s size. So if you have always wanted a Phantom but didn’t have the space or you already have a Phantom setup but would like a smaller one for another room please pop in to see and hear the Reactor in action - http://hifilounge.co.uk/Devialet-Phantom-Reactor Cheers, Paul.
  15. Hi Everyone, So firstly I am really pleased to add Brigadiers Audio to our portfolio, I’m sure it is not a name everyone will be familiar with, I had honestly never heard of them before but they really do have something quite special to offer with their Mu.2 speakers. Brigadiers Audio are an Australian company based in Sydney that have over 150 years experience between them, they draw on the design experience of noted Australian designer Brad Serhan, who has been designing ‘award winning’ loudspeakers for over 30 years and the design skills of Brad’s business partner electronic engineer Morris Swift. Their speakers use some of the best drivers in the world with an extremely high quality crossover to give a sound that really does defy the size of the speaker helped by a solid birch ply cabinet, they may be small but they come in at 10kg’s each so certainly not light. I like to think we have most bases covered at HFL but there has always been one gap and that is a high quality mini monitor type speaker, ok we’ve got some brilliant speakers like the PMC twenty5.21′s, the Sonus Faber Olympica 1′s up to the Wilson Audio TuneTot’s but they are still a reasonable size and if I’m honest this is one area that has not overly excited me, I am definitely a floor stander type of guy. But that all changed the other day, Andy Moore from Mian distribution got in touch to say he has this awesome little speaker and I really should listen to it, so just out of politeness really I said bring them in and I’ll have a quick listen, in all honesty I wasn’t expecting much but how wrong was I, after the first song I was hooked, I just couldn’t believe the size of sound from such a small speaker but more importantly it was the quality of sound, they are just so natural and musical, there’s a real solidity to the presentation, it really is difficult to put it into words but these speakers really do have some magic and I can honestly say this is the first small speaker that I would be excited to listen to. Funnily enough I only unboxed them yesterday and I put them next to our Fenestria’s as in the pictures to get some hours on them, I had a demo booked with a lovely couple, hello Gordon and Jackie like me they had never heard of Brigadiers Audio but they were so impressed with what they heard they actually bought a pair on the spot, funnily enough they were amazed once they realised it was the Mu.2′s playing and not the Fenestria’s they just couldn’t believe the overall quality of sound so that definitely wasn’t a bad start. I think it is fair to say that Brigadiers Audio are a reasonably small company at the moment but they are extremely fastidious paying great care and attention to every speaker they build to the point they can apparently only make one pair of speakers a day, one things for sure they are going to have to figure out a way to up production once word gets out how good they are. I should mention that we use them with another of our new brands, the Solidsteel SS-6 speaker stands which work brilliantly with the Mu.2′s and if you buy the 2 together you save £280. There is a great review from Stereonet under the downloads tab in the link below which actually gets it spot on so if interested please have a read. http://hifilounge.co.uk/Brigadier-Mu-2-Speakers So what with adding Fyne Audio recently to fill a gap at the lower end and now what with adding Brigadiers Audio I really think we have something for everyone when it comes to speakers. For me I have always thought that if you could fit in a floorstander then you would but the Mu.2′s for me are the first speaker that even if you are not looking for a standmount speaker you should consider these, basically if you are looking for a high quality speaker then definitely gives these a listen and see what you think, hopefully you’ll be as impressed as me. We are planning a open day with Brigadiers Audio for around February time so please watch this space. Cheers, Paul.