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New Demo Kit at HFL, Sonus Faber, Naim, Pioneer, Fyne, Meze, REL & Devialet!

posted on Sat, 08 Dec 2018 11:52:52

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

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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

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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

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This is actually one of our new brands, 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 -

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/meze-audio/meze-audio-empyrean-isodynamic-hybrid-array-headphones

Fyne Audio

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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Chord M Scaler On Demo + Thoughts!

posted on Mon, 03 Dec 2018 11:13:50

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.


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For Sale - Wilson Audio Sasha 2 Speakers - 6 months Old!

posted on Thu, 29 Nov 2018 13:54:07
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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.

These really are stunning speakers, we are only selling them to make way for the new Sasha DAW.

We are anAuthorised Wilson Audio dealer so can offer the full 5 year warranty.

RRP - £40,000 (due to premium finish)

Our Price - £28,000

Any Questions please feel free to get in touch.

Thanks,
Paul.

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Devialet Phantom Reactor Now On Demo + Unboxing!

posted on Mon, 26 Nov 2018 08:37:06

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.


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Brigadiers Audio Mu.2 Speakers Now On Demo, You Really Need To Hear These!

posted on Fri, 23 Nov 2018 03:21:54

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.


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End Of Season Brands Hatch Report, Missed The Fangio Title By 0.2 Sec, Doh!

posted on Mon, 19 Nov 2018 12:16:49
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Hi All,

So almost as if it was all a dream my first season pretending to be a racing driver is over, talk about all over in the blink of an eye, I wish my driving was that fast :-) Seriously though it really does feel like only the other day we were at the Autosport show in January signing on the dotted line to join the Radical SR1 Cup championship.

So how has it been? In all honestly it has been great fun but it has transpired that it is most definitely a lot harder in real life than it looks on the TV, I am no longer an arm chair critic when watching motorsport on TV :-) 

I really thought I would be a lot more competitive than I was and I think I really did underestimate the task at hand, I think the main issue was getting used to a downforce car, it really is a matter of how brave are you, I have no problem with acceleration and top speed but going into a blind corner at say 90 MPH really makes you take notice.

Saying all this once I got to Donington, the 2nd from last race meeting of the season, I felt like I was starting to get somewhere, even though the races were not the best in the build up I found some time and it felt like I made some progress, funnily enough it has turned out that I like chasing lap time, ie going for a fast lap but come the race I seem to loose some speed, maybe I’m more suited to hill climbing :-) 

And even though it is supposed to be fun it really does play with your head, you just can’t help but get caught up in it all and end up feeling really disappointed and down when you don’t perform too well where the reality should be that you should be buzzing from driving a racing car round some of the best racks in the UK, I guess it is just the competitive edge coming in.

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Brands Hatch Report, The Fangio Title Up For Grabs.

So our season finished at Brands Hatch last weekend, another circuit I had never driven before, we were in the shorter Indy layout but we still had to deal with Paddock Hill bend which I was dreading before I got there, I had seen enough cars go off their over the years on TV, it looked terrifying, as it turned out I loved Brands, seemed to suit my driving, I guess other than paddock there are no balls out corners, it very much reminded me of a big go kart track.

So amazingly I arrived at Brands 9 points off the lead in the Fangio Cup, basically the old buggers cup for over 45′s, I was racing David Tagg for the title, basically if I could beat him in both races I could take the title by 1 point but to be fair David had been quicker than me all year so my expectations weren’t very high.

For the Friday test it was wet conditions which it turned out suited me and I was probably the most competitive I had been all year so roll on a wet Saturday race day I thought. So come Saturday morning Qualifying, which was wet, I out qualified David for both races so that was part 1 complete but I still felt David would out race me, what followed was a brilliant race where we were swapping positions and trading paintwork but in the end I beat David to close the gap to 4 points with 1 race left.

Unfortunately for me anyway, the track had totally dried for race 2 so my advantage in the wet was gone but we still had an epic race and we almost crossed the finish line together with me just 0.2 second behind David meaning that he deservedly won the title and I lost out by the smallest of margins but I actually was fine with it as I had 2 brilliant races that really were fit for a championship decider, at last it felt like I was really racing which meant I left Brands buzzing and ready to try again next year.

So congratulations to David for winning but I would like to say a massive thanks to our sponsors for supporting me this year, I’ll be coming round with my cap begging again soon for donations for next year ;-) but thanks again to Chord Electronics, PMC Speakers, Trilogy Audio, Naim Audio, Rega, Atlas Cables and HiFi Pig, also thanks to Daz at UPE Motorsport for being a top bloke and running my car all year and also for Tom Gladdis for trying to coach me, he must have the patience of a saint.

So looking back it was epic fun, scary, frustrating and disappointing all in at the same time, I guess that is the same for any sport though but only after 1 week I am gagging to get back out in the car again, roll on next year.

Cheers,

Paul.

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Rega Planar 8 Now On Demo!

posted on Mon, 19 Nov 2018 06:09:31

Hi Everyone,

Just a real quickie to say that we now have the new Rega Planar 8 with Apheta 2 on permanent demo and it really is sounding good which is no surprise considering the expertise and experience Rega have when it comes to designing a turntable.

I have set it up in our Naim room running into Rega’s new Reference Aura Phono Stage to really show it at it’s best, it really does sing on our Naim 500 System feeding the PMC Fenestria’s.

I have to say I love the minimalist stying of the new Planar 8, I was never a fan of the outer plinth on the RP8 and RP10 so the new solution with the dust cover really does work a treat and the new matt black look really does finish it off nicely.

If you fancy a listen anytime please feel free to get in touch to arrange a demo.

http://hifilounge.co.uk/rega-planar-8-turntable

Cheers,
Paul.


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