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HiFi Lounge - All Our Latest News, PMC, Naim, Bryston, Rega amongst Many others!

Discussion in 'trade announcements' started by HiFi Lounge, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Hi Guys,

    I thought I'd start a blog on Pinkfish with all the latest news and goings on at HiFi Lounge that may be of interest.

    As many of you know I only launched at the end of October 2012 and I have to say that it is a case of so far so good, everyone told both my wife and myself that we must be mad, and that may be the case, but so far early signs have been really promising, fingers crossed it continues :)

    The whole idea behind HiFi Lounge is to only stock the brands that I'm passionate about and to specialise in those select few brands and represent them really well, which with Naim hasn't been easy with their range being so vast, but I feel we have achieved what we set out to do.

    That isn't to say that I won't be adding any new brands, in fact I have 2 new brands that I have just bought on board that I feel will add to our portfolio greatly.

    So please check back regularly as I will update this when there is anything new worth mentioning.

    For anyone who didn't see the post I made regarding setting up HiFi Lounge please follow this link -

    http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=127489&highlight=hifi+lounge

    And if anyone would like to have a look round HiFi Lounge please follow the link below for a virtual tour -

    http://hifilounge.co.uk/take-a-tour


    Thanks,
    Paul.
     
  2. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    For my first post, although I've already mentioned this I thought I would start with our upcoming PMC and Bryston Open day on March 16th, being a big PMC and Bryston enthusiast this is one event I can't wait to happen, especially after hearing the amazing PMC BB5 SE's at Bristol powered by the Bryston 28B SST2's :)

    We will be offering a 10% discount on any PMC or Bryston bought on the day. Even though I am promoting as an owners club obviously anyone is welcome who is a enthusiast for either brand or a HiFi enthusiast in general.

    I have also found out that Peter Thomas is trying to get some recording together direct from his connections in the recording studios so we should be able to hear some music that can't be bought which sounds really interesting.

    Anyway please see below for more information -

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    I am really excited to announce this open day, as before opening HiFi Lounge a few months ago I was, and still am, a keen PMC Speaker and Bryston enthusiast and becoming a PMC and Bryston dealer has been a real privilege, especially as HiFi Lounge are part of Brystons select few dealers in the UK known as ‘Bryston Centre of Excellence’, so with PMC’s backing, for those who don’t already know distribute Bryston in the UK, it gives HiFi Lounge a real pleasure to announce, cue drum roll :) The worlds first PMC and Bryston owners club meetup.

    The idea being that if you are an owner of PMC or Bryston, or hope to be in the future or are an enthusiast of either brand, then HiFi Lounge will host a regular owners club for enthusiasts of both brands, maybe twice a year where we will hope to showcase any new products from both PMC and Bryston, Basically I stole the idea from the many sports car clubs around the world who hold owners clubs for enthusiasts of certain marques, so I thought why not for 2 of my favourite HiFi Brands and as I have made a lot of friends since starting the PMC and Bryston Owners Threads on AVForums I thought it would be great fun if we could all get together and celebrate the 2 brands that we all get so much enjoyment from.

    The first meetup will have Tom Barron, PMC and Bryston’s UK sales representative, who I’m sure many of you already know, on hand to hold demonstrations and answer any questions and we will be focusing on the stunning new range of SE speakers from PMC, so we will have on demo the MB2 SE’s, which I have been informed are a different beast from the standard MB2i’s, not just in the finish and stands, but also in the sound quality as they have been built using all the know how that PMC have learned regarding speaker design over the last 20+ years. For a starter the SE’s have a re-designed mid range driver and considering that the original PMC mid is considered amongst, if not the best in the world then this I really can’t wait to hear. So if you don’t get the chance to go the Bristol Show to hear the SE range or would like to hear them in a more controlled environment then please do come along. Oh yeah, and we will be powering them from a pair of 1000 Watt Bryston 28B SST2’s, now I’ve been dreaming of a pair of 28’s for a few years now so I’m extremely excited by the prospect of having them at HiFi lounge. :D

    From Bryston, we will be focusing on the brand new B135 SST2 integrated amp, the BHA-1 Headphone amp, the BDP-2 media player and BDA-2 DAC, considering how amazing the pairing of the BDP-1 and BDA-1 were then again, this really is something to look forward to. The BDP-2 is definitely an interesting development on the BDP-1 with the ability to add an internal SSD drive and with extra system memory, improved power supply and Asynchronous USB dac input it will certainly be interesting to hear if there are any improvements in sound quality, but if I’m honest it is the new DAC I’m really keen to hear as reports from owners in the US are reporting a different sonic signature to the BDA-1, possibly a slightly richer, organic sounding dac, so this I really can’t wait to hear.

    So with the Bryston BDP-2/BDA-2 along with the SP3 going through the PMC MB2 SE’s powered by Bryston 28B SST2’s really is going to be something quite special and certianly not something that can be heard everyday. So if you are already or are aimimg to be a PMC and Bryston owner shortly then put March 16th in your diary and head along to HiFi Lounge for what promises to be a fun day of music listening and maybe we’ll put a few movie clips on to show a full PMC/Bryston 5.1 reference cinema system in action.

    We will have 3 demo rooms running, the downstairs room will have the new Bryston B135 SST2 running with a Bryston BDP-1/BDA-1 with the PMC twenty range, then in the headphone room we will have the BHA-1 set-up with a BDP-1 and BDA-1 in a fully balanced configuration to create a truly reference headphone set-up along with a selection of some of the best headphones around at the moment, from Grado, Sennheiser, HiFiMan and Audeze. Then in the third and main room we will have the PMC MB2 SE’s powered with the 1000 watt Bryton 28B SST2 mono blocks, the mighty Bryston SP3 processor and brand spanking new BDP-2 and BDA-2, it really is going to be PMC and Bryston Nirvana :)

    We will also have special offers on March 16th only for any PMC or Bryston equipment bought on the day, please enquire for more details,

    Please see a list below of all the PMC and Bryston equipment we will have on demo on March 16th.

    PMC (Starting with the smallest)

    Twenty.21’s

    Twenty.22’s

    Twenty.23’s

    Twenty.24’s

    Fact 3’s

    Fact 8’s

    Wafer 2’s

    PB1i’s

    CB6i

    MB2 SE’s

    PMC DS-001 Mono Block

    Bryston

    SP3 Processor

    BDP-1

    BDP-2

    BDA-1

    BDA-2

    BHA-1

    BCD-1

    B135 SST2

    4B SST2

    7B SST2 x 2

    28B SST2 x 2

    Thanks for looking and hope to see as many of you as possible on March 16th for some PMC & Bryston fun :)

    Cheers,

    Paul.
     
  3. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    In an update to the above post I also added this -

    This is all a bit exciting, I have just heard from PMC that Peter Thomas, the Co-Founder and Chief speaker designer at PMC Speakers will be attending our PMC/Bryston Owners Club Meetup on March 16th :)

    So if you’ve always wanted to meet the main man or have any questions that you’d like to put to him this will be a great chance. I’ve said before that if it wasn’t for PMC speakers and the way they got me back into my music then there really wouldn't be a HiFi Lounge today as hearing my first pair of PMC’s, the OB1i’s, really changed everything for me, so I really do owe Peter a Big thanks.

    Here is a little bit about Peter taken from PMC’s website -

    In 1990 Peter left his job as an engineer at BBC’s Maida Vale music studios after selling them his first creation, the BB5 loudspeaker system. Adrian Loader, his business partner and former engineer at Bauch then went on with Peter to form the Professional Monitor Company, PMC. Their next project was the LB1, a more manageable sized monitor released in 1992, followed by the AB1/2, the TB1/2… the list goes on!

    Starting off in the professional audio industry, branching out to the consumer market and now more recently involved in custom installation, the company’s ethic instilled by Peter and Adrian in creating specialist products has continued through every new design. Unique electronics, proprietary drive units and cabinet engineering all contribute to unrivalled tonal accuracy, clarity and dynamic range. PMC’s innovative Advanced Transmission Line Technology (ATL™) monitors can now be found in film sound recording studios, broadcast companies, post production and audio mastering facilities, living rooms, restaurants, museums and shops.

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    He’s the one on the right btw ;)
     
  4. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Hi Guys,

    For anyone out there, who like me, is quite excited by the new SE range of speakers from PMC I thought I would upload the brochure for you to browse over, I now have hard copies of this brochure if anyone would like to pop in a pick one up, they are very high quality brochures that really do befit the SE Range -

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  5. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    I have been a user of PMC MB2i's personally over the last couple of years so the news of the SE's range really did get me quite excited, I hastily sold my MB2i's to make way for a new pair of MB2 SE's which will be on demo shortly at HiFi Lounge. So last week I went over to PMC's factory to try and chose between the 'Rose' or 'Rich' finish which proved harder than I thought, in the end it wasn't until I went to the Bristol show at the weekend and saw the MB2 SE's in the 'Rose' finish that I made my mind up and went with the Rose finish as they really do look stunning, the pictures just don't do them justice.

    I also enquired about the new Mid range assembly, I've taken a couple of pictures which hopefully shows the differences in the design between the original PMC 75 soft dome mid (on the right) the new one for the SE range (left) I think I'm right in saying that the way it is attached to the cabinet is now different and the angle of the surround flange is now profiled differently with a gentler slope to help dispersion, + the new finish of the Nextel coating looks gorgeous. The MB2 SE's actually weigh 9KG's each heavier than the MB2i's thanks to the extra internal bracing and the stands are far 'deader' than the old metal stands, so along with the newly designed mid range these are a substantial upgrade from the 'normal' MB2i's.

    One thing I did also notice was that there are no holes in the fronts for speaker grills, the reason being, that there is in fact no covers for the SE's, this will be quite a departure for me as I always left my covers on, but I guess with the new finish looking so stunning then I would probably not want to hide that away under grills anyway.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the 2 finishes and the newly designed mid range,

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  6. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Although we are not going to have the BB5 SE's at our open day, we will have the MB2 SE's with the Bryston 28B SST2's, so a reasonably similar system to what was the star of the show at the Bristol HiFi Show, so I though I'd post this as it shows what a fantastic response the new SE's got, roll on March 16th :)

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  7. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Well we have been waiting quite a while to get our hands on both the new Bryston BDP-2 media player and BDA-2 DAC, but we are really happy to say that we now have both on demo at HiFi Lounge.

    We have still got the BDP-1 and BDA-1 on demo so if you would like to come in and compare please feel free. I haven't had time to try this myself yet but are planning to this week so I will report back on what differences I find.

    I am planning to install a Solid State Drive into the BDP-2 today as this technology has now come down in price to a point that is becoming accessible, I paid £260 for 500GB, and in theory with Brystons approach of allowing you to install a SSD drive internally straight to the motherboard I feel that in theory this could prove to offer the best sound quality as it is the shortest signal path with the data being read of a drive with no moving parts, and if you also pass that data over usb asynchronously into the BDA-2, well it should be very special indeed as I was reading the other day how USB is a far better way to transfer data compared to either SPDIF and AES/EBU, certainly can't wait to find out how true this is.

    like I say I'm hoping to try this over the next couple of days, once I have gained some conclusions I will update this post.

    Please find a few pictures below to prove that they are at least in the building :) And a couple of videos made by Bryston showing how easy it is to install the Drive internally into the BDP-2 and how to get music onto that drive over the network -

    BDP-2 Drive Installation

    BDP 2 Drive Installation - YouTube

    connect to BDP-2 to add music

    connect to bdp - YouTube

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    Just to update this post here are a couple of pictures of the BDP-2 with its top off as I install the solid state drive, love the Bryston branded circuit boards by the way :)

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  8. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Looking at the above it looks like we only deal with PMC and Bryston :rolleyes: it is just that there is a lot going on with them both at the moment, to prove we do other brands here is some Spendor news, after hearing the D7 at Bristol at the weekend I'm really excited to get these in and have a proper listen as early indications sounded really good, here is some more info -

    The new Spendor D7 has been rumoured for some time now but HiFi Lounge are really pleased to announce that our demo speakers will be with us early next month in the stunning ‘Spendor Dark’ finish which is basically a diamond gloss polished lacquer over a dark natural wood which promises to look stunning.

    The D7 is a totally new speaker to the Spendor range which offers an elegant and modern design, it is a 2.5 way floorstanding speaker which offers a ‘fresh vibrant realism’ and a level of performance that conventional speakers cannot match due to many important Spendor innovations. UK prices start from £3495.

    Please see below for more information on what makes these speakers so great -

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    Spendor LPZ (Linear Pressure Zone) tweeter

    The goal of every tweeter designer is to achieve linear acoustic output across a wide frequency range; in practice this is extremely difficult. Spendor’s approach to this age-old challenge is radical, and it works. The Spendor LPZ tweeter is built around a stainless steel front plate that forms a damped acoustic chamber directly in from of a lightweight woven polyamide diaphragm. The front plate incorporates phase correcting micro foil to equalize sound wave path lengths across the diaphragm surface; simultaneously it generated a symmetrical pressure environment on both faces of the tweeter diaphragm so the tweeter operates in a balanced linear mode.

    Imagine focusing an ultra-high quality camera lens until you see a bright, clear image. That’s the effect of LPZ technology. Our sequential geometry micro-foil operates as an acoustic lens. The result is perfect focus, uninhibited sound transmission and a very wide listening window. The front plate also provides excellent mechanical protection for the delicate tweeter dome and a smart modern appearance.

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    Spendor 18cm drive units developed for D7

    The D7 mid-bass drive unit has an advanced EP77 polymer cone for superb clarity and vanishingly low colouration. The D7 low frequency drive unit has an ultra-rigid two part bonded Kevlar composite cone assembly for accurate powerful low frequency response. Both drivers feature cast magnesium alloy chassis, high efficiency motor systems, optimized electro-dynamic damping, and excellent thermal dissipation for wide dynamic range. A new polymer surround reduces driver ‘break-in’ time significantly due to the very stable molecular composition of the material.

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    Fifth generation Spendor Linear flow port technology

    The benefits of Spendor Linear Flow port technology have been well proven in the Spendor A-line. The deliver deep articulate bass with natural timing, even in small rooms or close to a wall. Our new fifth generation Spendor Linear flow port incorporates and aerodynamically profiled central baffle (like an aircraft wing) to create a tapered twin-venturi port. Air at the port extremities is decelerated and there is a further reduction in air velocity in the large tapered area at the cabinet base. The result is evenly balanced acoustic pressure and airflow along the whole length of the port. Rapidly decreasing air velocity at the port extremities creates an air-curtain effect to eliminate port noise and spurious mid-band radiation.

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    Conventional loudspeakers incorporate low frequency enclosure damping. The damping material stores energy. As the stored energy is released it is no longer in-time with the music and it makes sound unnaturally heavy and slow. The sound path, within the D7 cabinet, from the bass drivers to the listening room, requires no low frequency damping. The Spendor D7 is entirely free from energy storage effects and the advantage is clearly audible; music sounds naturally fast, agile, and coherent.

    High quality terminals are recessed within the port aperture to hide plug and cable connections for neat appearance.

    Spendor Dynamic cabinet damping

    Timing is fundamental to the musical experience. In conventional loudspeakers rigid high-density cabinet panels are mass-damped to reduce cabinet-talk. Spurious energy is stored and released slowly. This introduces unacceptable blurring and slowing of the sound. Spendor’s solution is asymmetric aperture bracing of the cabinet to disperse internal waves. Dynamic Damping with small, low-mass constrained polymer dampers at key energy interface points instantly convert any spurious energy in the cabinet into inaudible heat. The result is a silent, rigid cabinet and naturally fast engaging sound.

    High Efficiency

    90 dB efficiency and an easy to drive 8-Ohm load ensure complete compatibility with a wider range of amplifiers and cables. With substantial power handling the D7’s can play very loud without sounding compressed. At low replay levels the sound is always clear and transparent.

    Elegant modern design

    The D7 looks as good as it sounds. Two new premium finishes perfectly complement today’s on-trend interiors. Spendor Dark, a diamond polished gloss lacquer of a dark natural wood, for an alluring modern look. Spendor White, a silky smooth pure white lacquer, for a distinctive contemporary look. Standard finishes are light oak, dark walnut, cherry, and black ash. The plinth is satin black lacquer to complement all finishes.

    UK retail price is £3,995 (per pair inc VAT) for premium finishes and £3,495 for standard finishes.

    All Spendor loudspeakers are designed and manufactured in the UK.

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
    D7 loudspeaker

    Description: 2.5 way floor standing loudspeaker
    Enclosure type: Rigid, asymmetric braced, vented cabinet with dynamic damping
    Vent type: Fifth generation Spendor linear flow, tapered twin-venturi port
    Input connection: Single pair recessed precision binding posts
    Typical in-room response: 29Hz – 25kHz
    Power handling: 200 watts unclipped programme
    Sensitivity: 90dB for 1 watt at 1 metre
    Nominal impedance: 8 Ohms
    HF driver: Spendor 22mm LPZ polyamide dome
    Bass/mid driver: Spendor 18cm EP77 polymer cone
    Lower bass driver: Spendor 18cm Kevlar composite cone
    Crossover frequencies: 900Hz, 3.2kHz
    Net weight: 21kg
    Height: 950mm (excluding spikes)
    Width: Cabinet 192mm, plinth 204mm
    Depth: Cabinet 320mm, plinth 344mm
    Finishes: Premium—Spendor dark, Spendor white; Standard—cherry, light oak, black ash, dark walnut. Plinth—satin black
    Accessories: Height adjustable spike feet, grille, non-slip polymer feet

    Here are a few more pictures of the feet, crossovers and cones, for more information please don't hesitate to get in touch -

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  9. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    I just want to apologise as I've lost all my pictures at the moment that are linked to PhotoBucket as apparently I have hit my Bandwidth limit, which I didn't know even existed as I'm always well within my upload limit, apparently it means too many people have looked at the pictures so I've upgraded my account but it seems to be taking an age to sort out. Thanks for looking though :)

    Normal service will be resumed shortly, hopefully.
     
  10. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    I Heard from PMC the other day that due to the amazing success of the Twenty range the 2 way I Series speakers have seen a real drop in demand so PMC have decided to discontinue the DB1i's, TB2i's, GB1i's and FB1i's and focus on the 2 way Twenty Range, the OB1i's and PB1i's are to continue for now.

    I guess it is quite sad really as it was the I Series, especially the OB1i's, that got me into PMC in the first place but I have to say that the twenty's are so damn good that the news didn't really come as any great surprise.

    I think the 2 way I Series will be available until April 1st so if anyone is thinking of any of these speakers then the clock is ticking, here is the actual list of what is going -

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  11. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Hi Everyone,

    At the moment we are really lucky to have the stunning T+A D 10-2 CD/SACD player on demo, you may remember that not too long ago we had the mighty T+A M10 mono block power amps on demo and I have to admit when running in Pure Class A I have never heard an amp sound so good so when a big box turned up at HiFi Lounge with the D 10-2 SACD player inside for me to play with I was extremely keen to sit down and have a listen.

    It was perfect timing really as thanks to the OPPO 105EU Universal player which has just come out I have been buying up quite a few new SACD’s as it is still a fantastic format and as the OPPO has shown there is still life in the silver disc yet, now the OPPO is a great player so I was really keen to see how a Universal player costing £999 compares to a £8000 dedicated player.

    Now obviously the T+A is built to a ridiculously high level and is most definitely one of the greatest looking pieces of HiFi I have ever seen, I have to say that the whole T+A V-Series is quite a looker, but it is in the sound department that it really shines.

    The OPPO is a great unit but for dedicated SACD playback I think it is fair to say that it isn’t in the same league as the D 10-2, it is quite a unique product as all the amplification and filtering is performed by the valves that are quite prominent on the unit and so the valves are what craft the sound to create the rather lush, smooth soundstage, to be honest you just wouldn’t think that you were listening to digital, as you get that natural, easy to listen to, unforced analogue sound but with all the detail and depth of digital without all the crackles and pops, it’s the biggest cliché in the book but close your eyes and you would be convinced the performer was in the room, especially with female vocal, it is quite stunning, I can only imagine how good it must sound in a full T+A V Series system.

    I could keep on writing but It is far easier to demonstrate how amazing this player is if you come in for a listen as I know anyone who loves music can’t fail but to be very impressed, please see some pictures below and also some information with the more of the technical stuff that I’m not very good at :)

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    More Information:

    The D 10-2 is the most unusual SACD player available anywhere in the world; it is an absolute high-end machine, from the case to the valve output stage. The results in terms of sound quality are incredible, and at least equal to the vinyl disc. The D 10-2 is equipped with an absolutely first-class disc mechanism and decoder, and a superb quadruple D/A converter. Two specially developed, carefully matched mains power supply sections provide power entirely independently to the analogue and digital sections. For the digital components we employ a secondary switch-mode mains section, with a torroidal transformer which offers excellent stability under load; for the analogue valve output stage we have developed an extremely stable high-voltage mains section which features a reservoir capacity corresponding to more than 100,000 ?F with a conventional pre-amplifier.

    Quadruple - D/A - converter

    The new converter is unique even by the standards of T+A. The D 10-2 is fitted with no fewer than eight Burr Brown D/A converters in the latest 32 bit version - acknowledged as the best of all types. The quadruple converter is an enhancement of the differential converter, reducing uncorrelated converter errors to one quarter, and background noise by 6 dB. The effort invested in this converter layout is immense, but the results are worth it! As you would expect, the machine exploits a freely programmable signal processor, which means that it provides the characteristic T+A switchable oversampling algorithms for CD playback, enabling the user to select the optimum reproduction to suit any particular disc. Our engineers have also developed four-stage oversampling and noise-shaper circuits for SACD playback, which generate different filter gradients and secondary wave suppression, providing a highly effective means of fine-tuning the sound characteristics to match the other links in the equipment chain. The converter stage is followed by an ingenious valve output stage. To prevent any danger of the digital section infl uencing the analogue circuit, these two sections are separated and de-coupled using a unique T+A technique. Opto-couplers transfer the control signals optically, while the latest magnetic, jitter-free iCouplers from Analogue Devices are employed for the high-speed data signals. The net result is genuine high-end analogue sound quality both with CD as well as SACD.

    Valve output stage
    The really striking aspect of the D 10-2 is the section which follows the converters: its analogue valve output and filter stage. The pre-amplifier consists of the extremely linear, low-distortion 12AX7 LPS double triode, while the output stage features the ECC 99 double triode, with its high current delivery capacity.

    All the amplification and filtering is carried out by these valves. This concept is totally unique, and ensures that all the machine’s sound characteristics are determined by the valves - they are not just there for show! With the ECC 99 we have also succeeded in keeping the output resistance to below 100 Ohm. This is a sensational value for a valve pre-amplifier, and we think it must be a record! The DSD process used for SACD inevitably generates increased background noise in the region above about 40 kHz, and not all amplifiers can cope with this. In the simplest case the amplifier just becomes very warm, but in many instances the amplifier also generates intermodulation effects or other distortion products, and these can have an adverse and extremely disturbing effect in the audible frequency range. One solution would have been for us to limit the frequency response of the player to the lowest common denominator, in order to cope with amplifiers of moderate quality, and this would certainly have been the safe route. However, we were not content with this, so we decided to equip the D 10-2’ s valve output stage with a means of switching the bandwidth between 60 kHz and 120 kHz. By this means it is possible to set up the player very accurately to match any amplifier, and there is no need to forfeit anything in terms of frequency response and phase linearity in systems which incorporate a good amplifier with a wide bandwidth. Naturally all T+A amplifiers are an excellent match for the machine.

    Mechanical system

    The mechanical construction of the machine maintains the same philosophy and superb quality as the other V-series components. The combination of solid aluminium and special high-quality acrylic is extremely pleasing visually, and gives superb results in audio terms. The high mass of the metal and the damping effect of the acrylic ensure that the top-loader disc mechanism is totally de-coupled and isolated from the outside world. The components of the top-loader are machined and turned from solid blocks of aluminium. The complex cover sealing ring is turned from a single piece of metal, and bonded permanently to the acrylic plate. This design provides outstanding damping and absolute freedom from resonance effects, as well as sealing the disc hermetically from the environment.
     
  12. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Hi Guys,

    I had the photographer that PMC use for all their PR shots in the other day to do my Google Virtual tour and he also took some high quality snaps so I thought I'd post a few on here, I really love the whacky double angle snaps :)

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  13. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    This is quite an interesting development that Bryston announced last week, it is still very early days and definitely a work in progress but with hopefully a summer release I thought it would be worth mentioning, especially considering that Bryston discontinued their excellent BCD-1 CD Player last year.

    At the moment the idea behind the BOT-1, still not too sure about the name to be honest, is that it is a CD transport that has to plug into the new BDP-2 via USB, it can then either rip the CD to an internal drive in the BOT-1 or the internal drive in the BDP-2 or you can just treat it as a normal CD player with the benefit that the CD Data will load into the memory of the BDP-2 giving the high quality audio playback that we get from the BDP-2.

    Like I say it is a very different approach and once again shows that Bryston are not scared of thinking outside the box a little. I for one am a big fan of streaming but I still think that there is a place for CD, especially considering that we have all been collecting CD’s for the last 20+ years, so the BOT-1 gives us the option to quickly throw a CD on to listen to but with the benefits of the audio quality from the BDP-2, quite brilliant really as it will give you the best of both worlds, streaming and CD playback but with the ability to rip your CD collection easily.

    It is to use a Blu-Ray transport which also opens up some interesting ideas that Bryston are looking into at the moment, like being able to rip the music from your favourite music DVD’s or hopefully Blu-Rays so we can get 24 bit rips. Like I say this is a work in progress but once we have any more details I will update this post.

    Obviously it goes without saying that as soon as a BOT-1 is available HiFi Lounge will be getting one on demo to fully explore all it’s capabilities, I would imagine we will hopefully see it sometime in the Autumn and with a estimated price of $1500 it looks like it won’t break the bank.

    Here are a couple of early prototype pictures and a video of the BOT-1 in action playing it’s first ever CD.

    BOT-1 first cd played - YouTube

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  14. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Hi Everyone,

    Just a quick post to say that we now have the much anticipated Naim DAC-V1 on demo.

    I have been really quite keen to hear this new product from Naim as it is quite an interesting proposition as it is an excellent quality DAC, also a Pre-Amp which pairs perfectly with the new Naim NAP 100 power amp, but what I really wanted to try was it as a headphone amp, needless to say that it doesn’t disappoint.

    I tried it on most of our headphones and it it pretty awesome to be honest, when paired with say one of Naims streamers you have a pretty high end headphone system with control via the iPad with pretty much the best control interface in the business with Naims nStream, at the moment I’ve the DAC-V1 partnered with a Naim ND5 XS streamer and for ease of use and sound quality I would say it is tough combination to beat.

    I have been using the new Bryston BHA-1 headphone amp for the last few months which I consider to pretty much be one of the best headphone amps out there at the moment, but the DAC-V1 gives it a real run for its money and it has the DAC built in which the BHA-1 doesn’t. Both amps seem to have very similar levels of drive with the main difference being the sonic signature which pretty much matches both companies main electronics, I would same the BHA-1 offers a cleaner presentation and the DAC-V1 offers a richer, fuller sound, so both offering different but top end solutions.

    For me the best combination with the DAC-V1 was the Audeze LCD-2 or the HiFiMan HE-500’s, again both different but depending on what I was listening to I kept changing my mind to what I preferred, what I’m really keen to try are the Audeze LCD-3’s which I’ve just got in, these are considered by many to be the best headphones available at the moment so it will certainly be interesting later when I give them a run. The only fly in the ointment was that the DAC-V1 couldn’t drive the HiFiMan HE-6’s sufficiently but there was no great surprise there as I haven’t found an amp to do them justice yet, not even the Bryston BHA-1, the only way to drive them in my opinion is direct from a power amp, then they sound amazing.

    I have yet to try the DAC-V1 with its matching NAP 100, but a £650 for a Naim amp that is a real steal and when partnered with the DAC-V1 I would imagine when partnered with the right speakers that would prove to be a pretty potent small desktop hi quality hifi solution.

    If anyone would like to come in for a listen we will have the DAC-V1 on permanent demo partnered with the ND5 XS in our dedicated headphone room along with a selection of some of the best headphones available today from Audeze, HiFiMan, Grado and Sennheiser, so please feel free to pop in.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the DAC-V1 ready for action.

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  15. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    This is just a quick post to let everyone know that we have just added the Audeze LCD-3’s to our line up in the headphone room for permanent demo.

    I have always wanted to spend some time listening to the LCD-3’s after being won over our LCD-2’s and after borrowing a pair of LCD-3’s from Audeze for a customer to listen to I think it is fair to say that I have now been ruined and there was just no way I could send them back, so we now have both the Audeze LCD-2’s and LCD-3’s on demonstration with a selection of high end amps and a top quality sources so you can really hear them at their best and what they have to offer.

    I had always read that the gap between the LCD-2’s and LCD-3’s was quite small with a little more top end detail, generally it was said that they were about 10% better for twice the price, well I have to say that is absolute rubbish, with the LCD-3’s you do get more detail but what really struck me was how rich, full and organic the sound was, extremely lifelike. I spoke to Audeze and apparently early LCD-3’s weren’t quite at the level they are now as they are now using a thinner membrane making the difference between the 2’s and 3’s far wider.

    This isn’t to take anything away from the LCD-2’s, they are still one of my favourite headphones, but the LCD-3’s are very special indeed, tonality they rival speakers that cost £10,000+ and for what you loose in scale with a speaker you more than make up for with detail and intimacy.

    If anyone would like to pop in and spend some time going through some of the best headphones available today then please feel free to pop in, spend as much time as you like, and I’ll supply as much tea and coffee as you can drink :)

    Here are a few pictures of the LCD-3’s -

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  16. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Hi Everyone,

    Now I have to admit I wasn’t planning on getting the Sonos Playbar in to demo at HiFi Lounge, basically as I felt it is more for the AV side rather than HiFi, but after reading all the rave reviews and requests from a few customers I couldn’t resist any longer so I’m really happy to say that we now have the Sonus Playbar available to demo and for anyone to buy.

    I’m a big fan of what Sonos do, great sounding kit that is a doddle to use with the best interface in the business and all at a reasonable price, so I expected nothing but great things from the Playbar and I’m glad to say that it doesn’t disappoint.

    I guess for a sound bar £599 is at the higher end but where the Playbar wins is that is is also a fully fledged music system that will drop straight into an existing sonos setup, you can use it as a stand alone soundbar, you could just add a sub, which I have to say obviously is the perfect partner or for the complete system you can add a couple of Play 3’s for the rear channels and have a full surround sound system that has the benefit of being totally wireless if required.

    Once you get the box you know you’ve got something special here, it certainly isn’t small or light, and it gets even better once you un-box it, it just oozes quality. As ever with Sonos it is simplicity itself to connect up to your TV, a small word of warning here, the only connection to the Playbar is via an optical cable, this is supplied in the box but just make sure before you buy that your TV has a optical out, most have, but definitely worth checking first.

    I hooked the Playbar up here with a direct feed from our OPPO 105 Blu-Ray player, but first I had to quickly set it up using the Sonos Ipad app, basically you just tell the app to add a new component, then you push 2 buttons on the Playbar, just like any other Sonos kit, then it is recognised and set-up begins, it basically asks you if you are adding a sub and play 3’s as rears, then it asks you to disable the sound from your TV speakers, normally easily done within the TV menu, then the best part, with a few button presses from your TV remote or Sky remote it learns the volume up and down button as well as the mute button, no codes needed here, all very simply done, and basically that is it, job done and ready to listen to.

    This is my first experience of a sound-bar of any kind, and to be honest I was amazed at the size of the sound-stage and the depth, but best of all there is amazing detail, I would say it is a very clean and precise sound but you really can hear everything, obviously adding the Sonos sub beefed up the bottom end quite a bit and helped fill out the mid range a little, but it is by no means an essential purchase as on it’s own it sounds excellent and will be a huge step up in quality compared the sound we are stuck with from today’s super slim flat screen tv’s. Another neat touch I noticed was on the Sonos app there is a dialogue enhance button which worked a treat when tried with some muddy dialogue that was tough to hear, it really helped throw the speech into the room and made it very clear to hear, there is also a night time button that enhances the sound at low volumes.

    I then decided to take the Playbar home to try on my Pioneer screen, this was interesting as Pioneer used to sell their speakers as an option but were extremely good for TV speakers, the Playbar offers a far cleaner sound but not quite the width due to the screen being a 60” panel so I feel more testing is needed here :) Where I really enjoyed the Playbar at home was as a Sonos Music system, when used in conjunction with our Play 3 at the back of the room it really filled the room with a great sound, when linked the combination of the clean Playbar sound and the slightly weighter sound of the Play 3 sounded excellent, I will be adding another Play 3 shortly to our home system so I can run a Sonos Surround system as that will be excellent for TV. Movies and music.

    So as usual when it comes to Sonos, the Playbar does nothing but impress, from its overall quality, to it’s ease of use but most importantly how it sounds.

    If you’d like any more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch or If you’d like to come in for a listen please feel free, if you could just let me know though before coming in as I will have to bring in in from home at the moment whilst I continue to put it through it’s paces :)

    As ever, here are a few pictures -

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    Playbar In Action with our 110” Screen, sounded Great!
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  17. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    At HiFi lounge we are really excited to welcome Sonus Faber speakers to our line up of brands which we now carry an extensive range for demo.

    When setting up HiFi Lounge I always wanted to add one more speaker brand to our portfolio to offer to our customers and to sit alongside PMC, Spendor and Rega’s range of speakers, but it had to be a brand that offered something totally different, in presentation and styling, so it could offer a real alternative, I always knew that brand would be Sonus Faber as every time I’ve heard their speakers I have never been anything other than captivated by the realism of their presentation, but I just had to be patient, but when they announced the stunning looking Venere Range of speakers I couldn’t resist any longer, so it gives me a real pleasure to now be able to demo a large range of Sonus Faber speakers at HiFi Lounge.

    In keeping with our original goal of only stocking the brands that we are passionate about and believe in and to also represent those brands properly with a large range of demo stock we have taken in 7 pairs of Sonus Faber speakers to start with for demo, I still dream of the Amati Futura’s, but at £21,000 they may have to wait a while :)

    So for demo we start with the Toy Bookshelves at £575, then the Toy Towers at £1395, then the Venere 1.5 at £899 followed by the Venere 2.5 at £1998, the Venere 2.0 and 3.0 will be joining our line up as soon as they are released, then we have the stunning Minima Vintage at £2398 with the Cremona Auditors at £3290 and the Cremona M’s at £6945 finishing off our demo range for now, if you want to see what else Sonus Faber are capable of check out the amazing Aida at around £60,000 and their statement speaker ‘The Sonus Faber’ which stands at 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs an astonishing 615kg a pair. Only 30 pairs were made and cost an eye watering $200,000 but they sold out instantly so we won’t be getting them in for demo any time soon :)

    Sonus Faber were formed in Italy in 1983 by Franco Serblin and over the last 30 years I think it is fair to say that Sonus Faber have designed some of the most stunning speakers the audio world has ever seen, even before they make a sound It’s hard not to be won over by the beauty of Sonus Faber speakers, luckily they sound as good as they look. They base their speaker design on 3 main areas, driver development, which can take up to several years for a new product, but this allows for a very simple crossover design, which maximises the drivers and then there is the stunning real wood cabinets. Sonus Faber’s are hand built mixing old world virtues with the latest technology to create stunningly musical speakers with a passion for music at their core.

    There is a real pride of ownership with Sonus Faber speakers, they are almost like the Ferrari of the speaker world with that Italian passion running through everything they do, from the stunningly elegant speaker cabinets to the highly developed drivers, every Sonus Faber speaker that leaves the factory in Italy is hand built with real pride and passion, they use the same techniques that have been developed over many hundreds of years of violin and lute making with real care and attention given to every part of the speaker, resulting in a extremely musical and natural sounding speaker.

    The Sonus Faber Range of speakers are very diverse in their look and sound, you have the leather covered Toy range, my personal favourite is the barred leather Toy Tower we have on demo, they also do come in other finishes if a leather speaker isn’t for you, then there are the totally stunning gloss finished Venere Range, followed by the solid real wood walnut cabinets of the Minima Vintage then the solid maple cabinets in either graphite of maple finishes for the Cremona Range, but they all have that trademark relaxed, natural and effortless Sonus Faber sound.

    So if you’d like to come in and explore the Sonus Faber range of speakers I’ll be very pleased to demonstrate them for you and if there is anything higher up the range that we don’t have on demo yet please let me know as we can get any of the range in for demo very quickly in deed.

    I do like to take the odd photo but I must admit I did get a little carried away when all the Sonus Faber range arrived so I have tried to select some of the best to highlight the range we have here, so I’ll start with the cheapest and work our way up, thanks, Paul.

    Part of our demo stock arrives :)

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    Toy Bookshelf in Classic Leather

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    Toy Tower In Barred Leather

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    The Classic Minima Vintage in Solid Walnut

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    The Beautiful Venere 2.5 and 1.5

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    The Elegant Auditor and Cremona M Speakers

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    Thanks For Looking, Right, after looking at all those speakers i'm off to listen to some music :)
     
  18. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Hi Guys,

    Here is another glowing review of the Bryston BDA-2 :smashin:

    Bryston BDA-2 Digital-Analog Converter Review

    Summary below -

    If you keep up with developments in digital audio, you already know that today’s best will eventually give way to tomorrow’s better. Okay, but this is not just a case of next year’s new Chevy model. Bryston has taken advantage of newer technologies to produce an audibly improved DAC. How does it differ sonically from the already highly regarded BDA-1 (which thankfully will remain in the product line)? To my veteran ears, the BDA-2 provides a greater sense of space, better exposure of inner details, and, man, oh man, tighter, more palpable bass. Regardless of the provenance of the sound source, I got an honest presentation of what was already there in a way that I do not typically associate with digital music files. Dare I mention that the BDA-2 gave me more than a hint of the analog world that audiophiles worship?

    Couldn't agree more :)
     
  19. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    I've got a customer who has decided to sell his Naim system so I've said I would help him if I could, if there is anything below that may be of interest please don't hesitate to get in touch, the NDX, XPS and SuperCap all come with the remainder of the warranty and everything is boxed as new with all documentation, thanks -

    NAC 282 / NAPSC (2007) Recently checked & updated by Naim - £2350

    NDX (192KHz) March 2012 - £2350

    XPS DR - June 2012 - £2650

    SuperCap DR - June 2012 - £3050

    Brand New UnitiLite (Un-opened) - £1450


    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
  20. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    I have been looking forward to getting my hands on the new HiFiMan EF-6 headphone amp for some time now so I was very excited when a big box arrived yesterday labelled EF-6 :) It has to be a big box as this is a serious headphone amp, as far as its size goes I have never seen anything like it to power headphones and weighing in at 24lb’s it is seriously heavy showing the quality of the product.

    It is a straight analogue headphone amp with no built in DAC and I was surprised to see that there were no balanced inputs as I would have liked the option to run a fully balanced rig, especially as this has been designed mainly to drive the HiFiMan HE-6 headphones which have a balanced plug. Anyway, moving on, as many will know, the HiFiMan HE-6’s are considered amongst the very best of headphones but are ridiculously hard to drive, our reference Bryston BHA-1 does a pretty good job but I always felt the HE-6’s had more to offer so I bought in the HiFiMan adaptor that lets you run the HE-6’s direct from a power amp, this really bought them to life but was hardly a convenient way to listen to your headphones unless you had a spare amp knocking about.

    Enter the HiFiMan EF-6, you could criticise HiFiMan for making a headphone as hard to drive as the HE-6’s but at least they have now backed up the headphones with an amp to do them justice and WOW, what a combination the HE-6’s and EF-6 make. I spent many hours going back and forth comparing the EF-6 with the BHA-1 and at first I found them quite similar but once the EF-6 warmed up after 30 minutes or so it really moved things on to another level. I used a variety of music but the differences were really noticeable to start with on Massive Attacks ‘Teardrop’ the bass line had real weight and power to it, it sounded solid, whereas on lower specc’d amps it sounds hollow and empty with the HE-6’s, then there was the detail and the clarity, impossible to fault really, it was just so nice to hear the HE-6’s driven to their best, the overall sound was detailed, full, with a hint of warmth and amazing drive at the bottom end with a solid full bass as a foundation.

    To be honest I would say that only the HE-6’s need an amp as powerful as the EF-6 and if you put the Audeze LCD-3’s or Sennheiser HD800’s on it they didn’t sound any different then when being driven by the Bryston BHA-1, but that isn’t the point really as in my opinion, the combination of the HE-6’s and EF-6 as a headphone setup is pretty tough to beat, and it is great to now easily be able to hear the HE-6’s driven to their best, I’m now thinking any serious headphone user needs a pair of Sennheiser HD800’s, Audeze LCD-3’s and HiFiMan HE-6’s with the EF-6 as they all offer different presentations and after a few hours last night I found it really hard to decide between all 3, although in the end I did find myself listening to the HE-6/EF-6 combo for longer periods, I guess it is top end for a headphone rig but compared to other luxuries in life and the enjoyment that is to be had it isn’t silly money really.

    At the moment I am going to have the EF-6 on demo for a week or so then it will be carrying on its tour of dealers, but knowing what I am like I can see one being added to our demo stock very shortly.

    Here are a few pictures of the brute that is the HiFiMan EF-6 Headphone Amp -

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