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Westwood & Mason in Oxford - Still around?

Discussion in 'audio' started by DevillEars, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. DevillEars

    DevillEars Dedicated ignorer of fashion

    Can anyone tell me if Westwood & Mason are still in business?

    Back in October 1994, I wound up in Oxford with wife and younger daughter in tow. After what had been a solid week of visiting museums and art galleries I had reached saturation point with all the culture and, after giving wife a map of Oxford, I went my separate way in search of audio dealers in Oxford.

    Ducking down one side street, I encountered Westwood & Mason and popped in for a chat after spotting a pair of Tannoy D700s in their demo area.

    The upshot of the chat was that W&M were in something of a bind and needed to flog the D700s to pacify their bank manager and I wound up paying their cost plus shipping to facilitate the emigration of two D700s to South Africa in January of 1995.


    Now, 16 years later, the D700s still occupy pride of place in the listening room and I regularly remember with great fondness that wee shop on a side street in Oxford and a very pleasant gentleman who made me an offer I couldn't understand.

    I would really like to renew contact - if only to say thanks again.
  2. Mike-B

    Mike-B Self opinionated techie

    Howzit DevillEars,

    Westwood & Mason are long gone
    They were located at 46 George St, Oxford & closed down in the mid 1990's.
    The shop is now combined with the shop next door & is an opticians, the old shop facade is practically unchanged.
    Not sure what happened to Julian & Nigel except that Nigel got involved with Loricraft Audio restoring & modifying Garrard TT's after the shop closed, but now seems to have moved on.
  3. DevillEars

    DevillEars Dedicated ignorer of fashion

    Thanks for the update Mike...

    What a pity! I felt really comfortable in that shop - good vibe and good folk which is a rare combination.

    I'll have to dedicate these "sarcophagi" (as my wife loves to call them) as a dual memorial.

    The tough economic situation here in SA together with a growth in areas other than 2-channel audio which has almost stagnated has seen many, if not most, of our decent local audio dealers go under...

  4. Mike-B

    Mike-B Self opinionated techie

    I bought my 1st system from them, Rega-3 & Cyrus amp
    Like you say, nice people but lousy businessmen maybe

    I know the situation in SA well as I spend quite a time there each year. I called into the CPT Naim dealer in Lansdowne a year or so ago. Thye seemed more focused on sound systems for the bro's wheels than 2 channel home hifi.
    Favourite summer time place is western cape, provided its well away from tourists, Langebaan area or Hermanus is tops, plus some nice places for grape juice as well.
    Winter I usually stay with friends near Hazyview. He works in conservation mainly in Kruger so I get lots of time in that fabulous place. He is now on a consultation project for integration of the areas from iSimangaliso up to Tembe.
    Planning the next trip in February, might do a double header, Langebaan & St.Lucia.
  5. Interzone

    Interzone pfm Member

    (knows who I need to PM before heading off the SA for a trip)
  6. Mike-B

    Mike-B Self opinionated techie

    No probs, happy to help, yr PM is ....... ????
  7. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    I bought a record player there many years ago, they were very pleasant to deal with, but not much commercial acumen is it. They gave me a trade in of the new price of my old deck, negative depreciation!

    They were quite classical in outlook, and when I appeared with some rock / industrial demo material seemed a bit puzzled there.

  8. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    I think Westwood & Mason was where I bought my LP12 in 1980, although it might have been a shop more out of town.

  9. Milan

    Milan pfm Member

    They were where I bought my first equipment. A Rega Planar 2 followed by other stuff. It all started when I dropped in out of curiosity and got chatting to the guy's. They gave me an impromptu demo which I enjoyed and then started saving up.................

    Nigel always had a story to tell. They were friendly, easy going and partly responsible for me getting into better audio equipment. Afew years after they closed I did occaisionally see Julian in some of the Oxford pubs.
  10. Flatnose1927

    Flatnose1927 Member

    I just loved that place, worked there every holiday and weekend from 1985 til they shut, developed an obsession that is probably worse now than ever! Nigel is just absurdly bright, he built me some monoblocks a couple of years ago that have literally no distortion whatsoever (we ran full volume for an outdoor wedding for six hours once, the speakers never even clipped). He has also built a wonderful phono stage called Missing Link, it is so good I ended up butchering out the input stage in my Mission 776 pre in order to use it! He now works with companies like Isotek a a freelancer. As for Julian he has retired, enjoying the fruits of all the years the shop was actually pretty lucrative - he had a Lancia Delta Integrale pseudo rally car when they were new, a real beast.

    We used to have a great time there. Demoing all the kit, some of which was awesome stuff (I remember Klipsch bringing some vast speakers to try - they were so massive the rep had them lying down in a trailer towed behind his car!). Some of the most exquisite listening experiences of my life were had in that odd little cellar listening room. On a good Saturday we'd be falling over each other to get the stock down to the till as our stock room was three shops away and two floors up... We could shift thirty systems in just a few hours. And on a boring day we would run across the road to Pizza Hut then the newsagent for a copy of Viz.... Ahhh, the good old days!
    jackbarron likes this.
  11. 0rangutan

    0rangutan pfm Member

    On a related note, does anyone recall the name of the hifi shop that used to be on South Parade (Summertown) in Oxford in the 90's?
    I spent my first ever bonus there on a Rega Planet with similarly fond memories.
    I suspect that it may have become what is now a B&O show room.
  12. davidlf

    davidlf Active Member

    It was Horns, set up I believe by Geoffrey Horn. The premises are now a B&O store.
  13. 0rangutan

    0rangutan pfm Member

    Thanks David
  14. Dock Green

    Dock Green pfm Member

    Yep - long gone. I think only audio-T & Oxford Audio are left now. Unless someone can correct me.
  15. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    I spotted a Sevenoaks in Oxford last week.
  16. 0rangutan

    0rangutan pfm Member

    Yes, the Sevenoaks and Audio T were both around before during and after their failed merger.
  17. Mike-B

    Mike-B Self opinionated techie

    I thought we were talking about real hifi dealers, they are a bit too focused on AV & lifestyle to qualify
    Also got Richer Sounds, a bit out of town at the end of Botley Road
  18. Hoopsontoast

    Hoopsontoast pfm Member

  19. Dock Green

    Dock Green pfm Member

    Mike-B - I also thought we were talking about real hifi dealers
  20. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Nigel is still 'up and running.' We go for a drink most weeks

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