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Boys Toys Day 2018 - ‘The Need For Speed’ - May 26th!

posted on 2018-04-23 13:45:13 GMT

Hi Everyone,

Well I must admit that I wasn’t planning on holding a Boys Toys event for this year but with what seems like an incredibly long winter and also what with my Radical exploits we have decided to do a bit more of a laid back BTD this year, nice and early in the season just as an excuse really for everyone to get their cars out and take them for a nice spin, I know I can’t wait to get out on the road again.

So to sum up this years BTD in a nutshell, basically we will be at the shop all day with the BBQ going for breakfast and lunch so feel free to come over anytime from 10am - 4pm in your pride and joy to spend a few hours with like minded car enthusiasts and we will have our showrooms open playing some of the best HiFi out there, it really doesn’t matter what car you have, if you love driving then please feel free to come over.

In Conjunction with Radical Cars and UPE Motorsport

I am sure most of you are aware that in a moment of madness I decided to sign up with Radical Cars earlier in the year to enter their SR1 Cup championship, if you haven’t heard about this then my progress can be followed from our motorsports page below -

http://hifilounge.co.uk/index.php?route=information/motorsports

I have to say it has been a daunting, scary and equally exciting and exhilarating  ride so far so I am really pleased that Dom from Radical Cars will be bringing something special along for the day and also Darren from UPE Motorsport will be bringing my race car along and both will be on hand to answer any questions and to explain how going racing with Radical Cars and UPE is a very easy process, be great to have some of you guys joining me on the grid :-)

https://www.radicalsportscars.com/

http://www.upemotorsport.com/

Simulator Setup, Beat my time for Hospitality at our Silverstone Round!

So this is a bit of fun bit where ‘The Need For Speed’ part comes in, basically I will be bringing in my sim setup that I have been using to get as much practice as possible for the real thing and I have to say now that I can compare the 2 this does get really close, well other than not preparing you at all for the fear of cornering at high speed, but it has been a great help, I will set a time on Project Cars 2 in a Radical SR3 around the Silverstone National circuit as a benchmark and whoever sets the fastest time will win a HFL Racing fleece and the top 5 times we will give full hospitality with Radical for our Silverstone meeting on 23rd June and I have to say the food these guys put on is exceptionally good + you can spend all day in the paddock seeing how a race weekend all works.

RSVP

So basically this year is just an excuse to take your car out for a spin, get some free grub, talk to fellow Petrolheads, have a go on a sim and listen to some great hifi, if you do fancy coming along could you please just fire a mail over to my e-mail address so we know how many to cater for, thanks -

paul@hifilounge.co.uk

Hope to see you on May 26th between 10am - 4pm, now we just need to pray for some sunshine.

For those you haven’t been here before please find our address below -

  • HiFi Lounge
  • 4 The Granary Buildings
  • Millow Hall Farm
  • Millow
  • Bedfordshire
  • SG18 8RH
  • Tel - 01767 448121

Cheers,

Paul.

Here are a couple of pictures from last years event, thanks to Bibs from The Lotus Forums for them -

...http://highendheadphones.tumblr.com/post/173225576004

Closed Till May 9th For Annual Holiday!

posted on 2018-04-23 09:13:51 GMT

Hi everyone,

This is just a quick message to say that Wendy is dragging me away kicking and screaming for a holiday to the Canary Island’s, we will be back on May 9th but I will be on my e-mail daily so please feel free to e-mail me on the below address and I will reply asap -

paul@hifilounge.co.uk

Hugo 2 and headphones packed so I am planning on having a Bowie / Prince / Springsteen / Elvis kind of holiday :-)

Many thanks,

Regards,

Paul & Wendy.

...http://highendheadphones.tumblr.com/post/173220764374

New MrSpeakers Voce Electrostatic Headphones On Demo!

posted on 2018-04-16 13:08:16 GMT

Hi Everyone,

To be fair it has been a while since I have done a headphone un-boxing, normally I leave this to Wendy, but in all honesty I haven’t been this excited about a new headphone for a very long time, this is 2 fold really, firstly MrSpeakers have really made a name for themselves in producing extremely good headphones and secondly as I am a big fan of Stax Electrostatic headphones so the fact that MrSpeakers have produced their own Electrostatic headphone has to make you sit up and take notice.

Stax are celebrating their 80th Anniversary this year and in reality no one has really rivalled them when it comes to Electrostatic Headphones, for whatever reason they have pretty much had the market to themselves so I am really keen to find out how MrSpeakers takes the challenge to Stax.

Firstly you have to be impressed with the quality of the packaging, basically the Voce come in their own Walnut presentation and storage case which is such a brilliant idea, also another neat touch which MrSpeakers use with their other headphones is the ability to put in ‘Tuning Filters’ in the ear cup to tailor the sound to your own personal taste, so this is a very flexible headphone.

They are also very light and comfortable and appear to be very well made. Now being an Electrostatic they need their own Energiser to drive them, MrSpeakers doesn’t produce this part but you can use them with many different Energiser’s on the market including any of the Stax range.

I have only un-boxed them 30 mins ago and will be running them in on our Trilogy H1 energiser but I couldn’t resist to have a quick listen, instantly it is a sound I know I will like, there is something about an Electrostatic headphone that is captivating, a spacious and airy sound that dynamic’s and Planar’s just can’t match, I will let them run in for a couple of days before making any concrete conclusions but at the moment I would say MrSpeakers really do seem to be a welcome addition to the Electrostatic market.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/mr-speakers-headphones/mrspeakers-voce-electrostatic-headphones

Abyss AB-1266 Phi Now On Demo

In other headphone news I am really pleased to say that we now have the new and improved Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones on permanent demo, personally I would say that the AB-1266 are up their with the Stax SR-009 and Focal Utopia as the best headphones out there.

According to Abyss they say - ‘The new version AB-1266 Phi refines the sonic virtues of Abyss with greater transparency to the source, further improved low frequency impact and resolution, and vocals as alive as can be.’ And who am I to argue :-) seriously though they are incredibly good.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/abyss-headphones/abyss-ab-1266-phi-headphones

So if you fancy coming in to try out either the Voce or Abyss just get in touch to book an appointment.

Cheers,

Paul.

...http://highendheadphones.tumblr.com/post/172993892909

The Much Anticipated OPPO PM-1 and HA-1 Are Getting Closer!

posted on 2014-04-16 17:17:00 GMT

Hi Guys,

I have to say a big thanks to OPPO UK who have just popped in with both the new OPPO PM-1 headphones and HA-1 headphone amp so that I could spend the afternoon playing with both as I couldn’t make the launch last Friday as I was setting up for our PMC/Bryston event.

It really isn’t everyday that a new brand enters the headphone arena, we all know that OPPO have proved their worth with their stunning Blu-Ray players over the last few years but the headphone market is a very competitive place at the moment, particularly at the highend so as a big fan of what OPPO have achieved with their disc spinners I have been looking forward to both these products for some time now.

Obviously they come with the fantastic OPPO packaging that OPPO are renowned for, as for the headphones they are extremely light, beautifully made and one of the most comfortable headphones I have tried. They use  Planar Magnetic drivers but they really are very easy to drive, I tried them on the Astell&Kern AK240 and that was a brilliant combination with plenty of volume, I have yet to compare with other headphones at the same price point but knowing the lengths OPPO went to for the development of the PM-1 I’m very confident that they will take the fight to the establishment, they are priced at £1099.

As for the headphone amp, well I have been really excited by this since talking to the guys from OPPO when they paid me a visit a few months back, it really is extremely well built and caters for all inputs, has low and high gain setting, balanced and single ended inputs and outputs, runs in Pure Class A and is based around the ESS 9018 Sabre32 Reference DAC which will decode everything including the latest DSD codecs, best of all though it has VU meters or a Spectrum analyser which you can choose between :-) The first thing I did was set it to high gain and grab the notoriously hard to drive HiFiMan HE-‘6’s which to be fair most headamps can’t drive but the OPPO HA-1 really didn’t have any problems which is a great start. I’m still waiting for the price to be confirmed 100% but hopefully it will be a similar price to the PM-1’s, which to be fair will be an absolute bargain, oh yeah, and you get full remote control which is quite rare with headamps.

In other OPPO headphone news, OPPO announced last week the PM-2 Headphones, which won’t come with all the goodies of the PM-1 but uses very similar drivers, looks the same and will cost £699, that should be an extremely successful headphone for OPPO.

Anyway here are a few pics, I will have both the headphones and amp here hopefully towards the end of the month on permanent demo, both are available to order now with delivery due later this month all being well.

How Exciting

Classic OPPO Packaging

Beautiful Dark Cherry Presentation Box

Time to Un-Box the amp

Certainly a winning combination

Thanks,

Paul.

...http://hifilounge.tumblr.com/post/82906561269

Astell&Kern AK240 Now On Demo - Updated!

posted on 2014-02-20 17:12:00 GMT

Listening Update!

Just a quick update as I had a good listen last night to the AK240 using my favourite headphone at the moment, the Audeze LCD-XC’s, I really did wonder how Astell&Kern could improve on the sound quality of the AK120 but they certainly have, not to say that the AK120 is a bad player, it is still excellent but the AK240 is a clear step up, the AK120 in comparison now sounds a little ‘Digital’, what the AK240 manages to do is keep all the detail but present it is a far more natural, organic way, it is an easier listen which really comes into its own with acoustic and vocal music.

The AK240 actually reminds me of the Naim NDS, which is by far the best digital source I have ever heard, as it is almost analogue in its presentation whilst retaining the dynamics and openness of digital, with the Naim NDS costing over £13k with the 555PS it actually makes the AK240 seem like pretty good value if you are looking for out and out sound quality.

It may not be cheap for a but I if you want the best portable device out there at the moment then I really can’t see anything topping the Astell&Kern AK240 and the fact that it can be partnered with a headphone of the quality of the Audeze LCD-XC and still offer plenty of volume and drive really makes it a very high-end HiFi system that you can use at home and take with you when you go travelling, you certainly wouldn’t want to do that with a Naim NDS :-)

Cheers,

Paul.

Hi All,

Just a quick blog to let everyone know that we now have the latest, and greatest, portable player from Astell&Kern on demo, the AK240.

I think it is fair to say that Astell&Kern are leading the way when it comes to portable devices, especially when it comes to sound quality, but the AK240 certainly adds some interesting features like a balanced headphone socket, something I need to look into more as this is something I have not seen before on a portable device, plus the AK240 supports native DSD files, I’m in the process of loading some now onto our demo AK240 as we speak and the other new feature is that it has wifi built in so it can stream wirelessly direct from your computer and as it is connected to your network it will search automatically for firmware updates and alert you and download once available and with 256GB of storage built in, expandable to 384GB it has plenty of storage for those large 24 bit files, finally it has a  3.31in AMOLED touchscreen with 800x480 resolution which looks stunning.

The AK100, now on its MKII version with higher output, DSD support and a leather case in the box, and the AK120 have been extremely popular, the AK240 looks to take things to another level with improved sound quality being its main selling point, this is something I will be trying later, if it can indeed sound better than the AK120 then it is going to be something very special indeed.

The only draw back that I can see is the price as at £2199 it certainly isn’t cheap but once you get it in your hands it certainly feels like a quality product, it is reasonably bigger than the AK120 and certainly has some interesting styling, apparently it is designed to show light and shadow with the front asymmetric look of the unit designed from the shape of the shadow when light was shining on it, all very clever.

Needless to say we know have all 3 of the Astell&Kern players on demo all loaded with the same mix of 16 and 24 bit music so you can compare the differences between the different models so please feel free to pop in to try any of them for yourself.

Please find more info here -

http://hifilounge.co.uk/astell-and-kern-ak-240-portable-player

And here are a few pictures although they really don’t do the AK240 justice -

AK240 box v the AK120 Box

AK240 v AK120 for size

Here’s a couple of official shots that show it a little better -

Right, time to go and have a listen :-)

Cheers,

Paul.

...http://hifilounge.tumblr.com/post/77288148126

Astell & Kern Announce Their Flagship AK240 Portable Player At CES!

posted on 2014-01-07 10:39:00 GMT

Hi All,

With the huge CES trade show on at the moment in the states there are bound to be some exciting announcements coming over the next few days, the big one for us is what exactly is Naim’s ‘Vertical Form’ which is due to be announced later today, it all looks very high end, can’t wait to find out though.

Yesterday though Astell & Kern announced the new flagship AK240 which joins the excellent AK100 and AK120. This is being billed as the 'Ultimate Portable Player’ and I have to admit that I was a little surprised to see this announced as I thought that the AK120 was as high as portable players would ever go as at £1099 it certainly isn’t cheap, saying that the performance really does make it worth every penny so I really can’t wait to get my hands on the AK240 :-)

No prices have been mentioned yet but obviously it is going to cost more than the AK120 but rest assured as soon as it becomes available in the UK then we will have it available on demo, here are a few of the specs, the first one is very interesting if true -

1, The AK240 will be Wi-Fi-enabled, which can stream music from a computer on the same network, and connect directly to online stores that sell hi-res tracks.

2, The AK240 will include 256GB internal memory and one microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB of microSD card storage – resulting in a total of 320GB of music storage.

3, A dual-core processor allows the AK240 to handle requests and play high-res audio files with no lag time.

4, The AK240 will also include a 3.31in AMOLED touchscreen with 800x480 resolution; Dual Cirrus Logic 4398 Digital-to-Analogue Converter chipsets and native DSD support – including DSD64 and DSD128 files.

Certainly sounds interesting, here are a few pictures that I’ve managed to find -

Cheers,

Paul.

...http://hifilounge.tumblr.com/post/72542907801
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