Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Oyaide MJ-12 record mat

I can't say I've ever been very impressed with any of the multitude of aftermarket recordplayer mats... they always seem to take away more than they give. So when I was loaned an Oyaide MJ-12 to try ...a £230 mat... albeit a beautifully machined piece of alloy, I just wasn't expecting anything special. The mat itself is drilled with a spiral pattern, in spite of this it rings like a bell which is a bit offputting.
Once fitted though and the turntable tweaked to accommodate the extra platter height, straight away the improvement in sound was breathtaking. This isn't a 'is it or isn't it' difference, it's apparent from the first few bars of music, greater clarity increased dynamics and an effortlessness that usually comes with a £1000 cartridge upgrade. Using the heavy weight Oyaide platter clamp also made a difference, but needed the suspension to be adjusted.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Rothwell Rialto Phonostage

Rothwell Audio have come back into the Phonostage market with the new Rialto ... an extremely impressive design. It relies on clever well though out circuitry rather than just expensive components. The result is high end performance from a 'lower than average' price unit.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

New Project Debut SE/3

Now in stock. The New SE/3 from Project

Finished in High Gloss black and fitted with the excellent Ortofon OM10 super this deck offers excellent value at only £250 pounds

Thursday, 29 September 2011

3T range now listed

The new Van Den Hul 3T range is now listed on the site

We have loan examples of 'The River' 'The Hill' 'The Sea' and 'The Valley'
Email for details

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

New Van Den Hul 3T range

We have just received our first examples of the new Van Den Hul 3T range of interconnects. Expect to see our first thoughts soon.

Very clever technology as you would expect from VDH

The complete range will be on the site soon

Monday, 22 August 2011

Naim Audio and Focal

News on Friday was that Naim Audio have merged with Focal (JM Labs) of France. Not sure how this with benefit either of them, though I suspect Naim are looking to expand more into other areas.

I have heard quite a few very effective Naim / Focal combinations, so the pairing could be quite interesting.

Friday, 19 August 2011

We're back!

After a well earned break, we're back

More blogging soon, when my head is back in Hifi mode!!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Ortofon Rohmann

We shall be taking in a low use Ortofon Rohmann shortly ... any interest send me an email

We will be closed for a week from Monday ... so no posts for a while

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Stax Lambda Pro / SRDx headphones

We have traded in a really nice pair of Stax Lambda Pros and an SRDx Energiser ... condition is very good, normally I would replace the earpads, but these are as new and I suspect may have been renewed very recently. The SRDx has just been serviced and the combination sounds wonderful!

Any offers for this around the £300 to £350 mark, send me an email for pics etc

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ortofon 2M Blue

We have one Ortofon 2m Blue, not a model we sell a lot of, though it is a superb cartridge. Surplus stock, £155 pounds normally, £100 just to clear it.

Email for more info, advice

Monday, 25 July 2011

Hifi Choice

Bit of sad news about Future Publishing, closing it's doors after a good few years and selling off it's eight audio related titles ... the main one being Hifi Choice. Whether Choice will continue is dependent on who buys it I suppose, but I always thought it was good read with quite balanced articles and didn't seem to fall into the trap of favouring big advertising spenders in it's reviews.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Stax Spares

We have found a good supplier of genuine Stax spares, let us know what you are looking for and we should be able to supply (or fit if required)

We can also source loudspeaker spares (drive units etc) just give us a call

Monday, 18 July 2011

Trade ins and part exchanges

It's alway worth asking us about part exchange. It doesnt matter if you are ( for example ) buying a cartridge and have an amplifier that you would like to move on, we will always try and help out. Obviously the answer wont always be yes but give us a try!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Nordost Valhalla secondhand

We have another Nordost Valhalla 2m pair of speaker cables .. this one is factory terminated at the source end but unterminated at the speaker end ... this can be left unterminated or we can reterminate it here for Bi-wire or Shotgun using Nordost 'Z' plugs or Spades. We use only high quality WBT solder and genuine plugs and heatshrink.

Would like around £2200 for this so if you are interested please email

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Nordost Red Dawn

We are still getting enquiries about the old version of Red Dawn, REV 2. We can still supply this, but now only made up by us, not factory terminated lengths. We can also still get Blue Heaven REV2.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Secondhand Stax and Lyra

Got a few interesting bits and bobs coming in as trade ins over the next few weeks. Firstly a pair of Stax Lambda Novas which will be here in a few days... will refurb these before they go out ... they may not need it, but prefer to fit new pads before reselling really. Also in a few days .. though from a different source, a Stax SRDx energiser. So an ideal set for somebody.

In around four weeks we are trading a very low use Lyra Argo ... email me to register your interest in this one... it may end up on my Sondek yet, but if I get a good enough offer I may let it go.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Black Rhodium Illusion cable

Have noticed recently that our favourite mid priced interconnect, the Black Rhodium Illusion, has been very quiet recently. None sold this year, which is a shame. The original cost around £80 and was a real giant killer... though it looks like two pieces of string twisted together it has to be one of the most natural sounding cables made. If you want that sort of realism but also extended bass and large soundstage then you would certainly need to multiply your budget by five.

Over the years the price of the Illusion has increased to be honest .. the 'Diva' upgrade a few years ago brought the price up to just over £150 ... and Cryogenically treated versions were introduced at over £250 .. now we have Phantom ... a double cryogenically treated version with a gauze jacket selling at around £350. All exceptionally good... but perhaps they have clouded the range a little and confused everybody, I dont know... All I know is, the Illusion makes midrange equipment sound wonderful .. without the usual over analysis of the presentation and highlighting of the negative aspects that most really good cables acheive when put into non esoteric equipment.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Rega Turntable oil

We have a supply of original Rega bearing oil. If anybody needs any send an email. Bottles are 5 pounds each and free UK postage. We put in enough for two refills ( a refill is 4 drops ) ..... otherwise, check out Ebay as we have them for sale on there.

I am considering writing a Rega service website with tips and tweeks, but whether time will permit I'm not sure ... will post a link if it transpires!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Nordost Valhalla for sale

Just added to Ebay one very nice set of Nordost Valhalla speaker cables ... 2m pair, Spade connectors and 'Shotgun' configuration

Have a look and put a bid ( or two ) on

Cost new £6300 ... and probably the best there is

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Stax SR009

There have been rumours for a while of a Stax model ABOVE the SR007 Omega... first we saw some blurred jpgs floating about on the internet, then dealers in Japan showing them on their websites. Now we have some more concrete information about them. They do exist, should be in the UK around September, price possibly 3800 pounds for the headset only.

A newly developed sound element (drive unit) has been adopted in the SR-009. New high polymer ultra-thin film material is employed for the diaphragm.

As soon as we have a pair we'll report back

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Stax offer

Just a little 'Blog only' offer

Anybody ordering a set of Stax headphones before the end of July 2011, will get a free ISOL-8 Isolink mains lead worth over a hundred pounds to go with it. The Isolink works exceptionally well with the Stax energisers ... you could try it elsewhere in the system too ... they work very well on source components as long as they have the appropriate IEC socket

When you order, just send a follow up email with the order number mentioning the 'Blog offer' and I will make sure you get your free lead

Thursday, 23 June 2011


The quality of mains plugs can be quite important. Obviously it goes hand in hand with decent mains cable, but even quite high end cables sometimes only come with mediocre plugs.

A good upgrade choice is the Furatech range. They do a series of mains plugs and IEC mains sockets. We can get the UK and Schuko European variants if necessary and we can even supply chassis mounted IEC sockets to upgrade components with ( give us a call if you want us to do this for you ... fitting prices are fairly reasonable )

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mains filtering

Mains filters are an interesting and quite recent Hifi tweek. The reason for their existence is quite easy to understand, most domestic mains supplies are fairly poor. Most Hifi systems sound better at certain times of the day due to demand on the supply from other areas. 6pm tends to be the worst time; everybody is just getting in from work, kettle goes on, TV goes on etc.

Another factor with mains supply is local contamination, clicks and pops through the speakers are quite often caused by fridges and central heating systems with noisy relays, this all feeds back into the mains. A more recent problem is caused by mains distributed network systems and X10 systems that use the mains to transmit data.

There are various solutions to this, PS Audio ( and others ) try to regenerate the mains ... the theory of this is good, but the results can be a little patchy .... the most common is filtration, this can be as simple as a good quality mains lead, which will protect against RF and ensure a good connection .. or much more complex like some of the units from Isol-8 and Isotek.

Filtration has to be matched to the system. Aim too low in price and you can end up with a worse sound. Small mains filters can limit current draw and make the sound more detailed but undynamic. get it right though and the results can be quite breathtaking!

More on this another day, two glasses of wine dont help the thought processes.

Isol-8 Minisub

Monday, 20 June 2011


Call me a Ludite but I'm not very confinced by the various 'Streaming products' that are available. The idea that something being 'more convenient' is a step forward whether it sounds better or not seems to me to be a little strange. Hifi is about recreating a realistic and enjoyable performance from a recording ... I actually quite enjoy sitting in front of my LPs having a sift through to find something I havent played for a while. Most streamers have a quite clunky interface that will go straight to whatever artist comes to mind ... I find I tend to play the same things this way as I've lost that randomness that comes with trying to find an album ... but coming across another that you had forgotten about. It's all a bit sterile.
The other SLIGHT issue I have is that I have yet to hear anything streamed that sounds acceptable ...OK you wouldn't expect real hifidelity from an iPod, but I'm talking 3k+ units. It's all a bit reminiscent of the early days of CD ... people were so bowled over by the fact that they could track select, they failed to notice that the reason they were flicking through the tracks in the first place, wasn't due to their new found control over the medium, but that CD was boring ... it had no soul! I also have a suspicion that early CD caused the big drop off in recorded music sales too ... the amount of customers I had in the late 80s who said they had lost interest in Hifi or didn't listen to music anymore. Its only since players have improved and a large proportion of people have gone back to vinyl that the rot seems to have stopped....It worries me more than a little now that I'm hearing the same reasoning about Streamers as I did about CD...convenient, storage issues, new tech so it must be better!

Lets wait and see ... I dont think CD is dead just yet ... look at Vinyl

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Icon Audio

We have just been approached by Icon Audio to stock their products ... just mulling this over at the moment, but I suspect we will take it on. Icon have slowly been building an admirable range of products over the last few years ... generally the problem with valve amplifiers is that they are either extremely expensive or cheap and very unreliable .. Icon have bucked the trend by creating a class leading range of equipment which is neither expensive or unreliable. Although we have not directly delt with them before We have never heard anything but praise.
Icon Valve Phonostage

Icon are a British company based in Leicester and designed by David Shaw. They own their own manufacturing plant in China which keeps the pricing competitive .. and sad to say, the quality up, compared to the option of a UK plant. This isn't a particularly unusual approach, Rotel and NAD have both always done this.

We dont, as a rule stock Hifi kit (only accessories) , and will only, perhaps, take the Phonostages ... but watch this space!!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

System maintenance

You would have thought that a Hifi system would be fairly stable and unaffected by time and use. But just a few simple maintenance jobs can keep it sounding as good as new.

All connections whether copper, silver tin or gold plated are susceptable to dirt and/or oxidation ... so, every six months or so it is worth simply unplugging everything and plugging it back in again ... this cleans the contact point and restores low resistance. If you want to spend time with contact cleaners or even sandpaper ( works well on mains plugs ) this is very worthwhile.

Speaker spikes can work loose ... stability of the speakers is paramount. A speaker is a device that works by transmitting complex resonance, so any contra movement will blur the resonance by reducing certain frequencies and accentuating others.

In a similar vain, speaker drive units will work loose .. again every six months check their tightness ... it is not unusual for a speaker bolt to need a half or even a full turn ( take care not to use excessive force ) .. the improvement after tweeking in this way can be quite spectacular.

I had a customer ring to say his system was sounding awful recently and couldn't get on with it ... when I when around to check, it certainly was ... the reason turned out to be loose speaker units .. the mid/bass units were so loose they were a quarter of an inch adrift at the top.

Make sure all signal cables are fairly separate from mains cables ... this isn't always easy, but if they have to cross, try and do it at 90 degrees as this lessens the effect.

More on this in later posts

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


We are going to start supplying Isotek again.... the new distributer seems to be doing a good job and offering excellent back up service, so we feel the time is right to add them back onto our listings.

The Minisub at one point was our best selling product by far .... hopefully the new models will generate lots of interest too.

Monday, 13 June 2011

WBT Silver solder

Now that the excitement of the Canadian F1 Grand Prix behind us, more thoughts on Hifi....

I have always put great importance on connection quality ... not just the plugs and sockets themselves, but the plug to cable connection. Metal to metal is always best, but particularly with copper cables oxidation is quite a major problem and the connection quality can deteriorate quite severly over time. The best solution is to tin the ends of the cable with a minimal amount of solder to seal the copper. Solder varies hugely in quality and some of the better types have high silver content. The best of these is WBTs own silver solder....available in various reel sizes. All our own terminated or reterminated cable is soldered with WBT and the differences more than make up for the cost!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Stax SRS2170 Basic System

We should be receiving our first demonstration set of the new Stax range early next week... first in will be the SRS2170 Basic System. Cheapest in the range, but as with all Stax, way ahead of the competition and excellent value!

.... Also shortly we will be taking in part exchange a set of old Lambda Pros and a SRDx Energiser, be interesting to make a comparison.

Our Ebay session is going well ... quite a surprise is that the AR Legend far as I was concerned a fairly unheard of , though classic, turntable is going really well .... 8 bids in a very short time and about 50 followers. had all the typical questions though ... 'Whats your Buy it Now price??' .. there isn't one, that's why I didn't do it 'Buy it Now'..... 'If I give you £90 cash can we do the deal outside Ebay' ... no! .... 'How much to send to Australia?' about £150 which is why it says Europe only! :-)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ebay, Nordost, Stax etc

Just put a few bits onto Ebay

The AR Legend record Player - really good condition ... all original packaging

A brand new ( or at least minimal use ) Nordost Blue Heaven 0.6m interconnect ( the old version )

Another minimal use .. again just a couple of hours..New type Nordost Red Dawn LF 1.5m interconnect

Also just in, a Stax SRM252II energiser ... mint condition with box

Have a look and put some bids on :-)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Memories 3

Some years ago I went to the Linn Products factory at Castle Milk in Glasgow for a two day course on product set up ... Had a great time there, amazing factory and the renowned 'Linn demonstrations' ...amplifier volume at threequarters ... stylus hits record ... 4 seconds of music .... stylus lifted manualy usually with accompanying 'brrrrrrt' ... process repeated ...change made to improve system and then same four seconds again ... this time with all the Linn staff dancing around the room! We had the 'why you shouldn't wear a digital watch' dem ... the 'only one set of speakers in the room' dem  etc. etc....all very interesting.

I was quite amazed to hear that, if they came across any old 'inferior' versions of their equipment they would quite often destroy it ... while I was there a fairly good condition pair of early 'chipboard cabinet' Isobariks were being modified with a sledgehammer .... I can see the logic of this as the Iso's develeloped a lot over the years and they wouldn't want prospective customers views to be blurred by inferior examples ... still thought it was a shame though.

Interestingly though we were told about a prototype model speaker which had been intended to fit between the Sara and the Kan ... this was basically a none Isobarik Sara ... it was referred to by the staff as the Linn Tin ... probably due to the sound it produced. The few examples that were made were not destroyed, but given to local restaurants and pubs to use... an early example of product placement I suppose .. and a few free meals for the guys at Linn


Monday, 6 June 2011

Memories 2

One of the most dedicated customers I've had, lived in a fairly large Bungalow .. and as his Hifi started to outgrow his listening room decided to redesign the house to accommodate it better ... I turned up after the 'modifications' to find that he had knocked down all the internal walls to create a huge room in the middle of the house and had created four small box rooms at the end of the house for the family to live in ... the only 'normal' room left was the kitchen. His system grew so large that even the new room started to struggle with it ... the last set up I saw there included four Krell reference Monoblock amplifiers which he had to switch on (very carefully) in sequence, leaving a gap of a minute or so for the mains to recover from the start up surge .. the lights of the house dimmed as each amp was switched on .. and if he rushed things the main circuit breaker would trip!!... Strangely considering his obsessive love of Hifi, he only had three LPs ... A madonna album, a Chinese Pop album and a BBC sound effects record!

Sunday, 5 June 2011


I was speaking to an ex collegue recently and started to realise what an accumilation of memories we had between us, funny or otherwise ... Hifi tends to attract the eccentrics (including myself) sometimes the obsessive lengths that people will go to in pursuit of better sound is quite astonishing... I remember a chap in Liverpool who had one side of his Naim NAC12 preamp balanced on matchboxes because it sounded better sitting at 45 degrees .. another ( in Liverpool again strangely)... who experimented with all sorts materials underneath a huge pair of Infinity Kappa 9 speakers ... and settled in the end on 4 inch thick foam squares ... he underestimated the stability issues somewhat and I got a frantic phonecall one morning to say that one of the speakers had fallen in the night and smashed his fireplace!

Slightly more dangerous .. my collegue had a customer who could no longer accomodate a pair of Quad Electrostatics ... and came in a picked up a pair of conventional Monitor Audios to replace them. Later in the day he got a phone call to say that the guy thought his amplifier had gone faulty as it wouldn't switch on ....When he went round he was a little disturbed to see rather a lot of cables around the back of the speakers .. and after having a closer look found that the guy had connected the speaker cable correctly to the amplifier .. but also cut the IEC plug off the old Quad mains leads and connected them as well ( to the mains!!!) the resulting jolt had blown all the drive units in the new speakers .. including the crossovers and also taken out the amp! ... which is why we generally prefer to install equipment ourselves! ..

I might have a think and come up with some more of these ... however old it makes me feel

Friday, 3 June 2011

Transfiguration Cartridges

I may have a new favourite range of cartridges ... up to now I have swayed between the high end Lyras and the mid to high end Ortofon series ( Ortofon are often overlooked due to their more 'mass market' range... but there are some real gems further up the catalogue)

I came across Transfiguration a number of years ago ... probably 20 when I think about it ...!. At the time I heard them mainly used on slightly obscure combinations such as Oracle Delphis or Sondek/Zeta, so it was quite difficult to make a true evaluation. Something special was obviously going on. There didnt seem to be any of the thickness of sound presented by lower end Koetsus or the unrelenting top end of Kisekis and MC5000s .. just a naturalness and presence that made you want to sift more deeply into your record collection.

After disappearing from the markerplace in the UK for a number of years they have again got distribution here ... and by all accounts are doing extremely well!

I've had chance now to properly play with a couple of models and I must say, the memory from all those years ago was correct....clear and natural, with an extended but unflustered top end, rhythm and weight without bloom...excellent!

Best of all, all models are pretty much available of the shelf .. no more 12+ week waits for a Lyra

We will also part exchange your old Moving Coil if it's in good working order!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Nordost Speaker cables

We have for some time offered bespoke termination of speaker cables. I think we may be fairly unique in offering this with Nordost cable. Most dealers shy away from the fiddly nature of the coating, but we have been reterminating their cable for years ... even in the early days when Nordost was sold in the UK with a Chord badge.

We can offer configuration changes ... e.g. Biwire to single wire ... or shortening and retermination using Nordost 'Z' plugs. Recently we have been asked to reterminate using upgraded plugs such as WBT and had some really good results.

Give us a call for a quote ... if you are shortening a longer length we may even buy the excess from you.

email here

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

End of line and secondhand stock

Just been having a sift through our stock, we have a small number of bits that could be sold off to make space for new stock:

1. Nordost Valhalla Speaker cable 2x2m Shotgun singlewire config w/spades ( secondhand ) - £2500 (was £6300)

2. Acoustic Research Legend / Linn Basik / Basik turntable - classic design, superb (secondhand) - £200

3. Isol-8 Minisub2 Mains Filter (new) - £450 (was £595)

4. Nordost Red Dawn LF 1.5m RCA interconnect (demonstration model) - £349 (was £395)

5. Isol-8 VMC1080 video filter (new) £149 (was £169)

6. Stax SR507 headphones ( need Energiser to work) ( demonstration model ) - £675 ( was £745)

Email if you want more information

link to Shop

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Record care 2

Following on from the previous post ....

The stylus is the only thing which gets to the bottom of the groove in the record ... so playing an album, then cleaning the stylus will slowly clear the groove and make the crackles reduce, if not dissappear. The mistake a lot of people make is to use a brush to make the surface look clean which pushes all the debris into the groove again .... dust you can see isn't really causing any problems.

Stylus cleaners are a rare item nowadays. The best was the Audiotechnica AT637, which is no longer made (secondhand examples of this £17 accessory can be found on Ebay .. but expect a bidding frenzy to beyond £100 in some cases) The 637 was basically a closely packed carbon fibre brush mounted on a resonator, which vibrated at around 1Khz... the stylus was lowered on for a couple of minutes and quite effectively scrubbed clean. The kit came with a fluid, but this was a little too effective and could damage the tip. Other examples which work are the Clearaudio stylus brush ( a manual carbon fibre based brush )... and the Linn green paper ( very fine grade sand paper .. which it takes a steady hand and a bit of nerve to use ... but works well )

I must admit that I tend to just gently run my finger across the stylus after each play to remove built up dust ... and use my AT 637 every month or so ..... the AT removes the burnt on vinyl that can accumulate over time... the surface temperature at the tip is high enough to briefly melt the vinyl !!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Record care

Had another long conversation about record care with a customer today ... It was the usual question ... what do I use to clean my records? They are very dusty. The answer to this is dont! or at least don't do it unless you are prepared to do it properly and buy a decent record cleaning machine like the Keith Monks or the Clearaudio (available at Cheshire Audio :-) ) Most of the budget options, such as carbon brushes and cloths just push the dust into the bottom of the groove ... but unfortunatlely with vinyl, out of sight isn't out of mind. This just makes the noise worse and also can cause static which attracts more dust!

There are a few accessories which can improve the static issue. Goldring Exstatic sleeves work well ... they fit inside the paper sleeve of the record and inhibit static build up in the vinyl ( usually noticeable ,if present, as the record will lift off the record players felt mat when changing records )

Also, the classic Zerostat gun, which works extremely well! Pressing the trigger is a little like using one of  the devices used to light gas burners and ionises the air around the disc.

If the visible dust worries you ( it doesnt add noise at all by the way ) the Pixall roller cleaner is very effective. This is a sticky roller a little like a lint roller for clothes ... the sticky surface lifts all the visible dust from the surface ( not though the dust in the grooves )

The only device that reaches the bottom of the groove is the stylus .... cleaning this is another problem entirely .. but letting the stylus do the work and then cleaning it afterwards is the only way to keep you albums in good shape without spending a few hundred pounds!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Nordost Valhalla

We have for sale ... or will do when it comes in in a few days. A 2 x 2m Shotgun configuration Nordost Valhalla speaker cable which is terminated with spades. Very good condition and comes with box etc. New price of this is just under £6000. looking for offers over £2500

If you havent experienced Valhalla before then you are in for a revelation, nothing ( except they're top model Odin) comes close. Fairly system compatible too.

 .. Shotgun is 2 plugs at either end rather than 2 plugs at one and 4 at the other as shown in the stock picture

If you are interested email Philip on

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Tom Evans Phonostages

We've long been fans of the Tom Evans range of phonostages ... from the MicroGroove right through to the Groove plus. Undeniably expensive items, but giants in the world of audio and very difficult to beat at any price.

All units can be ordered 'pre-tweeked' to work at the precise loading and level for your cartridge ... but dont think that this restricts you in the future ... Tom will quickly and efficiently re tweek the settings if you change cartridge. Recently TE have been offering a SRX mod to the higher end models to allow the customer to adjust things himself, which is great if you have a couple of cartridges, or like to experiment with loading.

The new MasterGroove

Recently we have heard news that Tom has developed a new model ABOVE the Groove Plus ... quite how anything can better that combination I have no idea, but we have a saying here ...'Tom is always right' and annoyingly it seems to hold true with every product he introduces!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Mains cables

A very easy upgrade for a system is to replace the mains lead. Generally the best place to start is at the source ( CD Turntable etc) though in some systems adding a better cable to the Pre or power amp may have a bigger benefit. On a source component the differences are usually in refinement and detail .... on and amplifier there is more sense of scale and dynamic. In both instances the musicality ( ability to 'connect' with the musician) is improved.

The whole concept is quite controversial and difficult to quantify, but the audible improvements are quite substantial. My guess is that the main reason for improvement is the filtering of RF noise which will lower the noise floor ... and hence give more detail and dynamic.

The best test is to try it for yourself .... give us a call


Monday, 23 May 2011

Trade in schemes

To try and make things easier for customers wanting to upgrade, we will always consider taking trade ins. Generally this has to be a cable for a cable or a cartridge for a cartridge ... but it's always worth asking if you have something interesting. Quite a few manufactures that we deal with have their own schemes, Lyra and Ortofon for example. But these are sometimes a bit restrictive if you want to switch brand.

Consequentially we can quite often have some secondhand items to sell ... we dont advertise these... so if you are on the look out for something, give us a call.

To buy something from the site with the price of a 'trade in' knocked off though, we would need to take details over the phone .... the 'gateway' system we use for site transactions is not flexible enough to cope with it ... one of the drawbacks of security I suppose. The bonus is that you get to speak to us in person...which we prefer anyway.

Trichord D300

Although we don't have any Hifi components on the site as such ( just accessories) we do occasionally get requests for amplifiers etc. One of our favourite power amps at the moment is the Trichord D300. Very small monoblock configuration and impressive power and drive the D300 is very clear, punchy and dynamic ... and happy with fairly difficult loads. We have partnered these with the Tom Evans Vibe pre amp and quite honestly would find it difficult to improve on!
The D300 are a 300w design with a class D output stage ... they replaced the much loved and respected Michell Alectos ( also a Trichord design) Although the Alecto is soon to reappear in a new upgraded form... hopefully we should have an example to try soon.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cable retermination

We can offer cable retermination and a plug upgrade service. We used a quality temperature controlled soldering system and WBT high grade Silver Solder. The connection quality at the plug to cable junction is crucial as poor tolerences here can alter the impedance and resistance quite considerably.

We can also do amplifier / CD player upgrades using WBT sockets and again silver solder ... the differences are quite surprising.

For speaker cables we can offer Nordost 'Z' plugs, LFD or WBT  ... also LFD or WBT spades.

So, to make sure your cables are giving their best..... give us a ring for a quote!

Cables are generally a two to three day turnaround ... equipment for resocketing usually a week depending on parts needed (not all equipment can be upgraded in this way)


Friday, 20 May 2011

Naim Audio

Although we dont really sell audio kit on the site, we are going to start advertising to buy Naim Audio equipment. So if you have any early pre or power amps ( condition not too critical ) let us know and we will quote a price for you.

Just in case anybody was getting confused, have just set the time zone to GMT ... rather than South Pacific ... not I dont update at 3am

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Isol - 8

The current range of Isol-8 producs is coming to an end ... keep a look out for some reductions on remaining stock. We still have the Minisub and VMC video conditioner in stock... discounts will be around 20%

New range to be announced soon

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Very impressed with the new Nordost range. I'm always a bit dubious when a company does a wholesale change to a model line up, but Nordost seem to have really moved things forward. The new range is call 'Leif Series' and incorporates new versions of both the Blue Heaven and Red Dawn cables. New to the range are the White Lightening and Purple Flare ( which looks very like the old SPM ) The jump in performance is quite marked and we should have a selection of the range for loan soon!

Monday, 16 May 2011


Finally got the Stax page up to date!

We have just had a notification of a price rise from Audio Technica, so, as this will take a day or two to put on, this is a good opportunity to buy at the old price.

Just a reminder, we still have loan stock of the amazing Sonority isolation table. Very clever design that uses two sheets of laminate with three captured tungsten carbide ball bearings between them. Quite peculiar to use as the whole thing rolls back and forth when you touch it .... but the effect is astonishing! We've had amazing results with all sorts of equipment .. most memorably Naim CD Players!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

back on

Blogger has been down for a few days so I haven't been able to update

Stax page still not finished ... forgot how long all the colour options take to add in.

We've just had more stock of the Clearaudio Concept turntable which has been very difficult to get hold of ... this model won the Turntable product of the year award in What Hifi in 2009 and 2010 and the small German engineering company that manufacturers it has been struggling to keep up with demand! So grab one while you can!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

New Stax

Should have the prices and pictures of the long awaited new Stax range up on the site by tomorrow.... The original 2050/3050 etc range is now the 2170/3170 and 4170 using the new 207/307 and 407 headsets and upgraded 323S and 252S energisers. The 'in ear' version has also made a come back after being absent from the range for over 2 years.

The new Stax SRS4170 combination with 407 Headphones and 006tII energiser

Dont forget we can offer 'try before you buy' on most Stax models and also offer generous trade ins on old models

click below to link to Stax page:-


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Ortofon MC cartridges

Unusually for the world of true Hifi, Ortofon recently reduced the prices of their moving coil cartridges by 20%.

This range is one of my favourites anyway, so the reduction was most welcome ( especially as you can still trade in some old Ortofon MCs and get up to a further 25% off!)

The bad news is that this was just a temporary reduction.... the models will be readjusted to full price fairly soon... so if you have had thoughts about the range, you best get a move on!!


See our website at:-

Monday, 9 May 2011


I have been an agent for WBT for a while now and been really surprised by the uptake from customers.... they are undeniably excellent plugs, but I hadn't realised how well known the are outside 'the inside' as it were.

The reason WBT were added to the Cheshire Audio stock list was due to a request from a customer ... his sockets on the back of his amps had started to disintegrate so he wanted a replacement set ... and something special. I suggested WBT as these have quite a reputation within the industry and are included as standard spec on some quite high end cables and amps.

I fitted these for him one cold winters evening ... fairly straight forward job ... a nice set of 0210ag .. the silver variant of the 'Nextgen' series. I must admit I really wasn't quite prepared for the difference in sound... and neither was he! Much cleaner, more refined sound, quite a bit more dynamic ( possibly due to lowered noise floor) well worth the money!

Since then I have done a few similar job with just as impressive results!! and customers who have done they're own have reported the same!!

See our site at


Saturday, 7 May 2011

More Stax

Dont forget we do home loans of Stax equipment ... and will trade in you old set to offset against the cost!

new headphones coming from Stax

Well we've had a good few pairs of the SR507s through now. Absolutely exceptional! They are much more efficient than the Omegas, somewhat cheaper and though not as refined or detailed, not too far behind overall.

Stax have been a little vague about what will be replacing the 2050, 3050 etc but now we have seen some specs for the new models. These will be based around the existing 507 and new 407 and 307 models and will use existing energisers ... prices not announced yet, but should be with us soon!

I'll post up here any info as it comes in