Thursday, 29 January 2015

Chord Chorus 2 for sale secondhand

Traded in this week

Chord Chorus 2 RCA interconnect 1m pair

See the Ebay link here

Or call us for more information on 01270 580734

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

On the Jig today - Garrard LAB 80

Interesting turntable in for repair today .... just needs a bit of a service and a rewire

Very nice condition  ... features a wooden tonearm, which is an interesting design idea. We'll see how it sounds when it is finished and report back!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Our Favourite Classic Speakers #3 - Sonus Faber Electa

This series documents particular loudspeakers gems from our last 30 years in the Hifi industry. Not in any particular order, just as they come to mind.

If you have never listened to, or owned a pair of Sonus Faber speakers, then you have certainly missed out. It would be easy to dismiss them as purely an exercise in style over function, but the range sounds even better than it looks.

Sonus Faber Electa - circa 1990
Sonus Faber's trade mark sculpted real wood cabinets with their leather covered front baffle are quite beautiful pieces of furniture. The Electas, which are our featured model, are almost surprisingly conservative for SF and for a stand mount speaker they are actually a bit of an odd size, almost dumpy and oversized looking.

So why choose the Electas out of such a revered range? Well the main issue with SF as a brand is that they are built to such extreme tolerances that they only really give their all with really high end equipment. They are not difficult to drive as such, but do need an impeccable source. Properly matched, Sonus Faber produce some of the best speakers in the world ..... With the Electas though, whether though chance or a quirk of design, they don't seem to be quite so demanding. I've heard Electas sound amazing with Arcam, Audiolab and bottom range Meridian equipment ... but then if you put them with something really High End they just stepp up a gear. I remember building a system at a customers house in quite a compromised listening room ... Linn Sondek/Ekos/Koetsu Rsig with a SP15 Audio Research and Krell KSA80 into Electas and for many years after I always remembered it as the best system I had ever heard ... and in this business you get to play with some really exotic kit, so that is quite a statement. It was the first time I had heard Hifi create such a live sound from even quite dubious recordings. Some systems do Hifi well, so do music well ... there is a difference.  SF are one of a select few that do both.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Our Favourite Classic Speakers #2 - Royd Audio A7mkII


This series documents particular loudspeakers gems from our last 30 years in the Hifi industry. Not in any particular order, just as they come to mind.

Royd Audios owner Joe Akroyd was one of the real characters of the British Hifi industry, always engulfed in a cloud of cigarette smoke, quite abrupt but very likeable,  he was very passionate about his products and never seemed interested in sales or profit .... he would bring up new models to the shop personally and his enthusiasm was infectious. Joe seemed to have a unique ability to make simple products which captured the essence of music ... which may be why Rega and Royd collaborated in the early years as Roy Gandy of Rega was making similar magic happen with Record Players.

All Joe's speakers could be listed here .. and I suspect some more will, but the real star must be the Royd A7 MkII. these were one of a series of 7 litre cabinet designs and in the mid to late 80s sold for £99 ... but such was their ability that they were not out of place in systems with Linn Sondek front ends and Naim amplification ... in some ways their only drawback was that they almost needed equipment of a higher perceived level to do their thing ... so were sometimes overlooked

They certainly didn't look much with their basic vinyl wrap cabinets and cheap 'off the shelf' Audax treble unit. But inside, there was some clever stuff going on .. The handbuilt Royd bass midrange unit was braced by an aluminum tube which exited out of the back. The tube had a slot in it to allow airflow and tuned in such a way that it reenforced the bass output ... the crossover was very simple and brought the treble in at 4khz

The A7 found a lot of  favour with the Linn/Naim customers and was often used as a budget alternative to the Linn Kan, which it sounded similar to in a lot of ways.

They were also quite rewarding to 'mod' ...sealing in the drivers with silicone sealant and damping the aluminium tube, livened them up quite a bit ... also rewiring and splitting the crossover to allow the addition of a second set of sockets for bi-amping was very popular ... I remember Naim NAC32/Hicap/ 2 x NAP140 into modified A7s being quite a combination!

Stax SRM006TII Valve Energiser for Electrostatic Headphones - For Sale

Also traded in recently, quite a rare unit in the UK now, a black SRM006TII. The UK importers now only offer the black option on the higher end 007 and 727 Energisers.

Very good condition and just over three years old

See it here Ebay Listing

Stax SR507 Headphones for sale

Traded in recently we have a very nice pair of SR507. About a year old in 'as new' condition.

The SR507 are the top of the present Lambda range and benefits from improved wiring and higher quality earpads than the SR407. Though quite a jump in price over the 407 the 507 is noticeably sweeter and more open sounding, the leather earpads are much more comfortable too for extended listening.

See them here : Ebay listing

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Our Favourite Classic Speakers - #1 Allison Six

This a new series we are going to run ...particular loudspeaker gems from our last 30 years in the Hifi industry. Not in any particular order, just as they come to mind.

#1 The Allison Six / CD6

Allison CD6
 Allison were an American manufacturer formed in the early 70s and were known for quite quirky designs, they didn't make much of an impression in the UK initially, some of the models were quite odd looking and the larger versions were renowned for being difficult to drive.

Roy Allison started out at Acoustic Research and you can see similarities in the use of drivers ...both used inverted paper cone treble units, which although not exactly the same did use very similar design principles.The bass units too, were almost identical.

Acoustic Research Treble Unit

Allison treble unit 

The Allison 6 (and later Allison CD6) were the smallest and cheapest models, roughly 12 inches cubed they seemed to break a lot of rules ... the treble was on the front and the bass unit on the top. Even their cuboid cabinet shouldn't have worked, equal dimensions always throw up all sorts of acoustic issues. But actually the Six was quite astonishing, huge soundstage and almost unnerving bass extension that gave a very realistic dynamic to recordings... they needed a high mass stand, lots of space around them and against convention again, worked better seated quite low, perhaps on a 12-15 inch stand, so you looked down on them.

Quite rare secondhand now as most suffered from denaturing of the bass unit surround, which is quite common on 70s era designs ... if you find a set, reconing is fairly straight forward and well worth doing.