Audio system components are usually split into three categories. Sometimes these are integrated together, so a whole system can be in one or two boxes, however broadly speaking the three components are:

  • Source – such as record player, CD player, Digital streaming player etc.
  • Amplifier – to take the small signal from the source and drive some speakers
  • Loudspeakers to drive the music into your room

Sourcesakurate-ds

The main source types that we sell are record players and Digital streaming players, however music sources can also include any of the regular video sources too such as DVD / Blu-Ray players, personal music players etc.

The best sources are able to play the highest resolution music. From a digital source, this means playing Studio Master Recording formats, ensuring that you’re listening to at least as good a source as when it was mixed in the studio.

Plays High Resolution Music

Akurate LP12Source brands that we stock / sell include:

There are of course many others including A+E, Panasonic, Pioneer, Rega, Yamaha, etc. and we have access to a wide range to suit most budgets – ask us if you are looking for something particular, or just want advice.

Amplifiersnac552_552ps_1

The amplifier frequently has two key components: the pre-amp which is used to select the source and control the volume etc, and then the power amplifier to drive the speakers. These two are frequently combined to create a third class of component: the Integrated amplifier, where the source selection, volume control and power amplifiers are in the one box. Gone are the days when more boxes always meant better quality; modern electronics and design means that an integrated amplifier can often out-perform separate components from a few years ago. We have a range of integrated products that also include a digital streaming source or CD player etc, to create a single electronics box solution. Come and visit our showroom for a demonstration!

Manufacturers of amplifiers we sell include:

  • Anthem –  – Pre-amps, power amps & Integrated amps
  • Arcam  – Pre-amps, power amps, Integrated amps & single box solutions
  • Aurum  – Pre-amps, power amps & Integrated amps
  • Box Designs from Pro-Ject – compact pre, power and integrated amps
  • Linn Products  – Pre-amps, power amps & Integrated amps & single box solutions
  • Naim Audio  – Pre-amps, power amps & Integrated amps & single box solutions
  • NuVo – Power amps
  • Trends Audio – small integrated amps, small digital power amps

Again there are many more available. We can recommend particular ones, so let us know where/how you like to listen to music and we can talk through the alternatives.

 

Loudspeakers

Talisman in Caramel with black leather

Focal Sopra N2Loudspeakers have to perform two key functions:

  • Drive music into your room
  • be aesthetically pleasing

 

 

As a result there are a very wide range of manufacturers, with speakers for every conceivable location and style. We’re quite picky about loudspeakers we like, and so offer a range of alternatives that we have tried and know will work well for each location and listening style. Broadly speaking, loudspeakers are categorised by location, and generally include:

            • Floor standing
            • Book-shelf / monitor
            • On-wall
            • Custom install (in-wall / in-ceiling)

Loudspeakers can include power amplifiers to make them powered or active speakers, and can also include the source for a single box hifi. The major brands that we stock include:

  • Acoustic Energy – Bookshelf, floorstanding, custom install (conventional shapes and finishes)
  • Anthony Gallo – Bookshelf, Floorstanding, on-wall, custom install (masters of small spherical speaker)
  • Audiovector – Bookshelf, Floorstanding (conventional shapes and finishes)
  • DALI – Bookshelf, Floorstanding, on-wall, Custom install (conventional and lifestyle shapes)
  • Elipson – Bookshelf, Floorstanding (larger spherical speakers)
  • Focal – Bookshelf, Floorstanding on-wall and in-wall high end loudspeakers
  • Image Audio – on-wall (put pictures on the front to disguise them)
  • Linn Products – bookshelf and floorstanding (conventional styles – any RAL colours)
  • Naim Audio – floor standing (conventional styles)
  • Paradigm (conventional styles)
  • Podspeakers – bookshelf (bubble / teardrop shaped)
  • Quadral – bookshelf, floorstanding (conventional style)
  • Serene Audio – bookshelf (wooden designer shapes)
  • Sonos – bookshelf (one-box solution – conventional shapes)
  • Waterfall – bookshelf, floorstanding, on-wall, custom install (glass see-through speakers)

 

Speaker Cables

DALI connect 430st terminated speaker cableWe use a variety of speaker cables from, Linn, Naim, QED and others – each system has different requirements, so the speaker cable is carefully chosen to fit the requirement whether it is for maximum performance or minumum size. The Speaker cable can have a dramatic effect on the quality of soundstage produced by your HiFi, and poor quality speaker cable cna really let it down.  Most of the Speaker cables we use are directional – this is usually indicated on the cable itself with either an arrow, writing or the Amplifier end marked. A cable in the wrong way around will not stop the system from making any sound, however you may find that the soundstage is skewed, or the bass muddied and indistinct.

Naim Super Lumina speaker cableWe are often asked what makes a Speaker Cable directional, as surely the signal going through it is AC (Alternating current). The answer is down to a combination of copper crystal grain boundaries within the cable itself, and dissimilar metal-metal interfaces in the junctions to the connectors and equipment. both of these features create slight diode-like properties, and if not balanced between channels cause noticable effects, and can spoil what would otherwise be a superb sound.

 

Interconnects

specialised interconnect Phono to XLRThe interconnects join everything together in a system, and so are a crucial part of the whole. Whilst it is possible to spend a vast ammount on interconnects, there is also a lower limit where the interconnect will become the weak link in the system. We frequently make our own interconnects so we are sure of the quality and performance. Whilst there is a definite benefit to having high performance interconnects, there is also a lot of smoke and mirrors around in the industry, which we don’t really like. We know what works, and make sure we only offer high performing interconnects that we have tried and can be sure of.