Category Archives: Hi-Fi and home cinema resources

Key suppliers, shows, magazines and media in the hi-fi and home cinema industry.

Free KEF M400 Headphones When You Buy KEF Speakers

KEF Sound on the Move

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Our gift to you – FREE KEF M400 hi-fi headphones worth £130 when you choose KEF *

Want to get your hands on your very own brand-new KEF M400 hi-fi headphones worth £130?

Simply mention the offer to our team when making your KEF purchase and these seriously stylish headphones will be yours!

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Loewe: A Brief History (Sort Of)

Siegmund Loewe with Manfred von Ardenne

Siegmund Loewe with Manfred von Ardenne

Loewe are a well established and highly regarded manufacturer of television sets and hifi products, having been designing and engineering many ground-breaking innovations for almost 100 years. While renowned world-wide for their impeccable build quality, stunning picture, immersive sound, luxurious design and overall futuristic feel; Loewe have a compelling history as an impacting force behind the development of consumer electronics industry as we know it today. This history is extensive, so I’ve tried to simple it out to some of the more impacting milestones.

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What Are MM and MC Phono Cartridges?

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A Moving Magnet phono cartridge is comprised of a tiny magnet, located at the end of the cantilever of the stylus that sits between two coils. One coil caters to the left aspect of the music, while the other is for the right – this allows for the stereo sound. This magnet vibrates between the two coils and induces a small electrical current within them in the process. Because the magnet is so small, it needs less tracking/downward force to correctly manoeuvre between the grooves of a vinyl record. A Moving Iron cartridge makes use of essentially the same construction, but swaps the magnet for a tiny piece of iron or other light-weight and ferrous alloy. The iron is lighter and so reduces the necessary tracking force even further.

Moving Magnet is the most common type of phono cartridge, so many integrated amplifiers now feature a Moving Magnet phono stage and many manufacturers, such as Rega and Ortofon design and construct a wide range of MM cartridges with varying levels of quality. While every MM cartridge makes use of this fundamental construction, the way that this is implemented within a cartridge varies as do the materials used, allowing for differing qualities and a unique sound-signature depending on the brand and model.

Moving Magnet Cartridge Design

Moving Magnet Cartridge design. The Magnet sits between two coils at the end of the cantilever.

Moving Coil cartridges feature an inverted version of the Moving Magnet design. Instead of a magnet sitting on the end of the cantilever between two coils, the coils are attached the cantilever and a magnet is placed near them. Because space within the cartridge at this level is extremely limited, the coils are made from an exceptionally fine wire.

The coils tiny size results in a very low output. While Moving Magnet cartridges tend to offer a more relaxed, warmer sound, Moving Coils are known for offering a better level of detail and a wider stereofield than the Moving Magnet alternatives. Moving Coil Cartridges will often require an external phono-stage specific to their construction.

Moving Coil Cart

Moving Coil Cartridge design. Inverted to MM design, the coil is this time on the cantilever with a magnet located close-by.

 

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Ortofon Quintet Series Cartridges

Quintet

 

Ortofon are a Danish manufacturer of high quality phono cartridges, designed to get the very most out of your vinyl collection from a variety of price points. Ortofon cartridges, both Moving Magnet and Moving Coil configuration are commonly found supplied with high quality ProJect turntable models, but Ortofon cartridges sound exceptional with any compatible turntable

 

The Quintet Series is Ortofon’s range of quality Moving Coil cartridges and are the result of years of relentless product development, research and continued innovation. Each model within the Quintet series has its own specific sound style and signature, but all of them follow the same philosophy of outstanding performance and retain true to Ortofon’s commitment to refining the analogue domain to a superlative level.

 

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Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D Home Cinema System

Bowers & Wilkins are renowned for their commitment to sound quality and classy design, having developed some of the most beautiful loudspeakers on the market today. The MT-60D is a discreet home-theatre system, designed and engineered to offer an immersive listening experience while also retaining an unobtrusive profile within your home cinema environment. 

 

M-1 and PV1D White - Living Room

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Record Store Day Special: Converting Vinyl to Digital

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Following the resurgence of vinyl, we’re quite often asked about how our customers can convert their analogue vinyl recordings into digital files that their modern devices can understand. Whether this be because their new vinyl purchase didn’t include a digital download link, or because they have some rarities or special pressings from the past that never made it on to the digital format. We’ve put together this step-by-step guide on how to convert your vinyl records into digital files. Of course, this process is done in real-time – so the larger your collection, the longer the process will take…

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Getting Started with Bowers & Wilkins – P5 Wireless

On July 1st 2015, Bowers & Wilkins added a new addition to their critically acclaimed, award winning headphone family; the P5 Wireless.

The P5 Wireless takes the same driver technology and innovative sound originally seen with the P5 Series 2 and implements lossless, aptX Bluetooth wireless technology for a Bowers’ most convenient listening experience to date.

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HDMI transmission over cat 5

Sky HD on Samsung UE55H7000 flatscreen TV

Sky HD on Samsung UE55H7000 flatscreen TV

We recently installed a home cinema system for a customer where one of the existing sources was a SKY HD box. This box was to provide an HDMI feed not only to the home cinema system we installed, but also three other flat screen TV’s in the home, some of which were approaching 100m away from the SKY box.  In these situations, it is not possible to reliably transmit HDMI signals further than about 20m with an HDMI cable, and a different approach is required. Continue reading

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Programming the Logitech Harmony Ultimate remote control for your home cinema system

Harmony UltimateRecently, we installed a home cinema system featuring two displays in the same room, a LCD projector and a LCD flat screen TV, both fed from an AV receiver with main and Zone 2 HDMI outputs. In setting out to program the Harmony Ultimate remote to control the system, we encountered a number of potential ‘banana skins’ which I thought you AV enthusiasts might benefit from knowing about, should you decide to get your own Harmony Ultimate. Continue reading

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