Category Archives: Hi-Fi and home cinema resources

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

A Guide to a Clean Machine and Clean CDs & Records…

Dust can be a system’s worst nightmare…

 

With extensive use and various locations to work in, Hi-Fi and Home Cinema components are subjected to an array of varying working environments. However, although most systems are equipped to work in various locations, some tend to suffer if they’ve been subjected to dust and conditions which boast of extreme temperature changes. Although some systems are more susceptible than others in such conditions, taking care for the cleanliness of your components will enhance performance by running to their best of abilities.

 

If there is one thing that presents a problem in any scenario, it’s most likely to be dust. This system killer doesn’t help things as dust can bake itself onto components that produce significant heat, i.e. transformers. As well as dust on heat producing components, it can also embed itself onto printed circuit boards, hampering the original performance factors by reducing efficiency and the fluidity of electrical signals passing around the component’s circuitry. The best way to deal with dust is to use a lint-free cloth, or a micro-fibre cloth, to dust the components’ cabinets without the risk of damaging the cabinets aesthetically. However, for internal dust, it could be worth bringing your component to us for a professional hand for de-dusting and for ensuring the internal components are free from any damage. Most systems present the problem of dust by attracting it due to the heat that they produce. However, if the dust is too extensive, and requires a professional service, we can offer such facilities by taking off the cover and cleaning the internal components by using tools that prevent static charges (which can be notorious for ruining a system’s printed circuit board) and any risks of physical damage in the process.

 

As well as the problem of internal dust and debris the outside of the unit can also be susceptible to everyday contact, such as moisture and natural grease from hands. This is particularly noticeable on speakers which have a gloss-black finish. In such incidences, using a smooth, lint-free cloth will help to erase any aesthetic marks from view.

 

As your Hi-Fi system ages, little things can make an effect on the overall sound performance. For example, switches can attract dust which becomes pushed into the machine when they are used every time. However, a lot of people tend to notice this when they’re using a traditional volume control which rotates. A crackle sound is often audible when rotating the control, which often can lead to damaging speakers if it becomes too much of an excessive problem. In this scenario a switch cleaner is ideal. We sell Blue Horizon Contact Cleaner; an ideal solution to eliminate the irritating sound of volume and switch crackle. This simple and cost-effective solution works by braking down the dust and debris which is found on the contact of the switches. Although it’s a fluid, it is totally safe to use due to its properties which don’t promote any influences from electrical charges.

 

Ideal for making switches and controls smooth again…

Televisions are magnets for dust! This is because they tend to attract particles when they’re in operation and when they’re generating heat or a slight static charge. As well as this, other environmental factors tend to cause a screen to develop blemishes, mainly when a user touches the screen’s surface. We sell appropriate kits to get rid of the marks and fingerprints, of which employs a dry/wet system to help prevent smears and visible cleaning marks.

 

Milty’s Screen Cleaning Kit…

If you love your CDs and vinyl, it is certainly worth keeping them clean by using the appropriate cleaners to eliminate dust and other ruining factors, such as the unsuspecting finger mark and smudges. Apart from the conventional CD and record brushes, we also offer fluid options on sale for greater cleanliness and enhanced preservation qualities.

 

Milty’s Disc Cleaning Kit is ideal for cleaning DVDs, Blu-rays and CDs…

Vinyl records tend to build-up a static charge when they accumulate dust, or from their time in storage between plays. It often leaves an audible ‘crackle and pop’ sound when playing records with quiet passages. We sell such products to help and eliminate (as much as audibly possible) these static charges. Such items include record sleeves which give a neutral static state for records in storage, whilst we also sell fully-fledged record baths: these give records a deep fluid clean to remove dirt and debris that has been embedded into the record’s surface over time.

 

The Spin Clean is an ideal machine to get rid of dirt and grime from your records…

Remember, if you keep your system and your music clean, it will always be sounding mean!

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Standing Out in the Crowd: a guide to Hi-Fi & Home Cinema Furniture

Hi-Fi and Home Cinema systems can often be a centre point for many people within their homes. However, and in contrast, some people also wish to keep their audio components away from sight in discreet locations. But, in order to make sure your components are seated safely, a look into stands, racks and other related Hi-Fi furniture is an essential.

Atacama’s Elara 500 Hi-Fi Rack

Most audio components require a substantial placement to take the item’s weight, and also to improve audio quality by allowing the components to receive natural airflow and to also stop any resonance moving throughout the entire system; resonance is caused by motorised components that cause other components to lose stability and their edge of accuracy. Of course, a substantial sideboard could be seen to have the ability to hold your equipment with no problems; but we are able to sell specially designed equipment racks and stands to accommodate your audio equipment to the highest of standards.

If you are looking for a suitable Hi-Fi racking system, think about research beforehand. For example, consider how many spaces or shelves you require, how much space there is to accommodate the rack or shelving unit and, finally, how will it blend to your room’s décor?  An array of stands can be made-to-order to get correct and precise materials or colours matched. However, many existing stands are already available in a wide-range of suitable and varying colours for your own choice. See below for what type of racks and stands are available.

Hi-Fi Racks:

A Hi-Fi rack is designed to hold your equipment efficiently and safely, whilst offering your easy access and offering your equipment to be isolated from vibrations (from motorised equipment; cassette decks, CD players and turntables). And, as well as isolating and securely holding equipment, a well-designed Hi-Fi rack will promote your components to breath and cool effectively when they are operating. Click here for a look at Hi-Fi equipment racks.

Optimum’s intriguing G4TT Hi-Fi Rack

Speaker Stands:

Speaker stands are designed for bookshelf speakers to be used in other situations than their name suggests: away from a bookshelf. Speaker stands give all bookshelf speakers the opportunity to work as if they were floor-standing speakers. There are many varying manufacturers whom are accustomed to making various models of stands to fulfil many jobs in various locations. Heights and widths are optional to offer suitable support at height levels to match you, as the listener, when seated, or even when standing.

Speakers move the air to create vibrations – these are sound-waves. But, however, speakers can also vibrate the floors and shelves on which they are seated. Hi-Fi speaker stands are designed to reduce they effect of speakers vibrating other furniture in the room, as well as isolating vibrations between the speaker cabinets and the floor. A speaker stand will promote a more efficient use of the speaker because this will help the components of the speaker to vibrate only the air for waves to travel, as opposed to audible energy being lost through vibrating the floor or any other furniture in the same room. Some stands are fillable with special sand to minimise and isolate even further. In essence, a speaker stand will help to minimalize vibrations which can cause a negative effect on the overall sound which you will experience. Click here to look at speaker stand on our website.

Atacama’s HMS 2 Speaker Stands

AV & Home Cinema Stands:

Home Cinema racks and stands are designed to improve both picture and sound quality of your system. Although this may seem hard to believe, it’s a well-known fact that televisions work better on a well-designed stand as they are very susceptible to environments that contain constant movement. AV racks are ideal for housing all of your home entertainment goods in one solid, conventional and suitable piece of furniture. But, for your convenience, a Home Cinema rack and television stand will help to keep your delicate equipment in one place for easy access, with the option of hiding your equipment and associated media contents from view behind optional doors and glass enclosures. Again, isolation from vibrations and movement helps to increase performance, whilst helping to allow the equipment in your set-up to operate with correct airflow for easier cooling. Click here for AV & Home Cinema stands.

Spectral presents their ultimate AV Rack; The Spectral Closed CL1562

Due to the ranges of racks and stands available, please feel free to browse our website for further information and specific brands and their models which are dedicated to supporting your speakers, AV and Hi-Fi alike. Please be aware that some items are made to order on occasions. Call us for further information on: 01432 354921

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Music Server Bargains at Hifi Gear

 

At Hifi Gear we love both the convenience of digital audio systems, but we also still adore the conventional and traditional formats that require handling by the user.

As the world of digital evolves, Hifi Gear strives to offer the latest streaming and server systems for a modern, convenient and advanced system. Interestingly, as new and greater products come out, we have to part with our previous demonstration stock at great bargain prices. This time, however, we are parting with two items that are designed to be storage devices for audio files.

Imerge S2000 Soundserver

Continue reading

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How to Audition Hi-Fi Equipment

How to Audition Hi-Fi Equipment

In this blog entry of ‘How to’, we are going to look into various ways of auditioning audio equipment that could be your potential candidates when purchasing new Hi-Fi components.

Adopting these simple rules will help to ensure that you give all of your choices a firm but fair test. After all, we wouldn’t want you to be disappointed in the purchase that you may wish to make. Remember, a Hi-Fi is designed to bring your music to life; and it’s not the one for you if it does not do just that!

Before entering a demonstration room it is a very wise idea to do some research on what the Hi-Fi market has to offer with your budget in mind. We can help by providing both factual information and our own personal opinions too.

Still, the proof is in the listening!When auditioning a Hi-Fi system, or component, place yourself in an equipped demonstration room (just like we have at Hifi Gear). A properly equipped room is designed to reflect the performance of a chosen Hi-Fi candidate at its best.

  1. Sit on a comfortable sofa and ensure that you’re placed centrally between both speakers. (Both speakers should be an equal distance apart too).
  2. Now that you are comfortable, choose to rendition a choice of music that you are familiar with and enjoy. If your music choice seems to perform better than it did before, remember to look consider it further. If it doesn’t live up to expectations and fails to meet your requirements, look into other alternative systems on offer.
  3. If your music sounds good with the EQ flat, try adjusting it to your taste as this should help to show what the system can do when it is set to your preferred listening set-up
  4. If you require a second opinion, extra advice and guidance, always ask the person on hand to help you with your requirements. They are there to assist with exceptional advice that they have earned through training and self-taught experience too.
  5. Once you have heard all of your desired contenders, have a reflection of what they can and what they cannot do. If you need to reconsider, listen again and then ask for alternative if you cannot find what you are looking for.

At Hifi Gear we can assist with researching potential candidates and can demonstrate a wide range of products within our new demonstration room that we have readily on display within the shop. Why not contact us today and book yourself in for a demonstration today?

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Our demo rooms

The home cinema demo room features a wide range of  in-ceiling and in-wall speakers from B&W, Monitor Audio Soundframes, plus sub/sat systems and more conventional box speaker designs. We can configure many different AV receiver/ speaker combinations from Onkyo TX-NR609, Arcam AVR400, Pioneer VSX921, Denon AVR1912, Marantz SR5006 and Yamaha RX-V671. Drop us a line on 01452 306412 or email to book your demo!

If music is more your thing, then we have a lovely music only demo studio, where all manner of hifi separates can be configured to suit your taste.

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