Category Archives: Information about hi-fi key brands

History, past and present of some of the most influential brands in hi-fi and home cinema

Hifi Gear: Henley Audio HQ Visit

Ryan and I were recently invited to Henley Audio in Oxford for a tour around the facility as well as some informative training on some of the brands we deal with in the store. Towards the end of the day, we also had the opportunity to rebuild an Essential III from Project from putting the platter and belt on to re-fitting the cartridge and aligning it. I will be going into more detail on this build later on in this post.

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Bowers & Wilkins PX Vs Sennheiser PXC-550

The two headphones I will be comparing are the Bowers & Wilkins PX and the Sennheiser PXC-550I will be talking about the Sound Quality, Noise Cancellation, Comfort, Physical Appearance, App Control and any features which I think are worth mentioning. 

The PX’s are currently priced at £329 and the PXC-550’s are £249. There has recently been a price reposition on the Sennheisers’ from £329 to £299 – which makes them a great competitive price against the PX’s! 

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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 worldwide for their impeccable build quality, stunning picture, immersive sound, luxurious design and overall futuristic feel; Loewe has 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 simplify it out to some of the more impacting milestones.

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HifiGear: Chord Company Factory Visit

The Chord Company are a British manufacturer of high quality cables and interconnects, designed and engineered specifically for music enthusiasts by music enthusiasts. Chord build award-winning cables for hifi stereo systems, home theatre applications, high definition televisions/gaming, music streamers and for custom installation environments.

 

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Cameron and myself were recently invited down to the Chord factory in Salisbury, allowing us to put some faces to the names and voices we’ve befriended over telephone and email conversations, and also to get a real feel for the level of effort and care that Chord put into the design and construction of their award-winning cables.
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Integrating older Video Components into a Modern Set-up…

Chunky, heavy and often un-relliable as they aged, VHS tapes are firmly consigned to the history books…

As HD televisions become the norm, the majority of previous video formats to the Blu-ray format have all become nearly obsolete. However, as many people have built-up a collection on VHS and DVD, replacing them on Blu-ray can be an extortionate task in itself, purely due to both cost and finding the rarity titles.

HD Televisions, such as this Loewe Individual, are becoming the dominant television experience…

 

The modern-world allows for the likes of Blu-ray and streaming services to take the lead when watching films. However, most people record their own recordings onto a hard-drive recording system, assigning VHS and even DVDs to the history books. However, with a lot of people realising the cost of replacing their films on a more modern format, as well as people realising that their memories of family events are on these aging formats, the consumer is still using their previous formats in with their modern HD systems.

 

A visual comparison of DVD and Blu-ray qualities. DVD at the top, Blu-ray at the bottom…

This guide is going to look at how to incorporate these aging formats into your current set-up, enabling you to enjoy your priceless memories for a lot longer; with greater quality than before, too.

 

With obsolete formats offering rare titles, some people still choose to re-commission their original equipment…

To start with we must remember that a modern television system will primarily consist of digital components. For example, a new television will consist of digital technology inside, just like a DVD or a Blu-ray player would, too. A VHS system is analogue, and, therefore, consists of technology from yester-year. It doesn’t mean that both new and old equipment will be incompatible, but it means things will run slightly differently to an exclusively all-digital system. Primarily, a digital television will process an analogue feed differently: the digital system will process that signal in time, at that time; an analogue format is originally a constant processed picture. As it’s originally a constant feed, digital will break the picture into individual segments, thus causing an occasional jitter of movement on the screen. To help to resolve this, a good quality Scart lead, such as QED’s Profile Scart, will help to reduce this problem by giving a faster signal transport from the video to the receiving equipment.

 

The traditional scart lead offers greater quality than the original coaxial or single video cables…

Now a good connection has been established, and to improve signal clarity further, ensuring the VHS’ heads are cleaned and in good condition will help to refine the picture; ensuring the picture is sharp will help with any time jitter or lagging as it’s a purer picture to process for the end result on the television screen. Also, look at adjusting the head’s tracking when watching the video to get an even more defined picture.

 

Laserdisc was the start of the digital video revolution – albeit a little flawed on price and convenience…

If you wish to re-commission an older digital video system, such as a lazer-disc player, it’s a similar principle than that of VHS. Using a good quality lead will help to transfer the signals of the player to the receiving equipment with better results overall. However, ensure that your discs are clean, too. Fingerprints and grease can stop the disc from being read at a more efficient rate. Try using Milty’s range of disc cleaners which is suitable for all digital discs, including DVD, Blu-ray, CD, Super Audio CD and Lazerdisc.

 

Milty’s Disc Cleaning solutions…

If you are re-commissioning older video equipment, be sure to follow the above, and you’ll enjoy your previous video collections at a higher rate of quality that your probably ever did before.

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