Category Archives: Common Questions answered

A frequently asked questions section for hi-fi and home cinema related subjects.


*Updated on Tuesday 19th May 2020*

During this difficult time we are all facing with Coronavirus, we at Hifi Gear would like to ensure the safety of our staff, customers, friends & family by taking extra precautions.

The Hifi Gear store in Hereford will be CLOSED to the public, for the time being, to ensure a safe and clean working environment for our staff. We will be open for;

Click & Collect Orders & Order Shipping

We would like to thank all of our customers for their understanding in this difficult time. We will be available to talk via email or over the phone to answer any questions or queries. Please see our ‘Contact Us‘ page for more details.

Our website is currently fully operational, with online orders being dispatched and completed as usual. We have many products currently in-stock and available for next-day delivery (Mainland UK). While we do keep many products in-stock, many manufacturers are currently encountering delays and shortages so some orders may take slightly longer than usual. We will be sure to contact every customer with updated stock & delivery information and do our best to keep everything running smoothly.

Once again, we’d like to say thank you to our customer’s for their continued support.

Stay safe,
Jamie, Ryan, Charlie, Phil & Tonya


Hifi Gear’s Guide To Sonos (Updated 2020)

Hifi Gear’s Guide To Sonos?

It’s been a good 6 years since we’ve last did a blog about Sonos, not too much has changed over the course of those years, only with mobile app tweaks, newly announced products and revamped designs for cetain products. You will see the usage of the Play:3 used in this blog post, please note that yes, it has now been discontinued, but there still is a wide audience that still uses this product so it has been used in some examples.

Maybe you’ve seen it on the TV, in a magazine or just caught a glimpse of it in a store or at a friend’s house, and now you’re looking to find out a little more as to what Sonos exactly is and what it offers.

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What Are MM and MC Phono Cartridges?


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 to 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 stereo field 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.


Record Store Day Special: Converting Vinyl to Digital



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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How to Set-Up a Naim Muso Qb

We’re absolutely astounded by the depth and clarity that this little box can push out, although not surprised that Naim were the masterminds behind its conception.  We’ve got ours up and running and have compiled this little step-by-step guide to help make the relatively easy process just that little bit easier. Purchase one here!


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Vinyl Request Form

We’ve had an overwhelming response from our customers regarding our new vinyl selection at our shop in King Street, Hereford. We’re unfortunately unable to stock absolutely everything, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for or are after a specific genre, artist or album – then please fill out the form below and let us know!

We’re updating our collection all the time and are always keen to hear what sort of things our customers are listening to and would like to listen to. See the list of what’s currently in the shop.


Step by step guide to replacing a phono cartridge

The stylus of a phono cartridge is a consumable item, in other words it wears out with use, and can also easily become accidentally damaged, as it is extremely fragile.

Ortofon OM10 cartridge, minus stylus, which has been accidentally snapped off

Ortofon OM10 cartridge, minus stylus, which has been accidentally snapped off

As 90% of the value of a phono cartridge is in the stylus, it is often just as easy to replace the entire cartridge rather than just the stylus – this also allows you to upgrade to a better sounding cartridge to give you more enjoyment from your vinyl. Continue reading Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest