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.
The two headphones I will be comparing are the Bowers & Wilkins PX and the Sennheiser PXC-550. I 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!
The LS50 now has a dedicated platform to perform upon, designed and engineered by Custom Design to match the appearance and enhance the sound of the LS50 and LS50 Wireless models without compromise.
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.
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.
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.
It’s that time of year again! On the third Saturday of every April since 2007, thousands of independent record shops, turntable manufacturers, musicians and vinyl enthusiasts across the world celebrate the unique culture surrounding the independent record store.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remember, if you keep your system and your music clean, it will always be sounding mean!