Archive for August, 2012

Scandyna Minipod Mk2 & Micropod SE Active

30th August 2012

We’ve always had a soft spot for Minipod loudspeakers, but they had rather fallen off the radar with us, but no more!

Minipods are back in their Mk2 guise: featuring a new reworked kevlar drive unit and crossover; to squeeze that bit more performance out of them. Don’t worry though, they haven’t touch the unique and rather funky pod styling.

When square boxes won’t do, and you wish to make more of a statement without sacrificing sound quality!

Retailing at £599 per pair, they come in red, white, black and black matt. Other colours are available to order.

 

In addition, we have a pair of the Micropod SE Active speakers in too. These are only 16cm tall, but pack a mighty punch for such a smaller speaker. They are active, so have build in amplification (2 x 10w), and are perfect to hook up the laptop or workstation to massively improve your listening experience at your desk and the like.

The Micropod SE Active retails at £299 a pair and comes in red, white and black.

Both these models are available to demo in the Glasgow shop now.

Click here for more on Scandyna Pod Loudspeakers

Storm Corrosion

28th August 2012

After discovering them via a friend, Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth became a fan of Steve Wilson’s Porcupine Tree. And when metal fan Wilson was given an Opeth album a few years later he knew that the two had to meet up for what was to become a beautiful musical ‘bromance’. Since then, Wilson has overseen production on a number of Opeth albums, Åkerfeldt contributed to Porcupine Tree’s ‘Deadwing’ and they have shared a headline tour. The only thing that held this first proper collaboration back was time.

Knowing a little of both bands work, I was intrigued enough to give it a try. What I wasn’t expecting was to be hooked after just one listen. Instead of making the album that everyone expected, they used it as a vehicle for something different. Something dark and beautiful. Ambient Gothic Folk-Prog if you will. And it’s a beauty. But it’s also divided opinion amongst fans and seems to be a love it or hate album. So like most things I can only recommend approaching it with an open mind. And ears…

Explore the dark side at  http://stormcorrosion.com

p.s. For those of you that are tempted to try both main projects, they each have a varied and extensive body of work to choose from. You will usually find Porcupine Tree filed somewhere around ‘alternative rock’. Opeth however, are a progressive heavy metal rock band and Åkerfeldt is also well known for his ‘devil growling’. But don’t let that put you off as albums ‘Damnation’ and ‘Heritage’ both feature his amazing ‘normal’ singing voice and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

50th Anniversary Mini Monitor Arrives From KEF

21st August 2012

Loud & Clear are delighted  to announce the launch of the eagerly anticipated new mini monitor from KEF the LS50. An innovative concept inspired by the legendary KEF, Rogers and Spendor LS3/5a, the LS50 mini monitor speaker is designed to bring the accuracy of a professional studio monitor concept into the home.

As the launch information says, “Rarely the case in such a compact design, the LS50 monitor delivers a rich, multi-dimensional ‘soundstage experience’ that is out of all proportion to its size. Patent-pending acoustic designs, together with state-of-the-art technologies from KEF’s latest flagship Blade loudspeaker, provide the ultimate studio experience – even in the smallest of spaces”

Available to listen to in both our Glasgow and Edinburgh stores this is a fanatic speaker designed to look stylish and contemporary as well as packing a real punch. Initial listening shows massive potential – with an accuracy and crispness combined with a wide soundstage and bass weight seemingly in contradiction to its small size.

Pop in for a listen today!

It’s not only Loud & Clear that have fallen for these fantastic speakers; they have just been awarded European Loudspeaker 2012-13 from EISA.

Click for more info on the KEF website

Classic Album Replay – Parliament "Mothership Connection", Thursday 23rd August

20th August 2012

This month’s classic album at the Glasgow shop is Parliament “Mothership Connection”.

For more information on this seminal p-funk album check out Greg Wilson’s Blog on it.

The album plays at 7pm, on Thursday 23rd August

Please don’t feel intimidated in coming to the shop!! There is no sales pressure. Simply come along, grab a glass of wine, and listen to this classic on a fabulous hi-fi system – taking you closer to the performance!

If you could get here 10 minutes before that would be great!

Facebook Event

Inspired by Greg Wilson’s Living to Music Blog:
http://www.gregwilson.co.uk/2010/06/living-to-music/

and Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy’s Classic Album Sundays:
http://classicalbumsundays.com/

New NaimUniti 2

16th August 2012

Naim are continuing to push things forward. By overhauling their ranges they are ensuring that they remain at forefront of world class hi-fi. The most recent upgrade has been to the hugely popular Uniti.

Imagine everything audio in one place: integrated amplifier, CD player, DAB/FM tuner, internet radio, iPod, iPhone and iPad dock, digital-to-analogue converter and high-resolution 24bit/192kHZ capable network stream player. And now combine all that with legendary Naim musical quality, engineering integrity, design sophistication and interface know-how. Congratulations! You’ve just come up with the NaimUniti 2.

The Uniti 2 has a bigger amplifier (70w, as opposed to 50w in the original); ensuring that it can work with a wider range of loudspeakers and fill larger rooms with ease. There is a brand new CD section; with new tray, clamp, and DAC. Other improvements have been made to the signal path, so pushing the performance levels higher still.

Come in and have a listen to the NaimUniti 2 at the Glasgow shop. It’s on permanent display.

Retail price is £2,795.

Click for more information on the NaimUniti 2

 

 

HD – no really – Super High Vision or 8k Ultra High Definition

14th August 2012

Our very own Allan Boyd was at a special screening at BBC Scotland, Pacific Quay of selected highlights from the Olympics filmed bv NHK in 8k Super High Vision with a 22.2 channel surround sound system.

Filmed via one of only a handful of  Super High Vision Cameras in the world  alongside a revolutionary 22 channel live recording facility – the signal was broadcast over “JANET” The UK’s research and development – superfast 400Gbit/s high bandwith network.

The event had a capacity of around 100 people with a wall filling screen which must have easily been 8m wide. The 33.2 mega pixel image at 120 Frames/sec was projected  via a heavily modified JVC Dila Projector (£4k with e-shift) Sound was via a Yamaha Processor and RCF Monitors.

“It was an amazinginly immersive experience – the clarity on the image combined with the sheer variety of atmospheric sound coming at you from every angle – took the viewer straight into the middle of the performance.” “Watching Chris Hoy as he approached the finish line – the volume of the crowd seemingly around you just built and built – I was tempted to stand up and cheer as I felt everyone else around me already had.” We may be a few years away from seeing anything like this technology available in the home – however this is undoubtedly the future and its really exciting.

Dead Meadow

When you hear singer/guitarist Jason Simon’s vocal style, it’s easy to assume that Dead Meadow are just another ‘psychedelic stoner rock’ band. And whilst being under the influence might enhance the experience for the listener, it would surely make his phenomenal guitar work almost impossible. Often achieving the illusion that they are more than just a three piece, this is probably down to Jason’s deft guitar pedal action combined with the fact that once you get used to it, that vocal blends in so well that it begins to sound like another instrument.

Their last release, ‘Three Kings’ captures a live performance (on either cd or double vinyl) and includes a dvd of the gig intertwined with extra ‘film’ footage which provides a very entertaining insight into the band and what goes on inside their heads. Let’s just say it won’t do them any favours in getting away from the genre tag mentioned above. Not that they should want to. They’re one of the best examples of it.

Everything is groovy at http://www.deadmeadow.com

 

Junip

A long time in the making and with a lot of obstacles to overcome on the way, the very existence of Junip’s first full length release ‘Fields’ is mainly due to the patience, persistence and friendship of the musicians involved. Jose Gonzalez and Elias Araya grew up together in Sweden and started playing in their early teenage years. They later bonded with Tobias Winterkorn over a shared love of hardcore music and began planning a collaboration.

Fast forward 10 years and with one member now also studying art, one teaching part time and the other enjoying an unexpectedly successful solo career, it’s a wonder it ever saw the light of day at all. But it was worth the wait. It’s a wonderfully intense yet organic album from start to finish and if the rumour is correct, they may already be back in the studio recording the follow-up. Looks like they’re in it for the long-haul then…

Explore the great outdoors at http://www.junip.net/

Music & Vinyl Fest 2012

13th August 2012

All spaces for the Sunday event are now booked! Due to the massive response we will be holding another CAS event at The Mill very soon. Many thanks, the Loud & Clear and CAS team. Please come along on Saturday for plenty of great kit, records and live music set at 4.00pm, free entry

The Mill at Loud & Clear are hosting a full weekend of live and vinyl replay music

Here is the diary of events taking place at the Edinburgh store

Friday 17 August

5pm–8.30pm

An evening preview of the very best records from Diverse Vinyl, with live music from Mark Corbett and some refreshments.

Free event

Limited numbers

Saturday 18 August

10am–5pm

Diverse Vinyl, the UK’s best record shop is back in town. Come along and chose from thousands of new vinyl albums and experience their sound on the world’s best hi fi equipment and at the ultimate headphone bar.

Live music from Emily-Rose Conlon at 4.00pm.

Free open day

Sunday 19 August

12 noon–4pm

Classic Album Sundays present

Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, hosted by Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy.

Join us from noon and enjoy the contemporaries and influences of Pink Floyd before the LP plays at 2.30pm.

Ticketed event £6 (2 for 1)

Tickets available online from:
http://loudandclear.eventbrite.com/

or through the Edinburgh shop.

More details on this part of the event

 

Antelope Audio Zodiac DAC

11th August 2012

Zodiac Gold is Antelope’s flagship USB D/A converter, providing exquisite audiophile sound. The DAC is among the very few on the market with 384 kHz audio streaming capability thanks to the custom designed USB controller chip that streams digital audio up to 480 Mbits.

 

Loud & Clear again lead the way in providing you the chance to have a full demo of this product at The Mill in Edinburgh.

If you need any advance details drop an e-mail to John in the Edinburgh shop or call The Mill on 0131 555 3963 to book your demo. We can also ship the demo units to Glasgow if you prefer to book a listening session in the west!

Click for more information from Antelope’s website

Audio Origami Launch The RB7 Tonearm

4th August 2012

Johnnie adds another cracker to his long line of specialist tonearms. Based on the Rega RB251, the new RB7 uses the Rega yoke and back section, but combines this with the outstanding Audio Origami PU7 arm-tube, headshell rear weight and stub. However top of the range bearings have been used in the yoke and the arm is fitted as standard with Cardas internal wiring, Cardas gold plated cartridge clips as well as Audio Origami’s super oxygen free copper external cabling.  The head-shell also rotates to give full azimuth adjustment. Having just had a fantastic review from Neville Roberts over at Hi-Fi Choice magazine, you couldn’t go far wrong with this upgrade to your vinyl set up. A stunning tonearm with more that a few nods to it’s £750 and available now, and as an added bonus come and have it fitted by Johnnie at Loud & Clear in Glasgow where you’ll find him every Saturday sorting out those pesky turntable problems!

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