Archive for December, 2012

Festive Opening Hours at Loud & Clear

29th December 2012

Loud & Clear wish all of our customers and friends a very happy Christmas and a great new year!
We’re sure 2013 will continue where 2012 left off and bring more exiting products and innovative discoveries for your home hifi and home cinema systems.

Friday 28th December 2012          10am – 6pm
Saturday 29th December 2012     10am – 6pm
Sunday 30th December 2012          CLOSED
Monday 31st December 2012          CLOSED

Tuesday 1st January  2013               CLOSED
Wednesday 2nd January 2013        CLOSED
Thursday 3rd January 2013           10am – 6pm
Friday 4th January 2013                10am – 6pm
Saturday 5th January 2013           10am – 6pm
Sunday 6th January 2013                CLOSED
Monday 7th January 2013               CLOSED

Tuesday 8th January 2013            10am – 6pm

Supergrass

18th December 2012

A lot of people will remember Supergrass as a bit of a ‘comedy’ band, which is partly true. They did have a great sense of humour. But have a closer look and listen to their back catalogue and you might be surprised by how much great stuff they wrote. A particular highlight for me was ‘Road to Rouen’, the title of which is a nod to both the area of France that it was recorded in and The Ramones album of a similar name.

It was born during a really difficult personal time for some of the band members. Brothers Gaz and Rob had just lost their mother and bad boy Danny’s personal life was being shredded by the media. The orchestral arrangements coupled with the slightly introspective vibe makes it sound like a more mature version of them. But very much still a Supergass record. And their best and most complete work as far as I’m concerned.

They were great live too, toured extensively and had a reputation for being great to work with. They’ve all embarked on solo/side projects since disbanding in 2010 but still have the beginnings of a 7th, as yet unfinished studio album lurking somewhere…

Visit http://www.supergrass.com if you want to hear them pumping on your stereo again.

Help yourself to an Audiophile Christmas – Ideal gifts for the hi-fi and home cinema connoisseur in your life

12th December 2012

Big Sound from a ludicrously small box – the Foxl Platinum at £209 is the worlds best sounding pocket sized portable speaker. Enjoy with any music source with a 3.5mm headphone jack or stream wirelessly with a Bluetooth phone – mains powered or up to 20 hours battery life.

 

http://store.soundmatters.com/foxl-intro.html

 

Can those old Cans – Loud & Clear stock a wide range of headphones from Grado, Hi-fi Man and Stax. The Grado SR80i are an in house favourite from only £125.

 

Upgrade the music stream from your laptop with a USB DAC – plug the audio output into your existing hi-fi via a USB DAC – great sound with all the convenience and all of your music stored in the one place with the Arcam Rpac from only £149.

 

Music on the Move – upgrade those freebie headphones which come with your Ipod, Iphone or other mobile devices with the new great looking and sounding EB 50 in ear buds from Musical Fidelity at £149

 

Its a Vinyl Renaissance – breathe some new life into those records with that old turntable in the loft – get your record player back on the road with a prepaid service voucher from around £50 (dependant on the turntable) and replacement cartridges in stock from Rega, Grado, Nagaoka Dynavector, Lyra and many more from around £70 – £7000.

 

Chord Active HDMI – transform the picture on your TV or Projector with what we believe to be the best HDMI cables around – varying lengths from 1.0m at £85 upwards

Pure Reason Revolution

11th December 2012

It’s time for another ‘support band incident’. And probably one of the best. Because the headline band sucked (no names and I’m sorry, but you did) so it was a relief that we at least left with these guys ringing in our ears. All the more surprising because most of the time, we avoid getting to gigs too early due to having endured more than a few horrendous support slots. So when they arrived on stage, we weren’t all that interested. For about 30 seconds. Then I found my ears (closely followed by the rest of me) drawn towards the stage.

The band themselves have cited everyone from Pink Floyd to Porcupine Tree (who they later toured with) to Fleetwood Mac as influences and you can hear that all over their delightful debut ‘The Dark Third’. It’s a beautiful combination of floaty, atmospheric prog covered in folk-tinged vocal harmonies that occasionally bursts into a face melting riff explosion. It’s a shame that their progress was somewhat hindered by a few band member issues, which eventually led to a change of direction and subsequent albums never had quite the same charm for me. I’m sorry that they’ve split but I’ll never forget that first gig.

Here they are live and beautifully captured by Rockpalast at  http://www.wdr.de/tv/rockpalast/extra/videos/2008/1025/pure_reason_revolution.jsp

 

Isol-8 Mains Conditioning

8th December 2012

We are big believers in taking a holistic view on system building. Something that can’t be ignored is the mains electricity supply to the equipment. The mains supply is the foundation of all systems and so is vital in ensuring optimum playback quality.

Your mains will be affected by other components within the home and also outside; resulting in radio interference and other distortion. This degrades the performance of the system. Using mains conditioning minimises this distortion resulting in a blacker background, more detail, cohesion and all round musicality of the system.

Read Isol-8’s overview on mains conditioning here.

Isol-8’s product range starts with Powerline with the basic 6 way distribution block that has the same high build quality as the rest of the range, but without the mains filtering – £339.

Our favourite product in this range is the Powerline Axis which is a 5 way distribution block that incorporates DC mains blocking – £499

More on the Powerline range

 

The audiophile range of Substation products brings out the best in high-end components.

The separate Substation LC and HC are the pinnacle – designed specifically for source and pre-amplifiers on the 4 way LC, and for power amplifiers on the HC. The axis model is a more cost effective version that eschews the multi-stage filtering of the LC and HC, but has the DC blocking with its 4 way output.

Substation LC – £1,999
Substation HC – £2,099
Substation Axis – £1,499

More on the Substation range

This year Isol-8 have expanded the range further and launched the Substation Integra. This brings together the LC and HC elements in one 6 way full size box, with slightly less current capacity than its big brothers, nevertheless the lower cost brings these critical technologies to a wider market, and one that should be on the shopping list of every high-end system owner.

Substation Integra – £1,799

More on the Substation Integra

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow stock Isol-8. Please get in touch if you’d like to hear how much more performance can be delivered from your existing system.

 

The Dead 60's

4th December 2012

I didn’t know that there was a big ska meets punk scene in Liverpool back in the early 2000’s. Maybe there wasn’t. But if there was, it was probably down to The Dead 60’s. Starting out in their teens, they changed their name twice and recorded a couple of EP’s, a session for John Peel and toured with some big names before announcing that they had split in 2003.

A few months later, they re-appeared as The Dead 60’s and began to tour again extensively with more big name bands, this time including the festival circuit. They won over a lot of people with their infectious, updated take on the genre, as demonstrated on their self titled debut. They even achieved some success in The States due to the popularity of single, (ironically) ‘Riot Radio’.

Before they disbanded in 2008, I was lucky enough to catch them at the Liquid Rooms as part of T On The Fringe in ’06. Now that was a fun gig. With a lot of silly dancing. And probably the most attitude and the best sound I’ve heard there. Ever.

Their own website is under maintenance but you can visit http://uk.myspace.com/thedead60s for more info.

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