Archive for August, 2013

Integrated Amplifiers at Loud & Clear – MOON, Rega, Primare & Naim

29th August 2013

When you don’t want to take up too much space, and a two box amplifier is out of the question, then there are plenty of integrated amplifiers that can satisfy any budget, without sacrificing audio quality.

Both stores stock a broad range of integrated amplifiers with core brands MOON and Rega to be found in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Each store has their own specialist brands with Edinburgh also featuring Primare and Glasgow the full range of Naim Audio.

MOON by Sim Audio – Edinburgh & Glasgow

Moon have just given their integrated amplifier range a total overhaul with a new name too – Neo.

Neo 250i – £1,890

Neo 340i starting from £3,525 – optional extras include: a phono stage, DAC and balanced input stage.

The MOON Evolution range is where you’ll find their reference amplifiers with two integrated models proving that you don’t need to have a separate pre and power to obtain exceptional performance.

Evolution 600i – £6,450

Evolution 700i – £9,450

Rega – Edinburgh & Glasgow

Rega have provided us with one of our biggest sellers with their Brio-R amplifier. This is a fantastic starting point for anyone wanting to own a proper hi-fi amplifier without breaking the bank. Rega have recently brought out a revamped Elicit-R too.

Brio-R – £498

Elicit-R – £1,598

Primare – Edinburgh

The Edinburgh store have always loved the sound of Primare, and it’s not easy to understand why. Fabulously well made amplifiers from Scandinavia. Both models stocked have options to add internal upgrades: either a DAC in the I22 or media board that turns the I32 into a full digital streamer.

I22 – £1,250 or £1,590 with integrated DAC

I32 – £2,200 or £3,150 with media board that incorporates a full digital streamer

Naim Audio – Glasgow

Naim have been a core product in the Glasgow store since we opened in 1996. One of the UK’s most renowned hi-fi manufacturers. They have been upgrading their product range massively over the last little while, and remain focused on delivering world leading performance from their hi-fi products.

NAIT 5si – £925

NAIT XS 2 – £1,595

SUPERNAIT 2 – £2,750

All these products will give you many years of musical enjoyment. Get in touch with either store to arrange a demonstration or pop in and have a chat about your requirements.

 

 

Classic Album Sundays Glasgow – Jimi Hendrix "Electric Ladyland", Sunday 13th October

28th August 2013

Classic Album Sundays with Loud & Clear Hi-Fi Present

The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Electric Ladyland”

The Berkeley Suite, 237 North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DL
Sunday 13th October 2013
£6 on the door or online:
http://loudandclear.eventbrite.co.uk
5.30pm – 9pm (album plays at 7.30pm)
0141 221 0221

Facebook Event >>

We’ll have copies of the Music on Vinyl reissue double vinyl for sale, and a specially commissioned poster. See the bottom for all the info.

“One of the world’s great albums, played on one of the world’s finest hi-fi systems in conjunction with one of the world’s best hi-fi stores.”

Classic Album Sundays: A Communal and Audiophile Listening Experience is joining forces with Loud & Clear Hi-Fi again for this now semi-regular event in Glasgow.

Listed as one of the Top 20 Trends of 2012 by London’s ES Magazine, Classic Album Sundays has become a media sensation in a little over a year. With features on BBC Breakfast, BBC 6 Music, NME, Elle, The Word, The Independent, The Evening Standard and more. Why all the fuss?

The concept is to enable people to experience music as close as possible to the way the artist intended, to treat music as a precious commodity and a classic album as a work of art which should be appreciated in its entirety. Classic Album Sundays’ use audiophile hi-fi equipment to ensure an awe inspiring listening experience. Visitors are invited to switch off their phones and refrain from unnecessary conversation: just sit back, listen and immerse themselves in the experience.

Music fans have enthusiastically responded en masse as Classic Album Sundays’ monthly listening sessions in London and New York have been selling out, with festival sessions featuring at The Vintage Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London (for which Loud & Clear put together a £130,000 hi-fi system), plus Camp Bestival and Bestival amongst others.

Here is what some visitors had to say:

Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” was our first visit, and it was excellent. Sounded as if Joni was playing live, and heard in reverential silence by a deeply appreciative audience.” – David Lye, CAS attendee

“Hearing that fabulous cello line in ‘Eleanor Rigby’ – I could’ve wept with the sheer beauty of it.” – Annette Corbette, CAS attendee

The event format:

Join us from 5.30pm to get in the mood by listening to some of the music that inspired Jimi Hendrix, along with tracks from his musical contemporaries around the release of the album in 1968. The bar will be open, and you can grab some lunch/dinner beforehand at Chinaski’s next door, to ease yourself in, and then hang out with a great soundtrack.

At 7.30pm the lights go down, the volume goes up and we play the album from beginning to end on a reference Linn hi-fi system. We’ll be using Linn’s iconic Sondek LP12 turntable with a reference Klimax Kontrol pre-amplifier and Linn’s very own “black ops” custom made fully active PA system featuring 12 channels of their Akurate power amplifiers.

There will be a short interval between discs in the playback.

Listening to “Electric Ladyland” on a fabulous hi-fi system will let you hear it as never before; taking you closer to the performance.

We should have brand new copies of the Music On Vinyl reissue for sale on the night too.

Vinyl

We’ll have brand new copies of the Music On Vinyl reissue for sale on the night. They are £25, which is a little cheaper than you’ll find online. This version is remastered from the original 2-track master tapes by the session’s engineer, Eddie Kramer. It also features an 8 page LP sized booklet with liner notes and pictures. This is the version we’ll be playing on the night.

Poster

We also have a fabulous screen printed poster for sale too. This was specially designed by Godmachine for The Flood Gallery to celebrate the Classic Album Sundays sessions in Glasgow, London, New York and Portland. These are £30.

 

More info:
http://classicalbumsundays.com/

http://www.loud-clear.co.uk

Grim Tower

27th August 2013

You may have heard me mention Black Mountain once or twice, maybe even three times (but hey, who’s counting?!). Well, I can’t help it if Stephen McBean rocks my world with almost everything he touches. And not content with the behemoth that is his day job he’s also involved in a few side projects and collaborations to fill the gaps in between.

This time it’s the turn of Imaad Wasif, a singer-songwriter in his own right also known for writing and touring with (New York alt-rockers) the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to get on board. Both are Canadian born but living in LA, so it’s hardly surprising that their worlds eventually collided. The result is Grim Tower.

They hadn’t planned to, but after allowing it to rumble around for a couple of years they (thankfully) decided to let the rest of the world in on their debut collection of work which they have entitled ‘Anarchic Breezes’. And it contains some of the finest New Acoustic Death Folk you’re ever likely to hear.

Here they are playing an excellent example down in the ‘mythical forest’.

Let your love reign down at http://www.grimtowersongs.com

 

ProAc Response D30R Loudspeakers

22nd August 2013

We always look forward to listening to a new speaker from ProAc – one of the UK’s foremost audiophile loudspeaker manufacturers.

The new addition to the Response series, the D30Rs, are every bit as good as we imagined they’d be, and at a price point that we hadn’t had from ProAc before.

We have taken the model with the ribbon tweeter; the same tweeter fitted to the larger D40 speaker. There’s also technology to be found in the carbon fibre drive units which is derived from ProAc’s statement Carbon Pro 8s; one of the reasons they are so spectacular. All this brings incredible performance into a box that can fit into most rooms.

The D30R with the ribbon tweeter retails at £4,750, whilst The D30 with the dome tweeter, £4,500.

These are on demonstration in Glasgow now, and are sounding rather sumptuous in our main dem room.

More information on ProAc Response D30R >>

Editors (Live)

20th August 2013

Let me begin by clarifying one thing. Editors DO NOT sound like a Joy Division/Interpol tribute band. Those comparisons were made (via lazy journalism) early on in their career and regurgitated so often that they’ve struggled to escape from them since. There are similarities. Four blokes, a distinctive bass heavy guitar sound, a tall, skinny baritone-voiced frontman, the black & white photos…but then there’s the music.

When I bought debut album ‘The Back Room’ back in my indie-girl days, I fell in love with it almost immediately. So much so, that I was both excited and nervous at the prospect of hearing it live for the first time at The Garage, Glasgow back in 2005. It seems strange then that, even though I’ve probably seen them more times live than any other band, I still get that same feeling now when I’m on my way to see them.

During the recording of recent album, ‘The Weight Of Your Love’ there were rumours that they might be about to implode over that old ‘musical differences’ chestnut. In the end, they (sadly) lost one member but after some soul searching (and the addition of two new bods to the line-up), still managed to produce a collection of songs that couldn’t be by anyone other than them.

Here they are bringing some late afternoon euphoria to an up-for-it crowd at Glastonbury a few weeks ago.

Find a ton of Editors at http://www.editorsofficial.com

p.s. I’ll be getting my socks knocked off by these guys (again) on Saturday night at Edinburgh’s Picture House. And yes, EXCITED!

 

Meridian Director DAC

16th August 2013

We’ve finally got stock of Meridian’s new mini DAC, Director.

Director is a high-quality DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) designed to deliver superior audio quality from any digital source. Built in Britain to the same standards as any Meridian product, Director breathes new life into digital sources when listened to on analogue hi-fi systems.

Director forms the ideal add-on for network players and music servers with digital outputs, bringing Meridian performance and ultimate sound quality to an entirely new class of audio products and systems. These sound enhancing technologies are derived from the award-winning line of Reference 800 Series components, and significantly out-perform the DACs found in computers and most network players.

Director can plug into any Mac or PC via USB, or streamers with the S/PDIF connection. It will sample all the way up to 24-bit, 192kHz too. This is a compact and stylish way to get the very best out of your digital sources.

Retail price is £449

For more information see Meridian Audio >>

Glasgow and Edinburgh will be stocking Director.

 

Ben Howard

13th August 2013

I first saw Ben Howard perform on a music chat show a few years back. Sitting on a stool with his guitar, all blue eyes and floppy hair, I assumed that he was the music industry’s latest boy band reject. But that notion was thrown straight back in my face as I quickly realised that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

London born but growing up in Devon around his parents record collection of John Martyn, Simon and Garfunkel and Van Morrison clearly had an impact. With an enormous amount of soul for someone so young, he pours a lot of it into both his vocal and guitar playing, reaching out and touching audiences almost universally. Even his own band members (an amazing bunch of multi-talented musicians themselves) regularly look quite pleased to be part of it. And, who can blame them…

Here they are creating some of that magic for all those that were close enough to experience this at Glastonbury a couple of months ago (including the young girl overcome with emotion at about 3 minutes 38 seconds in). You lucky people.

Keep your head up at http://www.benhowardmusic.co.uk

 

Devialet

9th August 2013

We don’t often copy and paste from a web site but thought that on this occasion we would use the words of the manufacturer to describe this highly unique system.

“When you meet a Devialet for the first time, you will realise that this is an exceptional invention with just a glance. Our simple and sophisticated design magnifies the technological prowess and prepares users for the emotion of the music to follow. Forget the thick casings of traditional hi-fi units, Devialet clearly states its excessive taste for balance. Devialet will fit naturally into your lifestyle. – See more at: http://en.devialet.com

Prices start at £4500

 

Contact John or Simon at the Edinburgh shop for more details

Suuns

6th August 2013

On the way to Austin Psych Fest (please see my last post), we decided to take a slight detour via Dallas. This was mainly because Black Mountain were playing a gig there a couple of nights beforehand and we decided that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them twice in quick succession. But as a bonus, we discovered it was to be a night of all Canadian craziness with both Suuns and The Besnard Lakes supporting.

I had always been quite intrigued by Suuns debut album ‘Zeroes QC’ but what I hadn’t banked on was that their newly released “Images du Futur’ would take them to a completely new level. This stuff is super catchy, highly addictive and can go round in your head for days. It also takes on a life of its own, live. Which was a real result seeing as we would be doing it all again within 48 hours.

Here they are getting into that infectious groove during a live SXSW set at a local bike shop (obviously).

And It’s good feeling good at http://secretlycanadian.com/artist.php?name=suuns

p.s. I had never really connected with The Besnards work before but I have to say that their studio albums don’t do them justice and they really are a superb live band.

p.p.s. Black Mountain were at their usual awesome best on both occasions. The only disappointment I felt was at the end of their set when they stopped playing. I hate that bit…

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