Ultimate performance has always been our principle aim. Whether it’s your first turntable or an upgrade to a reference system we will strive to help you achieve the best possible sound for your budget.
Our showrooms have purpose-built listening rooms where you can audition components and systems using your own music at your own pace in a relaxed and friendly environment.
We can then install and tune your system to perfection, leaving you beaming… often into the wee small hours!
Every hi-fi system follows the same principle: source first.
The source (turntable, streamer, CD player, etc) is the most important element of your system. Anything downstream cannot add information to an audio signal, the mission is to lose as little musical information as possible.
Start with the highest quality audio information at source and you have the best chance of hearing the highest quality audio from your loudspeakers. Begin with poor quality and you have no chance.
“Garbage in, garbage out”.
Playing records is a tactile and rewarding experience, from the artwork on the sleeve to the liner notes and the anticipation as the needle hits the groove !
From the plug and play Planar 1 through to Planar 10, Rega turntables sound great and are easy to set up for decades of musical enjoyment After that the unparalleled performance of the iconic Linn Sondek LP12.
The turntable itself is only part of the equation – power supply, tonearm, cartridge and phono stage all influence sound quality. Let us show you how.
With regular servicing, turntables can outlast electronics and with upgrades, will keep getting better.
The path is simple: bearing, power supply, subchassis, tonearm, cartridge, phono stage. In that order. The Linn Karousel bearing is a game-changer, as is the Rega TT PSU giving precise speed control resulting in impeccable timing, better music, more boogie. And so on.
We’ve been upgrading Regas and LP12s for over 30 years – in John Nilsen (Audio Origami) and our very own Ian Pirie we have two of the best in the business – so we know how to make your deck sound better, just ask.
Music streaming has been around since the ’90s; it has revolutionised how we listen to music.
Those who haven’t embraced streaming often think it’s complex or sounds inferior. At Loud & Clear we’ve been dispelling this myth for a decade; those who’ve attended our regular “Simply Streaming” events will testify!
Brands like Linn, Naim, MOON and dCS have been producing breathtaking streamers since 2009 – outperforming their CD players – and simplicity in themselves to use.
Music streamers come in all shapes, sizes and quality levels. Whether you’re craving Studio Master originals, your CD collection stored on a hard drive or you’re confusing your FLACs with your MP3s & MQAs, we’ll help you make this life-changing jump.
Add a separate streamer (network player) to your existing system to improve the quality of your own digital library and open up the world of subscription music services.
For performance with less hardware, a “one-box” integrated streamer and amplifier usually includes inputs for a turntable, TV, games console et al.
For secondary rooms, streaming speakers – just plug and play as you wish; or we’ll hide the speakers in your ceiling or walls for a system which is truly heard but not seen.
We can teach you all the technicalities, or we can just make it happen, simply and elegantly for you and your entire family…
Quality, convenience and availability; that is music streaming.
100 years ago, we attend live performances to hear a limited repertoire of music. Fast forward to the fifties and we were enjoying recorded music at home. Then followed sixty years of shopping for cassettes, records and CDs, and the joy of mix-tapes!
Now, we’ve evolved to be able to access almost any artist, album or track ever recorded, at audio quality impossible from CD, from the comfort of our armchairs. And with subscriptions to Qobuz, Tidal, Apple, etc from £10/mth, it’s never been cheaper.
60 million+ albums at your fingertips: pick a song, album or playlist, sit back and enjoy.
At the simplest level an integrated system is a wireless or bluetooth speaker. At the highest, a reference high-resolution music streamer with amplifier and loudspeakers. The question is: how good do you want it to sound?
From the one-box maestros such as the Linn Majik DSM, Naim Uniti range or MOON Ace; just add speakers. all the way to our reference one box systems, with DAC and amplification built into the loudspeaker cabinets for a compact but astounding audiophile experience.
Amplify: verb – to make something louder.
Amplification is integral to any great music system. It’s perhaps not the most glamorous part, but it is the very heart which controls, magnifies and ultimately drives your loudspeakers.
Amplifiers come in all shapes, sizes and ‘classes’ and we regularly listen to all types, stocking the best we find in each category and price-point.
A good amplifier will let you connect not only your music sources, but all of your existing home entertainment products too.
The most commonly used is an integrated amplifier which combines the control (preamplifier) and power elements.
A preamplifier performs delicate adjustments to volume and switches inputs.
Power amplifiers are the workhorses of your hi-fi. They boost a variable level signal from the preamp, magnifying power to drive your speakers.
Isolating these different operations usually optimises performance in hi-fi, hence the argument for dedicated pre and power amplifiers. However recent advances in technology and manufacturing mean that integrated amps can certainly give the separates a run for their money.
Loudspeakers are the voice of any hi-fi system and in our experience the single element that causes most debate. From their aesthetics to their sonic signature they can be the most personal of selections.
That’s why we encourage you to come and listen. Reviews may tell you the technical specification and writer’s opinion, but there’s no substitute for listening yourself.
Whether you’re after compact, wireless bookshelves like KEF LS50s or Totem Plays, or a full-range floorstanding giant like B&W 801 D4, we have a wide range to suit all budgets and tastes.
The obvious categorisation of loudspeakers is bookshelf (standmount) or floorstanding. Quite self-explanatory – smaller cabinet bookshelves sit on a unit, shelf or dedicated stand, floorstanders sit on, well, the floor!
Floorstanders have bigger internal cabinet volumes hence can ‘shift more air’, allowing a greater low frequency response – the notes go lower. However, we have an excellent variety of full-range bookshelf speakers too that will delight.
Then there are wireless/Bluetooth speakers, and those with amplification built into the cabinets letting you ‘lose a box’ for a no-compromise, neater playback solution.
Definitely a decision where a viewing and listening session is a must.
Bowers & Wilkins
Compact, convenient, robust and portable. Oh and comparatively inexpensive – just a few benefits of wireless and Bluetooth speakers from Sonos, KEF, Linn, Naim and more.
These offer the simplest level of music streaming, perfect when you need a compact solution or for secondary and tertiary rooms. Not indestructible, but relatively safe even in the most boisterous of children’s bedrooms. And the kids will be experts before you’ve read the manual.
You can also deploy wireless speakers in a bigger hi-fi system – Totem Kin Plays for example, partner perfectly with your smartphone and have a phono input for turntables. KEF LS50s or LSXs are an elegant and excellent speaker solution if you’re looking for audiophile playback without the cables.
The ‘glue’ brings everything together. Every system needs cables and connections and something to stand on, but how important are these ‘peripherals’ and can they offer performance improvements?
Very and yes. We have done the dems, swapping every cable one by one in systems. Interconnects, mains, speaker and Ethernet cables, ALL impact audio performance.
So to your equipment stand, power supplies and network, including Ethernet switch, cabling and router.
Cable choice has a significant impact at each stage of the audio journey.
Like each component, a cable cannot ‘add’ anything to an audio signal. But it can lose plenty. The more data an audio cable retains, through quality of material and shielding, the more information (and hence music) is passed through your system to its ultimate destination, your ears.
There is a demonstrative jump in performance as cable quality improves, and it’s the easiest comparative dem we do. Just ask and we will show you.
The ability of your hi-fi components to perform optimally is dependent on many things, including resistance to resonance and vibration.
Choosing dedicated hi-fi equipment furniture is therefore really quite important, as is matching the aesthetic of your room.
The days of ugly metallic racks are thankfully a distant memory. Pop in to the showrooms to have a look at some of the rather pretty furniture and turntable shelves we use from Quadraspire, Spectral, Custom Design, Hi-Fi Racks, clic and more.
To get you up and running (and fully versed with) your new purchase, Loud & Clear is delighted to offer a scheduled remote installation service. This applies to most of the common products that we stock, including network and digital streaming systems, simple turntables, amplifiers and speakers.
Remote installation gets you hands on with your purchase, but with a Loud & Clear technician on a video call to take you through the unpacking and physical installation of the product. We’ll guide you, step by step, through everything from siting the unit correctly to making all the necessary connections.
Our technician may then ‘dial in’ to your new product to configure and optimise it to your application. This is done via a secure, ‘remote control’ software application such as Teamviewer and will take care of all aspects of setting up your product as we would during a home visit.
Finally your technician will spend time with you to fully handover the operation of your system, giving you an expert ‘masterclass’ in not just the basics, but all of the clever tricks and techniques we’ve amassed during our 25 years of installing these products. Following the session you’ll be fully conversant with your new equipment and able to enjoy its performance and features to the full.
Remote installation can take as little as 10 minutes for a simple turntable setup to an hour or more for a complete digital streaming system. Feedback from our customers who’ve taken advantage of this service has been unanimous, with many feeling far more confident than they’d expected once they got “under the bonnet” of their product, and all feeling a huge sense of satisfaction that they’d contributed to the end result.
A great pair of headphones provides a uniquely immersive experience, putting you firmly in the middle of the music and exposing new depths of detail.
Not only is the performance more intimate, it is more focussed by the exclusion of ambient noise and other distractions.
Loud & Clear offers a comprehensive range of headphones including on and over ear, open and closed back from Grado, Bowers & Wilkins, Meze and more, up to the stunning Focal Utopias.
And of course we have a commensurate range of dedicated headphone amplifiers to extract ultimate musicality.
Great hi-fi is built to last, and usually comes with a 2, 5 or even 10 year guarantee, but even the best components occasionally require servicing or repair.
Many manufacturers issue guidelines advising when their products should be serviced. Naim Audio for example recommend servicing their products every 12 – 15 years to maintain optimal performance. And your newly-serviced treasure will be returned fully tested and with service warranty.
If something does go wrong, manufacturers offer standard repair services, while minor issues can often be carried out here in-house.
Get in touch if you need help..
Every day is turntable day at Loud & Clear. As well as replacement cartridges and upgrades for any turntable, we provide expert servicing for Linn and Rega decks.
We fully service multiple Sondek LP12s every week, comprising a complete strip-down and precise rebuild and calibration, replacement of all perishable parts (oil, springs, grommets, washers, nuts) and advice on any new parts required.
The LP12 upgrade path is legendary and addictive, but not always clear. It’s simple: bearing, subchassis, power supply, tonearm, cartridge, phono stage. In that order. We know what will make your deck sound better, just ask.