HI FI EQUIPMENT
We offer a range of hi fi products from selected manufacturers. Our main brands are Icon Audio for valve amplifiers, Rotel for solid state amplifiers, Ohm Acoustics for omnidirectional speakers, Oppo multi-format disc players. Turntables, tonearms, cartridges, and phono preamps are in the Vinyl Related category.
As the sound emanating from loudspeakers is analog, at some point in the audio reproduction chain the digital signal has to be converted to analog. It is most commonly done prior to the preamplifier. A Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) is a vital component in the signal chain and there is an increasing variety to choose from.
Digital radio offers several improvements over AM and FM. The quality is better than AM, though not as good as FM. There are many more channels, and with a good antenna there is no interference or background noise.
Products here are to help improve the performance and maintain optical disc players and the actual discs.
We sell a carefully selected range of products for playing optical disks. All provide excellent performance at their price point.
Integrated stereo amplifiers include a pre-amplifier (with source switching and volume control) and two power amplifiers. In the past a phono preamplifier was often included but that is not so common nowadays. Some have switching for a second set of speakers. Tone controls are included on some but are not usually regarded as necessary on higher quality equipment.
To get the best results from headphones a dedicated headphone amplifier is required. Graham Slee has a range of headphone amplifiers for different applications and a version of his Solo amplifiers were chosen for BBC studios.
The Icon Audio HP8 MKII is in fact a miniaturised pure valve hi fi amplifier. We use a custom wound multi-tap output transformer which provides perfect matching to virtually any headphone load. We start with a substantial mains transformer with matching power supply and two output transformers. The HP8 MK II tops the scales at 7kg, giving you an idea of how much iron you get for your money!
Most loudspeakers have drivers that face forward so that the best listening position is in front of them. They are tested in anechoic chambers (no reflections) so give their best results when positioned well away from walls. Some loudspeakers radiate in all directions and are referred to as omni-directional. These are much less specific in their positioning and spread the sound through the listening area more evenly. There are a variety of methods of doing this, some have their drivers facing upwards so that the sound bounces off the ceiling and walls, other use drivers that radiate the sound in a 360° horizontal plane, and some have multiple drivers facing in different directions.
The music signal from a source unit like a CD player does not have sufficient voltage or current to drive loudspeakers so a power amplifier is need to amplify the signals and control the speakers. Most amplifiers are stereo and drive a pair of speakers. When a separate amplifier is used for each channel they are referred to as mono-blocks. If the power amplifier is in the same unit as the pre-amplifier it is termed an integrated amp.
Pre-amplifiers provide switching facilities for a variety of sources, volume control (sometimes with a remote handset), tape out, and output signals suitable to drive power amplifiers. Most do not have the facility to accept a signal from a turntable, so a separate phono pre-amplifier is required.
Sonic Impact T-amps created a sensation in hi fi circles when they came onto the market about 8 years ago. Now there are many brands and models using the Tripath 2020 and similar ICs.
They offer excellent sound quality at low prices, but in general are quite modest in their power output. We offer the Dayton Audio, Trends Audio, Lepai, and Topping brands.
With streaming music services popular nowadays these devices enable you to send the music via your home wi-fi network to stereo systems in various locations in your home.