HiFi Lounge

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HiFi Lounge last won the day on January 14 2015

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    Paul

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  1. Hi Everyone, So we are unashamedly big Wilson Audio fans at HFL, I feel extremely privileged to have been to David Wilson’s house to hear the extraordinary Wamm Master Chronosonic Speakers a few years ago and although they gave the best HiFi Experience I have ever heard at knocking on for £1 million with the subs that was never going to be achievable but quietly I have always dreamed of adding a pair of Wilson Alexx’s to our ‘Highend’ demo room so with the news last week that Wilson will be launching the all new version on March 29th well I couldn’t resist and am now excitedly looking forward to them arriving to be here all ready for once we are out of lockdown all being well, although they ‘Only’ cost £139,000 for me they will be like HFL’s own pair of Mini Wamm’s. The million dollar question is though what colour should we go with bearing in mind that Wilson can do any colour imaginable? As I plan to have these on permanent demo for many years to come I didn’t want to play it safe so we have chosen a colour that should be pretty unique I would guess, all will be revealed once here but as a clue they are in tribute to one of my favourite artists. More info once I have some and I really look forward to holding an open day as soon as we can to showcase the new Wilson Audio Alexx V speakers once normality returns. All very exciting, Cheers, Paul.
  2. Hi All, Some headphone news for a change, the headphone market has definitely settled down now from 3-4 years ago where there seemed to be something new coming out every week so it is nice to have something new to look forward to with the McIntosh MHA200 Valve amplifier just announced. McIntosh certainly know how to make good looking kit and this really is pure McIntosh, it reminds me of a mini version of the Iconic McIntosh 275 Stereo Amp, it is guaranteed to deliver also catering for 6.3mm, Stereo and Independent left + right XLR's with Balanced and single ended inputs and at £2795 it certainly won't break the bank and is guaranteed to drive any headphone out there. I ordered our demo model as soon as I saw it and we have sold a couple already so I can see this being a really popular product for McIntosh. During this Lockdown we have finished moving the Headphone Showroom to it's new, more intimate, location so the MHA200 will definately be taking pride of place in there. Please find a few pictures and a link to more info on our website below - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/mcintosh/headphones-mcintosh/ Cheers, Paul.
  3. Hi all, So I must admit I have become a bot of an Accuphase fan boy since taking on the brand last year, firstly there isn't much HiFi out there that is as well made as Accuphase but at the end of the day that is pointless if it doesn't sound any good and that is where Accuphase really wins as whether looking at their integrated amps or their Pre/Power's you get a very natural and organic sound but with no loss of detail, it really is a sound you could listen to all genres of music too for many hours on end without any fatigue and as a bonus for me they look gorgeous too in a retro way, I never thought I'd like Gold HiFi to be honest but it really does ooze class. Anyway enough of me gushing about how much I like Accuphase, the point of this blog is that last week we took delivery of the new Accuphase DP-570 CD/SACD/DAC so now we can demo a full Accuphase system, this has just come out and apparently we have the first model in the country, it retails for £10,200 so not cheap but actually when you look what it offers it isn't bad value really, since getting it I have been having a good listen and it really doesn't disappoint, what I love is it will play CD and SACD but it also has digital inputs and outputs so for me the winner is that you can hook a Melco up to it over USB and you have all your digital bases covered whether you have a big CD/SACD collection or you like to stream or have a big HiRes library you can access everything at a really high level with a lovely smallish system, currently I am running our E-800 Class A integrated amp with the DP-570 partnered with a Melco N100 into the Focal Scala Utopias all hooked up with Atlas Asimi cables and it really does sound epic, wish we could have everyone in for a listen. Anyway if you are looking for a new high quality CD/SACD spinner or a digital hub please feel free to get in touch to discuss. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/accuphase/ Regards, Paul.
  4. Hi All, Just a quickie to say at last Audio Research have announced their Reference 80S Stereo Power amp, this is the one everyone has been waiting for as the outgoing Reference 75se was a very popular amp for Audio Research and the new 80S is bound to carry on that tradition, we have ordered our demo model so that will be with us shortly, if this is of any interest please feel free to get in touch as I'll be happy to lend it out bearing in mind we are currently closed for demos unfortunately. We have got the Reference 160M Mono's and 160S Stereo amps already on demo so it will be nice to finish the trio with the 80S. At 80 Watts of power for each channel from its KT150 output valves it will be enough to drive the most challenging of speakers and with their newish design with the floating VU meters it really is a serious amp and for a lot of our customers when it comes to musicality and involvement then nothing touches Valves, especially from Audio Research, arguably the leaders in Valve based HiFi. In other really exciting news, they are also shortly releasing a £5000'ish integrated amp, I don't have any info on this at the moment but this promises to be very exciting indeed, more news to follow. Please find a link to the Audio Research Reference range below and a few pics of the imminent Reference 80S Stereo amp. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/audio-research/reference-series/ Cheers, Paul
  5. Hi Everyone, Hope everyone is OK and keeping themselves safe and entertained somehow, it certainly looks like this Lockdown is going to be a long one unfortunately, have to say we have started 2021 with a bang as it has been very busy which I am extremely grateful for, I just thought I would do a quick post to mention that in theory we are still allowed to offer 'Click and Collect' although how essential a journey to HFL is open to debate I guess but with everyone looking for ways to pass time then I guess we are supplying a service for mental well being so if I have anything here you would like to try at home please get in touch, if you can't get to us to collect then still get in touch as if you are not too far away we can always throw anything in the van to drop off at your doorstep, masked and distanced of course. Below was yesterday's pile of HiFi goodies that customers had arranged to 'Click and Collect' to try at home with a similar amount going out today, there really is no point all this great kit sitting here not being enjoyed so I am really happy to lend it out if I have it here. Please feel free to get in touch regarding anything, it is a real shame we can't have anyone in for demo's at the moment but it is still great to be able to talk HiFi and in general over the phone and email so don't be a stranger Take care everyone, Regards, Paul.
  6. Hi Everyone, Firstly Happy New Year, here we go again, another year and unfortunately another Lockdown, needless to say the only thing that really matters is that we all stay safe and well as the Virus is certainly much worse at the moment so we really can’t be too careful at this time, with the first lockdown I hardly spoke to anyone who had it or knew anyone who had but this time it seems to be everywhere, who would have thought last March during the first lockdown it would be worse come January but all we can hope is that the vaccine is the way out and this will be the last Lockdown we have to endure and come spring there really will be shoots of normality showing. Lockdown 3.0 Plan So in the meantime whilst we are in Lockdown 3.0, which I can see going onto March sometime, I will be in the shop as normal so please feel free to give me a ring or fire over an email to discuss anything HiFi related and if you’d like to home demo anything again please don’t hesitate to ask as there are ways and means to get equipment to you, may as well empty the shop into people’s homes as it is pointless all this kit sitting here gathering dust so again just give me a shout and we’ll do all we can to accommodate your requirements. Also all our brands are still manufacturing under government guidelines so although is some cases deliveries may take longer we can still supply all the products from our portfolio with many suppliers delivering direct to customers which is very helpful. So again please be extra careful at this time, let’s all get through this together and come out the other side soon with a new appreciation of how awesome life is and our freedom to come and go as we please also is. Keep well, Regards, Paul.
  7. Hi All, So here we are at the end of 2020, I think it is fair to say it ended up being a year that none of us expected and I’m not really sure what to say really other than good riddance, surely 2021 has got to be an improvement. As bad as it has been on so many levels the only thing that ultimately matters is that we are all safe and well, never has the saying ‘If you have your health then you have everything’ been so true and as we head into a different type of Christmas and an uncertain start to 2020 then I’ll raise a drink to that. On a personal note I really want to thank everyone for their support throughout 2020, when Boris announced the first lockdown I remember saying to Wendy that I thought we were screwed, I mean who is going to buy HiFi when there is this much uncertainty around, luckily I was wrong and we have had our best year ever which is crazy when you stop and think about it as we have been shut for over a third of the year and we couldn’t hold any open days to promote new products, but with everyone being forced to stay at home, not socialising, no holidays it has been a case of buying things for home and luckily we fell into that category, we have done the same, our home HiFi has had a total overhaul this year, but on the flip side I feel extremely sorry for businesses that have been affected the other way as running your own business has its challenges and for no fault of their own a lot of good businesses have fallen on hard times, it was like Business Russian Roulette so I am grateful we have been very fortunate here so thanks again everyone, it really is much appreciated. 2020 HiFi Action! Anyway onto more positive things, So it is always nice to look back at the top HiFi releases of the year but understandably there hasn’t been the normal amount of product releases due to manufacturer’s struggling to get parts and I would say without shows and open days to promote them they have been holding back till normality returns but for me there have still been some standout products that I would like to highlight below - To start with we had the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme music server / player earlier in the year, for me this transformed what is possible for digital music, also earlier this year PMC launched their new Twenty5i range of speakers, a refinement on an already stunning range that improved them again, then we have the Franco Serblin Ktema speakers, I find these totally beguiling, offering a unique and captivating sound, then Wilson Audio unleashed the new Sabrina X redefining what is possible from a smallish speaker, in reality no one needs more than a Sabrina X, more recently Fyne Audio launched the F501SP, a really brilliant speaker that is so musical they make you want to rediscover your music collection all over again, I also want to mention the 2 CAD USB Cables, both are brilliant but the top of the range USB II transformed my home system for the better in a way I have never heard a cable do before, well worth a try, finally we bought on Accuphase this year and I have become a bit of a fan, they are so well built but most importantly all the products just sound right, I have never taken on a brand before that has had so much interest as Accuphase so I’m looking forward to adding some more demo bits next year. So I guess looking at the above it has been another pretty stellar year but I have a feeling once normality returns we are going to be spoilt with new HiFi components coming thick and fast, certainly something to look forward to. Favourite Albums of 2020 A bit like HiFi I wouldn’t say 2020 has been a vintage year but there are still 3 albums that stood out from the rest for me, if you have anything you recommend that I may have missed though please let me know. 3rd Place The Killers The first one that grabbed me was The Killers “Imploding The Mirage’ this is definitely the best album they have released since ‘Sam’s Town’, it is worth buying just for the 1st track that I can wait to see live, it is just an explosion of energy that makes you want to jump up and down in a crowded stadium somewhere. It’s a Tie For No 1 Now trying to choose between the next 2 albums for my favourite of the year is impossible so I’m going to to a joint 1st place I’m afraid. First we have Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Letter To You’ this is classic Bruce and the E Street material and arguably the best rock album they have done as a group since Born In The USA, I love the fact he has recorded 3 songs wrote originally in the 70’s, ‘Ghosts’ is also worth a shoutout but in all honesty every song is pure Bruce + E Street band, another album I am desperate to see live at some point. So what in my humble opinion can share top spot with my Idol Bruce, well that honour goes to Jack Garratt’s ‘Love, Death and Dancing’ I loved his first album but we had to wait 4 long years for the follow up which quite honestly I am addicted to, brilliantly produced and written with catchy melodies that is beautifully sung that sounds awesome on a great HiFi, I’ve just treated myself to the Vinyl for Christmas, if you haven’t listened to Jack’s work before, basically he is a one man band, very much like Prince in that regard, so writes, sings, produces and plays all the instruments, give either ‘Better’ or ‘Circles’ a try on Tidal / Qobuz and see what you think. Finally this isn’t released till next year but you can listen now on Qobuz, The White Stripes Greatest Hits, been listening to this a a lot lately and I’d forgotten how much I love this band, such a raw and powerful sound, quite incredible for just 2 people, well worth a listen. Looking ahead to 2021 So you would think 2021 has got to be a better year than 2020 although it may take till Spring / Summer I guess but here’s hoping we can start to see normal life returning, personally I’m desperate for a fix of live music again and I really hope we can start having our Open Days again, really missed them to be honest as they are always so much fun and it is a great way to stay in touch with everyone. For HFL we have some exciting news early next year regarding a new business venture, the headphone shop is being moved to another more intimate room to make way for something a little different, a first for UK retail so please watch this space. HFL Motorsport Amazingly we pretty much got a full season in our Radical which was great news + I’ve done a lot of Karting this year, the karting will continue at Rye House in the Senna Cup next year, if anyone wants to join me get in touch as it is so much fun and really doesn’t break the bank and it really is some of the best racing you can experience. After 3 years of the Radical adventure it is time to park that for 2021 as I am going to be entering a different championship driving a different Marque, one that is very close to my heart so I’m very excited to be able to announce more early next year. I really thought I could do a couple of year of Motorsport then walk away but it is now in my blood and I am fully addicted so will continue as long as I can afford it. So all that is left to say is a huge thanks for everyone's support this year and although this Christmas probably isn’t the one we all had planned, we were supposed to be staying at Wendy’s Mums’ but had to cancel at the weekend after we went into tier 4, we just want to wish everyone the best Christmas and New Year possible, stay safe and well and let’s all look forward to a more normal 2021 all being well. Take care everyone and have a good one. Best Wishes, Paul, Wendy and Ady.
  8. Hi All, Hope everyone is safe and well, over the last couple of months it has been pretty frantic in here which I am very thankful for but one of the casualties has been that I haven’t had any time for an blogs and updates on the latest goings on at HFL. As we said before even a world pandemic doesn’t appear to stop HiFi and over the last month or so we have had some exciting new demo products come in so I normally would write a quick blog about each but as the year draws to an end I thought I would just do a post covering everything new we have here so please see below for a real Santa bag of HiFi treats and if anything interests you please feel free to get in touch. Fyne Audio 501SP Speakers I’m a big fan of the original Fyne Audio F501’s, they really are unbeatable for the money and Fyne have done it again with their new higher end version, the F501SP, at under £3000 they really are brilliant and are well worth a listen if you are looking for speakers at this price point. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/fyne-audio/f500-series/ Chord Ultima 6 Stereo Power Amp. So we have the Chord Reference Ultima 2’s and Ultima Pre here which I love but at nearly £50k they are not going to fit everyone's budget so we have now added the Ultima 6 Stereo Power amp to our demo lineup which absolutely sings and at £5995 is a tad more affordable. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/chord-electronics/chord-electronics-full-size/ Franco Serblin Accordo Essence Speakers Franco Serblin speakers have been a bit of a revelation to me in 2020, I am totally captivated by the Ktema but we now have the Accordo Essense on permanent demo which completes the full range of Franco Serblin speakers for customers to listen to, they are extremely musical and natural sounding and obviously stunning to look at, there really are a lot of speakers out there but the Franco Serblin Speakers really do stand out in a crowded market place. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/franco-serblin/ Levinson TT no 5105 Turntable So we have just taken in the new Mark Levinson no 5105 Turntable, beautifully engineered and at £5399 not ridiculous money, I'm just deciding which cartridge to fit to it, probably a Dynavector of some kind, maybe an XX2 but this will be well worth a listen up against the Rega Planar 10, new SME Model 6 and the Michell Orbe, we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to quality turntables. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/mark-levinson/ Arcam ST60 Streamer We also now have the new Arcam ST60 streamer on demo which caters for all the major streaming services and is a Roon endpoint and at £1199 really is cracking value, I've been using it for a few demo's lately and really does sound good so will be a great way to get in to streaming without breaking the bank or a nice upgrade from something like a BlueSound Node 2i. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/arcam/arcam-hda-range/ JBL L82 Classic Speakers I love our JBL Classic 100’s so I’m really pleased to have added the smaller and cheaper at £1999 JBL82’s to our lineup, they really is nothing like this range from JBL, unashamedly retro but sound excellent which is the main thing I guess but you can’t help but love the looks. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/jbl/ New PrimaLuna Integrated Amps. PrimaLuna is one of our most popular brands, everyone loves them when they hear them so although the Evo 400 Integrated is our most popular amp in their range I thought it made sense to add a Evo 100 and Evo 200 Integrateds also to cater for everyone's budgets. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/primaluna/ IsoAcoustics ZaZen Platforms IsoAcoustics has been very popular for us this year, anyone that has tried their Gaia’s of Orea’s have nothing but praise for what they do so now they have bought out their ZaZen range of Isolation Platforms, we have both models on demo, they are ideal for Turntables and Preamp, DAC’s and sources so if you want more from your system then they are well worth considering. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/isoaccoustics/isoaccoustics-delos/ Bryston BR-20 Streaming Preamp Finally we have the new Bryston BR-20 Preamp, this is due early January but I am really looking forward to trying this myself, basically a streaming Preamp that can be partnered with a Poweramp to give a really nice and discreet highend system, for me this partnered with a Bryston 4B3 will be epic. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/bryston/pre-amps/ Thanks for reading and if anything takes your fancy please feel free to get in touch. All the best and take care, Regards,
  9. Hi all, I hope everyone is safe and well, we say that so much over the years but never before has it meant so much so we really hope everyone is OK and keeping sane, especially as we are now in another lockdown and face an uncertain winter ahead, the first lockdown was actually good timing for HiFi retail as it was in the Spring / Summer which is always quieter but Lockdown 2 really couldn’t have come at a worse time as the 2 months up to Christmas are generally the busiest months of the year, which I’m sure will be the same for most retail shops, but onwards and upwards as we are all in this together and as long as we have our Music then the tough times will always be made a little easier to deal with. Lockdown 2.0 Plan! So during this Lockdown I will still be in the shop everyday as normal although obviously we will be closed for demo’s but as in the first lockdown if you’d like to discuss or order anything HiFi related please get in touch and as our home demo service was so popular the first time around we will start that up again so if you would like to try anything in your system at home and I have it here we will find a way to get it to you, may as well use this extra time at home wisely eh? Alternatively we can also offer the so called ‘Click and Collect’ route where if you do want to borrow anything just let me know and I can meet you at our door to hand over anything I have here for you to take home to try. Bruce Springsteen ‘Letter To You’ A Real Treat from The Boss. In better news, as a big Bruce Springsteen fan I have to say that his new album with the E-Street band ‘Letter to you’ is a real belter and is perfect way to beat the Lockdown Blues, for me it is one of his best albums ever, I think you have to be a lifelong fan to understand where he is coming from with it though as it is quite introspective with Bruce looking back over his career and his friends that have now passed as in ‘Last Man Standing’ where he is singing about being the last member of his first band, The Castiles, still alive, I particularly like that he has revisited 3 songs he wrote in 1972 but never got released, in ‘If I were a Priest’ his voice has never been better. Another stand out song is ‘Ghosts’ which is made to be played live in front of 80,000 adoring fans, I really hope that day comes soon as for me the biggest casualty this year has been the loss of live music, this is the first year since I was 14 that I have not been to a live concert, so 38 years of gigging, normality can’t come back soon enough as I can't wait to be chanting BRUUUUUCE in a stadium somewhere again like in the good old days that we all took for granted. Most importantly please stay safe and well everyone and for any HiFi enquiry’s please don’t hesitate to get in touch. All the best, Paul, Wendy and Ady.
  10. Hi Everyone, Well as we enter Lockdown 2 there is actually some good news out there as Naim and Focal are doing some really cracking packages comprising or Naim Uniti products partnered with Focal speakers that also comes with 4 meters of Naim speaker cables terminated so you have an awesome system that is already to run straight out the box where you can save up to £1800, please find more information below but if you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch as I'll be in the office everyday as normal. Cheers, Paul.
  11. Season 3 Done and Dusted, What To Do Next Year? Hi All, So in this strange year that is 2020 it is amazing that we had a season at all in our Radical SR1 but fair play to Radical for pulling it off, we have just finished with 2 race weekends, one at Brands Hatch on the full GP layout, this was a first for me and was another tick on my motorsport bucket list then last weekend we signed off with 2 days at Donington Park which along with Silverstone if my favourite UK track. At Donington the first race and qualifying was dry but then the end of the world happened as a monsoon hit, they tried to run the race but it was definitely the worst conditions I have ever driven in, even going round behind the safety car we had guys spinning off, give me a dry, hot and sticky track any day of the week, anyway after 5 laps it was abandoned, a sorry way to end the season but that kind of sums up 2020 I guess. So that is the end of Season 3 in our Radical SR1, it has been brilliant fun with some huge highlights, I really never thought I would be lucky enough to get an opportunity like this, yes I wish I was faster but it really has been an amazing experience. What to do next year though, I can stay in the SR1, as there is talk of longer races next year which I like the sound off, take the SR1 into a different championship, upgrade it to an SR3 and try the 750 Moto Club or do something totally different, maybe look at racing a Lotus of some kind, one thing is for sure it is now in my blood so if I can I definitely want to carry on racing in one form or another. Anyway please find some pictures below from Brands Hatch and Donington Park. Cheers, Paul.
  12. Hi Everyone, So the vinyl revival show's no sign of stopping, saying that I think it is time we stop calling it a revival as I would say Vinyl is now here to stay good and proper, it has seen off that pesky challenger in the form of CD and rightly so, the only reason really that vinyl has shown such dexterity is because it just sounds so damn fine, I know there is the whole nostalgia thing and us humans like to own stuff but at the end of the day the main reason vinyl is now so strong is because it just sounds so right, for me if you love your music then you really do need a turntable in your system. So bearing this in mind I am really pleased to announce that we are now have the new SME Model 6 turntable on demo + we have the awesome Model 20 that will soon be installed into our Reference System as it can't really be a Reference System without a turntable and for me SME are amongst the best in the world so the Model 20 will fit in there just perfectly. SME Model 6 So this is a really exciting new turntable from SME, hardly entry level at £5995 but this is now where the SME range starts and it is unmistakably an SME thanks to it's stunning build quality and design, from what I understand it is made from a premium high density aircraft grade material that is exclusive to SME but once you experience it in the flesh you really can appreciate the quality, we have partnered our Model 6 with one of my favourite cartridges, the Kiseki Blue, I have found the Kiseki's really work well with SME as SME's are a very honest presentation but the Kiseki's just add a touch of warmth to give that lovely analogue sound. We are one of the first in the world to have the Model 6 on demo so please feel free to get in touch to book a demo, this price point is new ground for SME but I can see it being very popular indeed as it really does sound fantastic. SME Model 20 There isn't a lot I can say about the SME Model 20 to be honest as it really is a classic high performance turntable, coming in at over 30 kg's just shows how well engineered this turntable is, when I started thinking of putting a turntable into our reference system the Model 20 was top of my list, fitted with the SME Series V tonearm it really is a stunning turntable but any turntable is only as good as it cartridge, now I love Dynavector so I thought there is no point in mucking around so we decided on the top of the range £5995 DRT XV-1t to partner it, still deciding on the phono stage to be honest but hope to have it installed into the Reference system very soon as I just can't wait to hear it. So we now have 4 SME Turntables on demo from the new Model 6, then the Model 12, 15 and 20 so if you'd like to take your vinyl playback to the next level please feel free to get in touch. Please find some pics below, first of the Model 6 then the 20 and a link to SME on our website - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/sme/turntables-sme/ Cheers, Paul.
  13. Hi All, A couple of bits of Sonus Faber news, firstly from now till the 31st December Sonus Faber are holding a promotion where if you trade in your current speakers you will get the full new value back on them against a new pair of Sonus Faber speakers which really is a cracking deal, if you would like more information please feel free to get in touch, this promotion is on Sonus Faber speakers starting with the Sonetto Range all the way to the very top models. Also we now have the new Sonus Faber Lumina I and III speakers on demo, now the strange thing is that I never thought I'd get excited by normal box design Sonus Faber, definitely used to more elaborate designs from them, but I have to say in true Sonus Faber tradition they are beautifully made in the classic wood/leather finish but actually they sound fantastic which is the main thing and for £799 for the book shelf's and £1999 for the floorstanders I have to say they seem like really good value so if you'd like a listen please feel free to get in touch. Please find some pics below and a link to them on our website - https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/sonus-faber/lumina-collection/ Cheers, Paul.
  14. Hi All, I am really pleased to say that we have now added Franco Serblin speakers to our portfolio, for those who don't know Franco Serblin was best known for forming Sonus Faber in 1983 and creating many stunning speaker designs which were always considered beautiful in design but also extremely musical and natural in presentation, In 2006, after 33 years at Sonus Faber, he left to pursue starting a speaker company in his own name designing even more beautiful speakers where catching the emotion of the music was paramount, sadly he passed away in 2013 but he has left us with an astonishing lecagy. One of my first High End Audiophile memories was hearing a pair of Franco Serblin designed Sonus Faber Extrema's at a friends house and being absolutely transfixed by what I was hearing and I was really hopeful that the Franco Serblin range would give me that emotion which I am pleased to say they do, especially the Ktema which is one of the best speakers I have ever heard. At the moment we have 3 of the 4 speakers in the range on demo with the Accordo Essence following shortly, all 3 pairs we have here are some of the most beautiful speakers I have ever seen, a real Franco Serblin trait and all sound very musical and not HiFi. I do have to say a special word about the flagship Ktema though, this was Franco's last design which was 5 years in the making and all I can say is that it is not like any other speaker I have ever heard, for a start it is a 4 way design with 2 mid range drivers, these along with the tweeter are at the front of the cabinet with 2 bass drivers located at the rear firing into the Sycamore enclosure and venting out the sides, this is to create the live sound where the singer is at the front and the band behind and although the dynamics and presentation are extremely natural it is the bass that struck me as it is so different to all other bass I've experienced before as it uses the cabinet to create a very organic bass, very natural, you can feel the cabinet moving as the drivers fire into the back panel, it really does give texture and realism to the lower end, still fast and defined but really well integrated into the music, really hard to put into words but these speakers really do need to be heard, no wonder Ken Kessler in HiFi News gave them 89% saying it is one of the finest speakers he has ever heard and he couldn't imagine an owner ever parting with them, a truly great parting gift from Franco Serblin. Please find the range below on our website + some pics, with the Lignea first, then the Accordo followed by the incredible Ktema, if you have any questions or you would like a listen please give me a ring to book an appointment. https://hifilounge.co.uk/product-category/brands/franco-serblin/ Cheers, Paul.