F E AT U R E
E V E N TS D I A RY
L AT E S T U P DAT E S
dates & invitations
in hifi, home cinema & ‘smart home’
Welcome to our
C H RI S TMAS
inspirational gift ideas
from Atlas & Cyrus
W H AT ’ S N E W
Naim Audio on demo
See back page for full details
See back page for full details
Thursday Nov 29th
NEAT LOUDSPEAKERS NOW ON DEMONSTRATION AT HOLBURN HIFI.
Thursday Dec 6th
Given the huge piles of electrical waste that is produced every year, let’s hope this prevails.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO THROUGH THE YEAR
IT’S REALLY NICE TO SEE
Welcome to our 2012 newsletter
03 The ‘Smart’ Home : Control4 MUSIC AND A LOT MORE BESIDES THROUGHOUT YOUR HOUSE
– YOU DON‘T EVEN HAVE TO BE THERE…
04 & 05 Streaming Audio MOVE OVER CD, THE FUTURE IS HERE
06 & 07
Welcome to Holburn HiFi & Glasgow Audio’s annual roundup of our latest news. This year we’ve got more than ever to tell you about with exciting additions to our HiFi, Home Cinema and Multi-room Smart Home ranges.
It’s Christmas… A SELECTION OF STEREOPHONIC STOCKING STUFFERS
08 HiFi ‘Extras’ FINISHING TOUCHES AND UPGRADE OFFERS
09 New To Us : Naim Audio ONE OF THE UK’S MOST ICONIC BRANDS ARE LEADING THE WAY IN STREAMING AUDIO
10 Home Cinema OUR FAVOURITE HARDWARE AND HOME CINEMA SEATING
11 Featured Manufacturer : Bose® THE LATEST BOSE® PRODUCTS AND AN INTEREST-FREE CREDIT OFFER
Recommend a friend. The majority of our business comes from repeat custom and recommendation. We’re obviously very happy with this and would like to encourage more so we’ve added a ‘recommend a friend’ form to our web site for existing customers to use.
YOUR FREE INVITATION TO OUR STREAMING AUDIO
When your friend makes their first purchase, we’ll credit your account with something towards your next purchase as a thank you from us.
AND HOME CINEMA/ ‘SMART HOME’ EVENINGS)
Details online along with the form.
12 Our Music & Movie Events
of things we’ve added two brands; Naim and Neat Acoustics. Both are new to us but are long established and highly respected manufacturers. They join other British brands in our line-up such as Arcam, Atlas, B&W, Cyrus, PMC and Rega, collectively proving that at least in the HiFi industry, Britain still has world class manufacturers. These brands are successful worldwide and all are reporting high demand from the Far East and in particular China… a good news story amongst all this doom and gloom.
ON THE HIFI SIDE
SPEAKING OF WHICH, one of the things we’ve noticed in this tougher economic environment is a move away from repeated purchases of cheap ‘disposable’ products to investing in higher quality items that are built to last and hold residual value when the time comes to upgrade or change.
that Ian and Matt have been busier than ever servicing turntables that we sold in the 70s, 80s and 90s some of which have been passed down a generation… usually a belt, a spot of bearing oil, and a new stylus is all that is needed to get them singing again. The continued resurgence in vinyl may be difficult to explain, but the reasons behind the increasing interest in multi-room systems and smart home technology is much easier to understand… this sector has moved on to the point that these systems can control not just home entertainment, but all sorts of household systems (see page 3) and at a price that makes it a sensible consideration for anyone with an interest in this area.
WE’RE PLEASED TO REPORT
too that the Home Cinema market has settled down somewhat… the frantic race between manufacturers to add more and more features looks like it’s reached the stage that there’s not much more these guys can add without looking daft!
Managing Director, Holburn HiFi Ltd.
‘Smart Home’ & Custom Installation WE’VE TALKED ABOUT MULTI-ROOM
for years now, but as you’ll see, our offering in this arena is now far more comprehensive than just home entertainment in multiple rooms. The term ‘Smart Home’ better describes the systems we now design and install, because the latest hardware can be configured to integrate control of almost anything that you would want to use around the home. We’ve used two of the long established integration control manufacturers for some years now, mostly for automating and integrating systems within board rooms and meeting rooms so when choosing which system to major on in the domestic market, it would have made a lot of sense to go with one of them.
For instance, setting the house for WHEN WE TOOK A STEP BACK and looked at ‘away mode’ when you leave for holiday what we wanted to offer; a system that could put the heating system into frost can start small and grow with a client’s needs and budget, easily integrate with prevention mode and tell the lighting many existing home systems, look great and curtains to behave as if the house and work well without costing the earth, was occupied. we decided that relative newcomer Before returning home, a simple Control4 is in a league of its own. command from the mobile can have the house warmed up for your return. THIS LEVEL OF SOPHISTICATION
is far more than many of When fully utilised, a Control4 system us want or need, but the can act as the hub of a modern home, beauty of Control4 is that integrating control over heating, lighting, it can be scaled to suit any curtains, door entry, security cameras requirement. and of course home entertainment and many other functions, within an easy to in its simplest form, the use and consistent user interface. system can be used as a multi-controller for a home entertainment system, replacing the coffee table full of remote controls with a single traditional button remote, an elegant touch screen or even an iPad.
automation functions possible the temptation is to integrate everything but we take the view that ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.’ Telling the system to pour a bath from the office is possible but not one that we recommend… it may well end up cold if you get held up on the way home!
WITH SO MANY REALLY COOL
We’re much happier recommending functions that we believe will have practical applications. With Control4’s 4sight system you can take control using your smart phone.
We now have demonstration Control4 systems running in Glasgow and Aberdeen and we’re always happy to offer a jargon-free tour.
When fully utilised, a Control4 system can act as the central control hub of your home.
If it’s time to buy a new CD player, a little investigation will probably convince you that although CD is not a dead format, a streamer is the way to go.
Streaming Music See back page for full details
celebrated its 30th birthday in October, but more often than not its mention is accompanied by claims that the CD format is being killed off by digital downloads. There’s no doubt that this is the case for Top 40 singles chart type stuff, but we’re not so sure when it comes to more mature music that is likely to be included in a music collection for the long term.
HIGH QUALITY DOWNLOADED MUSIC is, however, increasingly accessible via record companies’ web sites and with high resolution studio quality, this is where streaming really comes into its own. To add streaming to your system, you will need an internet connection, a hard drive and some other inexpensive items that we can advise you on… and of course, a streamer.
AS FAR AS WE’RE CONCERNED,
IF IT’S TIME TO BUY A NEW
THE COMPACT DISC
Streaming vs CD : The Future of HiFi
there’s no reason not to keep buying CDs whether you use them with a CD player or rip them onto a hard drive for use with a streamer and then store them in your loft. This is a much better option than purchasing music through iTunes which delivers music at relatively low quality.
CD player, a little investigation will probably convince you that although CD is not a dead format, a streamer is the way to go. As well as making it easy to play your existing music collection in very high quality many streamers open up other possibilities in terms of accessing new sources of music.
and models to list here, so we recommend you join us for our digital music event at which we’ll be demonstrating a selection of models and giving advice on how to get the best results.
THERE ARE TOO MANY FEATURES
In the meantime here is a selection of our favourite streamers and streaming systems…
Ready to get started? Add one of these streamers to your existing system… Streamers are simply plugged in to your existing HiFi like any other source. (Some units are ‘self-contained’ systems, needing only speakers to play music, see bottom row). They ‘stream’ (play) music stored on devices on your home network such as an iTunes library on a computer or NAS (network attached storage) drive – depending on the model, these connect to your network wirelessly, wired directly to your router or via a power line adaptor plug which utilises your home’s mains wiring for carrying the signal. In addition to playing your own music, streamers are capable of providing access to a huge selection of worldwide internet radio stations, additionally the Sonos and Simple Audio access music services such as Napster and Spotify. Be warned, some services build up a picture of the music you listen to and then play you music the system thinks you might like… you’ll probably end up buying more music than ever! All streamers shown have easy to use control ‘Apps’ for Apple and/or Android devices.
Sonos Connect £279 This is a great starter product to dip your toe into the worlds of streaming and multi-room music. Sonos has most comprehensive choice of on-line services and a great app for Apple and Android devices.
Simple Audio Roomplayer 2 £499
Cyrus Stream XP2 QX £2,300
An upgrade in sound quality terms to the Sonos and Scottish made too!
A perfect choice if you’ve got a Cyrus system, the Stream XP2 QX delivers serious performance and comes with its own advanced remote with built-in screen.
Naim HDX £4,795 A high-end option for those looking for the ultimate in performance, the HDX includes an internal hard drive for storing your music collection. Load CDs into the HDX and it creates a perfect copy in the best audio format (WAV). There is a variant for use with a network drive; the HDX SSD at £4,950.
Prefer a simple ‘one-box’ solution? Just add speakers to these for a complete streaming system…
Sonos Connect Amp £399
Simple Audio Roomplayer 1 £599
Cyrus Streamline 2 £1,400
Naim SuperUniti £3,250 (also main pic opposite page)
Gift Ideas Arcam R-Pac £249
Upgrade the sound from your Mac or PC by plugging this dinky little DAC from Arcam into the USB socket. It’s powered via the USB and has outputs for both HiFi and Headphones; so perfect for home, office or travel… very well thought out and sounds great!
B&W The understated design and brushed aluminium detail on these items from B&W oozes class and it goes without saying that they deliver on the sound side of things too. P3 Headphones £169.99 With the latest addition to B&Ws headphone line up you’ll look, feel and sound a cut above the crowd… as long as you’re not playing Justin Bieber on them!
A5 £399 (above & bottom right) & A7 £699 With Apple’s release of the iPhone 5 (with new docking/charging connection) the days of the traditional iPod dock are numbered. Think of the A5 & A7 as dock without the need to dock. Both models use Apple’s AirPlay system which allows you to play music from PC running iTunes or Apple devices such as an iPad/iPhone via a simple and easy to use app. With the ease of adding a collection of A5s and A7s round the house, they could form an excellent wire-free multi-room system.
Bose® (Available from Holburn HiFi only)
SIE2 £104.95 (£129 for iVersion with iPhone control) We think Bose’s IE2’s are one of the best in ear headphones around and this new Sports version sounds just as good. Sporting-based design features such as ‘StayHear’ ear inserts designed to stay in place during workouts make them the perfect choice for the gym.
SoundLink® Bluetooth® Mobile speaker II £249, AirPlay version also available £299 (Add £40 for leather cover option) This is another of these ‘dock without a dock’ products… it’s the way to go as far as we’re concerned. Wireless connection via AirPlay or Bluetooth® (depending on the version purchased) leaves your phone or iPad in your hands while you enjoy your music. The SoundLink® will fit in an average sized handbag but still manages superb room filling sound.
SoundDock® 10 £499.95 If sound quality takes priority over portability this is the dock for you. Now with a wireless connection adaptor the SoundDock® 10 is compatible with Apple & Android phones and in fact anything that can output audio via Bluetooth®. If you have an existing SoundDock®10, add the Bluetooth® Adaptor for £79.95 QuietComfort® 15 noise cancelling® Limited Edition Blue £279 Bose® noise cancelling models have always been ‘the’ headphone for travel. The system cancels out ambient noise such as the drone of aircraft engines, leaving you free to enjoy your music at normal volume levels. The QC 15 comes with aircraft adaptor, standard cable and iPhone cable with microphone and volume control for hands free calling.
Audioquest DragonFly USB DAC £215 If you have good earphones and listen to them on your laptop while you’re on the move you need a Dragonfly USB… plugged into a USB, it provides a remarkable upgrade over a standard PC connection.
Buy Now Online or Instore
Geneva Model XS £179 If you love great design and want a pocket sized system… this is it! Yes it really does fit in a pocket. Connect via BlueTooth and play away.
Buy all these items and a lot more besides, including our ‘What HiFi’ Award Winners Collection instore or on-line at avaccessoryshop.co.uk For an extra discount, mention this newsletter, or if buying on-line, use promotional code ‘ears2012’ during the checkout process.
Ruark Audio R1 from £159.99 Desktop /portable DAB and FM radio with Alarm function & External input. Available in a range of colours/ finishes.
Seen it for less elsewhere? We think we’re pretty competitive on price, but nobody can be the cheapest every time. If you’ve seen a product you want on a competitor’s site, let us know and if we can we’ll match the price.
SCAN THE QR CODE FOR DIRECT ACCESS TO THE
Not sure what to buy?
THE ULTIMATE GIFT OF MUSIC
If you’re buying a present for a regular customer we can probably offer a few suggestions, but if you’re really not sure, our Gift Vouchers are always a safe option.
All for just
Festive Opening Hours: DECEMBER
+ 6 MONTHS FREE
ONE GIFT. MILLIONS OF REASONS TO LOVE IT. The ultimate Sonos starter pack. Now coming with six months free access to an unlimited amount of music. Making it the ultimate music gift – to give and get. Promotion ends December 31, 2012 or while stocks last. Terms & conditions: www.sonos.com/promo
23 Sunday 12:00-17:00 24 Monday Christmas Eve 10:00-16:00 25 Tuesday, 26 Wednesday Closed 27 Thursday 10:00-19:30 28 Friday, 29 Saturday 10:00-17:30 30 Sunday 12:00-17:00 31 Monday Hogmanay 10:00-16:00 J A N UA RY
01 Tuesday New Years Day Closed 02 Wednesday Closed 03 Thursday 10:00-19:30
HiFi is all about getting the most accurate reproduction of recorded sound. As sound is converted into electrical or digital signals and sent from component to component, distortions caused by losses and errors are inevitable. Atlas cables are designed with the sole aim of minimising such distortions.
HiFi Extras (for the music lover who’s got almost everything)
Atlas Eos Power Cable from £160
Atlas Reference Cable Upgrade
Cyrus Streamer Upgrade
Upgrade to any of the award-winning Atlas Reference interconnect cables (Ascent, Mavros & Asimi) between now and 31st January and receive a guaranteed generous trade-in price for your existing cable.
Cyrus have updated their Streamer range to ‘v2’ models which add support for ALAC (Apple Lossless) and 24-bit/192kHz files. Existing models can be upgraded to the latest specifications…
For more information, scan the relevant QR code or visit the ‘Promotions’ page within the HiFi Section of our websites.
For more information, scan the relevant QR code or visit the ‘Promotions’ page within the HiFi Section of our websites.
There’s no doubt that a good mains lead will improve the sound of many HiFi and Home Cinema components and as recent reviews will testify, the Eos is very good indeed. But we’re happy to let you try these on your own system so you can make your own mind up.
Sennheiser HD800 £999 Sennheiser’s range topping HD800s are a joy to listen to and live with (and exceptionally comfortable to wear). They may not be easy on the pocket, but they are certainly easy on the ear.
Dynaudio Xeo Series If we had a pound for every time we were asked for good wireless speakers… Well, finally they’ve arrived! The Xeo3 stand mounts (£1,365) and the Xeo 5 floor standing model (£2,450) (both including wireless transmitter) sound like a real hifi without the wires and with the amplifiers built into the speakers there’s no need for a separate amplifier. On demo now.
We are delighted to announce that both Holburn HiFi and Glasgow Audio are now stockists of Naim Audio.
WE’VE ALWAYS ADMIRED NAIM
New To Us :
Naim Audio EVENT
Naim Audio See back page for full details
from a distance, but more recently, Naim’s streaming systems have convinced us that we really need to get on board with them. Following our extensive listening tests, we believe that music stored in the WAV (Waveform Audio File) format sounds best. WAV files can, however, present a problem with streamers because the track titles and other information that is needed to choose music tends to go missing during the streaming process. True to Naim’s uncompromising ethos, they created a range of ‘servers’ that resolve this. Products such as the HDX and UnityServe handle the initial ‘bit perfect’ copying of a CD (ripping) into WAV format and then go on to catalogue the album so it’s easy to search later by artist, album or composer etc.
THERE IS AN EXTENSIVE RANGE so we’ve chosen a different set of demo kit between the two shops. The chances are if one shop doesn’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll get it from the other.
Ian, Matt and Tony are just back from a factory tour & training, full of stories
about the lengths to which Naim go in order to ensure the best performance possible from each component. Having had some time to get to know Naim’s range in our demonstration rooms and at home we’re all hooked…
Here’s a taste of some recommended Naim systems (excluding speakers) the likes of which we’ll have on demonstration at our launch event (see back page for details)…
All in one CD & Streaming System
CD 5i Nait 5i
Traditional CD & Integrated Amplifier System
NAC 172XS NAP 155 XS
Streaming Pre-amp/ Power Amp System
HDX NAC 282 SuperCap NAP 250
Streaming ‘Server,’ Pre-amp with Power Supply/ Power Amp System
Yamaha Home Cinema Amps & Soundbars from £260/£1500
Home Cinema See back page for full details
set of three or four letters together and you’ll probably have an acronym that applies to Home Cinema. For us the proliferation of these so called ‘useful features’ is mostly a frustration… it’s great for the manufacturers’ marketing departments when consumers are encouraged to ask ‘does it do?’ questions rather than the one important question…“is it any good?”
ADD A RANDOMLY CHOSEN
What’s new in Home Cinema
Almost every one of these features with its obligatory logo that appears on a home cinema amp (now so many that they’ve run out of space on the front panels and also print them on the back) cost the manufacturer a licence fee, so as well as in many cases making the amp sound worse, they take away from the amount that can be spent on the components that matter. OF COURSE, ALL THIS INNOVATION
DLS Sweden Speakers from £160 (single spkr) Flat panels suitable for wall mounting.
does bring useful features to the market, we just prefer our customers not to have to pay for the duff ones. Fortunately, there are like minded manufacturers like Anthem AV who we’ve been raving about for some time.
Cineak Cinema Seating POA Custom configuration available.
ANTHEM’S RANGE OF
Home Cinema amplifiers have been our firm recommendation for a couple of years, and over this time the model line up hasn’t changed other than some software/firmware changes and the addition of 3D to their even longer running processors… not so good for writing about the latest news, but great if you want a really enjoyable home cinema experience.
Home Cinema Set-up is something of an art, simply ‘plonking down’ the boxes is unlikely to deliver the performance your equipment is capable of. Anthem MRX Amplifiers Did you know we can: from £1099 design and supply theatre seating for your home cinema from manufacturers such as Cineak. Luxury leather, motorised reclining, cupholders and articulated headrests, the choice is yours. calibrate your projector or large screen for best performance. THIS YEAR’S HOME CINEMA EVENING will run according to the usual format; we’ll be demonstrating our reference Home Cinema (with a twist) using both movie and music content and also putting together a really good value for money but high performance system.
Our expert Corey Hall is Imaging Science Foundation certified and with his ‘box of tricks’ can make quite a difference to your Home Cinema viewing.
Spotlight on :
Benefit from interest free credit on Bose® purchases over £600, subject to status, 20% deposit required.
CineMate® 1SR home cinema speaker AS TELEVISIONS GET THINNER and thinner, one system (main pic, above ) £1,300 of the requests we get most these days is “the sound from my TV is terrible, have Surround sound from a simple, easy to you anything that can improve it?” mount soundbar and subwoofer. Until now we’ve often been stumped for • Soundbar + Wireless Acoustimass® a good answer when it comes to a TV Module sitting on its own base because sitting • Flexmount™ Automatic Placement a speaker in front of the screen often Compensation obscures the bottom of the picture. The Cinemate® 1SR really makes you Bose®, however, did a bit of lateral thinking and produced the Solo® system, believe you’re listening to a genuine surround sound system although it’s just a really neat unit that sits under the TV one ‘sound bar’ and a subwoofer. and has a full bodied and expansive sound… top marks to Bose® for this one! Bose® Solo® TV sound system (both pics, left) £349.95 As anyone who has visited our Home Cinema demo room will know, our idea of the ultimate Home Cinema includes a large projection screen and speakers the size of coffins, but yes, we know this just isn’t practical in the majority of living rooms. Here are a couple of systems that do what Bose® do best… fit neatly into a room but still offer the scale of a conventional home cinema system.
Lifestyle® V35 home entertainment system (below) £3,350 High-end surround 5.1 cinema package. • Premium Jewel Cube® speakers • ADAPTiQ® Audio Cailbration • 3D Video Capability • iPod Dock Use of very powerful neodymium magnets allows Bose® to make the Jewel Cube® speakers in the V35 even higher performance and even smaller than their standard cubes.
Please check the Holburn HiFi website for current promotions on Bose® products.
Invitation to our ‘Special Events’
This year we will be running two more of our popular ‘Special Events.’ These events are free to attend, completely free of any obligation and very relaxed; come and go as you please at any time during the event (12.30-7.30) and bring some friends along if you wish. Hope to see you there.
LOE W E
HOLBURN HI FI
Thursday Nov 29th
Thursday Dec 6th
running between 12-30 &19.30, Thursday 29th November
running between 12-30 &19.30, Thursday 6th December
We’ll be demonstrating a number of music streaming systems and advising on how to get the best from your digital music library as well as using the event to launch Naim Audio… an addition to the Holburn HiFi portfolio that we’re all very excited about.
This is a great chance to hear and see our reference cinema system with the latest additions as well as some more modest, great value for money cinema packages.
Streaming Audio & Naim Audio Launch A couple of comments from last year’s events… Excellent way to hear the products, ask questions, and hear enthusiastic and knowledgeable reports… Interesting! Knew nothing about streaming but a little more enlightened. Impressed with the Cyrus/Vienna set up…
www.holburnhifi.co.uk Don’t forget to visit the website regularly for our latest news updates and special offers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Home Cinema & ‘Smart Home’ Evening
We’ll also be showing off our new demonstration Control4 system which can make it easy to control your home cinema or scale up to make your home a ‘Smart Home’ with integrated lighting, heating, entertainment and much more.
SP ECI AL
OF F ER
Price. Less. The Loewe Individual TV. Now £1000 off. Purchase the Loewe Individual TV in 40”, 46” or 55” and benefit from a saving of £1000. Or, if you prefer the 32”, you’ll save £550.