Posted on Sun, 22 Aug, 2010
Posted by Peter


High end hi-fi equipment isn’t just about the brand, the look or the feel of a product, it’s about a system’s combined ability to make music sound more real and to evoke more of an emotive reaction from music at home. If you love a particular artist, album, recording, symphony or live recording, high end equipment should bring you one step closer and allow you to hear every nuance of a performance and get as much as possible from the experience as you can.

High end hi-fi might seem strange or overindulgent to “joe public”, yet as a metaphor, high end hi-fi is easily comparable to the experience and joy of performance road car. As an example that fits, Ferrari originally started making road cars to pay for motor racing. If motor racing is the “real thing”, their road going cars were designed to get as close as possible to that experience in a more practical form, obtainable for non motor racing drivers, albeit with a reasonably stacked wallet.

High end hi-fi follows along the same logic. Unless you have the time and energy to go to a gig or concert every single evening, high end hi-fi is the “road going” variety of a live music or a real time performance – the closest possible alternative. We’d go one step further to say the sound of the equipment can be favourably compared to the “driving experience” of a car. It’s arguably much more important than the look or the brand, yet we all have our preferences for the aesthetics, and thankfully there is something available to suit every taste – from the traditionally Sugden or Primare, to the shiny and impressive Chord Electronics or Shanling.

Unlike high performance cars popularised in magazines and on television as objects of desire, somehow high end hi-fi is given less coverage and is less understood to joe public. After all, most people have become used to a market where products get cheaper and cheaper, essentially cater to the mp3 generation. Most of these offer substandard sound quality that many have become used to as all they should expect from a music system.

Having said that, we’ve lost count of the number of customers we’ve had in store looking for an iPod docking system or similar only to quizzically and curiously ask about a high end piece of equipment on display. We usually invite them to sit down and have a listen for a minute to what a £20k or £30k system can do. In most cases, this minute turns into half an hour, an hour or even longer and many of these customers have become future or repeat high end audio customers. It goes to show, the interest and desire for better sound is there at home, we just all have to do our part to make people aware of it.

As we said though, it’s not just about the brand, the look or the feel or the equipment – a well set-up high end audio system plays back music in a way that has the ability to move you, to thrill you, to wake you up, to reinvigorate you and to change your mood in practically any way depending on what you choose. Put into these terms, obtaining an even better sound from an audio system doesn’t seem so strange. If you love music, high end equipment is designed to give you more enjoyment from your music.

Whilst high end equipment and speakers will give you the closest experience to the real thing, you’ll be happy to know you don’t have to go all out to enjoy excellent sound. Our high end range starts from £1000 and with 0% finance available on most total spends over £1000, a perfect music system might be more obtainable than you thought. If you’re new to “high end” or new to the idea of separates or hi-fi in general, we recommend visiting our showroom to hear what a proper audio system can do. We’ll warn you though, like most of our curious shoppers, you’re likely to stay longer than you expected and there is a definite chance of becoming one of our repeat customers!