Loudspeaker Set up Guide


Room treatments


Room treatment comes up a lot in converation with our customers and I wanted to give you my own take on it. I don't doubt that they can make a difference but many of the treatments are expensive and I'd argue that they are simply not needed in most cases. I've always found a degree of scepticism helps keep my wallet from being overlite, especially when there's a way of sorting it out more affordably.

Here is an explanation of what common issues relating to listening rooms

"Room treatment products play a crucial role in improving the sound quality of a stereo system by addressing acoustic issues within the listening environment. The acoustics of a room can significantly impact the way sound waves behave, leading to problems such as reflections, standing waves, and resonances. Here's how room treatment products can help:

  1. Reducing Reflections:
    • Absorption Panels: These are designed to absorb sound waves and reduce reflections. Placing absorption panels strategically on walls and ceilings helps minimize the impact of sound bouncing off surfaces. This results in a clearer and more focused sound, as unwanted reflections can cause distortion and coloration.
  2. Controlling Standing Waves:
    • Bass Traps: Low-frequency sound waves can create standing waves in a room, leading to uneven bass response. Bass traps are designed to absorb these low-frequency waves, preventing them from building up and causing peaks and dips in the bass response. This helps achieve a more balanced and accurate low-end reproduction.
  3. Addressing Resonances:
    • Diffusers: These are devices that scatter sound waves, helping to break up standing waves and reduce room resonances. Diffusers are especially useful in larger rooms where standing waves can be more pronounced. They can enhance the overall sense of space and improve the clarity of the sound.
  4. Enhancing Clarity:
    • Ceiling Clouds: Suspended baffles or clouds can be installed on the ceiling to absorb and diffuse sound. This is particularly effective in rooms with high ceilings, as it helps control reflections from above, improving the overall clarity of the sound.
  5. Optimizing Speaker Placement:
    • Room Analysis Tools: Using acoustic measurement tools and software, you can analyze the room's acoustics and optimize the placement of speakers and seating. This ensures that the sound reaches the listener in a balanced and coherent manner.
  6. Customization for Room Characteristics:
    • Bass Management Systems: In some cases, electronic solutions such as bass management systems can be used to tailor the low-frequency response to the specific characteristics of the room. These systems can include equalization and room correction features to compensate for room-induced anomalies.

In summary, room treatment products work together to create an acoustically controlled environment that minimizes unwanted reflections, standing waves, and resonances. This leads to a more accurate and enjoyable listening experience, allowing the stereo system to reproduce sound in a way that closely matches the original audio source"

But is any of this needed?
My take is that most rooms are not particularly problematic. What I mean by that is that you can make a good sound in them. Even rooms which seem almost impossible. Our showroom has no interior walls. So our large and small demo rooms (shown in the pictures) are made of metal Mechano filled with rockwool and then boarded out. Despite this both rooms were very easy to get good sound from and at low cost. All we had to do in the big one was carpet and put some curtains up. We still felt the room was "live" so we hung a patterned drape on the wall and this solved the echo problem.

In the small room we needed the curtains and an Ikea rug because the floor is laminate. Nothing else was needed. Zilch. This is possible the best of the two rooms but also the smallest.

I'm not claiming these are the greatest sounding rooms. However we feel (always have) that our demo rooms should simply duplicate what folk have at home. We are not looking for perfection because that would almost be like trickery. Besides our demo rooms don't need to be perfect as their job is simply to allow us to demonstrate differences. Both do that very well.

In my 40 plus years installing I have very rarely come across a room in which I could not make a sound I was happy with. In fact I was normally pleased and the customer was delighted. Beams can be tricky as can rooms that are "minimalist" and contain lots of glass and hard surfaces. These can easily be fixed by rugs, throws and even those large canvas style pictures which you can hang on the wall and will break up hard reflective surfaces.

None of these things are expensive and none of them will effect the way the room looks in a negative way. People get very agitated when we do that. So we take real World measures to fix problems. Nobody wants or needs an anechoic chamber to live in.

Audiophiles often assume rooms are NOT good sounding. And yet often they go to shows (held in hotel shoeboxes) and judge the merit of equipment based on listening under these conditions. Which is contradictory. Of course people interested in audio will want to go and look at audio equipment but it always pays to be a little dismissive of the sound you hear in these environments. Far far better to listen at "bake offs" and even in retailers listening rooms. Or of course at home.

You could argue that most of the simple fixes I've mentioned are in fact "room treatments". If so they're practical and affordable. However room treatment products are often expensive (the one pictured above is £289) and I question that they offer good value and are even necesary. I also think that most people will prefer to spend their spare money on music than adding things that run the danger of making your lounge look like a recording studio.

I've also spent some time playing with room treatment software built into electronics. These effectively map your room and then you input data into them about the location of windows, doors, hard surfaces etc. The software then performs some digital wizardry and "corrects" the signal to compensate. They can be extremely time consuming but at the end you wind up with a correction which you can listen to and determine of you prefer it or not. You can usually switch between corrected and uncorrected to enable you to make a decision. In all but one case I ended up back to "uncorrected" and in the other instance I simply couldn't make my mind up. I am sure others will disagree with me.

Most "room issues" can be solved by good set up. This isn't complex and I'm in the process of writing an article about it which covers all the stuff that we use routinely on a day to day basis in the store. Once you've got that right we generally find any further issues can be solved by the use of items to soften the room and damp reflections. And without spending a great deal. In any event there is no one size fits all. And we'd be more than happy to advise if you wish to explore any of these issues further.


Rega Naia - Sound Advice Review


“It’s a terrible cliché to say it’s like hearing things for the first time but I’d buy you the beverage of your choice if within ten records, you weren’t made aware of a nuance you hadn’t heard previously, even on a record you know well. This is a forensically capable record player” - Sound Advice.

“Here is a genuinely high-end device; a piece of analogue replay equipment that trades blows with the best of them, but that is no more demanding in use than one at a tenth of the price. The Rega is a tremendous achievement and an outstanding turntable”. - Sound Advice

Read the full review here;

Rega Naia - Sound Advice Review (


Mobile Fidelity One Step Van Halen debut


Arriving this Friday (15th Dec 2023) 180g 45RPM 2LP Box Set
Perhaps one of the finest Debut albums in rock.

"Van Halen did more than announce to the world the  earthshaking arrival of a revolutionary guitarist. Performed by an  enterprising California quartet that took its name from two of its  principal members, the 1978 debut ripped headlines away from punk,  injected fresh energy into a then-moribund rock 'n' roll scene,  reimagined how heavy music and throwback pop could coexist, and invited  everyone to experience the top-down pleasures of a beachfront Saturday  night every day of the week no matter where they lived. Painstakingly  restored by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and the first of a multi-album  series in an exciting partnership between the famous reissue label and  Van Halen, Van Halen delivers feel-good thrills and hormonally charged desires like never before"

If you've never experienced the performance, dynamic range and quality of a Mobile Fidelity release then give it a try; its like feeding your record player Royal Jelly.

Limited stock available in our record store and can be ordered online here;


First review of Naim 300 Series


"Hi-Fi News Verdict
The 300 series from Naim's New Classics range fully lives up to its promise – its presentation combining a shade more warmth and culture when required with the ability to let go and power out the music when let off the leash. From the closely-detailed NSS 333 streamer/DAC to the effortlessly punchy NAC 332/NAP 350 amplification, this is the 'Naim sound' with broadened appeal, albeit never quite tamed!"


Musical Fidelity offer Free WiiM streamer!

8/12/2033 design and aesthetics are elegant and pleasing.

Buy an M2si, M3si, M5si and M6si integrated amplifiers and receive a FREE WiiM streamer. Each amp will be supplied with an FOC WiiM streamer (WiiM Mini with M2si and M3si, and WiiM Pro with the M5si and M6si) with immediate effect. Contact us directly to arrange this.


Focal Kanta floor standers now on demonstration

8/12/2033 We're thrilled to welcome the Focal Kanta no 2 and no 3 to our store.

Halmarks of the Kanta design are a new generation IAL tweeter featuring a Beryllium inverted dome and Flax sandwich cone speaker drivers. This is an unprecedented combination of technologies to guarantee precise, detailed and warm sound. Focal’s latest acoustic innovations have been integrated into these floorstanders encompassing a modern and distinctive design. 

Kanta No 2 is the first floor standing speaker in the range. It's large but not overly so and it's clever design and aesthetics are elegant and pleasing.

Kanta No 3 is quite imposing and better suited to larger rooms but it shares the family sound and has plenty of detail without being overblown. A wide range of finishes are available for both models.

We'll be putting a few hours on these speakers and they're available now if you'd like a look or a listen.


Musical Fidelity returns

1/12/2033 We're thrilled to welcome Musical Fidelity back into our store.

In the 80's we were the third store in the UK to start selling Musical Fidelity. This was back when the company was essentially assembled on a kitchen table. These were the days of The Pre-amp and the DR Thomas power amp.

It was the relaunched of the classic A1 that set our interest off. Since then we've slowly added the M3 series, the M6 series and the new LS35a loudspeakers. All of these are available in store if you'd like to come and listen.

Hallmarks of the Musical Fidelity sound are great control, an open characteristic and a good deal of musicality. Come and have a listen to their products.


Hegel Viking CD player arives

18/11/2033 We're delighted to announce this fantastic new CD player is in store and on demo.

In store and sounding fantastic! Possible the best CD player we've heard.

The Hegel Viking CD Player stands as a true testament to audio perfection, meticulously crafted from the ground up to optimize performance for standard (Redbook) CDs. Our unwavering dedication to delivering the most authentic sound reproduction possible has led to the creation of a CD player that captures the essence of the original recording.

Engineered to deliver unparalleled sound fidelity, the Viking CD Player is a true native 16/44.1 CD player, purpose-built to unlock the potential of each standard CD. Every component has been meticulously optimized to ensure a high-quality output that remains faithful to the original recording.

With a dedicated laser and CD drive, the Viking guarantees optimal data reading for precise playback. Its state-of-the-art DAC achieves unrivaled digital-to-analog conversion, preserving even the subtlest nuances within the music. Our commitment to audio purity means the Viking does not upsample or alter the signal in any manner. By maintaining the integrity of the original signal on the disc, the exceptional DAC performs at its peak.

Our proprietary Master clock system orchestrates flawless synchronization between the drive and DAC. This system, driven by a low phase noise quartz crystal and our patented SoundEngine technology, effectively minimizes jitter, ensuring precise timing for an immersive listening experience.

The Viking CD player is equipped with an OLED display meticulously chosen for its low noise properties, contributing to a clearer and more detailed sound rendition. The dedicated analog stage in the Viking is meticulously designed, incorporating our analog low-pass filter and Line Driver technology. This ensures a fully balanced and noise-free signal path all the way to your amplifier, preserving audio integrity throughout the journey.

Elevate your auditory senses and embrace a new realm of sonic authenticity with the Hegel Viking CD Player. Experience music as it was meant to be heard, with unwavering precision and unmatched clarity. The Viking CD Player is a masterpiece born from a passion for pure sound, setting a new standard for CD playback excellence.

Technical Specifications

Supported Discs: 12 cm Redbook CDs
Line Level Output: 1 unbalanced fixed (RCA) 1 balanced fixed (XLR)
Output Voltage Analog: 2,5V RMS
Digital Output: 1 BNC true 75 Ohm
Frequency Response: 0Hz-22 kHz
Distortion: Less than 0.0015%
Finish: Black
Dimensions/weight: 9,9 cm x 43 cm x 30,5 cm (HxWxD), 7,3 kg
Dimensions/weight US: 3,54" x 17" x 12" (HxWxD), 16,1 lbs

Atom £2299
Star £3499
Nova £4399

Mu-so Qb 2nd Gen Image 4_opt

Naim Audio Price reductions


With immediate effect Naim Audio have lowered the prices on their Muso and Uniti ranges.

Atom £2299
Star £3499
Nova £4399

Muso QB2 £699
Muso 2 £899

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