How to buy HiFi

We're here to help you make the best choices - whatever your budget or musical taste. Here's how to get the most from a visit to our showroom.

Listen up. It's all about the music...

In order for you to judge if something sounds "better" (or worse!), it helps if you have a pretty intimate knowledge of the source material. We'll always recommend bringing in your favourite tunes - on vinyl, CD or ask to stream them from our system.

There is undoubtedly an element of subjectivity here - people have different tastes, and different equipment will treat and present the sound in subtly different ways. As with any good scientific experiment though, if you can keep one variable the same (the music), you'll stand a chance of making a more informed decision.

What am I listening for?

The main object of buying a good HiFi system is to allow you to enjoy your music to the full.

It's easy at first to be drawn in in by quantities; "I want more bass" or "less treble" but as you go along you begin to realise that what is actually vital for long term enjoyment is a natural tone, good timing and good pitch - and this applies to any type of music you choose.

Our best guide was long ago defined by Linn in Glasgow - who pioneered the 'Tune Dem'. Their method should be understood and practiced - its natural after all, and can safely be applied to any music and any equipment that you have chosen to audition (it doesn’t have to be made by Linn themselves!) - and it won’t let you down and may save you a lot of money buying a product that initially seems attractive but essentially musically flawed...

Tune Dem from Linn.

Linn have produced this insightful guide that offers some great advice. They adopt the nicely distilled philosophy of "if it sounds better, it is better" - and this seems to us a perfectly reasonable approaching to auditioning HiFi equipment. To quote:

Our favourite method of evaluating the musical performance, and thus the performance of the hi-fi, is simply listening to the tune.

Many people immediately dismiss this as being the obviously too simplistic to provide meaningful results. But, in actual practice, this is an all-encompassing technique that more clearly brings out the differences in hi-fi systems than any other method of evaluation that we have ever used.

About Tune Dem ›

What's it all going to cost?

We appreciate that not everyone has deep pockets, but we also know that great sounding HiFi can be achieved for less than you'd imagine. As a rough guide we could get you up and running with a turntable, integrated amplifier and speakers for around £550. A high-end system assembled from our flagship products could cost well in excess of £100,000. However, quality HiFi is the antithesis of our increasingly disposable contemporary culture - a great investment now will remain a great investment for years to come.

Our aim is to get you the very best results regardless of your budget. Float a rough figure by us and we'll use our experience and knowledge to find you your perfect equipment.

If you have an existing system and are looking to upgrade one or two components, we can help you with that. If you have equipment to trade in, ask us to give you a price. Finally, it's often worth checking our ex-demo and second hand stock too as there are often some fantastic deals to be had.

You can't go wrong - we wouldn't let you.