High Fidelity isn’t just a book and a movie
To you and I it is the term that has been abbreviated to mean H-Fi; the equipment you need to best appreciate music. I say to best appreciate music because we know there are lots of worse ways. Other than live music a decent Hi-Fi system is the very best way to expand the role of music in your life.
High Fidelity means high truth. Used in conjunction with listening to music it really means high accuracy. Most people don’t value accuracy because they don’t understand it and I don’t mean to sound dismissive. They don’t understand it because their experience of listening to music is usually on their phone through £10 ear buds, or through a phone docking system.
To be really moved by music and to enjoy it properly you need to listen to it. You can only do that meaningfully if it is reproduced accurately. If it isn’t you can’t hear the melody and the words will be hard to decipher. As a result listening takes effort and can be pretty tiring. It’s a little easier if you know the song well because the human brain is remarkable and can plug the gaps in quality. Of course it can only do this if you know the song and the lyrics already. This is why many people struggle to enjoy new music; basically the delivery system is so poor they give up.
A good hi-fi system reproduces melody and lyrics clearly and effortlessly. As a result you “connect” to the music better, relax and enjoy it far more. Discovering new music is a pleasure instead of a chore.
Science recognises more and more that music is extremely important and beneficial for human beings. It contributes to our sense of well being, it uplifts and relaxes us and can take us back to times in our life faster than almost any other stimulus. Music can change your life if you let it. It changed mine.
Don’t be sidetracked by formats; music is music and we will help you get the best from it regardless of how you own it. Vinyl, CD, digital downloads and radio are all capable of producing superb results and enhancing your appreciation of music. Our job is to show you how to get the best from the music you own and the music that you will want to own in the future. There is no conflict in that.
Analogue versus digital is a debate that is pretty silly to get into an argument over. If you own a lot of records then you will need a record player to play them. If your music is digital then you’ll look in an entirely different direction. Or of course you can choose both; like so many of our customers.
The image above tells a story. I searched for an image to illustrate “listening to music” and all I could find is something like the above. It makes me incredibly sad because headphones are usually the very worst way to listen to music. They reduce the experience immeasurably. I’ll qualify that by adding that most headphones are dreadful. Most are fine when you’re on the tube or on the move but in the home most are terrible. It is also not a particularly natural way to listen to music and can even harm your ears. Don’t get me wrong; good headphones exist and they become the only “speakers” some people allow themselves to have. There lies another story.
You need speakers to enjoy music. Speakers create the illusion that the musicians are present in your room giving a performance. They create a 3D soundstage and use the room’s acoustics to help do that. There are many that don’t of course but we don’t bother ourselves or you with inferior products. They’re a waste of time.
This is the future of music in the home for most people. Despite it’s excellent, convenience and superb reliability, many people struggle to come to terms with it because they fail to grasp what it is all about. A good deal of the problem comes from the name; something that is associated with things like You Tube and watching films online. Another problem is it’s association with Spotify. People who understand quality will be dismissive of most of the above because they will understand that all of these things actually rely on compression. Compression means reducing the quality and often considerably. Compression is bad and you can hear it on all but the very cheapest and nastiest of equipment. You can even hear it through £10 ear buds!
Streaming Audio isn’t about that. In fact what streaming audio is about is banishing compression altogether. It is about getting better sound at home and also getting much better access to the music you already own.
How is this possible?
Streaming offers many many things but the most important of these is that it stores ALL your digital music in one place and does so without loss or compression. For most of you that means that your three hundred or so CD’s are archived into a library without any loss of quality. These 16 bit FLAC files allow the CD’s themselves then go into the attic and you play the music from them via your Streamer. If you’d like to know how this is actually done click here.
Even better is the fact that many recordings are now being released in a higher quality format. These 24 bit files sound far superior because they contain half as much information again. You don’t need special hearing to hear this either. Most people are pretty stunned. By the way we’re not suggesting you buy your beloved music again. You can always buy the odd favourite and of course consider new music.
Streamers also give you access to subscription services AND internet radio. That means radio from anywhere in the World. Some even have Blue-Tooth, enabling you to play music stored on other devices should you so wish.
Value for money
Easy to think good audio equipment is expensive but often it is extremely affordable. A really good example of this is Rega – a British company who make some remarkably good value components. You can build a good system to play vinyl for as little as £700 using a legendary Rega turntable.
The other thing to bear in mind is that equipment like this lasts for a very long time – often twenty or thirty years.
Listening is really important
I know you’re reading this online and researching audio equipment online is a really good idea. But once you’ve done research you really need to shake hands with a good retailer. The most important reason for this is you need to use his advice and his stock to listen to equipment in order to find what is right for you. Hi-Fi magazines and forums can’t do this and in fact will more often than not make choosing harder.
Good shops select carefully the equipment they sell. They base this selection on the same criteria as you; sound quality. But they will also add reliability, build quality, consistency and after sales service to the mix. A really good shop won’t offer the largest choice but instead the best choice and will already have filtered out weaker, poorer sounding or temperamental products. That way you get to choose between the best of what is on the market, within the budget you have to spend.
At Moorgate Acoustics we have been supplying good quality High Fidelity equipment for 37 years. Satisfied customers have enabled us to grow and expand. They deserve good care both before and after sales. We can do that best when we meet you in the flesh although of course we are glad to discuss matters with you online or by any other means.
Music and sound quality is everything to us. Let us help you truly discover your music collection and enjoy hearing it how it was meant to be heard.