Hi-Fi isn’t highly regarded in the perception of many people and it is full of myths and misconceptions. The first of these is that the differences that exist between components is small and you need to be somehow obsessive to hear them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of our customers (and we’ve been doing this for almost forty years) are amazed at how clear the differences are quick to point out their astonishment.
We are aware that very few people know about quality. Some of those people have simply never heard good sound. Perhaps many more don’t care about quality. We had a customer say his stereo was “good enough for me” as if he didn’t deserve any better. Fortunately he’d come to listen to a turntable with a friend of his and the moment he’d heard half a side of his favourite YES album he was hooked!
It all starts with music. If you’re not passionate about it then you don’t really need a good stereo. Of course there is the chance that you’re not passionate about it because you’ve never been moved by it but I guess that’s another story.
I grew up in a household filled with music. A lot of it was classical but some was rock and blues and it was this that made a very early impression on me. My dad would bring home albums by Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues and Van Morrison and it was these records that stirred my imagination. For some reason those albums created images in my head. I would lie in bed at night and the sound of them playing wouldn’t disturb me but would instead send me to sleep with my head full of vivid images.
When I was old enough to discover my own music (David Bowie’s Space Oddity on cassette) I very quickly became frustrated by the sound from my portable device. Luckily my dad was upgrading his stereo and I managed to persuade him into giving me his old record player. It was a JVC and I partnered it with a Pioneer amp and some Wharfedale XP2 speakers which looked like five miles of bad road. The sound was spectacular and I felt that I could really access the music and appreciate it for the first time. I could hear the lyrics and appreciate the musicianship. I could understand what the songs were about and become moved by them. I wondered at the ability some musicians had to put their emotions into their songs. I felt this was a World and that it was opening up to me.
Since then I have made a few (and I really do mean a few; despite working in a hi-fi shop) changes to my stereo and on each occasion the improvements have revealed more about the music I love. It has become a better tool to let me explore types of music I would have been unable to listen to on a less revealing system.
Sometimes I am asked if a stereo can be too good? My answer is how can anything be too good? More signal is always better. It’s a little like saying could Sgt. Pepper be too good. We have to believe that the heart and soul of the song is in the recording so when we reveal more we get closer to it.
We all have stories of how a song or a piece of music changed our lives. For me it happened regularly. A friend brought me Springsteen’s “Born to Run” album to listen to and I was shocked at how good it was. My dad brought home “Farewell to Kings” by Rush and I sat there with a grin on my face. I sat in bed one Friday night listening to the Tommy Vance Rock show and heard “Running With the Devil” by Van Halen and I never slept a wink because I couldn’t wait to find out which of my friends had heard it.
Music always comes first; it takes us to undiscovered county and hearing an old song is as good as seeing an old friend. It delivers every time.
A good stereo system is a device to take you to music and put you in a place where you can actually hear what it is about and immerse yourself in it. Nothing more. I am aware that some people lose sight of that but neither myself or any of the Moorgate staff ever have. Music first.
I won’t say that formats are not important but they’re nowhere near as important as people think. Music first and all that matters is that we help you find the best way for you to fully enjoy the music you own. If you have records you need a record player. If you have CD’s you need either a CD player or to archive them all and play them back digitally. It doesn’t matter what the future brings because we sell separate components and if technology brings something you want to add to your existing stereo we’ll find a way to help you do it.
We’re aware that a hi-fi shop can appear an offputting place, staffed by people who are “know it alls” but this isn’t the case at Moorgate Acoustics. We’re music lovers first and foremost and we share that with you. Our shared love of music is all we need to communicate.
Our job is to find out what is needed to help you enjoy your music. Sometimes you might have a good idea what you want and so we’ll start by demonstrating that item or system to you. We have two demonstration rooms for this purpose and they’re just like your lounge at home (except for the telly, the dog, cat or stripped down Ford fiesta engine). If you are coming to us for guidance we’ll probably play you something to give you an idea of quality from something fairly affordable. We’ll then discover if it gives you the sort of performance you need.
How good a sound do I need?
You need a sound good enough to let you connect with the music you love. We don’t want the above response from you and if we get it we know we’re barking up the wrong tree!
That’s more like it! Seriously; babies respond to music because of the rhythm and the melody. Hearing the music you loved reproduced accurately will make you feel good. And when this happens we know we’re on the right track.
We’re extremely selective about the equipment we sell. Even our most affordable system plays music well and provides masses of enjoyment. After that it can only get better.
We’ve posted many times the ways we upgrade systems by starting at the source and working through. There is nothing revolutionary about the process but at all time we ensure Music First is the principle behind it.
Our most important advice
Music first, always. Our second piece of advice is to find a good retailer who you trust and who will look after you and help you rediscover the music you love. We’re on such retailer and we’d love to help.
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