Source First


By choosing the source first you’ll be putting your music first.

We appreciate that many of our customers can’t visit us in person or are wanting to do some research prior to contacting us. For those people we’ve tried to distill as much of our experience as possible in order to give you a few things to think about and also to get you started off in the right direction.

We have always said finding the right shop is the best first step. You’ll need good advice from people who will give you time and make you feel comfortable. Establishing a good relationship is important because you may want to call back many times in the future for help, advice and assistance. The best shops won’t always be the cheapest but they should be competitive.

The second piece of advice we give to all our customers is to trust your own ears. Hi-Fi magazines and pushy salesmen won’t be sitting with you listening to it for years and nor will they give you your money back if you don’t like what you buy. If you buy what you like (with some good advice) then you’re off to a great start.

There is no such thing as a “golden ear” and no one is qualified to tell you what you like. It is extremely easy to listen to the differences between equipment. You don’t require training or any form of special knowledge. After 34 years we have never met anyone who wasn’t surprised at how clear the differences are when you compare things.

Decide what you need

Your requirements are important. If space is tight you might want to consider an all-in-one unit. These offer extremely good performance and take up little room. They don’t offer all the flexibility of separates but they suit many people for their simplicity and elegance.

The Naim UnitiQute is a compact system with a Streamer, a DAB/FM radio and a good quality amp - all in one compact box.
The Naim UnitiQute is a compact system with a Streamer, a DAB/FM radio and a good quality amp – all in one compact box.

If space isn’t an issue separates have some tremendous advantages. Not least of these are the fact that you can upgrade and add to a separates system much easier than one that is combined. This is useful if you are looking for better performance or indeed if you want to add more equipment.


If you are upgrading an existing system or building a new system out of separate components, bear in the mind that the source component is the most important. If you play records that means the record player, listen to CD’s it means the CD player. Putting the source first will always provide the best foundation for a great sounding stereo, regardless of the cost.

Almost all “players” retrieve information, whether from the record, the disc or from stored digital data. Better players will do two things; the first is to recover more data and the second is to lose or corrupt less of it. Both of those things are absolutely vital in quality terms. So it makes sense to put the source first in almost every case.

How do I choose?

Choose by making comparison. You’ll only know how good something is by comparing it. The last thing we’d want to do is suggest you confuse yourself but listening to a few good choices will give you masses of insight and let you know if the item you fancy is the right one for you.

Hi-fi can be something clouded in mystery  and concealed behind jargon but remember it is merely a device for reproducing music. Greater quality means more accurate reproduction and that should always be easy to hear. If it sounds better; it is better!

We’ll help of course; its what we do.

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