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What is Hi-Fi?

Hi-Fi, which is short for High Fidelity, is a term used by residential audio visual enthusiasts. The term refers to a particular quality of the reproduction of sound and is a term used to distinguish between high quality and poor quality, low cost, audio equipment. Any equipment considered Hi-Fi should also exhibit minimal amounts of noise and distortion during use.

A Hi-Fi system is considered based upon its ability to faithfully reproduce music as it was recorded, to transcend even the production process and create the real sensation that the artists are right there in front of you. The downside to Hi-Fi is that the purist approach to achieving great sound does not generally lend itself to multi room applications, we do have solutions though and we can help you achieve audio nirvana.

Modern Hi-Fi equipment

A typical hi-fi system

In order to accurately reproduce music the way the artist intended it to be, a few things are needed:

  • High quality source material
    • Digital: High Resolution or DSD Files, SACD, CD
    • Analogue: Record, Tape, etc
  • If the source is¬†digital then it needs to be converted from its digital format to analogue via a DAC (Digital To Analogue Converter)
  • A DAC can be found in any CD player, digital audio player (e.g. Sonos, HEOS, iPod). The quality of the DAC has a great impact on the resulting analogue sound.
  • Once all the sources are in analogue format they will typically plugged into a preamplifier which will allow the user to select sources and control volume. The volume controlled output of the preamplifier is input directly into a power amplifier which will dramatically increase the level of the signal so that it can be heard through the loudspeakers.

A purist approach is used with the reproduction of Hi-Fidelity audio so that the integrity of the signal is maintained from the source material, through the signal path, though the air and to your many senses. In essence Hi-Fi should be as good as being right there in the sound studio when the artists are recording, or front row in the round.


Installing a Hi-Fi System

The great thing about hi-fi is that it typically does not require a lot of custom integration. There are only a few pieces of equipment, minimal cabling and the process is relatively quick from selecting a system, to having it up and running for your enjoyment.
Typically the cost comes less from the labour of the installation, and more from the equipment. Most hi-fi equipment is priced at a premium because of the selection of internal components, circuit design, engineering and build quality, though there are some great value brands which perform well above their weight.

Key considerations when buying hi-fi

1. How big is the room you want dedicated to music – while the room can be any size, the system should be designed specifically for the room you want to dedicate to music playback. Our sound engineers will ensure that aesthetics of the room are not compromised by the music and vice versa.

2. What is the make-up of your room – the room will have some effect on the sound. Important considerations include

  • Flooring: wood, concrete, carpet?
  • Doorways and windows ‚Äì where are they, how many, how big?
  • Ceilings: Low, high, vaulted?
  • Design and Shape: Did you know a cube is about the worst shape a room can be?
  • Furnishings: Soft, hard, minimal, large, heavy

Speak to your consultant to ensure that the equipment will be suitable for your room.

3. What type of music do you love – every system sounds different, and while every one of our systems can faithfully reproduce anything, some systems are better for certain musical tastes than others. Talk to your consultant about the types of music you listen to, as this will play an important part in the system design
4. Have you got any high quality existing equipment? Let the consultant know so that we can work it into the proposed solution


5. How far are you willing to go?

We know you can be completely satisfied with an iPod dock or a soundbar. But you would be surprised to learn how much more there is to your favourite songs when heard through a truly amazing Hi-Fi system.

Brands we Love

Dynaudio – Loudspeakers

Silk dome tweeters leave your ears feeling massaged and with no fatigue you will listen for hours on end. Utilising¬†aluminium voice coils for greater power handling, these speakers only get better with gain (when you turn up the volume). With prodigious bass and a warmth like no other, you can really fall in love with listening to music through Dynaudios. They are quite power hungry though which leads us to…

Parasound – Electronics

A leading Hi-Fi brand of pre and power amplification, they also have an outstanding pedigree in surround sound systems and Universal Disc playback. With (over) engineering by John Curl, and the highest quality internal components, they are built to deliver massive current to any speaker, with finesse seen only in equipment 10x the price.


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