"What a refreshingly honest blog about listening to music through hi-fi. So happy to see views based upon the enjoyment of music rather than so-called sound 'quality'." - Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design at Mission / Wharfedale

Monday 16 June 2014


Great range of headphone amps on display in here with 6 or so decent quality headsets, pretty much as you'd expect for a Graham Slee room.  Didn't get the time to try them out.

But in the other end of this fairly small room, there's system showcasing phono stages.  A Technics turntable is playing through some unnamed and unlabelled electronics into some tiny Stirling standmounts.  They look like LS3/5a type designs, but perhaps shallower than I remember.  Each of these was supplemented by what looked like a subwoofer.  Seems a bit strange to do this - why not just have a separate chamber inside a floorstander?  Would be a better result in terms of looks and floorspace - unless there's some theory around separating the mid/treble from the bass vibration.  If that's the case I don't think its worth the effort as there was no bass to notice, no warmth, to me it sounded harsh, grating and unsophisticated.  Could, of course, have been the turntable or amp, but it wasn't showing off the Graham Slee at all.

This was probably my most disappointing room in the show.


  1. Interesting points there. I too was rather underwhelmed on my first visit to the room, I am certainly used to a more hefty bass than that offered by the little Stirling speakers. I had to ask what they were because on first inspection they looked to be wrapped in sticky back plastic in the style of Blue Peter circa 1975. However, who knew, we went back later (free coffee and biscuits, thanks gents) and listened virtually all the way through one side of an acoustic guitar LP that someone had just bought downstairs. In fairness, we had a thoroughly enjoyable half hour and the set-up really grew on me, little in the way of bass but it jogged along nicely. The guys in the room were particularly enthusiastic, knowledgeable and down to earth.

  2. "This was probably my most disappointing room in the show"
    Where you listening? Or from your coments you were just looking.

  3. This comment is based on listening, as noted in the post with these words "there was no bass to notice, no warmth, to me it sounded harsh, grating and unsophisticated". As with all my posts, they're my opinion based on what was happening at the time and I'm happy to put my name to them purely as my own view on what I heard.
    Good to read that the listeners to the acoustic guitar music enjoyed listening. There's no more information, but perhaps this music suited the speakers well in terms of not needing much in the way of bass content. It is fairly typical for visitors to give different reports on systems at shows as it is very dependent on personal taste and the music being played at that time.