Archive - Nuts About Hi-Fi Blog

Big Screen for a Big Game

We have been pretty darn busy these past couple of weeks.

The projects have been fun and also a little out of our ordinary realm of everyday installations. Below is a photo of a good clients shop/ garage in which we installed a new Screen Innovations “Slate” 150″ diagonal screen for SUPER BOWL , an Epson professional video projector, along with a complete array of Focal loudspeakers.

big screen

For realistic big game impact we also installed a pair of JL Audio’s E112 series subwoofers. Quite the party they ended up having with over 40 of their friends and family. During the game I received several texts from our client telling me what an exceptionally cool system it is and how much fun they were all having.

Next we have a local house of worship, St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bremerton, where we installed 2 very large flat screen monitors and Several focal speakers for their services.


New – Cambridge Audio Aero 6

Cambridge Audio Aero 6

We are very pleased to add to our family of products what may be the best sounding affordable loud speakers we have yet to offer, the new Cambridge Audio Aero 6.

This speaker along with others in this series were designed by an old friend of ours, Dominic Baker,  formally of Focal.  After helping to design what are now considered by many to be the best overall loudspeakers in the world, Dominic left Focal to return home to his native England. For the the past few years he has been engaged by Cambridge Audio to create a line of speakers that truly sing yet fall well within almost any serious music lover’s budget.

Cambridge Audio is also offering a bookshelf version of these along with companion center and rear channel speakers for movie sound track enthusiasts.

We invite you to audition these in our showroom and hear what a wonderful accomplishment in value and presentation they are.

Just the Flax – Update

As promised, here is an update on the new Focal Aria 900 series speakers I talked about in an earlier post. We have had them in our showroom for just over two weeks now. We already have had several pair go out the door to our music loving customers.

I asked one of our good clients, Jim A., from Port Angeles to write us a a short blurb about his listening experience so far. Jim is clearly an excellent audiophile and cares deeply about his sound system. Here is what he had to say:



I have had the Focal Diablo. Was going to upgrade to the 1038 speakers.Then Focal came out with the new Aria 948. Glad I went to the 948. This speaker makes it sound (like) the veil of the speaker is no longer there, and makes you think the music is not coming from the speaker, so you can hear deeper into the music. It doesn’t force the music on you, it is just there. The clarity and image is impressive. The organ from Wilson Audio Magnum Opus is authentic sound, with the low bass and the details of the organ playing. On “Telegraph” from Dire Straits, Mark clears his voice at 3:31 and it sounds like a true clearing. Listening to Jane Monheit on the XRCD2 CD singing “Over the Rainbow” gets you to listen from the first note to the last note. “Deacon Blues” from Steely Dan makes you listen to the cymbals that come and go in the background, detail. Had to lower my bass on the subwoofer, otherwise I had too much bass from the 948. It is a very enjoyable speaker for its price, it out does itself.

Dedication to the Art of Music – Continued

John - Kathryn - Room Installation

This post is  a continuation on one we did awhile back – Dedication to the Art of Music. Check out how far it has come!

Focal Speakers

Today Matthew and I put some finishing touches on on a system I wish every customer we have could hear. We have been awaiting furniture and artwork to finish the room. Meanwhile our customers have been breaking in their FOCAL STELLA UTOPIA speakers along with the rest of their new Aesthetix components.

Installing the Focal speakers

Matthew and I arrived at 9:00 am in the morning to tweak the speaker locations and adjust the crossovers to match the room’s acoustics. I’m glad we ate our wheaties as these babies weigh in at about 350 lbs. each.

Checking tone arm alignment

Matt then checked the tone arm alignment and weight of the phono cartridge on the Clear Audio Master Innovation, and installed the long awaited Accudrive power supply for the turntable motor.

ClearAudio Accudrive

We ended up listening  to everything from the Eagles to Also sprach Zarathustra and soon realized it is one of the most compellingly beautiful systems we have done to date. 

Giving the new system a listen

Thanks very much to John and Kathryn for allowing us to help them buy and install this
truly beautiful system.

John and Kathryn

What a sincere pleasure.

A sincere pleasure.

Just the Flax

Focal - Flax Speakers

Yesterday we received the latest generation of “affordable” FOCAL speakers called the Aria 900. Focal is a French company who always pushes the envelope to find even better ways of making their speakers. France just happens to be Europe’s main supplier of flax. Flax is used to make top-quality linen fabric which is prized by the clothing industry worldwide. For the last ten years, Focal has been working to develop high-quality drive units to fit between their Polyglass drivers and the expensive ‘W’ sandwich cones used in their high-end utopia speakers. Flax has provided the solution Focal has long been seeking, giving low mass, rigidity and self-damping properties.

Here is a little video filmed at october’s CEDIA show explaining why flax is such a perfect material for this purpose:

They are also using a redesigned tweeter in this series which is supposed to maintain an even more linear response than their previous models.

The cabinets are truly beautiful with hand rubbed lacquer or wood finishes. And the leather wrapped baffle plate is a nice touch. The new magnetic grill, which covers all the speaker components, gives it a very subtle and sleek appearance. As Adam and I were un-crating a pair in our showroom one of our favorite customers remarked that these will definitely be her next speakers.

So how do they sound? We are in the process of breaking them in and we plan to put them through their paces this weekend. Anyone interested in a new pair of speakers are welcome to join us.