Cheerful as ever Stuart Smith makes a list of musicians that have died in 2016 and asks, was this the year that the music really did die? More »

We recently spent a very good weekend as the guests of the Warsaw Audio Show and one thing that really stood out for us was how knowledgeable and passionate the people were about music and audio. This got me thinking as to why this should be and I formulated a couple of opinions and how this reflects on other countries way of consuming music.View_MFA_Spons More »

This month Stu lets vent on an apathetic music buying public.
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We’ve been having a lovely time covering the Crescendo Festival in St Palais sur Mer in the Poitou region of France – and a great festival it is too. It’s free, there’s bands from all over the world play and it’s really well organised and attended. Now, as a family we’ve always been campers…never in caravans or mobile homes, just tents and all the gubbins that goes with that…and so naturally when we attended this years Crescendo Festival we bought a tent (ours is a long time dead) and set off South for a bit of an adventure…sort of Hifi Pig gets back to nature.

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The truth behind the name and origins of Hifi Pig. View_MFA_Spons More »

More piff and waffle from Stuart after a bit of a bar room psychology lesson courtesy of Auntie Beeb.

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More ramblings and incoherent musings from Stuart; this time he questions why we aren’t all listening to pro monitors and pro amplifiers and finishes off with a mixed case of reds for good measure.View_MFA_Spons More »

In this months Views Of Stu, Stuart Smith takes us on a rambling personal journey through his relationship with vinyl.View_MFA_Spons More »

Earlier this week we were saying goodbye to my Father and over the days that followed it really struck me how much of a force for bringing people together music is. Read on…it’s not as maudlin as you might think! View_MFA_Spons More »

I saw a meme on the internet recently that said “I hope the next big trend in music is talent” and this got me thinking about how we form and develop our tastes in music and how that shapes the music we listen to in later life.View_MFA_Spons More »

High-End audio and why people buy into the whole concept is a complex subject…Stuart Smith talks about very expensive cars instead. View_MFA_Spons More »

Stuart Smith looks at the year that was 2015 and hints at a few things you can expect to see in the coming year from Hifi Pig.  More »

There seems to be a lot of in-fighting within the audiophile world about people’s personal choices and the equipment they finally place in their system. Stuart Smith takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what he thinks are the reasons for this phenomenon… More »

Cable wars must surely be the biggest single cause of conflict and injury between audiophiles and the reason I’ve not got involved in one in a good old while…better just to keep quiet, watch from a distant hilltop and let the troops on the virtual front line battle it out ad-infinitum, though casualties will inevitably be high. Here’s my guide to the elements taking part in this ongoing conflict.  More »

Another rant from Stu, this time about recent legislation in the UK regarding making back ups. “So what, given this new ruling am I supposed to do if and when my hard-drive goes belly up and refuses to let me at my precious music files?” 
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CDs

The CD was a revelation in its day and I even recall one very animated presenter from Tomorrow’s Worldsmearing jam, or was it marmalade, over one of the discs, wiping it off and then playing the disc…But are they worth bothering with now?
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I first became aware of Tidal in October last year. At that time it was being quietly marketed as a high quality streaming service with the emphasis on its lossless, CD-quality sound. Sound quality has virtually become an irrelevance in the mass market; the received wisdom that it it impossible to hear the difference between a 320 Mbps MP3 file and a 24 bit 192 high resolution file has been happily accepted as truth, mostly by people who have never heard a high resolution file. The result of this was that Tidal found itself targeting a niche market of audiophiles for whom sound quality was still a vital consideration and who had either already discovered the benefits of streaming music from their own computer-based audio set ups or were increasingly curious about doing so.

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When Naim announced at the recent CES exhibition that they would be launching a preamp and power amp combo that would leave purchasers with a $200 000 hole in their bank account it was inevitable that there a certain degree of backlash from some quarters would come…and come it did. More »

Well, Linette in her Bird’s Eye View seems to be rallying against the onslaught of digital files and streaming whereas I’m once again embracing the new format. I had a great time with the little QED uPlay streamer I reviewed and this has prompted me to get hold of a Squeezebox Touch again (this will be my fifth) to see if I can finally get to grips with digital streaming.

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I’ve just finished reading Neil Young’s “Waging Heavy Peace” book which, despite being a rambling stream of consciousness affair, is an enthralling read and a must for anyone interested in the artist or rock music in general. As well as the expected anecdotes and stories of the “rock and roll lifestyle” it comes across very clearly that Mr Young is a man on a mission to bring hi resolution music to the masses. More »

If you are paying large sums of money for a piece of high-end hifi then it is perfectly reasonable to assume that some thought has gone into the way that the kit performs on an aesthetic level as well as, of course, into its audio performance. More »

In the world of audiophile audio, to my mind it doesn’t matter whether you are an advocate of tube amplifier technology, vintage audio or even an all in one home audio system. What matters is the fact that you can appreciate high end audio as the means to enjoy the music you love. Or is it? More »

Well today is Fete de la Musique in France and this is the one day of the year where towns and villages across the country put on a great deal of free music in their streets and bars. The whole country comes out in a big celebration of all things musical and a great time is had by all…needless to say it’s banging it down with rain here at the moment. More »

There are those in hifi that like to collect boxes and I’m not ashamed to say that I count myself in this category. I like the fact that my hifi takes up a whole wall in one room of the house and I don’t think I would get the same satisfaction from a one box hi-fi system.  I can see the benefits of having all the component parts of a hifi in one convenient unit, but I’m afraid it just doesn’t appeal to me. That said I do quite like my hifi to be functional…ok I quite like ugly hifi…or hi-fi that most would consider to be ugly…I prefer the word “different”. More »

Hi-fi can mean so many things to different folk, so a quick search on the internet seemed in order and Wikipedia had the following to say: “High fidelity –  or hi-fi or hifi  – reproduction is a term used by home stereo listeners and home audio enthusiasts (audiophiles) to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound to distinguish it from the poorer quality sound produced by inexpensive audio equipment.” More »

In the first three months of 2011 just over 20 million CDs were sold in the UK, but this figure dropped to 15.3 million in 2012 – a drop of 25%. Sales of vinyl in the UK experienced growth in 2011 of almost 40% over 2010 figures but still only account for 19.5% of non-download sales. In 2011, according to IFPI, worldwide sales of downloaded singles and albums rose by 17% with some countries (US and S.Korea) deriving over half of their sales of music from downloaded sources. IFPI estimates that 32% of record companies’ revenues are derived from digital channels. More »

Regular readers will be aware of my thoughts on using computers in home hifi installations and that my experiences have been less than satisfying for me. To be fair the problems have centred on interface issues and me simply not “gelling” with listening to music using computers. More »

Hifi in the last twenty or so years seems to be being dragged in two completely disparate directions. On the one hand we have the hifi enthusiast (audiophile) who will go to almost any lengths to achieve the very best audio reproduction in the home and on the other we have a largely disinterested public who are more than happy to plug in their ipod and earbuds and listen to Mp3s they have downloaded. More »

Is is it a bit sad to have a dream hifi? It probably is you know, but I bet a pound to a penny that the vast majority of folk reading this have dreamed of owning a particular set up. Well perhaps they haven’t physically dreamed it as that would be a bit wrong, but you get my point I’m sure. More »

I was discussing with a fellow hifi nerd (sorry audiophile) the merits of CD over vinyl and during the discourse he happened to mention that he was firmly in the digital hi-fi camp and had sold all his vinyl, 400 albums or so, about 10 years ago. This reminded me and caused a certain melancholy to descend as I thought back to the day I sold my beloved record collection.

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Now don’t get me wrong I do like computers. I use a computer daily. I’m even using one now to write this article. Computers have enabled me to work from home, do that away from the UK and even allows me communicate in real time with folks all over the world at the push of a mouse button. I get computers and I use one daily despite my sausage fingers and one fingered typing style!

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