Stu Smith

Hifi Pig (Stu) has a background deeply rooted in both playing and listening to music. In the dim and distant past he hosted the infamous “Midnight Train toPL10s Doomsville” show on the Sony award winning station “Wear FM” and has DJd at clubs, parties and festivals around the UK, where he’s been known to play sets of eight and nine hours.

As part of the dub reggae band “Roughneck Sounds” Stu toured the UK, cut an album and even got a tune played by the great John Peel. He has owned a vinyl only record store, a recording studio and finally ended up working in newspaper and magazine publishing.

Stu got the hifi bug in his mid-teens when he was bought a Hitachi separates system and was immediately hooked. In the first term of university, his grant was blown on an LP12, Crimson Elektrik amps and Wharfedale Diamonds and he survived on little more than swill and beer. These days quite a bit of kit goes through the sty and he has a bit of a fetish for unusual loudspeakers.

Stu lives in NW France with his long-suffering wife and two teenage sons. He is, for the moment, T total – though this status can change without warning (and indeed has) – and he is a bit obsessed with making Hifi Pig the very best it can be. His musical taste is eclectic and most things get an occasional spin, though classical music is a species rarely spotted in the pigpen he calls a listening room.

Stu is the only person to take any income at all from the Hifi Pig project which is derived from advertising you see on the site. He has been hired to design websites for a small number of hifi related companies (G-Point Audio, Epiphany Acoustics and also Paul’s Reference Fidelity Components) and a handful of non-hifi related enterprises. He is solely responsible for the design and creation of all advertising copy on the Hifi Pig website unless supplied by the advertiser/sponsor’s own design and graphics department.

Contact Stuart 

Linette Smith (Mrs Hifi Pig)

What do you do when you live with an audiophile?  You can either make them keep themselves and all their ‘kit’ in a little-used room (preferably with a lockLINMAIN SHOT on the outside of the door) or you can embrace the madness and let the HiFi take over the entire house……..guess which path I chose?!

You could say that music brought myself and Stuart together…he was a dance music DJ and I was a fully paid-up member of the glowstick-waving rave brigade, a match made in heaven!

We used to live with a neon pink PA system in our lounge so a full-on HiFi fest was never going to drive a wedge between us!

20 years on and I still like to wave a glowstick on occasion though I’m not quite the party animal I once was.

I like HiFi that looks good and sounds good, I like kit that dares to be different … is too short for boring HiFi.

I’m a bit of a hornlautsprecher Fan Girl, love going to HiFi shows, and find vinyl to be a pain in the butt.

Other than music of the repetitive beats variety, I like to listen to a lot of different genres, from disco to rock but have a bit of an aversion to ‘stately home music’ or classical, as some folk call it.

As well as HiFi and music, I enjoy art, reading, cooking…. especially baking (come on, you don’t think that Stuart got to be such a fine figure of a man on lettuce leaves alone?!) and am doing my bit to try and reduce the European wine lake, one glass at a time!


Janine Elliot

Janine is hi-fi journalist best known for her reviews and column “Hi Fi Confidential” in Hi-Fi News janine g&d 1magazine up until 2010. As well as hi-fi she has written on a number of subjects from cars to tropical fish, and worked in the hi-fi industry for a number of companies in research, design and writing of product manuals. She spent 25 years at the BBC as a sound engineer and now teaches music in schools. As a musician she has played keyboards and guitar with a number of famous musicians and produced her own albums and music for film. As musician, hi-fi fanatic since the age of 10 and being female she ticks all the boxes for being able to make sound reviews.





Dan Worth

I’ve always been a creative person and a creative thinker. From a young age, I always enjoyed art and music, being an danny light80’s baby i grew up with what I believe to be one of the greatest eras of music ever. Memories of being at home watching my mum dancing around the kitchen listening to the radio, my grandad having his own band and all the family going to gigs to support him. He had a studio in the garage and I remember being in there beating on the drums making the most awful racket but loving every minute!

My first personal system I had was when I was 12, my Dad found a Technics receiver in a skip and spent days cleaning it up and repairing it for me. He then managed to find a kind man at work who donated a three-way pair of pioneer speakers and then spent the foreseeable future telling me to turn it down!

I was always a great fan of art throughout my teenage years and used to spend my evenings drawing, painting and listening to music, which was mainly 90’s pop at the time.

Continuing my love for art after ‘A’ levels I went on to art college to study fine art and eventually found a calling in graphic design and printing which led to a job with local newspapers and magazines.

My music tastes are hugely varied but I have a passion for acoustic and vocals, I find it so relaxing and it seems to just touch my soul. After a busy day or if I have a lot on my mind I love to unwind with the simplest of music, stripped down to its very essentials, it just seems to calm me so much.

I was inspired when in the mid ’90s after the death of my grandad’s brother who played the drums he went on to gig himself. He would load a set of MIDI files onto a laptop and place speakers all around a stage in the positions of a ‘ghost band’ and whilst he took centre stage singing and playing his guitar or clarinet, his ‘ghost band’ would be performing with him via the laptop and if you closed your eyes the music felt complete and real.

I believe this is where my connection to computers and music first came from, it was beyond what I knew to be possible at that time and thought you clever sod!

I am completely convinced with the format of streaming and having music located in one core location, be it on a server or NAS drive which can be utilised by a number of devices around the home or on the go.

To complement the convenience of digital recordings I love the sound of valves and to feel the balance that can be achieved between a digital front end and a valve amplifier in conveying a wonderful and realistic insight into the music.

The way we are listening to music is changing and educating the next generation is a must for it to keep evolving, compressed mp3’s for convenience is not foe me but lossless through a good system, essential!


Ian Ringstead

I reckon I was born with hifi in my DNA. My mum and dad loved music and went to dances in the ’40s when they were growing up. My mum loved all the Ian_photograph2old dance bands like Glen Miller and had a lot of 78’s as a teenager. When I was born this wasn’t really apparent as they had moved on with my dad being a professional footballer and international for Eire and my mum a housewife. In the 60’s they bought a Pye Black Box stereogram and I played lots of singles from that era such as the Beatles etc. I then got hold of a Readers Digest favourite Classical box set and proceeded to conduct all the old favourites with one of my mum’s knitting needles for hours on end. Musically I had no talent at playing an instrument but I loved to listen to all types on the radio or TV.

The ’70s arrived and my sister went to university and the first summer she came back she brought her current boyfriend’s hifi with her, a Tripltone amp, Garrard SP25 turntable with Goldring cartridge and speakers which I can’t remember now. This beat my parent’s stereogram hands down and I was hooked. The following year I was old enough to work during the school summer holidays so I spent six weeks in a dull office filing. It was worth the boredom though as I was able to buy a BSR HT70 turntable with a Goldring G800 cartridge, Metrosound ST60 amp and a pair of Koss Pro 4AA headphones. I couldn’t afford speakers yet, much to my parents’ relief at the time.

As the 70s progressed I got a regular job as a civil servant and proceeded to spend all my spare cash on hifi and records. Then in 1980 I was offered the chance to work at the hifi shop I was a regular customer at – the Audio Centre in Sheffield. I had five happy years selling, setting up and installing quality high-end hifi such as Linn, Naim, Rega, Creek, Arcam, Meridian etc. Times changed and I moved to Superfi in Sheffield and spent 19 years there selling less exotic, but none the less good quality hifi. I left retailing in 2004 due to the climate of retailing dramatically changing and the influence of the internet and came back into the Civil Service. This didn’t dampen my enthusiasm though.

Today I write for HiFi Pig of course as a reviewer with extensive experience and still have close contact with many people in the hifi business. When my wife married me she knew what she was getting into and likes music as well, but she isn’t bothered about the equipment side, just what it sounds like, and she will comment readily if it’s not to her taste. Analogue is my thing with turntables still the best in my opinion, but I like CD as well. If I won the lottery I would be like a kid in a sweet shop wanting to buy everything I fancied, but for now, I have to be sensible. I am a great advocate of value for money equipment and don’t shy from buying classic second-hand kit if it is still good. I love progressive rock from the ’70s and listen to a wide choice of musical genres apart from opera, rap and traditional jazz. I have lost count of the different pieces of equipment I have owned over the years, but don’t regret any of it and look forward to many more years of collecting kit and music.

John Scott

I’ve been obsessed –I don’t think that is too strong a word – with music and the things that make music, for as long as I can remember.  My first John8scottexperience of a “hifi” system was my parent’s 1950’s radiogram – my Mum still has it – followed later by a Sony music centre, which I thought was a sonic revelation and I suppose compared to the radiogram it was.

Around 1979, a school friend had become aware of the concept of “separates” as the way to go for a true hifi experience and we both spent many Saturday afternoons in Russ Andrew’s hifi shop in Edinburgh – Russ had sold his share in the business by this point but the shop retained his name.  The staff there were very generous with their time, recognising that we had next to no money but letting us hear what we could aspire to, from a Sansui turntable, NAD amp and KEF speakers, through Rega Planer 2 and 3 turntables and all the way to the Holy Grail of a Linn Sondek and active Isobariks, powered by Naim 250s.

We were hooked.  As soon as I left school and started work I began saving and within 18 months I was the proud owner of a second-hand Linn Sondek, an A&R Cambridge A60 amp and a pair of Linn Kan speakers.  Over time, the turntable was upgraded to another, better, Sondek (Valhalla power supply and Ittok arm) which I still have, Naim Amplification and Linn Keilidh speakers.  I resisted the lure of CD until the point came where I could no longer find the new releases I wanted to buy on vinyl and had no option but to buy a CD player.  These days, the CD player has been banished to the attic, all my CDs having been ripped to a hard drive and streamed into the hifi system, currently via a Squeezebox Touch. I think that streaming/computer audio/hi-res is providing a really exciting opportunity for the future of the hifi industry and I look forward to seeing how this develops.

Music-wise, I raised myself on Top Of The Pops and Radio 1 until I discovered hard rock and Prog in the pre-punk mid-seventies.  When punk came along I didn’t see any reason to turn my back on the music I already loved and so it just joined the mix – the more music the better as far as I was concerned.  A developing obsession with Dylan along with Elvis Costello did put a dent in my love of Prog for many years and I totally avoided the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, but these days all genres of music sit side by side in my collection – life is too short to be a genre snob. I still struggle a little bit with opera though.