My B + W speakers got delivered last week. Yes, I have now started to build up my perfect Hi-Fi. Long over-due. I started small with a pair of the 686s. This is uncharted territory for me so cautious baby steps for now. What worries me is how quickly I could slip into Anorak Territory. I do have an addictive personality so this could become a very dangerous, very expensive VICE…
Mind you, I’ve never regretted buying a book or a CD. And what’s the point in obsessively colour-coding your iTunes library [click here to view my post on this] if you’re not going to listen to it through decent speakers? I’ve spent months doing my research, speaking to sound technician friends and Hi-Fi obsessives. I’ve whiled away many a night on e-bay, watching how much speakers and amps go for. The names are so exotic: Linn, Rotel, Celestion Ditton, Kef… The choice is mind-boggling. All those shiny, new playthings! What Hi-Fi (www.whathifi.com) and Audioreview.com have been very useful.
I decided to go British. So B+W 686s speakers teamed with a Cambridge Audio Azur [see, I’m sounding like a Soundophile, already] it was. Gee, I need another bad habit like Gordon Brown needs a prayer. Actually, he does need a prayer. On a wing… I’m already lasciviously drooling over some speaker stands… And some B + W floor-standers. STOP IT! Ooooh, but they look so goooood… Deep, deep sigh.
And those P5 headphones. I mean, C’MON! Work of art. Just look at how beautifully crafted those Bad Boys are. New Zealand lamb skin. Hmmm… Ergonomic design. Hmmmm. Made for iPod… Music to my ears. Literally…. My Seinheiser IE8s seem so terribly inferior now…
On the upside. A B+W purchase gets you a membership to their Society of Sound – a site where you can download exclusive albums recorded in Lossless Audio format. They are FLAC files and you might want to download the X-Act programme to convert them to AIFFs or WAVs. Now I’m just showing off! Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Pass me my ANORAK.
Bowers + Wilkins Stockist: http://www.simplysonos.co.uk/
Cambridge Audio Stockist: http://www.richersounds.com/