Dire Straits Night -----Hifi Cinema

I went to the recent Dire Straits Night at Hifi Cinema and it was a great night. I have written a review of the night but I do not want to infringe the rules about links. It was a great night and the main system of ND555 and 2xPS555, Naim Statement preamp, Naim 500 and Focal Utopia Evo 2s with a Technics SL1000G TT. The system had all the great sounds you expect from Naim/Focal dynamics, power, speed and things you do not always get a natural, organic and very 3D sound. One of the best sound systems I have heard and better than some I have heard at shows.

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Feel free to paste in your review here, just so long as it’s not a link.

Do you know which vinyl issues were being played? Did they have the new MFSL 45rpm reissues?

I really enjoy the current trend for companies to organise evening events where they demo a single musical theme using a really good audio system, set up correctly that demonstrates what can be achieved by a great audio system.

On Thursday 5th Dec Hifi Cinema in sunny Aldermaston organised a Dire Straits night with three demonstration systems. The music was accompanied by a generous supply of cheese and wine and an assortment of other nibbles, with essential cake.

I ensured I got there early to get a good seat in the main room.

I heard this system a few months ago but It has been considerably improved. The front end of a Naim ND555 and a PS555DR PSU had recently been re-adorned with a second PS555DR power supply. To top that improvement the NAC 552 preamplifier was replaced with a the huge Naim Statement preamplifier. Yes, the top dog preamp. The power amplifier was ‘just’ a Naim 500. Keeping the front-end sweet was a Melco digital streamer. Focal SOPRA 3s topped off the system. As you might expect this system was carefully set up and worked really well in the main room. Alan Gornall (in a smart whistle) was the master of ceremonies and got things off to a great start with some 24/96 high res recordings of Dire Straits. This system was really impressive. It had all the detail and drama you would expect from a traditional Naim system but added to it was a more organic, natural sound with a large 3D soundstage. Yes, a 3D soundstage from a Naim set-up and with real depth. Forget any notion of Naim+Focal being bright, sharp or aggressive that is well and truly in the past. If anything, it was slightly dark.

Could it get any better?

Yes.

After a few tracks Alan put on a Technics SL1000G turntable and now the music became a lot more relaxed and natural with an even better 3D soundstage. This was sounding like one of the better top end systems with a very broad appeal. Romantic SET people should not apply but for others there were some real musical surprises. It was easy to hear the differences in the sound quality of the different Dire Straits albums from the raw first album to the super refined later albums. And before you knew it, it was time to let the other half of the people into the main room. Still a chance for some drink (coffee), grub and importantly cake.

The second system was doing a good job in the foyer using a Naim NDX2, Supernait 3 and Focal Sopra 2s. It was also a chance to have an audiophile natter with Bill White.

I also had a look at the third set-up in a side room, which was a really nice Theatre system.

And then a free and easy chance to use the main system again. Chasing the Dragon had provided an album of well recorded music, which the main system showed had been really well recorded in an enormous hall in Venice. Alan mentioned that Mike Valentine had fallen for the sound of the Technics TT when he visited and actually bought one. Not surprised really.

Alan played some 70s vinyl (all analogue) including a simple recording of a guy playing a guitar (Guy Clark) which sounded very realistic. The guitar could have been in the room. Never thought I would hear that from an all Naim system. And to top of the night some Floyd. The sound had all the drama and impact you would expect from a Naim system with powerful dynamics but in a big soundstage that you would not.

Even though this system is expensive (6 figures) it sounded superb, the music was top rate and the whole atmosphere was relaxed and enjoyable. A great night and thanks to Alan, Bill and helpers.

When is the next one???

I enjoy the current trend for companies to organise evening events where they demo a single musical theme using a really good audio system, set up correctly that demonstrates what can be achieved by a great audio system.

On Thursday 5th Dec Hifi Cinema in sunny Aldermaston organised a Dire Straits night with three demonstration systems. The music was accompanied by a generous supply of cheese and wine and an assortment of other nibbles, with essential cake.

I ensured I got there early to get a good seat in the main room.

I heard this system a few months ago but It has been considerably improved. The front end of a Naim ND555 and a PS555DR PSU had recently been re-adorned with a second PS555DR power supply. To top that improvement the NAC 552 preamplifier was replaced with a the huge Naim Statement preamplifier. Yes, the top dog preamp. The power amplifier was ‘just’ a Naim 500. Keeping the front-end sweet was a Melco digital streamer. Focal SOPRA 3s topped off the system. As you might expect this system was carefully set up and worked well in the main room. Alan Gornall (in a smart whistle) was the master of ceremonies and got things off to a great start with some 24/96 high res recordings of Dire Straits. This system was really impressive. It had all the detail and drama you would expect from a traditional Naim system but added to it was a more organic, natural sound with a large 3D soundstage. Yes, a 3D soundstage from a Naim set-up and with real depth. Forget any notion of Naim+Focal being bright, sharp or aggressive that is well and truly in the past. If anything, it was slightly dark.

Could it get any better?

Yes.

After a few tracks Alan put on a Technics SL1000G turntable and now the music became a lot more relaxed and natural with an even better 3D soundstage. This was sounding like one of the better top end systems with a very broad appeal. Romantic SET people should not apply but for others there were some real musical surprises. It was easy to hear the differences in the sound quality of the different Dire Straits albums from the raw first album to the super refined later albums. And before you knew it, it was time to let the other half of the people into the main room. Still a chance for some drink (coffee), grub and importantly cake.

The second system was doing a good job in the foyer using a Naim NDX2, Supernait 3 and Focal Sopra 2s. It was also a chance to have an audiophile natter with Bill White.

I also had a look at the third set-up in a side room, which was a nice Theatre system.

And then a free and easy chance to use the main system again. Chasing the Dragon had provided an album of well recorded music, which the main system showed had been well recorded in an enormous hall in Venice. Alan mentioned that Mike Valentine had fallen for the sound of the Technics TT when he visited and actually bought one. Not surprised really.

Alan played some 70s vinyl (all analogue) including a simple recording of a guy playing a guitar (Guy Clark) which sounded very realistic. The guitar could have been in the room. Never thought I would hear that from an all Naim system. And to top of the night some Floyd. The sound had all the drama and impact you would expect from a Naim system with powerful dynamics but in a big soundstage that you would not.

Even though this system is expensive (6 figures) it sounded superb, the music was top rate and the whole atmosphere was relaxed and enjoyable. A great night and thanks to Alan, Bill and helpers.

When is the next one???

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Yes they used MFSL but the better sounds for me were the Mike Valentine recording and a simple analogue recording of Guy Clark. That guitar was so real.

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Sounds like a great evening and right up my street.
I have a few mofi records and my favourite right now is nils lofgren, sounds so real

I just ordered on Amazon "Dire Straits
Love Over Gold "MOFI 45 revs limited edition vinyl 33giri. Delivery in 40 days. :thinking:

Order on Discogs instead.

If it has deteriorated on Amazon you can make it for free … And then I’m for the global amazon market

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