"Having spent a wet weekend that passes for summer trying, and largely failing, to replicate The Listening Suite’s set-up procedure, It’s clear this is a job for the professionals! The Listening Suite is more than just another suburban hi-fi store. It’s two guys who are passionate about music, offering a new way for music to sound good in the home. And it does sound good. We can all learn from this".
Alan Sircom, Editor Hifi Plus Magazine
Thanks for the home demo. I really appreciate the time and effort you have taken not just this time but on previous visits to ensure I am getting the sound I want, here are some thoughts on the Sarum cables and the improvements they have made to my system, I have really struggled to put into words just how vast the improvement is.
As you know I had a discussion with you about potentially adding a power amp to my system as I felt that perhaps it would add extra weight and depth, don't get me wrong I am very happy with my current set-up but I was sure my system was capable of more. You rightly said that before adding a power amp we should ensure my current set up is producing music (not just sounds) to the best of its ability and maybe a cable upgrade would be a better approach to start with although a demo of a power amp could also be arranged if I decided on that route, we duly arranged a suitable time for you call to my house.
In my mind I had dismissed the Chord Sarum cables as the costs of the cables compared to the overall cost of my system didn't seem to make sense and I was sure my system was simply not good enough to reap the benefits from such a high quality cable. I decided that the Signature Power Cable was the one I wanted to listen to as I had currently had Chord Signature interconnects. We had a long listening session to the Chord Signature Power Cable after which I made the decision that there was definite improvement and that this was a worthwhile upgrade to my system.
As you were about to leave you offered to let me have a listen just out of curiosity to the Sarum Power cable, how very, very glad I took you up on this offer. I just couldn't believe the vast improvements it brought, I was now sitting in a room with the artist, the band or the orchestra playing live just for me, it was like the curtains had been raised and I had been upgraded from the cheap seats at the back to the expensive front seats. The Sarum cable does not add things like so many other cables do, rather it takes away everything that is blocking what is there already from reaching the speakers and ultimately my ears.
I was impressed with my Moon Ace before this I am simply stunned at how capable it really is and the vast improvements to the music it can now produce simply by allowing it to do what it was designed to do with the addition of the Sarum Power cable. My only way to give some impression by way of analogy of the level of improvement is that it's like listening to a piece of music on a basic portable analogue radio and then listening to the same piece on your Hi-Fi.
This is the level of improvement I have gained by going from a Chord Shawline Power cable to the Chord Sarum Power cable on the same system, as I said I am simply stunned by the improvements.
Roy, The Listening Suite, Customer
I came across the genius of David Browne purely by chance.
Two years ago I was passing the Listening Suite which was located in Terenure at the time, now it’s in Newtownmountkennedy. I had time to kill and I thought, what could be a nicer way to spend the time than to browse the HiFi systems in-store. So in I went and there I found David Browne among an array of HiFi systems that promised to be a pure treat for the ear.
I got chatting to David about my system (not a bad one - but not a great one) and about the various systems in-store. I decided that I wanted to have a proper listen to one of them. David choose a Moon system with Dynaudio Contour 30 speakers. I was blown away. What David demonstrated time and again, over the next hour or so, with various qualities and types of cables, positions of the equipment, and cork under-feet (which cost all of €3 each!) was that it is not merely the system that makes the sound.
Just as important is the system set-up, the cables used, the surface the system is mounted upon (which is where the cork under-feet came in), the position of the speakers to the millimetre, the surface the speakers are mounted upon, the stylus and the stylus set-up (if you are also into Vinyl like me) and of course the room itself, I was hooked.
I bought a new system within two weeks of that! And David installed it for me. I was mesmerised by the whole process of setting up the system. It was poetry in motion. I was watching the birth of my HiFi baby, and David Browne was the Consultant. Skill, patience and expertise was required and David has it all in abundance. I get so much pleasure from my system but it doesn’t end there.
The most valuable thing that I have gained from David is the actual art itself, of Listening to music. David has a way of guiding you through the whole art of really listening to the music by showing you in very simple terms how to listen to the music. It has opened my mind in a huge way – I enjoy a much wider variety of music than I previously did because I actually hear the music now.
And for that alone, I am eternally grateful.
Noel E., The Listening Suite, Customer
The experience of dealing with David and Jonathan at the Listening Suite is impressive because the knowledge, patience and passion they have for delivering a good sound is second to none. They won’t let you take their word for it - they have to prove it to you i.e. make sure you are happy. David invested hours getting the system we bought to meet our "aural" needs and within our budget. He made sure that it was set up to be heard at its best. The only complaint you can make is that he cared too much ! We are now hearing details and subtleties in albums that we hadn’t heard before. So much music now to be listened to again!!”
Michael Feeney, Customer
Thank you very much for taking the very considerable amount of time in visiting my home. Your visit was most informative and enlightening. I always felt I could get more from the components I had purchased and you demonstrated that indeed I could. How nice it is to meet someone who has a passion and enthusiasm for the business they are evolved in and the desire to share the enjoyment they get from it with others. I would highly recommend a home visit from The Listening Suite.
David Mercer, Customer
It was great. It's certainly a big differentiator in the service that you can bring to the customer base. The trained ear along with the engineering experience makes a huge difference, and brings a lot to the table. I would have been aware already of a couple of weak spots , but as you described, tuning it as one complete system makes a huge amount of sense, and if it's possible to massively increase the capability without substantial outlay, then it's happy days.
Richard Nealon, Customer
My HiFi system has taken some investment, not just the actual equipment but also time in researching the components, the setup and the provenience of the music collection I have built and maintain.
After attending a demonstration evening with The Listening Suite, in their Terenure premises and being taken completely aback by the music I was played, I thought “was that the equipment they were featuring in the demonstration or was it the setup and the attention given to speaker and equipment placement, and what I am missing to get that” – it was different to a regular HiFi Show demonstration with a system temporarily setup in a rented room, the soundstage was so wide, the instruments so accurately placed creating such a degree of realism of being in the recording studio, at the mixing desk. I had the album, but my system didn’t quite sound the same – what was I to do, how was I to make the change to get that same level of presentation, realism and emotional deliverance.
So when I saw that The Listening Suite was offering a home visit service, to assess your system, and suggest a course of action to impart their industry knowledge and experience on system setup to extract better performance and improve synergy, I made my request.
So during a Friday afternoon, David came, listened and immediately determined that improvements were to be made. It wasn’t that I had anything wrong, but needed to consider more about the interaction of the room with the system. David also explained that the generic theory can only go so far, that every room and system is different and interacts during the reproduction of the music – the system and most importantant the speakers are like musical instruments and setup is absolutely critical. So the speaker position was widened, existing toe-in changed, a selected track replayed and the difference made discussed, in terms of what had changed, why and was the changed presentation liked. Further small positioning changes continued to be made, producing further improvements. And this was just the initial assessment part of the service, so there is lots more to come with further attention given to all elements, including finally getting someone to determine whether I have setup my turntable up correctly.
What has been already been undertaken, is akin to having elements of system upgraded – there is more energy released, soundstage improved, instrument positioning clearer – much closer to what I had heard back in The Listening Room a few months previously.
For anyone who has invested in their system, and wants to get the most from it, get David over and see what he can do, definitely worth it.
Simon Pepper, Customer
David recently visited my home to offer advice with regard to my hifi system. He demonstrated the importance of speaker positioning and the clear improvements in terms of presentation when using Chord Company interconnects and speaker cables. It was like a 10k upgrade. These guys are good. For anyone serious about their hifi, this is a no-brainer.
James Curran, Customer