In my early teens I was into cycling, but not being able to find a bike that I liked in the shops, I built one to my own specification travelling far and wide for the parts. Looking back, that approach has shaped what I do now with 8th Dimension Audio.
In the following years I started going to live music events including Knebworth in ‘79 for Led Zep. Things changed. The bike was sold and replaced with my first stereo system by Technics with Bowers & Wilkins speakers (my sister still uses it), and a vinyl collection was started. I was fortunate that I had a local record store with an enthusiastic owner who found all sorts of music on import for me.
I guess in the intervening years between then and now I have had many audio systems. Vinyl replaced by CD and now streaming audio. It’s true that this hobby is a never ending journey towards audio nirvana for many, but I also changed my system when I moved house to suit the environment in which I played my favourite tunes.
Certainly you also change as a person over the years. I am generally a little less energetic in my 50’s than I was in my 20’s (I still have a bike though) and listen to music more for relaxation these days – it’s my glass or two of Merlot. However, I do like to listen to various styles of music. Streaming audio from the likes of ‘Tidal’ and others give you easy access to a huge selection of genres for minimal cost, and that’s one reason why I’ve designed the business around streaming solutions – convenience and choice.
I might also listen to a particular music genre depending on the season, the weather, my mood or the time of day, so I decided to create a portfolio of products that sound great with a wide range of music rather than one or two styles, and also to suit most artistic preferences, from A to Jay-Z.
I’ve always been keen on design having worked with Architects and Interior Designers during my career, and just like my early teens with cycling I like to do things differently. You won’t find racks of equipment with five huge boxes or speakers that could have been borrowed from Glastonbury in our portfolio. Our aim is to be minimalist with components so they sit well with your existing furniture and to offer loudspeakers that wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery.
You may not have heard of the brands we have, or find our products on the high street. I have invested a lot of time and effort in finding specialist designers rather than simply working with big brands. The only difference is that these manufacturers don’t all have the huge marketing budgets of the major brands and invest in their products as a first priority, and produce some fine sounding equipment as a result.
The skill then, with multiple sources, is to make sure that they compliment each other when building a system. We remove the complexity of choosing the right components by selling complete systems that work well as a combination, and ones that also blend into your listening environment.
Finding the right solution for any given situation can be complex, and whilst we won’t be turning up with an acoustics engineer (unless you want one of course) we will discuss your requirements fully, including room dimensions, furnishings, and listening preferences. You can try the simple product selector on our website for a guide, or contact us for a consultation.
If you prefer to visit us we have a dedicated listening room. Rather than an acoustically treated dem room that you often find in hi-fi shops ours is a lounge with furniture not too dissimilar to those in many homes.
The importance of this is that systems will sound different depending on your choice of furnishings – wooden floors, carpet, rugs, curtains, sofas and a collection of Rene Lalique originals in a glass cabinet will all have an impact on the resulting sound.
We also have demo products in our TV room, kitchen, bedroom, and spare room/office so you’ll be able to see and hear everything in its ‘natural habitat’.
Our dem room is where we test our product combinations to ensure they work well together and we can put together any selection from our product range or just show you our personal favourites. For some of our top of the range systems we may also set up a demo with the manufacturer’s representative in the UK.
The most important aspect for us is that your investment in an audio system works for you and you get as much pleasure aesthetically as audibly from our products.
The difference is in the detail, as they say.