This month, we focus on one of Nordost’s longest standing dealers in the UK, Loud & Clear, who recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary.
With a hugely experienced team of 18 across showrooms and demo suites in Glasgow & Edinburgh – Loud & Clear pride themselves on their system synergistic approach. They consider an audio or audio/video system as a whole – a system which should be greater than the sum of its parts. Rather than looking at individual components, a system is all about how products interact and complement each other to give a truly outstanding performance.
In the words of Allan Boyd, Glasgow’s MD, “We have all put together a system which, on paper, should sound amazing, but in reality is a touch disappointing. It’s all about knowing the strengths of each and every component in the chain and knowing what will work together. It’s one of the great things about Nordost cabling and the QRT product – they add very little – they just let the system breathe and perform to its best.”
“Demonstration is the key to what we do – we all have our personal preferences about the music we love and the way we listen. Both stores have unprecedented demo facilities – two hifi suites in Edinburgh, as well as a multichannel room, two hifi suites in Glasgow, a multichannel room, and a recently added private demo suite dedicated to the high end on the South side of Glasgow.” added John Carroll, MD of Loud & Clear in Edinburgh.
One of the things that sets the Loud & Clear team apart from their local competition is their prevailing attitude to only offer products that they truly believe in, rather than merely sell ‘the latest thing with a five star review’. This consistent philosophy is reflected by the fact that many of the key brands present in the store when they opened their doors back in 1996, such as Rega, Linn, NaimAudio, ProAc & Sonus Faber, remain integral parts of their business today. In contrast, the last 20 years have seen the closure of many other hifi shops in Scotland, that jumped from brand to brand, and review to review.
In addition to the company’s focus on performance audio – Glasgow is also the home of Loud & Clear Smarthome – a dedicated team of 5 who specialize in home theatre, multi room audio, lighting, and heating control— working on projects large and small throughout Scotland and beyond.
The reality is that the two stores complement each other perfectly! There’s probably nowhere else in Europe where you’d be able to compare the likes of dCS, Linn, Meridian, Moon and Naim alongside more specialist brands like VPI, Plato and Merging.
There are some clear product synergies with Nordost here – Moon and Nordost have partnered up at many hifi shows over the years in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. Similarly, VPI offers Nordost internal wiring as an optional upgrade in their tonearms. As a result, many VPI turntables are sold around the world with Nordost tonearm cables.
Not many hifi dealers can boast owning a record label, but Loud & Clear can! Groove Line Records was established in 2015, and specializes in the reissue of classic disco records. As you’d expect with all things associated with Loud & Clear, attention to detail is second to none, with every release taken from the master tapes, and the vinyl pressings being produced at one of the most renowned pressing plants in the world—Optimal in Germany.
When you take into account all the diverse areas that the Loud & Clear Group operate in, you quickly realize that there is probably no other dealer like them in the world. A sheer love of music shines through in all the staff. When this is coupled with an unerring ability to extract the maximum potential & performance from all the products they sell, you can understand why they establish such enduring relationships with their customers—many of whom have spent the last two decades developing their systems with them.
If you’re ever passing through the great cities of Glasgow or Edinburgh, we highly recommend visiting our friends and partners at Loud & Clear!