The brisk Summer of 2000, I had just started my PhD at Imperial College London and my life had a new beginning. A friend of mine had just returned some money he owed me and I decided to treat myself by buying a micro hi fi system. I was walking on Edgware road and bought the JVC UX1150 from Argos which served me for 13 years. It traveled with me to 11 different rooms I lived in in all these years. With some sadness I packed it away last month. It’s tape recorder didn’t work any more and the connections were getting crackly, loose and annoying. I packed a piece of my life and an old companion away.
Time to move on and I replaced that hi-fi with a proper hi-fi. I didn’t even really know what that term really meant until I got hold of the Denon RCD-M39DAB. I bought it after seeing some amazing reviews both on What Hi Fi and Amazon. The main unit cost £185 and the Denon speakers cost an extra £91.50, bringing the full unit price to £288.50. And boy does this unit really deliver!
Although I sing in a band, have recorded in studios and done some home audio music recording my ears aren’t as tuned to high fidelity music as they should be. But thanks to this new hi fi I clearly know the difference now. All the CDs I have collected in the last 15 odd years were brought to new life as I put them on a spin on this new toy.
One word to sum up the sound : clarity. There’s real clarity in all the instruments and musical phrases that I never knew even existed in my original CDs. Each of my CDs actually came to a whole new life. It felt like being in a recording studio and those CDs had a secret soundscape that had suddenly been released from hiding. I felt like sitting next to the bass guitarist’s amp as each string pluck was clear, crisp and identifiable. I started to identify bass lines of many of my favorite songs! The next striking sound were the vocals, they really came to life and on some occasions I could hear the breathing and cadence of vocal deliveries, it was like standing next to the singer in the recording booth.
The treble in between i.e guitars, piano, strings etc., are also very very clear and particularly with guitar, you feel like your ears are right next to the guitar amp. And then the bass drum, the bass drum plasticy skin type sound is so clear and distinct too. All these parts sit in their own place in the sound. If you’ve never heard hi fi sound you won’t be able to distinguish between the instruments and their parts, because most of the time all of parts get blended into a “mush”. That’s the one thing this hi-fi has done, it has separated this “mush” and bought all the sounds out in their own clear space. And since I am familiar with the sounds from rehearsing in studios, I truly feel closer to the original bands and artists than ever before.
The system also has digital DAB radio, which I am not too convinced about as when tested against FM radio it does not sound as crisp and clear, but you can use FM on the hi-fi anyway. You can also plug in a USB device and I use my iPhone into this regularly, plus I also have my PC connected to the hi-fi using the analogue input. So, I am using this new toy to the max. Loving listening to all the audio I had before in a totally different way and enjoying new sounds and songs.
For the price it really is an amazing sound upgrade and I very highly recommend this system as it is probably the cheapest you can pay to get started on true hi-fi sound.