Evening Standard - ES Magazine


Don’t you wonder sometimes… whether your entertainm­ent system is messing up your space? Well don’t, says Adam Bray, because it’s a gift


Iam a contrary character, always have been. Hi-fi when I need to be, lo-fi most of the time. And I love technology — it has made everything I do so much easier, communicat­ing ideas quickly while remaining personal.

I’m not a fan of hiding television­s in complicate­d cabinets or even in those hideous things that appear to be mirrors you find at ‘luxury’ developmen­ts, where with the flick of an app… tadaaa! It reveals itself.

Instead, I like and always suggest the largest TV you can fit in the space. Please understand that I am far from a ‘TV on all day’ type of person but, like everything in life, if I’m going to have an experience I’d like it to be as satisfying as possible. I bought a new TV last Christmas: I went with my sons to the local shop and allowed them to talk me out of the whopping 55in screen I craved and settled on a mere 43 inches. Obviously this is still great and I was being greedy, but I’ve regretted it ever since and still hold a lowlevel grudge.

I try to steer my clients away from many of the lighting and sound systems high-end contractor­s suggest; almost all are instantly out of date and rely on software upgrades, bug fixes and are generally — I’m going to say it here in print because it matters — soulless. I don’t want to live my life in a series of pre-set ‘scenes’ that spookily fade in and out, or have my audio piped from the ceiling or a speaker that looks like a fencing mask.

This whole rant was inspired by the glorious 1970s cassette radio set pictured here, which is not a low-key piece of tech but marvellous. If I am looking for vintage hi-fi in London, I tend to go to Audio Gold in Muswell Hill. At home I run my (too small) TV and audio through an old Cambridge Audio amplifier and a pair of Kef studio monitors, which deliver a slightly analogue sound which is far from perfect but still brilliantl­y fat and juicy.

A killer tip was delivered by a friend in the music business who came over and lay the speakers on their side, which instantly transforme­d the sound. That night I had my usual group of pals over for a drink. As I fussed about in the kitchen, I could feel the bass resonating in a newer, clearer way and I felt everything would be alright after all.

 ?? ?? Dial it up: 1970s cassette radio by Paul-Louis Gastaud
Dial it up: 1970s cassette radio by Paul-Louis Gastaud

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