Hi, I’m Alastair Gardner and I started Signals back in 1993. Engineer, part time DJ and relative youngster Andy Heavens, pictured in the middle, joined the business in 2003, bringing two useful ears and very welcome technical skills – he’s a dab hand with the LP12. Mick Dann joined the team in late 2019 and is our networks (amongst other things) expert.
Add in my wife, Rhea, to keep us on our toes, and you have the team.
After all these years being based in my family home, spring 2017 has seen Signals relocate to a place of its own in a gently modified 1992 former Catholic church in Trimley st Mary, Suffolk.
Think of St Cecilia’s House as Craggy Island. I’m Ted with occasional bursts of Father Jack and Andy is Dougal but with brains. It’s tempting to cast my wife Rhea in the role of Mrs Doyle. Tempting, but ill advised 🙂
Despite the small size of the operation, we seem to have developed a good reputation in the admittedly compact world of UK specialist audio retail. We offer a low-key, informed and relaxed alternative to high street shops and have even become hosts of a very respectable more or less annual hi-fi show at Trinity Park.
Our new premises might not sound too homely but, believe me, it really is. We are able to demonstrate music systems at a wide range of price points in three very domestic listening rooms plus one rather larger and (much) taller one. Coffee beans are roasted locally for us by Roastery 112.
We ask that you telephone or email in advance to arrange an appointment. That way we can make an effort to be organised and avoid too many overlaps with other visitors, giving you the best possible service. At the very least, you can establish that we will be here.
We are all on one level, are wheelchair friendly (including the loo) and have a proper car park. Here’s the building. Here’s what we’ve done and how it looks now.
We primarily sell and install domestic music systems. Not just ‘nice and clear’ ones but systems that convey some of the drama, passion and spirit that makes music replay so captivating.
Slightly old-fashioned values such as service, support, product knowledge and empathy are the order of the day. Even counselling on occasions. . . We have a light-hearted approach but do take our customers very seriously. That’s the way we sleep nights.
We are one of just two dealers in the entire UK to have the Naim Statement S1 pre and power amplifiers on permanent demonstration but, don’t worry, we also cater for far more modest tastes too.
As well as stocking a wide range of turntables, arms and cartridges we are able to supply, service and update Linn, Pro-ject, Rega and Nottingham Analogue turntables. We can service Roksan too.
This extends to fitting the impressive Keel, Kore and Karousel to the LP12.
For cartridges, we stock, and can demonstrate, Audio Technica, Dynavector, Kiseki, Linn, Lyra, Ortofon, Rega and Sumiko.
Our experience has led to an understanding of good turntable and cartridge matches. Surprisingly, the key relationship is often more between the deck and the cartridge than the arm.
We also have a range of selected phono stages from Dynavector, Lehmann, Naim, Linn, Pro-ject, Rega & Trilogy that we are happy to recommend and, of course, demonstrate.
If you last looked at buying audio equipment a few years ago, the current crop of systems might surprise you. Without compromising quality, developments in storing music and controlling equipment via iOS or Android devices mean that a very high quality system can be incredibly easy and intuitive to use.
Despite the collection of boxes evident in our room shown here, it need not be at all visually intrusive either. In fact, with the point of control being, say, an iPad, the system can be out of sight.
High end audio streaming from Chord, Linn, Melco and, of course, Naim really does open the door to a better-than-CD high resolution audio future.
We are happy to explain and to demonstrate how this works and how we can integrate this into an existing system.
There are many ways to access music, though, and the current crop of USB-connected DACs allied to a Mac, PC or high end server such as the ones by Melco can make enormous sense too. We have a lot here and can explain over a tea or coffee. Might need two . . .