One of the most frequently asked questions is “why PJ?”
The answer is that the original owner of the business, which started as PJ Equipments in the late 1940′s, was a very forward thinking man called Peter John Oram.
The business operated initially from premises at 3, Onslow Street, where they were the only shop in Guildford selling and hiring out PA Equipment, Sound Systems – specifically for use in cinemas, Juke Boxes and Hi-fi equipment of a decent quality, so PJ is Guildford’s original hi-fi shop. (I used to pop in and buy ex juke box singles when I was at school in the 60s!) Names that are still prominent today which were featured then include QUAD and Wharfedale.
With the advent of the major development that became The Friary Centre, in the 1970s, PJ Equipment moved to the present location in Bridge Street.
The business evolved through the 70s and 80s, until 1989 when Richard Taunton took over and changed the name to PJ Hifi, thereby retaining the original identity and adapting to the more modern terminology associated with the products being sold.
Richard had been visiting the shop for several years as a Sales Representative for Rotel Hifi, and had recognised the latent potential for quite some time.
Initial success was achieved utilising just three rooms of the building, two being demonstration areas with a comfy sofa in each – both of which got plenty of use !
Many exclusive brands were introduced to the discerning Guildford customers for the first time, including Linn, Meridian, NAD, Rotel, Kef Reference, Mission, B&W, Marantz, Nakamichi, Thorens, Yamaha, and then later on Rega, Cyrus, Tag McLaren, Denon, Naim, Audiovector, Dyn Audio.
The addition of an on site Service Department, proved to be a great success, and reassurance, to the many customers who had experienced problems with older equipment, and of course items covered by the 2 year guarantee then offered by PJ Hifi.
All of the staff worked in the busy shop environment, dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis, helping them to select the best sounding systems to meet their budgets, this was achieved by excellent demonstrations and followed through with careful and meticulous installations in their homes.
With more and more customers’ requirements progressing from purely 2 channel (stereo) towards multi channel audio for both music and film, and multi-room applications, PJ moved rapidly into these new areas.
PJ Hi-fi has always been keen to ensure that the system or individual components purchased have been installed correctly and of course this is even more important with comprehensive and sophisticated multi component, multi room and Home Cinema systems.
PJ Hi-fi still caters for all budgets; a carefully selected comprehensive range of Amplifiers – both stereo and multichannel, DVD/Blu ray players, CD players, DAB/Fm Tuners and Loudspeaker packages are all available for comparison. High performance Turntables are still a major product featured in PJ Hifi, and after 25 years in Guildford alone, the Linn LP12 is still the best that you can buy !
A whole new world of listening pleasure has been brought to the discerning customers of PJ Hifi with the advent of streaming devices – don’t miss out on this amazing new generation of sound reproduction – pop in today for a listen !
A good selection of high quality stands/wall brackets – for loudspeakers, televisions and all electronic equipment – is also available to compliment the chosen system and integrate with the environment in your home. These are from Apollo, Quadraspire, and others.
A new no-compromise demonstration suite, which is part of a large extension to the building, was updated in 2011 to produce an even better sound auditioning environment.
This proved to be necessary to accommodate the two leading loudspeaker brands: UK stalwarts Bowers & Wilkins’ 800 series, and the Audiovector range from Denmark.
Initially designed as a dedicated Home Cinema, the room still features overhead JVC and Sony projectors with a glorious screen measuring 7ft, and a stunning reference sound system.
For listening comfort the room also has an automated Lutron lighting system air conditioning.
The room, originally built in 2000 had already proved to many customers just how amazing a Home Cinema system can look and sound, and is now improved !
Display Devices: Plasma Screens from Panasonic,
Televisions and LCD Screens from Loewe, Panasonic, Samsung.
Projectors from Sony, JVC.
Projection Screens from Stewart, Draper and Vutec.
Control Systems: RTI
Lighting Control: Lutron.
Home Cinema Amplification and source components:
Classe, Anthem, Arcam,, Kaleidescape,
The full listing of Hifi manufacturers stocked currently is as follows;
Audiovector, Anthem, Audiolab, Anthony Gallo Acoustics, Arcam, B&W (incl 800 series), Chord Company, Chord Electronics, Classe, Cyrus, Denon, Dyn Audio, Epos, Exposure, Genelec, IsoTek, Kaleidescape, Linn Products (Incl LP12), Marantz, Michell, Musical Fidelity, Naim, Neat Loudspeakers, Ortofon, PMC, Project, QED, Quad, Rega,, Rotel, Sennheiser, SME, Spendor, Wharfedale,
PJ Hifi’s cheerful and knowledgeable staff, (Andy, Mark and Andy) are all waiting to meet you, play you some wonderful music, and change your life….
Since 1989 I have been continuously thrilled by the new products that regularly arrive in the shop, come along and try the experience for yourself….
Tell me I sent you !
Richard Taunton, Managing Director.