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  • Rust
    replied
    Didn't some of the old Bang & Olafson equipment from the early 80s end up in the MOMA? Over the last forty years or so with the proliferation of seperates, it seems that a lot of folks have forgotten what attractive or unobtrusive style is. I can't say from experience what the Devaliet gear sounds like but that's the integration of a cubic buttload of functionality into one very small and stylish piece of gear. Upgradeable via software to boot. If Devaliet can do all that, maybe DCS could squish that five box stack into something a little more manageable. On the other hand there is the (I think) Lightspeed DaVinci DAC that looks so interesting and so un-high end like. Not a big box or a collection of boxes.

    But unless it's all coming from the same manufacturer, the styles won't match.

    Beyond the equipment style issues there is usually a big rack with a half dozen or more dissimilar pieces of gear, Excess length interconnects hanging about. Excess length power cords hanging about. A couple extra feet of humongo speaker cable. I worked for forty five years on military and heavy industrial electrical and electronic equipment. Undressed unsecured excess cable was an anathema and never acceptable. Some people change components as often as their shorts so that will always be an issue. There are a couple of cable makers who specialize in made to order length cables for those who remain faithful to equipment long term.

    Well, there is camoflage. Put lamps on top of those 200 lb monoblocks, Planters of trailing ivy on top of those five foot tall speakers 1/3 of the way into the room and clad them in sculpted styrofoam to look artistic. A female form pouring water out of an amphora. Post modern sculpture. Just think of the possibilites. A real conversation starter. Prove you have a sense of humor. Laugh a little.
    Last edited by Rust; 02-21-2016, 05:04 AM.

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  • Steve Lefkowicz
    replied
    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


    OTOH just to play devil's advocate, for the high-end industry to move past being just attractive to audiophiles, the equipment must come in more than black boxes. Aragon was able to come up with some unique looks even with modestly priced equipment.
    Oh, don't get me wrong and I agree with you. A $40,000 amp better look like it's worth $40,000. My issue is with products where you just get the feeling that a substantial part of the price is in cosmetics and appearance, basically taking a $5,000 product and selling it as a $50,000 product with a fancy case. Kind of like a Clenet or an Excalibur, to use a automotive analogy.
    But when it comes to lower cost end of the High End, get the technology and sound right first, then try to make it look as nice as possible, as long as it doesn't jack the price up. I think companies like Schiit Audio and iFi do a great job of making products look way better than their low price would have you expect. This becomes especially important with budget oriented speakers. I'd much rather see better quality drivers and crossover parts than a fancy veneer or high gloss finish. Or like Tekton, offer speakers with an almost DIY looking basic black finish at an incredibly reasonable price, but offer nicer finishes as a higher price option for those who need their speakers looking better too.

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  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    Originally posted by nc42acc View Post
    I think the products need to have lifestyle looks but SOTA sound. All within a pricing structure for mortals. With powder coat technology, anodizing, creative material use audio can be more than an ugly black box sitting on an erector set rack.

    There's really only one high-end company holding out.

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  • nc42acc
    replied
    I think the products need to have lifestyle looks but SOTA sound. All within a pricing structure for mortals. With powder coat technology, anodizing, creative material use audio can be more than an ugly black box sitting on an erector set rack.

    Leave a comment:


  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post
    Anyone who has seen my system knows that the "visual appeal" or bling factor plays no part in it. One of the first things you give up and probably even avoid when living at the lower cost end of this business is money wasted on unnecessary aspects that don't actively make for better sound. Too often the visual appeal is there just to justify a higher cost, making it more about the gear than the music. That being said, I do like cool looking turntables.

    OTOH just to play devil's advocate, for the high-end industry to move past being just attractive to audiophiles, the equipment must come in more than black boxes. Aragon was able to come up with some unique looks even with modestly priced equipment.

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  • banditcat200
    replied
    If the sound is superb I could not care less about the design and bling factor.
    But that is just me

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  • Steve Lefkowicz
    replied
    Anyone who has seen my system knows that the "visual appeal" or bling factor plays no part in it. One of the first things you give up and probably even avoid when living at the lower cost end of this business is money wasted on unnecessary aspects that don't actively make for better sound. Too often the visual appeal is there just to justify a higher cost, making it more about the gear than the music. That being said, I do like cool looking turntables.

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  • Rust
    replied
    In some respects, it all comes down to personnal priorities. A lot of factors determine what those priorities are. In addition to muscality, what else is desired and is it obtainable.

    For me it's sound first. If a component or system does not communicate the music to me then that component or system is irrelevant to me. Normally, I buy used or on the low end of the price scale because of modest means. Musicality formost and if I don't need to sneak it out of the store in a plain brown paper bag, great. But when checking out shops for a steal on the used rack I get to check out some pretty high zoot gear. And that's when I get a little nervous. Sometimes some very expensive systems have been, how to put it, less good than their price tags would indicate. So as not to offend anyone I usually smile and shake my head and say yeah that's great.

    Conversly, I occasionally hear a setup that is superb, exquisite, amazing. Invariably not what is the flavor of the day on some glossy magazine cover. Invariably not eye candy either. Well, usually. I thought the Walker turntable looked pretty good and it sure sounded good.

    Personal priorities and tastes. If everyone had the same priorities and tastes we might all be listening to Bose tabletop radios.

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  • siddh
    replied
    Sexy has appeal..no doubt, but I have owned electronics, such as Joule, earlier industrial-looking Atma-Sphere, MFA; with little regard to anything but the sound.

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  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    Originally posted by Rob View Post


    High quality (high SQ) and good looks are not mutually exclusive. I know people who won't consider CJ gear because they can't stand the champagne gold anodize - which is their signature. Same goes for the big blue meters and metal trimmed facias of McIntosh gear (some don't take the brand as serious High-end gear to begin with). Beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder and emotional to most people.
    +1

    Nor should they be nowadays. Hell Aragon had Robii design some sexy looking affordable products for them years ago.

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  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    To be honest, the days of the old black box is over. (maybe with the exception of LAMM?) Not if high-end electronics wants a market beyond audiophiles. People may criticize the looks of Greg's UHA decks, yet they are perfect for the market he's targeting. And Greg isn't targeting the old tapeheads but a whole new generation of tape lovers. Guys who already have excellent looking tables like say a Clearaudio and are looking for something different and better.

    That said, I only care about what the product sounds like. One of the nicest sounding amps years ago was the Amber 70. It was nothing to look at and the parts were nothing to write home about. Yes within its power rating, the little amplifier killed most of the solid-state amplifier in its price range and even some more expensive products. In fact, this amplifier totally destroyed the Hafler 500, the darling of quite a few people. The Hafler 500, was maybe next to the Adcom GFA-1, one of the worst sounding amplifiers ever made. That 500 was 500 of the puniest watts I ever heard; even on a relatively easy to drive Maggie 3As.

    The Adcom was junk and couldn't drive a 4 ohm load, because of its bridged design, without overheating and shutting down.

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  • Johnny Vinyl
    commented on 's reply
    That's an honest answer as well Marty! We all do what floats our boat....as it should be!

  • nc42acc
    replied
    To answer my own hypothetical question, my audio rack could look like Dr Frankensteins lab and I wouldn't care as long as it gives me a more involving musical experience.

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  • Johnny Vinyl
    replied
    That tiger-stripe pattern of Jeff Rowland gear is just not appealing to me from a visual perspective at all, so I would never even consider it. If I'm investing 5K, 10K, 20K in something it better hold a significant visual appeal as well.

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  • Rob
    replied
    Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
    I would probably decline on both regarding the hypothetical situation that Marty outlined. Any piece of gear I buy must meet both quality (of sound and craftmanship) and aesthetics.

    High quality (high SQ) and good looks are not mutually exclusive. I know people who won't consider CJ gear because they can't stand the champagne gold anodize - which is their signature. Same goes for the big blue meters and metal trimmed facias of McIntosh gear (some don't take the brand as serious High-end gear to begin with). Beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder and emotional to most people.

    Leave a comment:

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