Recommended Components #1
Many readers have asked why we don't maintain a permanent listing in each issue of The Stereophile of those components that we feel to be the best available, with or without qualification.
So, we are following our readers' suggestion, and will list in each issue groups of components which, at publication time, we feel are ones from which our readers would be well advised to assemble their systems. The list will change from time to time, as new products appear, old ones are obsoleted, or manufacturers change their quality control standards. Components will be added to or dropped from the list without advance notice if we see adequate reason for doing so, but each change in the list will be explained in the magazine at the time the change is made.
We will also furnish, upon request from listed manufacturers, written permission to use their listing in connection with promotional activities, because we are just as anxious to see good components make money for their manufacturers as we are in directing our readers to them.
We cannot be responsible for the failure of systems using these components to perform as expected. All we can do is list in each group those components that we know to be intrinsically excellent.
Components listed here are categorized as follows:
Class AHighest in price, quality, and prestige value.
Class BSonic quality about equal to Class A, but lower in cost.
Class CSlightly lower-quality sound, but far better than average home hi-fi.
Class DGood, musical sound, better than the average component system, but significantly less than the best sound available.
It is assumed that the buyer will select his loudspeakers on the basis of room size, acoustics, and personal preference, and will make the necessary system adjustments correctly. A speaker should be driven by the amplifier in its same quality class whose power capability meets or exceeds the speaker's needs. Speakers are listed in order of brilliance and efficiency; power amplifiers are listed within each category in order in increasing power output.
Some unlisted components may well provide equivalent quality in the categories listed above, but buyers will choose unlisted ones at their own risk. The list contains only components that we know to be outstanding in their categories.
A: Thorens TD-124
B, C: Garrard 301 or Gray PK-33 (footnote 1)
D: Garrard Type A
A: SME 3009-2
B, C: Weathers Universal
D: Garrard (above)
Cartridges (footnote 2)
A, B: Weathers PS-11
C: Weathers LDM
D: Audio Dynamics ADC-2
A: Ampex 350-2 (footnote 3) or Ampex 354 (footnote 3)
B: Ampex 605-3 (footnote 3) or Sony 777
C: Sony CS-300 or DK-300 deck
D: EICO RP-100 or Viking 86
A: McIntosh 10FM or Scott 4310
B, C: Dynaco FM-1/FMX-3
D: Pilot 28
A, B: Sony C-37A, Neumann U-67
C: B&O 100
D: B&O 53
A: Beyer DT-48
B: E.J. Sharpe HA-10
C: Superex ST Series
D: Koss SP-3
A: Marantz 7, McIntosh C-20
B, C: Dynaco PAS-2
D: Eric 3160T (footnote 4)
A: Marantz 8B, McIntosh MC-60 (footnote 5), Marantz 9A (footnote 5)
B, C: Dynaco Stereo 70
D: Eric 3160T (footnote 4)
A: Altec A-7, ElectroVoice Patrician 800, Bozak B-310, KLH 9
B: Janszen Z-400, Hartley 220MS, Acoustic Research AR-3
C: KLH 6, KLH 7, Acoustic Research AR-2A, IMF Styrene
D: Wharfedale W40
Footnote 1: 33.33rpm only.
Footnote 2: Add General Electric 4G-061 for 78rpm discs.
Footnote 3: Two-track only.
Footnote 4: Integrated preamp-amplifier.
Footnote 5: mono amplifier.