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Welshsox
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Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Hi

With DUP gone we can have a reasonable debate.

What would you rate as the single most iconic peice of hifi ? Something that you aspire to through your life. The obvious ones that jump out for me :

1 - Mcintosh amps

2 - Quad electrostatic speakers

Of course the granddaddy of them all and im thinking the landslide winner, the LP12.

Any other thoughts ?

Alan

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I have always wanted to own a piece of Mac gear. I will probably by a used amp from the dealer up in TN to mate with my old Hafler DH 101 preamp...as if I really needed ANOTHER piece of stereo gear. Ah, but it has never been about NEED has it?

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

For me, probably the one piece of unobtanium that I most covet is the Audio Note Ongaku, built by Kondo.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Wha? DUPs gone? Um...OK.

Dud needs an AM Talk show or blog for all that verbage anyway.

Your list is probably spot on for what I might call the 1st generation of high-end. For the second, starting around the late 80s I'd say the Rega turntables and Rega arm, which is used by almost half the manufacturers out there.

I'd also add the VPI TNT turntable for raising the bar way up for what analogue could be. I'd also give shops to ProAc for raising the bar with what a 2 driver speaker could be with their Response 2.5 towers.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Hey Welsh, have you seen our Hot 100 List? I know: I'm always bringing it up, but it's one of my favorite pieces and I think it offers a lot of worthy answers to your question.

Right now, I think my answer is the Rega P3. It's modest -- relatively inexpensive and not at all flashy -- but I just love its history and classic design.

Someday I would like to own a Shindo amp. I'll take whichever one. I would also like to own an EAR 834P phono preamp; every single Koetsu cartridge; the DNM 3D Six preamp; the Vendetta Research SCP-2 phono preamp; a Fi X power amp (so cool); a Thorens TD-124 just because Art Dudley loves it; a set of AKG K701s; oh gosh, I could go on and on and on.

I love hi-fi gear!

Buddha
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Single most iconic piece of Hi Fi, for me...

Those MBL speakers, although, if you go back and track the price, there has been a blatant opportunism that has taken place. They are obviously entitled, of course, but it does piss me off.

So, those lovely dual globes, at however many damn thousand dollars. If I were a billionaire like Stephen or JA, they would already be mine.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
So, those lovely dual globes, at however many damn thousand dollars. If I were a billionaire like Stephen or JA, they would already be mine.

I already have six of them.

Welshsox
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

OK

Thanks Steven

So im basically redoing the Hot 100 list !!! still fun though.

I think most of the suggestions while being great gear are not iconic. The exception being the Rega Planar 3, ive owned one of these on two seperate occasions and it does make a strong case over the LP 12.

Another important criteria is longevity, the winner must have survived a long time. Bothe LP12 and Rega 3 have been around 25 years in a superficially similar format all be it with significant improvements.

So the new leader is the Rega 3, anyone disagree ?

Alan

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

If longevity is a criteria, then you must add the Klipschorn to your list. Same basic design for what, sixty years?

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Re: Greatest Single piece of HiFI

Once longevity is a necessary factor, the list is small. I think you have it covered.

For me the two pieces are the Dahlquist DQ-10s (first speakers I truly liked and wanted) and one of the Hafler amps (I can't recall which one right now) as it was the first amp that I heard that made everything sound more like real instruments.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
Another important criteria is longevity, the winner must have survived a long time. Bothe LP12 and Rega 3 have been around 25 years in a superficially similar format all be it with significant improvements.


If that's the case, La Platine Verdier's design has been virtually unchanged for 30 years now. Of course I have a horse in this race, but I lurve this horse. The history that it played with L'Audiophile, the association it has with SET and tubes catching on in Europe from Japan, all very, very, tres cool to me.

mrlowry
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Marantz 10B FM tuner. I have a weakness for tuners and that is widely regarded to be one of the very best ever.

smejias
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
Marantz 10B FM tuner. I have a weakness for tuners and that is widely regarded to be one of the very best ever.

Great call, mrlowry. Keep an eye out for David Lander's interview with Dick Sequerra, designer of the 10B, in an upcoming issue.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Stephen-

It's not nice to tease people like that. I always find it hard waiting for the next issue, now more so.

P.S. Congratulations on the publication of your review of "Attack and Release."

linden518
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Hard to believe no one's mentioned Garrard 301/401 yet... maybe it's too redundant? Later in life, when I've more time, I'd love to put together a Garrard...

One of my audio fetishes now is the Nagra IV-S portable reel-to-reel. Drool.

JIMV
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I believe Nagra has a CD player out, something I would love to hear.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
Hard to believe no one's mentioned Garrard 301/401 yet... maybe it's too redundant? Later in life, when I've more time, I'd love to put together a Garrard...

One of my audio fetishes now is the Nagra IV-S portable reel-to-reel. Drool.

Double-drool.

mrlowry
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

This is a Thorens Reference turntable, which went into production in 1979. The Reference tipped the scales at roughly 180 lbs. It's hard to believe that they were building turntables like this nearly 30 years ago!

Welshsox
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

OK

I think the Klipschorn is a good call.

Was the Revox B77 reel - reel as big here as Europe ?

Once again some of the other items mentioned while good equipment dont strike me as being iconic.

Open to more thoughts though

Klipschorn, Rega 3, LP 12 ? which wins

Alan

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I may not have the breadth of experience and knowledge of the average forum member, but I will never forget the first time I heard the Quad 57's in 1975. Grado cartridge, modded HK Citation IV pre and a homemade SET made them sing like a force of nature. Thanks to Mike Moffat and Ron Hamilton.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I'll throw a vote for the Infinity IRS-V speaker system, one of the first no-holes-barred sky-is-the-limit speaker systems.

floydianpsyche
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I have not listened to a lot of systems, but since when I was young I have had this fascination to own a Audio Research reference system with ATC speakers! And now ofcourse something like Linn LP12. Its been nearly 3 months since I got my Rega P3 and my record collection has reached a 100!

rvance
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
I'll throw a vote for the Infinity IRS-V speaker system, one of the first no-holes-bared sky-is-the-limit speaker systems.

Those bare holes? I think they're called ports.

Tedrick
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

LOL...damn typo .

Skellum
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Large Advents.....Opened my college red eyes to what sound was about.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Q: What s the most iconic piece of audio gear?

A: I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to agree on the ultimate iconic piece of audio gear, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have audio gear and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, Audio Research and, uh, the Linn, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our audio education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. audiophiles, uh, or, uh, should help Conrad Johnson and should help the Ayre and the DeVore Speakers, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children audiophiles.

rvance
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Buddhacious! I think she handled that pretty well considering she was all prepped for autism or world peace.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
Hi

With DUP gone we can have a reasonable debate.

Alan

With DUP gone, you can mass debate.

Buddha
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

AlexO, you are our master debater.

I would like to be more of a cunning linguist. Perhaps one day to be promoted to Colonel Linguist.

That would be great. But I would not overstay my welcome. Just a tap on the top of old Colonel Linguist's head, and I'd be off, darting in and out of the cotton.

ncdrawl
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

this studio







and this beauty, a handbuilt entirely vaccum tube console.
(1539 special SQ Tubes!)

oh and maybe george ms mixing room

Elk
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

That mixing room is disturbing to look at. Creepy things extending out of the walls.<shudder>

So why the 1U spacers above and below the Avalon units? The racks are otherwise filled but the Avalons are getting special treatment. Do you know why?

ncdrawl
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

maybe for heat dissipation?? the avalons are vacuum tube designs.

that room of George's has 90 tons of mdf. crazy.

Elk
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Some Avalons are tube, some SS. Plus, there is a lot of other tube equipment in that rack. Avalon equipment is also well shielded so there is no issue here.

There must be a reason since they obviously don't have lots of extra room.

Ergonaut
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Oooooooook - I love threads like this - yeeeehaaaaw

My response is going to be in two halves

Leap in Innovation

Meridian MCD101 - Seperate DAC (stunning exercise in discrete device DAC)

MagnePlanar 3.6's (affordability in fine planar speakers)

Carver Cube Amplifier (dynamic adaptive power output selectivity - so called Field Forwarding - getting so much power out of something with next to no heatsinking, form the great ex-PhaseLinear designer)

Nostalgia (cos I owned)

Ariston RD11 Superior with Syrinx PU3 tonearm - Koetsu Blue combination.(IMO - blew the LP12 away)

Quad ESL 57's (I had these Stacked... )

Tannoy Little Reds (aaaaah - just awesome - too many orgasms)

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I guess I'd vote for the Rega P3, too, based on how important it is to everything else.

Like ergo, my response will be parts:
Stuff I owned:
Back when I was in audio for the first time, in the late 70's/early 80's, it would be:
2) H-K Citation 12 amplifier (my Large Advents running a close second)

Stuff I lusted after: Snell Type A's driven by the early 80's Snell amplifier.

Today, it would still be my Rega, which I still own after all that time and

2) My Grado Reference Sonata (cryogenically treated)

Stuff I lust after today:
Sonus-Faber Cremona M's
AR Reference 3 Pre and D110 Amps

JIMV
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Maggie 3.6's and Bryston's latest CD player...both out of my wallets range, maybe forever.

JSBach
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Hm. I've owned a few of the so called iconic bits and pieces listed here and often found it a less than happy association. The one piece of gear I really might lust after I've never gotten my hands on (if I could be sure of getting a supply of tape) is the Nagra reel to reel recorder. So deliciously Flash Gorden!
Of the junk that's still living with me I nominate my Nakamichi 'Dragon' cassette deck as iconic, whatever that means. More than 20 years after purchase it's still running to original spec and hasn't misbehaved once in all that time.
I have a suspicion my Meridian F 80 thingy will one day be regarded as iconic but it's too early to say.
-----------------------------------------------------------
By the way, what's happening to the English language that we have to resort to sloppy terms like 'iconic' to cover a multitude of sins?

andy19191
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

> What would you rate as the single most iconic peice of hifi ?

What one considers as iconic is going to depend rather a lot on your viewpoint.

> 1 - Mcintosh amps

I think this was largely an American thing. I suspect many British people viewed those meters as a bit naff.

2 - Quad electrostatic speakers

Yes. The impact of the initial speakers was by most accounts (before my time) seismic with many expecting this to be the future of hi-fi speakers. It wasn't.

The AR speaker also had a big impact albeit more in terms of high sound quality in a practical package rather than out-and-out sound quality.

> Of course the granddaddy of them all and im thinking the landslide winner, the LP12.

The turntable itself was well made but no better or worse than a number of others of similar design and price (Thorens, Ariston,... help - memory not what it should be). After a few years of steady selling as a perfectly ordinary turntable everything changed after an "icon making review". For me, this was the first hardcore audiophile/subjectivist review that I had ever seen in a mainstream hi-fi magazine and it was like a punch in the stomach.

I recall the review mentioned records scattered on the carpet rather than being handled normally and it enthused about the sound in a completely over the top manner that is now normal but at the time was strikingly different. The author described how he could now hear an instrument (viola I think) that he previously could not distinguish on whatever system he had been using previously. He mentioned the particular record (Roberta Flack I think) which I knew my mum had and so I went off to see her and borrow it. I had no difficulty hearing what I assumed he was going on about on my Thorens/Shure turntable through my homemade amplifier and homemade speakers (the audio hobby was rather different in those days). So I tried my mums Pye (I think) system. Hmmm.

I am wondering if it was a formal review or perhaps a description of a visit. It might have been in Hi-Fi News but there were more publications then than there is now. Whatever, the demand for and price of the Linn turntable took off and I viewed the audio industry and my hobby in a rather different light. A year or two later the same publications were enthusing over one-way gold plated speaker cables but I, and I suspect rather large numbers of people like me, wanted nothing more to do with the audio hobby by that time.

Now that I am older and a bit more tolerant of the worlds failings I can appreciate that the creation of a mainstream audiophile industry was a rather smart way out for an industry that was in trouble in developed countries. But I did not think like that at the time I read that review (or visit) of the "iconic" Linn turntable.

The person who is likely to have the best recollection of those turbulent times at least in the UK is someone like John Atkinson and not an outsider like me. Also there was likely to have been a sequence of reviews rather than just one as the audiophile phenomenon gathered momentum and I am not sure the word audiophile was in much use at the time in the UK.

I would agree that the Linn LP12 is an icon of the audiophile phenomenon at least in the UK along with Naim amplifiers and possibly one or two other marketing lead products. Quad electrostatics and AR speakers however were advances in a technical rather than a marketing sense and anyone with engineering sensibilities is almost certain to want to give that more weight.

andy19191
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

> Those MBL speakers, although, if you go back and track the price, there has been a blatant opportunism
> that has taken place. They are obviously entitled, of course, but it does piss me off.

Don't know about the recent price history but the MBL drivers have been developed internally and not simply bought from a factory that stamps them out by the truckload. For a small company to invest a million DM developing such a product from a basic prototype in the 70s (a colleague is one of the people that created the prototype) for a small and specialised market was a risk. Having established themselves it is hard to see a business case for another company repeating the trick which gives MBL a fair amount of flexibility in setting the price.

andy19191
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

> One of my audio fetishes now is the Nagra IV-S portable
> reel-to-reel. Drool.

We tossed a few Nagras and couple of Revoxs in a skip 4 or 5 years ago because they were not worth maintaining. I suspect you can probably still pickup unmaintained Nagras for nothing from recording studios and other technical institutions.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
Hm. I've owned a few of the so called iconic bits and pieces listed here and often found it a less than happy association. The one piece of gear I really might lust after I've never gotten my hands on (if I could be sure of getting a supply of tape) is the Nagra reel to reel recorder. So deliciously Flash Gorden!
Of the junk that's still living with me I nominate my Nakamichi 'Dragon' cassette deck as iconic, whatever that means. More than 20 years after purchase it's still running to original spec and hasn't misbehaved once in all that time.
I have a suspicion my Meridian F 80 thingy will one day be regarded as iconic but it's too early to say.
-----------------------------------------------------------
By the way, what's happening to the English language that we have to resort to sloppy terms like 'iconic' to cover a multitude of sins?

I will admit to lusting after their CD player but that is in the new car range of pricing so I will never own one.

ncdrawl
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:

We tossed a few Nagras and couple of Revoxs in a skip 4 or 5 years ago because they were not worth maintaining.

\
not worth maintaining? friend, i have to say, ive never heard anyone put NAGRA and "not worth maintaining" in a sentence, ever.. Ive got a couple of Nagra IV machines, a telefunken t-audio, revox a77(the machine that cantate domino was recorded on), and a highly modified stellavox sp-8. , but the nagra is dear to my heart.

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
Hi

With DUP gone we can have a reasonable debate.

What would you rate as the single most iconic peice of hifi ? Something that you aspire to through your life. The obvious ones that jump out for me :

1 - Mcintosh amps

2 - Quad electrostatic speakers

Of course the granddaddy of them all and im thinking the landslide winner, the LP12.

Any other thoughts ?

Alan

As a teenager in the 70's my iconic dream system would have a Crown DC300 amp driving a pair of Klipschorns.

Welshsox
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Ill have to reread the entire thread but it seems like a toss up between Klipschorns on the US side and the Rega 3 on the UK side ?

Anyone disagree ?

JSBach
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI


Quote:
Ill have to reread the entire thread but it seems like a toss up between Klipschorns on the US side and the Rega 3 on the UK side ?
Anyone disagree ?


Not if we forget to distinguish between democracy and intelligence.

andy19191
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

> not worth maintaining? friend, i have to say, ive never heard anyone put
> NAGRA and "not worth maintaining" in a sentence, ever..

I am confident that the scrap heap has been the fate for most Nagras manufactured because those that bought them did so because they wanted a tool for mobile recording. When they were no longer an appropriate tool for the job and they required time and money to restore to a working state most institutions would scrap them. Few would consider the time and effort involved in trying to sell a broken tool for a small amount of money cost effective.

gkc
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I cannot speak for the Rega -- I never owned one.

But, I DID own Klipshchorns.

If you want to experience what Klipshorns do to music, you don't even need the Klipshorns. All you have to do is crank up your own system to where it's as loud as you can stand it, then take a knife, crochet needle, bayonet, ski pole (remove the webbing first), or any other implement within reach that is longer than your skull is wide, and has a sharp point, and insert the point forcefully into either ear, and shove hard 'til it comes out the other side of your head. Then smile, sit back, and enjoy.

If "iconic" means "nostalgic," I'll take the modern stuff. It sounds better. Less pain, if you listen around a bit before you choose...

If "iconic" means the closest to the memory of "live" that you can find, then I'll take what I already have. I am truly satisfied. In this technologically-sensitive area of experience, very few blasts from the past can withstand rigorous comparison to the best of the present. Very few, if any.

Happy tunes.

ncdrawl
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Man, we must run in entirely different pro audio circles, because every engineer ive ever known(I engineer as well, have a remote business) considers Nagra as Iconic as Neve, API, Pultec, yadda yadda..


Quote:
> not worth maintaining? friend, i have to say, ive never heard anyone put
> NAGRA and "not worth maintaining" in a sentence, ever..

I am confident that the scrap heap has been the fate for most Nagras manufactured because those that bought them did so because they wanted a tool for mobile recording. When they were no longer an appropriate tool for the job and they required time and money to restore to a working state most institutions would scrap them. Few would consider the time and effort involved in trying to sell a broken tool for a small amount of money cost effective.

dchisholm
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

I think Alan is right and that maybe the thread has morphed from consideration of "iconic" equipment into "This was my favorite thing I ever owned or wish I had."

It seems to me that an "icon" was a landmark in its time, a turning point for the future, and was/is hugely famous, perphaps due to its design, performance, (marketing?), or some other "intangable appeal" for lack of better words.

I think the further we venture into the esoteric and the unknown, the less iconic something becomes.

My ignorant newbie (and American side of the pond) perspective: McIntosh amps, with their audio transformers and blue meters are icons. Klipschorns are icons. I can't comment too much on some of this other stuff ...

Welshsox
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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Don

You are right, so maybe items such as

Dual CS 505
NAD 3020
KEF CODA's

Should be considered, after more though im leaning towards the Rega 3

Alan

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Re: Greatest Single peice of HiFI

Hi Welsh - hope all is well in the valleys

I found ye olde 505 a tadge baringy rumbly grumbly and a wee bit cheap on materials - good budget deck, but I just couldnt put it high up the TT food chain. I dunno why but it had a whiff of old Garrard about it.

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