Recommended Components #1

[Note - this article is from the May, 1963 issue of Stereophile]

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 A—Highest in price, quality, and prestige value.
Class B—Sonic quality about equal to Class A, but lower in cost.
Class C—Slightly lower-quality sound, but far better than average home hi-fi.
Class D—Good, 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

Tape Recorders
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

Preamplifier-Control Units
A: Marantz 7, McIntosh C-20
B, C: Dynaco PAS-2
D: Eric 3160T (footnote 4)

Power Amplifiers
A: Marantz 8B, McIntosh MC-60 (footnote 5), Marantz 9A (footnote 5)
B, C: Dynaco Stereo 70
D: Eric 3160T (footnote 4)

Speaker Systems
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.

dalethorn's picture

The Beyer (now Beyerdynamic) DT48 ("Dynamic Telephone"?) was already long in the tooth in 1963, although despite the issue date and noting Holt's publishing schedule (i.e. "Merry xmas and a happy New Year - just don't ask which year"), it could have been much later than that. And that very DT48, dressed up in newer headband plastic and earpad foam, is now discontinued from active production this month, after a 75 year run. And while Beyerdynamic feverishly announces their "88th anniversary" celebration with a special edition of the DT770 headphone, their response to questions about the 75th anniversary of the DT48 reflect some sense of shame that I don't understand at all. Perhaps it has to do with who created it and for what purpose.

popluhv's picture

I wish Stereophile covers still looked like that!

dalethorn's picture

They had some awesome covers. Try to find the one with the sight gags (i.e., dis torsion, dat torshion, etc.) - I've never seen anything like it. Gordon even ran a cover with his little baby girl (Alicia?) - called her the "Stereofilly" or something similar. I wish I still had some of those.

Metalhead's picture

Hell, the 124, SME Arm, Marantz pre and power amps, mac tuner and a set of A7 VOT is still CLASS A.

Would still groove to that setup.

Happy Holidays!

shinri's picture

I'm lucky enough to own, or have owned twelve of the items on the list. I still have seven of them.

Herb Reichert's picture

wish Stereophile covers still looked like that!