Some Fine Tunes

You know, because, at first, all I had was the Arcam Solo, and the Arcam Solo does everything. It's a good-looking, easy-to-use, single-box multi-purpose solution; a CD playing, AM/FM receiving, integrated amplifying dreamboat of a component. It does everything I want it to do, does it all very well, and takes up almost no space and draws very little attention to itself while doing it. I love it. If you're interested in a fun and easy, one-stop ride into the high-end, then I think you should definitely get to know the Solo. But, like Reading Rainbow, you don't have to take my word for it. I can't go assuming authority around here. I may not know audio all that well yet, but I know cool. And the Arcam Solo is cool. Art Dudley, who is way smarter than me about this, and most other stuff, also liked it. He said:

I remember predicting, or at least hoping, that the often overpriced, unreliable, poorly packaged, but wonderful-sounding equipment of the early 1980s and beyond would exert enough of a positive influence on the rank and file among subsequent generations of engineers that truly good performance would someday be commonplace in products that would also be fairly priced, reliable, and cleverly packaged — which is to say, products that average people could not only obtain but that they might actually want to obtain. The Arcam Solo is among the first significant steps along that road. Strongly recommended.

Art is such a good writer.

And, of course, the Arcam Solo, being just one pretty silver box, has just one simple power cord. That's nice, too. Because I still need those other sockets in my powerstrip to connect my television and DVD player, you know?

But what happens if, instead of sticking with the Solo and its very relative, very slight shortcomings, you decide to move on up to the East Side, on your way, albeit slowly, to that deluxe apartment in the sky-y-y?

What if — is this starting to sound like a WB rerun of Sex in the City, yet? — you decide you want to part ways with your just fine Solo, and pair up with an integrated amp and matching CD player?

And then: What if you decide to take it all one small step further, and, perhaps too quickly, decide to jump into bed with a tube amp? A hybrid, to be exact, but tubed, nonetheless? Then what?

Well, then, Jonathan Scull might just tell you that you need to protect yourself. Jonathan Scull might just tell you that some Fine Tunes are in order.