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notevenclose last won the day on March 14 2014

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About notevenclose

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  • Birthday May 18

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    Perth, Scotland
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  • Digital Source 1
  • Digital Source 2
  • DAC
  • Integrated Amp
  • My Speakers
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    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. By all accounts the current Croft models are very decent performers if a little rudimentary in some respects. I confess I'm essentially technology agnostic, I really don't care if something glows in the dark or not. In the past I've swapped to and from valve to solid state and back again more than once. My needs and preferences are different these days though. If I were contemplating another amplifier purchase (I'm not) then my shortlist (in no particular order) would be Lavardin, Sugden, Bakoon and SPEC. The first two I'm very familiar with, the latter pair I'm just curious about. Look Ma, no tubes this time around...
  2. As a lifelong pedestrian, I've never invested in any brand with 4 wheels. But as a designer, I always cite Alfas as being very pretty, even if there is/was something of a tendency for bits to come off in your hand. Allegedly.
  3. Perhaps. But if you can't sell them, there aren't many people going to live with them... It's all just opinion of course. But my comments are based on a broad range of experience across 3 dealers, in two of which I was involved in the selection of product ranges and buying, so you had to see the bigger picture. What I liked and would have chosen for home use was not always the same as what I thought would sell, that would have been needlessly restrictive. It is of course impossible to guarantee/predict success with complete accuracy . I also ditched at least a dozen brands in my time, a couple of which I actually quite liked, but if you can't sell the stuff (or it regularly fell apart) then that has to be taken into account in the context of a product portfolio. I'll bet every dealer has taken on a brand they had high hopes for, only to see it fail (for them) in commercial terms. Your opinions seem to based exclusively on your personal ownership and a little hearsay, not an invalid perspective, but a rather narrower one.
  4. On the other hand of course it could just be that Mr Pass, alas, shares the same penchant for dud typography as AudioNote UK. Delicate artistic flowers such as myself would rule them out on that basis alone.
  5. Because it's still more than a lot of people want to pay for an amp if there are UK/European equivalents for a grand or two less? Not intended as a criticism of the dealer, but the reality is the longer it sits there the less attractive it will seem. if it were, say, a Naim amp offered at a similar level of discount, I bet it would be long gone, not least because it would be seen as an easier product to move on again after scratching an itch. Overseas stuff just looks expensive just now. I suspect the traditional model of manufacturer > distributor > retailer is going to be increasingly difficult to sustain. Either we'll see more of the model where the line between distributor/importer and dealer is blurred, or more manufacturers will move to a direct sales model. The US is a wee bit different, a lot of US manufacturers aren't really hugely interested in the UK market and/or aren't set up to sell in anything but their home market – eg. Magnepan.
  6. I've watched a couple of those – NP has always come across as an agreeable cove, not least because he seems less dogmatic about his choices than some other designers. But as G47 says, the reality is that hifi sourced from Johnny Foreigner, even if they speak English (more or less), is likely to be a lot more expensive in the foreseeable future, unless there's an option for packing out the palettes with chlorinated chicken.
  7. I admit my preference is for the type of display which can be switched off but automatically engages for a few seconds when a control is touched or remote signal received. My system normally runs in 'stealth mode' with only 3 low-key LEDs engaged. I might switch the display on the CD on more often, but it's so small I can't bloody read it anyway...
  8. Ah. My comment was tongue in cheek. I suspect it'll be a cold day in hell before you see a digital display on a Sugden amp. Unless of course they realise one can apparently charge another 2 grand for it...
  9. I rather had the impression everything you don't sell is poorly designed in one fashion or another?
  10. Sugden Masterclass IA-4 integrated? And still trouser over 2 grand. No digital display though – what are they thinking of?
  11. Sansui offered the AU117, 217and 317 at pretty much the same price points. The 117 was a little anaemic, but the 217 and particularly the AU317 were rather good, I often (depending on speakers) preferred it to the original A&R A60 which was one of the darlings of the UK hifi press at the time. Garrard had rather lost their way at that point. They'd stopped production of the idler drives which have since become classics, and the arrival of the first Japanese direct drives appeared to catch them completely by surprise. Allied to the fact that their quality control wasn't that great at the time (I had a Zero 100SB in the early 70's, interesting idea but not very well executed) they were floundering. Their response was a vinyl-clad 'bog standard' deck, the DD75, which was basically cobbled together from a cheap Matsushita OEM dd motor and the spare parts bin from left-over 86SBs. It was awful, and died a deserved but mercifully quick death in the marketplace. Sadly Garrard did much the same shortly afterwards.
  12. Don't know it, after my time. My experience is mid- late 70s/early 80s, which is when the SA706 was manufactured. As for 'Naim shite'... no particularly strong feelings personally, but in the last 40 years two brands I've never owned nor aspired to own anything by are Naim and B&W. I remain optimistic neither will be foisted upon me any time soon.
  13. Not a fan. IMO Pioneer built some superb tuners and tape decks in the 70s and early 80s along with some decent turntables, but in my opinion their amps were never in the top rank compared with several of their contemporaries. Their best effort was probably the SA7500/8500/9500 series and the SPEC series pre/powers. (These were admittedly better than the preceding SA9100 which measured superbly but had the minor flaw of not being able to drive speakers very well). I worked for a dealer at the time, we had those, Sansui and Luxman Laboratory Reference series from Japan along with a number of British amps and Tandberg. Pioneer was quite a successful seller primarily because of their tuners and tape decks, but not great in terms of amp sales. Actually we used to sell quite a few of the entry level SA500s along with PL12Ds, but not so many amps further up the range. Of the 5 of us in the shop at that time, 2 of us had Tandbergs at home, 1 Cambridge (the original company), 1 Sansui and 1 Rogers. I confess I frequently used the 8500 to demonstrate how good the Tandberg was...
  14. This means no...oh, never mind.
  15. Oh I don't know. Patricia Barber usually brings on an attack for me.