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Everything posted by notevenclose

  1. Almost certainly built by CEC. There was also a short-lived Leak version, the 3001, which had a textured plinth with an aluminium top plate and better quality lid. Maybe sounded a bit better than the Rotel, perhaps because of the extra weight in the plinth. It was certainly prettier than the RP1500, but about 20% more expensive.
  2. Sorry to be blunt, George, but that sounds to me like a purely subjective assessment, so will come laced with a good-sized dollop of expectation bias. I'd recommend you conduct some in-room measurements and perhaps apply some judicious DSP, then report back if you still stand by your belief.
  3. Probably about right. The Delphi would have been about £1500, any Koetsu with a 'Signature' appellation would have had a 4 figure price tag, and the BW sold for around a ton IIRC. It was a decent enough arm, we used to sell a fair number of them paired with either a top-end ADC or Pickering MM, which were the type of cartridges it was designed for. It also combined very well with the Entre moving coil, a popular combination (for us) was Thorens TD160S or Michell Focus One with BW, Entre and Lentek head-amp. It wasn't the most revealing combination ever devised, but it was always easy on the ear. The Hadcock was arguably better for less money, but not everybody fancied hand-cueing a unipivot (or the patchy standard of finish). We tended to sell Oracles with either a Fidelity Research FR64 series (I had an FR64fx at home with the Koetsu) or if the budget was tighter, AudioTechnica had a couple of reasonably priced arms which combined quite well with the Delphi, aesthetically as well as mechanically). To be honest if someone had asked me to put a BW on an Oracle back in the day my first thought would have been whether there was even a combination of springs to balance the suspension with something that light...
  4. Not really a big deal, I was just suggesting it seemed an unlikely combination, not one often seen in the wild I'd imagine. Still, it's a serious business, not a topic for humour, huh? The specs – but who trusts them anyway – would suggest something of a mismatch, as would the respective prices, but there are always exceptions I suppose.
  5. You sure it was a Black Widow? I'd have thought that with a Koetsu strapped to it vaguely reminiscent of this: I owned both an Oracle and a Koetsu, but would never have thought of putting a BW between them.
  6. Weren't you distracted by a loud rattling sound, which would have been the BW's bearings with a Koetsu on the other end...
  7. Possibly looks a bit US-centric, but might be interesting enough, or at least something to fall asleep with after the turkey.
  8. Presumably in a loss of transparency.
  9. Again I think it's a difficult balance. Probably most common/popular in the rag trade. Can you suggest a few names you think manage this successfully (in any sector other than fashion, where it's often more to do with licensing than anything else)? With specific regard to hifi, I suppose iFi might come to mind, but I think AMR has essentially now been mothballed. And of course Goldmund had Job as a 'diffusion line' for a while, but that project's been shut down as well. Teac/Esoteric?
  10. It may work for them at this moment in time. How sustainable this model is longer-term would be open to conjecture.
  11. One assumes it's a deliberate decision rather than an oversight. The danger lies in treading the fine balance between broadening your potential market and devaluing the brand for existing customers. Some people obviously have no issue with offshored manufacture, others – guilty as charged – are not at all keen if it relates to a product where there's any 'pride of ownership' involved.
  12. Ah. My 'poor attendance' records at both Harrods and onboard the QE2 probably explain why I've not seen much Linn kit in recent years. Didn't they also kit out one of the VIP lounges at Heathrow at one point? (Sadly, I'm unlikely to trouble the scorers there either).
  13. One thing that's very noticeable is the increasing number of dealers who wear two hats (better than being two-faced*) and have effectively become distributors and/or sole stockists of some brands. I can see the attraction of potentially trousering the extra margin and having 'exclusive rights' to something, but I would think it's not a foolproof formula, they still have to choose the 'right' brands and support them properly. Difficult climate in which to make potentially expensive mistakes. *Few things more irritating than being told by a dealer what you have is complete crap when they're obviously blissfully unaware that they sold it you a few years back after extolling its virtues. Oops!
  14. Not up here in Scotland. "Haw big man, gies a blast o' your CD player and a couple of pints of heavy..." doesn't quite conjure up the desired ambience somehow...
  15. I suspect a lot of the old models aren't going to be viable in the future, at least for the majority of dealers. Local dealer to me has a more or less city centre location, and a 'usual suspects' portfolio - Naim, Arcam, Yamaha, Monitor Audio, Pro-ject etc. In the last 6 months or so they've only followed 'normal' shop hours Thurs-Sat, rest of the time it's open by appointment only. I can understand that, who wants to buy a £300 CD player at 10am on a Monday morning, and how much profit is there to be had after a half-hour demo, even assuming the potential customer can't find it online for a tenner less? If it were me, I'd probably not want to pay staff to sit around and read the papers either. One of the more interesting developments I've seen in recent times is Loud&Clear's move to Leith (Edinburgh), it's a trendy area with a lot of cafes and restaurants frequented by those with a few bob in their pocket, and the shop incorporates a coffee bar, record shop and has regular live music – very much the 'destination retailer' approach. Can't help thinking that's at the very least a step in the right direction.
  16. It's a lot more complicated now than when I were a lad. Back in the day you just needed to be able to wire a 13A plug without killing anyone and change the cartridge in a Syrinx without wrecking the bearings. Now a lot of dealers seem to survive – and possibly prosper – crawling about inside people's walls with drums of Cat6 cable. Don't much fancy that myself. I still have a number of friends, acquaintances and clients in the trade, those who have created their own niche seem to be doing best, but that's rather more easily said than done.
  17. I think the one focusing on reviewers' bollocks is another one of those highly specialised sites...
  18. Ah well, I suppose anybody can have an 'off day,' but an unfortunate experience by the sound of it. Last I heard he was MD of Arcam, so maybe he's learning to curse in Korean these days...
  19. But as I said elsewhere recently, Ivor or Charlie Brennan could get away with it. Linn in the early days employed a mix of very talented people and Glesca wide boys (talented engineers can be wide boys too). It was the humourless charisma-free drones of the 'next generation' who did a lot of damage with some of the older established dealers who didn't really need some PFY (pimply-faced youth) in a Linn sweatshirt telling them how to run their business.
  20. Created by Colin Marr (Marr Associates) in Edinburgh, who were arguably the most creative agency in Scotland at the time. CM was a perfectionist, known in the trade as 'Mr Millimetre,' long before the days when everything could be sorted out on a Mac. I believe there was occasionally a spot or two of blood on the walls, since neither he or Ivor were ever inclined to back down in an argument, but maybe you need a bit of tension every now and again to create great advertising. Ivor left at one point, tried another couple of agencies, then went back to Marr for a while. No idea who handles their work now, probably a roster of agencies for specific areas, nor where they advertise – bloody long time since I've seen a Linn press ad and I don't do social media, but presumably they're still trying to reach somebody somewhere in their target demographic...
  21. Have you emailed TechDas to let them know?
  22. Tannoy of course had long since ceased to be an independent company long before IAG scuttled into view. It's always the risk when you sell out to outside investors – who knows who'll end up controlling the purse strings at any given time? I don't have any interest personally in products from the likes of Linn and Rega, but I'm delighted to see them prosper, and I think they warrant respect for that. I doubt the current blip in Linn's finances will be keeping Ivor awake at night, I can't think of any company that wouldn't have a few ups and downs in a 40 year history.
  23. I bought my first Linn in 1977. Not exactly a spring chicken myself. ...clearly you've never spent any time with Ivor. I haven't purchased any Linn product since 1980, and to be honest, I don't have much of a clue about, nor interest in, what they make these days. Last time I heard a Linn system was in their 'boutique' in Glasgow's Princes Square at the start of their ill-advised 'lifestyle' phase in the mid 90s. The Nicole Farhi shop downstairs was worth visiting occasionally, the Linn offering definitely wasn't. But it seems a long time to hold on to a grudge about the influence, or agenda if you prefer, of the predominantly Haymarket titles – although Carl Anthony's 'Fidelity to What? article in a non-Haymarket title in April 76 (I think) was the first piece I remember extolling the virtues of the Linn purely on sound quality. Regardless. Better to have them alive and kicking and UK-owned than be subsumed by International Audio Grab or similar. See? We all have our prejudices...
  24. Whether it was a 'stitch-up' or not it was 40 years ago...