Hi-Fi Honesty

All general audio posts go here.
Forum rules
1. No ad-hominem
2. No spamming or shilling
User avatar
Lindsayt
Posts: 2686
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:06 pm
Marshall Islands

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by Lindsayt » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:26 pm

Vitavox were made in England. I'm confident that a pair of their corner horns would sound significantly better than Briks.

So how come Briks became the aspirational speakers in the UK whilst better speakers like Vitavox CN-191's never had a look in?

There was zero meritocracy in the UK hi-fi press. And that's just plain wrong unless the Editors posted a note in every copy saying "We haven't got a fucking clue. Treat this magazine as for entertainment purposes only. Do not take it as serious buying advice."

Edit: to a large extent I can understand DSJR's stance on this. From the perspective of what was available in the majority of UK hi-fi shops of the time, what he says is highly valid.
However there is a major point in all this, why wasn't the UK buying public given a lot more exposure and insight into products outside of the major UK hi-fi retailers? The best examples of which had a lot to offer.
It's like the UK hi-fi world was behind an Iron Curtain.

User avatar
Dr Bunsen Honeydew
Posts: 30902
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:26 pm
Location: Muppet Labs
Great Britain

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:55 pm

The Linn / Naim / Flat Earth Iron Curtain of bullshit !!!!!!!!!!!!

User avatar
Dr Bunsen Honeydew
Posts: 30902
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:26 pm
Location: Muppet Labs
Great Britain

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:48 am

Goodmans (Magisters) - better drivers, MUCH!!! cheaper maybe quarter of the price and more music, example off the top of my head. By the end of the 70's both the BBC crap and the flat earth and their dealers and the mags had effectively killed this company. Look at ebay at the price their old drivers are going for 2nd hand, M series speakers still a bargain. The earlier the versions the better as they cheapened them towards the end (cabinets) to try and survive - KILLED!

Garrard - comparison of a 301 / 401 with an LP12 is simply a joke, were people really that deaf or brainwashed. Company killed by Flat Earth brainwash bollocks and cheap Japanese imports for their lower end products - KILLED!

Just two example, I could go on and on, sometimes we seem to be our own worst enemies, we fall for the story not the reality are we really so incapable of hearing that reality. Some obviously are capable because NVA survived through this Iron Curtain Holocaust of good British companies. Only by being a cantankerous sod who didn't need that much business to survive.

_D_S_J_R_
Posts: 4066
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:53 am
Location: The end of the road in Suffolk Coastal.
Wales

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:13 pm

You showed me/reminded me of magnum K cabinets, effin HUGE and no way would they be acceptable now, despite the fact that large bass units in suitable boxes can be more realistic. Magisters were bloody enormous. Hell, even AR3a's would be regarded as giant size now and we easily compared BC1's/104ab's, L100's, Tannoys (pre and post HPD) and big IMF's with them side by side on a huge range of music back then. if the 'BBC Bextrene' approach had been shit, they'd have failed back then long before Linn and Naim took off, but they didn't, I swear.

The Garrard 301 and 401 are both severe rumble boxes - VERY audible and it has a distinct effect on the music reproduction, making for an attractive convex soundstage in all manner of samples I've heard over the decades. Sure, I've heard how plinths of various types can suppress most of it, but I distinctly remember back in 1974, how a colleague had to select his 401 out of three or four for lowest induced noise - the 401 was NEVER regarded as a consistent product and I believe the motor wasn't as stable with voltage as the 301 was reported to be (I wish I still had my stash of Hi Fi Sound mags, which were full of this stuff). Lenco's are far FAR better potentially for background drones (I wish some idler Duals were, but it's pot luck these days) and midrange drive harmonics and even that's not saying much when a good well sited direct drive eats them alive. maybe the added roughness gives a certain 'drive' to the music, but it's not always there to begin. Better direct drives don't suffer linear or dynamic wow either, as discussed here earlier, so a win-win situation imo.

Why have I got to be a fucking apologist for the LP12 when I haven't owned one since 1988 godamnit! IT MADE OUR RECORDS SOUND BETTER!!!!! How it did it is irrelevant, but it did if carefully set up and there were loads of people my age who heard the difference and bought into it. Those with 301's or 401's were never dismissed though, we just tried to make the best of them and sometimes, it was very nice indeed, albeit slightly 'dirtier' sounding in my experience. I started in a proper HiFi store in 1974, where Thorens was thought of as a mid level deck. many colleagues found the direct drives fed back too much (some do if not sited right, but this was years before that trend started) and the AR XB and Philips GA212 were very popular I remember. Two more used the Dual 701 as I still do (a direct driven machine) and one sold me a G88 with original 12" SME which was noisy through the speakers and of course no cartridge of the time of any refinement would track stably in a 12" arm. Gawd, this pair would be worth a couple of grand today!!!

I'm trying to be honest here and not make up stuff or distort old memories. I return a lot to these times (a failing of mine, looking back), and by the way, the UK audio scene wasn't just Linn and Naim dealers you know. Many others, maybe lower key? that sold good quality alternatives and before Kessler and cronies got a foothold, not sure HFN magazine was hugely Linn/Naim-centric, although one key tech as well as subjective reviewer seemed to have agendas all his own, 'consulting' in the background and charging for product to go into his reference system...

User avatar
savvypaul
Posts: 2852
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: Durham
Contact:
Great Britain

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by savvypaul » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:56 pm

It matters not what flavours you prefer, if there is only one dish on the menu.

For a while, 'flat-earth' was, to all intents and purposes, the only dish on the menu.

Whether they achieved that through fair means or foul...is a matter of debate.

IMO they mostly achieved what they did by being very, very good marketeers and business leaders...and by many of the older, established makers being very poor marketeers and failing to update their products to appeal to a contemporary audience (both dealers and customers, alike).

Linn & Naim both created powerful and 'modern' brand identities, a hierarchy of product ranges and upgrades, and wide availability, while still appearing to be 'specialists'. They made up (what would now be called) a clear customer journey for dealers to follow...and the money rolled in from new customers and upgrades from existing customers.

It's not surprising that they were successful.

There have been plenty of unsuccessful businesses that have used foul means, so, even if Linn & Naim did so, it was not the defining factor in their success. That is no consolation to those who were put out of business by flat-earth domination, though, and the flat-earth domination was negative, overall, for enthusiasts.

All IMO, of course.

Flat Earth also kills music - but that's just a fact ;)
"The one who would whistle to Throbbing Gristle through harsh times in Umberstone Covert."

HiFi Foo Fight Blog
NVA BMU / WTL Versalex / Transfiguration Axia /NVA Phono2/ Lenco 59 / ATP-12t / Denon 103 / GSP Revelation / Vortexbox Appliance / Sonore microRendu USB streamer w/ LPSU / Metrum dac / UR Simply Italy /NVA P90sa / NVA A80MK2 (bass) / NVA A70 MK2 (tweeters) / NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3 /NVA TIS MK1 / NVA SSPMK2 / NVA LS6 / NVA AP10H / Grado sr225e

User avatar
Dr Bunsen Honeydew
Posts: 30902
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:26 pm
Location: Muppet Labs
Great Britain

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:16 pm

That is a balanced view, I am afraid on this subject I am not balanced as I am angry, have been for over 40 years, watching our hobby being raped. I understand how it happened as explained in the OP but that is not an excuse for what happened, and the stoooopidity is still around, just read PFM to find the brainwashed fools who will not open their ears. Still because of the brainwash valve has become the almost only alternative without realising that solid state is not limited to the Flat Earth screeeching. Simply people need to open their minds and ears.

Daniel Quinn
Posts: 7333
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:16 am
Nicaragua

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by Daniel Quinn » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:21 pm

Dave I don't know. Why must you be an apologist for the lp12.

And your experience of the Garrard seems to be at odds with everyone's.
Even a stroke didn't result in me liking AOS

_D_S_J_R_
Posts: 4066
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:53 am
Location: The end of the road in Suffolk Coastal.
Wales

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:44 pm

DQ, have you ever spent time with the Garrards? Have you ever heard what the master recording sounds like as a genre compared to the vinyl end product - I have and also actually had a Genesis track on a 15IPS master copy too, which was in a different sonic class to the original vinyl album I have (Many Too Many). These experiences may well not agree with your average end user, but knowing more what the original should sound like (I served my apprenticeship using DSOTM, Tubular bells and Ommadawn on Dolby A masters with the processor to play back through as well as other non-Dolby master copies - sorry), has had a profound effect on me I'm afraid. if however, you wish to continue with your different vibes borne of opinion, then I'll shut up after this post and let you all get on with it.


In the 80's, B&W and KEF still sold plenty of their large top models and random companies like SD Acoustics were making some headway with their Sara priced speakers. Absolute Sounds was coming in ABOVE the Linn and Naim market and the dealer I worked for lost many sales to people who wanted to try ARC, Krell, Sonus Faber, Maggies and so on. Levinson was being brought in and I don't remember it being stupid money back then (I could be wrong). Obviously working in a prime Linn/Naim dealer I didn't experience much of it, but there were alternatives and my dealer pal did very well with the valve alternatives (Croft, Audio Innovations, VTL and so on) and Pro-Ac. Krell came along in '85 or so and that finished Naim for a while as a proper Top End contender, although the dealers probably didn't know and pal Jimmy Hughes then went from three Krell KSA 50's to DNM and large Impulse speakers (not sure if the Impulses were late 80's or 90's but I think the former)

I swear, speaker people like Tannoy (larger Dual Concentrics), larger JBL (Harman by then?) and so on just weren't being marketed in the UK - maybe this was the flat earth effect, I can't say for certain. There was a thriving UK market away from the 'terrible twosome' I remember, but maybe more fragmented? Linn all but killed it on 1991 or so with the dealer purge.

User avatar
Dr Bunsen Honeydew
Posts: 30902
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:26 pm
Location: Muppet Labs
Great Britain

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:56 pm

Rim drive rumble, direct drives chatter, it is ALL marketing bullshit created by Linn, perpetuated by dealers and reviewers. I have owned 6 different rim drives from both Garrard and Lenco and on NONE of them has rumble been heard or has interfered with the music. On the better (Japanese) direct drive there is no chatter, it is delusion, the cheap plastic ones are what Linn labelled as DD, again marketing bullshit. BUT there is one thing for certain NO LINN LP12 can hold pitch, and dominates musical rhythm with its imposed suspension bounce - is that real music, compared with a Garrard 401 with decent arm and cart it is a joke. AND not just my opinion.

User avatar
CN211276
Posts: 2295
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:29 am
Location: Cardiff
Wales

Re: Hi-Fi Honesty

Unread post by CN211276 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:01 pm

I lost interest in hifi and stopped reading magazines in the mid 80s when i was fully aware of what was going on. Hearing an LP12 had a lot to do with that, everything the magazines said about it was :Bllocks: . I also lost faith in dealers when the salesman criticised my taste in music for not appreciating the"virtues" of the LP12 :lol: . My interest in hifi did not return until thirty years later through the Internet when i became aware that my opinions about the flat earth nonsense were shared by many, especially on this forum.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Mscaler/Qutest, Geitnote Apogee, NVA BMU, P90SA, A80sMk2, Phono 1, SSP Mk 2, TSCS, TIS mk2, Cube 1s, Atacama stands, Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, Grado SR 325e, headphones.

Second system
Chord Mojo (also HP amp), NVA P20, A20, Cubettes, SSC, LS3.

Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

Post Reply