This is interesting to me because of the plethora of really expensive audio equipment available today and made all over the world, that is what many in the stereo world refer to as “eye candy”. Much of this looks beautiful, in many different ways, and that is indeed, pleasing to look at.
As long as I’ve been paying attention, high end audio has always had its share of bizarre looking stereo gear, but today you have some gear that is super expensive and have the looks to match. Nothing wrong with that if people want to buy it and it sounds good enough for them, but if you care about sound quality first, the eye candy doesn’t always deliver the goods.
Right now, I use nothing that is over the top in terms of looks and in fact, I’m using a puny, but pleasant looking T+A Amp 8 amplifier with all of 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms. It’s certainly not over the top looks wise and in fact, looks kind of funny on my Zoethecus amplifier stand, which has held 100 lbs. + beasts before. It is a 15 lb., 11″x11″x4″ Class A/B stereo amplifier and it is driving my beautiful, but very large and heavy, homemade Altec 604 based loudspeakers, which each weigh probably close to 150 lbs. each and are largely proportioned, although beautiful and sleek.
With my various loudspeakers, including the Daedalus Ulysses V2 speakers I’ve also used, which also have high sensitivity, but are harder to drive because of impedance, it’s plenty powerful for these speakers. In fact, the amp gets barely warm driving my Altec’s at very high listening levels, but never hot because the speakers are so easy to drive. Because of the more complex crossover of the Daedalus speakers, they can still be driven to full volume, but the amp has to work harder, so gets pretty warm.
I use the Amp 8 because in combination with a couple preamps I have on hand, my loudspeakers sound wonderful driven by this small amplifier. And, it’s not a Class D amp, but a traditional, although unique, Class AB amp.
Eye candy? Hardly, but not ugly and makes beautiful wounding music and that’s #1 in my book
We all love a pretty face.
Pretty faces can take any number of forms, like for example, the front panel of a piece of stereo gear. You’re either attracted or repulsed by the unit’s look.
Hopefully, you’re attracted.
When we design a new piece of stereo equipment, whether it’s a loudspeaker or a preamplifier, looks matter greatly. Not only is it important to be appealing to the eye, but the look of any product should also tell a story about what’s inside and what to expect.
Like a bright, shiny, sleek automobile. Its appearance language suggests it’s ready to go fast, or to be super comfortable, or perhaps luxurious.
The same is true for our stereo products.
A big power amplifier should look the part: brawny, heavy, powerful. A preamplifier should beg to be touched.
If the insides and audio performance match that of the unit’s outward appearance, we’re happy.
We all love a pretty face.