B&O, overpriced artistic piece of audio?

I have always had some sort of fascination to all things nifty and modern looking. Since 1982, before coming to this country, I was able to look into a B&O advertisement page in the NYTimes. Are B&Os a compromise sonically compared to my current system (Preamp SFL-2, Amp, Sonic Frontiers Power 2, speakers Gershman X-1 and Sw-1 subwoofers, Japanese DVD+Bel Canto DAC-1, Tuner MCintosh Mr-78)? Can I be enamoured just for the looks and this sense of nostalgia or should I simply say that B&O does conquer sonically? PAUL
B&O, in my experience, are extremely overpriced and have questionable reliability. Yeah, the stuff looks cool alright, but in my mind are simply European-styled Bose. IMHO, you'd take quite a step down changing your current gear for B&0. If you're itching to throw some bucks at your hobby (which I understand completely), I'd suggest a quality turntable and phono step up. ATB, Jeff
Paul, it sounds like you have a nice system. I agree with Jeffloistarca that you would be stepping down. B&O is kind of like Bose in that it will impress non-audiophiles with it's looks. I would guess that your system would kill a B&O system.
While impressive in looks and moderately OK in sonics B&O gear has always impressed those who are looking to impress. You have a very nice system that is heads & shoulders above B&O (IMHO).
Your system if set up properly should be sonically superior to B&O. If you really like the looks of B&O (I will admit that I have liked some of their turntables of which I have owned a few as well as a pair of Beovox 5700 loudspeakers in the 70's) you may want to consider having a "token" piece in your system. Since you do not have a turntable I would suggest a 4002 linear tracking turntable, their finest visual classic design IMO and also present in The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. Cartridges are a little rare but findable as are repairs if needed, and it is a decent sounding turntable. They generally sell for 400.00 or more used plus add the expense of having it checked out and restored/cleaned if necessary. I believe that the cartridge was the MMC4 (not certain) and that they may go for $125.00 - $200.00 (again not certain, but I seem to remember these price ranges from Ebay.
your present system will absolutely *CRUSH* any b&o system. kinda like wondering if a ferrari is more fun to drive than a ford taurus: yup, just a *little*... ;~) also, i disagree w/spending $400 on a b&o turntable - get something befitting your current system. lotsa nice used 'tables in that price-range like systemdek, ar, cj walker, rega, sumiko, etc. again, these will crush the b&o table in sound-quality. doug
B&O??? Sould be called Sanford & Son. This stuff is JUNK! Paul, you have fine components, why take a big step backwards? If you want art, buy art -- a painting, a piece of sculptured furniture. In fact, the idea of furniture is a good example -- there are many pieces of "functional art" that function perfectly as furniture. B&O may be "artistic" to some folks but it does not function perfectly as audio equipment. In addition, it isn't all that distictive imho. I spent some time in a B&O store in Boston recently and was blown away at the downright lousy sound. Factor in the price points and it's even worse. This stuff is just bad. Also, there are far more distinctive pieces of equipment out there -- particularly TURNTABLES. Check out Wilson Benesch, Basis and others. The turntables may be the biggest pieces of #$$% B&O sells. They are unadulterated garbage. So far as B&O being the MOMA collection is concerned, so is the original Movado plain face watch -- cute looking bu,t again, not a Rolex when it comes to functional performance. Hell, it's not even an Oris. And, this is not as flagrant as B&O. Please tell me that you're not really going to do this.
If you want components that are gorgeous sounding as well as looking, they are out there. And some aren't too expensive. For a turntable, try the Michell Gyrodec or Oracle Delphi. For speakers the Gallo Nucleus Reference. For amps some of the Cary's or Quicksilvers. For CD players the Rega Planet, Meridian or Krell. Check out HiFi News from the UK. They have photos of a lot of stuff from Europe which is very aesthetically designed.
Stepping down? You had better hope there is a safety net to catch you at the bottom.
Paul please sober up! I use to service audio gear in a retail shop. B&O = B.O.! Looks snazzy, but the build quality is, well let's just say that it ISN'T. Sounds OK but just OK. Would make a good basement-bar system (or for the garage). Or put it in your office if you want to impress the clients; that would be a fitting application (sound quality in the office isn't really a primary concern anyway). Yeah it looks pretty cool though. I liked the Euro-style Bose analogy hee-hee...
My folks brought one back from Denmark. I agree with the others, it would be a major step down. Looking good but sounding mediocre.
I agree about the audio aspect of B & O products, but I must say that their widescreen televisions with the Runco line doubler built in look as good as anything I have seen for DVD playback, and their phones look cool. I wonder if they are any good or if like their audio gear, they are pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside.
Sound quality is not the sole criteria for equipment selection! The visual presentation of a product is critical. Bemop, if the looks are that important, then go for it and be happy. You will lose sound quality, but so what. After all, even the most passionate B&O distractors seem to say their products sound OK -- not horrible, not unlistenable -- but OK.
Sound is not the sole critera???? Why even bother then, Bose look great in with most decors.
You must be joking. Please... even B&O dealers admit that gear they don't sell sounds better. B&O has OK looks, passable sound, that's all. I'm sure your wife will be pleased though...
I personally wouldn't do what Bemop is contemplating, but I think I understand why he would consider it. Why shouldn't audio equipment look great? Style counts. Some companies understand. Take a look at Sonus Faber, Jeff Rowland or Avalon. A component should look as good as it sounds, and vice versa.
onhwy61, i *don't* understand why *anyone* would consider b&o - and for yust the reasons ewe cite: many companies *do* make attractive gear that sounds good, too! :>) doug
Everybody is making the process of picking equipment sound so damned logical. Maybe it should be, but then again, maybe it shouldn't. Have any of you every done something just because it didn't make sense? Stop being so serious. It's possible that someone somewhere has a really good sounding B&O system that they are totally happy with. Maybe it will be Bemop. Is this really beyond the scope of your imagination?
Onhwy61 - the answer to your question is YES! In this case I bet Bemop would rapidly reduce his listening to music and therefore lose touch with his soul - much to big a risk to take IMO. Instead I would prescribe an upgrade to that front-end. All those attracted to the hype about DVD/Bel Canto should be aware that the good reviews are in the context of its price only.
Beomati123 no B&O system will sound as good as your present system. If music quality is your primary concern just keep on refining your system to your tastes. Yet, I can understand your unstated wish that B&O would sound as good as it looks. If it were only possible and true. It not even close. My primary music system is wonderful for serious music enjoyment and my HT system is great for movie sound emjoyment. They are both painstakenly selected for those purposes and I have invested many times more in time and money than a B&O system would cost. My B&O 4000 + Beolab 6000 + remote speakers system is for the master bedroom/bath, and home offices for radio, cassette, and CD background sound enjoyment. All my systems serve their purpose beyond any practical needs I have and they are all way over priced against items that could fill those pratical needs. Still, I have enjoyed the process of chosing what I wanted and the end results. So I admit my guilty pleasure is I ended up getting a B&O because it aestheically is beautifull and does fit my need. I have never had any quality problems with this B&O system in over three years. B&O's build quality is focused on aesthetic refinement of function, form, fit and finish as they have defined it. Your either like it enough to buy it or you don't. Bose market niche and product design execution is just different than B&O's. Have fun. Remmember it not collecting the toys that will make you happy, but how you are happy with your own decisions in living you life. Good luck and enjoy what ever choices you make.
Redkiwi, only those who have risked everything know the true pleasure of living.
In regards to b&o. At a dealer recently to look at power filters I was walking around the store to what lines they carried. The had a really big selection of B and O taking up a chunk of the main floor. I looked at a couple of price tags and asked "Do you sell much of this?" Yes lots, but none to 2 channel audiophiles was the reply. Enough said cheers steve
Your expressed concern has been a prevaling attitude within the "audiophile" community for many years. And as with many opinions these days, the occasional B&O fan can provoke heated exchanges amongst those who disagree. I agree with those who suggest that what you have should be very satisfactory. Image can be a significant factor in the decision process. For many products, especially within the higher price classes, the cost of the case, displays, heatsinks, controls and nameplates (visual aesthetics) can sometimes equal or exceed the manufacturing costs of the components within. B&O has always recognized the value to some of having a high aesthetic and ergonomic appeal. B&O has, in the past, claimed to have placed real importance upon listening tests in the product development process. They are an old and successful company with thousands and thousands of customers (especially overseas). So we can assume that they know what their potential customers want. I have not heard the most recent B&O models. Earlier models, in my opinion, were sonically acceptable for smaller spaces. But not a choice I would have made given the great number of quality alternative choices. If you have the option, why not audition B&O at home (before eliminating your current system) and decide for yourself. If you prefer it and want it, that's enough to make it a valid choice.
B&0 sends my thoughts back to the mid 80's. Going to the audio salons. B&O was really big back then. The pinnacle of their existence. I remember the brands of audio from those days that these stores would push: Alpine, B&K, B&O, Carver, Kyocera, Monster Cable(we've come a long way baby!), NAD, Nakamichi, Polk, Proton, 3 way speakers with 12" or 15"(if you were REALLY stylin') woofers(the midrange was an afterthought - hey it has one), etc. It was the age of the yuppie. Product was bought by many people who had no idea of what they were buying. Most were just buying because they were making great money, and loved the lifestyle. Think of the other stuff those people bought. BMW, Polo, Rolex, etc. All of these brands rose to prominence then. Back to audio... Sound was good to those who bought, or so it seemed. Hey, most people were comparing this stuff to boomboxes, rack systems, and horrid solid state crap. In retrospect, looks were more critical than sound. Style ruled. The sound just needed to be able to make a person see(or hear???) that it was better than his Panasonic receiver. I don't know why, but even though the sound of that stuff wasn't at all special, I look back on that time with fond remembrance. Maybe I'm just getting old...
Trelja, We're all getting old.
Gosh, I never expected to have so many people replying to my simple musing. I guess this musing began when I walked into a B&O store in NYC and saw some of the products....then I got into their website, which by the way is fantastically designed, and kept on checking out their looks. More than anything, I am quite aware that no styling will ever make up for the lack of real musical finesse, after all, I would not be spending so much time and money on my system so far if I did not know....Now that I think about it, I think that with the same money I could have afforded some B&O, but then, I would be wondering...."How does that component sound like?" No, gentlemen, I am not contemplating at getting rid of all my gear, I am just like everyone else curious to hear from people who heard these sleek Danish systems. I believe that the future lies in simple designs, not only in looks(like B&O) but circuit wise like The Pass' and the new 47 Labs Gaincard amps matted with old, but revolutionary designs like the Lowther drivers.... No need to quarrel over these B&Os, I am not that dumb. Or am I? Paul
Industry insiders call it 'Bang & Awful Sound'.