Memory Lane and Lust/Looks...even somewhat strange ones....


I must admit to being greatly affected by how "things" look.  I was a fine arts major and had a high end Modern/Scandinavian furniture store where we stocked some of the very best from around the world, names you would know like Eames, Wegner and more.

So yes, how an audio product looked did impact my desire to own it.  I do have a few strange ones that do not make as much sense as the obviously "pretty" items.  The first that comes to mind is the DQ-10 speakers with the beige grills and optional stands....can't really put it into words as much as it was a "feeling".....and they sounded damned good in their day. 

There were some other items that did have some eye candy appeal, like that slanted Yamaha cassette player that the somewhat ugly Advent model blew away...but I am curious as to yours.

As I background, even though I raced at Road America and others........damned if the way the car looked isn't more etched in my thoughts than the way they drove.  ...I guess it's the old Bertone, Pininfarina, Ital Design syndrome. 
whatjd
I don't think it is unusual at all to want your audio equipment to look good. As mentioned, we almost expect our cars to look good.....some looking better than others, of course.

I can vouch for the high end camera world. Many folks want their camera to look good.

Watches. Fountain pens. Shotguns. Furniture. All functional things and all of which can be incredibly beautiful for the price.

Apple brought industrial design to computers. And people wanted them.


All of my hi-fi gear is inherited which means I did not select the gear. Most of it I consider to be rather dull looking. Some of it has a certain beauty in it functional approach (AR LS-16) but the Levinson amp is a dull metal block. The only gear I have that is actually attractive are my Aerial Acoustic 6T towers. They are quite elegant.

Most of my gear is visible within the rooms they inhabit. The rooms are decorated nicely. One of the rooms is fairly formal. That's where the 6Ts are. If I were buying audio gear right now, at prices commensurate with the prices of the gear I have now, I would actively seek out gear that was attractive and fit the room it would go in. And there is plenty of high end audio gear with superb industrial design that borders on the artistic.

There is also a ton of audio gear out there that seems to have been designed to look  simply industrial. Others it seems are designed to assault the eyes. Some of those enormous Wilson speakers come to mind.
By the way, as a weekend track day rat and driving instructor (but not a racer) I am very jealous of your racing experience......especially since all of my track experience is in a Nissan.
..a very non politically correct joke.....  What is the difference between having a pretty woman and a pretty Ferrari?   In the long run the Ferrari is cheaper and more reliable.  My experience somewhat mirrors that thought. 

And the Ferrari will appreciate pampering.
I have several CD players but one of my favorites is the Consonance 5.0 Droplet. I bought it because it looked so cool...the sound was a bonus.
I like the look of Gato Audio's amps.