Late 1980's Tandberg, hands down.
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though pretty doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Original Transcriptors Turntable
Empire 698 Turntable
SME 3009 Tonearm
Magnum Dynalab Etude Tuner with Gold Faceplate
Heathkit AR-15 (in the dark)
Avant Garde Trio Classico Speakers
I haven’t owned any of these, but I did lust after them back in the day.
In its day, the Pioneer PD-65 was a sexy looking early higher end CD player. And, again in their way, every Magnepan and Martin Logan ESL I had got plenty of good remarks on looks. I must admit most of my early Magnepans with dates they did think they were room dividers....or a screen for me to "change into something more comfortable".
whipsaw spoke of the B&O turntable. I had the 5000 stacking system (no tt) which I purchased used in early 80's. (with Vandersteen 1C) It was the model on display at the Modern Museum of Art NYC. The 5500 linear turntable had just come out, which I bought for $500 with mmc3 cart. Then CD was introduced for it at $1000. I said "I'll never get CD"!! Guests WERE impressed by the look's and big remote.
In its price range and function, the Magnum Dynalab 208 Receiver is a good looking piece of very functional modern audio art. I have been lucky enough to have some good and good lucking items...the MD-208 and original C.J. ART are my picks for both function and looks.
I do enjoy having people wonder what the Hell those room dividers are when I have had Magnepans.
Well I have a penchant for older models. When I'm on the move, I enjoy a reliable, always ready Sansui G-3500. So Beautiful with a nice BIG pair of knobs to look at while I'm streaming from the Echo hooked-up to her AUX input, if you know what I mean. Also a rounded, tight bottom end (for big woofers) from the horn-loaded Fraziors.
But lately with the heat, I've found myself wandering to the leather side (of the den sofa) where I can relax and enjoy an easy little Realistic black STA-700. You can stream from an Echo, push a button for an Express, or if y'all want to play it safe, turn that knob around and do it over the air FM style. Such a nice set of Jensen tweeters that the wood looks great on. Really reminds me of a system I used to boom in the car back in the day (and night). Is it getting hot in here?
But my main enjoyment is a lot younger one in the office....right?
A gorgeous little Peach of a tree that's lovely to look at with the wood around its face. She really puts out and keeps my NAD's preamp warm. I can enjoy CXC all night just putting the disk in and out and in but when I really want to finish up the evening then it's time to do a U-Turn and put the needle in the groove to shake an enormous pair of SVS Ultras that stand up and slap you on both sides of your face.
Yet sometimes, even at my age, I want to have a late night go at it while the lady is resting and slide my head between those nice, soft and plush cushions on the Beyer dynamic's inner side to REALLY enjoy that sweet spot of bliss.
I-yuh, I gotta go---------
It doesn't really work at all, but the TRANSCRIPTOR Turntable is as sexy as audio gets, I think. We kept one on the shelf just to look at back in the day:
B&O stuff was pretty--especially in white--but it was not SOTA and did not want to be. We did sell a LOT of it in the 1970's, however.