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Yes that Dared 130 looks good with cover on it ,that's how I keep it on my stereo set up ,I have it hooked up with Sonus Farber Lutios there book shelf with black leather tops.When people come over they are really impressed .I have a Emotiva 3 cd player and Fluance rt85 tt hooked up.It puts out like 30 wpc.Plenty for the speakers.
Really most of these look like all the rest....they look like they were taken out of a 60s Console Stereo .The guts.The Manley do but the model with the metal side handles look cool.The tube amps from Vincent look great the way he just took the Dyancos and made them look like pieces of Art.I have a Fisher 300 that's nice ,Harmon Kardon 1000 the copper base is super nice ,Same with the Sherwood .But those Monster tube mono blocks with giant tubes look freaky...but for me it's to dangerous to just leave them out in the open on the floor.But I would take a Vincent or Dared 130 for a classy desk unit that sounds Great and looks Great.
In my system the integrated sits front and center on the floor, where its hard to imagine anything looking better than this.
My sensible side says Osprey but the emotional side keeps whispering, "Reflection."
I like some of Don Garber’s (Fi) practical/sculptural designs as well as a couple of David Berning’s older "window display" models.
Also like the plain look (no exposed tubes) of the company (forget their name) currently manufacturing amps based upon David Berning’s less expensive designs.
Though SS the Dayens’ Amino amplifier reminds me of the amps mentioned in the above paragraph.
I liked my early Audion Silver Night 300B amp for it clean understated (half width) looks.
Eva Manley has manufactured some unusual (great looking) gear, but she’s into vintage/modern motor bikes, from what I gather, so I wouldn’t expect anything less.
VAC (Eva’s Ex?) also had a fully caged integrated (85 something I think) that I found attractive.
Aside from the plastic knobs (didn’t fare well over time) I like the later Dynaco PAS preamps with silver faceplates, SCA-35 integrated and the FM3 tuner for their clean/classic look (no need for exposed tubes).
Also, the Marantz 8 (with white dial meter) and Harmon Kardon’s II and V amps come to mind.
Hovland (who is local to me) has a very, very good eye, but the addition of Blue lights killed it somewhat - for me anyway.
Leak and Quad also produced attractive vintage gear.
The tube gear in my setup is awful looking, but as it’s located on the other side of the speaker wall (in a hallway closet) so it’s no big whoop.
Seems I’m all over the map as far as HiFi gear goes, but as far as women (woman) I settled/cemented on Black Irish in the early 90’s and have never regretted it (good Black Irish don’t crack - as the saying goes).
It is an interesting question. I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with the manager of my local store with respect to a couple of distribution opportunities they may have. They carry some pretty high-end stuff, so clientele tends to look not only for performance, but also aesthetics (true “statement pieces”, if you will).
If I name my 3 best looking designs, he would say they were the 3 least appealing to his eyes (and vice versa). He’s more of a “bling” guy (think Jadis, CJ, etc), whereas I tend to like the simple but somewhat unusual (OMA, NAT (especially the Magma), Allnic and VAC). We have the same ongoing debate about TTs (he loves the stuff that looks like a spaceship; whereas my tastes tend towards the VPI Classic, Thorens, Garrard).
Unfortunately for me, I have two 150+ pound slobbering, shedding mutts who don’t allow me to have pretty and/or fragile things on or near the floor. So, I have to do with big ugly boxes, the heat generated from which keeps them at least 6 feet away.