How it looks / not how it sounds

Always wondering what the best looking system would consist of - even if the pieces might not work well together, and probably have never been paired together anyway - here’s a recent (simple system)-
yamaha cr2040 receiver
sonus faber amati futura violin red
thorens td-125
tandberg 3014 cassette
tandberg td20 rtr
what would your dream system look like? on looks alone, not sound

A bit of a strange concept! And I’m struggling partly because I can’t picture anything that I hadn’t at least thought might sound good and so looked into a bit. And I may struggle with a playable system! Decision - good looks as in sleek and subtle, or stand out hit you in the eye? Hmm…
Mitchell Gyrodeck - I always thought it looked the part
Devialet amps - sleek and subtle
Then I’m torn between B&W Nautilus (the original spiral), Furgusen Hill FH001 (near invisible horn)


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luv that fergusun hill speaker - never saw anything like it, although I would prefer it in a vibrant color rather than clear. I’m hoping more ppl. post pics , unfortunately I’m still pretty comp illiterate. I would also include ear and vac tube equipment.

these 3 tube amps look gorgeous

image image


Being clear, the attractiveness to me if the FH001 is its near invisibility!

Some tube amps make much more of the tubes themselves, which if you are going the tube route for appearance might be more desirable?

I am guilty of buying some pieces of Hifi because I so loved the way they looked. OK, so some sounded pretty good too, but the looks were the draw. For example, the Michell Gyrodec - it looked fantastic (especially with an SME IV on board) with all that beautiful clear acrylic, although I ruined the looks slightly by upgrading it to Orbe spec along the way. And then there was the Lecson system, pre, amp, and tuner - looked so futuristic, sound was good in parts, build was not great, reliability of the amp was non-existent. I still have the tuner and the pre-amp though… Yamaha TC-800 cassette deck - still the best looking cassette deck out there. Performance was not bad considering (great for the time), but was quickly surpassed as cassette development moved on apace. Why do I still have two of them? Well, they just look so cool…

However, there are some great looking pieces of Hifi that need no excuses, particularly where form follows function, looking good, yet also sounding as good as they look. For example, the original Rega Planar 3 - just lovely, and timeless in style. And I think we can include a fair bit of Naim kit in here too, although I have a particular soft spot for the NAC42/NAP110 and the NAIT2.


On looks alone (although it would sound pretty good too…) It would have to be a Bauer DPS turntable flanked either side by a pair of Devialet amps into restored Gale 401s on the original stands.

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I would go steam punk, with Oswald Mills AC1 speakers, icon audio MB 90 valve amps, and a Transcriptors hydraulic reference TT. Or maybe Cessaro horns and a Kronos Deck.

The new Uniti range is loveeeely, form and function!


I have a constant battle with SWMBO over how the system looks. Thankfully she likes the look of the new SCM40 speakers so that’s okay… interesting though we tried the metal grill on the demo SCM40s we had which were in cherry and we both agreed the grills looked REALLY bad but on the satin black finish that we got the grills look excellent… the only speakers I’ve had where the grills make the speakers look better. Anyway, speakers aside, I’m often having heated conversations about the black NAIM enclosures. She’s now started perusing my hifi mags and highlighting equipment which ticks her sense of style. tbh I agree with her… there are some much better styled equipment out there than NAIM.

Rega P25 with DV10x5 (for colour), Unison S6 with Unison phonostage, L3/5as in matching wood to record player and amp. I’ve just looked up the amp and it would have to be the slightly older one with a wood front.

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The Atom looks sexy and sound is also awesome.


As with my interest in wrist watches, I love the melding of industrial design and engineering, and that absolutely happens in the hi fi world!

Naim actually works pretty well for our parlor, which is mid-century modern. The black Fraim and black boxes with the little green lights…it could be WAY worse. My wife absolutely gets a vote on the aesthetics of the hi fi. She vetoes speakers that look like they belong on the deck of the starship Enterprise; thus, no Nautilus, B&O, many B&W’s, etc. Our speakers that are on order are Magico A3 - simple black anodized aluminum boxes that match the Naim boxes.

But I’m intrigued from the pure industrial design standpoint of the speakers I mentioned above, cool looking tube amps, horn speakers, etc.

Just the perfect solution for a table top system to plug the iPad in.


mc intosh integrated new turntable. Nice looking



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The style police would never let you get away with that cartridge mismatch!

sorry, i didn’t understood. Style police? cartridge mismatch? you are referring to the mc intosh turntable?

Sorry, I’m being a bit colloquial! I mean the green is a colour clash.