Lifestyle downsize of Hi-Fi system

Many manufacturers who strive for a minimalist front panel look, use low contrast LCD screens. I prefer knobs and switches as they are easier for those of us with declining vision. I was attracted to Naim (SN3 and CDSi ) because they have buttons. .


I agree to that, not limited to hifi. Physical buttons / indicators / switches / radio buttons etc in cars are greatly appreciated by me! Who invented big touchscreens in cars really missed the point.


Personally I never liked the 1970s Japanese styling, all chrome and bristling with knobs/switches. I prefer understated style generally, and out of the two common colour schemes black and discreet, or if if has to be silver, slim.

As for screens, only where essential to see information necessary for operation - and for hifi boxes touchscreens are a poor substitute for physical controls, and probably limit thd lifetime oc the equipment.

If you like buttons and switches….

This has to be the 21st century winner!



Oh for the old days, Meridian 101 and Tuner.


Fully agree. I sometimes long for my days with a Blackberry. There’s something really nice about having the tactile feedback and not needing to look at the screen constantly. In cars, as you say, it’s quite a strange development.


Yes I have to be honest I did like my BB, just a nicer interaction than my i-phone but time marches on and BB are all but extinct.

In my early high-end life, I had a Spectral DMC10 preamp. Just a volume knob and a balance knob and toggle switches. Super easy to operate. Also had their DMA50 ( or was it DMA90?) amp. Just one on/off switch. Only RCA jacks. Life was simple. Low-rise chassis. Very elegant looking. Great sound.

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I used to have a work supplied BlackBerry.

Not the best phone that I’ve had, but made worse by the company having most of the features disabled, essentially leaving you with only the phone, email and text features.

Made a good paperweight though.


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This sounds rather like early ( CB or Olive ) pre/power amps!! And they still sound great!

When I was a kid, my father bought one of these, I was so happy I could record from the radio to a tape and those VU LEDs were absolutely mandatory for getting the right output level on the entire tape, regardless of the radio station and its signal strength. I hated them on the playback though. I am not sure VU meters nowadays are used for this purpose rather than pure aesthetics and nostalgia.

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I owned various silver boxes by Marantz and Technics from 1980 onwards, including a graphic equaliser.

But the interest of all those metres and switches and knobs soon wore off.

The lack of pointless adornment originally drew me to Naim over 20 years ago, signifying a singleminded focus on sound quality.

Form follows function.

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I had the Yamaha cr-820 back in the day and still like the looks but without the warm wood cabinet and with the stark black band across the front and the two lighted eyebrows, this loses the appeal. The jbl looks much better , “softened” with wood looking sides. Back then , “the one that got away” was a tandberg receiver - just couldn’t justify the$$$ , at least on paper. Taking one last (modern day) attempt at both visual and audible beauty combined and (if it ever shows up) about to truth alluxity int. 1 am-to satisfy both goals

Wonderful, I had a 105 with the matching mono power amps, each sited underneath a speaker and long pre to poweramp leads. Traded it all in for a chrome bumper 250 which I still have although converted by Naim to olive. The Meridian brings back fond memories.

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I had a 101/103D, which I traded for a pair of Mk 1 Linn Kans, to go with the 42/Snaps/110 I’d just bought. That was in 1983, and the start of my over 40 years of Naim ownership.


I meant to say 101 and was it 105 power amps? The 101/103D according to a chap selling vintage hifi at last years Ascot hifi show sounded better, yes my 101 trade in to Naim 250 was also in 1983, but I never progressed beyond 82/2xHiCap/250, still sounds good!

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This was the last silver box I owned from the 80s - I absolutely loved it as a teenager - and was great at playing 12" singles - really sounded rather good :slight_smile:


…Marantz VUs (my opinion) looked good…Maranrz had ‘a certain style’.

I had the 101, turner, plus Pink Triangle TT into Meridian M2’s , Simple, elegant and sounded brilliant. 40 years later I had ended up with a full 500 system, sounded absolutely fantastic, but dominated the room, and I spent more time faffing about than actually listening, so 2 years ago, it was sold on and I simplified, and got back into enjoying the music, which ultimately is the main reason for the systems we own.


So what did you go for?


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