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Aesthetics - how important are they?

Discussion in 'audio' started by tiggers, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    What about the aesthetics of lights and displays?

    Whenever possible I use dim mode/ display off.
  2. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    I think it's the usual scale of opinion, but wonder if the people who sit at one end, and who care more for looks than sound, are also artsy people who like music more than kit etc, and those at the other extreme simply love engineering and mucking about and getting the measurements right and wouldn't notice if it sounded wrong or looked hideous, as long as it measured right?
    I care about looks a lot and wouldn't have hideous kit near me, but sound matters most...JUST.

    If this is the scale described above:

    Artsy aesthetes, all looks and emotional music love 1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10 crazy engineers, measurement men, music's just a noise on a graph.

    Im about a 3.
    booja30 likes this.
  3. Big John

    Big John pfm Member

    The Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference turn table was displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art as were the original Quad ESL as examples of form following function.

    As it happens I have both, therefore aesthetics is something I do not have to worry to much about My MC7R looks quite good as does the Atlas Magnum power amp, Leak Troughline & Croft Vitale phono stage ok CD104 & Aiwa S950 cassette not so much linear PSU's yuck.

    Thankfully the turn table sits high on a 3" thick 100kg black shelf in a brick built plastered alcove rising 6" above the OTA Quad 57's on their Rupert stands,that sit in front hiding the quite good's ok's not so much & yuck.

    If I wanted a piece of ugly but sonically great if I could afford it I would buy and fit longer leads then hide it.

    Forget the WAF factor at your peril.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Likewise, and I actively avoid kit that has bright displays. I love the gentle glow of valves and ‘70s vintage Japanese tuners, but everything else really annoys me as I often listen in the dark. I really detest bright blue LEDs and LCD displays and would avoid kit that had them. My Rega CD (and Marantz SACD upstairs) both have subtle displays that can be turned off.
    Old Shatterhand and radamel like this.
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Some people like being radical and not following the crowd...
  6. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    My otherwise very aesthetically pleasing Leben 300f has a bright blue LED power on light which does some serious harm to the overall aesthetics. I often stand something in front of it when listening at night and have been seriously tempted to put a small sticker over it.

    Having a cat determines some decisions - I have a very ugly Perspex cover over my very beautiful Gyro SE. She is convinced the revolving weights are a cat toy and once some serious harm to an old Elvis Costello record.
  7. paul rich

    paul rich pfm Member

    Its true! I agree with the two previous comments that modern styling is moving away from conservative, nicely proportioned, tasteful , elegant.....okay I am sure you get the idea, towards a much more brash, bling, "look at me" aesthetic.

    I've fallen out of love with cars of the modern era for that reason, but its more than just cars as the previous commentors noted.

    So what is driving this change in style?

    My theory is that its the shift in which demographics have the disposable income.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That is very disappointing as it is such a beautiful amp. I have to admit that would annoy me sufficiently I’d switch it for a red or green one, neither of which irritate me.
    Brian S likes this.
  9. Minio

    Minio Yeah no so

    Sounds cool to me. There seems to be some animosity towards blue led's here and I agree with that too. Blue led's are the work of the devil. More suitable for fridge /freezers imo.

    Now. If Laura Ashley had made hifi, she could have opened up a whole new market. She missed a trick there!
  10. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Laura Ashley electrostatics.
    Now there’s a thought...
    Wolfmancatsup and Minio like this.
  11. See I'd take blue over the green and red. Blue is best as long as its not overly bright and just a cool blue and the led is as small as possible.
    Wolfmancatsup and tiggers like this.
  12. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    I think the fact that modern fabrication technology allows more complex shapes to be achieved plays its part, too. ‘We made it this way because we now can’.
  13. Gervais Cote and Tarzan like this.
  14. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

  15. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    minimal tiny lights.

    blue, orange and the green c.d. player lights switch off.

    got my eyes closed most of the time.
  16. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    It's of zero importance to me. Form follows function. The casework of an amp provides a stable platform on which to bolt the mains transformer, smoothing caps etc and the sides a suitable place for heatsinks if required. Input and output sockets etc are an obvious requirement and where better for them than the back panel... That's as much thought as goes into it. For my own use equipment will often have no casework and a power amp for example may well consist of mains transformer, smoothing caps, boards and heatsinks just plonked on a bit of plywood and put on the carpet between the speakers... I need to have unhindered access to do tests and to carry out modifications and there's a very good chance that say a power amp will be used for a few months to a few years and then I'll take it apart and re-use the heatsinks, transformer etc for a new idea so the vast cost of casework and all the drilling, filing, cutting involved is just a right costly PITA.
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I think my problem with blue (and to a lesser degree white) LEDs is there is nothing like them in the natural world. Colours so narrow-band and harsh simply do not exist outside of 21st century electronics. As an example I love the far gentler and wider-bandwidth blue glow of say a ‘70s vintage Marantz or Pioneer receiver, yet as soon as some idiot replaces the proper bulbs with LEDs the same facias look grotesque, they just look entirely wrong.

    The thing I don’t understand is why I don’t dislike the light from old-style red or green LEDs? Maybe they are made differently? I do notice some modern ones are quite unpleasant, so maybe they have changed, e.g. some recent red or green LEDs seem far harsher and harder on the eye than say the ones in a chrome bumper-era Naim, BBC Micro or whatever (which I like a lot).
    booja30, Old Shatterhand and kjb like this.
  18. r0dd3r5

    r0dd3r5 Active Member

    If Laura Ashley did electrostatics it'd be curtains! I'll get my coat...
    Timcat and Martyn Miles like this.
  19. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    They matter to me quite a lot for the same reason as the OP, I like elegant, non blingy kit... Linn LK and Linn Klimax has always been a firm winner for me, Naim too. I also love the look of Primare, Densen and the brushed black and quartz silver Cyrus boxes.
    Paul Mc likes this.

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