The Greatest Hi-Fi Product of All Time

Jeffy

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2014
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Some additional candidates for greatest hifi product of all time. I’m restricting myself to stuff that’s still being made decades later.

1. Klipschorn loudspeaker: now on its 8th decade, the Klipschorn is the longest continually produced loudspeaker on the planet. Even today, the principles that governed its design are so forward looking that they stand out as a monument of brilliant design. These include high efficiency for low distortion; corner placement that allows placing them in smaller rooms; and an elegant finish that unlike most of the hideous monstrosities that pass for loudspeakers these days makes them far more attractive. Paul Klipsch, along with U.K.’s Peter Walker, remains the most creative American genius of loudspeaker design in my book.

2. Denon 103 moving coil cartridge: the Denon is the world’s longest continually produced moving coil cartridge and still revered by many six decades on. At a time when moving coil cartridges are climbing into the mid five figures, the Denon remains a bargain at less than $400. It’s no nonsense design coupled with a response profile that’s far more neutral than many of the obscenely priced cartridges with a rising top end makes the Denon a contender.

3. The Linn Sondek LP-12: Surely the greatest turntable of all time, continually produced now for five decades, the LP-12 remains a testament to simplicity and elegance. At a time when turntables are being produced that weigh in the thousands of pounds and need a forklift to move around, the LP-12 is based on the principle that high mass is not only unnecessary for making a good turntable, but can actually impede the sound. The LP-12 defined PRAT — pace, rhythm and timing — as the fundamental essence of good vinyl sound.
Not a fan of 1 to me one of the worst horn speakers.
 

Fishfood

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Jul 11, 2020
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Quad 57 serial numbers stop in the 50,000 range, I reckon far fewer are still in service. BTW, Wayne Piquet is deceased. I spoke with Sheldon a few weeks ago, he's backed up 6-mos. on rebuilds but has a few pairs of 63s ready for sale. Kent just rebuilt my 5th pr of 57's, his lead time was about two weeks.

Kent is an incredible guy who does incredible work.
 

godofwealth

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2022
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View attachment 112687
Interesting as I have the original Quad magazine in which this picture appeared. I’ve owned Quads for almost 35 years now and still have three pairs at home — a 57, a 2805 and a 2905. Much as I love my Quads, I like my recently acquired Klipsch La Scalas just as much. The La Scalas can be driven with a very pure sounding 1 watt SET. This produces a gorgeous midrange and a dynamic range beyond any Quad I have owned. In choral music Quads tend to run out of steam pretty regularly. The La Scalas produce a sonic image of huge choral ensembles better driven by a flea powered SET. Quads still have a magic of their own but it’s getting harder to find a good working pair. The recent Chinese produced Quads are a complete disaster. They tend to fall apart due to poor gluing. Ask Kent for horror stories. Strangely enough, my 50 year old 57s have been the most reliable of any Quad I have owned. As long as they are not overdriven they last forever, it seems. Not the recent 63 variants.
 

microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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(....) The recent Chinese produced Quads are a complete disaster. They tend to fall apart due to poor gluing. Ask Kent for horror stories. Strangely enough, my 50 year old 57s have been the most reliable of any Quad I have owned. As long as they are not overdriven they last forever, it seems. (...)

If you manage to get someone who solves the gluing problem, the ESL63 are extremely reliable - I have several pairs with perfect mylar. My long term retiring dream - building the SME modified ESL63 system - four ESL63, each is cross braced by almost one hundred pounds of brass machined bars.

a1.jpg
 
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BruceD

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Dec 13, 2013
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Interesting concept Micro--I've owned double pairs of 63's in the early 80's ( Radio People HKG) and never seen this configuration-

As curious cat;)--what happens to the Point Source--does it double up per se?

Nice Pic!

BruceD
 

godofwealth

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2022
539
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If you manage to get someone who solves the gluing problem, the ESL63 are extremely reliable - I have several pairs with perfect mylar. My long term retiring dream - building the SME modified ESL63 system - four ESL63, each is cross braced by almost one hundred pounds of brass machined bars.

View attachment 112691

great pic. But much as I admire ARA’s love for Quads, I can’t understand his rationale for this design. The entire rationale for the design of the 63 was to minimize the room effect by eliminating the directivity effects of moving coil designs where you get uniform directivity. In a planar design, at low frequencies you get 6.3 dB directivity. ARA wanted to neutralize that by putting two 63s at right angles to each other. Not sure this design makes sense to me. But I have never heard it so perhaps it sounds fine in a large listening room like ARA had. Peter Walker, bless his soul, was concerned about how the 63 would sound in a normal listening room like the average Brit listener had access to.

1688439187709.jpeg
 

microstrip

VIP/Donor
May 30, 2010
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great pic. But much as I admire ARA’s love for Quads, I can’t understand his rationale for this design. The entire rationale for the design of the 63 was to minimize the room effect by eliminating the directivity effects of moving coil designs where you get uniform directivity. In a planar design, at low frequencies you get 6.3 dB directivity. ARA wanted to neutralize that by putting two 63s at right angles to each other. Not sure this design makes sense to me. But I have never heard it so perhaps it sounds fine in a large listening room like ARA had. Peter Walker, bless his soul, was concerned about how the 63 would sound in a normal listening room like the average Brit listener had access to.

View attachment 112703

Being dipoles, with a true figure-8 radiation pattern, the ESL 63 at right angles work mainly as subwoofers and perhaps as ambiance units, due to the lateral reflections.

As I have reported before, I have tried this arrangement when I had a wide (5.8m ) family room, that was borrowed for a short experiment - four ESL63 with Stand and Deleiver stands with Cello Duet and Pallette electronics . We could easily switch on and off the extra pair and it was impressive - two pairs had more body and the soundstage moved to my neighbor apartment.

Unfortunately my next listening rooms were never wide enough to repeat this system. Fortunately the next one will be 6.5m x 9m!

I d had the opportunity to listen to a pair of ESL63 with Quad electronics in a small hotel chamber set up by Peter Walker in his company and was really impressed. The room completely disappeared.
 

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