Philips Black Tulip

Philips Black TulipDon’t you just love Philips? Virtually every time this ingenious Dutch consumer electronics giant went anywhere near serious hi-fi, it all went horribly wrong. Such was the ‘Black Tulip’ range – the company’s portfolio of avowedly high end late nineteen seventies esoterica designed to take on the Brits and the Japs in one fell swoop. Unfortunately it made about as much impact on the audio market as a DAF Variomatic around Silverstone…

To the Dutch, black tulips are considered the rarest and most beautiful of flora – well, Philips was right about the ‘rare’ bit at least, as no one bought any. The main problem was that, as the name suggests, these separates were black when this was about as trendy as a Vanden Plas Allegro. Silver was sexy, and the Japanese mass market practice of producing god-awful audio and putting it into big brushed aluminium boxes festooned with massive chrome knobs worked a treat. Only Philips’ conceit could have convinced the marketing men that it could change folks’ tastes overnight.

The tragedy is that the preamplfiers, power amps and tuners weren’t half bad. As well made as anything the Japanese were doing at the price, they actually sounded quite a bit sweeter. The black brushed aluminium fascias also looked quite neat – if only Philips had done them five years later, it could probably have cleaned up. It didn’t of course, and the ‘Black Turnips’ bombed

2 comments

  1. Tim Hart

    I have a tuner, table, amp. Except they are not black. Not been used in boxes for 30 odd years.

  2. Mark Barrs

    In the late 70’s this was my dream system but couldn’t find anywhere that sold it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: