Author Archives: realspin

Marantz CD65II SE

The number of budget, Philips-based Marantz CD players made in the nineteen eighties and nineties is quite overwhelming. Back in the heyday of the silver disc, the market was constantly shifting and Marantz – like everyone else – had to

Marantz CD65II SE

The number of budget, Philips-based Marantz CD players made in the nineteen eighties and nineties is quite overwhelming. Back in the heyday of the silver disc, the market was constantly shifting and Marantz – like everyone else – had to

Mission 771/772

Mission Electronics was launched in 1977, with Farad Azima, his brother Henry and Stan Curtis as founder directors. Yet another exciting new British hi-fi company to come out of ‘Silicon Fen’ around Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – the UK’s equivalent of California’s

Mission 771/772

Mission Electronics was launched in 1977, with Farad Azima, his brother Henry and Stan Curtis as founder directors. Yet another exciting new British hi-fi company to come out of ‘Silicon Fen’ around Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – the UK’s equivalent of California’s

Technics SL-1000R

In 1965, Technics was created as the high end hi-fi brand of Panasonic Corporation. The name first appeared on loudspeakers, but was a natural choice for a new transcription turntable designed by Shuichi Obata. Launched in 1970, the ‘Technics by

Technics SL-1000R

In 1965, Technics was created as the high end hi-fi brand of Panasonic Corporation. The name first appeared on loudspeakers, but was a natural choice for a new transcription turntable designed by Shuichi Obata. Launched in 1970, the ‘Technics by

NAD 3155

“Two products in one”, is how NAD described its new 3155 upon its launch in January 1985. “As a preamplifier it matches most separate audiophile preamps in sonic performance and surpasses them in operating flexibility. As a high-current high-headroom power

NAD 3155

“Two products in one”, is how NAD described its new 3155 upon its launch in January 1985. “As a preamplifier it matches most separate audiophile preamps in sonic performance and surpasses them in operating flexibility. As a high-current high-headroom power

Aiwa M-301

“Refined to the essence of hi-fi perfection”, or so said Aiwa’s 1980 brochure for its M-301 microsystem. “The 35 Watt System: Refinement. Ingenuity. Performance”, it continued. It’s easy to laugh at the marketing hype, but look beyond this and it’s

Aiwa M-301

“Refined to the essence of hi-fi perfection”, or so said Aiwa’s 1980 brochure for its M-301 microsystem. “The 35 Watt System: Refinement. Ingenuity. Performance”, it continued. It’s easy to laugh at the marketing hype, but look beyond this and it’s

Audiolab 8300CDQ

Although just a hundred or so pounds more than its 8200 predecessor, the 2019 8300CDQ was slicker and more sophisticated in terms of build, finish and functionality – and sported something Audiolab believed to be a worthwhile new feature –

Audiolab 8300CDQ

Although just a hundred or so pounds more than its 8200 predecessor, the 2019 8300CDQ was slicker and more sophisticated in terms of build, finish and functionality – and sported something Audiolab believed to be a worthwhile new feature –

Musical Fidelity A100

The Musical Fidelity A1 design story is well told now. Tim de Paravicini takes it up. “I try to be inventive, I don’t copy people if I can avoid it”, he told me. “The idea started life as a circuit

Musical Fidelity A100

The Musical Fidelity A1 design story is well told now. Tim de Paravicini takes it up. “I try to be inventive, I don’t copy people if I can avoid it”, he told me. “The idea started life as a circuit

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Sony DTC-A6

Sony quietly dropped its Digital Audio Tape format in 2005, but it had long since been on the critical list. Indeed, the launch of the DTC-A6 in October 1996 saw the last important high end consumer DAT machine to come from

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Sony DTC-A6

Sony quietly dropped its Digital Audio Tape format in 2005, but it had long since been on the critical list. Indeed, the launch of the DTC-A6 in October 1996 saw the last important high end consumer DAT machine to come from

TDK Tremor S-150

Launched way back in 2001, TDK’s Tremor ‘multimedia loudspeaker system’ (as they used to call these then), was one of the most interesting designs of the decade, in my view. The first-ever speaker systems offered by TDK, a range of three was

TDK Tremor S-150

Launched way back in 2001, TDK’s Tremor ‘multimedia loudspeaker system’ (as they used to call these then), was one of the most interesting designs of the decade, in my view. The first-ever speaker systems offered by TDK, a range of three was

Marantz DR6000

Recordable CD (called CD-R) was launched in 1988. Called CD-WO (CD-Write Once), the format was fully compatible with the original ‘Red Book’ CD standard when giving up to 74 minutes of recording (650 MB), but later CD-Rs offered up to

Marantz DR6000

Recordable CD (called CD-R) was launched in 1988. Called CD-WO (CD-Write Once), the format was fully compatible with the original ‘Red Book’ CD standard when giving up to 74 minutes of recording (650 MB), but later CD-Rs offered up to

Sony TA-F35

Any British hi-fi magazine reader in 1980 would be treated to page after page of commentary and opinion – sometimes dressed up as fact, sometimes not – about how poor Japanese amplifiers were. This was particularly the case, they said,

Sony TA-F35

Any British hi-fi magazine reader in 1980 would be treated to page after page of commentary and opinion – sometimes dressed up as fact, sometimes not – about how poor Japanese amplifiers were. This was particularly the case, they said,

SEE Corporation Revolver

Made by Sundown Electronic Engineering, Ltd. (also called The SEE Corporation) in Warrington, England, the Revolver turntable was aimed at a very specific niche of the nineteen eighties affordable audiophile turntable market. It sold through a network of small independent specialist

SEE Corporation Revolver

Made by Sundown Electronic Engineering, Ltd. (also called The SEE Corporation) in Warrington, England, the Revolver turntable was aimed at a very specific niche of the nineteen eighties affordable audiophile turntable market. It sold through a network of small independent specialist

Technics EPC-205C MK3

The nineteen seventies vinyl world was awash with high compliance moving magnet cartridges. Shure’s M75ED – introduced in 1974 – dominated the scene. With its super light body and high compliance, the company claimed it could track securely down to

Technics EPC-205C MK3

The nineteen seventies vinyl world was awash with high compliance moving magnet cartridges. Shure’s M75ED – introduced in 1974 – dominated the scene. With its super light body and high compliance, the company claimed it could track securely down to

JBL L100 Classic

When the first JBL L100 was launched at CES 1970 in Chicago, few realised how popular it would be. A consumer version of the 4310/4311 professional monitors, it shared the same driver line-up, with strong Alnico V magnets. A simple

JBL L100 Classic

When the first JBL L100 was launched at CES 1970 in Chicago, few realised how popular it would be. A consumer version of the 4310/4311 professional monitors, it shared the same driver line-up, with strong Alnico V magnets. A simple

Ken Ishiwata, 1947–2019

The sad news comes that Ken Ishiwata, former brand ambassador of Marantz, has died aged 72 after a short illness. An immensely talented man, Ken was charming, modest and cultured in a way that stood out like a beacon in

Ken Ishiwata, 1947–2019

The sad news comes that Ken Ishiwata, former brand ambassador of Marantz, has died aged 72 after a short illness. An immensely talented man, Ken was charming, modest and cultured in a way that stood out like a beacon in

Dual CS606

It is hard to understate the decline of Dual, which had once been one of the largest manufacturers of turntables in Europe, with over three thousand employees working across several factories in West Germany, at the peak of that country’s

Dual CS606

It is hard to understate the decline of Dual, which had once been one of the largest manufacturers of turntables in Europe, with over three thousand employees working across several factories in West Germany, at the peak of that country’s

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Sony TC-K81

It’s hard to understate just how important Compact Cassette was as a format in 1979. The Long Playing record was now in the late autumn of its life – or so we thought – with ever more people buying pre-recorded

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Sony TC-K81

It’s hard to understate just how important Compact Cassette was as a format in 1979. The Long Playing record was now in the late autumn of its life – or so we thought – with ever more people buying pre-recorded

Hitachi HMA-6500

Back in the mid nineteen seventies, Hitachi’s development and productionising of MOSFETs (Metal Oxide Silicon Field Effect Transistor) played a massive part in the hi-fi world that was then just around the corner. The world wasn’t even fifteen years into

Hitachi HMA-6500

Back in the mid nineteen seventies, Hitachi’s development and productionising of MOSFETs (Metal Oxide Silicon Field Effect Transistor) played a massive part in the hi-fi world that was then just around the corner. The world wasn’t even fifteen years into

Wharfedale Linton Classic

Thirty years ago most audiophiles thought everything old was rubbish, and all we needed was modern technology and fresh thinking to shape our brave new world. Of course this was only true up to a point, and now we are

Wharfedale Linton Classic

Thirty years ago most audiophiles thought everything old was rubbish, and all we needed was modern technology and fresh thinking to shape our brave new world. Of course this was only true up to a point, and now we are