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While reading through a number of posts on this site, it occured to me there are many who frequent here who are relative newcomers to audio and may be at a disadvantage in comprehending the context of some posts from the grizzled veterans of audio. When discussing audio and equipment it is important to understand what has come before and what the "watershed" pieces that have brough audio to where it is today. I will list what I consider the most signficant pieces over the past 30 years or so. Many of you may not agree or have others you consider more relavent. Feel free to post yours. In most cases I have tried to name not only the product, but also the designer. However, I could be wrong on some of the designers or product names. Any corrections would be appreciated. Here's my list in no particular order:
Quad Electrostatic Speaker(ELS 63 ?)- While incapbable of playing loud, having much base, and constantly breaking, these are the benchmark for midrange accuracy. No one does midrange better. Don't know the designer.
Audio Research SP 10- The first preamp to show that music can be reproduced in three dimensional space. Others had shown music can be reproduced with width and depth, but none had a holographic capability. ? Johnson designer (it terrible when you get old and can't remember names, what's Johnson's first name?)
Sound Lab A1- First electrostatic speaker that didn't self implode when playing past 90 dbs. Roger West designer.
Dynavector Moving Coil- First moving coil commercially available. Showed us what vinyl was capable of. (I am a little shaky on this one, but I think Dynavector was the first moving coil- anyone know something different?).
Dennesen JC 80 Pre-Amp- This John Curl design was the first ss to have the ability to show deminsionality of music similar to tube. Mr. Curl has gone on to develop a number of notable products since this piece, including the Vendetta phono pre-amp- the best I have every heard. John posts to this group from time to time and is very knowledgeable.
VMPS Super Tower Speakers- The first set of large speakers capable of not only giving the true weight and dynamics of live music, but also produding a realitic sound stage. Brian Cheney continues to develop speakers and posts to this group from time to time and is also very knowledgeable.
Jeff Rowland Model 7 Power Amp-The first ss power amp capable of providing all of the benefits of tube with the relability of ss. Still one of the best sounding amplifiers on the market after over 20 years. Jeff continues to pioneer electronics, most notably the use of balanced designs for amps and preamps, switching power supplies, and battery power supplies. A true gentleman and, dare I say, genius.
WATTs- The Wilson Audio Tiny Tots were the first mini speaker to have the ability to produce holography and pin point imaging with resonable frequency response and dynamics. David Wilson designer.
Monster Cable- Bruce Brisson was the first to show that wire certainly did make sonic differences in system performance. He set the stage for a number of designers to focus on this aspect of music reproduction.
Cardas Power Cords- George Cardas pioneered power cords much in the same way as Bruce Brission did for interconnect and speaker wire. George has also been key in developing interesting accessories such as rhodium connectors.
PS Audio Power Plant- Paul McGowan has demonstrated time and again the importance of the whole musical chain including the power coming into the system.
I have deliberately left off turntables/tonearms because it is debatable whether any one designer made a break through in technology. It has been an incremental development. If I had to chose one, I would chose VPI and Harry Wisefeld because of his pioneering work on bearings, tone arm mass, and suspension.
I am sure I have left off a number of designers worthy of mention, hopefully I haven't made too many mistakes in assigning credit where it is not due. Please feel free to post your watershed pieces, correct my mistakes, or dispute my list. It should be an interesting and very informative discussion.
Thanks for the history.
Haven't read all of the entries here, but my list would have to include:
Spendor BC1 Always musical, and a real classic
Thorens TD124 Bearing hasn't been bettered yet-- including the LP12!
Garrard 301/401 In a massive plinth, they sure sound great
SME 3009 and 3012 Great arms for MC cartridges
Ortofon transcription tonearms
Fidelity Research FR64S arm
Rega Planar turntables The standard for modern budget tables
Denon 103 MC cartridge
Ortofon SPU The longest production run hifi component EVER (50 years?)
Kimber cable Who taught us how good inexpensive cable could be
Dynaco ST70 Did everyone else miss this, or just me?
Ultralinear 6BQ5 amplifiers from Eico, Dynaco, Leak, Pilot and Acrosound
Quad II monoblock amplifiers
Audio Alchemy digital products
NAD 3020 amp, 4020 tuner and 7020 receiver
Luxman C34 and C35 preamps
Quicksilver 8417 amp
Paragon 12 preamp
Lafayette KT600 Is there a better vintage preamp?
Pilot 260 Could it be the best EL34 amp ever made?
The list goes on and on...
It is a very special and expensive mains filter. Every system I tried always had similar very significant more musicality and liquidity, very positive behaviour.
What about the DTN Williamson audio circuit ?
His audio circuit made it possible for the masses to have high fidelity sound, reasonable power and vanishingly low levels of distortion (for the time).
Probably the greatest propenent of the Williamson circuit in the US was Heathkit. Their W-3-4-5 amplifiers from the mid 50's to early 60's were and are wonderfull sounding amplifiers. In fact, a properly restored example IMO sounds better than it's new and similarly priced competition.
Acoustic Research for their production of the acoustic suspension design and the original AR turntable.
The acoustic suspension design demonstrated that realistic audio reproduction was possible from a modestly sized enclosure. The later 3 and 3a introduced the spherical dome type midrange and tweeter. The combination created a sonic standard that was unmatched for a decade. The dome driver is in use by virtually every loudspeaker made today. That good sound was possible from small boxes, made stereo a much easier sale for the manufacturers.
The turntable refined the concept of suspended isolation and demonstrated the importance of the main bearing. Suspended isolation was previously used by Weathers and Scott. AR made the conept mainstream due to their marketing success, low price, and clean aesthetics. One of the inovations that made the table possible was the high quality main bearing- an area that had been overlooked by other makers.
I agree with Mr. Doorak in that Linn (Ivor Tifenbrum-sp?) created the concept of the high end turntable. BUT- his basic design was nothing more than a highly refined AR or Thorens-
Thorens, btw preceeded Linn in creating higher quality AR 'tables.
> Quad Electrostatic Speaker(ELS 63 ?)- While incapbable of playing > loud, having much base, and constantly breaking, these are the > benchmark for midrange accuracy. No one does midrange better. Don't > know the designer.
These rarely break unless you play them way too load. I've known many paople who have used Quads for 20 years or more with no failures.
> Sound Lab A1- First electrostatic speaker that didn't self implode > when playing past 90 dbs. Roger West designer.
You apparently never heard Acoustats. Virtually indestructable panels. We measured peaks over 105db and bass extension to 32 hz on my Acoustat Monitors. They were made in 1977 or 1978 I think.
> Monster Cable- Bruce Brisson was the first to show that wire > certainly did make sonic differences in system performance. He set > the stage for a number of designers to focus on this aspect of music > reproduction.
It was Bob Fulton who first pointed this out. Predated Monster by several years. Noel Lee deserves tremendous credit for bringing this to "tha masses" and showing a viable business structure for cables.
> Cardas Power Cords- George Cardas pioneered power cords much in the > same way as Bruce Brission did for interconnect and speaker wire. > George has also been key in developing interesting accessories such > as rhodium connectors.
I'll agree hear. I some of Geirge's early demos and tests before he went public with this stuff. We were all amazed at the difference the power cords made (and we had no idea what he was changing at the time).
Otherwise a good list and an intresting topic.
I want to thank everyone that contributed to this thread. I made a number of mistakes and for that I am sorry. Also, the ommission of several important products was pointed out by a number of you- the LS3/5A for instance.
The point of this thread was to point out audio is evolutionary, rarely is it revolutionary. The products I listed I though were beyond being just evolutionary, but started a trend in the industry. Each of you have noted others worthy of that stature- thank you. Some of the items on this and other lists are just as state of the art today as when they were introduced. The point to the newbies is to not get sucked into believing that because something is new doesn't mean its better. Many times new products will fail to meet the standards set by the products on this and other lists. Something to keep in mind as you are putting your system together.
The 'rock' turntable.. a tweaked out technical tour de force implementation of the cranfield TT complete with damping trough and paddles... dealt the LP12 a serious boot in the behind.
The Excalibur array speakers... pure high end extravagance impossible without the venerable Ted Jordan (who's drivers it used). A line array of 2 inch full rangers running flat out augmented by a 6 (or was it 8) inch woofer.. all drivers were thin aluminium to Teds' design. The cabinet was cast (yes cast) plaster of paris. Very solid imaging, extremely heavy, and took piano black laquer to new hieghts...
The seismic sink... a lateral look at isolation rather than resonant tuning of a system, a breakthrough product, arguably more neutral than a Mana.
Started Michaelson and Austin.. release the TVA10 valve amp.. later worked with Tim Paravincini.. classic highend homebrewed, tweaky techy slightly unstable, but if you took the risk, you got great bangs for your bucks... He has continued in Audio, but many products have not achieved greatness
Tim Paravincini.. worked with Anthony Michaelson, and then started EAR. High end, off beat, cultish but some of the finest finished, most reliable and fantastic valve products that are up on valve fanshion.. excellent value.
Peter Qvotrop.. Audio Note UK.. need I say more.
Now to the wild card in the mix.. Martin Colloms. This man has done more design work than I care to remember, all for different manufacturors. He has authored several books on design, and his experience is well founded in theory... a real unsung hero.
I should add Mr Voight, Mr Blumlein, Mr Leak, Mr Walker, Mr Sugden etc etc, but then that would be an audio who's who..
Whether you personally love or hate the effects, these guys were the first to show that a support can significantly change the musical presentation and detail levels from a source component (the Linn LP12).
To this day many (including myself) would argue that the addition of the Mana system is perhaps the most fundamental and cost-effective improvement one can make to a mid- to high-end system.
I have seen people astonished by the increased detail and musicality that a 'mere table' can inject into a component, making me rate these tables as 'essential', or at the very least lead me to suggest that anyone who doesn't at least hear a similarly regarded table is perhaps throwing away 50% of the musicality of their system...
It isn't strictly true that Mana was the first to demonstrate that stands make a significant difference to the sound of a turntable. I am sure that that honour belongs to the original Sound Organisation table.
What Mana did was to take the whole issue many steps further with a massively superior stand. An Lp12 on a Mana support is a quite astonishingly different deck to what one has become used to . On this stand the Linn loses a lot of the negative aspects that critics have traditionally levelled at it, the bass is less lumpy , the soundstage far more precise, and the deck displays a crystal clarity not normally associated with it.
Linn Kans (love them or hate them (I hate ;-), these tiny speakers are still the benchmark for PRaT, and a cult classic)
Linn LP12 (the true leader in the LP world for many years, and one of the biggest secondhand bargains in hifi)
DNM Pre+power amps (the first non-ferrous amps?)
Naim Nait (the first of a series of cracking little integrated amps which could do music almost like no other, terrific value)
REL Subwoofers (still the state-of-the-art in my book)
...there are so many things I could list here, I think I'll stop for now ;-)
for re-introducing SETs.
> > Audio Research SP 10- The first preamp to show that music can be reproduced in three dimensional space. < <
Well, *I* would put up the Beveridge RM-1/2 Preamp (contemporary of William Zane Johnson's SP-6B or C) - driving the Beveridge 2SW-2 powered OTL tube-driven electrostatic-in-enclosure-with-acoustic lens. This system was so holographic, you could walk amonst the jazz players! - circa 1979-1980
> > Dynavector Moving Coil- First moving coil commercially available. Showed us what vinyl was capable of. (I am a little shaky on this one, but I think Dynavector was the first moving coil- anyone know something different?). < <
Maybe not "Watershed" but I loved the Fidlity Research FR1-mk3F lo-output coil. FR made fine tonearms, too.
> > Dennesen JC 80 Pre-Amp- This John Curl design was the first ss to have the ability to show deminsionality of music similar to tube. Mr. Curl has gone on to develop a number of notable products since this piece, including the Vendetta phono pre-amp- the best I have every heard. John posts to this group from time to time and is very knowledgeable. < <
Won't argue the Curl design, but the "Dennesen" I remember was the first air-bearing linear-tracking tone arm.
> > VMPS Super Tower Speakers- The first set of large speakers capable of not only giving the true weight and dynamics of live music, but also produding a realitic sound stage. Brian Cheney continues to develop speakers and posts to this group from time to time and is also very knowledgeable. < <
Did this pre-date the first Indinity IRS?
> > Jeff Rowland Model 7 Power Amp-The first ss power amp capable of providing all of the benefits of tube with the relability of ss. Still one of the best sounding amplifiers on the market after over 20 years. Jeff continues to pioneer electronics, most notably the use of balanced designs for amps and preamps, switching power supplies, and battery power supplies. A true gentleman and, dare I say, genius. < <
Levinson's ML series was pretty good as I recall - maybe not as nice as the later Rowland.
> > WATTs- The Wilson Audio Tiny Tots were the first mini speaker to have the ability to produce holography and pin point imaging with resonable frequency response and dynamics. David Wilson designer. < <
How about the Rogers LS3/5a? - the first mini speaker to have the ability to produce holography and pin point imaging *without* resonable frequency response and dynamics (loved it anyway - never warmed up the the WATT).
...and some I've actually owned!
Quad ESL (the "57") - lovely midrange, still among my favorites, and longest-running electrostat (1956-1984).
Dalquist DQ-10 - with the right amp, very relaxing - and opened our eyes to what could be done in a multidriver system when the designer paid attention to getting the decay of the notes right.
Maggie Tympani I-D - that Maggie openness on an orchestral scale.
Maggie 1.6 - a modern cult classic, best Maggie for the masses (so far!).
Sound Lab A-1 - first truly full-range electrostat, still in production after 20 years.
IMF SACM's - explored the frequency extremes while remaining musical - incredible combination of dynamics and subtlty.
Klipschorn - still crazy after all these years (and still in production after all these years - since 1948!).
JBL Hartsfield - we've just about come full circle.
Advent Loudspeaker - got so many of us started.
Rogers LS3/5a - showed us what a small, psychoacoustically optimized speaker could do.
Bose 901 - showed us what marketing could do.
Martin Logan CLS (the original amp-eater) - still the most physically beautiful electrostat, and the rest of the line deserves credit for bringing electrostats into the mainstream.
Ohm Walsh F - brilliant design, amazing what that big cone could do.
Snell Type A - superb imaging and articulation for its day, very intelligently designed for wall placment. A hidden gem.
Meridian M2 - introduced me to holographic imaging.
Shahinian Obelisk - forget hi-fi, and just enjoy the music.
Avant Garde Uno/Duo/Trio - made us throw away our preconceptions of what horns sound like.
Siegfried Linkwitz's DIY system, published in Wireless World in the 70's - at least a decade ahead of its day with time delay compensated fourth-order active crossovers.
Joseph D'Appolito's DIY MTM system, published in SpeakerBuilder in the 80's - and suddenly the pro's were playing catch-up with the amateurs!
Original VPMS super towers - first really loud speaker that still sounded really good.
Beveridge speakers - electrostats with incredibly wide sweet spot, fondly remembered by many.
Wilson WATT/Puppy - an overnight classic, still a standard for comparison, the WATT/Puppy introduced us to serious build quality.
Fried Model Q - first small speaker with really nice, tight bass.
Newform Research R-645 - another modern classic, and inspiring many an otherwise hesitant owner to discover the benefits of capicator upgrades and such.
Lowther drivers in their many incarnations - along with SET's turning at least one corner of the audio world upside down.
Hill Plasmatronics - the stories still circulate. Maybe, just maybe, in some batcave-like secret laboratory, the successor is being developed...
circa 1980s, refined midrange and holographic soundstaging/imaging.
My first "you-are-there" listening experience...sans bottom octave.
Sonex absorbers and RPG diffusers.
The Discwasher record brush.
The VPI record cleaning machine.
The multitude of Audio Achemy digital black boxes, first really cheap component digital audio.
Matt Polk, Bob Carver and Michael Green get a mention for introducing photos of themseves in all their advertisements! :)
Now, who was the first to market rigid decoupled audio equipment racks? The Lead Ballooon?
What about the classics: Marantz model 7, 8, 9 and Mcintosh 225, 240 and 275?
"Important" products in the advancement of music reproduction...
Early KLH speakers
Ohm Walsh F speakers
Quad ESL 57 speakers
JBL "L" Series speakers
Dahlquist DQ-10 speakers
Grace F-8 and F-9 series cartridges
Hegeman Hapi and Hapi 2 preamps
Conrad Johnson pres and amps
Original Mark Levinson
Original Jeff Rowland
Great American Sound
Futterman/New York Audio Labs
Randall Research cables
Wadia 7 + 9 CD player (I still say this is the best I've ever heard)
Marantz 10B tuner
McIntosh MR78 tuner
Fisher tube tuners
Scott tube tuners
Marantz Eighteen receiver
Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machine
--- the Hegeman Hapi 2-- I owned both and the One was clearly superior.
A few Caveats on the CJ lines--- they've let out a couple of stinkers!
I bow to the master, fabulous list.
Hi Jim,Not really the right phrase-let me say there were a couple of items I and my good friend-whom imported CJ agreed on as not up to scratch sonically and technically( judging on build and finish) namely the early Motif branded units ,the MV100 Amps( they self destructed with frightening regularity ) and the PVI pre was impossibly noisy in virtually every system we tried. Their foray into Digital is also better left as not up to par.
Don't get me wrong I like the lushness of the CJ sound and their current top of the line units are up there with the best,also I have many friends with the product and they are supremely satisfied.
Many fine designs of today are largely evolutionary from the 50's and perhaps even 40's. Think about triode amps and horn speakers.
How many theaters have used/still designs pioneered by James B. Lansing and also the engineers at Western Electric? Some people still search for early Altec and JBL speakers--not to mention Jensen and RCA. The Quad ESL 57 speaker is legendary and still in use--not for theaters though. Old McIntosh and Marantz tube amps are still in use. Even lower quality tube gear like Fisher and Scott was important because it allowed the average person to enjoy much better sound than the typical mass produced hifi of back then. Old tube equipment from these brands is still being used.
David Hafler's Dynaco :another company which should be mentioned for quality on a budget.
Rudy Bozak used to give demos of locomotive train recordings on his speakers. Bozaks are still prized by some today.
Acoustic Research and the Acoustic Suspension loudspeaker was
important. The AR1 was the first loudspeaker capable of producing 32HZ in a smaller than refrigerator sized cabinet. They used to give live vs recorded demonstrations in Manhattan way back. Offshoots of AR: KLH , Advent, Allison, RDL.
Paul Weathers designed and marketed the first satellite/sub system back in the 50's.
Spica TC-50 - best bang for the buck ever.
Poweramps & Preamps:
Krell KMS 50
Audible Illusions Modulus II series
Linn LP-12 - the grand dame of analog
Grado - good and cheap
Shure V-15 series
Denon CD Players
While this list is hardly complete and all of these components have worts and imprefections of various sorts - all of these were well respected and extrememly musical components for their time in history - as they still are today.
The Spica TC-50
Quite a few people consider the Maggie ribbon tweeter as the best thing going (certainly more fun than sliced bread anyway!)
And the Klipschorn has been around since the mid '50s, many swear by it, not many can contest that it does some things better than anything else out there (Ok, maybe your priorities don't lie in reproducing the sound of a car door slamming or a helicopter overhead...but the KHorn does these specific things better than anything I've ever heard!)
I'd add in Nakamichi's contributions to tape decks: the 1000 model and the Dragon.
Cetaele (aka Bob)
...the Linn LP-12 turntable and The Daldquist DQ-10 loudspeaker- 2 VERY controversial products that some consider reference quality, even today, while others consider hyped, outdated junk.
I'd hazard to put them in the list above as well!
Possible 'up and coming' gear might be the Radio Shack 3400 portable CD player and Denon DCM 370 HDCD changer. Both components show that high end (or damn well near high end) can be achieved for very little cost! The RS player is STILL talked about around these parts with the reverence reserved for 'real' gear, and the Denon is such an undiscovered sleeper, well...time will tell!
come on now give credit where it is due!!!!!!!!!
i believe that the moving coil was designed by Mr Grado and i agree with him adding another stage of amplification due to low output is not the way to go.
I by the way much prefer the Decca's and the top Shures over moving coils.
One of the best t/t i have heard ever:
STAD S Jean Francois Le Tallec (french),Debodied Shure V15 111 and a
peculiar english arm of very rare origins.
I have always hated Linn's, in fact sold mine and bought a Sansui SR 222 mk 4 and added a Decca Super Gold fabulous.
IMHO a turntable arm combination should have only one spring and that is the cantilever assembly.I do not like suspended designs.ie linn et all.
Speakers to covet Klipsch 1942!!!!!! origin.
the French GeGo Orthophase of 1959 and the Ernst Spiteri Orthophase of 1970's to late 1980's. truely wonderful.
Quad esl 57 single and preferably stacked pair.incredible.
Maggie's especially the Tympani.
amps quad 22 and 11 power amps. Various RADFORD valve mono blocks.
Mcintosh valve,Marantz valve mono blocks.Luxman valve mono blocks.
Esoteric Audio Research valve mono blocks.
and today SONY SCD 1 and SCD 777 es SACD players .The future is here.
i hope you enjoyed my missives detailed above.
I wasn't sure if Grado ever produced a moving coil. Like I said, I wasn't sure who had the first commercial coil on the market. Thanks for any clarification.
I'd think the Audio Research SP3 is a better candidate, it was
holographic, it just lacked bandwidth. Early cj stuff (pv1, pv2)
which also predated the SP10 was very holographic. BTW, it's
William Zane Johnson.
I question the Sound Labs. Acoustats went loud, so could the
Audiostatics. Don't forget the Dayton Wright XG8s.
Somebody else touched on Dynavector - I think Denon, Supex, and
Ortofon predate the Dynavectors.
In the back of my mind I'm thinking the JC80 was a tube unit. I
have the old TASs, if I get a chance I'll check.
VMPS? Ummm, Start with Infinity (Servostatics to IRS), take a left
at Fulton, then maybe go to VMPS.
Bob Fulton started the wire revolution, Noel Lee and Monster Cable
came a few years later, Brisson was later still.
PS Audio - The importance of clean power was determined long before Paul created the P300; Auntie Enid as well as others wrote about
power problems years before. Various methods were tried before
the Power Station, can you say Tice?
George Cardas - Nope, Tice had power cords before Cardas.
Other Names you might want to add
Jim Bongiorno - The first to develop high power amplification, from
Marantz to GAS to Sumo, he was the king of power.
conrad johnson - The first to create a high power, stable tube amp
John Dahlquist - The first speaker to consider alignment of the
Thanks for the corrections, especially Noel Lee. Obviously, my list has a number of errors, for that Mae Culpa, Mae Culpa, Mea Maxima Culp. However, it is interesting to see other responses and ideas on watershed products.
I question the Sound Labs. Acoustats went loud, so could the Audiostatics. Don't forget the Dayton Wright XG8s.
I won't, especially when driven by really big amps. Acoustats can play loud, given enough power. Audiostatics are clearly better to my ears - I've owned both - yet they can only be played so loud without damaging them. I've been using Sound Labs for a while and don't see that changing.
In the back of my mind I'm thinking the JC80 was a tube unit. I have the old TASs, if I get a chance I'll check.
The JC-80 is solid state. Perhaps you're thinking of the Jadis JP-80?
Bob Fulton started the wire revolution, Noel Lee and Monster Cable came a few years later, Brisson was later still.
You're right about Fulton, I have a couple lengths of Gold. Don't forget about Discwasher Smog Lifter speaker cables, which preceded most of the stuff out there.
A couple others:
Magneplanar Tympani IIIA - triamped with ARC gear including D76's.
Shreve Rabco linear tracking tonearm, mounted on a Technics SP-10 turntable.
I had the opportunity of meeting and conversing with Bob Fulton - a very interesting gentleman.
The only component I would add would be Nakamichi Cassette Decks.
The first Quad system: IIs and 57s.
Martin Logan CLS--tho picky about electronics
The Linn? Overrated IMHO. I replaced mine 15 years ago with a Well Tempered and had both in my listening room for a while and the first WT wiped the floor with the Linn.
The Acoustats--just heard a vintage pair and I couldn't believe how good they sound today.
Denon 103D cartridge
Merlin Speakers--any of 'em, including the big 5s
Zero crystal copper cable
XLO cables, for their time, a revelatin
Early Van Den Hul
Original Sonus Faber--Extremas and Electra Amator
Acoustic Interface moving coil transformers
6C33C amps--BAT. Lamm, Joule: whole new tube sound
The BBC LS3/5A should be on the list. The first great high end minimonitor. It was made by Spendor, Harbeth, and two others, as well as a kit.
The Martin-Logan CLS could be on a list of audio classics.
A few possible corrections.
The benchmark Quad was the original not the 63, first introduced to the world in 1955 and widely available around 1957. It would play significantly louder than 90dB, (closer to 100dB) was reliable if used correctly(rarely the case here in States) and had substantial bass if used correctly(again rarely in the States). It is still the benchmark for midrange IMHO. Many stat mfgs. still use this as their reference. It showed the world that a reliable full-range electrostat was possible. The designer was Peter Walker.
I believe Bob Fulton was one of the first individuals showing us that wire was terribly sonic Fulton Gold was one of the first audiophile wires, way before Monster Cable. Mark Levinson was also telling us about the sonics of wire prior to Monster Cable. Monster Cable was probably the first widely available commerical audiophile wire.
I believe Denon was the first commerically available moving coil. A little shaky on this point as well. Was it the 103 series? Early 60's as I recall.
The Linn LP12 was the first benchmark turntable showing the world that yes turntables are sonic.
Commercially available MC cartridges go back to the days of mono. Fairchild, for 1, sold a mono LOMC.
IIRC, Joe Grado holds the (expired) patent on the MC design. He chose instead to develop the moving iron technology.
Thanks for the clarification on the moving coil.
Thanks for the info. I knew Joe developed the technology and I have always thought it said volumes about its basic benefits when he abandoned that approach. I should note that I have always liked Grados, and that is my current reference. Played with about all the 'hip' coils over the years and just never cared for the technology. Quit caring many years ago and just stick with the boring old Grado.
I think maybe Denon always claimed they developed the first commerical stereo coil. I don't know; it has been so many years ago and I my brain in failing!?
Prior to the Linn LP-12, turntables were considered to have no real sound save for the effects of wow and flutter and rumble. Mr. Tiefenbrun was the first to realize (and exploit) the fact that turntables did sound different in ways that weren't reflected in a couple of measured specs. Essentialy there was no such thing as a high end turntable before the LP-12. The machining of the Linn's bearing and platter established a new standard for such things, too.
I don't have an LP-12, yet! But I do have a Linn Axis, which some people consider to be the next best thing.
It' so sad that so many people don't get Linn in general (you know who you are, no flames please, just stating fact!!!). I for one know there are better 'tables out there, but at what cost? Certainly much higher than the LP-12 (even in fully updated Lingo format, which BTW is about $11kCDN in my area, a little above my range!), but very few at the Linn's price or under 'get the tunes right', as Ivor says, and I have heard and beleive! That is the first and most important thing to me, as a time keeper (bass guitarist, who has worked with countless drummers, pro and amatuer).
Peace at the A!
DMan, firstly, the Axis isn't even close. Period. Nice turntable, but no contender, really. Not to say I wouldn't like one as a second, urm, third table, but the LP12 is miles ahead.
That said, Linn's recent price increases have pushed it into the price bracket of many more superior tables, including the likes of the Clearaudio EVolution, which I recently chose over the Linn, Rega P9, Xerxes. Of course, it's always down to personal preference at this level, but my situation was interesting.
My LP12 had been ruined when a wall shelf had come away from the wall, and my insurance company paid up the £3800 ($5500?) new value of the TT. It was an LP12/Lingo/Cirkus/Naim Aro/Asaka - a great table, no question. HOwever, I'd bought it all secondhand over the years, bits here and bits there. I'd paid perhaps £1750 all in, probably quite a bit less, to build this table. AT that price, it is clearly a bargain. However, I had never looked at more expensive tables originally, due to my budget not stretching that far. Thus, I didn't try things like Michell Orbes, Clearaudio, etc.
With a budget of £3800, I had fully intended to replace my LP12 with a new one, except with a Naim Armageddon PSU instead of a new Lingo, diverting the difference in funds toward a better MC cart - an Arkiv. However, I found that at that price, there are so many turntables worthy of audition, and I found that, whilst my loyalty to the LP12 was and is very high, my ears clearly told me that it can be bettered.
The Rega P9, whilst not as musical in my opinion, beats the LP12 for the all-important dynamics and pace. The LP12 is by no means the lesser table for it - I prefer the LP12 'balance' over the P9, but I had to try it for myself. I actually quite fancied the simplicity of the P9, but found it not to my tastes in the end. The Xerxes, another great deck - but again, something just didn't do it for me. I was prejudiced against the CLearaudio deck at first - I felt that its aesthetics and tangential tonearm were quirky and I expected it to sound 'blah' in a kind of Gyrodec way (no offense to Gyro owners, but it's never been my fave deck, although I did demo it to reassess my previous experiences with it, to no avail). However, I found it systematically beat the LP12 in all of the key areas, PRaT, and dug out a high degree of additional detail that the LP12 just couldn't get. Most importantly, it had the PRaT *AND* Transparency, a thing that the LP12 never did.
The moral is: don't be blinkered, as I was. I would have still been delighted with my LP12, enjoying the music, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, I now see that there ARE better tables for less than the current new cost of a fully-loaded LP12 - my CLearaudio rig, including arm and SIgma Gold MC, came to less than £2800, a saving of £1000 which I put toward new Preamp and a CDR machine.
Finding the sound that YOU like and sticking with it!
I LOVE my Axis, but will probably get better 'tunes' with an LP-12 Basik (currently fishing one as I type this for a great used price), with my Akito II arm on it, instead. I do agree there are better TTs out there, and I forgot to take the price hikes into consideration with new Linn stuff.
I still have a 'love on' for the LP-12. To me it just sounds 'right' compared to most other tables. I have done my best to ignore the hype, and my Linn dealer buddy knows this. But every time I enter his shop (cleaning records on the Keith Monks, etc...), he usually shows me something 'new' on the LP-12 that makes sense audio-wise, but usually, NOT cost-wise- and that is too bad, because I am a cheap bastard!!!! (I am of Scottish decent as well!).
The sound I love is Dalhquist speakers being driven by my HIGHLY modified Cyrus II amp (was an integrated in a past life!). I'd kil to get another one to bi-amp as well. My system is by no means a 'resolution killer', but it does what I like best- PRAT!
Cheers, and enjoy your TT! Everybody ROCK!!!!
In fact - Ivor was ridiculed for stating (and selling) that a turntable could make any difference in sound quality.
Amazingly enough - many people today - still don't believe!
...to your otherwise comprehensive list the AR3-a and Dahlquist DQ-10 loudspeakers, Linn turntables, and Mr. Modaferri's Mac MR-78 tuner.
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