How much stock do you put into the appearance?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Chester0711, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I cant get over the appearance factor. I am in the process of purchasing a new Turntable and I cant kick the appearance. Some of these tables look downright tacky and hideous! Some look cool and or quite chic.

    I mean, look this is a very subjective topic. Some think VPI's look cool....I do not, but I feel like leaving them out of the equation is irresponsible because of their reported quality.

    ClearAudio with the birch trim looks great, but I cant get myself to pull the trigger over a VPI Prime Scout which isn't too much further out of the price bracket, but gets glowing reviews. However, I cant buy the VPI Prime Scout because I don't like the appearance...the vinyl wrap and the wierd cut to the body. That said I hate the old scout look too. My opinion, totally.

    Then I was almost sold on a Music Hall 7.3 but the piano black layering on the plinth is not great looking. But apparently it serves a great purpose. Just cant get past the appearance.

    It seems ridiculous, but am I the only one who cares about looks when it comes to equipment?

    It's not everything, I mean I was considering a Shinola , which looks great but is suspect for performance, and I don't like the onboard Phono.
  2. rene smalldridge

    rene smalldridge Senior Member

  3. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Buffalo, NY
    Can't afford to worry with looks. Can't afford loud. I just spend as little as possible to get something I can live with and spend the rest on music. That piano black finish might be a fingerprint magnet.
    bluemooze and Old Rusty like this.
  4. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Forum Resident

    Southeast PA
    Appearance is not my final deciding factor, but it is important! When I spend the kind of money a lot of this stuff costs, I want to enjoy looking at it too and not want to hide it! Also, my "listening room" is our home's living room so it's on display in a public area as well.

    That said, I have ruled out components simply because I consider them ugly. I have also ruled out components that do not suit my ergonomic needs as well. Both looks and functionality are important to me.
    bradleyc, Shoalcove, reapers and 2 others like this.
  5. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    It has to look at least pleasing. You're going to stay with it for 5, 10, 20, 30 years. Don't put something in your room that always makes you think "I hate and always hated the way that thing looks".
    rischa likes this.
  6. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Dallas, Texas
    Definitely matters to me.

    Dominick, Bhob, Gavinyl and 5 others like this.
  7. Remote Control Triangle

    Remote Control Triangle Forum Resident

    Las Vegas
    I think it's important. Some of these turntables look like miniature models of UFO's. It's ridiculous. It's a friggen platter that spins around in a circle, FFS. The over-engineering with some of these things is just absurd.

    "Thou shall not purchase a turntable that looks asinine."
    Bananas&blow and Wally Swift like this.
  8. Sound is primary but bad design and looks are deal breakers for me. My stereo system is a part of my everyday living area. I’m a bit of a design snob I guess
    bradleyc, timztunz, Shoalcove and 7 others like this.
  9. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    it's all about the sound for me...
    Old Rusty and klockwerk like this.
  10. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    With TT, I put a lot on looks........TT are moving pcs of gear. You can't tuck them away on a shelf because you need easy access, so they are insight all the time. I love the look of my mmf-7.1

  11. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    All the difference styles and designs of turntables exist at each price point specifically because personal tastes are so varied. I think that appearance is really, really important to each of us.

    The question to ask yourself is, do anything other than excellent turntables exist at the price point that fits your budget? I think you’ll find that the answer is, no. It’s basically impossible to find a bad turntable in the Clearaudio/VPI Prime Scout price range from any maker.

    What I’m suggesting is that you should choose the style of turntable in your price range that you feel is absolutely the best looking. Then do what smart audiophiles do - spend the rest of your purchasing time determining the best cartridge for the tonearm on the TT you’ve chosen. Then make sure your phono preamp is at least up to the standard of the cartridge/arm combination. When you’re done, you’ll then potentially have a TT that looks great and sounds great. Usability is thing that varies somewhat from person to person, so the final step before purchasing is to actually handle the TT.

    It’s hard to find anything other than great turntables these days. I think reading reviews is interesting, but less productive than it used to be. The U.S.-based mags and ‘zines and blogs tend to favor U.S. and Japanese products above all others. The UK and Germany-based mags and ‘zines tend to favor British, French and German products above all others. The fact is, once you hit US$2K (w/o a cart) you’re into a very good TT indeed. Choose the style, among the competing TTs at the price point, that you like best. You really can’t go wrong. The TTs at the $4K price point (w/o cart) are incrementally better, but your listening room has to be generally quiet enough to appreciate the improvements. Choose the style, among the competing TTs at the price point, that you like best. You really can’t go wrong. Once you hit the $6-7K price point (w/o cart), all bets are off, you’ve reached the state of the art (main bearing, arm bearings, arm quality, platter quality, motor quality, tonearm wiring quality) for most intents and purposes, and you better have a really great listening room to appreciate all the subtleties a TT of that caliber can provide as long as the cart you choose is up to the task too. Again, choose the style, among the competing TTs at the price point, that you like best. You really can’t go wrong these days.

    I’ve noticed that TT handling and operation can be an aggravation for a lot of different audiophiles. Some audiophiles, as much as they love the design and appearance of a certain TT, and as good as the TT happens to be, just don’t like the feel of the tonearm when they’re lining it up for cueing. Some of them never get used to the cueing speed (i.e., how quickly or slowly the arm drops to the lead-in). Same goes for speed controls (e.g., switching from 33.3 to 45 RPM). Some TTs have a controller that requires two button presses in sequence, some only one button press, some need to be shut off then speed-switched then turned on again. Some TTs, despite how great they look and how well they work, have a fiddly anti-skating control that drives some owners crazy when setting up initially or when changing carts later on. Some TTs (e.g., my Avid Diva SPII) have a difficult belt setup method that initially appears to be counterintuitive.

    The point is to ensure that form, to the greatest extent possible given a specific design, follows function because those sorts of designs often present the most intuitively usable TTs. An intuitively usable TT that feels familiar is a TT that will be used often. A TT that is used often is almost invariably described by its owner as a truly great TT. I think that anyone who’s in your position should take the time to get hands-on with as many TTs as possible - in audio stores, friend’s homes, shows, local audio clubs, etc., in your area.
  12. dirtymac

    dirtymac Forum Resident

    Exile, MN
    With so many worthy choices out at there most price ranges, why NOT factor in aestheitcs? I do and do so for all the equipment I have. I see it most every day and, unlike myself, it never ages so I want it looking good for the get-go!
    bradleyc, Dominick, Shoalcove and 4 others like this.
  13. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    Appearance matters to me too. In a home... your looking at it so it's nice when it looks 'fine'.
  14. vinylbuff

    vinylbuff Forum Resident

    North Port Florida
    I bought my Wyred 4 Sound mono amps, even though they are kind of "Industrial" looking. It was the idea that Bascom H. King had his hands on the insides that made it a no brainer.
  15. timind

    timind Bushy

    Westfield, IN USA
    The only time appearance would be the deal breaker for me is with speakers.
  16. Potential Energy

    Potential Energy Forum Resident

    Once I have find the sound I'm looking for, design is a deal-breaker. There are too many options out there to not find something that fits the space it will inhabit for years.

    I'd trade off at least 10% in sonics for a better designed component. Have done so in the past with my current system.

    On the flip-side, I would (and have) jumped over my ideal budget to purchase components that fit into my esthetic. Thankfully in most cases, they also offer better sound, ha.
    Chiliarches and Chester0711 like this.
  17. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Buffalo, NY
    Well that's the issue I suppose. With all the wanky, oversized logos and over-design the field is pretty narrow. I tend to listen with the lights turned down anyway. :laugh:

    Vintage tends to look really nice to my eye.
    33na3rd likes this.
  18. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident

    Chicago suburbs
    I covet the Marantz TT-15S1 (I only think it is available in white) just due to appearance alone. It also appears to be a good value in that price range according to reviews.
    Chester0711 likes this.
  19. samurai

    samurai Forum Resident

    Appearance is a consideration.
    I hate those streamlined modern looking tables.
    The more mechanical looking the better (lots of metal, Star Trekkie).
    Kristofa and Bob_in_OKC like this.
  20. ralf11

    ralf11 Forum Resident

    spray paint those Koetsus red to get rid of the ugly wood grain
    Gavinyl likes this.
  21. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Sound is more important than looks. What, are these t.v.s we're talkin' about?
  22. Im not just referring to tables. All stereo gear. But it’s subjective as we all have different tastes. I lpve the Rega look and Clearaudio. I dont care for most VPI models.
  23. Would you buy an ugly shirt just because it might last longer ?

    Oh I’ve seen the way most guys dress. Never mind. :tiphat:
  24. JBStephens

    JBStephens I don't "like", "share", "tweet", or CARE.

    South Mountain, NC
    Names can be as dumb as visual design. When I was preamp shopping, I refused to look at "Why Red Number Four Sound" only because of the "cutesy" moniker.
  25. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, that does look nice. Is that just bright light from above shining through the record and platter, or is it a backlight LED? Where's the Delos, do you run it on this table too, that looks like the purple Naga?

    I did a similar pic for my Clearaudio when I first got it, with the transparent green vinyl (in my case, Coldharbourstores record from earlier this year), but just natural sun light through the window and blinds, so not as bright. Still gives it a nice green glow, but the effect isn't as pronounced and cool as yours. Tables are kind of similar in design too, if you don't look too closely :)

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017

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