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HectorHughMunro last won the day on February 6 2018

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About HectorHughMunro

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    London, , United Kin

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  • Digital Source 1
  • Digital Source 2
  • DAC
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    British & Taiwan
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  1. Adubon Awards https://www.audubon.org/magazine/summer-2020/the-2020-audubon-photography-awards-winners Really nice. I couldn’t do anything close to these.
  2. The problem is that the item may be irreparable. I’d love to try a DeVialet but servicing in the long term petrifies me. A bad experience with a Meridian M80 has left me scarred. For something in the up to £1500, I’d want to see guarantees of at least five years. Above that level, I probably would not buy unless it used generic components. A few manufacturers who have repaired things well beyond the terms of what I would have expected include these; Nuprime, Chord, Musical Fidelity and Quad.
  3. Yes, my first decent ’speakers as a student came from them. A pair of ex dem Acoustic Research AR18LS. No grilles and a small dent in the wire covering the tweeter but that’s what I could afford.
  4. That’s the point. It’s the good stuff that survived. Almost everything from Naim and Linn probably is still in use today but Amstrad was producing a lot more units and very few are left. Even the Philips and Grundig stuff has mostly gone. Quad came closest to having a general profile while making decent kit; they dwarfed Linn & Nytech which were small players. At the time, Nytech and Linn were brands that you would come across if you read the magazines. Wharfedale was mainstream though as was Goodmans but they made a lot of bad cheap stuff that didn’t survive. The large majority of people were buying from Dixon’s, Comet, Woolworths, Rumbelows. The internet didn’t exist so you could only buy from the shops that were there. Proper hi-fi dealers were relatively rare though they did exist and in greater numbers than we have now. Lasky’s was pretty good but in general, these were small shops that catered for a niche. It’s the same with watches. If you look at what has survived, you would think everyone wore nice automatic watches with dates when the truth was that most people wore cheap, time only manual winds that ran a minute slow and weren’t worth repairing. History is re-written by the people and the artefacts that remain.
  5. Not often mentioned, even when I was in Vietnam may be surprising to many of us who can remember it from the television in our early childhoods. Vietnam fought a border with China throughout the 80’s and that as well as the ecological and other penalties from China’s current activity there in the special economic zones and elsewhere has led to disquiet. In Singapore and Taiwan, it’s more a culture clash with the PRC perceived as aggressive. In general, I saw more British, Aussies and Dutch people in the region than people from the ‘States and that may be why the issue didn’t really come up. That’s just my experience though.
  6. This is the Apartheid argument again. Do you marginalise with sanctions or communicate? Actually I don’t know the answer to that. It is interesting that when I have been to Asia (I go there a lot), I have found that the rest of the region has the same qualms that we have.
  7. Someone commented earlier about cost cutting. That even applied to the software. I remember the vinyl of the 80’s and 90’s getting noticeably thinner.
  8. I think there was a response at the time. From memory, there was something about being from the same source but the internal components being of higher spec.
  9. Klassik, that was an excellent post. Particularly enjoyed the photos.
  10. Boots was a step up from Woolworths.
  11. The thing with vintage is that the good stuff survives. It gives a false impression of what people were actually listening to at the time. In the 90’s, that could be pretty poor. The worst things tended to be digital sources and some unbelievably horrible ’speakers. As a schoolchild in the 80’s I had a Saturday job selling audio at Woolworths. It was unbelievable. Large hi-fi systems built in to cabinets that were mostly empty of electronics. 2.5 - 6 watts per channel were typical. On the front of ‘speakers, beneath the cloth, manufacturers would paint circles to imply that they were three way instead of having a single driver per side which was actually what was in there. This was what hi-fi in Britain was actually like at the time.
  12. We were lucky with Madeira. The food was average but we fell in to the right places. The view from the top is amazing. Lisbon is the place for Fado. There’s a bit in Porto but Lisbon seems to be the centre. The Luso is more of a tourist trap now but there are other, better places.
  13. Fado. I was simplifying. Not everyone has heard of it. The album is worth a listen. I first heard it in Lisbon on the day of Amalia’s death. A local radio station played it in its entirety. There was a period of national mourning following this. It was only some years later that I found the album they were playing.
  14. OK, here goes; 1) Amalia at the Café Luso https://tidal.com/album/88527288 https://open.spotify.com/album/4Ikc2k43euQz8tnAT3feyw?si=3H_UUhuRRAmXWqk7GkaKBw This is Portuguese folk music. Quite close to the blues with a general theme of “Saudade” or longing. 2) Wilhelm Backhaus and the Vienna Phil conducted by Bohn playing Brahms Piano Concerto 2 Probably the most perfect version of this that I know. Quite intense as my favourite Brahms usually is. https://open.spotify.com/album/6RpFzAy04jEiWW5obUHg49?si=ZgVzHpahQSGo5W_3gkXxtw 3) Artur Rubinstein; Complete Chopin Nocturnes. I’d go for the later stereo set. There are two versions of Rubinstein nocturnes, the first in mono has more plaudits from the critics but I find this version more intimate. Rubinstein is credited with changing our view of the Nocturnes which had been thought of as sentimental parlour pieces. https://tidal.com/album/13248955 https://open.spotify.com/album/6fT99Y9CByVfarqGq2WMqz?si=pIGH5iRSRfOQVeQSxVlNEg 4) Stereolab; Margarine Eclipse. Retro sounding electronica. The lead singer, Laëtitia Sadier is not an emotional sounding artist but this leads to work which is powerfully understated. https://tidal.com/track/94896920 https://open.spotify.com/album/75yc0pD48jC96zU7Gv2zhh?si=oNYWtHR_TW-tZQ6vNGmx1Q 5) Leadbelly; Alabama Bound. An ex convict, Huddy Leadbetter was a volatile personality. This was his only decently recorded album. I can’t find the album on Tidal but this will give a flavour https://tidal.com/track/94896920