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Best looking separates ever

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by scarletjim, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. scarletjim

    scarletjim
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    Ok I know looks should not be a major factor, but purely as a lifestyle piece of kit, I am desparately trying to get my hands on the gorgeous Audio Innovations 'System Alto'.

    http://www.audioinnovations.co.uk/main.htm

    They appear to have gone out of business. Richer Sounds claims to have a few on the website but when I call them all their stores say they don't have any.

    Therefore 2 simple questions:

    1. Does anyone know where I can get both components (AM1 and CT1) - either new or used - Richer have one bit on Ebay but not the other?

    2. Alternatively, is there any other piece of kit at similar prices (£300 to £600 for both parts) that is so chrome, so curvy and so original to look at?

    Cheers
    J
     
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    This never fails to amuse me- AP stopped making Alto's because they were as popular as a fart in a space suit. Four years later, I still get emails about them :suicide:.

    Basically they come in two different types
    Original- Built by the old Audio Innovations. These are (I think) only in black and run a Class A amp so you can use it as a hotplate as well. The CD might have quite a bit in common with the old Arcam Alpha 7 (same mech certainly)- the prototype was an Alpha 7 in an Alto Box :clown:. These sound nice and have some support from Definitive Audio. They obviously don't look as smart in black and they are rare and not hugely reliable.
    Second batch- Built by us in the Chrome. The key difference is that the CD section had a tuner module (not a shabby one either- its the one from the Creek T43/Cambridge T500) and could be driven by a single remote as the two units were connected with a "canbus" (RJ45) lead with the socket on the back (the old ones don't have this). These units have a fair amount in common with the Cambridge Audio D500/A500 but the heat sink was squashed to fit in and this meant that the amp was more fragile than the standard A500. The display on the CT1 CD player was also frighteningly complicated as it was a sandwich with the CD section on one layer and the tuner on the other. These fail. Lots.

    If you really want them, the bay is the best place but shop carefully- remotes and the original short RJ45 leads are now extinct. The stand is unbelievably rare as it never sold and only one batch was made.
    HTH
     
  3. Beobloke

    Beobloke
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    Tons got in first, but to add my two penn'orth -the early "proper" AI units are fine sounding amplifiers and well worth seeking out.

    The Cambridge Audio chaps unearthed a very early engineering first-off approval sample in a distant corner of the their office recently and it sounds superb (and is finished in a very fetching shade of red, so that it would never get thrown out by mistake!!).

    However if you really want a shiny chrome one then, as Tons says, they do crop up on Ebay from time to time and in fact there's one there now - happy bidding!!

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3280&item=5793542042&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
     
  4. scarletjim

    scarletjim
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    Wow, you obviously know your stuff when it comes to this system. My girlfriend fell in love with it a couple of years ago and I'm only just getting round to replacing my 14 year old Technics system. Sounds like I might have to give up on it and look elsewhere though. :confused:

    Is there anything else around with such an unusual look?

    By the way, if anyone wants speakers with an unusual look, Richer want £299 for Celestion AVF302s, where the surrounding structure is made entirely of glass, very unusual looking, no idea of quality though, I'm a total amateur at this sort of thing.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  5. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    As I said- careful- this one is missing the irreplacable remote.
     
  6. Beobloke

    Beobloke
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  7. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    There is a huge range of valve amps which can look stunning but the prices can be higher unless you start to look at kits or second hand
     
  8. phalaris

    phalaris
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    I'm sure that's not the greatest problem.. in a few years I reckon most people will have all-in-one remotes (such as the ones made by Marantz). They are pretty expensive now but it's just a matter of time..
     
  9. phalaris

    phalaris
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    Btw the new NAD master series looks amazing... and that's a bold statement since anything else I've seen by NAD is just plain ugly.
    It's certainly not as obscure as the Alto but it looks expensive and "futuristic"..
     
  10. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    That would require the codes to be available from somewhere which to the best of my knowledge they aren't.
     
  11. scarletjim

    scarletjim
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    Do you know the product name of one of these NAD components so I can take a look? I'm new to this stuff, and keying in "NAD" and "new range" etc just gives you everything they have ever made!

    Will give up on the Alto now (reluctantly!). And the B&O stuff is a bit pricey for what I want it for.
     
  12. phalaris

    phalaris
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    Here's some pics:

    M25 amp
    [​IMG]

    .

    M3 dual mono integrated
    [​IMG]

    .

    M15 AV preamp
    [​IMG]

    .

    M55 universal
    [​IMG]

    .
     
  13. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Wow - lovely looking stuff indeed (if you like that "Bauhaus" clean, functional, industrial look).

    That M55 player looks very interesting - universal compatibility! I guess its going to be the wrong side of £1000 though :-(

    DT
     
  14. scarletjim

    scarletjim
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    Bizarrely, when I went to check prices on these NAD components, google doesn't believe they exist! Try searching for "NAD M55' or any of the others. Weird. Computers confuse me. :confused: :rolleyes:
     
  15. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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  16. nsherin

    nsherin
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    Wow - that NAD gear looks damn nice!
     
  17. scarletjim

    scarletjim
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    Yeah but I can't find it for sale anywhere in the UK so I've no idea what the prices might be!
     
  18. stevedster

    stevedster
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    I have the system alto :), great system, certainly impresses any guests when they come round! a really great quality bit of kit, i bought mine from richers 3 years ago.
     

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