Our industry is blessed with an abundance of exceptional-sounding amplifiers, such as Musical Fidelity, Perreaux, Prima Luna, Naim Audio, and many more.
At the same time, we recognise that there were some extremely fine sounding amplifiers manufactured during decades past (with the key word being ‘some’, there were some shockers as well). Despite the advancements (some real, some imagined) in amplifier technology during the last 30 years or so many of these amplifiers still perform as well as their contemporary alternatives.
Now, you might wonder why this is significant. Well, when it comes to upgrading your audio-visual system, it’s crucial to consider the quality of the components you already own.
Recently, one of our long-standing clients approached us seeking to upgrade his over 25-year-old system. His requirements hadn’t changed; he simply desired a two-channel system that would deliver excellent sound quality for his extensive CD collection.
We recommended changing his speakers and CD player while retaining his existing, and excellent sounding, amplifier, and he followed our advice.
At Len Wallis Audio, we’ve never been proponents of change just for the sake of change. Upgrading a system should serve one of two purposes. Firstly, your needs may have evolved. Perhaps you wish to integrate your TV into the system, explore streaming options, or your space and décor requirements have shifted. Secondly, and most importantly, you might be searching for something better than what you already have. If the latter rings true and your new purchase fails to outperform your current setup (and by ‘outperform,’ I don’t mean simply sounding ‘different’—these two concepts are often confused), then it’s not a wise investment.
In the aforementioned case, we’re pleased that we dissuaded the client from spending more money. He appreciated our recommendation and mentioned that it’s one of the reasons he has been our loyal client for many decades. For us, it’s a straightforward decision. Moreover, if we were to send someone home with a system that doesn’t sound better than what they already own, it would become apparent when they listen to it, and we would lose a client for life.
Most modern equipment surpasses the performance of gear from decades ago, but there are exceptions. So, don’t be surprised if we advise you to keep your credit card safely in your pocket!