Should you build a single-brand system? The pros (and con) of buying into one badge

While old and new can coexist beautifully when it comes to renovated barn conversions and Lucy Dracus covers for Carole King, not always in the case of hi-fi system aesthetics. This writer should know – their rack features an old-fashioned, dial-heavy Marantz integrated beneath a sleek, minimalist Cambridge Audio streamer – and, to make matters worse, one is silver and the other is black. The company badges are not lined up. Visually, they are as compatible as wedding invitations and the Goosebumps font.

On the other hand, there are probably very few things more beautiful to the eye of a hi-fi enthusiast than a nice rack with matching loose parts. Naim’s sleek black-perforated-with-lit-green, Salisbury heavy metal components come to mind, as do the attractive layers of blue glow that result from the marriage of multiple McIntosh electronics. You can probably imagine those, but if the image of a Chord Electronics resource stack is beyond your mental prowess, take a look at that beauty below and try not to drool. The uniformity an army lieutenant would be proud of.

But while aesthetics are important – more to some people than others, of course – and the most obvious benefit of keeping it in the family when it comes to building a system of separations, wouldn’t it be your primary concern? system to determine. There are other things to consider, starting with component compatibility…

Need to build a single brand system?  The pros (and cons) of buying one badge

A Chord Electronics stack (Image credit: Chord Electronics)

Strong sonic synergy

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