Hi-Fi Choice

Northern lights

Is it possible to get hooked on a look? Absolutely. And, as you might expect, Scandi designers have the knack of tempting us with eye appeal alone. Take integrated amplifiers. Whether it’s Hegel’s stone-cold sober industrial functionalism or the surgically clean lab chic favoured by Primare and Copland, they’re all riffing on a less-is-more theme – spare, cool and tasteful.

But it’s remarkable what subtly tweaked proportions and a sprinkle of bling can do to raise the aesthetic ante. Proof? Norwegian high-end practitioner Electrocompaniet has been stealing the scene for nearly five decades, its fusion of black, gold and a billboard-sized logo serving as an iconic visual constant through a history encompassing massive initial critical acclaim, a reputation for top-drawer sonics bolstered by a thumbs-up from Michael Jackson’s

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