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Design longevity

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Michael
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Michael Posted: Sat, Jul 6 2019 3:05 PM
Hello,

I’ve been thinking for some time that B&O and their design has changed a lot throughout the years. From industrially cool and subtle to more feminine and playful. Sometimes better but also sometimes not.

I love the Beolab 8000 for its simplicity and subtle yet elegant presentation of itself. It’s a classic - as so many other older Beo products are.

But now, what is going to be classic in the future? Is the design qualities lost and replaced with temporary coolness? Or beauty?

After watching the new Gary Hustwit documentary about Dieter Rams I feel even more that B&O needs to work on their design profile harder.

I’d like to end with recommending also the older documentary objectified by the same producer.

Any way. What do you feel and think about the contemporary current B&O portfolio? Is there any design ideas or just good looks? I remember Jacob Jensen and David Lewis making wonders at B&O and especially David having interesting thoughts about why and how.
Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Jul 6 2019 3:27 PM

I have the BluRay of "Rams" and it's very good, the man is an icon of simple, elegant design. I found it interesting in the Q&A session they showed where he mentioned Apple as being one of the few companies who thought a lot about design and simplicity. I found it interesting because Apple by and large operates exactly opposite to his approach of not changing for the sake of change or to ride a wave of consumer trendiness.

But as for B&O, I don't think the current portfolio of products are that great design wise. I can think of nothing that looks superior to its predecessors, or that will still be in a MoMA catalog a decade or two from now. The Beolab 18 is a flashier, less classic looking speaker than the BL8000, it screams "Look at me!" whereas the 8000 was stunningly different and attractive but also could fade into the background and not call undue attention to itself.

What B&O lacks now is a common, integrated design language, and they haven't had such ever since the demise of designers like Jensen and Lewis sadly.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Sat, Jul 6 2019 5:37 PM

Michael:
I love the Beolab 8000 for its simplicity and subtle yet elegant presentation of itself. It’s a classic - as so many other older Beo products are.

I disagree, a little. I think they are design classics, but they do look a little 90s to me (and certainly a younger generation would agree). Plus I do really like having wireless portable speakers - my BeoSound 2 is proving to be a really good buy (even though it's not the level of my previous A9 it replaced) as it can be quite easily moved between rooms. I had it on my roof terrace the other evening!

For me, the chrome, black and some materials used in those older designs are looking old. The thing is, the audience is old and we see these 'design classics' with a slightly skewered vision - to many of us on this board...they still look modern.

OldJack
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OldJack replied on Sat, Jul 6 2019 9:28 PM

Design wise,after BL5 , nothing,but nothing really attracted me.Beolabs 50/90 may sound orgasmic,but I do not see them at my home.And I hate that chopsticks(wooden lamellas) on any belolab.

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Irvine
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Irvine replied on Sat, Jul 6 2019 10:37 PM

Where can I find the Blu-ray of this movie? I would love to see it; I own a number of Dieter Rams’ watchesiand really like what he did.

PaulGiles
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PaulGiles replied on Sat, Jul 6 2019 11:23 PM
Beosound 2 has potential to be a classic piece ?
poodleboy
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poodleboy replied on Sat, Jul 6 2019 11:57 PM

BeoCenter 2 Audio IS the one machine that makes the management of CDs elegant (forget DVD) and should be appreciated as a true classic. It doesn't show off so much as gently welcome the owner as a dear friend when it is time to play.  It is the epitome of Form OVER Function, with the brain of the BeoSound 4 in a fitting much like if the Mercedes 600 Grosser had a 280 engine? Any €100 CD kit sounds good or better but who cares?

Everyone who love B&O should find and preserve 1. 

The Beonic Man
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OldJack:

Design wise,after BL5 , nothing,but nothing really attracted me.Beolabs 50/90 may sound orgasmic,but I do not see them at my home.And I hate that chopsticks(wooden lamellas) on any belolab.

This sums up my own feelings at this point in time also. I've simply lost interest, which is a shame but I am just being completely honest. Nothing in the product range captivates me anymore in a way it used to. I am not even sure I could put my finger on what it is, or why, which isn't particularly helpful I admit. There's something missing; I feel it is probably to do with design more than function - an all too familiar look possibly. There's just too many products that look the same to me these days, across all brands and manufacturers. Even Dyson and Apple (as further examples) are starting to lose their design edge too I think. Where B&O once stood out as something 'different' and 'exciting' - I no longer see that. If I attacked it from a slightly different angle, I would say that these days, I feel I am just buying 'another product', whereas in years gone by I felt I was buying something completely different and unique to anything else on the market - the BeoLab 5s being a prime example as highlighted in the quote above - they were truly exciting and I loved that. The forum referred to them as Daleks, and they were! That's perhaps the best way I can explain it; there are no current Daleks in the range, just lots of cybermen, which we have all seen before. Simon.

Current products: BV11-46, BV8-32, V1-32, A1

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Jul 7 2019 2:33 AM

The Beonic Man:

OldJack:

Design wise,after BL5 , nothing,but nothing really attracted me.Beolabs 50/90 may sound orgasmic,but I do not see them at my home.And I hate that chopsticks(wooden lamellas) on any belolab.

This sums up my own feelings at this point in time also. I've simply lost interest, which is a shame but I am just being completely honest. Nothing in the product range captivates me anymore in a way it used to. I am not even sure I could put my finger on what it is, or why, which isn't particularly helpful I admit. There's something missing; I feel it is probably to do with design more than function - an all too familiar look possibly. There's just too many products that look the same to me these days, across all brands and manufacturers. Even Dyson and Apple (as further examples) are starting to lose their design edge too I think. Where B&O once stood out as something 'different' and 'exciting' - I no longer see that. If I attacked it from a slightly different angle, I would say that these days, I feel I am just buying 'another product', whereas in years gone by I felt I was buying something completely different and unique to anything else on the market - the BeoLab 5s being a prime example as highlighted in the quote above - they were truly exciting and I loved that. The forum referred to them as Daleks, and they were! That's perhaps the best way I can explain it; there are no current Daleks in the range, just lots of cybermen, which we have all seen before. Simon.

I do so love a good Doctor Who reference! But, sadly, I am in agreement with you and OldJack. Today, the one product that still screams B&O to me is the A9. And poodleboy, I agree the BeoCenter 2 was something special, when the "wings" were spread showing the CD it looked like nothing so much as a modernist rendition of an Egyptian winged solar disk.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Cleviebaby
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Irvine:

Where can I find the Blu-ray of this movie? I would love to see it; I own a number of Dieter Rams’ watchesiand really like what he did.

Here’s a link to Gary Hustwitt’s website. You can order the BluRay from there.

https://www.hustwit.com/rams/

Cleve

Aussie Michael
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The A9 and the A1 and the BL19 and the BROne are the icons I feel at the moment.

All of that black and chrome make me think of the 90s when they were probably considered futuristic.

None of the designs at the moment are futuristic and perhaps our references to futurist have changed too.

But B&O want to be a fashion brand so I think they should be more daring. Fashion isn’t always following trends and seasonal colours (which are designed and organised years in advance) it rewards those who dare to (bare) be different.
9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Sun, Jul 7 2019 1:10 PM

The BeoSound 2 is a future Collectors Piece.  Absolute elegance personified, coupled with a good CD mech and an AUX socket to connect whatever you like to it.

Now is the time to buy one, even if you just store it away.

Lee

Simonbeo
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It’s got some theatre and uses authentic materials. 

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AnalogPlanet
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I have always considered Beosound 9000 as something to own even if you don‘t neccesarily use it daily... if you wanted a sculptural B&O piece. And it is part of MOMA permanent collection. 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Jul 7 2019 7:24 PM

AnalogPlanet:

I have always considered Beosound 9000 as something to own even if you don‘t neccesarily use it daily... if you wanted a sculptural B&O piece. And it is part of MOMA permanent collection. 

I agree. Mine is seldom used to actually play CDs, it serves as the preamp connecting my Auralic streamer to my BL9s most of the time but sitting there on its floor stand it looks just gorgeous, a true work of art.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

the_o_master
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Maybe I am little bit old.school but this is timeless design for me:

 

 

Theomaster

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square4
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square4 replied on Mon, Jul 8 2019 11:08 AM

I totally agree with you theomaster.

Henrik.

 

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