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Grundig Fine Arts System 7/10 - Date Posted 28/08/2002

This Grundig Fine Arts Hi-fi is the old range, now replaced by some incredibly stylish gear! I've been using this hi-fi for several years, having bought it from Epping where it was a display model. Unfortunately, it was slightly faulty, in that the amplifier seemed to be heavily unbalanced, even with the balance dial being centred - I can't complain though since it was cheaper. I suspect this fault was a one off, since all other Grundig equipment I have used over the years has been very reliable.

Over the years, both the left and right channels have strangely equalised in volume, so that there is no noticeable imbalance! Other than that this Grundig hi-fi has performs flawlessly, even the CD which skipped once or twice started working properly after a clean. There's also a problem with the CD tray, which started quite recently.

The CD player also offers a coaxial digital output and several features which are indicitive of a rather more expensive unit, such as CD programming, shuffle and shuffle. There is also a feature so you indicate the length of the tape you want to record onto. Then if you want the hi-fi to copy the CD it will ensure that tracks are not split onto both sides of the tape. It's a pity more hi-fis don't offer this feature! There is also auto space which puts several seconds between CD tracks on a tape recording. Then you can easily skip through your tape track by track. The tape separate has two decks for the quick dubbing of recordings.

At the top of the picture you can see the powerful amp unit which drives four speakers. It has a loudness setting, as well as the usual bass, treble and balance dials. Originally I used two Grundig Fine Arts speakers. Now I've bolted on three Bose speakers, leaving just one Fine Arts speaker attached. The Fine Arts speakers are clear and deliver a good range of frequencies. However, they don't match the Bose speakers for clarity. The Fine Arts speakers are rated at handling 90W whereas the Bose speakers are rated as handling a maximum of 200W. Generally the more power a speaker can handle the better its quality. These figures are now generally quite reliable.

The tuner is equipped with RDS and can access AM as well as FM. Even with out an external aerial, it seems to deliver reasonable audio. With an aerial the tuner is infinitely more clear, and the grain in the audio is reduced considerably. It's not a match for the tuner on the Yamaha RX795, but is reasonable given the cost. These days you might find this hi-fi system available for clearance at reduced prices - just right for your first separates hi-fi. It also comes with a stylish specially designed stand which holds CDs.