Planet Sinclair


x The Machines
x Machines: 1970s
x Amplifiers: 1960s
x Hi-Fi Equipment:
Radio Equipment:

Last updated
25 Jan 1998

Hi-Fi Equipment: 1960s

During the mid-1960s, Sinclair began to move into the ‘proper’ hi-fi market. For the first time, Sinclair products were to be sold in high-street shops alongside the usual mail order retail. This area of activities rapidly expanded as the 1960s drew to a close.

Q-14 (1967)

There had been some considerable overlap between the Sinclair's hobbyist and hi-fi products for a couple of years before the development of the Q-14 loudspeaker, which enabled one to puchase a complete mail order stereo system from Sinclair, apart from a record player or the tape deck. (The other components were the Z-12, PZ-3 and Stereo 25, sold separately).

Neoteric 60 (1968)

The Neoteric 60 (right) - the name is an obscure synonym for ‘new, recent, modern’ - was aimed explicitly at the growing hi-fi market and was the first Sinclair product to be sold in the high street as well as by mail order. It was launched with a special trade reception at the Hi-fi Exhibition at the Hotel Russell in April 1968, and created tremendous interest; Sinclair took a great many orders. Its design, however, was perhaps a little lacking. Alfred Marks again:

It was a slim, well planned amp. It was an integrated amplifier, produced with a great array of controls using little flat tabs instead of knobs. They were good amplifiers, [but] the Neoteric’s steel lid hummed like mad because it was too close to the transformer. The lid 'sang’, and that was another product that died a natural death.

System 2000 (1968)

Sinclair himself, with his brother Iain, designed the System 2000 amplifier, FM tuner and loudspeaker system which was introduced later in 1968. It marked an attempt by Sinclair to break into the ‘proper’ hi-fi market, bypassing the hobbyists who had provided the base of his operations to date. Although competitively priced and modernistically styled in black and brushed aluminium, it didn’t make a great impact. This was partly due to the fact that the FM tuner for the System 2000 was a poor design, even in its mono version, while with the stereo decoder added it was almost impossible to tune into a station.

Project 60 (1969)

An indifferent half-decade for Radionics ended with a considerable success - the Project 60 amplifier, a modular stereo system based on a pre-amp and control unit (the Project 60 itself), which was expanded further the following year with an active filter unit, FM tuner and a new amplifier, the Z-50. The device sold very well indeed and was not superseded until four years later.

(Information from The Sinclair Story, by Rodney Dale (1985), and Sinclair and the Sunrise Technology, Ian Adamson & Richard Kennedy (1986); photos from The Sinclair Story.)