My colleague and I were chatting about vintage audio and I felt a twinge of nostalgia for some of the wonderful gear I've owned or loved over the years: Phased Array loudspeakers, Dynaco 70 power amplifier, Audio Research SP3 preamplifier, Audio Research Classic 150 power amplifier, PS Audio 5.0 preamplifier, Jantzen Electrostats. I am sure your list is long too. Of course, there's the opposite list, the ones I am sooooo thankful are gone–sorry I ever spent time and money on them. Here's the thing about vintage anything. It's always a question whether you're fonder of the gear or the memory of the pleasure it brought you. In some cases, I find that I am surprised I ever enjoyed something as much as my memory suggests I did. In other cases, I am shocked I didn't hang on to it. Once musical, always musical. The ultimate criteria for anything is how close to the music it brought us. How truthful to reproducing what's been recorded. With few exceptions, instruments, voices, orchestras, bands are not changing. A piano and human voice are the same then as they are now. Any reproduction chain that did a good job back then, should still have the same impact for you now, even if you have to forgive its failings. Today's gear brings us that much closer to the source, but there's nothing wrong with recalling voices from the past. It helps ground us in the future.
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