Way back in 1969 ... The Who released a double album called Tommy, a sort of rock opera. I bought the album soon after its release, and played it hundreds of times. At that point in my life, my audio system was comprised of a crappy Motorola turntable built into a console, a vacuum tube amplifier that was a homemade knockoff of a Scott transformer-coupled “hi fi” amplifier (the main labor on that was hand-winding the 12 audio coupler transformers). The speakers were a pair of 14" electrodynamic speakers (with coaxial tweeters) that I found somewhere as surplus. My listening room was an old chicken shack, about 10' square with fairly horrible audio characteristics. Considering the budget that I built that system with, it was pretty good – but compared to even a lousy boom box in today's world, it was awful.
Fast forward to now. I'm once again listening to Tommy, 47 years after its release. The source is digital and nearly flawless, being played back through a my MacBook Pro and an ARCAM rPAC DAC, a Yamaha R-S500 amplifier, and a pair of Atlantic Technology AT-2 speakers. My listening room is 25' square, and it has 12 sound absorbing panels and two tuned diffusers. The sound quality is absolutely awesome, especially by comparison with how I first heard this album.
Quite a change, in one man's lifetime...
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