Back to the Future

Type 46 tube, first introduced in 1932

Spend enough time (and money) in the audio hobby and, over the years, one may get the nagging feeling that not all progress is in the forward direction. Indisputably specs have improved, power has gotten much less expensive and form factors undoubtedly more compact, more aesthetically pleasing.

But what about the sound?

It’s certainly more technically perfect. Less distorted. More spectacular at the extremes. More accurate based on what we can currently measure. And yet…

Plant yourself in front of a massive horn speaker from the nineteen twenties. Flick on a pair of tube amplifiers with less power output than some battery powered bluetooth speakers. Drop a needle on a spinning disc of vinyl whose measured signal contains all manner of imperfections. And become transported.

Dynamics swings, life-like voices, air and ambience. Live music, in your room. It’s all there.

You can take a new Tesla Model X around the Ring in a record time, one unequaled by many supercars of the past. It is an indisputable technical achievement. And yet…

Hop into an early seventies 911. Pull away while leaving a bit of oil on the ground. Miss a shift. Take care not to brake in a corner lest your experience come crashing to an end. Shout over the growl of the flat six.

Go slower. Feel more.

We’re setting out to find those experiences, old (and maybe new), in sound. Music reproduction that requires some effort and may leak a little oil or mysteriously crackle and hum from time to time. Power that gives off heat and light, signals that wind their way through miles of handwound wire.

Music makers with souls of paper and oil.

Go slower. Feel more.

Welcome.

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