Audio / Video Introduction
This article will help you understand how the world of audio and video media equipment has changed, and why you don’t have to get that third mortgage on the house to own a top quality home entertainment system anymore. It is true. There was a time when you had to spend thousands of $$$ to own a top quality stereo system. But the new digital technology has changed all of that.
Remember When… The Analog Era
Does anyone remember vinyl records? 33 1/3RPM LP albums. Four to six titles per side. And of course 45RPM single hits with a bonus title on the flip side. Many of us slightly older folks grew up buying these records as the only way to own your favorite music.
Then we needed a record player that played them. It was around 1957 when stereo revolution began finding its way into the music industry. All of the sudden, you could buy fairly nice sounding stereo record players that had a built in amp and 2 little speakers. Usually, you could detach one speaker and set it a few feet from the main unit for wide stereo separation.
Then we upgraded to stereo systems which had a separate stereo amplifier, and separate stereo turntables that could connect to the amp. Then you had 2 separate nice sounding stereo speakers that you could place anywhere in the room. The first true home entertainment stereo system was born. As time passed by, the equipment got bigger and better with higher power, more inputs to add new stereo devices like an FM stereo tuner or the new reel to reel tape decks. And of course bigger speakers.
Speaking of Tape…..
Does anyone remember recording tape? In the late 1960’s, we had the latest stereo device to enter the home entertainment system realm. The Reel-To-Reel tape deck. Tape was nothing more than powdered iron filings on cellophane tape. The tiny metal particles on the tape could be magnetized in a way to contain the music.
Over time they too had changed to smaller containers and playback machines. We had the 8-Track tape which was the same as Reel-To-Reel but in a smaller package and at a slower speed which reduced the sound quality a little. And it could be played in car players. Then it got even smaller as they invented the audio Cassette tape. Cassettes sounded pretty good as the technology for noise reduction improved.
Speaking of Noise Reduction…..
All of these stereo players sounded good to us but they had their little quirks that we noticed but put up with. That quirk was called “NOISE”. With records, we could hear the hiss of the phohograph needle being dragged through the tiny grooves in the records. And in a short time, the record began to wear down and soon we could hear pops and clicks as the needle would glide through scratches and dirt in the record grooves. This problem was not repairable and we just put up with it and enjoyed our music. And sometimes we could hear a little hum or rumble from the motor vibrating through the record and onto the needle.
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