Before we listened to music on tiny wireless earbuds or small Bluetooth speakers, we needed larger, furniture-sized equipment to appreciate it. And that class of objects, due to their sheer scale, not only required more design work to execute, but also had an outsized presence in our living spaces.
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Some fine examples of the intersection of music and design appreciation are on display in “Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design,” a book put together by Gideon Schwartz. Schwartz is the founder of Audioarts, an ultra-high-end audio equipment showroom in New York, and he calls the book “an homage to exceptional audio design and method.” Some samples:
Balance Belt-Drive Turntable, 33rd anniversary edition, Brinkmann, 2018
R-Evolution Meteor Stealth Turntable, Serge Schmidlin, Audio Consulting, 2010
901 Loudspeakers, Bose, 1968. Photo by Jeremy J. Fair
Samadhi Active Loudspeakers, Goldmund, 2018
Promotional brochure for the Plural Loudspeakers, Zellaton, late 1950s
SK 5 Phonosuper Radio and Turntable, Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot, Braun, 1958
Prana Active Loudspeakers, Goldmund, 2018
Project G2 Stereo, Hugh Spencer, Clairtone, 1966.
Fuuga MC Cartridge, Osamu Nagao and Tetsuya Sukehiro, Fuuga-Miyabi, 2014
Promotional brochure for the 700ii three-head cassette system, Nakamichi, 1977
Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design is published by Phaidon and available now.