Hello, I'm a Hovland Sapphire Tube Amp
One need only look at virtually any other type of technology, from vacuum cleaners, to pasta makers to televisions and you will see that the most cutting edge designs are constantly being fostered upon the public. In fact, it's nearly impossible to avoid them. There is one glaring and frankly inexplicable exception. Audio equipment. For some reason manufacturers prefer to keep the public ignorant on this account, which to me is revolting. You see, I am an "audiophile". That's the name given to people who love music reproduced on high quality gear. Why we even need a name I don't understand. People who own Oreck vacs aren't called dustophiles.
What's more confounding is while people often brag about what they spend on things: $35,000 for the new SUV they didn't need, 8 grand for a plasma tv, $300 for a Kitchen Aid Mixer, they seem to be not only ignorant of the fact that the stereo they own is bad, many own none at all! An mp3 on a computer is apparently fine anymore and they are genuinely dumbfounded to hear you spent $3,000 on just one piece of equipment. (that isn't a TV of course) It's terribly depressing, especially knowing how important music is to us all.

The problem is they have never heard really good audio, so they don't know what it is they are missing. On top of that, companies like Best Buy now represent the kind of places most people purchase electronics from and high end is the last thing Best Buy wants in the store. Why? There's more markup selling 4 people a $400 Pioneer receiver than selling one $1,800 Eastern Electric M520 integrated amp at right. A LOT more. The net result? Best Buy makes millions a year, and most people own garbage stereos and have no idea what a tube amp is.

But you don't have to settle for it and you shouldn't.

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where the swank hits the fan turn that bright light on It's true, I suck
My System

Complete info on my "rig" (as they're known in the vernacular) as well as info on my room project. See the space where all this mayhem takes place

High End Explained

If your curiosity is piqued, you'll want to start here. There is probably a lot of info you are un-aware of that will surprise you. On top of that, I'll make recommendations of affordable gear to start your journy with.

Taking Care Of Records

Vinyl is the most wonderful of all playback mediums, and here you'll learn why and how how to take care of your precious records.

Some good links:

Audio Asylum - Where the insane hang out. Great place for some good fights, err I mean advice.

Audiogon - The only place left to buy used high end gear. Not what it once was, but all there is.

Audio Review - For gear reviews, which must be taken with a grain of salt.