Steve Jobs was a closet audiophile. Yes, the man responsible for the iPod and the global domination of low-res MP3 files had a serious Hi-Fi fetish. As musician and audio quality champion Neil Young said in 2012, “Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl.”
This wasn’t a just wealthy man indulging in some hipster fantasy. Jobs’s analog roots ran deep, stretching back to at least to 1982. That’s when photographer Diana Walker snapped this candid portrait of him in his Woodside, California home. Other than the Tiffany lamp, the room’s only furnishings are a clutch of stereo components and a small stack of vinyl LPs. The shiny boxes loom large in the background like sacred totems, which is precisely what they were to Jobs. They embodied everything he held dear in high-end industrial design: clean lines, quality materials and workmanship, outstanding performance–price be damned. Although he would eventually upgrade to far more exotic equipment, like six-figure Wilson Audio speakers, this old school rig is still considered serious audio porn today. It should have been shipped off to the Smithsonian, preserved behind glass. But, like so many of the toys that famous men collect, it simply disappeared. Fortunately, the photograph and the forensic evidence it contains, remain.
For the curious, if you were to put together this same stereo rig today by picking up the components on the used market, it would cost about $8,200 — not including the records.
TurnTable: Today, you can pick up a MK1 GyroDec for about $1,500 used or $2,500 new. Over the past several decades, the company has made incremental improvements to the turntable, but the basic design remains unchanged.Michell Engineering
Speakers : The young Steve Jobs was not into puny bookshelf speakers. While he owned a slightly different model of these electrostatic Acoustat Monitor 3s (his had a wood riser base and a rare white grill cloth), these electrostatic speakers still were renowned for their smooth midrange.
The records : The three identifiable albums in the photo include: Bach Brandenberg Concertos (Jean-Pierre Rampal, Maurice André; RCA), Ella Fitzgerald: The Cole Porter Songbook (Vol. 1, Verve) and Steely Dan’s Aja (ABC).
Preamp : The $1,200 (on the used market) FET-One was Threshold’s reference preamp when the company was at its peak in the late ’70s. It was designed to be paired with best power amps, like the STASIS-1 in the next slide.Threshold Audio Inc.
Poweramp : The $2,000 (on the used market) STASIS-1 is a 200 Watt per channel monoblock beast that looks like Darth Vader’s table radio.Threshold Audio Inc.
Tuner : The Denon TU-750s digital tuner isn’t the best looking piece of equipment in the room. In fact, it’s probably a stray component from Jobs’ previous stereo. But of all the equipment, it also happens to be the most affordable. You can pick one up on eBay for as little as $10 (shipping included).Denon
Source : Wired