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Sunday, May 8, 2016

1986 Stereo Review equipment reviews

Just a quick update- I now have the entries for 1982, 1985 and 1986 Stereo Review equipment reviews entered.  Some great gear available during those years, including the Yamaha R-8, Polk RTA 12B, Dual CS-5000 and the Carver Amazing Loudspeaker.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Square Deal

Busy, busy.  Still, found time to add the 1982 year of Stereo Review equipment reports to my excel sheet, while listening to new prog-rock- Haken's "Affinity."  Includes such cool items as the Boston Acoustics A40 loudspeaker, Yamaha M-50 power amplifier and the Hafler DH-110 preamplifier.  Again, please let me know if you are looking for info from a particular year.

As has been mentioned, if I were to have a super power, it would be related to semi-vintage stereo and related topics.  The $10 pair of B&W DM 600i and the $7 Rotel DVD player are among my top finds.  On a related note, I had the most incredible stroke of luck recently to meet a gentleman who is a virtual treasure-trove of information for a novice audio historian like myself.

 Long Island, New York audio fans will no doubt be familiar with the unfortunately long-defunct retailer known as "Square Deal."  Originally located on Main street in Patchogue, they eventually moved to larger digs on Waverly avenue, north of Sunrise highway (long before it became the four lane monstrosity it now is).    The main street location was well before my time, and I became aware of the store through my maternal uncles, all of whom (luckily for me) have impeccable taste in good stereo.  One of my favorite birthday gifts was a pair of TDK chrome tape dubs with Emerson Lake and Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery" and Chuck Mangione's "Feel So Good" on them.  I was probably 10 years old at the time.  My uncles did a lot of shopping at Square Deal before they closed  their doors in 1994.  Some AR turntables and A/D/S/ speakers were bought there, and I eventually bought my first NAD CD player there in 1992.

So, it was as I mentioned a remarkable stroke of luck that at an event at a local community college I met a gentleman with a terrific history working in the audio industry that included being at Square Deal and later at Harman.  I only barely resisted the urge to bombard E. (as he shall be known on this humble blog) with about a bazillion questions, but I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed to continue an e-mail correspondence and answer some inquiries should time permit.  I was planning to limit my questions to what the nature of the audio business was like prior to home theater and what Square Deal was like in particular, but of course I've gotten ahead of myself and already asked about Infinity Kappa series speakers (" . . . Harman Manufacturing did not produce the high end EMIT tweeters. They were done by a company called Capital in Connecticut. This vendor was tied in to Madrigal Audio which became Harman Specialty and now Harman Luxury audio division . . .")  and Sony ES cassette decks.  At any rate, welcome E., thank you so much for indulging my instability and for sharing your knowledge of audio history.  I certainly find it fascinating and no doubt a couple of readers here will as well.