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Audiophilia on a budget

Infinity SM 152 speakers, made around 1994

Pioneer SX-3500, made in 1980

The Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network opened its radio season today with Puccini’s Il Trittico. It’s the 79th season of Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, and it’s the longest running classical program in radio history. Lucky for me, I have a new sound system on which to listen to it.

I would not say I’m a true audiophile. I’m way too poor to be an audiophile. There’s no limit to what you can spend on sound systems. But I’ve been to an awful lot of concerts in my life, and when some of the sound in recorded music is missing, or distorted, listening to music is not much fun. I stopped at a second-hand shop in Madison yesterday, and they had a giveaway price on two Infinity SX 152 speakers and a Pioneer SX-3500 tuner/amplifier. The speakers, each of which weighs almost a hundred pounds, each has a 15-inch woofer, two midrange drivers, and a tweeter. The balance controls on the front of the speakers really work. The Pioneer SX-3500 amplifier is a nice match for these speakers. I have a weakness for 1980s electronics. The 1980s was a great period in electronics manufacturing, and prices for 25-year-old electronics are low.

The Saturday broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera have an exciting, old-fashioned feel, a live performance. It’s what radio used to be, and ought to be.

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