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What Killed the Home Stereo System?

(Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

We’ve probably all either had one at one time in our lives, or perhaps still own one. I’m talking about the home stereo system. I still have parts from one I had, stored somewhere in the garage or attic. They were great in their day, but if the home stereo system isn’t dead, it’s got three fingers in the water.

The component system was usually made up of a receiver, cassette tape deck, and a lp player or phonograph for lack of a better expression. Oh yeah, speakers and a ton of wires. If you really wanted to go wild, you could add a sub-woofer to bring out the bass.  I remember my speakers were monsters, a couple huge Yamaha’s and a woofer that could blow you out of the house. I didn’t have a phonograph on my system, I used a reel to reel tape deck because I never got into vinyl. So what Happened to the home stereo anyway?

Two simple words killed the home stereo system. Size and portability. Gone are the days of the wall to wall system, replaced today by small mini systems or an ipod, and a pair of good headphones or earphones. Today’s systems are small, portable, and cheaper than most home stereo systems back in the day. The sound quality today is excellent in my opinion, far superior to the old home systems.

If in fact today’s sound systems lack anything, it’s the bass or rumble you got from the old home stereo systems. I do miss that a lot. Man, you could stand close to the speakers and feel the bass coursing through your bones! Today’s smaller portable systems can’t give me the same “rush” I got from my old system, but they do a pretty darn good job. I guess if I’m really hard up for a rush, I’ll need to go see a live band. I’ll be the guy standing in front of the speakers with a smile on my face.

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