Stuff Picks: Retro sound

Stuff India writers select the best comeback sound machines

Those growing up in the 60s, 70s and 80s were obsessed imagining what the world would be like in 2020.

Though we’re closer to the timeline of their future, our gadgets are taking a retro turn, and all for the better. We’re cool with all-things-retro making a comeback, as long as Madonna’s conical rocket launchers aren’t on the list – that’s what our nightmares are made of!

Nagra 300 Integrated amp

It’s hard not to question the writer’s merit but trust me when I say that these tubes were designed in 1938 by Bell Labs to cope with the rapidly expanding telephony network. And that they still make fine sense as the glowing heart of a modern day amplifier that costs no less than a hatchback. Although its 20W/per channel output might not sound like a lot, use the right high-efficiency speakers and it will make a lot of sound. This amp has to be heard for its warm, sensual sound that makes you feel Norah Jones’ breathy vocals. Not just hear them.

These Nagra 300 Integrated amps can be bought from here (13,45,000)

Ricatech RR1000 LED Jukebox

Ahh, the Jukebox. An iconic part of true Americana, rocked the music scene in the 60s. They were everywhere and the first of their kind had to be cranked by hand. The people then loved watching the automated process that ensued and well, not a lot has changed. Except that now you get to plug it in and it has touchscreens. Case in point - the Ricatech Jukebox. Elvis Presley / Amitabh Bachchan and Playboy are Limited Edition models that are available in types of 100 CD Changer or Digital Touch Screen Media Player Jukebox. Yes, they are pretty expensive with regular ones starting at about 1.25 lacs and the limited editions like the one pictured costing a whopping 18-25lacs. Your media player doesn’t seem that bad suddenly right?

Buy the Ricatech RR1000 LED Jukebox from here (from ₹ 18 lacs)

Klipsch Cornwall III Floorstanding Speaker

As much as I reside on the bleeding edge of tech for the most part, there’s something about classics that never go out of fashion. Try decades in the case of the Cornwall III. A piece of art that blends in with your decor while singing gloriously, it’s a heady mix. With top-shelf specs and a legacy to match, there’s little reason not to make space for these big-sounding floorstanders in your space.

Buy these Klipsch Cornwall III Floorstanding Speakers from here (₹ 6,10,000 for a pair)

Konig Retro Radio

I’m calling this the perfect gift for daddy because the revival of the radio would definitely make my old man very, very happy. Amidst the earth shattering sound systems at the What Hi Fi Show, this simple piece of steel was my pick. Time’s come a full circle - an integral childhood companion for him, his old age wouldn’t be bereft of the Radio either. Too many ads on the frequencies these days, dad! High time you learn how to download all your favourites and plug-in that AUX.

Buy the Konig Retro Radio from here (₹ 7,990)

ELAC Miracord 90th Anniversary

One of the best parts of childhood was waking up without a smartphone tucked under my pillow and listening to music on the turntable. Horror happened when I realized that mum quietly gave away the entire kit when I was away on summer vacation. That was almost three decades ago and yet the charm emanated by a record spinning on a turntable never fails to mesmerise. As luck would have it, Elac has managed to grab the best from the past and plonk it into a package so irresistible that tears of joy roll down my bearded cheeks. It’s time to prep some hot chocolate and sink into an evening of soulful tunes on the Miracord 90!

Buy this ELAC Miracord 90th Anniversary from here (price TBA)