Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Aliens MUST have landed

Those wild and crazy guys in Denmark keep designing these incredible music systems. When the uninitiated, non-audiophiles pass this display window, and don't know a thing about stereos, they must think this looks like a scene from Saturday Night Live and the conehead skits (do you remember the hilarious conehead family? ...But, I digress, terribly. Sorry. Back to the Danes.) Bang & Olufssen is an 80 year-old company. Let me say that I have never owned any really high end stereo equipment (that costs as much as some new cars) but this particular brand sticks clearly in my mind.

I lived in Manhattan for a while in the late 1970s and had many occasions to visit apartments all over the island. Stepping into one place, on the lower west side, I spotted something on a table that at a glance I did not recognize nor at first could I even identify. Because of this photo, posted this evening, I went back via Google and found that it was a Bang & Olufssen BeoCenter 1400 made in about 1977. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I had never seen a stereo so over the top, even alien looking. The sound was great, but the design was very "contemporary" for its day, I thought. It cost new just over $890 in the late '70s. (I think my rent then was about a third of that.) This brand new system, and way-out modern Danish design, must cost a fortune, I don't know. The BeoSound 9000 shown here with BeoLab 9 Loudspeakers, according to the company's site, "make the small hairs on your neck stand up and a tingle down your spine." I am prepared to believe them. I bet it's an unimaginable and realistic sound. But now that I know I can buy, today, from a site in the UK a used, like-new 1970s-vintage B & O 2200 system, it's much more likely I will own the older one with a turntable, dual Dolby cassette deck, and square speakers as big as a house. It's in my price range.

Or, I could just wait and in 30 years this new system will be a real bargain
.

12 comments:

Don and Krise said...

I have heard of that company, but I can't say as I know anyone that owns any of their equipment. Did you check to see if it'll play your eight tracks?

Frank said...

I kept trying to get a tape to go in and then found out that it was something called a CASSETTE tape. Now what do I do? At least all the 33s play well.

Barbara said...

Hi Frank....

Thanks for stopping by Diego's blog and leaving comments. I enjoy the Daily Photo blogs and will follow yours. I used to live in Venice many years ago.

Barbara

Hyde DP said...

I never did understand what was so special about HIFI!

B SQUARED said...

I always thought their stuff was more art than anything else. Certainly good sound, though.

Lois said...

I've never heard of them! I agree that this does look more like art.

James said...

What is good probing music? Cool picture. :-)

Steve Myers, Broker said...

Great picture. Oh, I remember the 70's! I was following you on my other email, now it's not working properly so I had to switch out my blog on there to over here. It should be fixed now. Check it out sometime!
Steve

Vogon Poet said...

I play lossless files on my computer hooked up to my amp. It works fine for me. But your 'aliens' are good!

Lori Skoog said...

Frank...if only I was flush with cash.
Love good sound. You are not getting my music? I do. Let me check.

Jacob said...

I always got a big bang out of Bang & Oulsen (?) prices!

Can't beat the quality. But, omigod, their stuff costs an arm and a leg.

I couldn't afford one of those speakers...

Better wait 'til your rich uncles passes, then go buy a complete system.

What's a "33"?

Frank said...

@ Jacob (The pipe-smoking, James Bondish character)- A 33 was a technology that came into use long after you had stopped cranking your Victrola and taken up collecting 78s.