When Was The Audio Golden Age?

I looked at the Vintage section here for the first time.  It made me speculate on what other forum users would view as the best era in Audio.  For me it is the present.  The level of quality is just so high, and the choice is there.  Tube fanciers, for example, are able to indulge in a way that was impossible 3 decades ago, and analog lovers are very well set.  And even my mid Fi secondary systems probably outshine most high end systems from decades agoHowever when one hears a well restored tube based system, play one speaker from the mid to late 1940s it can dazzle and seduce.  So what do others think?  Are we at the summit now, or did we hit the top in past and have we taken a few steps down?


Seems to me a true "Golden Age" of audio doesn't exist. The Golden Age is the future, not the past.

We may be nostalgic about a certain look or style, but with audio it all comes down to sound. The only possible exceptions might be true analog record production and music in the 1960's and 1970's.


Anybody know that the concept of "golden era" is relative...😊

But here we spoke about the last 100 years in audio playback reproduction. Not about the dinosaurus takes on the world  before comets strike them ...

And sorry but it is not only about sound  quality  which rely now as much  on acoustics than on the gear but about the offerings of combined S.Q. with low price...

The audiophile era begun few years ago in my opinion being 73 years old soon  ...😋

Will it go on ?

Probably the technological and psychoacoustics improvement allied to industrial manufacturing always lowerede cost price (robotisation) will not stop.


To me, the "golden age" of hi-fi began after WWII and especially with the advent of the LP. Marantz tube gear, big Bozaks, KLH 9s. Raw drivers, DIY, and pretty hands on. (Of course, there is the pre-war WE and Klangfilm equipment, originally designed for theater). 

I got into this "hobby" in around 1970, coinciding with the dawn of the first generation of "high end" (a term I think Harry Pearson claimed to coin). 

As to what is the "greatest" era for gear, I think that depends on what you are after. 

I’ll tell ya what; it sure as crap ain’t today.
When a depressingly high number of people think they’re “listening to music” on a f**king cell phone speaker the size of an M&M, or think, “ok, now I’m really listening to music when I stream data over the internet through a Bluetooth speaker the size of a golf ball,” we are definitely not in the Golden Age of audio today.
The fact that there are always a few people who are seriously interested in maximized audio fidelity and/or rich people who can afford high-end stuff is irrelevant to the larger picture. Good for them. They are a sliver of the total population and the other 90% are punishing their senses (in the case of these uber-rude dum-dums that subject others to their noise pollution in public places, punishing others as well) with shrill noise pollution spitting out of a cell phone speaker, not “listening to music.”
Actual music being played in a physical space used to be normal.
Now “normal” is something that vacillates between indistinct, shrill noise pollution screaming out of a cell phone speaker and crap sound from streaming data through a little speaker that fits inside a purse.