Simple as stereos might seem, they’ve become complicated in recent years. Not only have new technologies such as high-resolution audio, network-distributed music files and streaming added layers of confusion, but the resurrection of older technologies like vinyl records and vacuum tubes has forced audiophiles onto the web in search of lost knowledge.
This increasing complexity has spawned conflicting opinions, with audio enthusiasts, writers, dealers and manufacturers often disagreeing about the best path for budding audiophiles to take. Of course, my voice is just one more in that crowd, but having advised thousands of readers in the course of my career as an audio journalist, and having tested thousands of audio products, I can at least warn you off some of the big mistakes. Avoid these and you’ll end up with a better system and a fatter wallet.