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Game-Changing Gear Since the Birth of JazzTimes

The audio products that sparked revolutions in sound

HiFiMan HE-5 headphones
Linn Sondek LP12 turntable
Meridian MCD CD player
TacT Millennium amplifier
Wavelength Audio Brick

It’s hard to imagine that when JazzTimes launched as Radio Free Jazz in 1970, transistors were still in the process of replacing tubes, mono records were still widely available and “portable audio” usually meant an AM pocket radio. Back then, one had to spend thousands of inflation-adjusted dollars to get decent sound. A good audio system took up a large chunk of a living room, required a lot of knowledge to set up and still didn’t sound all that great, at least compared to the gear we have now.

In honor of JT‘s 45th anniversary, let’s take a look back at the products that revolutionized home audio, presented in chronological order. Although they’re all great, these aren’t necessarily the best audio products of their time; rather, they’re the pieces of hardware that had the most impact on the systems audiophiles enjoy today.

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Originally Published

Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth has been a professional audio journalist since 1989, and has evaluated and measured thousands of audio products. He is currently a writer at Wirecutter and editor of the SoundStage Solo headphone site; served as an editor at such magazines as Sound & Vision and Home Theater; and worked as marketing director for Dolby Laboratories. He also plays double bass with several jazz groups in Los Angeles.