Whilst we tend to chase the dragon of new technology as a natural part of our business cycle, at CAV we actually hold some deeply conservative audio equipment tenets.

I'm not sure that anybody who works here actually has surround sound working at home. Yet for all of us the hi fi kit has been one of our primary purchases. There is a large quantity of Cyrus PMC, legend and Rega in our personal places, we all own LCD TVs that are geekly embedded with computational devices of some kind ( except Brett and Paul who suffer immune reactions to digital domestic devices, and are also the two people most likely to actually play a music instrument for fun at home ... perhaps there is an inverse correlation between computer use and personal musicality ...)

We have a strong sense for product that steps outside the normal obsolescence limitations of consumer electronics. I would hope that we were able to impart some of this through our inventory mix and product represenations to our clients.

Paul and I both have old english Quad amps at home, in my case with a pair of reconditioned ESL57s and in Paul's with a pair of old Klipsch horn loaded speakers. I have a few Cyrus pieces along with some original MF Class A and a pair of solid cherry wood Neat Petites with ribbom tweeters. In  a previous life I had a pair of Yamaha NS1000M's that sounded appalling on Yamaha amplification but came entirely alive when fired up with Musical Fidelity.

The Rega designer Terry Bateman defines "classicness" as something that which has the right balance between listening and technical parameters and a creative and synergistic approach to its design. In the case of older classics like the Leak Stereo 20 and the Quad II these came from a period where there was very little listening done and it just electronically worked (with a bit of luck). These things often sounded good due to technical shortcomings in the early equipment which helped create an opportunity to develop the the sonic properties.

Consumer electronics classics do not have the popular recognition that which cars and motorcycles might posses. However the experience can be substantially more benevolent for the audio kit than a number of vehicles of my acquaintance ... kick starting a recalcitrant BSA is nowhere near as much fun as listening to ESL57's ... and having them reconditioned is a fraction of the cost of keeping a British V8 on the road.

I do wonder wether any visual products will ever achieve this vaunted classic status. Certainly a 1979 black and white HMV TV is never going to be able to sit alongside a Radford amp in cred stakes. The only products that may almost qualify are the last throes of CRT development in the form of the Metz Artos and Loewe Aconda Televisions. With fine Hi Fi however a true classic can still bring something unique and inimitable to the present and be a pleasure to use and own.