How much would Steve Jobs’ audiophile stereo system cost today?

May 21, 2014

via Wired

You can argue semantics all you’d like, but Steve Jobs changed the world. As the face of Apple, it didn’t actually matter how much of his fingerprints were in a product’s code or design—he was, more than anything, an ideas man. And while his legacy isn’t without its ink spots, it perseveres for his massive influence on everything from operating systems to the music industry.

And so it really caught our eye when Wired decided to piece together his old stereo system. Using photographs from 1982, when Jobs was working hard on the Macintosh, they’ve figured out his entire audiophile system, from turntable to preamps.

It got us thinking.

What if we wanted to recreate his setup for real? Wired says the system will run you about $8,200. We’re not buying that. (Or this—our estimate is much, much higher)


Turntable: TheMK1 GYRODEC

The Gyrodec remains a futuristic marvel, with a two drive-belt system, inverted bearings and science-fiction design—no coincidence its creator also worked on Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and more than 30-years on, it’s still sought after. On eBay, bidding on the only model listed starts at $1,500.


Speakers:Acoustat Monitor 3

These tube-amp powered speakers are absolutely massive, at more than five feet high and 75 pounds. But they’re not loud for the sake of it, either, boasting a calculated midrange with renowned sensitivity. One of these behemoths ran for more than $3,400 when Jobs would have purchased them, which, with inflation more than doubles the price to a pinch under $8,000. And that’s assuming the value hasn’t appreciated, which is probably not the case.


Preamp:Threshold FET-1

With its gold-plated everything and brushed aluminum exterior, the FET-1 certainly looked the part, and its aesthetics are preceded only in reputation by how it actually seemed to sound. Oh, and it’ll cost you roughly $2,000 these days.


Power amp:Threshold STASIS-1

Designed to go hand in hand with the FET-1, the STASIS-1 was—is—an absolute workhorse, and that’s not going to come cheap—be prepared to drop at least $6,000 on one.


Tuner:Denon TU-750s

Wired thinks this was a superfluous holdover from Jobs’ older setup, and three decades later, its obsolescence is even more explicit. In 1982, this would have cost Jobs about $450 dollars. Today, you can grab one for roughly $50.


TOTAL COST: Minumum $25,550 (including 2 speakers)

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