Vintage hi-fi: what's hot? The 30-Year Rule

The 30-Year Rule

Will the 30-year rule apply forever? It seems unlikely. Hi-fi is not the mainstream interest it once was and in 30 years' time the young of today are unlikely to lust over equipment they've never heard of. There's also a question mark over components that rely on computer software or remote servers. Will they still be useable after 30 years? This process neatly bookends what is, and isn't, 'vintage hi-fi'. Since almost all listening is now done in stereo, our start date is some time in the late '50s. The end date is trickier to pin down, but at present it lies somewhere in the 1990s.

Beyond this, it becomes difficult to identify keynote products people will remember, or be able to revive in the years to come. Again the situation mirrors that of classic cars: 1980s models are beginning to gain traction in the marketplace, but it's hard to see anything made much after this ending up as anything other than landfill.