Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Big Boy Stereos

This morning, on the way to work, I was thinking about what the heck I was going to write about today. I wanted to write about romance, and well, I just did not want to write about it.

And as I was listening to the radio, I had a fleeting thought. All of my thoughts tend to be fleeting in the morning. And in the afternoon. And at night. The good part about this is that when I get old(er) and lose my senses, I won't have far to travel.

Okay, my idea. You know, when I was in college, I remember stereos. Real stereos. Component stereos.

Okay, the stereo in my dorm room belonged to my roommate. It was technically a component stereo, but all of the components matched, and, well, the stereo was not too large. No women in the dorm had what I will label as a "man's stereo." Well, maybe a "big boy stereo."

Big Boy Stereos, or BBSs (I am a lazy typist), are component systems that are normally made of components that don't match. Big boys, I was explained to (intentional word choice) once, purchase components based on their sound quality, and not necessarily their esthetic value. The basic colors of the components were grey, black and silver, and I think most guys prided themselves on having at least two colors in their rack (the place where they put their stereo, not a woman's breasts).

Now, I can barely remember the names of the popular manufacturers, so I will not try to fake my way through this, but I grew to like component systems.

I remember being invited into dorm rooms at the end of the date, and the guy and I would normally have different objectives. I wanted the opportunity for a second date (if the first one went well, or if it did not go well but I saw potential for good dates), and the guy wanted to separate me from my clothing.

Anyway, I can remember drinking cheap wine and watching the needles on the tape players dance to the beat of the music. Mesmerizing, the instrumentation was. The music was forgettable (we are talking 1980s), but the atmosphere wasn't. And when not listening to tapes, some of the guys would put on a record.

There are advantages and disadvantages to records. A tape would last about 40 minutes and a record, about half the time. So if we were kissing, sometimes the record would end before I wanted the kissing to end. But turntables were really sexy. Well, not turntables themselves, but many turntables have a small white light (I think it is so you can see where the needle hits the record), and the white light dancing on the ceiling of a darkened room. Extremely sexy. Extremely.

Every once in a while, two roommates would both have good stereos, and I wonder how the roommates would decide which stereo to listen to. Random, I know, but I wonder about that.

Today I would think that college "stereos" would be much different. I can see roommates having their computers hooked up to a receiver or just an iPod or MP3 player with speakers. But what about the sexy stereos. I wonder if sharing a pair of ear buds while listening to an iPod would be the same. Sharing earwax germs. Never. I guess my OCD is acting up again.


mal said...

I am such a geek...I had a "big boy stereo" Pioneer reciever/amp, turntable, TEAC tape deck and Bose speakers. (I still have the speakers and turntable) Mine were all walnut though..we are talking the 70's.

It was a mistake of course. Eric Clapton may have sounded better but my roomies always wanted to listen to Rod Stewart and such. Good components do not improve that drivel

LarryLilly said...

Mine was the 60's version, speakers that by todays standards that had more magnets in them that they were large enough to be used as boat anchors, and not rowboats, more like Nimitz class aircraft carriers. I had one of those pro turntables, 12 pound platter, but the best part, I had a 4-channel system. It was sort of like the beta VHS thing. There was a move to 4-channel (today we call them surround sound), but it never caught on.
Remember when you heard certain songs through headphones, and the music rolled through your head, that was what this syetm sounded like. The problem was that not long after introduction, the record industry, after only putting out maybe 20 lp's that recorded for 4-channel said F it. I still have the receiver, and every so often, I roll out my Sly and the Family Stone avinyl album, and crank it up...

Dance to the music......

I never was able to get my gf's clothes off with it however, long story LOL

Leesa said...

mal: unfortunately I believe my musical tastes were sad in college.

larry: I almost forgot about the monster speakers.

Tony said...

I still have a vast number of my components. The Dolby 3-band Dynamic Range Expander, Teac Tape Deck, the linear-tracking turntable with the Ortofon cartridge to get the full quality of all my Yes albums.

Maybe I'll get it all out and hook it up. Give the kids a history lesson. :)

Leesa said...

tony: You say, "Dolby 3-band Dynamic Range Expander, Teac Tape Deck, the linear-tracking turntable with the Ortofon cartridge." I hear blah-blah-blah. But I loved Yes!

Joe said...

Ah, I remember fondly those component stereos. Sadly, I never went away to college so I didn't get the dorm experience of which you speak. Still the memories of trying to build the perfect system - and arguing with my friends over whose was bigger...erm, I mean better - still linger.

But the whole sharing iPod headphones thing? Yuck!

~ Amanda X&O said...

Oddly enough, I had a dream last night about an iPod. Which version to buy? A shuffle? A nano? A video one? Then, what color should I get? Pink? Black? Green?

I woke up pretty disturbed. Surely buying an iPod shouldn't be this difficult.

(I realize this didn't really have anything to do with your post, but I felt like sharing. )

Zibi said...

I still have my BBS...

Pyth0s said...

Somewhere in my packed up junk I still have my electronic Technics Turntable. This was the model where you never had to touch the needle arm with your fingers, you used a little electronic dashboard on the front to direct it from side to side.

I've always been a fan of Technics and Yamaha audio when I was in the 80's. Now that I am all grown up :P~ My entertainment unit cost almost as much as my car (Full Nakamichi system + 50" Plasma) but I still miss my multi-colored BBS from the eighties.

Spending coutless hours making mixed tapes from my LPs, trying to find the perfect mix of music that would get me into the pants of the next girl that came over. Now it's as easy as 1,2,3 to add them to my Ipod. Where I'm pretty sure I still have all the music I listened to back then stored away into a tiny 30gb machine.

Who knew that "Do you really want to hurt me" from Culture Club would get me so much pussy... Even though that band and the word pussy equals an OxyMoron.



Leesa said...

joe: I can imagine guys arguing over components. So funny!

amanda: thanks for the comment; I wrote about a dream this morning.

zibi: hubbie has various parts of his BBS, though we rarely use it anymore.

pyth0s: I think my hubbie has a Technics turntable. But I have not seen it in years.