Elsewhere, I’ve remarked that style is for individualists, while fashion is for the gullible. And nowhere is this truer than with A/V equipment.
For decades, record-players, radios and televisions came in veneered wooden boxes of variable quality – or cases moulded from the ubiquitous Bakelite. But then in the Sixties, thanks to advances in plastics and the invention of chip-board, they started using plasticised fabric over this new, cheap substance.
But in the Seventies, a new phenonenon invaded the scene. It was called “brushed aluminium”. This held sway for a decade, until the manufacturers began introducing “planned obsolescence” (it had worked for the auto industry, so why not?)
First, in the early Eighties, they came up with matte black boxes. Then within a few years, they introduced “curvy” boxes (impractical, but let the sodding engineers worry about how to do it).
And just as that had become established, they went with silver again. But this time, it was “anodised”, to prevent those who still possessed brushed aluminium units from the Seventies feeling cool.
These days, the fad is SHINY black. Again, like with brushed/anodised silver, they don’t want those with old matte-black boxes to feel hip.
Of course, it’s all bullsh*t. And as with ALL fashion, the REALLY cool people IGNORE it and hold on to their A/V equipment until it conks out – no matter WHAT it LOOKS like.
(Incidentally, in my den, I have an old radiogram cabinet I use for a speaker housing. It featured in the movie “Blithe Spirit” – which was made in 1945!)