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This is truly indicative of the modern consumer. Most important criteria...
It has to work (at least for awhile). It must be cheap. It can't be too heavy so I can throw it away when it breaks. And be able to buy it using a $700 smart phone in one hand and a $5 cup of Starbucks in the other.
And how much did you say you're giving me BestReviews to participate in this survey?
Paraneer makes a couple of good points. Today there are so many things vying for a consumer's expendable income. Back in the "golden age of stereo," the mid'60s to early '80s, adjusted for inflation we spent far more on audio equipment and it was considered cool, not weird. Playboy used to have an annual feature of their take on the coolest gear.
My brother's first stereo was an Electrophonic receiver with built-in 8-track and a pair of sealed box whizzer cone speakers. Then he bought a mid-pack Garrard (about $79) plus cartridge and a battery-operated Cal-Rad phono stage. It came to a total of $280 in 1970, which would be $1800 in today's money. Two years later I bought my first stereo, which was much better than his--an Altec Lansing 911A compact with 44 wpc receiver with Garrard SL95B turntable on top and a pair of Altec 887 bookshelf speakers. It was on sale for $419. That $419 in 1972 translates to $2568 today. Could you imagine a college student spending that much for a stereo today while paying his way through school?
But as Paraneer points out, my budget wasn't competing with a cell phone nor its $200 monthly bill, nor a cable/phone/broadband bill at the same price.
So this review basically calls the Pro-Ject indefensibly expensive even though it's clear and away the best-sounding of the bunch. Its $399 price is equivalent to $65 when my brother bought his stereo in 1970.That would have bought an entry-level BSR or Garrard back then.
Then their "Best Bang for the Buck" turntable is $42.90 on Amazon. This would translate to $7.00 in 1970. SEVEN DOLLARS? A Kenner Close'n'Play record player for children cost $39.95 back then.