Steve Jobs Sonic Lifestyle

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by Josh Ray on December 15 '07


Recognize the man? It's the great one, Steve Jobs, circa 1982 in his minimalist pre-hegimonic lifestyle.

More importantly, however, is what's in the background. I spy a turn table, amp and big flat panel speakers (in the dimensions of giant iPods, no less). In references to this picture, Jobs said, “This was a very typical time. I was single. All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that’s what I had.”

Amen (although I think "cup of tea" is a euphemism for something else entirely). So anyone recognize the speakers and equipment? Check out the original article to see a higher res image.


Definitely looks like a michelle gyrodec 'table and Acoustat Model 2 speakers. It's kinda hard to see the amp, could be a cool receiver or an early Levinson pre on bottom with a light-colored tuner on top, maybe a Perreax...
Very cool shot. Probably not the best listening axis for those speakers though. ;^)
The speakers look like the late lamented Acoustat 3s. I was the proud owner of Acoustat 2s in the same white+oak color scheme. Thanks to their teflon wire panels these were the first electrostatic speakers in my experience which will play really loud with a reasonable panel size.
Yes, by "cup of tea," I'm guessing he meant "sake."
I believe Wayne Garcia, now of the Absolute Sound, sold Steve that gear. Steve has always been into music. He used to regualarly come into a local pub with his daugher to listen to Irish music during his days at NEXT. He would come over and share my table (because he knew I would never talk shop with him). We had a few conversations about music though. I don't remember much about those conversations, except he liked sixties music like Dylan and the Beatles, and classical music. He believed in exposing his children to live music as much as possible. He has been an audiophile of the vaguest sort. He liked Mcintosh, Mark Levinson, Acoustat, Magnepan etc. But didn't really know much about them. People told them they were good (like Wayne) and he bought it and played it. That was about it. Kept his stuff for a long time, till someone told him that product X was the newest technology. I have heard, but haven't been able to confirm, that he (personally) had a complete anechoic chamber built at Apple headquarters for testing the noise of Apple products and speakers.