19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Giant stereos are everywhere—on the shoulders of cool 90s teens, in the living rooms of finance fat cats, and on the stages of face-melting electronic shows. Even though we have iPods and discreet speakers now, awesome huge systems haven't gone anywhere.


About 140 years before everyone became a DJ, Thomas Edison accidentally invented the phonograph.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images


In the early 1900s, artist Luigi Russolo created this "noise machine" for his futurist symphonies. Every time adults call a teenager's music "noise," Russolo's legacy lives on.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Back in 1926, the USDA was in on the giant stereo game, as you can see from this photo of bug scientist W.J. Walton.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


This guest at the UK's 1947 National Radio Exhibition, in Olympia, is shocked at the size and sound coming out of the HMV machine—it had a record player, pop up TV, and two speakers.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


In 1965, stereos had to be big. It takes a lot of cabinet to fit a tuner, receiver, speakers and a record player. Better make it stylish.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Three Lions/Getty Images


This 1960s set up seems giant, but it was made for a doll house.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: diepuppenstubensammlerin


This is a 1974 advertising photo for a Zenith Allegro F736W Quadrille system. It's not, actually, a photo from the set of Austin Powers.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: magazine scan


More contemporary styles can still have classic aesthetics—Arcadian Audio's Pnoe Horn is inspired by an upside-down tuba.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Arcadian Audio


The Avant Garde trio shows design cues from the earliest phonographs.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Avantgarde Acoustic


Others borrow styles from different industries—the speaker outputs of this aluminum and carbon fiber Pagani system come out of a tail pipe. Not surprising, since it's designed by a car maker.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Pagani


There's a reason the Pivetta Opera One, a six-foot monster that weighs half a ton, looks like it first appeared on a space ship—the outside is made of aeronautic aluminum.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Only Creative


The 1980s were an apex for giant stereo design. Gemme Audio's Vflex Katana Itokawa is a more recent model, but you can easily imagine it in Patrick Bateman's living room from American Psycho.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Gemme Audio


This crazy sound system cost around $1.4 million and has an output of 40,000 watts. Enough to knock your face right off your head.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Jan Bauer/AP


Wouldn't you love to have this Wilson Mezzo set in your home? It's more accessible than the $1.4 million system, but you'll still need more than $10,000 to get it.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Wilson Audio


This A Capella machine goes by the name Excalibur. How could it not?

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Acapella


This two-channel system is designed by five different Swedish companies. You won't find it in Ikea.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Swedish Statement


Magico's Ultimate II has 200-watt amplifiers, measures seven and a half feet tall, and weighs 800 pounds.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Magico


Gargantuan stereos are still a big business. Shown last week at the Gothenburg Show, the Wilson Sasha is one of the most pleasant new ways to blow out your ear drums.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: Wilson Audio/Facebook


But even some contemporary models maintain a classic aesthetic. The DaVinci Audio Reference Turntable Mk II, currently one of the highest-fidelity turntables in the world, looks like it came straight out of the 1960s. But it's actually just a year old.

19 Amazing Massive Stereos

Photo: DaVinciAudio

Image credit: dual.pytalhost.eu

Image/research curation by Attila Nagy