Christmas is all about the power of fantasy and the comfort that comes from a bit of unreality. A fat man in a red suit travels the world in a single night leaving gifts in his wake. There’s a labor camp of elves and a talking reindeer with a red LED nose.
But mostly it’s about materialism and the joy that comes from stockpiling shiny objects. That’s why we’ve decided to borrow (steal) an idea from luxury retailer Neiman Marcus and present the Discogs Fantasy Gift Guide, a collection of extravagant music-related presents you cannot possibly afford.
Most of these are real and all of them will help make this the best holiday season ever.
Clearaudio Electronic takes turntables to extravagant heights, literally, with its top-of-the-line model, the Statement, which costs a modest $190,000 and comes with its own outlandish stand that looks like an H.G. Wells-esque Martian bachelor pad.
The Statement stands 52-inches tall, weighs 770 pounds, and is partially made from a bulletproof wood called Panzerholz. Bulletproof wood! How handy will that be when the civil war starts? It comes with a $30,000 tangential tracking tonearm, a $12,000 cartridge, and a free roll of paper towels to wipe up your drool.
You’ll notice in the photo an enormous pendulum hanging in the center of the stand. That 176-pound monster is part of a system that continuously self-levels the main platform by, you know, imperceptibly shifting in relation to the Earth’s rotation. For an additional $10,000, we can have an engineer drop by to explain how that works.
The Statement has always gotten reviews that are glowing and it absolutely should sound transformative for that kind of jack. Just make sure your house has robust floors.
The Von Schweikert Audio Ultra 11 is a staggering combination of sonics and imposing grandeur and you can get a pair for your discerning audiophile for the low, low price of $295,000. That’s a special rate available only to readers of the Discogs Fantasy Gift Guide!*
The Ultra 11 stands 7 feet and 6 inches, which makes it the second-tallest loudspeaker to ever play in the National Basketball Association, and they weigh 850 pounds each. They sport a total of 28 drivers, 14 per channel, and have a frequency response of 10 Hz to 100,000 kHz, which is all the damn frequencies you’re ever going to need. Each speaker has a pair of rearward-firing subwoofers with dedicated 1,000-watt amplifiers and a range of adjustments to better dial in the sound to your liking.
Von Schweikert Audio is the brainchild of the late Albert Von Schweikert, widely considered to be one of history’s finest loudspeaker designers. The Ultra 11 represents decades of ever-evolving research and it will absolutely melt your face without even breathing hard.
We’re going full fantasy on this one, kids, but it’ll cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars and at least a few extra cookies left out for Santa.
There are two options and we’ll start with the cheapest. For those cold winter nights, it’s hard to beat a couple dozen vacuum tubes glowing like a virtual fireplace, and that means you need to drop $150,000 on a pair of the Valve Amplification Company’s Statement 452 iQ Musicbloc amps. VAC has taken vacuum tube technology to its limits with this amp, which outputs 450 watts in mono mode using eight KT88 output tubes.
This massive room heater stands 28 inches high — not a typo — and weighs nearly 300 pounds. It looks like it should have arms. As beautiful to look at as it is to listen to, the 452 iQ had Stereophile’s Michael Fremer using up all of his adjectives in a recent review, which concluded with him saying that these are among the finest tube amps he’s ever heard.
For a line stage preamplifier and phono preamplifier, make your significant gear hound happy with more VAC. The Statement Line and Statement Phono are also state of the art and look the part, with a design that’s part Art Deco and part Futurama. These are $80,000 each but, with a bit of haggling, we figure you can get them both for $160,000.
Or, and this is a big or, you can opt for the exclusive Discogs Fantasy Gift Guide package, a thing that actually doesn’t exist. For $500,000 we will bring VAC designer Kevin Hayes to your home in his mobile manufacturing pod where he will hand-build your very own VAC system — and make dinner. Truly a gift that keeps giving.
No one here listens to digital. Gross. That’s why this is the most decadent entry in the Discogs Fantasy Gift Guide.
Spoil your partner, or yourself, with a dCS Vivaldi One, an $80,000 CD/SACD player and network streamer built to celebrate dCS’s 30th anniversary. Only 250 were made, which makes it the perfect piece of high-priced gear to hold your beer while listening to records.
This kind of gift really says to someone: You are loved, but not that much.
We lied. This is the guide’s most decadent entry. Make your special someone’s eyes light up and grift alarm go off this Christmas season with more than $200,000 worth of wire. That’s right, wire.
Don’t entrust your precious music to a piece of lamp cord when you can shop at Tara Labs, a company that has always been on the cutting edge. The Zero Evolution interconnects cost $18,000 each, and a Grand Master Phono cable is $15,000. The Master Evolution speaker cables will run, oh, let’s see, $70,000. And a nice power cord like the Grand Master Evolution will be $17,000 each, and you’ll need four of them, plus two extra just because it’s Christmas.
Long after the holidays are over, your audiophile will continue to enjoy their wire.
Nothing says record collecting quite like spending more on vinyl storage than on the actual vinyl, and that makes this the most fantastic of all our Fantasy Gift Guide options.
New York’s Atocha Design will provide you enough storage for nearly 1,800 records and 900 CDs for only $21,900. That’s $8 per disc, the perfect ratio for extravagant giving. Imagine how impressed your record collector will be when a roomful of Santos Palisander wood cabinets replace his or her Particle Board Collection from Ikea. Santos Palisander wood isn’t bulletproof but it sure is pretty.
Happy holidays and thanks for reading the first annual Discogs Fantasy Gift Guide. We truly hope it helped you spend that $1,000,000 that was just laying around in a drawer.