It's no secret that I'm a hardcore vinyl guy. As someone in the audio industry, I'm expected to know all the ins and outs of the latest digital technologies, but I've never been that enthusiastic about wireless technologies, digital inputs and outputs, music servers, downloading music off the Internet...any of it.
Why? Because every time I try to familiarize myself with the latest gadgets, I hit a roadblock. Something doesn't work. Music doesn't come out of the speakers, and I don't know why. So I throw an LP on the turntable and move on.
I know it's not just me. Lots of audiophiles tell me the same exact thing. It's all too complicated. All they want to do is enjoy music and not futz around with files, formats, interfaces and connections.
I've even had so-called IT experts come in and push me aside and say, here, let me fix this. Thirty minutes later, they're shaking their head and saying "I don't know why this isn't working!" Uh-huh.
So imagine my surprise when I started using the Quad Vena integrated amplifier. Within seconds, I was using the Bluetooth connection and listening to my favorite music from my iPhone. I pressed a single button and boom! It worked.
Best of all, the Vena sounds great, something I can't say about most all-in-one digital products. It is, after all, made by Quad of England--a legendary audio company with a legendary pedigree. So I expected it to cost a fortune.
It doesn't. It costs just $900, an even grand with the optional and beautiful wood case, which I would definitely get.
So if you think these new digital products are too complicated and too expensive, check out the Vena. You'll be as amazed as I was.