Muscle cars vs. high-end audio: practicality ain't their forte

Let's face it, a high-end audio system makes about as much sense as a 425 horsepower muscle car. You got a problem with that?


I'm a middle-aged guy, so sure, I read the CNET review of the new Dodge Challenger SRT8 just to get vicarious kicks imagining what it's like to drive a 425-horsepower muscle car. It sounds like a real thrill ride, and sure it's a serious gas guzzler: "The EPA rates the Challenger SRT8 at 14 city mpg and 22 highway mpg. However during our leadfooted testing, we only managed 13.7 mpg over a mixed city and highway cycle."


Even so, I suppose the Challenger's tested price of $43,730 will place it in the affordable range for a lot of folks, or let's be honest, guys. It's a car to get noticed in, but no one's fooling themselves into believing the SRT8 is merely reliable transportation. It's a toy, and if you can swallow the fuel bill, it's a heck of a ride.

Same can be said about high-end audio. It's not practical and it can be expensive to run, but once you get used to what it can do when it's playing your favorite tunes, a $500 HTIB won't cut it anymore. High-end audio isn't an appliance, it's supposed to get your heart pounding and blood flowing, not so different than the SRT8.


Thrill seekers lusting after a muscular audio system equivalent of the SRT8 should check out the following system.

Muscle cars are as American as apple pie, so I went for American made hi-fi where I could. I reviewed Klipsch's mighty RF-83 tower speaker ($2798/pair) for Home Theater magazine last October, but it's still a current model. With three 8-inch woofers and a 1.25-inch horn-loaded titanium diaphragm compression tweeter, the RF-83 mos' definitely will rock your world. Add the 12-inch Klipsch RT-12d subwoofer ($2,199) to ensure the deepest and tightest low bass.

Next, I'd go for a Parasound P-7 stereo preamplifier ($2,000) and P-21 two hundred and fifty watt stereo amplifier ($2,000).

To play music get an Ayre CX-7e CD player ($3,500). I've used an Ayre C-5xe SACD/DVD-Audio player for years as my reference.


So sure it's an expensive rig, but will provide years of high-octane fun. If you love music and have the space and dough, search out a dealer and listen to at least some parts of this system. If you never heard what a well setup high-end muscle system can do you'll be in for a treat. It makes at least as much sense as the Dodge, that's for sure.

Featured Video

Walmart's five buck LED is one of the brightest we've tested

For basic lighting needs, this bulb looks like a solid pick, but its dimming performance leaves a lot to be desired.

by Ry Crist