In With the Old, Out With the New

John Henry might have caused his own death in his victory over the steam hammer, but in so doing, he taught America a very important lesson: The new stuff might be glitzy and more efficient, but sometimes the old stuff is just better. That’s at least part of the explanation for event impresario Dana Cain’s Vintage Voltage Expo, a swap-meet-style extravaganza offering everything from old tube amps to floor-set televisions to a turntable that looks like a spaceship.

“I almost got in a fight with a guy over that one,” says Cain of the spaceship turntable. “It looks like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey.” But awesomely kitschy electronic design is not the only reason to covet the items at the expo. “Part of it is aesthetic, part of it is sound,” she notes. “A lot of people think that if you run sound through the old-style tubes, it has more depth and warmth. My husband actually did a blind sound test with me — I think it was with Dark Side of the Moon — and I thought, well, surely I’ll pick the new technology. But I was shocked to find that I actually did prefer the old equipment, every time.”

And with any luck, it won’t up and die on you, either. Vintage Voltage goes down from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Ramada Plaza Convention Center at I-25 and 120th Street in Thornton; admission is $5, with children under twelve admitted free. For more information, go to
Sun., March 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 2011