But surely new technology must sound better?

What new technology? Modern gear uses the same classic circuits with lower quality parts and construction.

There is no ‘new technology’ in analog audio. Almost all analog electronics circuits date back to the earliest days of tubes and transistors. Even things like class-D and class-T amps are not new. Digital is a little different and things have generally improved. I’m not saying that there’s no great-sounding new gear out there, there is, but it’s expensive.