So you’re saying there’s an industry built around getting people to ‘trade-up’ to inferior, new equipment?

Yep.

Read the reviews and every new bit of gear sounds significantly better than the one preceding it. OK, so then tell me how it’s possible for 40-year-old hi-fi gear to sound amazing, often better than new gear? See the conundrum..?

If each year brought significant improvements, older gear would have to sound awful compared with gear with 40 years of continuous improvement, but it doesn’t. Unfortunately, this is the consumer, throw-away world we live in now.