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    What started it?



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    What started it?

    Post by NuttyLemur on Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:42 am

    Do you remember what started your passion for audio equipment?

    I remember what did it to me, bought my platoon sergeants old system for around 200 bucks, had a couple of pioneer fronts and center and some off brand surrounds. I was watching a movie in my room and I thought one of my barrack mates was in the shower. Turned everything down and didn't hear it. Even had to get up and go check. Started the movie back up and the camera pans around and I finally realize it was a shower In the movie.

    I was amazed that sound added so much.

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by denny9167 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:28 am

    It started for me on a summer vacation one year
    To my uncles house in North Carolina. His system
    Consisted of at that time of an Audionics CC-2 amplifier, and one other
    Amp, don't recall the name, a DB systems front end,Rega turntable, and Strathern Ribbon
    Speakers w/ Dynaudio subs. He played a D-2-D selection of
    Dave Grusin's Discovered again on the Sheffield label, after that I was

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by harpy on Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:47 am

    Spica TC-50's on ST-70.
    Bob Latino

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by Bob Latino on Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:14 pm

    This will show my age but it's true ... In November of 1958 and older friend with a driver's license and myself drove to the Hotel Touraine 1958 Hi-Fi show in Boston about 45 miles east of where I lived at the time in Worcester, MA. We did so because some of the exhibiters would be showing their (all tube at the time) gear with the latest new audio product > STEREO records !! Wow !! Holy Crap - STEREO RECORDS .... Scott and I went through every exhibiter and listened to music for the first time in STEREO! Man this is so cool !. On the way home reality hit us and we thought - but now we will have to have two separate amps. Around Christmas of 1958 I brought my Knight 12 watt amp and speaker over to Scott's house. He had just bought a STEREO cartridge for his BSR turntable. We hooked everything up and together we sat on his bed listening to the Command stereo record "Persuasive Percussion" I had bought for the outrageously expensive (at the time - lol) price of $6.98. We played it over and over with big smiles on our faces ... I was hooked ..



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    Re: What started it?

    Post by GP49 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm

    From the early 1960s: two eight-inch whizzer-cone speakers in enclosures built from large, reinforced cardboard boxes; a low-powered tube-type integrated amplifier; and a Garrard Autoslim record changer with a Shure M7/N21D cartridge.  I had previously listened to the "family living room stereo" which was a single-speaker, mono-converted-to-stereo console tucked away into one corner of the room where somebody thought it would look good, with its second speaker someplace else where somebody thought it would look good.  My El Cheapo system sounded immensely better and taught me:  

    1.  Take care of the records.  The record collection ultimately has exceeded the total value of the components in the system several times over, and have been the raison d'etre for the hi-fi system's existence.  Without them, why bother?

    2.  The room is a component.  I set up my system in my bedroom with the two speakers and listening chair in ideal locations chosen by listening.  Despite the cheap eight-inch drivers (about $3 each) and the cardboard boxes, those speakers threw an exceptional stereo image which is hard to beat, even today.  

    Something that I was not aware of but which seems ironic now: the efficient single-driver loudspeakers and the single-ended tube amplifier (one 6L6 power output tube per channel) foretold the low-power amp/high efficiency speaker concept of today.

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by sKiZo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:39 pm

    I started out haunting a corner tv and radio repair shop (now THAT dates me) that I'd pass daily on my way home from school. I'd get some old hunk of junk that they didn't consider worth repairing and tinker about in the basement. Learned enough to be dangerous and made a lot of smoke, but I got the bug. My first "stereo" was a toober Crosley that had been stripped from a console and mated to a couple speakers with some phasing tweaks and an old reverb panel from a 1957 Buick. Turntable was an old Garrard that had been in a house fire. System had some real ... er ... character to it.

    Didja know Crosley is still in business? Still got some neat looking stuff too. Really into the nostalgia thing.


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    1962 mash up

    Post by charlief64 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:04 pm

    Went to a swap meet with my best friend Charlie (my name too).  Bought a complete Caperhart chassis minus the changer and cabinet.   4 tube push pull parallel output, and 15" / 5" Jensens ... 35 BUCKS.  Plugged it in and it worked perfectly.  I had a book called "how to design speaker enclosures (or something like that) and, with the help of my father, the carpenter, I mounted the speakers in a huge old tv cabinet made into a bass reflex enclosure. I also bought a Garrard RC 88 with a GE VR Triple play cartridge.  Sounded better than anything I head ever heard in my 15 year old life.  Friends used to come over to hear their records on my "HI FI".   From that moment I was hooked, still am.

    Last edited by charlief64 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by Windup on Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:02 pm

    It was my brother-in-law. He was 10 years older than I and he was the coolest guy to me. I never had a brother, only a sister but, she was cool because she married Richard. He was audio repair tech at the local Radio Shack repair depot. This was the early  70's.

    He would lend me stereo components, not just the Realistic brand stuff, everything. I was the only 15yr old in the neighborhood who had a different stereo component every other month. Not always new but, refurb'ed and working well! Marantz, Nakamichi, B&O, Tandberg I was in heaven and I didn't know it at the time! I couldn't keep the stuff but, a few weeks with pieces was very cool knowing something new was always coming.

    Because of Richard, my brother-in-law, I got in to electronics early, got my Ham license at 16 went to school for Electronics and EE and shortly moved into chip level repair of PDP-11's and comp. terminals in the late 70s. (Long story short)

    I still have a great love for audio gear. He would have loved working on the Dynacos with me. He gave me a ST120. My Brother-in-law died in a car accident almost 30 yrs ago now but, when I listen to a nice system or, work on a piece of gear, I can't help feeling that he's right there with me, with a big smile on his face! God I miss him.


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    Re: What started it?

    Post by ruffian on Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:56 pm

    It started the day I asked my mother if I could take my grandmothers rig. She had just been moved into an assisted living place for altzhiemers. So totally clueless as to what I had I put a Marantz 7', Marantz 8, MR71 and a Thorens TD124 in my car. That was maybe 8 years ago. A few years later wanting something to tinker with led me to buy a ST70 kit from Bob and then later on a SP14 from Roy. Just recently I have been using just the phono section on the 7 through the SP14. They play nice together.

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by kaner on Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:34 am

    For me it started when I was about 13. My dad had built a tube amp when he himself was in high school as some sort of science project. He gave the amp to me at about that age. Man I wish I still had it. I have NO IDEA what it was, although it was a mono block. I loved laying in bed at night with the only light being the glow from those tubes. When I finally decided to build my own tube amp, I built my ST70 and fired it up. The immediate memory that I had was the smell of the tubes heating and that soft glow.

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by terry37932 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:40 am

    When I was a kid (late 60's) listening to my dad's Hank Williams's mono LP's, a few years later we had this big Voice of Music (VM) Console Cabinet sitting in the living room. 7.5w Stereo!, after that it became an obsession. Dad owned the only TV Repair and record store in the area, we were lucky.

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by corndog71 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:52 pm

    It started in 1994 when I bought my 3rd car, a used 1983 Honda Prelude. It came with a really cheap jenson stereo with glove compartment-mounted EQ none of which worked properly. I was always interested in electronics and technology but since all I knew about was the cheap crap I grew up with I had no reference to "better" sound. Anyway, that car stereo was so frustrating I ripped it out and paid for a nice shiny Sony tape deck to be installed. Then I started reading about car audio and learned about the various brands and such and found a cheap 2-channel amp to better power my front speakers. I paid to have it installed and it worked but wasn't that much of an improvement. During this time my brother had gotten a small stereo from one of the local hi-fi shops for his girlfriend and had a catalog from the shop. He saw me reading up on car audio and threw that catalog at me thinking I might be interested. Right on the cover was a pic of their top system with B&W Matrix 801's which were listed at $5,500/pr! I was making around $800/mo and promptly threw it in the corner of my room.

    After learning more about how things go together I took a closer look at my car stereo and got pissed. That amp I had installed was hooked up with two 1/2-meter pairs of cheap interconnects as well as other short cuts. I could've done a better job! Eventually I stumbled upon that catalog again and perused through it with disdain until I came to the part where they were selling Kimber Kable. I'd heard of Monster cables but not Kimber. I was even more surprised they had been around since '79. So, I decided to go to the shop and see all of this crazy-expensive stuff for myself.

    Yes, it was all very impressive and I now had a greater appreciation for high-end gear but still wondered if any of this quality was reachable by me. So, I bought a pair of Kimber KC-1's (the semi-shielded version of PBJ - since car audio mags all recommended shielded cables) and replaced those cheap RCA's. They had a money back guarantee so I thought "why not?".


    For the first time there was a soundstage in my car! I could discern differences in cymbals of a drum kit! I could understand lyrics better! The clarity! The dynamics! I sat in my car dumbfounded and awestruck and relistened to just about every one of my CD's (played through a walkman into a tape adapter!) and that's when the bug bit me.

    It's been almost 20 years and I'm still at it. The only difference is that I now prefer to build my own gear. There's still better stuff out there but they are ridiculously priced and I can get 90% there for a fraction of the price. Along the way I discovered tube gear and slowly gained an appreciation for that as well. And I'm still learning.

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    Ref: What Started It?

    Post by ArlanB on Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:12 pm

    My relationship with vinyl started in early 1950's when my parents purchased a Montgomery Ward console AM/FM radio with 3 speed turntable which gave me my first taste of "HIFI".  My first encounter with stereo was in 1961 when my high school science teacher had a what was to me a huge RCA console color tv/turntable/radio with satellite speakers brought into the classroom for a demonstration.  From then on I was hooked. The desire to have a car went from #1 on my list to #2.  So I worked for the next 3 summers and in my senior year I purchased Heathkit's AA100 integrated amp and AJ41 stereo tuner along with an entry level Gerrard turntable, I don't know what the cartridge was, as long as it played my albums that was fine.  The speakers were Utah 12" 3 way acoustic suspension.  BTW I still have that system minus the turntable.  I did shelve the system in the mid 70's for a Sansui QRX3500 receiver which is now shelved also due to a power supply problem.  Some day I will have it repaird.  Present system is PAT4 preamp, VTA ST120 amp, Heil AMT10b speakers with Dual 1219 and a Technics SL-7 turntables.  This system makes outstanding music to my ears.



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    Re: What started it?

    Post by Sprags on Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:41 am

    Some people got there first audiophile bug when they were waiting for a round thing to be invented for the grooves to be cut into that would then become LP's.


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    Re: What started it?

    Post by Tom on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:19 am

    Early '70s, we were having an argument with our electronics shop teacher
    about how all modern bands were using solid state and how much better it was
    than that old fashioned tube junk.

    The following Monday morning, two huge Klipschorns, tube pre, tube bi-amps and turntable
    were up front of the class for demonstration purposes.

    Mr. Elliot, our teacher, dropped the needle on Lynyrd Skynard Pronounced and
    the Principal showed up in about 15 seconds flat.

    Successful demonstration Mr. Elliot. Thanks!!!


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    Re: What started it?

    Post by ramon68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:06 am

    My kind of teacher!

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by Maintarget on Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:02 am

    @Tom that's the coolest story I've heard in a long time some teachers really know how to teach!

    For me every time my older brother left the house I would start jamming out with his Pioneer system with Klipsch Hereseys speakers, few years later I bought those speakers and recently pulled them out of storage recapped and listening to right now.
    Never did tell him what was going on although I think he knew LOL

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    Re: What started it?

    Post by arledgsc on Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:34 pm

    Kit Building - Knight Kit C-555 Walkie Talkie.   As kids we could run around the neighborhood with toy sub-machine guns/ multiple hand grenades and did not get arrested or shot.  These walkie talkies were a secret weapon when playing army over a vast 2 sq. block area.   The other team never knew or had a chance.  I couldn't afford two so my friend bought another.
    Allied Electronics Catalog, bottom left

    Audio - $99.00 Pioneer basic turntable, Empire cartridge, and Koss Pro 4AA headphones - still in production for about the same price $100.  Nothing sounded better to me at the time.


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    Re: What started it?

    Post by DarthBubba on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:58 pm

    I jokingly tell people that I built my first amplifier at age two years. The actual truth is that my Dad and Mom sat me in the middle of the kitchen table with Dad calling out the part numbers for his Heathkit tube preamp and tube amps, and Mom handing the resistors and capacitors to me to give to Dad. Smile 

    Hey, it kept me off the streets and out of trouble. affraid 


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    Re: What started it?

    Post by GP49 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:13 am

    DarthBubba wrote:I jokingly tell people that I built my first amplifier at age two years.  The actual truth is that my Dad and Mom sat me in the middle of the kitchen table with Dad calling out the part numbers for his Heathkit tube preamp and tube amps, and Mom handing the resistors and capacitors to me to give to Dad.  Smile 

    At age ONE, you'd probably have tried to EAT the resistors. Yum. Razz 


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    Re: What started it?

    Post by DarthBubba on Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:34 pm

    GP49 wrote:
    DarthBubba wrote:I jokingly tell people that I built my first amplifier at age two years.  The actual truth is that my Dad and Mom sat me in the middle of the kitchen table with Dad calling out the part numbers for his Heathkit tube preamp and tube amps, and Mom handing the resistors and capacitors to me to give to Dad.  Smile 

    At age ONE, you'd probably have tried to EAT the resistors.  Yum. Razz 

    Carbon-based life form, carbon composition resistors - a natural combination. Very Happy 

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    Re: What started it?

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