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    Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

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    Bob Latino
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    Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:31 pm



    We moved my mother into assisted living about a month ago. My sister and I found many photos she had kept these many years. This photo is of me at about 19 years old posing in front of one of my first audio systems. I believe that I was in college at the time because I remember that Biology book in the lower right hand corner of the photo. This was a MONO system. I made a large 3 way speaker out of an old TV cabinet. Near my right hand is the crossover for the speaker with the tweeter and mid range L-Pads. Behind me is the (unidentified but I believe it was a Bell mono tube) amp that I was using at the time. Somewhere I had a turntable. It was not until a few years later that I could afford a "stereo" system.

    So - what was your first audio gear? if you can remember that far back? - lol

    Bob

    Kentley

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Kentley on Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:56 pm

    Love the 1/4 inch wide tie. 1962?
    It appears as though Signore Latino is about to "make an offer you can't refuse". LOL

    j beede

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    Location : California

    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by j beede on Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:14 pm

    I was maybe 11 or 12 when I confiscated the 8-track player that my older brother had pulled out of his AMC Gremlin. I "borrowed" my father's automotive battery charger to power it up and got a free lesson regarding power supply filtering as a bonus. Mismatched speakers were re-purposed from retired television sets stored in nearby relative's basements. I had two 8-track tapes--Moody Blues: Days of Future Past and Donovan's Sunshine Superman. It sounded awful, but it was the first music system that I had complete control over.

    vtshopdog

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    Location : UT, USA

    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by vtshopdog on Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:25 am

    Junky 9v AM radio when I was about 6

    Panasonic AM-FM tabletop radio (with weather band!!) for Xmas at age 8 or so.  It's a tank, still have it on bedstand where it serves up NPR most mornings. (little gold "IC 2-year warranty" sticker still intact on faceplate)

    Portable 8 track player device (boom box precursor?) around age 10 (1970). I more or less read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy while Santana Abraxis played in continuous 8-track tape 1/4 loops.  Probably drove my family nuts.

    At 18 yrs busted my butt to save up for first nice rig:  Dual TT with a Shure V-15 iii, a Sansui AU-919 integrated amp (wish I still had that one) and a pair of Dahlquist DQ-10 speakers that were in layaway for months while I scrounged for cash and listened to the Sansui through headphones.  Still own and fully rebuilt the DQs a few years back and still play them today.

    The guy at Dahlquist store did me right.  They had two pair of them stacked and powered by twin Mac tube amps which was quite amazing.  Realistically they didn't sell anything I could afford, he agreed to the layaway and told me to go down the street and buy the Sansui - it wasn't a Mac, but pretty good in his estimation.

    Zimmer64

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Zimmer64 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:56 am

    My brother and me shared an all in one stereo from ITT. Found a picture of one on the web:



    monkuboy

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    Join date : 2016-03-23

    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by monkuboy on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:33 am

    First real system was a Dual 1218 with a Shure M91 cartridge, a pair of Dynaco A25's and a Sony TA-1130 integrated amp. I think the amp was not a good match for the speakers - just didn't seem to drive them that well. Plus the interconnects that came with the components, which seemed like about 24 gauge wire with the white and red RCA plugs on each end. And lampcord speaker wire.

    Bob Latino
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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:13 am

    monkuboy wrote:First real system was a Dual 1218 with a Shure M91 cartridge, a pair of Dynaco A25's and a Sony TA-1130 integrated amp.  I think the amp was not a good match for the speakers - just didn't seem to drive them that well.  Plus the interconnects that came with the components, which seemed like about 24 gauge wire with the white and red RCA plugs on each end.  And lampcord speaker wire.

    The Dynaco A25's were a great speaker at reasonable pricing. At times, they were hard to find because as soon as a shipment came over from Denmark (where they were made), they would be sold out in a few weeks.

    About 3 years ago, I made a post on the forum here on how Madisound had come up with a Dynaco A25 clone speaker KIT and called it the "A26". They still sell the kit with or without a cabinet if you are good at woodworking ... These are quality kits with two Seas drivers per speaker. See link below ...

    A26 speaker kit from Madisound

    Bob

    monkuboy

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by monkuboy on Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:29 pm

    Bob Latino wrote:
    monkuboy wrote:First real system was a Dual 1218 with a Shure M91 cartridge, a pair of Dynaco A25's and a Sony TA-1130 integrated amp.  I think the amp was not a good match for the speakers - just didn't seem to drive them that well.  Plus the interconnects that came with the components, which seemed like about 24 gauge wire with the white and red RCA plugs on each end.  And lampcord speaker wire.

    The Dynaco A25's were a great speaker at reasonable pricing. At times, they were hard to find because as soon as a shipment came over from Denmark (where they were made), they would be sold out in a few weeks.

    About 3 years ago, I made a post on the forum here on how Madisound had come up with a Dynaco A25 clone speaker KIT and called it the "A26". They still sell the kit with or without a cabinet if you are good at woodworking ... These are quality kits with two Seas drivers per speaker. See link below ...

    A26 speaker kit from Madisound

    Bob

    Thanks for the link. The pricing on the A25's was indeed reasonable - $79, if I recall, but I don't remember if that was for a pair or each. I think it was each. The A26 is a bit higher in price, lol.. sure looks nice, though!

    Frank111

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Frank111 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:37 pm

    I still have my Lafayette LR 1500 TA receiver from around 1973. I was attending some summer classes at Penn State main campus. Prep classes for first year back at the Lehman Pa campus. There was a stereo store in the small town that the campus was on. I traded an older Kenwood KR 5150, I think that had some issues, even up for the Lafayette that was almost new. It looks just like the day I got it. I've since replaced the diodes and electrolytic capacitors in the power supply and it works perfectly.

    I remember looking at the Lafayette catalogs when that was a current model and dreaming of owning one.
    It is amazing it stayed with me all of these years.

    audiobill

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by audiobill on Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:45 pm

    At the USAF base exchange in 1970, I bought an Acoustic Research amplifier, tuner, 2ax speakers, AR xa turntable with a Shure V15 cartridge. Magic in a dorm room!!

    Later, added an AR receiver....

    Maintarget

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Maintarget on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:44 pm

    My dad showed me how to build a crystal radio and stuffed it in a small wooden box that I think cologne came in
    I was 6 or 7 years old I must have had a half mile of enameled wire for an antenna strung around my bedroom ceiling and listened every night.
    I still have that set up stashed away somewhere............

    ArlanB

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by ArlanB on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:58 pm

    Purchased my first true system while in my junior year of High School (1964).  Worked for two summers to save up enough money and bought Heathkit AA100 integrated amp, Heathkit AJ 41 Stereo Tuner, a Garrard low end automatic turntable and two Utah 12" 3 way acoustic suspension sepakers.  Took most of the summer to construct the kits. Still have the amp, tuner and speakers. The turntable bit the dust years ago.  Still use the tuner now and then (still works well).  The speakers need new tweeters, and the amp has problems that I have not set aside time for.  Having to much fun with my present system.

    Kentley

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Kentley on Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:46 am

    I must have been ten when, frustrated by the clunkiness of my child's "rekkit player" - one of those two-toned 18'X18'" monstrosities with a brass "tone arm" (about 1/4 pound stylus pressure with a magnificent crystal cartridge) - I snuck into Dad's stash of hi-fi parts (he was primarily a ham, but dabbled in hi-fi) and purloined a low-end Pickering cartridge and proceeded to tape, glue, and force it into the arm. Realizing quickly that the tracking pressure was just a tad high (!!!) I rigged a counterbalance from a pencil and god-knows-what for weights. Strictly mono (wiring was fun, having not yet been allowed a soldering kit). Damned thing worked somehow. I believe I also swiped a little amp - one of those little micro-watt pieces of junk. Listened strictly through a pair of WWII surplus communications headphones that dug a permanent pit alongside each ear. But boy was I blissed out. "Hey, kids! I made it myself!" It impressed my parents enough to purchase a "wowie-zowie" STEREO Zenith portable with the nifty swing-out detachable speakers - and I was on my way.

    bluemeanies

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by bluemeanies on Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:20 pm

    Kentley
    ...I wonder if we had the same setup as children...scary!
    My FIRST stereo was a SEARS Silvertone stereo...detachable speakers with a turntable.i remember the cable length to be about 6' on each side.
    What enjoy came from that unit.
    My mother purchased it for me on my 14th birthday.
    It truly was the good old days when music was simply enjoyable as a teenager.
    Now I fear I am over critical...at times that exact, perfect setting takes away the enjoyment that I want when listening to music.

    deepee99

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:20 pm

    I built a couple of crystal sets -- the first using a cat's whisker, coil hand-wound around an empty toilet roll, then "upgraded" to a Heathkit. Off to college in 1969 I was armed with a very nice little Realistic integrated amp, FM tuner, Rek-O-Cut platter and Radio Shack's imitation "Little David" speaks. Sophomore year decided I needed More Power, so bought and built a Heathkit AR-15 (69 transistors and 2 ICs) for $100 down and $299 owing, and a pair of KLH-17s speaks, upgrading them eventually to McIntosh ML-1Cs. Being broke upon graduation, I sold that lashup and built a Dynaco SCA-35 integrated amp kit and a pair of A-25s, along with an AR turntable I wish I still had.
    Living on boats for the next couple of decades, hi-fi wasn't really possible, but when I got back on the beach built David Hafler's first amp and pre-amp kits driving Bose 501s. Not to be confused with their famous (and dreadful) 901s, the 501s had a very nice sound. One divorce later, all that was gone, and didn't get back into the real stuff until a Bedini lash-up came along, then a MC-2125 and C-28, and now the VTA and Tubes4hifi gear with Tyler Acoustics. Peripherals too many to remember or mention, but at present include the HHB CD recorder, VPI Traveler, Technics tape deck and Tidal streaming.
    Speaking o' Tidal, looks like Apple is angling to buy them, according to today's WS Journal. God help us all.

    sKiZo

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by sKiZo on Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:58 pm

    THIS THREAD IS WORTHLESS WITHOUT PICS!!

    My first system was a Kenner Close 'n Play if I remember right. clown

    First decent system was a Ratshack receiver and table, and an old GE reel to reel that I got for free from the local TV repair shop.

    (Anybody remember TV repair shops? I knew that you could!)

    First REAL system, purchased mostly new after landing my first REAL job ...



    200wpc from the Big Mac might sound like a bit much for an upstairs apartment, but the old guy downstairs was deaf as a post. We were right next to the railroad tracks (wrong side of course) and sitting on the front porch, he'd be going on about how long that last train was when it rumbled by. Having just played Genesis Lamb Lies Down before coming out, I hazarded a guess at what ... 92 minutes?  

    Today's system (more or less) still has a lot of the same pieces, all restored over time.



    The ones you don't see, I mostly still got, and they mostly still work.

    deepee99

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:18 pm

    sKiZo wrote:THIS THREAD IS WORTHLESS WITHOUT PICS!!

    My first system was a Kenner Close 'n Play if I remember right. clown

    First decent system was a Ratshack receiver and table, and an old GE reel to reel that I got for free from the local TV repair shop.

    (Anybody remember TV repair shops? I knew that you could!)

    First REAL system, purchased mostly new after landing my first REAL job ...



    200wpc from the Big Mac might sound like a bit much for an upstairs apartment, but the old guy downstairs was deaf as a post. We were right next to the railroad tracks (wrong side of course) and sitting on the front porch, he'd be going on about how long that last train was when it rumbled by. Having just played Genesis Lamb Lies Down before coming out, I hazarded a guess at what ... 92 minutes?  Twisted Evil

    Today's system (more or less) still has a lot of the same pieces, all restored over time.



    The ones you don't see, I mostly still got, and they mostly still work.

    I've never been able to post a pic on this site. Maybe it's a linux thing. HRH Bob was lucky to find those photos from antiquity.
    My father had built a mono amp and when he put his Fishers and Scotts and ARs in, gifted it to me.
    I found a schematic for an AM oscillator, idea being to stack vinyl on the turntable, run it through the VFO oscillator and listen to tunes through my transistor radio in the back-yard hammock.
    I rather overbuilt the oscillator with a VFO and also extended the length of the antenna wire several dozen yards beyond what the FCC required for flea-power stuff. I'd just find a quiet place on the AM band and listen away. One day I parked the VFO on the frequency of Spokane's biggest AM station and got this horrible squealing sound. Beat frequency, I think it was called. Went out to the car and the radio in there reported the same results.
    Took the car for a drive and got the same results about 30 miles from home when it dawned on me that perhaps someone else was noticing this horrible screeching, too, where KHQ-AM shoulda been. Beat cheeks back home about 2 blocks ahead of an FCC truck triangulating the source of this interference, pulled the plugs, and no arrests were made.
    It probably not the biggest crime pulled that year on KHQ. They were off-air for nearly a week after firing their chief engineer. Every geek from Collins and RCA dashed to the rescue, pulled everything out of the racks, found nothing amiss, but just for giggles they replaced the microwave dishes that beamed the station's signal to the tower and lo and behold, found an SOS pad stuffed into one of the dishes. Amazing, what you can do when you're PO'd at somebody . . .
    sKiZo, you need to replace that chair's upholstery. It would improve your listening experience.

    corndog71

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by corndog71 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:58 pm



    While we had a stereo in the living room I really didn't mess with it too much. I got something like this when I was 9. Can't remember the brand but it changed my life. I would listen to the top 40 on Sunday's and record my favorite songs.



    My first actual stereo came after I turned 15. It was a Fisher all in one turntable, radio, dual-cassette deck with 5-band equalizer! That worked for a few years until I went into the Marines.

    deepee99

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:10 pm

    Anybody remember those "rocket radios" that looked like a sputnik, tuner pulled out the top, you had to plug it into a waterpipe for ground, came with a single ear-plug.
    http://www.crystalradio.net/misc/rocket/
    Had one of them. Wish I still did. Like the Heathkit, it came with a germanium diode, so no need for the cat's whisker and galena crystal.

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by tubes4hifi on Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:23 pm

    gee . . !!   who's that good lookin' guy in the first post??!!   Looks like a lawyer or stock broker!  
    Well, my first audio gear was an AM-FM receiver I built in high school electronics class back in 1968, and wound up selling to my history teacher.  
    This is a real find, a 1969 Heathkit catalog, I was trying to figure out what I bought, must have been a GR-17, for $43.   I could have sworn I sold it for $100.
    That was ALOT of money back in '69.
    http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Catalogs/Allied-Catalogs/Heathkit-1969.pdf
    When I was 20 I worked in a Lafayette Radio store for two years, our store was Lafayette in name only, we specialized in Marantz, Dual, JBL, and then Phase Linear.
    My first real system was a Marantz 2270, Dual 1218, and JBL 100s.  Very nice.
    Hard to believe, but I somehow missed the tube era until around 1986, my good friend Bob Harley (who went on to Stereophile and The Absolute Sound magazine fame)
    introduced me to tube audio and I bought a nice Luxman CL-34.   Luxman is the Marantz of Japan, and this was an updated refined version of the Marantz 7 preamp.
     
    Then I bought an ST70, and spend the entire next year building every possible mod I could find - and wound up creating the VTA70 amp which our Bob now sells.

    Gregg R.

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    Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Gregg R. on Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:20 am

    I built a Heathkit all-in-one for my younger sister in about 1970. It was her first real stereo hi-fi!!

    Heathkit Catalog

    Scroll down to page 56.

    I believe we added Dynaco A-25 speakers. She used it for at least 20 years. Sounded really good; she finally stopped thinking of me as her dorky older brother!

    I miss her a lot.

    Dogstar

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    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Dogstar on Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:47 am

    The Dynaco A25's were a great speaker at reasonable pricing. At times, they were hard to find because as soon as a shipment came over from Denmark (where they were made), they would be sold out in a few weeks.

    About 3 years ago, I made a post on the forum here on how Madisound had come up with a Dynaco A25 clone speaker KIT and called it the "A26". They still sell the kit with or without a cabinet if you are good at woodworking ... These are quality kits with two Seas drivers per speaker. See link below ...

    A26 speaker kit from Madisound

    Bob


    Not to hijack this thread but can anyone tell me if the Madisound A26 speakers are efficient enough to be driven comfortably by a tube amp?

    Bob Latino
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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:24 am

    A few years ago I tried to find online the efficiency rating of the original Dynaco A-25's. I was unsuccessful ... If anyone does find out the efficiency rating of the A-25's, please post the link here in this thread. The aperiodic design of the Dynaco A-25 or Madisound A-26 has a damped port. This is not the most efficient design available but its efficiency should be better than an acoustic suspension design. I do remember one customer driving an original pair of A-25's with a 60 WPC VTA ST-120. He liked the sound and never complained about any lack of power. On some web sites, they mention that the A-25's have a "DIN power rating" of 35 watts. This leads me to believe that you could probably drive them fairly well with an ST-70 as long as your room is of average size and you are not interested in rock music at high volume levels.

    Bob

    Dogstar

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    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by Dogstar on Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:36 pm

    My first was a Panasonic turntable, am/fm receiver and cassette player that I got as a junior high graduation present. My next audio system was a Yamaha CR-2020 and DCM TimeWindows along with a Yamaha turntable and cassette deck. Of all the hifi equipment I now have I do enjoy my VTA ST-120 and Cary preamp. Driving either JBL L100 T3's or my custom Klipsch speakers and using either a Techniques SL1200 MkII or Thorens TD-160.

    deepee99

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    Re: Some of my first audio gear - photo ..

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:01 am

    Bob Latino wrote:A few years ago I tried to find online the efficiency rating of the original Dynaco A-25's. I was unsuccessful ... If anyone does find out the efficiency rating of the A-25's, please post the link here in this thread. The aperiodic design of the Dynaco A-25 or Madisound A-26 has a damped port. This is not the most efficient design available but its efficiency should be better than an acoustic suspension design. I do remember one customer driving an original pair of A-25's with a 60 WPC VTA ST-120. He liked the sound and never complained about any lack of power. On some web sites, they mention that the A-25's have a "DIN power rating" of 35 watts. This leads me to believe that you could probably drive them fairly well with an ST-70 as long as your room is of average size and you are not interested in rock music at high volume levels.

    Bob

    Bob, I came across this, which I hope is helpful: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/vintage/messages/19/199270.html
    It lists the A-25s at 82 db @ 60 watts. The slightly larger, internally ported A-35 comes up with 85 dB at just 30 watts. The even larger dual-woofed A-50s will report 86 dB at a mere 25 watts. All the Dynaco speaks (save the A-10s) used identical components, so these figures, if accurate, illustrate the significance of cabinet design.
    When the A-25s came out Dynaco was still building mostly tube kits, and the A-25s were paired with the SCA-35 which put out a mere 17.5 watts/channel, and it could make them howl in a pretty big room. At the Seattle hi-fi store I hung out in, I never heard any complaints about that combo, and their clientele were fairly well-heeled Magnolia Hill yuppies who could afford Macs but thought, even back then, that the blue meters were a con job.
    Having had extensive experience with the -25s and -35s, you can't go wrong with either, but if you've got the patience, hang loose until you can locate a pair of A-35s with their original components and decent cabinets. I swear you could drive them with a crystal set. The only bitch is they're heavy to ship. The woof Madisound uses for its A-26 will not fit into the holes in the original Dyna speaker holes: the basket flange extends beyond the the face and into the trim of an A-25. There is no dimensional replacement for those old Seas woofs. The old ESS Heils used the same basket woofs and magnets, but with foam surrounds, which by now would be dry as dust. That, too, can be fixed with new rubber surrounds but it takes some serious surgery not to harm the cones.
    To make a long story longer, wait for an acceptable pair of all-original A-35s to come along. Superb efficiency, they'll take a beating and deliver a very sweet sound. The only fix they'll need is maybe replacing the single crossover cap, and putting a little De-Oxit on the tweeter trim switch.
    I have a 200-watt s/s Bedini hooked up to my A-35s in the secondary (read: man-cave) system. I've also run them on some flea-power home-brew amps. You can't hurt 'em.







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