View Full Version : How did you catch the hi-fi bug?
03-14-2005, 06:03 PM
What got you started in this hi-fi madness? Here's my story:
When I was 10, a friend of mine who had just moved into town, invited me to his house. His parents were obviously wealthy when I saw the house and his system. He was 9 and had a Harmon Kardon receiver (35 watts I think), a Pioneer Cassette deck (my first exposure to a home cassette deck) that layed flat. like a small console, and a pair of "Quadraphonic" (the brand) speakers. It blew me away. I had never heard anything but cheesey consoles and standalone 8-track players with whizzer-cone speakers (LOL).
From the first song I heard over that system, I was hooked.
About 2 years after acquiring my monster RT2000p's... I began to visit Club Polk. It didnt take long to get hooked..
03-14-2005, 06:14 PM
I was eleven years old when my uncle got out of the Marines. When he left Japan to come to Memphis, he had a HUGE A$$, Loud as HELL Kenwood system that came from Japan. This thing would shake the windows in the other rooms in the back of the house. He still has it in Atlanta, but he blew the speakers. I am 32 now and I have been into gear ever since. I have yet to hear a system that could could eff with that one. Hmmmm.....Maybe I could talk him out of it and get me a set of kick a$$ speakers to go for two-channel music only. After all, it is setting up collecting dust.;)
03-14-2005, 06:16 PM
Peter Maran, Brooklyn, 1968. He was a nerd, I was into sports. One day he asked me if I wanted to go to his house and hear his stereo. AR-XA table, AR integrated amp, and AR-3a speaks. I stopped being into sports that afternoon. Very soon after I got my own real pieces. AR-XA table, Lafayette Radio Electronics integrated amp, and H.H. Scott speakers. About a year later I bought one of the first component cassette decks available, a Vivitar (yup, the camera people).
Some nerd, he also showed me photos. He used to make his own dummies and photograph them crashing on bikes, or hitting the pavement after getting thrown out his 3rd story bedroom window. He also played a wicked guitar.
George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)
03-14-2005, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by Zero
About 2 years after acquiring my monster RT2000p's... I began to visit Club Polk. It didnt take long to get hooked..
Pretty similar - I bought some R30's on J&R, and rapidly fell off the deep end after visiting this forum. And just seeing that I've barely dipped my toes into this hobby compared to 99% of the people here is both scary and exciting.. haha.
03-14-2005, 07:06 PM
I was in grade 7. The school is right across a hydro field from my house. So one day, I decided to have my friend come over during lunch time. We had a Technics system with Kenwood speakers. I never cared for it. This guy was already into stereos so he was blown away and started checking out the equipments. So I started playing around and learned about input/outputs and all the basics. After getting some music to play on it, I was blown away. It had a lot of bass and stuff. We also had a Laser disc player that my cousin left behind and it became my source for redbook and movies.
First upgrade I ever did to the system was to get some 12ga cables and good quality interconnects. Both Ultralink. And that's how I got the "Upgradetitus" bug inside me. Haven't stopped upgrading and trying out new stuff since then. I just started to learn how to control it now.
03-14-2005, 08:06 PM
I remember how excited I was when I got my first modern receiver. I had just started at Mickey D's and went to a Stereo "blowout" at the then called "Checkerdome" in downtown St. Louis. I bought the Pioneer SX-780 receiver and a pair of HPM-40 speakers---man, you talk about excited, I couldn't get home fast enough. Peeling those boxes open and smelling that new equipment---ahhhh---and that brushed aluminum gleaming at me, power meters twitching--heaven man, heaven.
The 'ol Fischer was a feature item at the next garage sale.
First time I really caught the Hi-Fi bug, I'd tell ya it was when I joined this forum, and it kinda was, but I'll give you a more 'real' answer...
WOULD HAVE TO BE...the first time I heard a pair of Definitives at the local Hi-Fi dealer...
I heard the TOTL system all setup...and remembered the power and force of that system....knew I would HAVE to have a pair later on....and a few other encounters with Definitive did the same thing...
Then there was the trip to NY to hear the best of the best, or the worst of the worst, whatever your opinion may be...
I dunno, so many things have fueled my 'bug' - this forum, other systems, my dad...etc
03-14-2005, 09:51 PM
My Dad worked for a music store that had an awesome hifi room that I used to get to crank "afterhours".
Marantz, Dual, Fischer, and Frazier were the flavors of the day. My 17th birthday present was a Marantz 1060 integrated. My first paychecks from my first afterschool job landed me a set of JBL L100 Century speakers.
A music major in college, naturally had to have great tunes all the time, and been into it ever since in my house, cars, boats, you name it.
2-channel or 7.1 it doesn't matter as long as it sounds good!:D :D :D
I must have been 6 or 7. I learned how to thread my dad's reel to reel player. We had one of those console stereos that had a record player on one side and an eight track player and tuner on the other. But it was when the Sony RR machine was plugged into the aux inputs that the music really happened for me.
03-15-2005, 12:11 AM
On a trip to Africa, while battling malaria and dysentary.
03-15-2005, 12:23 AM
ha! me too, sort of,.. i started collecting while i was in the military in the early 80's. you could get killer deals when you went overseas, so every time i went i got more gear.
the core of the system was good w/ a denon dp-60l turntable and shure v15 type v cartridge. if i had just originally made better choices on my original amp (pioneer integrated a-8), speaks (jbl r-103) and not gotten an equalizer and frequency spectrum analyzer, i probably would have been content to just listen to my tunes and never think about what i could do to uh,make it sound better. but, there were so many weaknesses, complicated to the nth by the eq and analyzer, that i forever lusted, adjusted and replaced until all of that stuff eventually ended up in the closet.
When I was a little kid - pretty much ever since I can remeber - my Dad would come home from a hard day at work and the first thing he'd do was fire up a quadraphonic sound receiver (Panasonic I think) that was hooked up to some big Jensen (sealed box) speakers. The low bass that thing put out had me hooked. I didn't get my first "real" system until I was 12 or 13. It consisted of an Onkyo receiver, Pioneer dual well cassette deck, A Jarrard TT, home-made speakers that used cannibalized Sanyo speaker boxes to house some Jensen 6 x 9's in a really neat bass reflex enclosure my Father designed, and a Pioneer single disc CDP. CD's were brand new back then (still came in the huge cardboard package) I'll be 31 in less than 2 months and I still have the receiver from my 1st system - sentimental value.
03-15-2005, 12:06 PM
Great thread Steveinaz,
It really all started with my parents. They were music lovers so music was always playing in our house growing up. The typical early 70ís stuff, so Iíve always had a love for music of all kinds. I can remember as a boy using a portable tape player set up in the middle of the living room trying to make copies of my Dadís music. I was always telling my family to be quite because I was recording.
I had a cousin that was about 10 years older than me and he was into stereo gear, this was the mid/late 70ís. He had all that cool Marantz equipment that is so vintage and collectable now. I was in awe and always pestering him with audio questions. He also had those big Marantz HD-880 floor-standing speakers, which I thought looked so cool, back then, I thought they were monsters.
My parents bought me my first non-console system a couple years before I entered high school. A receiver, cassette, and bookshelf speakers, nothing special but a huge improvement over my all in one unit. Thatís where the ďbugĒ began.
One of my high school teachers and also a family friend had all that cool Marantz tube stuff from the 70ís. He drove EPI towers that sounded fabulous. In his den he also had a pair of original OHM speakers, donít remember the model, but they werenít the Walsh models. I spent a lot of time over at his place talking about music and stereo equipment.
A few years out of high school (1984) I managed to get a job selling mid/high end equipment at the only store of its type in town and thatís when I acquired most of what I still have today. Iíve been out of the audio business for about 10 years now and sometimes I miss it and sometimes I donít.
03-15-2005, 01:07 PM
It started for me less than two years ago when I got into HT. Started off with a Yamaha HTIB. Eventually got into two-channel by ditching the boombox, bought some cheap separates and a pair of MTX floorstanders from Circuit City.
So within a relatively brief time span, I've gone from boombox, a non-existent CD collection, contempt for today's popular music, and a dislike of jazz to all tube gear, 120 CDs, and a growing love for jazz (I still have that comtempt for the junk they call music nowadays).
You MF's made me do it.
03-15-2005, 03:46 PM
I had it as a high school student....my brother and I pooled cash for a pair of Boston A100's and Denon rig.
Was out of it for many years as things like food, clothing and shelter took priority. Then about 6 years ago, or so, a friend gave me a pair of RT7's and I caught the 'bug' again...and have been at it ever since.
03-15-2005, 04:12 PM
When I was 12, for x-mas my parents decided it's time to upgrade my tiny as hell boombox (thing was like 6" tall is all, CHEAP!) and they got me a set of Pioneer speakers (They had 10's in them so I was happy) and a JVC receiver and RCA CD player. That started it... I was loving it. Then went down to the local audio store when I was 14 (receiver died on me) with the ol' Pops and introduced me to the salesman my dad always got his stuff through. Now I already was familiar with the place because I was already a HUGE car audio dork and didn't even have a car. ha ha So after spending some hard earned mowing grass kind of money, I walked out of there with an Onkyo stereo receiver. I still have that receiver today and it still works like a fricken champ after 13 years. LOVE IT! I later upgraded the speakers into some AR M2 "Holographic Imaging" bookshelves. I still have them as well after about 12 years and they still sound great. Got those on clearance for a lil over $100/pr. I now have the Onkyo and the AR's being used in my basement on my DJ setup and they not only hammer still but they just can't be killed. I got out of the home audio bug for the longest time because I was young and was HUGE into car audio. Then about 3 years ago, when my Civic was stolen 3 weeks after putting $5500 worth of audio/video into it, I called it done on car audio. So now, my complete focus is on home audio and am having way more fun with this than I ever have with car... I also like to say I matured a bit somewhere along that line. :D
03-15-2005, 06:50 PM
Hehe, Ten years old--Columbia Record House, buy just three more and get ( I cant remember how many) albums, in the first set was Janice Joplin, I was done, me and my Magnavox console.
Man I sat in my room spinning albums and 45's for hours.
PS. Never did pay Columbia House, remember they sent a bill collector to the house and my ole man ran him off, then took the stick to me, no more records from CH, but the woopin was worth it.
03-15-2005, 11:11 PM
Around 1970, when I was just a kid in San Diego, the Padres presented a rock concert after a Dodgers game in the outfield. The band was called "Azteca". The band was not a huge success but it featured some wonderful studio musicians including a very young guitarist named Carlos Santana. Santana's guitar virtuosity absolutely blew me away that day. After that, I was never quite the same - always looking to reproduce that live, viseral quality that I heard at that concert. By the time I got out of high school I owned one of Kenwood's first high end separates packages that I remember paying over $1200 - a lot of pesos back in those days. Man, the Japanese made some terrific 2-channel systems in the 70s - brushed aluminum, analog power and signal meters, toggle switches, superb phono stages, FM tuners the size of bread boxes.
My older brother is an instructor of photography and graphic arts at San Diego State and still uses that Kenwood amp in his dark room (he actually processes film!) that drives 30 year old Sansui book shelf speakers.
03-15-2005, 11:39 PM
Car stereo stuff.
I built some competition level systems and had alot of fun with it. Still do and I can still put together incredible soudning stuff for a car.
Just moved to home audio when I finally got my own space and enough disposable cash to get what I wanted.
Honestly though, the electronics bug is in my genes. My dad started out as a field service tech for TRW and went on to QA work for RCA. I picked up alot of stuff 'cause every kid wants to be just like dad at some point in thier lives. It just stuck with me. By the time I was 12, I had taken apart every applicance except for teh microwave and put it back together just to see how it worked. Started messing around with computers and cars when I was 14-16 years old. Electronics and cars natually led into car stereo and I started learning alot. As I got into Physics classes at school, stuff just started to make more sense and I was forever ingrained in circuits and the physics surrounding them. What better way to see electricity in action then to run it through a transducer like a speaker?
03-16-2005, 12:41 AM
For me it really started with more of a love of music. I played band all through school, really developing a strong liking for jazz. To this day, if a song has any brass in it; I love it.
Fast foward to my junior year in college. I was spending a ton of time studying and had some birthday cash. Figured I would buy some better speakers (Polk R40s). Thats where it started.
Now I have some SDAs and some awesome gear on the way. I only hope to get more time in front of the gear listening.
edit: I should point out that it was listening to Al's (dangerboy) vintage 2 channel system that has spurred my recent surge in spending on new gear. That was just plain old fun listening to those speakers. So Al gets the credit for the reason behind my recent purchases.
03-16-2005, 01:21 AM
I bought both these LP albums new with my birthday money in 1967. One because of the cover and the other because it was the Beatles. Played them on a green, fold-up box phonograph of my parents. I still have the Albums. The phono is long gone.
First real stereo was a Concord Receiver, a Benjamin-Miracord TT (Elac), and some AR 4ax speakers in the summer of 71. After that came a Marantz reciever, Akai reel to reel and Realistic 8-track recorder. Then came the Pioneer receiver, Pioneer cassette recorder and New Advents. First CD player was a run of the mill Sony. And on...and on...and on. Almost 40 years of this stuff.....I must be getting old!
03-16-2005, 01:32 AM
Long live Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass.
03-16-2005, 04:17 AM
the Dr. gave me a shot in the ass.. so i didn't get the bug this year. Waaaaaaaaaa!
About six years ago i was looking to upgrade my 12 yr old Pioneer receiver. Anything would have been an upgrade. But i decided to go demo some receivers i had only read about.. but never heard in person. The names of Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer Elite, Marantz, Sunfire, were all foreign to me at the time.
I demoed and took home what most would call a low to middle end Marantz receiver. I was blown away with all the connections it had. It was a huge leap up in sound from my mid 80's Pioneer.
That is how i got the Hi Fi bug. The rest as they say is history.
03-16-2005, 04:48 AM
My dad was always a bit of an audio nut, but could never really afford much gear. Once the LaserDisc revolution hit, my parents started frequenting a local HT store called LaserLand. This was my first experience with actual high end gear and what it could do.
Well the parents never really got a very advanced system, just using some older Bose bookshelves, Yamaha AVR, Pioneer LD player and Center channel and some cheap-o surrounds, but I thought it was all really cool - I'd always try to convince them to get something cool at LaserLand. My dad actually made his own subs and even his own speakers he used in his garage rig, he still knows a lot more than me about all the technology behind this stuff.
When I moved out last year since my parents relocated to Arizona, I took an old Pioneer Elite reciever, some Acoustic Research bookshelves and some Radio Shack speaker cable that was covered with solder on the ends (eek!) and bought a cheap center channel from Fry's a few weeks later.
I took that center channel back since I realized it sucked - then heard a CSi3, bought it, thinking at the time $200 was an INSANE amount of money to spend on a speaker. Well almost a year later, and I'm around $4000 in the hole on this thing!
Well it's finally paid off, and I have the system I've wanted for 10 years without really knowing it :) Demoed the system for my dad last week, and he was completely blown away... sorta feel sorry, even though he could afford it now I don't think mom would approve (until I can demo it for her, muwahaha). And my second vindication recently came - friends have been mocking me for spending so much money on this stuff - well finally poped in the Oh Brother Where Art Thou SACD and they were completely floored by it... combined with watching Band of Brothers DTS they finally admit I'm not so crazy after all, and in the end I might just infect one or two when they go home to their little TV speakers!
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