As A Youngster, What Unit Puqued Your Interest In All This?

I figure a lot of us here started hearing music through stand-up furniture stereos and/or composite units (mine was a Craig tt, receiver, 8-track). Then, one day I saw and listened to my cousin’s Pioneer Spec amps (with equalizer and oscilloscope) supporting a Beogram 4004. He also had a Teac R2-D2, but it was the 4004 that had the ever-lasting magnetic effect. What piece of equipment got you?


Klipschorn speakers.  Stopped into a high end audio shop in Ft. Smith Ar. back in the '70s.  I have not been the same since.

My dad in 1968 was in the Air National Guard . He was called up for active duty and sent to Japan. He sent a complete Pioneer system home ,speakers ,receiver,Turntable and RTR. Thats all it took I was hooked for Life!

Listening to a friend's system in the summer of 1970: Kenwood integrated amp with meters, Thorens TD 125 (can't remember the cartridge) and Large Advents. Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland, It's a Beautiful Day, Procul Harum A Salty Dog were listened to with rapt attention! At home all I had was the family GE stereo console.

My other high school friend had a Pioneer receiver, Pioneer belt-drive TT and KLH Six speakers. Traffic John Barleycorn, Buffalo Springfield, The Nice Five Bridges, Pink Floyd Ummagumma sounded wonderful! I wished I had a similar system at home! 

This has to be a classic Marantz Model One (?)… the one with the oscilloscope. 

mid 60's went with my father to pick up Fisher 500C receiver, AR 2Ax speakers and Dual 1019 turntable...still have the turntable, been meaning to get it refurbished - any suggestions on refurb place for the Dual ? Thanks

My first "music player" was a Tiny Tim crystal radio (around 1959).

In 1960 (neighbor's Halloween party) I listened to a single Klipsch K-Horn, Garrard or Thorens TT (unknown amp/preamp) and it blew away the Tiny Tim (my jaw dropped to the floor).

A few years later (Christmas party @ the same neighbor) there were 2 K-Horns, Marantz amp/preamp and what looked to be the same TT (sounded about the same as the mono system to me).

A few years after that my father purchased a used Magnavox tube stereo console for our living room (nice looking/sounding blonde wood unit).



In the 70's our family had one of those huge RCA stereo console TV's. As a kid it seemed to be 10' long and weigh 1,000 pounds. Way better than a pocket radio!

Late 60s went to a concert at the Stock Yards in Chicago. I was overwhelmed by the speaker system. They were JBL horns, etc. I wrote a letter to JBL asking what the system was. I actually got a return letter! They guessed what the system was based on my description. I have been a JBL fan ever since. Bought a pair of JBL Dorian S12 speakers from Allied Electronics on south Western Ave. I still have them!

Back when I was about 12 years old, the Thorens TT my dad had installed in an antique wooden portapotty type of furniture. For real. 

Lots of guys coming home from " The Nam " in late 60s, early 70s. They shipped home some nice stuff. Hearing that sealed the deal.

Good question man. My dad had a pioneer setup when I was young. He then moved to Onkyo that’s still being used to this day. My best friends dad had a classe setup with paradigm studio 100s. I think that’s what really did it for me. 

Pop’s dual KLH-9 set up powered by ARC D-70s with an SP3a front end and Thorens TT. Sitting in the sweet spot was like wearing room sized headphones.

Happy listening. 

 A farm kid in my High school class blew his entire farvest pay on a McIntosh stack, Bose 901s, Thoens TD-160 and Shure V-15 Type 3. That was my introduction to HiFi and Pink Floyd. Later, A much smaller rig with AR-4s, AR-XB w/Shure M91ED and a Sansui Integrated in a small apartment introduced me to Missippi John Hurt, speaker placement and stereo imaging. I went for a Marantz 1060, Large Advents, a Pioneer PLA-35 belt-drive automatic and my splurge - a B&O SP-12 cartridge. The table rumbled a bit, but the arm handled the SP-12 just fine, and allowed me to let roommates and girlfriends play records.

Around 1965 Russel Cohen would invite me over for dinner. His mom was a great cook and his father had a thing for McIntosh. I have no idea what his full system consisted of but I sure remember the sound. I believe he had a Garrard changer and McIntosh Mx-110 and McIntosh tube amplifier.

In the late 70s I had a friend who's father was in the Marine Corps, and was stationed overseas for two years. When he came home, he had a full system of Sansui and Pioneer electronics and some killer Yamaha speakers that I think were NS???? Played the grooves off of so much southern rock, Eagles, Stones, CSN, etc.

When I got my first real job, bought an amazing pair of Infinity Kappa 9 speakers and a lightly used Pioneer SX-???? Still have the Kappas, they need to be have the crossovers redone, and the cones refoamed.....which I will do next year

It was about 1976/1977, I went with my Dad to the local stereo store.   Dad was buying Cerwin Vega speakers, Girard Turntable, and a Sylvania receiver.   The next room over was playing Dave Grusin, Three Cowboy Songs and it was magical.   I don’t know/remember the electronics, but the speakers were Dahlquist DQ10.   It was a whole ‘nother dimension.   I’d never heard anything quite like that.   I was totally ruined by that experience.   And the pursuit began…

Music and electronics when I was around 8 years old.  1962ish. My dad found out that we could help Salvation Army Thrift take apart big donated furniture stereo tv consoles for $5.00.  Speakers, turntables, AM FM radios, amplifiers.  I experimented and built a lot.  Looking back, woodworking lacked very much. 

Come high school. Frequented our big audio store here.  Drool and dream.  That is where I met a Paragon speaker.  Lafayette Electronics came with Altec and Yamaha.  Of course, their Criterion gear.  Part time work brought me a Kenwood receiver, Criterion speakers, Garrard turntable.

Graduated.  1974 full time job.  Slowly upgrading.  One day I dropped into a small brick mortar tv repair shop and stereo.  I got to know the owner and salespeople. One of the salespeople was into this thing call High End.  Underground.  By appointment only cult.  Yup.  I've been screwed up ever since.

1965-1966. My mother worked as Quality Supervisor at Columbia Records’ Santa Maria CA plant. My dad built a mahogany cabinet to house his HH Scott tube and SS receivers, Lab 80 turntable, powering AR-2ax speakers. In 1966 he traded the ARs for Wharfdale W70C speakers. I’ve been hooked ever since.

In 1979 I took an Audio Physics course (all physics principles taught through the lens of a stereo system). I was hooked. Went out and purchased (my first credit purchase) a 40 Watt Luxman Receiver, a Phillips 777 Turntable with an ATN14 Shibata Stylus (still have the turntable saved for my son’s system), 3D Acoustics Satellites (still sounding great in my HT system with 5 B&W speakers and a sub) with a passive subwoofer which was replaced the next year with a custom subwoofer from Harms Labs (Steve is still building speakers in Old Town Fort Collins), and a Sony cassette deck (wanted a Nakamichi but it was too expensive). Every few years the the systems evolve. Sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much. The hobby has provided over 40 years of enjoyment and sometimes frustration. Love it!

My dad had a Mac 275, Mac pre, Thorens TT and Tanny horns. My Mom worked in a reccord store. You can guess the rest.


Hi! My name is Jerry, and I’m an audiophiliac... many steps are there in this damn program anyway...? ;)

Wayback mechanism just coughed up this....

Mid-teens, got the amateur radio/shortwave lurking bug, hung awhile with the ’ham across the street’ (literally), fascinated by his adept use of a ’lightning bug’ morse key for long distance QRLs’ and the occasional voice contacts....

Spent likely too much time at Scotts’ perusing their stock of used shortwave stuff, which led to listening too much to their audio items.....early Infinity, Marantz with the lissajous tuning tube, JBLs, and items of the era. Older bro’ had his HK integrated and Sony R2R, stuffing odd items into his ’56 Chev (...early ’spring delay’ unit that’d give off a loud ’n long "Boiiinnnnngg" when hitting a bump), an auto LP player that worked fine for the first few plays....then began to regroove the disc...8 track cassettes that’d spaghetti after awhile...

Spent hours at PacStereo stores, getting confused with the staff ( "Do you work here?"  No, but what do you want to listen to? *S*); tolerated because I suspect I 'moved product' just f'n around....and didn't ask for %age...

’Got serious’ after I left home ’74~’75ish, moved to the Bay Area to complete the damage I’d already had a serious start at...

The rest isn’t over, mostly hysterical in betwixt....

Next; what's your name and what's wrong with your 'deformative years'?  😏

Grew up in Hong Kong, my dad had a Sansui stack with three way bookshelf speakers. My first 'system' was a Wal-Mart surround sound for $80 bucks.


Didn't get serious until bonding with my fiancé's dad around music and got me down the rabbit hole. 

As a teen, I installed car audio at Soundquest in El Paso. Between cars I would sneak into the listening rooms and check out the Wilson Audio or B&W gear. It was the Meridians that blew me away. For music they were awesome, but with home theater they were shockingly good. The piano lacquer, incredible bass and built in tech impressed the Hell out of me. Then I heard a pair of 7-foot tall Maggies (I could be wrong about the height; I was a teen) and that was it. I had wanted a pair of Maggies my entire adult life, and last November at 48 years old, I got my first (but not last) pair.  

My college roommate from the 1970s had a tremendous system. What I remember most is the real to reel tape, a. TEAC. Amazing component. I think he had a pioneer receiver, and KLH speakers. 
pretty sure his system was worth more than the trailer we lived in. You could hear the guitar pic sliding across the strings. I couldn't exactly get that sound out of my cheap eight track.

My dad had a stereo in the living room of our home. It was an XAM receiver and speakers from Korvettes with a Gerard TT. Loved playing his 33s and 45s in it. I was hooked after that. I was 5 yrs old. 

An interesting question that didn’t create a single argument. Sincere congratulations. 

In collage I was first exposed to at first mid Fi but what really grabbed my interest was when a friend got a job with real high end place.  He let us come over a few times and bring our favorite albums.  I still rember the McIntosh amps arrayed on rows of racks with those meters glowing.  I was hooked but it was a couple of decades before I could afford moving up from mid Fi. 

Klipschorn powered by McIntosh tube monoblocks controlled by McIntosh tube preamp. LinnSondek TT playing the beatles. I don't remember the model numbers. First rig I bought included B&K ST140 and Pro-5 pre (I still own both), Mirage M760 speakers (still own those too), Dual TT, a Denon CD player (still own), and a NAD 6300 series cassette deck which I sold a few months back to a friend.

Today I have several power amps, preamps, speakers, etc.

Marantz 2230 that I received as a 16TH Birthday gift from my parents in 1975.  

Been in this hobby ever since and have loved every minute of it! 😊

It was in the mid 60's that I bought a kit amplifier. I do not remember the name but I also bought a turntable from them and speakers. All to play a Ventures album.

I had the same Craig "all-in-one" or similar to the OP's.  TT, 8-track, and tuner.  My parents got it for me when I was 14.  It lasted through college where I was exposed to real gear.  Had a few ex-GI buddies that brought back killer systems from the mid-late 70s.

Before that, I had a steel needle POS but it played records.  Good enough for a 5-year old...

My folks had a TV "console" unit with a TT and tuner, and a stand-alone "record player".

My first bonus check in 1981 went for a Technics receiver and linear tracker paired with EPI speakers.  I was surprised the cartridge and stylus cost as much as the TT.  I still have the receiver, TT and that Stanton cartridge still sounds good.



In the Summer of 1964 my mom and I did a National Parks tour for my Bar Mitzvah (in lieu of a catered affair). While We soaked up Yellowstone the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, my older brother was building a Dynakit PAS3, FM3, and ST70. After my return he took me to a McIntosh dealer in Ridgewood, NJ to shop for speakers. We chose KLH 17s. When hooked up to a Garrard changer with I don’t know what cartridge, that was my intro to HiFi. When I was able, I got myself an SCA 80 kit, a pair of A25s and a Dual 1209…1970.

What opened my ears wider was hearing Rectilinear 3s, IMF Monitors and Quad ESLs in the next few years.

A mismatched pair of Bozak B302A’s that my Dad built at different times ( added the second when stereo came to be) powered by a Dynaco electronics & cables he built & modified, a Fairchild 15” turntable( he worked for Fairchild) w/ a Wooden Pritchard arm all in the 60’s & later replaced by an Elac  Miracord 770H table / arm & a Shure  V - 15 type II in the early 70’s..

Then, when my Dad took off & I accumulated some cash “ distributing “ things that have recently been made ok to do…. I purchased my own system  for my 10’ x  12’ bedroom: first single pair  then stacked Advents, Pioneer 1010 receiver, BIC 960 table / arm ( mistake - sounded ok but poorly built) w/ a Stanton 681 EEE cartridge.  I treated the walls w/ large, heavy Karastan wool carpet samples my best friend got for me from his father’s variety store..

Like many here, I’ve been on an upgrade spiral ever since for 50 years….

I found out that my kit amplifier was a Knight Kit. I actually found one for sale on eBay. It was sure fun building it back in the day. 

Like all of you, music is what got me interested in audio gear, broadly speaking. When I was 23 (~1979), I went to a local audio store in Richmond, VA and heard an Audio Research preamp SP-?, Audio Research amplifier, Magneplanar (probably the 2.5’s) and a moving coil cartridge (what the heck is that?). I was thunderstruck. 

in 1967 I was 5 years old- Dad took an old portable radio and made it a PA box for me- 2 D cell batteries a carbon microphone from a telephone handset. My first rig!

I was hooked. Soon after that I "took apart" desktop tube radios trying to make something. I failed :) but it was fun.  I somehow found an old Harman Kardon Recital II mono Receiver which played CKLW- the Canadian  AM rock station across the river. I was totally fascinated by this whole gear/music/interactive thing, That never changed. 

By 1978 I had a Marantz 2215B (15 rockin' watts!) BIC Venturi speakers and a BIC turntable to spin my Bob Seger record (singular not plural- as in only 1 LP) all bought with my Detroit News paper route money. 

Then it really happened: Absolute Sound in Birmingham MI had a D79 amp by Audio Research playing a set of Timpani Maggies. I thought I died and went to heaven. Not long later I had a set of MG-1s (first song on them was Jackson Browne Stay A Little Bit Longer) and the better gear followed as time went by.  

I've stayed loyal to ARC mostly because of nostalgia.

I love music but to be honest I like fooling around with gear better. To me music is there to test and prove gear. Sacrilege!   You can tell I'm not a musician LOL!!!

Had to wrap some duct tape around my skull this morning to keep my head from exploding. So many woofers. So little time.

This complex journey can needs to be broken down into incremental steps, discoveries, and bone-jarring (literally) experiences.

1955ish. Admiral split chassis, 12" 4-way dual mono console stereo.

My dad probably walked into an appliance store and asked for the best thing they had. One day, my dad decided to see how many houses away we could get and still hear the stereo. If memory serves me right, the number was 7. Years later, when the parents were gone, I’ll put on Ina Gadda da Vida, turn up the bass and volume to 11 and feel the bass on the wooden floor.

First "Hifi" experience: KHL Model 20

A friend picked up one of these from David Beatty’s in Kansas City. At first glance I thought it was a cutesy little system that couldn’t hold a candle to my dad’s system. Then, he played Sgt Pepper. I heard a sweetness, clarity and intimacy that was missing from by dad’s big Admiral.

First "High End" system: Mac stack/AMT1a

I was loitering around Davy Beatty Stereo and was invited to hear the newest thing. The salesman cued up Blood Sweat and Tears and turned up the volume. I just remembered how "clear" it was. Later I would be able to describe what I heard as extended dynamic range compared to the KLH with more detail and space.

First "Scare the ever loving *%$# out of me" System:

David Beatty engineered and installed a JBL pro system inwall. They called it. appropriately enough, "The Wall of Sound". Here I was, in the store, minding my own business, when they put on Lincoln Mayorga’s cover of Peace Train. The salesman took it easy on me in the beginning and incremently cranked up the volume. When the kettle drums(?) hit towards the end, I felt a shock wave hit my chest that startled me and shook me to the core. I just wasn’t "right" for a few minutes after that.

Years later, I got into the audio business myself. Designing and installing Disco systems and supporting them on site, surrounded by alcohol induced, hormone explosive young adults exhibiting poor judgement.  This experience truly qualifies in a class of its own.


My uncle built a couple of Singer(?) mono amps. I started with a red and white record player in a box.  Years later it was my turn to build. It started with the Hafler kits and then came being in a huge local record store that was playing DSOTM and I heard those footsteps walking across the store.  Then building the Dynaco, Stereo 400. Speakers started with homemade, then ADS 400 speakers with a Velodyne sub, Bozak B’s, Duhlquist DQ-10’s, Acoustat Model X’s,  a bunch of subwoofers I built,

And this was the seventies and eighties.

At 4 or 5 years old my father singing to me some ave maria stella, i remember it till today ...😊


The radio listening at noon of folklore and small traditional chorus music which gave me for the rest of my life the taste for choral music...i was 5=6=7 years old...


A cheap small radio working with battery in 1964... I used it in the evening beginning of night under my blanket instead of sleeping ... I even remember Paul Anka song and few others that strike me at first... I was 13 years old...

After that a Bach concerto in the music course...

After that a friend who owned a true stereo system with big  Tannoy ... classical music...I bought my first Tannoy pair... They last  more than 40 years before i sold them because of their size and my desire to go back smaller... It takes me 9 years to reach a good audiophile level after this move...

As all people around me  at 15 or 16 years old i was liking the Cream , the Beatles and the Papas and the Mammas, especially for me because of the blending voices, but i stayed mostly  in chorus music and Bach listening mainly ... Some french poet singers too till this day Leo Ferré and Georges Brassens with Bob Dylan and Joan Baez  and Cohen .........

My life changed when i discovered Bruckner at thirty and Scriabin at forty and Jazz after ...

All my life in one page....

The gear was important only for the music listening never the reverse... Now i am done with audio... I succeeded creating at very low cost a system with no apparent acoustic defects..... Under 1000 bucks it is very hard if you are difficult about sound quality as i am... It takes me hard work...


During my grade school days, my grandad had one of those console stereo units, with everything built-in.  Dad always had a nice Bogen receiver and a Garrard TT that I was allowed to use, along with my little 45 record player (for all those new Beatles releases). In high school, I had a cheapy all-in-one Symphonic unit that I loved to play albums on. I made constant trips to downtown Lexington’s Barney Miller’s tv/radio/record store to ogle the latest Marantz, McIntosh (and other) gear. Then, there was the local Fed. Employees store for the latest Pioneer, Sansui,(and other popular brands of the day) until I saved enough money to buy my first Marantz 2230. That 2230 was traded-in after college for a Phase Linear 400 Series II system, JVC QL-Y5F w/Grace F9E cart, and a pair of Marantz DS 940 tower speakers. When surround sound/home theaters and big screen tvs were all the rage, I set all the silver face stuff aside for decades. At this point in life, I enjoy searching and collecting alot of those old silver-faced gems from yesteryear that I could never afford when new. Ahhh....."old days, good times, I remember." :)