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Back To The Early Days Of High End Audio

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  • Back To The Early Days Of High End Audio

    A throwback to a period where many of us were so much younger and had more hair. (And a year before my first review appeared in TAS! 😊) There was an enthusiasm for this then young hobby that permeated everyone’s pores. The excitement could be measured on a SPL meter. And Dan had some of the few amps in the day that could drive Jason’s Apogee speakers.
    Author's Note: It was January 1986. I flew from London to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, following which I drove to Santa Fe, NM with Stereophile's then-owner/publisher Larry Archibald to talk about my leaving British magazine Hi-Fi News & Record Review magazine to join Stereophile. After discussing my future role at the magazine, I flew to Chicago to discuss an alternative idea, starting my own audio magazine, with a potential investor.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

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  • #2
    I like the fact that they played some of Moondog's music.


    • #3
      That's a great retrospect. L1011s have long been retired for passenger use, they were so common back then as were 727s. It was also a seminal time for Atkinson, joining Stereophile the same year. I was a junior in college In '86 and seriously thinking about making this industry my career, occasionally It still crosses my mind...The Krell/Apogee system in the article was an apogee in audio payback, there were few systems more exotic in the middle 80s--active tri amplification to boot. I eventually had Apogees and Krells at the start of the '90s, in hindsight it really felt like an accomplishment. Nowadays those feelings are fleeting and seem infrequent.
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      • #4
        Scary how I remember that article almost word for word. Growing up in a sanction ridden former British colony ,a kid's only exposure was the British audio mags. When first Ken Kessler then JA opened the door on what became The High End it was like an Oz journey.

        I have said it before but John Atkinson will be remembered for being an editor and for measurements but of all the reviews over all the years his Hi Fi News ones for the ARC SP 10, Krell KSA 50 and KEF 107 will always stick in my mind along with a few of HP's .


        • #5
          By 1986, I was pretty hooked into high end audio. I was my daughter's age now (41) and had a pair of Acoustat 2+2's, ARC SP6B preamp and Classic 60 amp (which I bought used) and SOTA Star Sapphire TT. Absolute Sound got me going on seriously collecting vinyl and I read both TAS and Stereophile whenever they were published. Don't know whether my college classmate Larry Archibald had taken over publishing Stereophile by that time.

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          • #6
            That was a fun read!
            It seems not so much of an audio component review as it is just one adventure in the life of John Atkinson. Imagine being plied by D'Agostino and wife with wine and booze (the good stuff, by the way), then Steak and chocolate cake, then listening to cutting edge high-end gear of that era. Clearly there are benefits associated with being a reviewer for a prominent audio mag back then as I suppose it is to this day. (And with Mr. Atkinson on the verge of making a career change that history tells us worked well for him.)

            This article had me reaching for my copy of "Waiting For Columbus" just to get some insight into the experience. And while my copy is on WB and not MOFI, the recording is good and I can see how at 115db this could be truly momentous. The dynamic swing from a mere barely discernible whisper into wall-pounding sound pressure courtesy of Little Feat.
            Dan's turntable; a Goldmund Studio with Koetsu Red Signature. The Apogee Duettas multi-amped by a pair of KMA-100 for the mid/treble ribbons and another pair of KMA-200 for the bass panels. Yeah-Gimme some of that!

            'Don't have the Moondog album but I might be able to dig up some Robert Palmer.

            Cool reminiscent stuff for an old dude such as me. More please...
            webmaster at The Analog Dept.
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