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  • When did you become an audiophile?

    For me it was the mid-eighties when I decided I wanted to get more out of those record grooves than I was getting. I was doing a lot auditioning in those days and regularly attended the Salon Son & Image shows in Montreal. All of the gear was (even then) mostly out of my price range, but I loved what I was hearing and started to take small baby steps with some upgrades. I had already done pretty well with some lovely (now) vintage Japanese gear and it was certainly way above what most people had for a music playback system, but I wanted more.

    So one day I walked into a shop and saw a lovely Revolver Red turntable with a Grado 8MZ cartridge for $800 and thought...do it! So I did and walked out with it. I hooked it up to my Pioneer SA-9500II integrated amplifier and BIC Ventura Formula 4 speakers. Heaven! A few weeks later I upgraded the cartridge to a Shure V15 Type 3 and then visited another shop. I didn't really like the BIC's as the fuses kept blowing on them and it was pissing me off. They also had an open front baffle at the bottom which produced a lot of noise(hiss) and was irritating as hell. I knew I wanted a change. So I walk into this store, which was around the corner from where I worked, and saw a pair of Klipsch Heresy II Signature Edition 25th Anniversary speakers. They were beautifully finished in a gloss-black and had built-on slanted risers. Half an hour and $1,500 later I loaded them into my car.The wife wasn't overly pleased, but when I reminded her we just dropped $10K on a Thomasville Dining Room set this was but a small self-indulgence. She agreed.

    That night after hooking up the new speakers, and after dinner, I put on my fave record at the time and a smile came upon my face that has probably never been equalled since. I was in absolute heaven hearing Harmonium's l'heptade in it's full glory! I knew then I had taken the first steps into becoming an audiophile.

    And if I'm being totally honest I must say that despite the upgrades I've made, no system has ever given me as much pleasure as that first step into the audiophile world! My system today is so much better, but I still miss it!

    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

  • #2
    I think I was 3 years old and was living in Detroit, MI at the time. The only radio our family had was a cheap Zenith AM clock radio that sat on top of our coffee table. I spent lots of time listening to that radio as a child and when a song came on that I liked, i would always reach over and turn it up. One day I reached over with my grubby mitt to turn it up and I knocked the damn radio off the coffee table and onto the floor. When the radio crashed to the floor, it broke out a pie shaped wedge out of the top of the radio at the back side. This exposed the loop antenna which was wrapped on the back panel. When I reached for the radio to put it back on the coffee table, my right thumb went into the inside of the radio and was resting on the loop antenna. As soon as my thumb was pressing against the antenna, the radio became much louder. From then on when my favorite songs came on, I would stick my thumb inside and press against the antenna so I could jam a little louder. I've been a Johnny Jammer audiophile ever since.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

    Comment


    • #3
      When I was 10 or 12 i noticed good hi-fi but its my nature to gravitate to anything high-grade, esoteric or the "best" whatever that means. High End audio/audiophilia would have found me eventually...its nothing to be proud of, its a disease. In many ways I wish I was more of a simpleton and could be statisfied with mediocrity, it'd make life much easier.
      Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

      "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

      Comment


      • #4
        Early 90s for me. A friend of mine had a very nice system with M&K speakers. The sound made my jaw drop. I was always into music, but this took it to a whole new level for me. So began the search, both budget and gear. Probably bought my first real high end system mid 90s. Still have a few pieces purchased from back then.
        Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rob View Post
          When I was 10 or 12 i noticed good hi-fi but its my nature to gravitate to anything high-grade, esoteric or the "best" whatever that means. High End audio/audiophilia would have found me eventually...its nothing to be proud of, its a disease. In many ways I wish I was more of a simpleton and could be statisfied with mediocrity, it'd make life much easier.

          Rob, I find once a person appreciates the higher end of one thing (say food, wine, cars, art, audio), they begin to develop a taste for the other things as well. Read someone post on a forum somewhere, as he got older he found his appreciation for all things of beauty increased. I think I fall into that camp as well.
          Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

          Comment


          • #6
            1969 first job so I spent it on Music, Bikes, Booze and Girls best money I ever spent

            Comment


            • #7
              Mid-90s for me. I set up a home theater in my bedroom. I upgraded the speakers later and realized I was no longer watching movies. That got the ball rolling quick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Does so long I can't remember count?

                  Actually all my life. My father who was a sociopath taught me all the negativity necessary to be an audiophile. We never had a real audio system because nothing sounded like real music. We never had a color TV set because it didn't look life-like. I yearned to to play an instrument in grade school but he forbade that too. Luckily I have a wonderful wife who knew the story and got me started playing a musical instrument many decades later and I love it! You are never too old to start exercising and you're never too old to start playing a musical instrument!!!

                  But my parents always listened to the Sunday live opera radio broadcast so music was always in the house. I bought some records at the local department store and brought them home to play on the crappy, console mono 25 gm cartridge. Ughhh...

                  I really got into audio in college because one of my fencing team mates worked part time in Tech Hi-Fi (how many remember that store?) and another sold used audio equipment to earn spending money. In fact, my friend who used to sell equipment and I got together after a 30 or 40 year (?) gap last summer (?) and lo and behold, found out he was deeply into audio and owned some KLH 7 electrostatics. In fact, he was looking for some spare parts for his speakers and I was able to hook him up with another friend who uses tripled up KLH7s (Ki knows whom I'm referring to!). My other team mate used to bring stuff home from Tech Hi-Fi to his dorm room to listen to. Nothing spectacular mind you, just some Japanese integrated amps, Dual turntable and Ohm C2 speakers. But it was a start. The other artificial aids back then made up for any problems back then. After all, it was the '70s. I graduated college and my first audio system was a Dual 1009 turntable (some long forgotten cartridge), a Sansui 6060 receiver and a pair of Ohm D2s (I liked them better than the C2 because the former speakers weren't as bright sounding.)

                  But it was probably back in 1977/78 when I discovered The Absolute Sound while visiting Audio Exchange, a now long gone high-end audio store on 8th St. in the Greenwich Village, that marks my coming of age as an audiophile and my entrance into the insane world of high-end audio. And what a system to be deflowered by! Quad stats. ARC tube electronics. Linn turntable. Remember that scene in Pumping Iron where Arnold says getting a pump is better than having sex??? Yeah it was my first eargasm.

                  And then I got a wife and real high-end audio system in 1980. My first system was John Hillig's Musical Concepts modded Hafler 200, a Van Alstine modded Hafler 101 preamplier, a Rega 3/JVC 7045 arm/Grace F9E, a Nikko Gamma V tuner and Dahlquists DQ10s. All held together by Monster Cable.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                  -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                    I agree, very good thread. I especially liked Myles' audio autobiography - it stirred up lots of memories for me. I remember Tech Hi-fi from my undergraduate days in the late 70s. I was an electronics geek from my early teens and I used to frequent the local Lafayette radio to buy parts for various projects. But I didn't get into audio DIY until much later.
                    Before going to college I remember visiting the local stereo shop and wondering what stereo I would take to college. The local store was Hal's Stereo near Trenton, NJ and I remember lusting after the combination that they played, which was a Yamaha receiver that was Class A for the first few watts and some Klipsch speakers. I loved the sound of the bigger Klipsch (Cornwalls?) but couldn't afford even the cheaper Heresies. Perhaps that's why I'm still attracted to the sound of horn speakers with low power amps. I eventually made enough money to afford a Kenwood integrated amp and Large Advent speakers and a BIC turntable which I used for the last couple of years of college and the first few years of grad school. Grad school took me to the west coast where there were some great stores. The one that made the biggest impact on me was the Audible Difference in Palo Alto. They pushed Linn Sondek LP12 or Rega if you were on a tighter budget, Spendor BC1 speakers, and various electronics including Threshold if you could afford it or on a tighter budget the Apt Holman preamp. In hindsight, I wished I'd listened to them and bought a complete system from them. They had very good ears. Instead I wasted time buying individual pieces that sometimes worked well together but often didn't. I still have the Threshold gear that they sold me. My entry into the high end started when I got a real job in the mid-80s.
                    ---Gary
                    Last edited by GaryB; 02-22-2016, 10:50 PM.
                    Analog: Scheu + Immedia RPM tonearm + Koetsu Black + Pass Xono or Threshold FET 10pe
                    Amps: First Watt F7, HK Citation II
                    Pre-Amps: CJ Premier 14, Threshold FET 10e, DIY 417a with output transformer
                    Speakers: Horning Eufrodite, Reference 3A mm de capo
                    Tuners: Sansui TU9900, McIntosh MR78
                    Digital: i7 Server (Roon) + SSD, Sonore urendu + Mutec MC3+ USB + Berkeley Alpha Dac, Audiomeca Mephisto
                    Power: Audience AR12, Torus Tot, DIY filters

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GaryB View Post

                      I agree, very good thread. I especially liked Myles' audio autobiography - it stirred up lots of memories for me. I remember Tech Hi-fi from my undergraduate days in the late 70s. I was an electronics geek from my early teens and I used to frequent the local Lafayette radio to buy parts for various projects. But I didn't get into audio DIY until much later.
                      Before going to college I remember visiting the local stereo shop and wondering what stereo I would take to college. The local store was Hal's Stereo near Trenton, NJ and I remember lusting after the combination that they played, which was a Yamaha receiver that was Class A for the first few watts and some Klipsch speakers. I loved the sound of the bigger Klipsch (Cornwalls?) but couldn't afford even the cheaper Heresies. Perhaps that's why I'm still attracted to the sound of horn speakers with low power amps. I eventually made enough money to afford a Kenwood integrated amp and Large Advent speakers and a BIC turntable which I used for the last couple of years of college and the first few years of grad school. Grad school took me to the west coast where there were some great stores. The one that made the biggest impact on me was the Audio Difference in Palo Alto. They pushed Linn Sondek LP12 or Rega if you were on a tighter budget, Spendor BC1 speakers, and various electronics including Threshold if you could afford it or on a tighter budget the Apt Holman preamp. In hindsight, I wished I'd listened to them and bought a complete system from them. They had very good ears. Instead I wasted time buying individual pieces that sometimes worked well together but often didn't. I still have the Threshold gear that they sold me. My entry into the high end started when I got a real job in the mid-80s.
                      ---Gary
                      IIRC Hal's was a big VPI dealer in the day and set up a lot of turntables.

                      That was such a different time inNew York. So many audio stores and music shops back then! Do you remember Electronics Workshop in the Village down on 8th St.? They had a lot of exotic gear including the SAEC and Technics arms. Then American Audiophile had a store in Madison Ave. too. The owners Neil (RIP) and Mike had good ears and great gear too. Lyric, Sound by Singer, Innovative Audio, Stereo Exchange, Audio Exchange, Harvey's, Leonard's Radio (the Mac dealer), a place on 17th St whose name escapes me and sure a few others have forgotten about.

                      And more record stores than you could shake a stick at!

                      Such a great time to be an audiophile!
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can't pinpoint the exact moment but it was some time in the 80s. Like many my dad was an audiophile. Grew up listening to Peter and the Wolf, Pink Floyd and the train sounds LP. The epiphany came when I went off to college and realized that just throwing a receiver and some cheap speakers together wouldn't do. Was some time after that until I could act on my conversion though.
                        Tannoy Glenair, April Sound SET 50 monoblocks and LR phono, EMIA silver remote attenuator and Strain Gauge, Mono TT - AE 208 TT, Abis 1.2BCS arm Miyajima Premium BE, Stereo TT - Fairchild 750 Schroder Custom BA, Miyajima Kansui, Mac Mini w/ Roon, Bel Canto RefLink, Dac 3.5VB, Wadia 860x.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                          That was such a different time inNew York. So many audio stores and music shops back then! Do you remember Electronics Workshop in the Village down on 8th St.? They had a lot of exotic gear including the SAEC and Technics arms. Then American Audiophile had a store in Madison Ave. too. The owners Neil (RIP) and Mike had good ears and great gear too. Lyric, Sound by Singer, Innovative Audio, Stereo Exchange, Audio Exchange, Harvey's, Leonard's Radio (the Mac dealer), a place on 17th St whose name escapes me and sure a few others have forgotten about.
                          Great list of stores. I knew many but not all of them. As a kid, I used to love to go to lower Manhattan and visit all the surplus electronics stores on Canal St and then radio row which I think was torn down to build the World Trade Center. Back in the 80s and 90s I visited Lyric, Sound by Singer, Stereo Exchange, Audio Exchange, Harvey's among others. In the 90s there was even a funky little store called Fi that specialized in single ended amps. It was run by Don Garber who still makes amps under the Fi brand.
                          ---Gary
                          Analog: Scheu + Immedia RPM tonearm + Koetsu Black + Pass Xono or Threshold FET 10pe
                          Amps: First Watt F7, HK Citation II
                          Pre-Amps: CJ Premier 14, Threshold FET 10e, DIY 417a with output transformer
                          Speakers: Horning Eufrodite, Reference 3A mm de capo
                          Tuners: Sansui TU9900, McIntosh MR78
                          Digital: i7 Server (Roon) + SSD, Sonore urendu + Mutec MC3+ USB + Berkeley Alpha Dac, Audiomeca Mephisto
                          Power: Audience AR12, Torus Tot, DIY filters

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Summer of 1970 between freshman and sophomore years in college I used all my savings from odd jobs up to that point to buy an AR table with ADC XLM cartridge, Dyna PAS-3 and Stereo 70 and A-25 speakers. I already had a Wollensak tape deck. I guess I was trying to be an audiophile even before this or I wouldn't have blown my wad on this system, but I sure loved it.
                            Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod
                            Pass Labs INT60
                            Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s
                            REL S3
                            Daedalus/Wywires and Acoustic Zen cables
                            Torus IS5

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rbbert View Post
                              Summer of 1970 between freshman and sophomore years in college I used all my savings from odd jobs up to that point to buy an AR table with ADC XLM cartridge, Dyna PAS-3 and Stereo 70 and A-25 speakers. I already had a Wollensak tape deck. I guess I was trying to be an audiophile even before this or I wouldn't have blown my wad on this system, but I sure loved it.
                              Did that system make you a chic magnet?
                              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                              ________________________________________

                              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                              Comment

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