1st, most memorable recording...

In your introduction to high end audio, is their a rock song, ballad, jazz piece, etc. that really knocked your socks off and prompted you to get into the hobby?

In 1990, a buddy had me over to listen to his rig consisting of, merlin sig. 4`s, tandburg amp/pre and denon cdp.

The first piece he played was "Bolero" by the Philadelphia Orchestra. That particular arrangement, on that particular system blew me away and was my introduction into high end audio.

It`s still one of my favorite pieces.

Just wondering if any of you have had a similar experience.
Genesis' "Trick of the Tail" on vinyl opened my ears to what was possible on a stereo. The ASO's "Firebird Suite" on Telarc was the next revelation.
Jimmy Hendrix " Purple Haze " !
I don't think it was a single music piece that caused me to get into the hobby (I grew up a geek, my dad owned a TV/Audio shop and we always had music in the house, and I would spend Saturday at the shop), but there was one or a few pieces that made me realize what hi fi was really about (ie what a system could do for the music).

Among the few are 1) George Benson - "White Rabbit"; 2) Genesis - "Lamb Lies Down . . "; 3) Camel - "Mirage"; 4) The Pentangle "Sweet Child"

This was in ~ '74, and these were all on vinyl.
Bd, White Rabbit is a fantastic album; I listened to it last night. Before George Benson thought that he could sing, he seemed the heir apparent to the guitar legacy of Wes Montgomery. In fact he pays homage to Montgomery on the White Rabbit album, by covering "California Dreamin'", one of Wes' late period signature tunes. Jay Berliner's acoustic guitar work and Herbie Hancock's piano are just two bright spots in this marvelous band. Oh yeah, Rudy Van Gelder recorded and mastered the album, I believe.
meet the beatles through jbl's and fisher
My progress was slow...loud, lots of bass got me by for the first 10 years or so.


Comboy Junkies "The Trinity Session" was truly a gem of the highest quality for me...holds true to this day!

The first was American Beauty by The Grateful Dead. The second was Pictures at an Exhibition by ELP which really opened me my ears to classical music.
Van Morrison's "Moondance", in the mid 1980's on a friends LP-12 late at night with the lights out, probably under the influence.
Years ago, I was at a friend's house for a party, and I heard a live version of "Dead Man's Party", by Oingo Boingo come trumpeting out of his speakers like the bulls at Pamplona. Until that moment, I hadn't much cared for Oingo Boingo. But in an instant, I realized that if I were to put together a quality audio system, I would have to revisit all of the bands that up until then I was certain I didn't like. It was a cosmic shift in perspective.
Boa2, so when are you going to put one together? All those Plasmatics, Ah Ha and Duran Duran LPs must really be pileing up.

Plasmatics?? My brother got into a fight with Wendy O', well she wasn't happy about him asking her about her prior 'film star' experience.... Haven't heard their name in ~20 years....

As for the thread, I ever heard a system that just got me into it, I have always been into music, and am kind of a techno-geek, I actually bought my first 'true' high end system from the want ads...

It consisted of

Aragon 4004 Mk II
Aragon 24K pre
Proceed PCD 2
B&W (original) 802 matrix (look like the 803's)

System was raspy as hell, but otherwise did well.... Well, many years and god only knows (as I don't want to figure it out) how much money later I am reall happy with my system!!

Sorry to stray......
My buddy's dad had a rig that consisted of AR 3as, Empire belt driven turntable, and a Fisher receiver. He played Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfundkel. Did it for me, back in the 60s. I was hooked.
When I was in high school I visited a local high end shop and they put on the MFSL version of the Greatful Dead American Beauty. The first song was Ripple over a M & K satellite/subwoofer system and I was like "Wow"! From that moment on I've been chasing that magic
Billy Cobham 'Spectrum' LP on homemade Electrovoice horn speakers at very loud volumes....
I had a music teacher in grade school...I think this was around 69' - who brought in her copy of "Tommy" by The Who. That and Sgt. Pepper opened up my ears to music, and are probably both the most memorable experiences as far as music. Neither were played on any special rigs..in fact both were quite ordinary and inexpensive...it was the music itself that moved me. If we're talking audiophool cherry-poppin', that'd have to be hearing my friend's modest system of Quad 57's with Audbile Illusions pre and a rebuilt Dynaco 70. The combination was very pipe and slippers and drew me in like a cozy fire I didn't want to go away from. Funny, I can't really recall what he played for me that first time...it was a classical piece, I do remember that, but it really wasn't the music there, but the experience of the system and the kind of presence the music had.

Chris Rea album "Road To Hell" I love all songs from this album and the way they're recorded.
Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi through Grado RS-1's at the local Hi-Fi Centre.
Boa2, so when are you going to put one together? All those Plasmatics, Ah Ha and Duran Duran LPs must really be pileing up.
You know, Viridian, we first put together a nice system almost three years ago, of which two years was spent weaning my wife off Duran Duran & Gene Loves Jezebel. So, let's keep things moving in this positive direction, shall we? Frankly, Mr. LeBon doesn't sound any more palatable on a revealing audio system.
Heard Elton John's "Hercules," off the Mo-Fi edition of "Honky Chateau," on a system at Sound by Singer about 18 years ago. That's when I first realized what I'd been missing all those years. It took me a few years after to afford what I heard at Singer, but by then I was hopelessly hooked.
DCC's remaster LP of Phoebe Snow
In 1967 my Dad had a Laffayette(sp?) integrated amp, Fisher tuner, Sony r2r and a Garrard turntable with Heathkit speakers he built himself. When my folks were out of the house I ruled the system. I don't know about the system but when I put on a recently purchased(1967) sound track called Casino Royale I realised that not all LPs were created equal. That LP blew me away with it's crisp sound. The journey had begun...
45 of Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini when I was 5. My grandparents also gave me their multi 45 copy of Ravel's Mother Goose Suite. The Pavane section scared the crap out of me. That theme still haunts me to this day. Oh the above heard at that time in 1963 on my grandfather's heathkit pre amp into a 10 watt monoblock tube amp into a large Wharfdale cabinet that had a 15, a 12 a 10 and several tweeters firing upwards. State of the art mono set up for the time.
Absolutely no problem with this question...'Hotel California' played on the old Koss electrostatics (speakers, that is) and custom amplification by Roger Modjeski, who was working at the store as a tech at the time. Naturally, they also had one of the very first pair of Beveridges as well!

"Beveridges"....YUM, YUM!

Back in the 80's, the turning point for me becoming an audiophile was hearing Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" from his "Born in the USA" album through a friend's powerful system with Klipschorns. I was floored, and still remember it to this day.
Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" from his "Born in the USA" album through a friend's powerful system with Klipschorns. I was floored, and still remember it to this day.
1markr (System | Threads | Answers)
I can imagine that would have been an impressive experience.
Grateful Dead
Europe 72 - China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider.
Grateful Dead - Not Fade Away/Goin Down The Road Feelin Bad.

Sherwood 100w receiver (still have, doesn't work)
Beyer Dynamics headphones (still have, don't work)
EV Interphase A speakers (still have, don't work)
Nearfield listening position (about 3' triangle).

My brother in law used to play it through his Bose PA (the angled one, with several (9-12) 3-4" speakers in a small cabinet) and bass cabinets from his band with the PA amplifiers, in about a 500 sq. ft. room.

Still have the original albums, but can't quite recreate the experience.

Jim S.
This thread was fun for me, not only reminiscing about my start in upper-end audio but to hear other experiences as well.

I forgot to mention that I bought my buddies system when he moved out of state. Those big ol` merlin 3-way, 5 driver speakers are long gone but I have the tsm/mm`s on order. Merlin`s for me, man.

And of course, "Bolero" wasn`t "by" the Philadelphia orchestra as I misstaded, but performed by it. I listen to mostly jazz and old r&r but bolero is a kick-ass orchestral piece that everybody should play on their system and a must have imho. It`s on the EMI classics label.

Anybody else?
Probably Jazz at the Pawnshop for me.

CD's were still somewhat in their infancy, and most completely unacceptable to these ears.

1st heard this recording at an audio salon in Marin county, north of San Fran. Played on Eminent Technology speakers, the recording blew me away.

The Opus label also had some good stuff back then as well.
OOOh. Winter of 1991 -
I had worked in Music, Radio, and Film, and still had no idea there was such a thing as "High End Audio," just bigger and bigger speakers.

A friend took me to Overture Audio in Ann Arbor where I heard Rickie Lee Jones on an Aktiv Linn System. Explosive, energetic, *dangerous* sound, from 'little' speakers. Turned my head right around, I can tell you. Followed in quick succession by:
Tom Waits
Lyle Lovett
Miles Davis
Pink Floyd.
And I was done. Absolutely done. I wonder what would have become of me if that hadn't happened?
George Formby old 78 ..."When I go cleaning windows" and "Hang down your head Tom Dooley" (can't remember the artist). Lonnie Doneegan "My Old Man's a Dustman" was fun too!