Decisive moments your your audio journey

Have you had any truly decisive moments in your time in this hobby? 

I would have to point back to the first time I ever heard Magnepans, it was a “whoa what was that moment?” moment. That was in the 1980’s. It was the first time I ever truly heard reproduced music that got the midrange right, without it being squished 


When I was a very young (many many moons ago) I listened to a GE Trimline portable record player with my head positioned between the removable speakers (like headphones).  It was then I decided to one day get a high end audio system.

6 years ago, when I started shopping for my bucket list audio system, a pair of GoldenEar speakers introduced me to “3D soundstage” which I didn’t know existed.

First time was hearing Dave Brubeck Take Five on a 45 RPM on my cousin's mono 45 record machine, around 1958.   Second time was hearing big band and other good music on a real stereo.  I think that was around 1962.  The next time was hearing Dahlquist's DQ-10 with two Dahlquist subwoofers at Jerry's Audio in Phoenix.   I was way deep down the rabbit hole by then.  

Duh! It wasn't Tech Hi Fi where I heard the B&W 801s, it was an independent store called Hi Fi Haven.

Purchasing a s/hand Esoteric Audio Research 802 pre-amplifier started me on the valve path. Inserted into my system which at the time was a Marantz 72SE CDP with variable output, into a Quad 405 and then Dynaudio Finale kitset speakers.

The 802 tightened the bass, improved imaging and detail, put more presence around elements of the music, and overall sounded closer to the real thing.

The biggest revelation was the impact of the pre-amp vs connecting the power amp directly to the CDP. 

I ended up selling the 802 many years later for more than I paid for it.

RIP Tim de Paravicini - what a genius.