I've been here from the very beginning.
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I don't recall just having listings on this site, but I didn't use a computer for a long time either. Back in those days, Albert (albertporter), Norm (tbg), I and a lot of others used the Audiomart publication that predated Audiogon. Not nearly as easy to find things in, but I always looked forward to receiving it in the mail and going through it with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. Bought and sold a lot of gear through that publication.
I actually came to AudiogoN from the old newsgroup; rec.audio.marketplace and from Walt Bender's "Audio Mart" small paper publication that came out once a month or so. You had to know someone that was already a member to get a referral.
I'm pretty sure I was one of the first hundred or so to buy and sell on here. I wasn't on the forums at that point, but started posting a little later.
I've been a member here since 1997 but agon has my membership date as 2008.
I was posting before I became a member. Back then just a email address would get you going.
Back then there wasn't a whole lot of gear to choose from. Probably less than what's offered on Audio Asylum today.
The posts in the forum were instantaneous and very lightly moderated. Major flame wars ruled the day (analog vs digital etc) which caused the eventual heavy moderation.
Many of the old timers are now gone for good or contribute very infrequently.
The heaviest posters back then- sedond,cornfedboy,albertporter,unsound,musicdoc,treja,carl_eber, swampwalker,psychicanimal.
There were many others, but time has erased them from my memory.
The good old days!
Yes Brad, I also subscribed to Audio Mart and remembering waiting for that beautiful 3pt font pub to hit my mailbox. Back then it was the insiders access to all the gear traded in to most of the top dealers in the country at great prices.
I guess advertisers get more exposure on the 'gon nowadays, but I find the tirekickers, rude lowballers, non-response sellers, and buyers who commit on LPs then don't pay after clicking "buy" all make transactions more aggravating then ever lately.
Back when 'gon was a smaller community it seems that everyone appreciated as much and valued their reputations more than now.
We've all gotta have thick skin I guess...Cheers,
I was also a subscriber to Walt Bender’s AudioMart for a number of years, circa early 1990’s, and I made a number of purchases and sales that worked out very nicely. But while most of the membership was very nice to deal with, there were at least a few pretty rough characters as well. At least among those chasing rare and desirable collectibles such as early Marantz tube products, a few of which I sold there.
Also, I can recall an occasion when I received a less than pleasant letter from Walt admonishing me for pricing one such piece about 25% higher than what he thought it was worth. In my response I noted that it sold the first day, at my asking price.
And, some time before that, in my ignorance I had underpriced another such piece by about 25%, but of course I received no communication from him about that. Among the many callers I spoke to in response to that offering, at least one was particularly nasty and even threatening when I advised him that I would not renege on the deal I had made at my asking price with the person who called first, even when offered significantly more money.
Times and technologies change, but dealing with strangers is always a mixed bag regardless of the format.
I joined the site back in 98 or 99 too. I remember some really cool guys back then, somebody named Sean who knew a lot, a guy named Bill (?) who was great on the forums as well. I bought a lot of jazz LPs from a guy named Scott and I still listen to them. There were about 75 LPs all treated with First and Last and I love them! Hand picked and curated by Scott, who had Vandersteen 2c and sub.
Love these old war stories. Yes, I subscribed to the old Audio Mart circular too, and recall waiting for it with bated breath.
It came every two weeks, right?
Also, remember when there were for sale ads in the back of Stereophile, Audio, and other magazines? I recall placing some ads in those circulars myself.
I remember in the mid 80's stumbling on some little ad in the back of Audio magazine for a company called Reel to Real Designs. Talking with a budding manufacturer named Bill Duddleston, and his father, on the phone several times, and Bill mailing me out a huge packet of literature. The literature was the first time I was hearing names like Vandersteen, Apogee, etc., and for me, began the transition from midfi to hifi. At the time Bill was building speakers out of his garage, and I was running a pair of Altec Lansing 9's with a gulp, Denon receiver.
Bill has sinced changed his companies name to Legacy Audio, and gone on to have some pretty big success. No more tiny 2-3 line ads in the back of audio journals, full page ads now in the glossy rags.
Those were the days.........
Love these old war stories. Yes, I subscribed to the old Audio Mart circular too, and recall waiting for it with bated breath.Yes, IIRC it sometimes came every two weeks or so, and sometimes a little less frequently. My impression was that it was published whenever enough ads were accumulated to fill an issue.
I suspect that was the underlying reason for Walt's objection that I mentioned above to an ad having an asking price he felt was too high. He probably didn't want members initially asking too much and then making repeated submissions of the same ad at progressively lower asking prices, which would result in him having to publish more frequently, which would increase his publishing costs correspondingly.
I've been here since almost the beginning (June of 2000) and have learned tons of info and made some great buys. I've been steadily upgrading my system over these last years. Some great people have come and gone on here in that time and there are some great people still here! I still think its the best site to buy and sell equipment on.
@mofimadness - You have my vote for the best image on audiogon on your profile!
Like several others here, I joined Audiogon in 1999 and came every day to read ads and posts. I still come several times a day, addictive to say the least.
I’ve exchanged ideas with lots of people at this site, eventually we made a point of meeting each other face to face. Best early success was RMAF where we met for Mexican dinner and everyone wore a badge with their Audiogon member name.
Subsequently I’ve been invited to listen at members homes and many people came to my home where we shared food, drink and music.
There are lots of ideas and experimentation here, much more than any one person could accomplish on their own. I read a lot of it and most has value, especially after a few years when we understand each others likes and dislikes.
Last but equally important is the music. I can’t count the times I‘ve auditioned tracks at Amazon or YouTube after reading a recommendation at Audiogon. Lots of LPs and CDs in my library as a result.
October of 1999 for me. I remember learning a lot from others and the many interesting discussions about the technical merits of different design choices in the current gear of the day, as well as discussions about cable making, tweaks and room treatments, and the frequent humor throughout....not really so different from now. I do miss being able to communicate openly with other members by email because IMO that added to a sense of community. I also wonder what happened to Sean and, even though he mostly posted at that other site, I miss Bob Crump's humor.
In all that time, Audiogon has been, and remains, the best place to buy and sell audio gear. They have taken occasional criticism through the years, and they do not match everyone's own personal version of perfection, but nobody yet has consistently done it better.
sc53666 posts01-07-2016 8:46pmI joined the site back in 98 or 99 too. I remember some really cool guys back then, somebody named Sean who knew a lot, a guy named Bill (?) who was great on the forums as well. I bought a lot of jazz LPs from a guy named Scott and I still listen to them. There were about 75 LPs all treated with First and Last and I love them! Hand picked and curated by Scott, who had Vandersteen 2c and sub.
Yes, I also remember Sean, as well as great guys like TWL, Lugnut, Subaruguru, among others.
It was good to read Elizabeth's remarks about the LP's she bought from me -- glad you still enjoy them SC53. I first started posting to A-gon in the late 1990's and really miss the level of discussion we had back then. Not the old A-gon anymore...
P.S. I'm going to sell more of my LP collection later this spring. Drop me a note if you'd like to receive a list of titles.
I enjoyed Al's story about Walt Bender being upset with Al's (over) pricing a piece of equipment. I'm pretty sure the reason Walt was upset was because Walt had a (bitterly criticized!) reputation for cherry-picking the listings before he published them (and then re-listing them for a small profit ;-) And, I'm just guessing (sic), that Walt wanted Al's gear for himself, but for less money . . . .
In addition to Audio Mart, my living in LA gave me access to the Sunday Los Angeles Times classified section which usually carried a pretty respectable selection of audio gear. Stereophile's classified section was also a good resource for private party listings all over the country, until the internet made it obsolete.
Thanks, Neil (Nsgarch). That possibility hadn't occurred to me.
The item in question, btw, was a stereo pair of Marantz One preamps, which I had acquired locally for just slightly less than I sold them for. Wonderful sounding units, even though they were about 35 years old at the time, and in stock condition.