How, all this obsession started

I remember in 70's, back in Yugoslavia, collecting the "catalogs" Technics, Tannoy McIntosh...i "knew" about belt drive t-table, being sonicaly "superior" to direct drive, i "knew" that "Revox" was the best reel-to-reel, Nacamichi best casset deck, and Thorens "best" turntable. Even i never had to chance to acctualy see it, never mind listened. never. Remembre the old "Grunding" "quadrofonic" reciever, that our family friend had it (after years of working in Germany)and listening for the first time "The Dark side of the moon". Than me "bulding" big boxes and mounting "low" quality car speakers inside them, than all hookin-it up with the lamp cord and "phono" jack, into the headphones output (mono of course)of the Radio-cassete deck. i had chance to "finally' hear what is "all" about. The "New Year" 79-80, my brothers friend invited us to the party...and he had "classic" Marantz reciever (brand new)Technic's T-table and Wharfadale -70 speakers! WoW! I was blown away! Only when i moved to US, six years later i was able to seriously consider buying my first Hi-Fi system! And i did, in 1987 went to the best stereo shop in Las Vegas (the upper-ear) and bought me a NAD separates, and Klipch heresy II speakers! Well, my first "ex" took care of that after the divorce. However i still have a Nad cassete deck i was able to "save".
Though both came long after my love affair with music began, two events were key in nurturing my interest in "proper equipment". The first was taking a job selling stereo equipment. Talk about a kid in a candy store. It was here that I first learned just how important properly matched equipment is in the reproduction of music. The second came on the heels of hard times. Jobless and lacking any prospects, a friend allowed me to move into the recording studio he and his brother owned. Full access to not only superb equipment (tonight I'll listen to these monitors and that amp...), but also a very extensive album collection, all at my disposal. For some reason being unemployed at that time didn't depress me in the least!
I won my first stereo in a sales contest, the paperboy who signed up the most new subscribers for a local newspaper. One of those real cheesy $100 systems, but at the age of 8, I liked it. I used to go record shopping every Saturday, and one day wandered by a high-end stereo store. I was curious what this stuff was all about, 12 year old kids can be inquisitive. This place had affordable audio, NAD and Mission gear as well as more lofty gear. The people in this small audio specialty store took the time to walk me through some of the basics, and let me cue up some of my own records I had just bought. I listened to a NAD3020, Mission speakers, and Thorens TD147 turntable. I was smitten by the sheer musicality and how much I enjoyed the sound coming from this budget set-up. Compared to my friend's Akai receiver and Ohm speakers, this system was incredible, for about the same money. For the next three months I cut lawns, painted houses, did whatever I could to make the money required to buy this newly found killer rig. That three month period was tough, I learned to really hate the rack system I won and used daily in my bedroomm, and still dropped into the audio store to gawk at the gear. The day came when I finally had enough cash to buy the NAD/Mission/Thorens, and haven't stopped upgrading and tweaking, 25 years later. Oh, and where do I buy the bulk of my gear today? The same audio shop that took the time to get a 12 year old interested in just how enjoyable music can be.
I've been interested in music and audio since 1980. My first full length album purchase was on vinyl, "Pyromania", back in 1984. I got sucked into "highend" with a free issue offer from Stereophile back in 1994. My ears are unbelievably happier, and of course my wallet is NOT!!
The year 1972. Riding my bike to Pacific Stereo and Alco electronics (you california types may remember these stores of a bygone era). I will remember to this day walking into the high-end room (and having a salesman give me a dirty look - like a 12 year old boy is gonna have cash on hand to by a pair...) and stumbling upon a pair of JBL L-300's. The ones with the glass top... Remember? I thought I saw audio God right then and there. Since then, I have burned through countless equipment. All of it good. Some better than others to a degree but all quality stuff nonetheless. Have slowed down quite a bit in the purchasing and selling of gear and am enjoying the simplicity of listening to music. What a concept! The audio purist game, to me anyway, has always been about equipment first and the enjoyment of listening to recorded music, second. Every year - count on it - a new piece of equipment from the power cord to the speakers and everything inbetween comes along and purports to supercede, in some fashion, the existing. And guess what? There's nothing wrong with that. I enjoy seeing the manufacturers of fine audio equipment perfect their art year after year if, for nothing else, than the fact that somebody out there is striving towards the perfection of a discipline or an art. And you cannot deny the sheer magnificence, the level of detail and passion that is poured into the manufacture of certain high-end gear. It's a great hobby and (my chauvinist $.02 here) one of the last bastions of enjoyment and escape from bitchy females!!!! Amp On!
I have had the bug since 1972 when as a 12 year old when i went to a friends home.His dad had an old console system.It was not HI Fi but it was music.From there on my love of music has grown and i have had many great pieces of Hi FI over the years.a little over a year ago i stepped into a High end store and heard music as i Had never heard before.The bug bit hard and i have been putting a High End System of my own toghter again.Buying a house getting married having two children had takin me out of high end for ten years. I feel this will be and endless of which i will enjoy every minute of.Enjoy the music.
Man alive: you guys can really resurrect some old memories. I started taking apart radios (& clocks too, mom reminds me) before I could even read. Dad had a wire-recorder which always amazed me. Around age 6-7 I heard my first real audio at my cousin's place (he had brought back some '50's mono tube gear from overseas military duty) and I was Wow'd on-the-spot. Built me a crystal-set w/metal diaphragm headphone, & was fascinated that it worked with no battery or power source. Early 60's brought in the British Beatles invasion & of course I was hypnotized, despite dad's dire warnings of a 'commie plot' in progress. Glued my ears to the top-40 A.M. table radio in my bedroom, until the wee hours every night. Family friends got a Zenith portable & dad liked it, so we went for a big-old Zenith console tube stereo with 35 womping watts & a single 15" woofer. I then inherited the family's tube mono portable for my own, & gutted the cabinet. Setup speakers everywhere in my own room, mounted in cardboard boxes, coffee cans, you-name-it I tried it. Still blissfully ignorant, I obviously knew nothing about electronics, impedance matching, etc... A pre-teen then, I put together some more Allied Radio Knight-kits, & actually began to understand what I was doing. Early teens: I built a C.B. base station in my 'basement apartment' & worried all the neighbors with TVI. Built myself a mixing board & integrated in an FM tuner, tape decks, phone line, turntable, microphone & the phone line. It was all connected; at times I 'broadcasted' music illegally. Then built an all-tube low-power FM transmitter, & ran the only pirate radio station in town. Age 15: got a job at McDonalds & earned enough $ to build my own Utah bass-reflex 3-way's: zip corded to a 1959-vintage beam-power-pentode amp built from a kit. Got an old Rek-O-Kut belt-drive turntable + Schure M3D cartrdige for cheap, & I was in heaven. Age 19: Replaced the then-fried-out Utah 15's with 3-way CTS separates & home-brew crossover. Worked at the university radio station & discovered Klipschorns; swore I'd own a pair someday, now I do. Built my next amp, 120w/ch S.S. on breadboard from a schematic; didn't like the sound, so I taught myself how to tweak the component values. Been through a multitude of "real" equipment since then. The only time I wasn't seriously playing around & changing the system was 1984 thru 1997, when I had Luxman Ultimate series components (used, so they were affordable) THAT was the most musical my rig has ever been. The power amp finally failed; 3 years & $20K (retail) later, I'm still experimenting. This is still "more fun than a barrel of monkies" (yeah I had a couple of their LP's too). As Gunnar says: AMP ON!
I started out building shortwave/FM radio and transmitter kits from Radio shack. I loved electronics, but was not into high end sound. For fun I built my own speakers using wires stretched across drums and paper/plastic sheets. I played trumpet, a little piano, and guitar, and went to live music regularly. I never thought to own anything more than a walkman(for running), and an old mono radio. I'd just never heard anything else. If you wanted to hear good sound, you saw it live. I actually got into high end when I accompanied a friend in her purchase of her first nice stereo at a high end shop. I had an electrical engineer friend who worked there doing modification upgrades to adcom amps. The store was in Corvallis Oregon near the university. I remember hearing Ricky Lee Jones singing 'Easy Money' through an Aragon 4004 with acoustat speakers. I'd never heard such a wonderful singer or such different music. I was hooked at that moment. Being friends they played almost everything in the shop for us, and demonstrated the differences their modified amplifiers had. It was SO COOL! I was hooked but had no cash. I didn't own my first stereo until I was 23 years old and out of college. Been listening and upgrading ever since !