I found it searching for something I don't recall on the net (obviously audio related), that was June 2003 and I bought for the first time here 5 months later. I was just starting into this hobby.
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I placed a bid on something on e-bay.someone e-mailed me and said there were a couple of the exact pieces on audiogon for sale for the same price i had bid and lost on e-bay. the rest is history as they say. sorry if this doesn't make sense but i have had acouple of glasses of wine on this very snowy saturday.
I received an e-mail in the late nineties advertising a new site that was opening called AudiogoN. I think it was '97 or '98. The e-mail was an unsolicited advertisement. I don't know how they got my e-mail address as being an audiophile type of person. Anyways, it was them who contacted me. After lurking for a few months, I was using the site within a year for serious buying and selling. The site was a lot smaller back then, only a couple of hundred items were listed at the start. I used to participate a lot in the forum, which was not moderated or subdivided into the various caegories as it is today. But within a year it was so corrupted by trollers and flame-baiters that I abandoned the site. A lot of other high profile posters who often submitted useful and thoughtful comments left as well. It was like losing your friends. It seemed to be such a small group of regulars. I returned a couple of years ago to find the site greatly expanded, gear for sale in the thousands rather than a couple of hundred, and sub-divided, moderated discussion boards to keep the trash out. When I rejoined, I couldn't retrieve my old username or feedback comments.You had to do so within a certain period of time after the site was revamped and I wasn't around at the time, having abandoned the site earlier. It was great to have it back though. And it's nice to have a forum again where you can post something without ten or twenty people saying nasty, childish things to you using the anonymity of a username.
I had traded in a pair of speakers on another speaker at my local dealer in 2002. He said he had them sold already to a guy in Texas. When I asked how he had them sold so fast..., he responded "Audiogon!" I mentioned that I had heard of it and he gave me the site address. I logged on that night and the rest is history..I dont think Iv'e ever again paid retail after that!! It was like finding my home! :) and meeting all you great folks here on line has been great. Lots of informed and educational chats in the forums, virtual systems, classified, and down right entertaining too!
When i first started logging onto the internet, i used to search for "audio components" via Alta Vista on a very regular basis. One day back in the summer of 1996, Audiogon showed up in the search results. At the time, the biggest audio forum and listing for used gear was Audio Review with Audio Shopper coming in second. I know that AudioWeb was in there somewhere too, but i found it LONG after finding Audiogon. Audio Review has since changed owners & formats while dwindling in size, Audioshopper has less and less traffic and AudioWeb has a format that is neither user friendly nor viewable with spam / ad blocking software. As such, Audiogon has become the King of the used audio market.
As Markphd stated, Agon was much smaller when first starting out, didn't have the forums for quite some time after the initial inception, etc... A lot of people have come and gone, some not so peacefully or of their own accord, but it continues to be a great source for audio related items and info. Sean
PS... I can still remember what computer i was running when i first found Audiogon. It was a "blazing fast" ( at the time ) 133 MHz processor with a whopping 1.5 Gig hard drive. When purchasing this, i tried to buy the biggest & baddest computer out there. I thought that this was going to be the last computer i ever buy as it will do everything i ever want or need. Needless to say, that computer is long gone, along with a lot of audio gear that i thought was going to be my "last audio purchase". Who was i trying to fool??? : )
Always the lagging electronics consumer, think it was XMAS 2001 that I trudged down to the best(and only ) mid-fi "boutique" to get the kids each a dvd player, and while there, somehow ended up getting momma and myself a Yamaha receiver, a dvd and ordered a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 100's and CC, for merging w/ some Proton separates and decent Polk SDA's to create HT for the home. Probably suffering from buyers remorse a bit later and wondered if there was anything about audio on the web - Big mistake. Found Audiogon, AudioReview and Audioweb and became enticed w/ what all the excitement was about. Needless to say, it didn't take long to realize the leader.
Long story short - had received a small inheritance from Dad's estate and within 18 mos it was all sitting on the rack. But that's cool, because I always tried to have what I "thought" was a decent sounding system - I had no clue what was really out there in the world. So thanks to AudiogoN and all the folks who make it what it is for the enlightenment, and enjoyment.
Ultimately it was of course my wife that started me doing this. She couldn't tolerate the "looks" of my old speaker stack, actually they were not terrible 1977 Klipsch Heresies on top of 1959 JBL C38s I inherited. Then my so called 100 wpc amp kept clipping and I'd had it. I didn't even know there was anything beyond the big box stores for six months when I complained to Student of mine, now a colleague "Sufentil" here on the gon about the lack of decent 2 channel audio. Suddenly after 6 months of futile searching for dealers and good web sites he told me where to look! Thanks for making me a nut now!
Checking the local paper for audio gear sales. I called a guy with some stuff listed. We got into a conversation about where and how best to sell (and buy) used equipment. He told me about Audiogon. I had a couple of used pieces my local audio dealer would not take as a trade, said he couldn't sell them. Well guess what, listed them on A'Gon and sold within days. Been here ever since (2001) local dealer looses, sorry.
I often frequented a fine audio store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, called Accutronics. Two floors of stereo equipment with four rooms in the basement handling used high end stuff. The owner, Arnie, specialized in calling people who advertised in the old Audiomart and buying their items. He'd then do a reasonable mark up and sell it from his store which also had a service department who would check over the thing.
He also carried new gear like ProAc, Cary, Accuphase, Parasound, etc. Then one day Arnie stopped being on the floor very much and the guys working for him said he was working on creating a high end audio website. Next thing I knew Arnie called me so say he was having a huge "going out of business" sale as his website was fully up and running and this was how he intended to make a living. That website, of course, was Audiogon.
His store was like a virtual (in the real sense of the term) Audiogon as if you went into it often enough, you'd most likely find anything you wanted.