I started to get into listening and comparing various receivers, and speakers in 1971, at age 18.
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30. Shortly after my 30th birthday I accidentally blew up my old Kenwood receiver. I did a google search on Audio gear, since I thought I should get something better, and my eyes were opened to a whole fascinating world or the high-end. As a guitarist I was blown away when I found that tubed consumer audio gear existed. Since I had collected a huge number of recordings, going bakc ot my days as a college DJ, I decided to treat myself to some nice equipement. And it's been straight down the rabbit hole from there...
I was 11 when "The House Of The Rising Sun" came out in 1965 and swept me into the rock world. I was already playing in the grade school band and grew up with the piano. One of my uncle's was a college professor and had a Fischer tube receiver. Once I heard "Demons and Wizards" by Uriah Heep and "Survival" by Grand Funk on his stereo, there was no turning back.
I had my first tube amp at age 6. My dad was an audio nut and bought me a little starter syatem. I quickly disassembled it and used all the tubes as Ultraman props. Needless to say, dad was not pleased! I always listened with dad to his Maggies and Ohms and various Marantz, SAE and other audio goodies. He bought me another stereo combo for my 12th birthday and I have been an avid audio freak ever since. Now I have the good fortune of giving him my "hand-me-downs".
It started when I was 3 or 4 years old, watching my dad's reel to reel tapes go round and round. The stereo system must have been twice as high as me. I never had to live with poor quality sound until I moved out on my own at age 18 and had nothing but a cheap portable cassette player. It wasn't long until I gave up eating good food in order to afford my first system. Problem was, I sold all my vinyl to help pay for the system. I still regret it. Live and learn.
In the sixties, my Dad had a Fisher amp and a Rek-O-Kut TT which was as off-limits as a handsome young priest to a Catholic schoolgirl. One day I touched it... but I was 16 when I got my first amp, a Dyna tube integrated in a kit. That was when my sexual development became severely twisted, and the smell of melted flux and hot insulation became as indispensable to me as music itself. Today any box with a cord in the back and a dial on the front exercises an almost-irresistible attraction.
My dad had custom speakers installed in a 70's style bar type thing that held highball glasses and when opened had a mirrored back. He had a Fisher reciever and one of the original AR turntables also fitted into the cabinet. He had a bunch of records by Dylan, CSNY, Pink Floyd, etc. I used to sit around spinning discs on the turntable all day. I loved the sprung suspension design and the sound was like nothing I had heard. Later my dad bought me my first stereo for my bedroom and from there I've been collecting records and upgrading my system ever since.
It all started in the beginning, no I am not talking about the Big Bang but when I was about 5. I remember the early years when my father used to play music on his Grundig Radiogram. The equipment fascinated me. Looking at the black shiny disks spinning fast and with a needle on top of it producing all the sounds always intrigued me. I had no idea why the system sounded so good; today when I look back I can understand why! It was a one-piece system; everything was almost perfectly matched and had the tubes! I had no way of comparing the equipment, but whatever was being reproduced had sounded very good.
Oh my, I must have been 7 or 8. I lived with my grandparents in the summers, and used to go up in the attic and listen to my aunt's old record player and her 45's. I remember Johnny Cash, and the Everly Brother's Dream. It never ended from there. I always had cheap stereos until I was 18, when I actually took out a loan and bought a Realistic STA-2000 reciever (75 watts/channel!), with Mach One speakers. I never looked back.
When I was in my mother's womb :) Alright guys, beat that!
Really, when I was 33. I bought an inexpensive DVD player because it seemed that video stores were really phasing out their stock of VHS tapes. Well then, the home theater bug hit first... and now I am a dedicated 2 channel listener.
I have always liked music, just not to the degree and focus that I do now.
Well, I remember dancing around to Paul Simon's Graceland and the West Side Story soundtrack when I was around 6. That was 15 years ago... My family owns a furniture store, and there's a high end audio place nearby. The guy who owns it wanted to do a trade, hifi for furniture. That's how it began...
I was 6 or 7 & my brother, sister & myself would sneak downstairs & sit in front of the console stereo & turn it on. We used the single red light on the front for our "meeting".
Not long after that we moved to Germany ('63-'65) & I heard the Beatles when I was 8. I remember having a battery powered Magnavox record player & would borrow my brother's to do the "DJ thing" like Chadnliz.
In addition to having my home stereo I do pro sound work at least once a week, so music was meant to be part of my life.
While my Dad wasn't an audiophile he did listen to music and was/is a gadget freak. In the late 60s he brought home an Eico integrated tube amp and an old Garrard turntable that my brother and I hooked to a console speaker for one channel and a homemade speaker for the other. It must've sounded like crap by current standards but at the time it was pure bliss. Forty years later music can still provide goose bumps but not as consistently as in those days.
I was first caught tearing apart clocks, then my first old radio, before I even knew how to read. Built some elementary kits in gradeschool. Built a 2-way shack, cheap sound system, & my own pirate radio station in the basement by age 13. Built my first big speakers & a tube integrated in mid teens. My iron is still smokin' (& I solder too ... :-)
I was 8 years old and my brother, Paul, built me a pair of electrostat panels from raw materials and custom made tube electronics. I worked all summer to buy a ERA turntable with an SME 3009 arm and the Winn Labs straingauge cartridge. Once again, Paul built me a custom box for the cartridge, which sounded better than the one offered by Winn Labs.
That was 39 years ago.
Holy mother of thread revival! I was always into great sound but it was initially from getting the best sound out of my violin and drums. Then I turned 15 and the mobile audio bug hit me and I was doing MB Quart component or sub installs for guys 5-10 years older than me... with licenses no less. And then at 28 I grew up a bit and my mobile audio bug grew some wings and took me indoors to home audio. I gotta say, between the two it is very tough making any decision on my next purchase.