What did your first "real" system consist of?

In highschool (1975) I purchased my first nice system and broke away from the family Lloyds 8 track/turntable/tuner combo. I purchased on sale the Radio Shack STA76 (12 WPC) on sale for $159.00 ($259), Miracord 45 turntable on sale for $259.00, and Sansui SP2000 speakers at $150.00 used. I had about 500 albums and later the next year transitioned from 8 tracks to cassette.

My first sepatrates came in 1988? I bought a Hafler 110 pramp $200.00 used, Dynaco 150 w/ meters $150.00 used, Thorens/SME3009 turntable $150.00 used, Panasonic MASH CD player $125.00 new, Energy Pro22 speakers $500.00 new, Monster Cable M1000 I/C @ $50.00 per set, and AQ Midnight Speaker cable cheap.

What did your first system look like or maybe your first steps into high end?
Good post...
My first "real" system was an Adcom 545 and B & K Pro 10 Mc. I had a pair of Mirage m 290s and Mirage powered sub. I had the Nakamichi MB3 cd player and Monster Cable IC. Actually, it sounded pretty nice. I still have the adcom laying around somewhere!! My how things change.
I was in College at the time.. Dolby pro logic just came out and no one knew that you werent supposed to listen to music that way? Go figure.
Happy listening,
Custom Audio LLC
In 1990 I bought a Dual CS5000 with an AT95 cartridge, a NAD 3020, and a pair of JPW Sonata speakers. It was a great little system and I used it to death. Total cost was about $350 as a package from a dealer.

Three years later I traded the Dual for a Rega P3, which I still have, the NAD3020 for a used Cyrus2 (which my parents still have), and the JPW speakers for Mission 780s, and later Heybrook sextets (which I still have).

Then I moved to the US in 1997 and built a new system around a Densen B100 and spica angelus. When I return to the UK I think the spicas will have to go as they're too hard to ship, but the densen is a keeper ... I just hope it has the juice to drive the heybrooks. I'll miss the spicas ... they're amazing at imaging.

Now I have a young daughter and an american wife, so components will only be relaced as they die of old age.
In college, think late 60's, I bought a Wollensak (3M)(not sure of spelling anymore) real to real tape recorder with detachable speakers. Then about 1967 I bought a Fisher Receiver model ?, a pair of AR4X accoustic suspension speakers, and a Dual Turntable, model 1209????. It was magic and totally blew away my folks Magnavox stuff and pretty much anything else I'd heard outside of Stereo Stores. That was the system that infected me with the desease and have yet to have purchase anything that made that big of a jump in sound from what I was used to. I love what I have now, all three systems and when my personal economic recovery comes, I'm sure I'll be looking for more stuff. Happy listening to all. Oh and anybody in the Dallas Fort Worth Area be sure to check out Uncle Calvins Coffee House a volunteer run accoustic venue featuring national touring Singer Songwriters in a smoke free alcohol venue most every Friday night and some Saturdays, This Friday we have Cary Newcomer and Sat it's Janis Ian (already sold out). Check us out at unclecalvins.org. I'm the sound guy there. And mostly what I listen to at home comes from performers who play there and the Kerrville Folk Festival and other volunteer coffeehouses in the area as well as house concerts.
There is alot of great music out there if you go looking
Early 70's I had a Mac 2105, C26, MR 73 with JBL bookshelves, dual turntable and a Tandberg 3000 something deck. Upgraged to Heil HMT something, Revox A77 and Thorens TD 125. Run across pictures the models on eBay... brings back memories of Crosby Stills Nash, Airplane, Cold Blood, Poco... and learning about jazz on Creed Taylor produced albums.
In college I bought a pair of Ohm Walsh 2's driven by an Onkyo 504 amp w/ Adcom passive pre and a Kenwood cd changer. I have since spent ungodly sums of money, yet I rarely connect with the music like I used to. Maybe my memories have become romanticized, but I swear that old system was damn near as good as my reference today.
In the early eighties I had a yamaha integrated, dual turntable, can't remember the model numbers. Speakers were genesis (handmade somewhere in new england the salesman claimed). Don't have a clue if that was the same company we know today. great system though for everything from neil young to clash! then i lost track of everything when i went down the rabbit hole!
Wellmy first system wasn't until about 1998, I was 28, and consisted of a Rega Planet cd player, a Bryston B-60 integrated amp, and Definitive Technology floorstanding speakers, I forget the model but they were not bi-polar. Shortly after putting this system together I added a Rega Planar 3 with an AT 440ml cartridge. The turntabe is the only surviving part of that first system.
Early nineties. Audiolab 8000A, Arcam Alpha 5, B&W DM610's. They are collecting dust in the basement until the arcam gets replaced or repaired.
in 1977 I bought a Garrard belt drive with a shure cart., I don't remember the model, 1st LP I played on it I remember quite distinctly.. Pink Floyd dsotm. a JVC integrated amp 30 wpc,(couldn't afford the Marantz) and a pair of technics "phase aligned" 10" woofered speakers, 2-way (colorations would be putting it mild -- phase aligned yeah right as if it would help those speakers). My first upgrade was in 1981 or so, bought a denon direct drive with signet mm. Then in 1985 bought a music fidelity A-1 and stax headphones. next was my first pair of Spica TC-50s in 1987. Then a Rega P-3 in 1988. Still had the P-3 until 2 yrs ago.
70's, went from Sansui AU&TU-717 amp and tuner with a set of Bose 901's to SAE amp and pre-amp with Dalquest DQ-10's. The DQ-10's are what set the hook.

Sansui set the hook for me. It belonged to my best friends brother who brought it all back after serving a tour of duty in Vietnam. I even remember the first cut we played....Chicago-I'm A Man.....WOW!....that brings back some great memories. Excuse me while I go take CTA for a spin......
mine was a mac 275,with four stacked advent speakers, a thorens 125 turntable,an adc xlm cartrige,an old jvc reciever that i used for a preamp. Thought i died and went to heaven
It certainly wasn't high-end, but in the 70's when I was in high school and earning a bit of money during the summers, I bought myself a Pioneer Receiver (can't recall the model but it put out about 25wpc) and a pair of Advent speakers. My dad still uses that system on a daily basis in his studio, and it has never required repair. It actually still sounds pretty decent.

My first entry level rig did not come till after I was out of school, in the mid 80's, and on my own earning money as a photographer's assistant in NYC. I bought an AR turntable with a Grado cartridge, a BK EX-140 amp, a Moscode Super-It tube phono preamp, and a pair of Magneplanar SMGa speakers. That BK amp was pretty darn good even by todays standards and I sold it about four years ago for about half of what I'd paid almost 15 years earlier (value of dollar not accounted for there). The Magneplanars were novelty speakers IMO and short-lived in my posession. The Moscode was a great little phono pre, and the AR a classic which I only recently parted with after many upgrades. I was spoiled during my days back then as many of the photographers I worked for had great systems in their studio's (most of which cost more than I'd earn in several years at that time). Being exposed to those systems on a daily basis is probably one of the things that gave me some appreciation for how good musical reproduction could enhance my enjoyment of the music I so loved.

At the age of 13 I bought a system from Tech HiFi in Dedham, MA in the winter of 1973 after returning home from the hospital with a broken leg suffered while skiing in the White Mountains of NH. They had a "starter" system for $199 consisting of a Cambridge Audio receiver, Garrard turntable with a Shure "magnetic" cartridge, and TDC-1 (Tranducer Development Corporation, whatever happened to these guys?) 2-way speakers. They threw in the zip-wire speaker cable. The TT came with its own leads.

I was in heaven with this sytem and it lasted me through my college years. The only thing I upgraded during that time was the TT with a Pioneer table and better Shure cartridge. I added a Technics cassette deck too.
Sansui AU6500 integrated amp
Thorens TD125 TT with an AT cart
Pioneer Project 60 speakers
Akai reel to reel deck
When I qualified for a full tuitioin and books scholorship, I spent the money I had saved for my next year at college on a system.

Harmon Kardon 720 receiver
New Large Advent speakers
Thorens TD160 with Micro Accoustics cart
Tandberg cassette deck (bought used)
Wow..what memories..I came by this hobby very honestly. I was just wee lad in the late 50's into the early 60's. My Dad had a pair of McIntosh MC60's and a C11 pre amp. A then very cool Thorens 124 with Pritchard arm( I broke his grado playing Mickey Mantle in the living room!)and a now stereo pair of the infamous KLH Model 1( twin 12" acoustic susp. drivers in 16ohm config) and the legendary Janzsen 130 electrostatic drivers which fit neatly into the KLH upper space designed for them! He bought 1 KLH in 1959 and ran it mono with one amp before Stereo was the rage..later finding the other speaker and Mc60 mono amp)
( as a side note: He still has the KLH's and just recently found a nice pair of newer Janzsen's after he sold his early 60's models back in the late seventies) and once again has a nice vintage pair that sounds great and was ahead of its time back then!) Im trying to get him to post a system on Audiogon!

Well...what about me? My very first "hi-fi" at age 10 was an early gerrard phono player and a 2 tube integrated amp with controls for volume, balance and "tone".. hooked up to a single 8" Warfdale speaker all of which was housed in the same "hi-fi" cabinet.I played a lot of 45's and cant remember what ever happened to the stuff.

I went hi tech in the 70's with a cool Pioneer receiver and Jensen 3 ways and a Pioneer PL something table and AT cart.
This got me through HS and even college until I woke up in the 80's and discovered there was more to listen to.

My first real entry level rig was a classic now.Heres what it was:

Dahlquist DQ10's
Hafler amp(model??) about 60W/ch I think?
Rega planer( orig) TT and an Adcom cartridge

I'll never forget the amazement of my friens at that first real serious system.In some ways I miss it!
Sorry for the above post..spelling. That's Wharfedale... and... friends! Not fiens! LOL!