Here's what I had as my first system in 1976: Marantz 2270 rcvr and Koss Pro4AA headphones, Empire 698 TT/Microacoustics 2002 cartridge, Infinity Monitor 1A speakers (Walsh tweeters). Polk Cobra Cable speaker wire.
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1973... Yellow all in one multi play record player, nope cannot remember the brand.
Oh a REAL system......
1975 ..... Trio belt drive TT, Trio 25wpc Integrated Amp. Mission speakers. Later added an Aiwa cassette deck.
All paid for my myself by having worked Saturday jobs from age of 13 to 15. All purchased from our local high street hifi store in Nottingham, England.
Pretty sure the store was Laskys, sort of a Best Buy for hifi of the 70,s and 80,s back in England.
When I went to college my sophomore year in 1965 my roommate showed up with a KLH Model 11 portable. Growing up, I’d played piano and trumpet and sung in a choir but we never had any music at home, AM radio and jukeboxes were my standard.
I was shocked by the quality of the KLH and bought my first albums that year. As soon as I went to the big city for my next year of school I wandered into a real audio store and with wonderful guidance from the owner bought a Dynaco SCA-35 kit.
The owner quizzed me about my soldering skills but was satisfied and told me to build it but bring it back to him before I plugged it in so he could bench test it. It tested better than spec, which seemed to impress him and knowing I had no more money he found a pair of small AR speakers in their storage room that had been ordered by a customer but returned because he didn’t like the wood finish. Then he brought out an AR turntable and told me to take the speakers and turntable to go with the amp and pay him for them as I had the money. It took me most of that school year to pay him but he didn’t seem to mind at all.
I’m sure he knew I was going to be back for more but it was clear he loved the idea of helping a kid who shared his passion. He was right, I came back many times and slowly built a better system but I’ve never been happier than I was listening to that first one.
My bachelor program university days circa 1971-1975 ( ...the Jurassic Era in consumer audio....)
JBL L100 speakers
MARANTZ 2245 receiver
ELAC MIRACORD turntable
SHURE V15 cartridge
KOSS Pro-4 headphones
This was considered the cat’s a$$ college dorm system of its time with its heavily coloured “California Sound” presentation with heavily spiked treble and bass that was mirrored by the rock LPS of its time. The reality is that it gets totally smoked by even modest audio systems of today.
This system replaced my first year college system comprised of
SONY receiver ( model escapes me...)
DYNACO A25 speakers / EPI 100 speakers
GARRARD turntable ( ...cartridge escapes me ...,)
again.... fun for ITS TIME Emphasis added) . BUT .... “ it’s time” was comparable to the technology with General George Washington and the Colonial troops at Valley Forge.
After escaping from high school in June of ’68, I got myself a job for the summer before starting college in September, mostly to get money for a car and a hi-fi. That Fall I bought myself a Garrard SL55 table and Shure M44e cartridge, a used Fisher X-100C integrated tube amp, and a pair of Acoustic Research 4x loudspeakers and Koss Pro-4AA headphones. After that, I upgraded as often as I could, at least once a year.
My first real stereo was in 1980
Klipsch Heresy speakers ,Kenwood integrated amp,tuner and Lafayette receiver- Anyone remember them ? Nakamichi 3 head
cassete deck , Audioquest cabling. Technics direct drive turntable
audio shure cartridge. In my neighborhood it was pretty dam good for a 22 year old kid.
Around 1974-76, I started mowing lawns. Saved $$ and wondered what I should buy. Stereo of course.
No 1 - MCS 3112 or thereabouts Receiver, MCS cassette deck, speakers my uncle gave me, zip cord. My child hood best friend had this stereo until about 10 years ago.
No 2 - a few years later. MCS 3233 33 WPC Receiver, MCS cassette deck (much better than the prior deck), MCS TT, MCS speakers plus more speakers my uncle gave me, thicker zip cord, Radio Shack EQ. This system was much better than No 1. Lasted me until I went in the military in 1983.
Check out Ebay for MCS (Modular Component Systems) stuff.
I almost forgot my most priced possession at the time my Tandberg Reel to Reel
it was going out with the garbage from a neighbor who brought it home after Vietnam.it did not work ,$35 and 2 capacitors that was the techs repair charge back then . It was excellent sounding and master tapes were easy to sourse and sounded Great !!
I mentioned in a previous post that in '69 or '70 I bought a KLH Model 20 (the non-tuner version of these things...regretted not buying the tuner version) that came with those very cool sounding KLH speakers. A great system that just sounded amazingly better than pretty much anything my friends owned. I bought it from a serious hifi store in Honolulu that was fun to hang out in back in the day...I was playing music full time and pro gear used up my hifi bucks, so it was later that I could afford to resume my audio hobby in a more well funded way.