Your first amp?

What was it, when did you get it, and what did you really want?

I'll start, 1977, really wanted a Pioneer SX650 ( a powerhouse at, I seem to recall, 35wpc) but just didn't have the dough. Wound up with an SX450 (15 wpc) and gotta say, within it's power limitations, it was pretty decent.

Ah, back in the day when musical happiness was a receiver, a turntable, decent speakers (the JBL 100 Century was real nice), and to splurge, a cassette deck. In fact, I would say, in 1977, my 'dream system' would have been a Pioneer SX850, the L100's, a Philips GA212 turntable with a V15 type 3, and a Tandberg cassette deck.
BogenDB212 (1957 I was 12)
An Eico integrated amp back in 69. My dad got it at a yard sale. I don't recall the model, but it got me started in this hobby.
The first amp I purchased with my money was a Pioneer SX535 receiver. A great little 25 watt receiver.
A Sansui 210 receiver in 1971. I wanted a Sony, but didn't have the extra 50.00 at the time. The system consisted of a Sansui 210 receiver, a BSR turntable with Shure cartridge, Sony TC 121 cassette deck with a Teac AN 50 outboard Dolby noise reduction adapter, and some cheap Panasonic 2 way speakers from a previous compact stereo system. I was in stereo heaven!
I have very fond memories of a Heathkit W4AM mono-blocks with matching preamp. Very cool set up modified to push pull at 50W a channel. Class A at 27w. We were the proud owner of these through Junior High School. We received them as a gift from my uncle and dear ole dad. I later migrated to a Realistic STA 2000D receiver with 75 watts a channel, rotel turntable and AKAI tape deck. Very SPOILED high school kid(lol) who worked long hours at fast food to get all of this. We also managed to build custom made speakers for both systems. I have been happily engrossed with the hobby ever since. I think I will enjoy our Wyred for Sound seperates now. Haven't been this exited since then.
Sansui AU-555, 1970. Dual 1219 w/Sure V15type II, Pioneer DX63 speakers, Teac 4010s reel to reel. Purchase in Okinawa while in Navy.
Those are awesome first amps. It's both gratifying and sad at what satisfaction modest amps brought before we learned otherwise. I loved my Pioneer and was truly sad when, just within the last five years, a relative I gave the SX450 to, told me he threw it out not because it died (it was working well) but because he no longer wanted that sort of "old fashioned" music system. I would have taken it back in a heart beat. But so it is, once I gift it, it's the recipients to do with as he pleases.
Something from RadioShack; integrated w/quad option. $59.95 back in 1975. Thought it was very cool.
Dynaco 70. I had a TransAudio receiver which was a Pacific Stereo house brand before it when I was 12 but I don't really count it. As soon as I understood that the equipment choice affected the sound, I immediately bought Dynaco. I did however end up working at Pacific Stereo during college and selling tons of TransAudio!!
I bought a KLH Model 20 system in maybe 1970 that sounded amazing. This was the "turntable with amp" model without the tuner, and the speakers just kicked ass.
I bought a 90wpch. NAD DC amp that blew one of my new B&W DM7s in 1978. My first lesson on headroom. I promptly traded it in for a pair of Meridian 105 monos with matching pre.
Sherwood S-7800 receiver.
For those of you old enough and local enough, from MisiCraft in Morton Grove Illinois.
In 1966, when I was 19, I bought a Dynaco SCA-35 kit and very slowly, very carefully soldered it up. When I bought the kit the dealer told me to bring the amp back before I powered it up and he'd bench test it. It tested better than spec and I was on my way. Of course, I didn't yet have any money for a turntable or speakers but the fine folks at High Fidelity in Austin took pity on a poor college student and somehow I got a new AR turntable and a pair of AR speakers that were gathering dust on a store room shelf. Wonderful little amp, wish I still had it.
Went into a stereo store @ 18, had a Pioneer SX780 in layaway, the store offered me a job, refunded my layaway money, my first manager was an audiophile. My first system ended up being a Gas Grandson of Ampzilla and a Kenwood LO7C
Pioneer SX-525 receiver with Marantz speakers and a Dual 1214 turntable. Ah, the early 1970s....
Dan, was the Realistic better than the Heathkit?

Tim, I just happen to have a Grandson recently rebuilt by Mike Bettinger at Gas Audio. A very fine little amp indeed.
Technics SA-222 receiver. Cost was $199. 30wpc and decent tuner. Got it in 1982. It was still working perfectly a couple of years ago when I pulled it out of the attic to give it away. Not audiophile quality, but it got me through high school, college, grad school and my first job.
B&K ST 100 and I loved it! Warm and drove my KEF 105.2 speakers ....... That first big rig of mine will always be a very fond memory!
A 15 watt Pioneer receiver(1974?)with a Technics turntable and no name speakers.Loved it!
Not better, just different. Less heat, seemingly a lot more power, but keep in mind my speakers got bigger and more sensitive too, which gave the illusion of much more power, 5 db doesn't sound like much, but a teenager with a very loud listening taste, every watt I could get through those speakers was a good thing at the time....Looking back, I think for solid state, that thing was awesome(they still sell for 100's on ebay if you are lucky enough to find one.) The W4's were more engaging, If I could only had my LP 12 back then.....I'd probably STILL own them......I sold them when I was moving regrettably. I have yet to afford the $$ or space for tube gear. It is WAY more expensive than back then. Now a decent American made amp will set you back thousands....
I am thinking back then, the Nirvana system would have been the STA 2200D, with Speakerlab S30 speakers as well as the Akai GXF 91 tape deck, or a Nakamachi BX 300. The ultimate turntable??? Probably first generation LP12. The Speakerlab S3 was the one I kept saving for but never bought. That system would have been scary good...
Scratch built EL84 tube amp, 1969.
NAD 7225PE at 16...didn't want another. I still remember how it smelled, and it rocked my old KLH 24s and then my Fried Q5s...those were the days.
Mission Cyrus One.
And I even like to listen to this very good amp today. This amp will show a lot of details if you have a good source. Nice bass is one of its strength.
My first real component was a Sansui AU9900 integrated amp. I eventually used it's pre-outs to drive my first basic amp, a Carver M1.5t....
It was a receiver, actually: a Harman-Kardon 330c. Here is the manual:
The year was 1989. I was about to head off to college without a stereo. I had just heard a friend's McIntosh 240 amplifier and was amazed by the looks and the sound. I had zero experience with tube gear.

He asks if I would like to buy a tube amp?

Sure, I reply, as I lust after the chrome of the 240.

He leaves and returns with a Dynaco 70. $125 later and I have a new amp - just not the one I wanted!