Your first stereo system


What was your first stereo or hi fi music system? What do you remember best about it? What were its strengths? Its weaknesses? What music provided you the most enjoyment from it? What did you trade in first and why? My first system was from Lafayette Radio Electronics. It consisted of a very small integrated amp, two small book shelf speakers, and a turntable I don't remember much about. I was thrilled to have the tiny amp, it provided much better sound than an a.m. radio, in such a small package. My system was in the basement of my parents home, with the speakers on opposite sides of my round water bed! The first "up grade" was to a cool looking Garrard turntable with a clear plastic hinged cover. My favorite music of the time was by Jim Morrison and the Doors. That system did its best to light my fire, and the memory of it still does.
richardmonk
My first real system was in 1982-3, CDs were still a new tech, wax ruled the audio salons. I got Rega Planar 3, moving coil cartridge, Musical Fidelity integrated amp and Heybrook HB1 speakers. Karl at Victors stereo in Chicago soon convinced me to get Spendor SP1 3-way speakers, and later Linn LP12 turntable, can't remember what cables I had then. I remember my friends from the clubs would come over to my "pad" and play records they all knew...New Order, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy etc and watch their jaws drop as they heard things they never heard before (from their technics table and yamaha receivers, hehehe....) Later on I branched out to classical and other music. Oh yes clubs were Neo, Exit, Lucky Number et al......regards Sam
My first real system was a top of the line Dual 1219 turntable with a Shure M91ED cartridge driving a Dynaco Pat 4/Stereo 120 combo through Dynaco A-25 speakers. The whole smear cost $440 via mailorder plus $9.15 for UPS from Dixie Hi-Fi. Bring back any memories? One time I borrowed another pair of A-25's and ran both pair in parallel in the dorm lounge. The room was quite large and it rocked to Hendrix and Cream for about two hours. Then in the middle of Holst's The Planets I cooked all the output transistors in the Stereo 120. Dynaco made me spring for the amp repair but when it came to cooked woofers, they always fixed them at the factory in Philadelphia for free, while I waited, and no questions asked! About 10 years later, the Pat 4 had become a SAE P102, the Stereo 120 a Hafler DH200, and the A-25's were Big Advents. My ex kept that whole system and blasts it every day 1,500 miles away to her heart's content. The Dual 1219 still spins like a dream in my current system and has never skipped a beat!
fun question; ah the pre-craziness memories. i purchased my first system in '88 or '89: it consisted of a denon 45 watt receiver, nak's entry level tape deck, a phillips cd player and a pair of klipsch kg4 speakers. i cannot even remeber the cabeling. i absoluetly loved it. in my pursuit of loud and louder music i must have replaced the horns in one the kg4's a couple of times--i kept turning the dennon up so loud that i was sending nothing but crap through my speakers! the kg4's were the best buy of the lot; i only replaced them within the last year. i dropped the nak tape deck a few years after i purchased it, no need. thereafter, the denon was first to go, in favor of a carver 150 watt offering. then the cd player was replaced with cal's icon mk ii. that configuration lasted until about 3 years ago. at that point i added cj's pv10al pre-amp and dumped the carver in favor of cj's mv55. that was my first move out of mid-fi and should have been my move into a padded cell. i'm now a cj/wadia/jm labs kind of guy. i can't even begin to guess what's next and/or when. tweaking is fun. and you know what, when i turn up the volume now the music does not get louder, it gets bigger. and i no longer send crap through my speakers.
first system circa 1973 - klipsch heresys powered by a 65 watt per channel sherwood 8900 (fm only) receiver. the heresy retailed at $248.00 - the sherwood on sale at the time was $285.00 (closeout). my turntable was a pioneer - somewhere in the area of $200.00. norm .
Iguess my first system which i can remember as a(cranking stereo) was a pair of GENESIS 3 SPEAKERS which I bought new in 1975-1976 for I think around $600-800?? A sansui top of the line 1010 reciever ( OUCH) and a thorens turntable. Around 1978-79 I got really serious and bought a pair of DAHLQUIST DQ10'S ,an AUDIO RESEARCH SP6 preamp,a BRYSTON 3B AMP and a ROTEL turntable with a GRACE 707 ARM and A SLEEPING BEAUTY low output moving coil cartridge by G.A.S. I still have all of this equipment in storage except for the thorens and the bryston. I REPLACED the bbryston with a BELLES 450 which was superior with the power hungry DAHLQUISTS.I am currently using VANDERSTEEN 3A speakers , an AUDIO RESEARCH SP6E preamp,a FORTE 4 AMP ,BASIS TURNTABLE and a MUSICAL FIDELITY E624 cd player. I AM currently using STEALTH CABLES also. HAPPY AND HEALTHY LISTENING, RICH.
Iguess my first system which i can remember as a(cranking stereo) was a pair of GENESIS 3 SPEAKERS which I bought new in 1975-1976 for I think around $600-800?? A sansui top of the line 1010 reciever ( OUCH) and a thorens turntable. Around 1978-79 I got really serious and bought a pair of DAHLQUIST DQ10'S ,an AUDIO RESEARCH SP6 preamp,a BRYSTON 3B AMP and a ROTEL turntable with a GRACE 707 ARM and A SLEEPING BEAUTY low output moving coil cartridge by G.A.S. I still have all of this equipment in storage except for the thorens and the bryston. I REPLACED the bbryston with a BELLES 450 which was superior with the power hungry DAHLQUISTS.I am currently using VANDERSTEEN 3A speakers , an AUDIO RESEARCH SP6E preamp,a FORTE 4 AMP ,BASIS TURNTABLE and a MUSICAL FIDELITY E624 cd player. I AM currently using STEALTH CABLES also. HAPPY AND HEALTHY LISTENING, RICH.
My first venture into "call brand" audio components came in the early 80's, but I always think of the first system my parents bought for me when I was a kid in the middle of Junior High School...a Panasonic FM only Receiver with 50 watts of power, a BIC outboard 8-track in a beautiful walnut cabinet, a BSR/McDonald turntable with a Stanton cartridge. It had the arm, but I used the single disc spindle instead!, speakers were a pair of A/R Model 2's...I would sit in the middle of my bed- the sweet spot!, and listen for hours on end. My memories of this drive me still in my quest for "that sound"... The sad part is, that was probably as close as I will ever get to that innocent pleasure of music, I'm now so critical of the equipment, the recording process, etc. Still, if I could convince myself that I should buy a Turntable again, a Phono Pre, some cables...
Jrt,GO ANALOG!!!! YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!! THAT is the music you remember!!
Hey David99, sounds like you are as much of an analog lover as I am. My first system consisted of a Kenwood KT-7300 intagrated amp, a Kenwood KT-7500 tuner, a Kenwood direct drive turntable that had a granite base [that thing weighed a ton], and American Moniter speakers. I have come a long way since then, but I still have the tuner in my system today, and it still works fine. Boy, that really brings back memories.
My first real system circa 1983-4: Dynaco ST-70, Dynakit pre (don't remember model), Dual turntable (don't remember model)with pickering cartridge, The Fisher AM-FM tuner (don't remember model, but was made around '67), Tandberg open reel deck (don't remember model, but it had cool cathode VU meters), Aiawa cassette deck , and these big Sony two ways with a passive radiator. I later upgraded when Radio Shack introduced a POLY 8" woofer....the whole thing sounded like mud! Wish I still had the ST-70 though.
In 1966 I bought a Dynaco SCA-35 integrated amplifier kit and by the time I was done soldering I'd found enough money to buy an AR manual turntable. That left the obvious problem of a complete lack of speakers. But when I took the completed amplifier in for a bench test, the dealer took pity on me and found a pair of small AR speakers gathering dust in the warehouse because someone had special ordered them in 'fruitwood' finish and then hated it (no kidding.) He sold them to me for just enough money to keep from being embarassed by the deal and I was a happy boy, ready for all the musical enticements of Austin in the late 60's. I had a long and happy relationship with the dealer, High Fidelity, and they more than made back the money they lost on those first speakers.
My first REAL system consisted of a Thorens turntable with a Mayware Formula 4 tonearm and a Grado cartridge ( I still have it and use it today!). That was into an Audible Illusions Tube preamp into a Hafler DH200 power amplifier (I still have a soft spot for this amplifier). This was driving the original version 1 Polk Audio 10's with the original phillips tweeters (this was when they actually sounded musical). This was all with Monster cable interconnects and speaker wire. The thing sounded great and I used to impress the hell out of my friends.
My first stereo consisted of a pair of early late '60s-early '70s hand-me-down Pioneer floorstanding speakers from my father, a hand-me-down Pioneer receiver (remember receivers) also from my father, and a Pioneer 6-disk cd changer (when these cartridge changers first came out). All of this was wired up with Radio Shack ("You've got questions, we've got dumb, blank stares.") copper wire. Thank god that I no longer have any of these pieces.
As a 15-year old in 1968, I bought a "package" system from Cal Hi-Fi in Mountain View, CA, consisting of a Dual turntable (changer) with Stanton 500E cartridge, some non-descript Fisher AM-FM solid state receiver, and a pair of their house brand, 3-way, acoustic suspension speakers (with--wow!--12" woofers). Had I know anything or found a good salesman, I could have wound up with Dynaco and AR stuff just as easily and for the same money, I'm sure. Still, I had that system for 5 years or so, and looking back on it, I probably enjoyed listening to music more during those 5 years than at any other time. It was my age, and that I wasn't yet thinking much about the system, and of course the music that was coming out duing those glorious years.--Dan
Wow, That would be in Germany in 1978... still remembering. A Sansui G-9000 receiver, Technics SL-1400MK2 turntable mounted with a Shure V-15 type III cartridge, and a pair of really loud Bose 901 series III speakers. Yes, not scared to admit that I fell into the Bose hype at one time and actually purchased a pair. Hey, at 19 years of age, and in the military, all I wanted was loud music. All I would need is a cold Binding Bier and I could still hear Steely Dan's Aja playing through those Bose.
1957/H.K.40 wt amp grundig fm tuner Norelco huge bass reflex enclosure 18in woofer.Gerrard tt.MONO. Looking back it was prob.crap;but nobody had anything better.1st stereo I heard required the tv and the fm radio.The left signal from one, the right from the other.This was a tv special.Then every Sun,12.00-3.00 pm two radio stations got together.One brodcast the left ;the other the right,so if you had 2 fm radios you had stereo.It was awesome.A year or so latter the 1st lp's in stereo.For many years you could by the mono or the stereo version of the same lp.First all in one;was one of those cabinet types.Those were the days;gas .19 a gallon.
a pioneer sx-626 which I still use in my basement a pioneer turntable one of the PL series a pioneer 8-track player recorder and these huge beautiful wood akai speakers that I bought sight unseen through a PX catalog while in Viet-Nam at the time I do not recall what I did with the other stuff probably trashed it after awhile then around 1977 or 78 I bought a decent stereo consisting of a pair of DQ-10'swith some obscure cable called kimber a Yamaha B-2 amp and a Yamaha C-2 pre amp a Kenwood KD-550 turnable a Denon 103c cartridge and a Sansui TU-717 tuner and then the madness set in I cannot tell you of all the different systems I have spent or wasted money on but I believe the system I may have enjoyed the most was the first before the stereo bug bit me.
1976. Infinity Qb speakers(MIT tweeters were so cool) with JVC amp and table using a Shure cartridge. Played only loud R & R. Oh yeah, forgot to mention my speaker stands....the cardboard box the speakers were packed in. Sound? ....I seem to remember there was a particular "atmosphere" in those days that seemed to help the sound. I guess that might be called a "room treatment." That was a long time ago.....excuse me as I need to take a shot of Geritol.
Telex-Phonola. I still have it! It was a hand-me-down from my parents and is actually a piece of furniture, about the size of a coffee table, speakers at both ends (covered by cloth) with a drawer that pulls out revealing a turntable and tuner! I "upgraded" to a Craig receiver in the late 70's then to a Fisher rack system in the mid-80's with a CD player. I thought I was Cool with speakers the size of small refrigerators - 15" woofers and all! I saw the light when I moved to "the big city" and went in to my first "better" electronics store. I quickly bought some Yamaha gear in the late 80's and moved on from there! Present day - I no longer have any of the aforementioned products, except for that vintage Telex!
Early 70's; Scott integrated tube amp; Dynaco A-25 speakers and Garrard turntable with Pickering cartridge (forget the model). And might I add that it was probably every bit as enjoyable as anything I've owned since and better than the Pioneer SS receiver route I took a few years later. But then again I didn't know then what I know now and music was the primary focus.
Tubegroover, it reminds me of the question...."is it better to be a happy pig or an unhappy philosopher?" Charlie
Danvetc In ignorance we bliss in knowledge we continually question.
1979 Dual 621 with ortofon Cartridge.kenwood 8100 Int Amp Kenwood 8300 tuner JVC Cassette deck.Klipsch Hersey speakers.lamp cord and Supplier included interconnects.I got 20 years out of it.Best 2K i ever spent.Sold it off over the last year.I will never forget the pleasure this system brought me.It may have not been HI FI but it brought many hours of enjoyment.