Your first system and your journey...

Since we are on a audiophile (or is that audio-pile) site many, if not most, have had some decent systems.  I would enjoy in hearing from all/any about what your first system was made up of.  Mine was a Dynaco, I think something like a 35, tube integrated with some small British two way speakers and a BSR McDonald turntable with something like a 44E Shure cartridge , ...and yes, lamp cord for wires and whatever came on the turntable.  It is almost sad to say I have spent much more on some interconnects than that first system cost. 
My first stereo was a cheapie off-brand (electrovoice or something similar) that had the am/fm radio and record changer in one box and two little speakers with 4” drivers.  It sounded like you think it did.  When I was 16, my parents gifted me a Pioneer SX-626 receiver and in time I got a Garrard TT, Realistic Nova 7 speakers (to be replaced by Advent loudspeakers) and a Sony reel-to-reel tape deck.  It wasn’t too bad — the tape deck sounded better than records on the Garrard; I assumed the Pioneer had a better tape section than phono section.  There was a local college radio station back then that featured albums for recording — program called “Wax Museum” — that even provided a tone so you could set recording level, and that was a cool way to hear new music. 
14 yrs. old;  Dual 1229 TT, Shure V15 cart., Heathkit 50wpc integrated I soldered together, Coral speakers, lamp cord speaker wire in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.  First album Buddy Rich "Rich in London".  Could it be any weirder?
12 years old - Motorola record player with fold our speaker wings.  
16 years old - Setton turntable, Sherwood receiver, ADS speakers
McIntosh MR1700 receiver 
ADS 810 speakers 
Pioneer turntable 
Onkyo dual cassette deck
Generic cables