How old were you when you first started getting into hi fi stereos, speakers, amps - AVS Forum
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2-Channel Audio > How old were you when you first started getting into hi fi stereos, speakers, amps
keyboardcat's Avatar keyboardcat 01:48 AM 05-12-2012

A9X-308's Avatar A9X-308 02:50 AM 05-12-2012
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post


Building electronics including some audio trinkets from about 8 or 10, reading some of the hi fi mags from 15 and boutght my first gear, a Marantz 2285B receiver and some Sennheiser HD414 (I think that was the model #) around 16. Put them on lay by and paid them off and got them soon after my 16th birthday. Had some secondhand speakers gifted to me.
Soon I had an AR TT, then an Ariston, then a Linn (yuk).
buddahead's Avatar buddahead 06:29 AM 05-12-2012
I was quite young say 9 or 10.I taked my Dad in getting separates.We had a large console type stereo cabinet.But we got a Dual TT 'Dynaco speakers' and a Lafeyette Receiver.Sounded great.
coytee's Avatar coytee 06:29 AM 05-12-2012
I didn't know what I wanted, (I suspect it was some Mach 1's at RS), but I remember telling my mother I wanted a stereo for Christmas.

That was a mistake! That next Christmas, there was a nice all in one system under the tree. Including the speakers with the RCA cords going to them. I think it was a Yorx? 8-track, turntable, tuner.

Around age 18 (1978) I bought a Pioneer CTF 1000 and then some EV Interface D's. Following year, I acquired some LaScalas, Yamaha receiver, RTR, dbx....and was off to the races.

I still have to this day, the EV's, LaScalas, Yamaha, dbx.... gave some of the other goodies to a good friend.

So I was 17/18 when I actually started my real journey however, my mother helped jump start it a year or so earlier with good intentions.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman 07:50 AM 05-12-2012
Oh, about 15 years old (1959). I built an Eico 20 watt tube power amplifier from a kit and also a Klipschorn corner speaker kit with a 15" woofer and a huge horn on top. Mono of course.

That speaker was so efficient that I took it to a high school dance and DJed with it, and with 500 people in a large hall there was so much bass people had to go outside to take a break from

Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post


GlassWolf's Avatar GlassWolf 07:59 AM 05-12-2012
As long as I can remember, playing with my father's Kenwood receiver and Sansui speakers from the 1960s, to helping him build a Bell & Howell/Heathkit 25" color television kit back around 1975, and a bunch of other B&H kits like a DMM.
After all that I started getting into car audio, and went to work as an installer, went through the MECP certifications, eventually got my E.E. in college, and my MECP master installer certification, and finally started going back into home cinema and home audio.
qguy's Avatar qguy 08:38 AM 05-12-2012
Started listeining seriously to music at around 10 on a portable stereo. When i was in highschool I would go to a used audio store to look and eventually trade in what I have for more powerful amps, by more powerful I mean from 25 watts to 40 watts to 50 to 60 watts to 105 watts all solid state. At one time I had three amps in my room with 3 pairs of floorstanders with 12 and 10 inch woofers and a bookshelf with an 8 inch woofer, it had all the bells and whstles, 20 band EQ and even a Reverb it was LOUD !!! I even instaled a pair of 12 inch wooofers inside the sofa for extra vibration Went with vintage tubes Dynaco St70 and Scott 299d, then when back to solidstate and then circle back to my current system a Cayin A-70t 30 WPC Class A tube amp, Usher X-719 speakers and Rythmik F15 Sub and a Acer Netbook for source

that was 32 years ago... the journey continues...
oztech's Avatar oztech 08:42 AM 05-12-2012
I was lucky my father was into hi-fi (mono all there was ) so everything he upgraded got past down to me at age 10 I think.
Nethawk's Avatar Nethawk 09:22 AM 05-12-2012
Coytee, we're the same age. Fortunately when I asked my parents for a stereo at 14 they said "get a job". So I did. My first receiver was a Marantz, loved the gauge and cool lights and switches. They and Radio Shack bookshelf speakers served me well (I kept those RS for many, many years in a workshop).

I was 19 when I upgraded to Yamaha NS-1000 speakers. I still remember every detail, every note they reproduced. When they finally died in early 90's I gave them to a friend who was going to resurrect them, he moved to Wyoming to work on pipeline and I never knew the outcome.

After that I traveled quite a bit, it wasn't until the late 90's that I picked up my interest again but the purpose was for HT, as HDTVs were first coming available. I've come full circle now, the interest is back to accurate music reproduction.

My path is not well worn, gear has lasted me a long time, but it's not over yet!
SpotcheckBilly's Avatar SpotcheckBilly 09:24 AM 05-12-2012
I think that mono was all there was available to the consumer when I first got into hi-fi in 1956 at the age of ten. One of my friends had a dad who was into it in a big way. He built a system in his finished basement consisting of a Dynakit tubed (of course) amplifier, preamp, and tuner, a Rek-o-Kut transcription table/arm combo (I can't remember the cartridge), and a speaker system built from plans that featured a poured in place concrete front baffle with a 15" triaxial speaker (ElectroVoice, University, Jensen, I can't remember which of them it was). Several of us neighborhood kids used to hang out in that basement after school (especially when the weather was bad) and listen to our rock n roll 45's, then later some of us got into classical and jazz LP's.

By the time I turned twelve (1958) I had a system of my own, set up in my rather large bedroom. I wheedled and cajoled my parents into taking me to NYC to shop at Manhattan's famous Radio Row. I spent the money that I had been earning mowing lawns in the summer and shoveling snow in the winter on a little mono system that featured a tubed Harmon-Kardon intergrated amp (I think it was rated at 10w) and matching FM tuner, an ElectroVoice "Leyton" bookshelf speaker system, and a Garrard "automatic turntable" with a Pickering cartridge.

And that was just the beginning

Nethawk's Avatar Nethawk 09:25 AM 05-12-2012
PS In the first batch of albums I bought was Alice Cooper. I remember catching my parents discussing how they should have talked me into a chemistry set instead. I don't think they were fans
SpotcheckBilly's Avatar SpotcheckBilly 09:38 AM 05-12-2012
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

PS In the first batch of albums I bought was Alice Cooper. I remember catching my parents discussing how they should have talked me into a chemistry set instead. I don't think they were fans

I was living off campus in my own apartment by the time Alice Cooper became popular. I'll never forget my mom blushing when she visited me and got a look at the cover of Alice's first (IIRC) album "Pretty's For You"

domino92024's Avatar domino92024 02:24 PM 05-12-2012
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post

How old were you when you first started getting into hi fi stereos, speakers, amps?

About six. My dad bought a combo turntable/amp/speaker system (on springs no less), and an LP of "Peter and the Wolf." I was hooked. I turned into a kid mad-scientist, wiring my bedroom with turntables, 4-track, 8-track, cassette - whatever I could get my hands on.
Khaos's Avatar Khaos 03:13 PM 05-12-2012

...17 atm.

Head-Fi was 14.
ambesolman's Avatar ambesolman 04:02 PM 05-12-2012
I grew up with my dad having Samsui 5000 receiver, Benjamin Miracord turntable, AR speakers, and Revox tape recorder (reel to reel) that he bought at the PX in Germany when he was in the army. He bought out first cd player, a Sony 5 disk carousel, when I was 10 or so. He still has all of this and occasionally uses it.
My first stereo was a Sonic clock radio from mid-80s, still have it in my bathroom. Then I got a Technics single cassette stereo. Couple years later I got a dual cassette stereo that had detachable speakers! Thought that was awesome. Used a diskman and tape adapter with it.
It's funny, I always had a bigger stereo than my brother until he got a bigger one for his birthday that had a cd player built in with bigger detachable speakers. Worst day of my life at that point because I hated his music ('90). Guess I wasn't the only one because the next day my dad took me to HiFi Buys and went in with me on 2 Technic speakers w/8" woofers, 2 pioneer speakers w/10" woofers, jvc 5 disk cd player and jvc receiver. I never heard my brothers music again This was a big step that steered me in my love for car audio. Took that to college ('97) and then to a party at one of our fraternity's little sister's apt. Told them they could hold on to it for a while since her roommate took all her stuff. I kinda forgot about it as i moved in with roommates and one had a killer setup. I never saw it again.
Few years later (early 00's)I bought a midfi Sony receiver and a JBL sat/sub surround pkg. This setup served me well for about 10yrs until I bought a Sony 4400ES receiver ('09) then my Hsu vtf3.3 and HB-1s within the last couple years. Every step has been an upgrade from the last so at least I'm heading in the right direction. Other than a couple early sony diskmans, I've never had any problems with anything I've had (knock on wood), still have them in the family somewhere and most are being used. Loving the trip and can't wait to see what I end up with next!

The Sonic that popped my audio cherry...
kgveteran's Avatar kgveteran 05:29 PM 05-12-2012
My dad was so pissed, i spent $400.00 on a Pioneer SX-1250. I had no speakers, nothing....just my receiver.. That was back in 1979, i was about 16

keyboardcat's Avatar keyboardcat 05:52 PM 05-12-2012
What speakers did you later add to the Pioneer kgveteran?
tomandbeth's Avatar tomandbeth 09:07 PM 05-12-2012
I was about 7 or 8 (1964/65) when my older brother first got an FM stereo. My AM wasn't so sweet anymore. Then "inherited" his Guitar Amp and I would pull speakers out of the old TV cabinents being junked at the local TV "repair" shop. Learned to pull tubes and test them at the local Pharmacy.

Each tiny step led to better sounding systems.
postrokfan's Avatar postrokfan 09:24 PM 05-12-2012
I began getting into better quality audio at 18. I didn't have an "audiophile" dad or friends so I didn't really have any sort of reference as far as what constituted good equipment. My first foray into "hi-fi" was some budget gear consisting of a Pioneer SX-203 stereo receiver (that I still have and is in fact still going strong) and a pair of Polk Monitors (both purchased in 1994). This setup made me realize that I hadn't been hearing "everything" in the recordings I owned with previous boom boxes/lo-fi garbage I had owned in the past.
Paraneer's Avatar Paraneer 09:24 PM 05-12-2012
Ahhh, a walk down memory lane.

I was 18 and my first system was a Pioneer SX 535 receiver (believe it was 20 wrms per ch), Pioneer PL12 turntable with an Audio Technica cartridge and KLH 17's for speakers.

Two years later, with HI-FI fever firmly set in, I upgraded to a Technics SA 5460 receiver (65 wrms per ch), Technics SL1700 turntable with an Ortofon VMS20E cartridge, Pioneer CTF 8282 cassette deck and Avid 103 loudspeakers. Man, how I loved that system.
smasher50's Avatar smasher50 07:08 AM 05-13-2012
when i was growing up in the 60's and 70's my older brother was my mentor.i remember him and his friend hitchiked to woodstock.i remember his kenwood reciever and turntable and cerwin vega speakers at the age of 13 my mom gave me my first taste of audiophile equip. a phillips all in one reciever with turntable and 8 track player built in with and a set of speakers for christmas. no more listening to static transister 15 my brother gave me his stereo system when he got married and moved 17 i bought my first real audiophile system ( saving money from working at local grocery store after school and my dad on weekends) a marantz 2250 reciever a pair of large advent loudspeakers and an AR xa turntable( which i still use today ) and from then and til now many other audiophile componets including my reference system today a creek destiny amp a set of reference 3a mm de cappo i speakers and my new addition a yamaha ns px-3 turntable. i would like to say that this is it but in this crazy hobby i'll be buying audio equip. until i go deaf
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 03:30 PM 05-13-2012
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post


8, except that there weren't many stereos in those days (1954).
ambesolman's Avatar ambesolman 05:09 PM 05-13-2012
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

8, except that there weren't many stereos in those days (1954).

Is it because they were coal burning?
oztech's Avatar oztech 06:25 PM 05-13-2012
I don't think there were any FM Stereo or records recorded in stereo before the early 60's or at least mainstream.
barryecohen's Avatar barryecohen 10:02 PM 05-13-2012
Late '70s and I was about 15 or so. Built some speaker cabinets in wood-shop and loaded them with drivers sourced from RadioShack. A year or so later I made a plinth of concrete for a rec-o-kut idler-drive platter/motor and installed a Sure SME 3009 arm.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 05:30 AM 05-14-2012
Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

Is it because they were coal burning?

We had natural gas in the 50s. ;-)

Seriously, stereo recordings were like hen's teeth until about 1958, and mono LPs were still dual-stocked in record stores into the 1960s.


"The GE and Zenith systems, so similar that they were considered theoretically identical, were formally approved by the FCC in April 1961 as the standard stereo FM broadcasting method in the USA and later adopted by most other countries."
GlassWolf's Avatar GlassWolf 09:36 AM 05-14-2012
I should also note that after working with my father to build some A/V stuff and electronics, which started me on my path to being an E.E. and MECP master installer later, I started out putting a head unit in a car, then speakers, then getting mroe involved.
I started out on my own with home audio when I graduated HS, and bought a Kenwood integrated rack system (top of the line model for a matched component set at Circuit City back in 1989) which had a surround processor, control amp, amplifier, dual well tape deck, turntable, and 6 disc CD changer, along with two bookshelf speakers, and two main floorstanding speakers. I added an Onkyo Integra EQ-35 equalizer to that, and a 27" Mitsubishi black diamond component video TV and had my first HT.
From there I went to more serious gear, like my KEF Reference 104/2s and Kube, etc and in 2001 I moved to an Onkyo AVR and 46" Mits widescreen RPTV, and just kept upgrading everything from there.

I do miss the old bell and howell/heathkit projects, though. ahh the good old days, when you had to learn resistor color codes to work on electronics. They don't even teach that in E.E. programs anymore *sigh*
aquaphile's Avatar aquaphile 12:08 PM 05-14-2012
in 8th grade (2000ish?) I got a pair of Sony tower speakers from lawn mowing money, which replaced the speakers from a shelf system I had for a few years. I upgraded to a hand-me-down Sony stereo receiver from my parents. None of it was top shelf stuff, but it worked and fueled the interest like a gas line... to age 22 (2008) and I bought my current speakers, B&W 600 series. Since then (25 now) I have slowly been building up my system and upgrading etc.
Ovation's Avatar Ovation 07:58 PM 05-14-2012
Got an Emerson "all in one" w/cassette/TT/speakers when I was 11 in 1978. Carried me through high school. First 2 years of university I made do with a good TT by Technics, a good cassette deck from same fed through a Radio Shack phono pre-amp to a large GE "ghetto blaster". The dorm room was small, so it was okay.

The big move came in my third year of university (1987)--a pair of Celestion DL6s (that I had until 2003) and a Pioneer receiver (V??-25 model no. ?). Had added a Kenwood CD player in 1986 to my jury-rigged kit and now it was part of the new system. Sold the receiver and Kenwood to a buddy in 1989 and bought a much nicer Technics CD player (that lasted until last year at my cousin's house). I piggy-backed my speakers and other kit on various roommates' receivers for awhile. Over the years, the one bit of kit that stayed with me longest were the DL6s (still miss them). Picked up a Denon CD player in 1991 (died two years ago, though it had become erratic in playback some time earlier). Also picked up an Aiwa cassette deck (top of the line in 1993--store posted entry level model price on it and ate the loss). Still have it but it needs a head alignment. Got a Denon AVR1600 in 2000. Sold it to my brother in law in 2004. Still working (in his son's apartment now).

2004 was another big jump. Integra DTR 6.4 receiver (still have it in the living room in 2.0 mode with new PSB Imagine B speakers). Boston Acoustics VR-M60s, VR-M50s, VRC centre and PV900 sub for 5.1 (still in my HT and still loving them). Cambridge Audio 540D V.1 for DVD-A/region free DVDs (still have it as my CD player in the HT as it is lightning fast at loading and skipping tracks on CDs). Marantz DV6400 DVD-A/SACD player--now in the living room with the Integra as the music disc player (CD/SACD/DVD-A).

In Dec. 2011, I added a Yamaha RX-A1000 to the HT (moved the Integra as noted above). Added a pair of PSB Imagine Bs to living room at the same time. Added a Cambridge Audio DVD99 (demo at heavily reduced price with full warranty) for SACD/DVD-A via HDMI. Also acts a region-free DVD player. Have a "fat" PS3 with SACD capability and BD playback (though having trouble with long cable run with it--long story).

I have some other BD and HD DVD players in the HT and elsewhere in the house but they are not for audio, so no need for details there.

My next goal (won't be for several years--I tend to go 8-10 years between major acquisitions) is a tube-based, mostly analogue (TT, maybe get the Aiwa fixed) rig--not because I think it's better than solid state and digital but because I think it would be fun. I'd like to have a dedicated 2 channel listening room/library with a few comfy chairs (one in the optimal listening position, of course) where I could spend fall and winter evenings with some nice jazz or classical, a nice single malt, and watch the glow of the tubes in a low-lit room.
brendelac's Avatar brendelac 08:54 PM 05-14-2012
15ish. i had a yamaha cc-70w mini system that was stolen by some jackass theif. insurance company overvalued it and i was able to get some big boy gear.
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