My 1st 'audiophile' speaker? I guess my Acoustic Research AR90's, bought through a Teledyne Avionics employee purchase program, at half price, directly from the factory, around 1980. Those, paired with a NAD 3140 integrated, and a cheap JVC direct drive turntable, composed my earliest system. I can't exactly remember the cartridge, but it may have been a Micro Acoustics? The AR90's were very good speakers (still have 'em), the NAD was good, but low-powered for the 90's, and the only saving grace for the JVC was that it was fully automatic!
I found out the hard way, that the NAD wasn't enough for the AR's, thanks to my little brother (borrowing my system). I came home one day, to the smell of fried electronics! I checked my amp over, and it seemed OK. Then I pulled the grills on the 90's, and found the cause of the odor. My brother had so over-driven the NAD, he'd fried one of the upper dome mids in the speakers. In fact, fried it so bad that the dome was hanging out of the front of the speaker, like a distended eyeball! AR swapped it out for free, no questions asked. I wish that Acoustic Research was still around! And my brother never 'fessed up to the damage!