What was your first audio revelation? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-10-2019, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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What was your first audio revelation?

I had a 1991 Honda Crx with a set of Pioneer truck boxes in the back. I was hanging out in town with some friends and had my radio playing as background music while we talked and watched people cruising by.

A guy I knew that also owned a CRX pulled up to talk with us. He had a competition level sound system in his car. He invited me in to give it a listen. I was amazed at the quality of the sounds that were being produced in that tiny cabin. We listened to different types of music for about half an hour. I was very impressed but the thing that stood out more than anything was when I got out of the car I heard the radio in my car still playing and it was HORRIBLE. My ears had experienced a new level of quality and now I then knew what I’d been missing.

That was my revelation and from that point forward I bought the best audio equipment I could afford within reason.
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-10-2019, 04:28 PM
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I would have to say when I switched out my factory car stereo and speakers with mb quart separates and 12 inch subs in the trunk with Rockford fosgate amps. The clarity and tactile bass were like nothing I had experienced before and I would spend hours just sitting in my car listening to music. Then, I got a Bose acoustimass setup in my apartment and that was another revelation at the time. But, from an HT perspective, it was when I heard Jurassic Park on Laserdisc with a 3.1 setup (LCR plus sub) using a Harmon Kardon avr. That is when I realized I could enjoy movie theater quality audio in my home, which was a game changer for me.
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post #3 of 26 Old 08-10-2019, 04:45 PM
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Fujitsu Eclipse "Bottomless" Aluminum Subs and Q

My revelation was also with car audio. After graduating high school in 2002 I outfitted my 1991 Lincoln Town Car (that make and model won Motor Trend car of the year the year previous, but don't get a '91 because the it cheaps out on the secondary fuse box and uses insufferable fusable links instead, get a later year with the real second fuse box). Anyhow, I had 4,000 Watts of bass in the massive trunk. Previously, while still in high school and student body president I at one time transported 8 people in that car. 6 inside and 2 in the trunk. There might have even been a keg in there somewhere (Natural Ice Light, ha ha ha (incontrovertible kid beer))... Anyhow the trunk is huge on those cars.

I had 2 Japanese Fujitsu Aluminum Eclipse 12" and 2 American Kicker Comp 15" subwoofers with Rockford Fosgate Power series amps. I learned a few things setting all of this up. A few of them are don't use a lead acid battery in the trunk for your stereo (luckily we smelled it) it is hazardous in multiple ways, a capacitor makes the bass much better and keeps your lights from dimming and that $100+ set of RCA cables I splurged on at Circuit City with the twisting and the superior shielding and the marketing hype did nothing to alleviate the alternator/grounding wine I thought it would.

The revelation that sticks with me the most is that I bought a 3-way crossover from a local electronics store which had a remote. You know the ones on the wire with the knobs that you place under your dash somewhere within easy reach to turn the bass up and down. Well this one had a couple of extra knobs for "Q". I wasn't specifically looking for that but what it stands for I latter learned is "Quality Factor" and controls how wide of a frequency spectrum you are amplifying. So unlike an ordinary crossover I could choose a bass frequency and then basically direct ALL of my amplification, almost 500 legitimate Watts RMS according to the amps Rockford Fosgate Birth Certificate, into that single frequency alone by focusing the Q. Wow, my stereo bass was taken to a whole new level. My steering wheel would jump up and down vibrating by like several inches. I'm not sure how the steering column didn't snap.

I would love to find another crossover like that, or even just a jpeg of one to keep as a memento but I've been unsuccessful in my cursory searches...

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post #4 of 26 Old 08-10-2019, 07:58 PM
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Friend of a Friends Fujitsu Eclipse Titanium 15" Subwoofer

Fujitsu's Eclipse brand of car audio is no longer imported from Japan do to sales volumes not justifying the market presence but boy did they make some serious gear.

About 15 years ago or so my friend took me his co-workers house to listen to his Subwooofer. Or actually the street in front of his house where is early '90 Honda Accord was parked with rear seat removed and long box almost like a coffin taking up the length of that space from the trunk lip to the front seats. It was his subwooofer enclosure for a Fujitsu Eclipse Titanium 15", their pinnacle model ever offered in the US. I don't remember how many Watts he was running because I was amazed he hooked his amplifiers up directly to the alternator of the car.

The sound was likely noticeable in homes for a 1/4 mile radius from our location in the middle of a residential neighbor hood. I've yet to hear anything like that and subsequently JL Audio anything, absolutely ruled the market with a new 13.5" subwoofer the W7 and top rated amplifiers... Eclipse is now a vintage
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-11-2019, 06:02 AM
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My first amplifier blind test that included amplifiers from $7,000 to $300 (in late 1980's dollars). No one could tell which was which. I never worried about amplifiers again. Saved me a ton of money over the years.
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-11-2019, 05:10 PM
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Shortly after the folks divorce, Dad had to work third shift for a while. I am talking '86/'87. While he was working, we would remove the sliding glass patio doors. Turn the old Zenith(?) console tv around to face outside towards the back patio and yard. Actually draped the curtains around the tv much like a theater. I owned two vcr tapes at the time to play in the "new" vcr. Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same" and The Doors "Live at the Hollywood Bowl". We were all just starting to experience "different" things for the first time. Played those two tapes back to back every time. Friends starting bringing lawn chairs over and setting them up. I knew then that this was something very special to have at home. Have been working to upgrade that first system for 30+ years!
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-14-2019, 06:00 PM
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Early 90s, got my first piece of decent gear...a Panasonic, dynamorphous metal, 4-head, hi-fi stereo VCR...$400. Hooked that baby up to my 27”, cheapest model they had at Circuit City, direct view CRT...a crappy old JVC stereo receiver, with a built in, 3-band graphic equalizer...and the 3way Pioneer speakers my dad got at the PX, on his way home from Vietnam. Popped in my VHS copy of Jurassic Park, and the magic began. When I heard the rumble of that first Brachiosaurus hitting the ground, I was hooked!

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post #8 of 26 Old 08-14-2019, 06:57 PM
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When my father brought home KEF 105.2 speakers and a Carver amp set up ("Sonic Holography"). Boggled my mind for years.


Next epiphany was first time hearing Quads - ESL 63s, at a buddy's place who'd caught the audiophile bug. Re-oriented my ideas of sound. (And I ended up buying ESL 63's myself, enjoyed them for a few years, then decided dynamic/box speakers better suited me. But anyone who starts with Quads faces the dilemma of chasing a box speaker that can do what they do, but more. It's a tough challenge).
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-14-2019, 09:02 PM
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My dads reaction when I was about 8yrs old, make or break.
Sometimes my older brother and sister would not come home on the bus from school and I would have free reign to my dads stereo. My dad had a beautiful silver analog receiver with four matching three way 12” woofer speakers double stacked on each side, as tall as me (for an 8 yr old). The neighborhood always knew when I was home. Anyways, as I was cranking the system one day I heard a loud POP and then some smoke out one of the speakers..... oh crap!!! My dad got home and smelled the house of burnt wire and asked me what happened?? I told him after he asked “was it really loud?” I was scared when I answered “ya, really loud” and then he asked if it sounded good? I said “yes, really good”. He laughed and said okay, I’ll just buy a new speaker then. My love for audio was born right there.
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-15-2019, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyJS View Post
My first amplifier blind test that included amplifiers from $7,000 to $300 (in late 1980's dollars). No one could tell which was which. I never worried about amplifiers again. Saved me a ton of money over the years.
^^^ This. Best post I've read all day.
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Save your money.
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-30-2019, 11:30 AM
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The real impact that speaker position has in a room. No matter what speakers you have Big or Small getting them in the best position for your room will make a difference. Start with manufactures recommendations and then adjust from there and yes an inch or two can make a difference.

The biggest problem is the best sound from your system will come when the speakers are most likely in the least esthetic location.

The second and related mind blower was that how close the listening sweet spot actually is. Basically however wide your speakers are apart your sweet spot will most likely be sitting centered the same distance in front of your speakers +-

Third getting your tweeters at ear height when sitting in your listen position

When these three things are found you will enjoy 2 channel music with no need for surround processing.
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 04:37 AM
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I didn’t know what surround sound was until I was in an electronics store showing Aliens on laserdisc with Dolby surround in a living room type environment. Everything I had watched at home up to that point was using tv speakers only.
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 02:34 PM
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My life-altering revelation came at the age of five, when I marveled that when you plugged some wires into a box, sound magically came out of the loudspeaker. A career in audio followed, with a focus on the design and operation of loudspeakers and speaker systems.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 02:45 PM
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Mine happened at a dance. I encountered Altec-Lansing sound reinforcement speakers with 18" woofers in a folded horn enclosure. I spent much of my time talking to the engineer who owned and was running them. Ever since that time I have considered most home systems pretty weak stuff. Pro sound equipment is amazing and has made incredible progress since the evening as a young teen in the 70's.

Of course consumer stuff now is amazing...but I really prefer professional gear.
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post #15 of 26 Old 09-01-2019, 05:42 AM
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When I was a teen I had a friend who was in the audio business and had a high end system...... including reel-to-reel, Adire class A amplifiers beefed up with huge coffee-can sized outboard capacitors, and beefed-up demo model Design Acoustics D-6 speakers in one room, and Design Acoustics D-8 (or D-10?) towers in another room. I was turned into a spoiled brat at an early age.

A Photo of some D-8's that came out in the seventies....each one has two-10" woofers on the back:


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post #16 of 26 Old 09-02-2019, 12:10 AM
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My biggest revelation, made back when I was young and still had great high frequency hearing, was that the dullness in the highs when playing back cassette tape, even on state of the art machines with azimuth controls and under optimal conditions, wasn't so much the prominent roll off at 20Khz, it was more the minor droop before that, at say 10-14 kHz or so. A drop in that area of just say 2-3dB was more significant to the ear than a drop of double or even quadruple that at 20kHz.

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post #17 of 26 Old 09-07-2019, 07:43 PM
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1982 , I was 10 , neighbor who had kids around my age had been expanding my music enjoyment past whatt my folks listened to into hard rock and metal , had worked some OT and splurged on (at the time to me) HUGE Polk towers and a new turntable for his system . I helped him carry them into the house and set up , he sent me out to the truck to grab the last piece , day one release of Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast . I ran it in , he set up , and we listened to the whole album at ever increasing volume . We replayed Run to the Hills at shag nasty volume , I'm sure he screwed up both of our hearing but we were ROCKING! His wife came home from work walked over and turned it down and gave us both a look , then said it looked like the big picture window was getting ready to break , so of course he restarted the song and cranked it so we could see He was the first person I knew that bought anything resembling a quality system and was the benchmark for years

Turn that $*!# UP!! --Beethoven
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post #18 of 26 Old 09-10-2019, 06:59 AM
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When I heard my first high end systems and discovered what audio actually could sound like.

Rather like when I heard my first good DAC and found that CD didn't have to sound harsh and fatiguing.

More recently after living with Apogees as my main speakers for a couple decades realizing that you can hear "cones in a box" when you listen to about 95% of speakers with conventional drivers on the market.
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post #19 of 26 Old 09-10-2019, 08:12 AM
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FM stereo in 1963.
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #20 of 26 Old 09-10-2019, 10:06 AM
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^People don't realize how mind blowing stereo sound was when it first appeared to the general public in the late 50's/early 60's. AR (Acoustic Research) helped spread the word by installing a high fidelity demonstration room in one of the most heavily trafficked venues in the world: right smack dab in the main concourse of Grand Central in NYC ! Here weary travelers could check it out for themselves without any annoying sales pitches.

Many listeners in that linked to image were likely getting their very first exposure to four groundbreaking inventions we now take for granted:

A. The world's first dome tweeters [the AR-3 speakers]
B. The world's first audiophile-grade turntable [the AR-XA]
C. The first living room friendly "bookshelf" speaker with deep, low distortion bass [i.e. acoustic suspension, first seen in the AR-1]
D. Stereophonic sound, not mono

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post #21 of 26 Old 09-10-2019, 12:07 PM
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The word Bass was pronounced with a long vowel and not like the fish... I was young meh

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post #22 of 26 Old 09-10-2019, 12:11 PM
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A lot of those early demo LPs had what was derisively called "ping pong stereo" because it sounded like you were watching a ping pong (table tennis) game from a few feet away.

OVER HERE!

................................ NOW OVER HERE!

NOW BACK OVER HERE!

The AR ad I linked to actually had a subtle slam about them regarding the demo music they played at the Music Room in Grand Central : "no ping pong games"

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post #23 of 26 Old 09-10-2019, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medi0gre View Post
The word Bass was pronounced with a long vowel and not like the fish... I was young meh
Ha-ha. How could you make such a treble mistake?
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post #24 of 26 Old 09-10-2019, 12:33 PM
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June 11, 1993. Jurassic Park and the arrival of DTS. Never understood other people's opinion on that--in theaters, DTS and SDDS always obliterated Dolby, to my ears. Wasn't until an all digital showing of The Simpsons movie did I ever think Dolby was in the same ball-park. Regardless, that's when I first became infatuated with theater sound.
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-13-2019, 06:48 PM
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That just because have never heard of the brand name doesent mean that you shouldnt give it a try. And not to judge an entire company based on one bad product or a single lemon.
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post #26 of 26 Old 09-15-2019, 04:25 AM
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1974 (I was 16) - At a friend of a friends house.......Altec Lansing speakers, half a wall full of tubes and amps, turntables, reel to reels, cassette decks.............
Guy would record his albums onto cassettes, carefully put the album back into its sleeve, turn the sleeve sideways and put it back into the cover so no debris could fall onto the vinyl and play the cassette until he decided it was worn out. Said the stylus cost too much to be replacing every month.
It was an eye opening experience to hear so much detail in the music.
He cranked it for us one day and I thought he was going to shake the glasses off the table, I'm sure neighbors blocks away heard it.
I was hard core rock n' roll back then but it made me realize that country music could sound good too!
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