How did you get started in this hobby

As a college kid, my roommate had KLH speakers, the Beatles Sgt. Peppers came out and homegrown Flemington flash came on the scene. My eyes were opened along with my ears. I visited a local audio store Audiolab and another not too far away Soundex. The effect on my listening, I was stunned by what I was hearing and how the management just let me listen to all the gear knowing I was just window shopping. I'll never forget Soundex( out by Willow Grove Pa)  letting me listen to all their rooms at different price points and more than a few occasions.One room had $30,000 each in electronics and $100,000 speakers. Well, I could not afford even the entry-level stuff but again my horizon was broadened. So off I went to NYCity with my roommate in tow. I ran into an audio store while he waited in the car and asked the sales guy what I could buy with the meager dollars I had. I picked up a pair of AR speakers, and a Dual Turntable, my roommate had an old HH Scott that was in his father's food store that did not work. I got it fixed for free by the teacher of the electronics class in my High school where  I would occasionally substitute teach ( babysit) to get beer money for college Thursday night beer sessions at the Extension bar.

Much later a fellow employee who was an audiophile got me connected with his buddy an audio salesman who sold me his Snell c2 mk.2 speakers and another of his friends who was looking to sell his Adcom GFP 400 pre amp/tuner and GFA 555 amp along with thick monster cable. Adcom was just starting up around 1980 and was thirty minutes away in New Brunswick NJ. For a box of donuts, they went over my gear and made some changes to the amp and preamp. I remember their CD player had a tendency to jump if vibrated that was fixed as well all while I waited for  just for a box of doughnuts.  Woo that was my system for almost 40 years.  I wanted something different, I found out about Audiogon and bought within a week a Technics SU G 700  and Canton speakers about two years ago at tremendous savings from local audiophiles one in bucks county near New Hope Pa., and another in Freehold NJ. That's my story. from start to finish.

Based on what I've seen here I am not an audiophile but someone just interested in listening to good music with good gear at good savings and who is intrigued by the character ( good and bad) I see on here and the stellar systems they have.


A friend at university, Neil, introduced me to his system that was built around the NAD 3020. We’d sometimes go back to his after playing snooker. On the way there there we often passed what seemed to be a high end Hi-Fi store nr New Cavendish St.

I can’t recall Neil’s turntable, it might have been a Dual, but I do recall him playing me LPs of The Planets by Holst and the The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.

All pleasant enough though I might have preferred Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

I also remember him making me tea via a strainer and as for the spectacular nights view of Marylebone Road from his flat, well that was unforgettable.

Before too long I had ordered a brochure from NAD and I was off.

I’ve still got that brochure somewhere, for some sentimental reason I could never bear to part with it.


All of this reminiscing reminds me just how daunting those few steps into separates Hi-Fi were back then. Not only was there a world of music lying undiscovered before me, there was also the world of separates audio too.

Simply enchanting and bewildering at the same time.

  I started so far back, there was only one speaker to contend with. I was told that if I could fix the Magnavox upright console, it was mine. Couple days later, I was on the way. Probably only 10 years old, but this was a good start for me.

Rewind to 1975, I’d just inherited my Dad’s ‘69 Galaxie 500 and needed better than an AM radio for cruising around.  There was a magazine ad for a Pioneer 8 track player with Dolby.  I had to acquire it!  Along my search for the gadget, my interest was diverted to a Teac A-450 cassette deck, then a “Monster Receiver” (SX-1250), then a pair of Infinity QLS-1s.  Didn’t score the Infinitys but I wound up with a sweet little pair of JBL L65s which have consistently fit both my sonic wants and my lifestyle to a tee for more than 44 years now and utilized with a myriad of amps and sources I probably wouldn’t have given a second thought to if that picture of the hippie dude holding the Pioneer 8 track unit (“with actual Dolby noise reduction”!) in that copy of National Lampoon didn’t work its marketing magic on me all those eons ago.

It was back in the Jurassic Age of this hobby ..,, maybe around the same time as General George Washington was hunkered down with the Colonial troops at Valley Forge.

ok …. a little more direct timeline would be the early 70’s with a vast new experience in a university dorm listening arena, packed with beer, booze and broads. Add into the mix a roommate with the same refined audio tastes that demanded a superior tunes reproduction system , and t was hooked for life.

land our dorm room was thus the dorm floor Command Central gathering place many Friday nights

It quickly morphed into a MARANTZ 2245 receiver, ELAC MIRACORD TT, SHURE V15 cartridge and JBL L100 monitors banging out that bespoke California sound .

Hobby!!!???? For me this isn't a hobby. Its part of my life. I can't remember when I didn't love music. I spent my allowance $$$ on 45's when I was 8-9 yrs old. In my 20's we moved around a lot and the 1st thing to go into the P/U truck was my stereo and my drums.. It was the 1st thing set up when we arrived at the new place. I started an all out assault in about 2k because I wanted to see where it lead. How much better can the music sound? This is the best I've had and it sounds great. I'm often surprised at the idea that this is a hobby. Its little wonder that many drop out of this hobby after a while. Thats the nature of hobbies. I've had lots of, motorcycles, hunting, models, poker, etc etc. They all went by the wayside. music never has. As REO said, "Can't you see I'll always be a music man"