The first system you had that was "high end/audiophile", by you standards

I did have some others before, but the first system that hooked me on this passion/hobby and would still be pretty good today was:

Stacked Large Walnut Advents, with the top ones upside down so the tweeters were close together,
Yamaha CA-1000 integrated (usually run in the class A mode)
Yamaha top end direct drive turntable (YP-800?) with ADC XLM II cartridge 
Yamaha CT-7000 tuner
Early Monster interconnects and speaker cables 
Advent cassette deck
Teac reel to reel with 10" reels (model ?)

The first thing(s) that were replaced was the Large Advents that gave way to a pair of 
Dahlquist DQ-10.

From that system I have gone on to several others that I have enjoyed, but I do remember that first one.

Linaeum Model 10 speakers, McCormack DNA1, Synergistic cables, California Audio Labs CDP. Originally on a 2x12 plank, then moved to the rack currently in the corner. Same room. We have come a long way in 30+ years.
Infinity Monitors with Walsh tweeters, AGI 511 preamp, GAS Son of Ampzilla, Ariston RDIIS TT, JH Formula 4 arm, GAS Sleeping Beauty mc cartridge, Verion SUT, Verion Triaxial ICs. All circa '78!
Acoustat Monitor 4's, RH labs subwoofers driven by Kenwood LO7M amps, Dalquist LP1 crossover, CJ preamp, LP 12/SME 3009, various cartidges, Denon SUT. This would be in 1979. 
I didn't get into high end audio til the 90s so for me it was an original Rega Planet, Bryston B-60, and some Definitive Technology towers a small basic floorstanding 2-way.
Used Audio Research SP-5 preamp (after rotating through many brands)
Threshold 500s Amp (my first ever bank loan)
ESS AMT 1D speakers
The New AR Turntable
Nakamichi LX-5 Tape Deck
Sonograph TT, Sumiko MMT arm, Talisman cart
B&K pro 10 preamp
B&K ST140 amp
Vandersteen Model 2s

@mesch IF you were in Columbus, Ohio i maybe sold you that excellent sounding system….ha.

The MMT with modifications, rewire, is still competitive today….
Denon DP790, Denon Arm, Audioquest AQ-404, Hegeman HAPI 2 preamp, Modified Hafler DH-100 i built myself with inputs from Sensible Sound ( remember that rag ? authors / tweaks… KEF kit 104 ab in massively braced cabinets my pattern maker Dad and i constructed ( cabinet within a cabinet ), Fulton speaker wire, with IC Sumiko used to backdoor to usa from Japan…

My system in 1982.
B&W 801 e series speakers
Janis W1 sub-woofers, pair
CJ PV5 preamp
Hafler 220 amps
B&O turntable, linear trackerMonster cables

@tomic601  No, I bought it from a dealer in Murphysboro, Illinois. Still own the Sonograph w/sumiko arm.  In storage,  not been in my current system. 
In 1973, I had stacked Advents driven by the original Phase Linear 700 (no jokes please, I was 18 years old), a Quintessence preamp (rare bird, though Bill Leebens wrote about it somewhat recently) and a Technics SP-10 with custom plinth, a couple of arms and cartridges.
By 1975, I had done a complete about face-- all ARC tube stuff (still have that first ARC amp, though many followed it, all in the same vein --ARC tube stuff in the 60-75 watt/channel range) and Quad ESLs. I still have the Quads too, and after being refurbished, use them in my vintage system. I have owned that pair of speakers since around 1973-4.
It’s been a long road, but as others say, it’s the journey, not the destination.
ya Bill the sense of history, legacy and sonic evolution is part of the journey. I still have my parents 1965 MX110 Z and 1961 MC240 as the core of my vintage system. I remember the day they arrived with the big Bozaks in winter 1965.
@tomic601 - and I'll bet that system can sound fabulous. I was supposed to hear a pair of Concert Grands or whatever the big daddy Bozak was (owned now by the son) but never happened. I'm using an MX110z in the vintage system, as you may know. Lots of tubes, knobs and chrome. Whoa! :)
This was around 1994-95:
Linn LP12 turntable
Aragon 47K phono preamp
Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 preamp
Dynaco Stereo 70 amp
Vandersteen 1B speakers
Pioneer Elite PD-65 cd player
Kimber Cables
ASC tube traps

One of the best audio synergy I have experienced.  I still remember that system!
1974: Dynaco SCA-35 integrated amp, an AR-XB turntable (don’t remember the cartridge, but probably a Shure), and AR 4xa speakers.  All bought with summer job earnings after my freshman year in college.  
@whart , Darn close. In 73 I had a pair of large advents and a pair of Klipsch Heresys a Fuzzlinear 700 and a  Marantz 7C. I did not get into ARC stuff until much later. I did pass through CJ territory. By the time I knew anything about Quads I had drifted into Acoustat. 
The Marantz tube preamp has withstood the test of time. I gather than the ARC SP3-a-1 (updated to some other nomenclature) is also still a contender, though I found both the SP3 and the later sp10-mk ii, though glorious in some respects, to be simply too noisy for the Avantgarde horns. But, in the right system, with a different sensitivity to noise, and perhaps some mods (I did have the SP 10 back and forth to Minn. many times, including for some "hot rod" version), they are classics too.
I much wanted to put a Marantz 7 tube in the vintage system, but I didn’t want to pay the tariff given the nature of the system and the fact that I have another, "main" system to play. But, those are the bomb. After what, more than 60 years? ( suck at math)
Bill - Dad had the 305 = half a concert grand in a furniture grade cherry cabinet. Still with 2 x 12”, 1x 8” and 4 cone tweeters, they could rock.

I was a CJ guy, consider the beginning of ARC to be SP-6….. i know, just a kid.
When I was 18 I moved out on my own (ok with a roommate)
I had a decent job and bought the best system I could afford.
Nikko receiver, realistic speakers, Garrard turntable with a Audio-Technica cartridge.
Bedroom system. Sly’s “Sex Machine” Lol!
80s (Single)
McIntosh 5100 integrated
Bozak Concert Grands (these babies were the size of refrigerators)

90s (Married)
Pioneer Elite VSX 90 5.1
Paradigm surround with powered subwoofer

Current (Still married but I said screw it, I want large speakers again)
RPi4 Streamer
Luxman 509x Integrated
Magnepan 1.7i

Around 1982

Technics SL-1600MKII turntable
Pioneer PL1000 turntable
Rodec SM200  Mixer
Pioneer SPEC-4 power amp
Soundcraftsman SP4001 EQ/pre amp
Teac X10R R2R
dbx 224 Type II noise reduction unit
dbx 3bx dynamic range expander
Original Bose 901 speakers with chrome stands

Over the past three years, I've given it all away except the R2R and dbx components

@tomic601 - yep, there was that ARC v. C-J what sound are you after. I didn't keep up with C-J; met Bill Thalmann years later as an independent. The ARC stuff changed several times- they had that "analog module" or whatever it was called (one of the times I got to meet Wm. Z) and they went into their "white period" at a certain point-- sort of bleached, dry, more analytical. I don't really keep up with ARC either. I did buy a stash of parts, including tubes, for my ancient Dual 75a (which I am the first owner of, still have the warranty card and price list) before the company got sold the first time. 
The history of audio equipment is itself sort of a field of endeavor. I think I mentioned I was chatting with a designer of that Quintessence, and he built crossovers for ESS back in the day, and is still designing and making equipment. 
I did get to meet Peter Walker many years ago- he was pleasant, but I didn't rattle his cage. So much history, and I only know the obvious stuff. 
Somebody I knew at the gym had a pair of Dayton-Wright electrostatic in non-working condition. Go figure!
I'll bet even 1/2 a Concert Grand could kick ass.

Naim Nait (1st iteration)
Rega 3 Sumiko Blue Point
Pro Ac Tablettes (original version)
  • Vandersteen 2C (1985)
  • NAD Receiver (don’t remember the model)
  • CJ Walker Turntable w/Linn LVX Arm and Grado cartridge
tube research labs gt 400s, sound lab a1s, Golden triode pre, oracle premier mk 2, dynavector arm, arc ph3se, Paul's cables,  I sure do miss that man!
In the early 1970’s, my system was:

Crown DC 300 amp
Crown IC 150 preamp
Empire turntable
Shure V-15 cartridge
JBL Olympus speakers
Pioneer headphones

The system sounded very good at the time.
Mine was 1978. Sansui G-8700DB DC Power Receiver, Technics 1200 TT, Teac Cassette Tape Model ??, Sansui SA-7 Equalizer, Bose 601 Series I Speakers. Bought overseas in the Navy. Nice sounding system. 
My first system was a College graduation present from my parents in the mid 60s. It wasn't state of the art even then but it was at least A-/A.

Dynaco PAS 2 preamp
Dynaco Stereo 70 amp
Acoustic Research AR2a speakers
Acoustic Research XA turntable
ADC Point 4E cartridge
14 gauge lamp cord speaker wire(this was pre wire days and normal speaker wire was 16 gauge lamp cord)
Snell c2 mark 2, Adcom GFA 555, GCD 500 and the adcom preamp tuner. That setup lasted me into 2019. Good enough for my ears and wallet equilibrium. 
1974; Acoustic Research integrated, ESS AMT4s, Teac 4010s and Phillips 212 TT.
In 82 had a complete AKAI system, tuner, cassette, turntable, amplifier and Hitachi speakers with Radio Shack speaker cable and the wonderful interconnects that came in the boxes. 
1976-77 -- Luxman 507 integrated amp -- Thorens TD-160 + Stanton 681-EEE -- home made sealed speaker cabinets with dual Phillips tweeters, CTS midrange, dual Gauss 8" woofers..
1979- 81 McIntosh C28 preamp 2105 Power amp Bose 901 series 2`s Duel 1229 TT Teac 4010 GSL R/R Mitsubishi tuner. 1982 ARC Sp3 tube preamp  2 David Hafler 200 wpc power amps as monoblocks.  speakers Maggies Typani 1d`s Monster speaker Cable Technics original SL1200 TT stanton 681ee Cart.
In 1969 my first system

Sansui AU-555 amplifier
Sansui TU-555 tuner
Dual 1019 TT
Sansui SP-100 speakers

My first “separates” and to my ears, fabulous.  It gave me as much pleasure as my current system: McIntosh MC 501 mono blocks, C220 preamp, MVP871 CD, Mac Mini for streaming and 3.6 Maggie’s.
Circa 1975:
Marantz 8 with original tubes
ADS modified Dynaco PAS 3
Quad 57 ELS
Ariston RD11 (replacing Lenco 78)
Mayware Formula IV (replacing Grado unipivot)
Decca London
NAD 3240
Nakamichi OMS-1A cd player
Alta 0.7 loudspeakers (Southern California company)
Monster Cables

Circa 1987
@whart , I sold the 7C years ago. The pots had become scratchy and the switches needed to be replaced. They were beyond cleaning. I never thought it would be worth much even though it was a great sounding preamp. Imagine that driving two Model 9's and K Horns or KLH Model 3's. (you could not get both volume and finesse in the day) That was ultimate back then. 

The Phase Linear 700 really got an unfair reputation. It was a much better sounding amp then the Crown D150 and driving a 4 to 8 ohm load it was perfectly reliable. With the 7C providing the tube character and the 700 the power it really was not bad at all. Back then I had no idea what real imaging was. Everything was 2 dimensional. I did not know about the third dimension until I heard it in 1979 in a high school teacher's system. It was about that time that I started working with Sound Components and became immersed in the audiophile world. I vividly remember my first exposure to the HQD system. Peter McGrath, the fellow who does those amazing recordings was the owner of Sound Components at the time. He put on this audiophile organ recording to get the Hartleys going and the top Quad on the left side blew. He got a step stool and yanked the blown Quad out of the wooden stand and jammed a new one in there in minutes, obviously very experienced at this. He lit it up again and the Decca ribbon tweeter on the left blew. Took him a few more minutes to replace the ribbon. Between these huge speakers was a matching wooden stand with 6 of John Curl's 25 watt Class A amps in two stacks. Very impressive. The sound was impressive, when it was working. In reality I do not think it was all that great impressive as it was. The Quads and Decca tweeters were not near capable of the volume the Harleys were.
@ihasaguy In 1970 I put together much the same system, except for the speakers which in my case was the Pioneer 63DXs. ALso a Teac 4010s R2R. I used the Shure V15 type II cartridge with the Dual 1219. I thought the Sansui AU555 to be a great integrated.

@mijostyn- prices of Marantz 7 tube preamps are through the roof- I’d love to have one that was clean. Do you now regret selling it?
(I thought the "C" denoted "with cabinet," which was extra $, so I distinguish the 7 from its later transistorized counterpart by too many words-- the 7C designation was commonly used at one point to refer to the tube version of the preamp).

The original Phase Linear 700 (not the B with the rack handles and lit up face plate) was a statement piece- sort of industrial looking, but the 400 (I was slinging hi-fi as a kid) sounded better in my estimation.
One of the first true high end systems I heard was double KLH 9s with all tube Marantz gear. This was back before I had the money for any of this stuff- I was a kid.
My "mini-HQD" system with a single pair of Quads, the Decca ribbons and a small-ish powered sub (those were not as commonly available in the ’70s and early ’80s as they eventually became owing, I think, to the home theatre boom in the ’90s) was sweet sounding, but the coherence of the Quad was lost in the mixture of different types of drivers that were added top and bottom. I’d love to set up a full on HQD system but it would have to go in the main listening area- that set up is just too big for the front parlor where the Quads now reside.
I have had quite a few nice components but never a whole system until now.  Several setups are probably disqualified because of the use of black stock RCA and lampcord.
Circa back in my university dorm days (1974) ….. around the same era as General George Washington was hunkered down with the Colonial troops in Valley Forge…

MARANTZ 2270 receiver
JBL L-100 studio monitor speakers with their characteristic “California sound” and orange foam cube grills, 
ELAC MIRACORD turntable with a SHURE V-15 cartridge.

It was considered top-end rig back in the Jurassic era of hi-fi, but this “vintage” gear gets completely smoked by even modest components today. 
@daledee1- Back in the '70s, we were all pretty much in the same boat as far as wire was concerned. You could find bigger gauge for speaker wire, and perhaps put together some home made interconnects, but it was Fulton, followed by the mass marketing of Noel Lee that got the whole cable thing going. Some of my early systems used molded plugs and zip cord. 
Late 1970s through early 1990s (assembled in high school):
Thorens TD166 MKII turntable with a Signet cartridge; Kenwood KA-3500 integrated amplifier; Polk Audio Monitor 10 speakers.

I still have and use the turntable (with an Ortofon 2M Bronze Verso cartridge).  
Circa 1974 Bloomington, In.
Pioneer SA-9100 receiver
Advent speakers
PE turntable
Harmon Kardon tuner

I burnt the crossovers in the Advents, which were replaced by the dealer.
The Hardon Karman was the best performer of the bunch.  I was in south-central In. and rocked to stations 60 miles away.  Old school streaming!  FM stereo, no charge.
@whart i remember visiting Music Unlimited in Cleveland with my Dad, date uncertain… the bread and butter was Mac and Bozak, but they had a high end room - including Dayton Wrights, which I heard briefly… but wow… planted a seed for sure…
On the subject of HQD, working at a store I was able to cobble together a poor mans version… stacked ESL in wood frames, Decca Ribbons, 10” Infinity/ Watkins woofers in a tapered quasi transmission line, and running it all 3 x CJ MV-45A1…

CJ Premier 3, SOTA Sapphire, Sumiko FT3, Audioquest AQ404… Monster Cable…

Hauled it all to parents house, Dad felt his Bozaks superior….damm kids…..
+1 @tomic601 !
You gotta be a little crazy to enjoy this as much as all of us do. 
Marantz 2275 receiver, Gale 401A speakers, AR turntable with a Shure V15 IIII and a Scott 350 tuner. The Gale's are one of the few things I sold that I regret.