What started you on your audiophile journey .

Was it a friend or family members great system , the love of well recorded music , or just needed a hobby .
I walked into Esoteric Audio in Scottsdale, many years ago.
I heard a sytem that sounded better than anything I'd ever heard before. That system was:

SOTA turntable.
CJ preamp wth phonostage.
CJ amp.
Spica Angelus speakers.

I couldn't believe how good it sounded!
I had heard the big Sansui & Pioneer receivers, Cerwin Vega speakers, several turntables & even Yamaha NS10M speakers, before.
The CJ system was in another league!
I too had always loved music as a kid. As a young paper boy, part of our salary was put into a bond for us when we quit. On that glorious day, I took my "bond" money and rushed with my mom to the local "stereo" store. I ended up purchasing an all in one panasonic unit - that is what the budget got me at that time. I was exceptionally happy with my first stereo. No longer did I have to take my turn on my parent's Hi Fi! Later in my college years, a friend had a great system for a college kid consisting of a Micro Seiki deck, which I thought was to die for! He was probably the biggest influence on the journey towards quality reproduction of the music I loved. He introduced me to used gear at a local shop, and encouraged me to move into an NAD integrated. I teamed that up with my roommates turntable, and later was able to get a pair of Maggies. Both of which I still own - sentimental to the core.
My father had a Grundig receiver and 2 little Grundig speakers and then got a Dual turntable which he still has though doesn't use and switched to Noresco (Canadian rebranding of Philips) bookshelf speakers that were big enough to use as end tables.

When I was 14 I got my first LP's and played them on that system, loud when my folks weren't home. I think I was 14 when I saw my first stereo magazines and realized there was more out there than the little stereo store my dad bought stuff from. Hooked ever since.
My father is a professional musician, so I had a love of music from a very early age. I could sing the opening of Chabrier's EspaƱa (the Mercury LP of the DSO and Paray) on pitch before my dad put the needle down when I was three years old. I always knew I was going to be a professional musician as well. However, my father did not have high end equipment, though he did have pretty much the best of mid-fi. It was my uncle who introduced me to the audiophile world. I first heard his Altec A7 Voice of the Theater speakers when I was eight. Couldn't afford my own high end system until many years later, though. Used to get by in college and afterwards with a pair of Cerwin Vega's, a Harmon Kardon receiver, and a Technics table. Still have the first two items, though they haven't been in my system in years.
There were many influences before that, but once I heard my new friend's stereo which was a great mid-fi, I got into it more seriously.