Pioneer turntable with Shure cartridge, Marantz 2035 receiver, Large Advents. Added a Nak tape deck later. Never found better. But then I say that about my first love at 15, my first really good wine and my first car.
For me, other than the usual electronics from JVC, Pioneer and Technics; it was Parasound HCA - 2200 amp and P/SP -1500 back in 90’s that got me hooked to high fidelity sound.
Accuphase still makes great sounding gear….I can’t imagine giving up my Accuphase E-650 😉
Loved my Teac reel to reel (X7-R). If it would’ve been a car, it would’ve had 500,000 miles on the odometer before it gave up the ghost. Loved everything about having a reel to reel during the ‘80s, …going thru the motions of threading a reel up, making recordings, playback at altered speed with the X7-R’s pitch control, etc, etc, etc.. To steal a line from “Lebowski”, it really fit right there in it’s time and place. Would I give up digital streaming to go back to that? Naaah. Probably not.
Dan, couldn’t agree with you anymore. I feel the same way about my decision to purchase Tannoy Canterbury GR’s and pairing them with Accuphase E-650, the synergy between them is off the charts!
I hear you on R2R. I missed out on the opportunity to own R2R back in the days. I truly applaud Chad Kassem (Analog Productions) for his efforts to revive the R2R era. As of today, there are 40 titles available (doubled from last year).
i remember the audio alchemy stuff in its day, peter madnick’s brainchild
dti jitter reducer, powered digital cables, outboard linear power supplies, remote control linestages with microprocessor memory, nice budget dacs - very cool stuff, ahead of its time in many ways, good performance on a budget, precursors to much of what we have today, still dealing with the same issues
Whose 1st system is Tannoys?
Back in 1972 I bought a Marantz 33 Preamp, Model 120 Tuner, Phase Linear 400 Amp, ARXA Table, and- drum roll- Bose 901s. 3 months later I unloaded the 901s
And bought a kit from SpeakerLab- Cornerhorn knockoffs.
I was all in for about $2,000.
My hourly wage was about $2.50
Two days ago I thought- "How much is 1972 $2,000 worth in 2022 dollars"? $13,567. Funny but I think that is about what I have into my system today.
Only the sound is better!
Is this progress?
Thanks for the memories!
I don't fondly remember, I stiil use.
Pure Class A (class A all the way up to full power) is a thing of the past, even at Krell. But truth is you just can't match the sound if you're prepared to buy the watts at today's prices.
I am. KMA200 References, upgraded for Krell dealer to 400w. After 35 years still the best amps ever.
And KSA50. Krell's first product from the early 80s.
@klh007 I note you like the KSA50s too. Did you ever hear the KMA200s?
While stationed in Germany between 1979 and 1987, I bought the following equipment: Teac X-10R R2R, Pioneer PL-1000 TT with Pickering cartridge, Technics SL-1200 TT with Pickering cartridge, Rodec SM 200 mixer, Pioneer SPEC-4 power amp, SoundCraftsman SP-4001 Pre/EQ, dbx 224 tape noise reduction unit, dbx 3bx range expander, and Bose 901's w/ Bose EQ.
I kept the R2R, but gave everything except the 901s to my son in 2019. I gave the Bose 901's and EQ to my goddaughter.
In the mid-90's, I bought a McIntosh system: MC-2600 amp, MC-31v control unit, MCD7007 CD Player, MR7083 Tuner, and JBL L100 speakers. I sold the McIntosh system in 2021. I gave the JBL L100 speakers to my nephew.
Both systems sounded wonderful to my ears and to everyone else who heard them at the time. Everything that I gave away is still working fine.
A Golden Tube SE40 plucked me from the NAD/Adcom components I had been using in the early 90's and into the vacuum tube world. Oh what fun it was to roll different 6DJ8's in that amp. And mine didn't even blow up, like most of them!
It was the first move among MANY in the mid- and late-90's. I'd hate to count how many components went in & out back in those days.
The brands that rocked my hifi world (in no particular order):
McIntosh, ESS, Nakamichi, SAE, Thorens, Rabco, Audio Alchemy, K'Horns, huge Infinitys, DBX, Hafler, Dahlquist, Acoustat.
Often overlooked and under-appreciated:
The Magical Music Boxes of KLH. These simple, compact systems would fit on a piece of furniture that the customer already owned and brought high quality music to tight spaces and even tighter budgets. Featured Garrard turntable with Pickering cartridge and acoustic suspension KHL speakers that could hold their own in a very competitive speaker market at the time.
First hi-fi system, 1973: Marantz 2270, Philips GA-212 with Stanton 681-EE, a pair of Altec 12" speakers (can't remember the model). After that, in 1979, Accuphase T-100, C-200, P-300 (two of these power amps) with Infinity RS-2.5 and matching Infinity active crossover, Micro Seiki DDX-1000 with Micro Seiki MA-500 tonearm, Luxman SUT and Ortofon MC-200. I am still sad that I gave up my Accuphase components to my nephew, who never paid me the agreed upon price and payment plan. My system today is by far the most resolving, but that Accuphase was really something special to me.
@clearthinker, We had KMA 100s and KMA 200s driving Apogees at Excalibur in Olde Towne Alexandria VA. Dan and Rondi (Krell) would drive down frequently from CT to audition prototypes on our Infinity IRS Vs, some of the best sounding prototypes never made it to production. Bill and Lew (c-j) were 5 miles away and also used the IRSs as a microscope to test new products, the IRSs were at their best with a pair of Premier 5s and a Premier 3 preamp. There was something special about the KSA 50, especially in that timeframe when most SS amps were sub-par, the KSA 50 was sweet and musical.
@klh007 I agree with you entirely about the KSA50. There was something magical about it. It is often the case that a new company's break-through product is a killer. But the magic is probably mainly that it is full-range Class A.
It was John Atkinson's reference for years after he bought the test piece when testing it as editor of Hi-Fi News & Record Review (UK) before being poached by Stereophile. in a recent piece he says he still rates it and uses it a lot.
The KRS200s have been my main amps for more than 30 years now. I have had them overhauled and re-capped once and shall never change them.
I went Audio Research in the pre-amp department rather than CJ although both offer very similar characteristics and benefits in my view as well as unquestionable integrity as traders. I've moved away from AR on phono amp, initiated by their not offering fully balanced in their Reference flagship. I went van den Hul The Grail and very definitely not regretted.
So my starter system in 1977 in college was a Phase Linear 4000 pre, a Phase Linear 400 power amp, a Yamaha Tuner, a Phillips 212 turntable (with highly cool green LED touch sensors for speed on on/off, which in 1977, was awesome( and Electovoice speakers which I replaced with Epicure Trilogy 3.0 speakers.
But what sucked me into hifi was a setup at this store called Natural Sound in Framingham, Mass, where I grew up. Mark Levinson separates, a turntable that I dont remember but looked very hi end, and stacked Quad ESL57’s. To me, it was like the band was playing in the room . . . It was just an awesome experience. Of course, the weed might had something to do with it, but I remember that sound so well. I recently spoke with one of my college buddies who went there with me and he agreed that that was just about as great as we could imagine! Ive been chasing that sound since then!
My first leap into audio started at 13 - was a GE am/fm 8 track. I then built some 3 way speakers using radio shack components. Obviously low fi at best. At 19 or so I bought a NAD 7155 receiver and a Sony CD player. By mid 20s I moved onto Aragon & Mirages M5si. I then swapped the Aragon for Counterpoint gear. That was a notable improvement over 12 years or so. My tastes in music also evolved along with my ‘critical’ listening skills and overall knowledge of equipment, tubes. It’s a journey over many decades. However, my first 10, 12 years were the most exciting to be honest.
I was fortunate to go to work for a McIntosh retailer in Florida at the age of nineteen in 1972. We sold Pioneer as our opening price point offerings, and we had " complete systems" set up by price point starting at $499.00, I believe. For newbies, it made product selection easier, and we could easily step them up to the next price point by simply letting them listen to the difference. Some of the brands/models that were popular: Altec, JBL, Garrard, Dual, ADC (straight line tracking TT), Teac, Bose, Sony/Superscope (tape decks only), Tandberg (a fabulous brand), Revox (another amazing brand), Soundcraftsman, and Marantz. I did not understand the Marantz quality until some years later. I wish I had my hands on some of the old gear traded in for new McIntosh gear, especially during the clinics. We were one of the early Bang & Olufsen dealers- that was a curious but not particularly interesting brand to me. I sold JBL L-100s like cordwood. We sold Soundtech receivers too, but not many takers- it was just easier to sell the newest Pioneer gear. By 1975, we were selling discrete and SQ quad receivers- an interesting idea to compel the consumer to buy new gear, and my boss let me buy many of the new quadraphonic LP's to demo- there was not a lot of content in 1975. Good memories!
those that are gone ...
music reference rm9 rm10
hafler dh200 101 pre
bel (brown electronics labs) 1001
micro seiki dd40 ma505
infinity black widow
those that are still going strong (in one form or another)
spendor, proac, quad
audio research, conrad johnson
musical fidelity, krell, classe
linn sondek, vpi, townshend, dynavector, koetsu
Large Advents, like so many here.
Fisher KX-200 Tube integrated amp
Boston Acoustics A400s (still have ‘em)
Systemdek IIX with a Monster Cable Alpha 1 MC cartridge (still have ‘em)
PS Audio PSIV pre and Model Two C Plus power amp (both current in my bedroom system)
Pioneer CTF9191 and TX9500 (still have ‘em)
Thats the stuff that stands out. Lots of other stuff I don’t really miss.
The mid 70’s and early 80’s were so much fun for me, I would go in to the local Playback store and eyeball all the goods, all the Pioneer amps and receivers, cassette decks and turntables, I lusted over the fine looking Phase Linear gear, Harman/Kardon, and all the rows of speaker systems such as EPI, Genesis, etc. What was not to like? The list could go on and on.
I barely made any money back then, but a Project-One receiver, Pioneer tape deck and turntable, along with HPM-40 speakers were my first real system. It led me down the path to lost wages. What a journey it has been!
Early to mid 80’s brought on a different level of hifi goodness, or would it be madness? Courtesy of Glenn Poor’s A/V at the Round Barn Center in Champaign, Illinois, the likes of Magnepan Tympani, Mark Levinson, Tandberg, Sequerra/Pyramid and others just boggled my mind and ears!
Certainly a very good time in my early life, one I think about often, and smile.