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First time you were blown away by a stereo?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by birchoak, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Nixxuz

    Nixxuz AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    713
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I'm not really big into jazz yet, but I'm getting there. Anyway, I picked up an RCA Direct Masters copy of "Trackin'" by Lew Tabackin. Direct to Disc. Virgin vinyl. Insert that had the room size and frequencies, mics used, amps used, lathe...you get the picture. I bought it because jazz interests me and I'm a sucker for anything with "audiophile" as a selling point.
    It's pretty fast and squirrely hard bop. So one day I put it on and something's off, but I can't quite place it...

    It's a 45 and I was playing it at 33. But I only barely got what was going on, because it actually sounded like normal, mid tempo jazz.
     
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  2. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    What a story. Your recall for detail is unbelievable. And ZZ Top is an excellent, high octance choice for rock 'n roll fuel! To be reminded of all those hours ogling car stereo displays in chain stores brings a smile to my face--I had forgotten all about that! That was a whole other niche of the disease (did I say disease? I meant passion.)
     
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  3. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

    Messages:
    3,302
    There have been a few times when I've been "blown away" by a hifi system. One was visiting a hifi store when on an out of state vacation and hearing Electro-Voice Patricians--amazing frequency response range and effortless dynamics. Another was attending a Maynard Ferguson concert with my brother and a friend of his, then going to that friend's apartment afterwards and hearing even better sound through his relatively modest Thorens TD 147, Pickering XSV 3000, NAD 3020, and Klipsch Heresy speakers. Even more surprising to me was the first time I heard a little system comprised of a Linn LP12, Basik Plus arm, Basik cartridge, Naim Nait amp, and Linn Kan speakers. Some obvious limitations in terms of sound, but I'd never heard a more engaging musical performance come out of a pair of speakers. That experience really changed my thoughts on what home hifi could offer and eventually led to my enjoying an all-Linn system for about 20 years.
     
  4. hemiram

    hemiram Active Member

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Toledo, ohio
    If I want to get blown away now, I just go to a friend of mine's house and have him put on about any bass heavy blockbuster (One that I actually like, of course). His HT is in a purpose built "music room" that the builder of the house back in the 50's designed. No parallel walls! Even cheap speakers sound pretty decent in there. the main speakers are Infinity RS, like these:
    [​IMG]
    They came with the house, along with a grand piano that was sold ASAP.
    The center is made from a dead IRS woofer tower he found someplace and has the 4 middle woofers replaced with a matching plate that has 3 mids and 3 tweeters on it. He uses separate amps to run it all, controlled by some custom made control center. 2 SVS sealed subs help "fill in" the bottom end. Only set up I've heard that can do nitro cars at the drag races even close to real level. On music it's just amazing. "Bald Mountain" on the Telarc CD is a nice demo recording. "The Imperial March" is another popular one. The Telarc recording of it has epic bass slam, and on his set up, it makes kids who listen with earbuds all the time eyes open wide.
     
  5. bobins08

    bobins08 Loving the dream Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,066
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Winter time, 1964. My Aunt was playing Meet The Beatles in my Grandparents living room. They had a very nice RCA console that I never paid much attention to.

    The music was insane. I was 6. Could not stop listening to it and checking out the stereo. How did it work and what is this crazy music???. I started playing records myself after that. I fell I love with radios, stereos, and music at that point.

    I first heard a quality component system in 1972, I am now not quite 14. Big Pilot tube receiver, Big JBL century 100s, a manual Thorens turntable with fancy Shure cartridge. The album was Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick. Amazing sounds, entire record was one song. Crazy.

    I was hooked.
     
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  6. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Those consoles were pretty damned cool, from a bygone era. We took them for granted because that's what people had and we didn't know the BPC (Black Plastic Cr@p) wave was headed for us, albeit still several decades away. I remember Cheap Trick belting out Surrender, and Michael McDonald crooning What A Fool Believes in my best friend's living room so very long ago on one of those.
     

     

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  7. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    1972. 63' 109" Land Rover. Had a Clarion cassette deck, coax speakers. Nice for an 18yr old with a $7.00hr job.
     
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  8. MCS Guy

    MCS Guy The MCS hoarder Subscriber

    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    FL
    My Dad had a complete MCS component system when I was growing up. My uncle worked for JCPenney back in the late 70's and manage to sell a system to my Dad. It consisted of a 3233 receiver, 3551 cassette deck, 6500 turntable, and 8226 speakers. I played that system everyday. Tapes, Vinyl, and later on CD. Grew up on Classic/Prog Rock that my dad had. The receiver always sounded like it had a ton of power (but it didn't, I manage to kill it several times, finally burning up the amp board to the point of no return). I don't know if it would sound the same today, but back then, it was awesome.

    Now, for what I have personally owned, I would have to say a Sherwood S-7300 and pioneer CS-77's. I don't really know why, but the imagining from that combo astounded me. Not a lot of bass, but sounded great.
     
  9. rxonmymind

    rxonmymind AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,089
    Location:
    California
    It was 1988 when I landed in Germany at Rhein main AFB. Hustled to my new job to & fro and didn't really get acquainted with the base too much until about three months into my tour.
    Finally sauntered over to the local audio store they had on base which ironically was only about 200 yards from my barracks. There I'll never forget was a pair of B&W 801's and some Kappa 9's & 8's along with the usual suspects which went by the names of Nakamichi, Denon and so forth.
    The manager played those 801's and I was blown away and then the Kappa's.
    I was determined to get those.
    How though?
    Talking to couple guys I heard that you could work a second job with approval from your commander. Upon hearing why I wanted to because there was NO WAY I'd be able to afford it on mosquito pay he laughed and gave me the ok.
    So I finally saved up enough and made my way over there to the audio BX. I preferred the Kappa 8's and bought all the matching Denon equipment. POA amplifiers, preamp, Nakamichi tape deck that did a flippy and turned the tape for you and so forth. The hardest part of the purchase? They wouldn't deliver it for you. Nope. Remember I said it was ONLY 200 YARDS from my barracks to there? Lol. Ever carry a HUGE speaker carton bigger than you? Yeah, that was no fun. Which in hindsight was B.S. They would make a brass such as LT's, Captains and up carry their own gear? Whatever.
    After setting everything up I was in awe. At that time I was the only one to own such a ridiculous system in the barracks where you shared a room with someone. On occasion I'd be requested to open the windows in my room and there was a real small "balcony" where I'd place the Kappa's. With the tunes set we would play football out front in the grassy court yard.
    I had many, many people stop by to listen. Then one day I heard something louder than mine. I thought what could that be? I knew the room and knocked on the door and there my Sgt had purchased a pair of Kappa 9's! He HAD to out do me. I laughed. Just us two had such a butt kicking system.
    Soon thereafter I bought a Ford Tempo so I could zip around Germany. Driving the Autobahn was an 18 year old DREAM. I floored that Tempo for all it was worth to 140mph just in time for the audio show either in Rammstein or Frankfurt. Forgot exactly where.
    I'll never forget that show. It was something else.
    Oh and when it was time to be shipped over to S.Korea this airman barely made the 400lb weight limit because of the stereo system and other goodies I bought.
    Talk about stress. Good times.
     
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  10. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Great story, and I did not know a Ford Tempo could do 140!
     
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  11. c.coyle

    c.coyle Crisis actor Subscriber

    Messages:
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    In the late '70s, there was an audio store in downtown Pittsburgh named Opus One. I was in the front of the store one day (drooling over stuff I couldn't afford) when I heard - and felt - an unaccompanied piano in the back. Honest to goodness, I thought they had a real piano and a real pianist back there. They were some sort of tube amps with 5 foot high flat speakers (Magnepan?). I don't remember what the source was. I haven't experienced anything like that since.
     
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  12. bobins08

    bobins08 Loving the dream Subscriber

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    140 klicks probably.
     
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  13. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,824
    Location:
    East-Central Iowa
    I'd never really heard a REALLY good set of speakers until I brought home my KEF 103.2 bookshelf speakers from the pawnshop. They don't look like much, and they are modest compared to many other speakers, but when I first played those, it opened my eyes...A LOT. Before that, I'd heard stuff like a Bose Wave Radio, computer speakers, various "party" speakers...

    Had a few other nice moments, but nothing has wowed me the same as that "first time."

    Others
    - hearing Legacy Focus speakers
    - hearing my KEF 107's
    - hearing some Wilsons at a dealer in Charlotte, NC
    - hearing Quad 57's on certain recordings anyway
     
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  14. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Like tasting steak after a lifetime of Oscar Meyer bologna.
     
  15. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    I'm told every pair of Magnepans comes with a miniature concert pianist; make sure he has plenty of air and martinis.
     
  16. rxonmymind

    rxonmymind AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    California
    *Cough*km/h*cough* Didn't mean mph.
    It took about five miles to get it up to 85 miles per hour. Truth be told at that time the Autobahn had a lot of construction going on. So while you could go "unlimited" speed about every 10 miles they will be doing something on it making you slow down.
     

     

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  17. rxonmymind

    rxonmymind AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Km/h. My mind was still on mph while I was over there
     
  18. c.coyle

    c.coyle Crisis actor Subscriber

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    I'm looking for the rare Jerry Lee Lewis model. Plays with his feet then lights it on fire.
     
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  19. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Still, not bad for a Tempo. I'd like to see video footage from a chopper when you were flogging that Ford down the autobahn!
     
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  20. jelly_bean

    jelly_bean AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    398
    2011 at Shelley's Stereo in Woodland Hills. I was looking for an entry level table on a slow day. My dad (who was a hi fi nut in the 70s) was with me and the owner said "hey come have a look at this to hear what music is supposed to sound like..." big treated room, huge Magnepans, McIntosh electronics (preamp, the giant monoblocks), and a fully kitted Linn LP12 ( whole setup cost close to 100k iirc). He told me to grab a record from the bin, I grabbed Tattoo You by the Stones.

    I was utterly dumbfounded. I'm not speechless very often, but I couldn't talk or move when I heard it. Quite the experience.
    I'm slowly moving towards that goal of audio nirvana. someday... :)
     
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