First time you were blown away by a stereo?

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

  1. robgmn

    robgmn Super Member

    Messages:
    4,409
    Location:
    Twin Ports, MN
    As a kid I worked for Radio Shack for a few years. I loved electronics and was always trying to make what I had better (on a budget, of course). Being young, my exposure to home audio was the likes of my mother's Panasonic "system", my father's Nova 8B speakers (he didn't have a receiver), and brand names like Sony, Technics, Kenwood, Marantz (champagne and BPC series) that I saw in the Sunday circulars (Macy's, Crazy Eddie, 6th Ave Electronics. Top's Appliance City).
    I wanted my brother's vintage Marantz receiver, Marantz speakers, and Thorens turntable (with a Shure V15), but he wasn't giving them up :)

    One day a Rat Shack co-worker told me to stop by the dedicated Hi-Fi store he worked at a few towns over. He took me into a demo room with a set of B&W 801 speaks powered by a McIntosh amp. That sound quality became a dragon I chased for a long time. Not too long ago, after 30 years, I got to listen to a set again at the home of another AK member. Though the room and hardware interaction was very different, I still really enjoyed the sound of those B&Ws.

    The second time I had a hair-on-the-neck-stand-up-and-I-get-goosebumps moment was when I heard a set of Carver ALSIII speakers being driven by a Denon AVP8000 pre with a (I think) POA8200 amp. "Poles Apart" from Floyd's "Division Bell" was playing. Though I had listened to DSOTM, The Wall, Animals, WYWH a million times, I had not listened to anything produced after The Wall.

    Moments like those are too few and far between.
     

     

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  2. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

    Messages:
    1,555
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Apogee Duettas in a shop in San Francisco.

    You had to keep your head just-so to be rewarded with such incredible purity of sound.
     
  3. CoogarXR

    CoogarXR Super Member

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    1,482
    It was about 1988-ish. I lived in a middle-class area, and I was used to Fisher rack systems and Radio Shack offerings. Decent stuff, but just kinda middle-of-the-road stuff. My aunt lived quite a distance away, and I had to go spend a week with her. Turns out, she's an audiophile! I don't remember what she had by the way of gear, but she had some nice KLH speakers, and one of the first consumer-grade CD players made. It sounded very good. But hang on, that wasn't the time I was blown away...

    She planned a little day trip for us to go to some stereo shops under the guise that I should help her pick out some new speakers. To this day, I don't think she really wanted new speakers, it was just a way to justify listening to speakers and keeping me occupied with something she knew I'd be totally down for. She took me to AudioCraft in Toledo (which doesn't appear to be there anymore). I heard the McIntosh XRT-22...

    THAT was the time I was blown away. I don't remember what was played, I don't know what they powered them with, but I remember sitting in that glass room having my first "omg" experience with audio. It erased all the memory of any other speakers we auditioned that day.

    I still remember it like it was yesterday.

    I didn't get to see her much as we all grew older. She developed lung cancer about 10 years ago, and I wrote her a letter about how that one-week visit totally changed my life, and how thankful I was to have spent that time with her, and how awesome it was to visit all those cool places that I never would have known about. She died 4 days after I sent the letter. I'll never know if she got to read it.

    I still have the AudioCraft sales flyer from that day.
     
  4. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,134
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Great story. I looked for a pair for years before finally finding a set at Audio Classics. I've never looked back. They're out there if you're patient.
     
  5. hemiram

    hemiram Active Member

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Toledo, ohio
    I spent a bunch of time and money at the Audio Craft Toledo on Monroe St in the early/mid 80's. It's long gone. Last time I was in there, I don't remember the year, it was close to the end. Pretty sad. I bought my Yamaha PX-2 turntable and DSP-1, which temporarily replaced my Audio Pulse Model 2 there. To be honest, I didn't like the sound of it any better than the AP, and almost as soon as the warranty expired the DSP-1 took a dive and it was so expensive to fix I retired it and the AP came back until it was replaced with the NEC Av-300 Type II surround sound amp, which I got new, but dead in the box, for $50! A badly soldered power switch was the problem and I used it on my main system and then on my PC, until it literally exploded one day. At my high power point, I was running the NEC into a pair of strapped Carver M-400T's, with my Yamaha R-900's power amps running my surrounds. With the AR-91's I was using as my LR speakers, the Carvers were really working when it was cranked up.
     
  6. starcopy

    starcopy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    201
    Location:
    NE Ohio USA
    Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. Late '70s, early '80s. Was invited to visit a guy who had a pair of EPI 1000 speakers (AKA EPI Towers) each measuring 6-1/2 feet tall, weighing 180 pounds, delivering sound on all four sides, and costing one thousand dollars (each). They were driven by an Ampzilla amplifier kicking out 200+ watts per channel. Never forget that experience.
     

     

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  7. Rybeam

    Rybeam Super Member

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    3,104
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    Kansas City
    Team Electronics, Ward Parkway Shopping Center about 1970. Atlantic brand speakers with 12 inch woofers. I had never really heard bass until that day........
     
  8. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    11,948
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    I dont remember! My parents tell the story of the radio blasting in the middle of the night and there id be, 2 years old, listening to music.
     
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  9. Akustic

    Akustic Active Member

    Messages:
    123
    Too many first times.. but the most memorable is Magnepan's, with Counterpoint gear and an AR table with a Linn arm and an Audioquest MC, all spiked, in a 22'x30 ft asymmetric Victorian room with 10' ceilings and two real bay windows... some pieces were so realistic they would make the hair on your neck stand up ..

    Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon LP thru the AR LST's that I had in high school, amplified by one of the big 100+ watt Japanese receivers that I had at that time sticks in my head too ... (didn't buy a car til I was 26 .. spent all of my money on audio gear)
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  10. JimPA

    JimPA Distinguished Member

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    3,150
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    Grover's Corner PA.
    In 1979.
     
  11. thomo57

    thomo57 Super Member

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    2,961
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I've had a couple of musical epiphanies with various amps and speakers but my enduring one is my Goodman Triaxiom speakers in a large folded horn cabinet hooked up to a Star SA30 1960's Japanese valve amp.:music:
     

     

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  12. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    11,948
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Here is a pic of the radio. I had it until i was 15.

    pink am radio.jpg
     
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  13. Akustic

    Akustic Active Member

    Messages:
    123
    And so it begins !!
     
  14. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    11,948
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Yep, it was the start. I wish i still had that radio. I got that pic off the net but mine was labled WKNR 13 which was the radio station my uncle worked for.
     
  15. bluesky

    bluesky Addicted Member

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    1956
     
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  16. SteveS in VA

    SteveS in VA Active Member

    Messages:
    190
    I heard a serious system in the early 70s at an uncles house. I was seriously impressed at the time, but it wasn't for a long time that I realized HOW impressed I should have been. His speakers were KLH model Nines.
     

     

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  17. BobHol

    BobHol Old fart Subscriber

    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    Fort wayne IN
    Sometime between 67-68 My dad bought a huge console with a Tuner and record player and it was in Stereo. Up till than I had never heard stereo before. I was very impressed. Around 70 I had my first car(61 Corvair). I drove downtown to Flanner and Hafsoes. This was the fanciest place in the city for Stereo's. Found a room with some Klipschhorns playing. I was in heaven.
     

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