What got you into audio, the music or the technology of sound reproduction?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by fredcohiba, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Idunno

    Idunno www.sx1980.com Subscriber

    Here’s my story...
    Have a look if you have a spare fifteen minutes to spare....
    I hope you enjoy reading my journey...
    fredcohiba likes this.
  2. HTWillie

    HTWillie Well-Known Member

    Anchorage, AK
    Gear first, and then music.

    I was always surrounded by decent gear which my dad had bought all at once in the early 1970s. The dials and meters and buttons and switches and components were fascinating from the very start. But I didn't like his music much. 1960's folk, 1950's doo wop, and show tunes and talk radio.

    When I found my own music at about age 10 or 11, I had access to better gear than my friends did.
    stish likes this.
  3. 432HzBob

    432HzBob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    West Coast
    Bootlegging concerts with a Sony HiMD minidisc revealed limitations in the gear I was editing it on.
    MD makes VERY good recordings if you have good mic's.
    Then it just snowballed from there and keeping an eye out for quality vintage gear I could never afford before became a thing.
    I assume someday there will be a "That's enough, its as good as its going to get" moment....
    But I doubt it.
  4. Powertech

    Powertech Active Member

    South Wales, U.K.
    I'm with the guys that like to listen to music. That's the driver for me - to try and do justice to the musicians and recording engineers who put so much time and energy into getting their music that way that they want it to sound. All I am trying to do is to replay that in my front room. Whether that is easy or complicated is largely irrelevant, but I do get enjoyment out of researching, building and modifying hifi equipment.
  5. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Colorado - North of Denver
    The music came first. I've been a musician since age 3-1/2 - learned to read music before I learned to read words (Piano first - then Trumpet later). My older sister was a music major and I went with her and my dad to "pick-out" a stereo system for her and I was hooked. As I developed my scientific leanings (degree in Biology), the physics involved in sound reproduction became very fascinating to me - especially acoustics. I took some sound and acoustics classes (off major) at college, and ended up doing sound mixing for the largest auditorium on campus at that time (Baylor - Waco Hall) and working in an audio store in the town where my University was located (Waco, Tx). We sold; AR, Bozak, EV, Tandberg, Crown, Teac, Thorens, Toshiba, Nikko, A-T, etc. Honestly, its been a bit of an obsession ever since that first trip to the audio stores to pick-out a stereo for my sister.
  6. wyceeric

    wyceeric Listener sponsored, volunteer powered radio. Subscriber

    Jenison, MI

    These are articulations of some other things I was thinking. I figured there were a lot of us who are nerds for excellent production values.

    Thanks, guys.
  7. Audiotfoot

    Audiotfoot Member

    Central Montana, USA
    Music. It was part of my life from birth as far as I know. Mom was active in Sweet Adelines and some of my earliest memories are of listening to her and the group practicing in our living room. There was almost always music on the radio and later on Dad's TT. He had a fair collection of popular music from the 50's and 60's. Of course there was the local rock and roll station (KUDI, Great Falls, Montana) that my buddies and I had on any time we were in a vehicle. A mandatory music appreciation class in college introduced me to classical music, much to my delight and my mother's disgust (you and your dxxned highbrow music!). Radio and consumer level stuff kept me happy until one day in my late thirties when at stop at a music store (?) to see if they had a decent speaker. Decent speaker? Hah!

    The proprietor led me to the building's loft where he had speakers ranging from inexpensive to the stratosphere. The first set of speakers were only $1000 for the pair. The final set was $40,000 for the pair,$10,000 for the cables and who knows what for the amp and TT. The speakers alone cost nearly as much as the house we were struggling to pay for at the time. But the sound! At one point he said, "Now listen when the guitarist comes in. You'll hear his pick hit the string." And so help me, I did.

    The next day when we got home I found a magazine that discussed audio - don't remember what it was - and started on the technology / upgrade road. It as amazing how much better Pioneer receiver and Marantz speakers sounded with actual speaker wire and the speakers on cement blocks instead of the floor. There has been a continual search for better sound ever since.

    But all in all, as much fun as playing with the machinery is, music is still paramount.
  8. Ken Hicks

    Ken Hicks Member

    Lexington, KY
    I remember getting a little portable cassette recorder in 7th grade ('73) and thought it was pretty cool recording songs from the radio - I distinctly remember recording Chicago's Feeling Stronger Everyday. A few years later I acquired a step-dad that was sort of an audiophile. He had a little Fisher set up so now I could record songs from the radio via line-in instead of with a mic. A few more years later and I enlisted in the USMC. Most Marines don't want to go to Okinawa but I did just because I knew that I could get a killer stereo there. I came back to the States with a Yamaha C4 preamp, Onkyo M5090 250wpc power amp, Denon DP60L turntable, Nakamichi 680ZX tape deck, and JBL L-112 speakers. Those items went "up in smoke" a long time ago but I had a nice budget system through the 90s - Harman Kardon HK6350R integrated amp and HK disc changer with Pinnacle AC850 speakers. I still have the Pinnacles and within the last month I purchased an Onkyo A-9010 integrated amp and a C-7030 CD player plus a Pro-Ject Essential III turntable. However all that's to say it's all about the music.
    red 111 likes this.
  9. HTWillie

    HTWillie Well-Known Member

    Anchorage, AK
    Not long after I began buying my own music I began to understand the immense undertaking involved in getting music onto that $7.99 cassette tape. And I still feel a sense of obligation to listen all the way through. That alone has helped foster my appreciation for music in a big way.
    Pio1980 likes this.
  10. rdka

    rdka Active Member

    Myrtle Beach
    Another vote for technology.

    Until you actually listen to & hear a high end system, you are fortunate to get 60% of what is going on. I like thick music with lots of different things going on--an inexpensive stereo does not capture what is really happening.

    So, in essence, in order to actually hear the music you have to have highly sophisticated equipment. But this does not hold true, or to a much lower extent, if the music you listen to is simple/not dynamic/slow/etc. So what I'm saying is country music does not demand a $25k stereo to hear what's going on.
    Pio1980 likes this.
  11. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

    They're hard to separate. I don't remember ever not listening to and enjoying music at home, and every home I can recall visiting, whether relatives or friends from school, had some means of playing music, and took pleasure in playing the music they enjoyed for their guests. Perhaps the music was primary, and yet it wouldn't exist without the technology to play it. My brothers and I each had our own means of playing records, and records were a common and always welcome gift at birthdays and Christmas.

    One bit of technology did seem magical to me, and that was my first audition of the Linn LP12 turntable. It got so much more music off the record than my Thorens TD146 that I simply had to have one. It took several months of scrimping and saving, but I eventually had one of my very own. Over the next few years, this turned into an all-Linn system of LP12, LK1/LK2 amplification, and Sara speakers, a system that kept me happy for about 20 years (at which point age and use resulted in component failures, which by this time were so old that Linn no longer supported them with parts/service).
    red 111 likes this.
  12. HarmanKardon

    HarmanKardon Tubes still smell funny Subscriber

    Schwarzwald, Deutschland
    My father's admiration for Bach cantatas. He listened to a Bach cantata every Sunday morning. So I listened to Bach as well even when I still was in Mommy's womb... ;)

    Now I have about 400 Bach albums (LP's and CD's).
    Bill Ferris likes this.
  13. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

    Angel Station, Alabama
    My father sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for sixteen years and encouraged interest in "serious" music, as did a neighbor mentor. I remember listening to the Texaco Met opera on a Westinghouse germanium transistor portable while digging dandelions out of the lawn in the 1950s. My mom liked Big Band swing, and both enjoyed broadway. Dad did one opera and one Broadway show in the chorus every year with the U of U theatre productions. Lots of cracked notes from evening practice sessions plastered on the living room ceiling of our old 'starter' suburban house.
    None made it to the stage.

    I liked hauling home old radios from the late 20s thru the 40s off curbside junkpiles and making them work. A local AM radio station, run primarily as a labor of love by a local Salt Lake City Lawyer, KWHO, featured serious music, sunrise to sunset every day, and the Tex Met opera every Saturday. That's usually what I played on them during the day.

    We also had primarily three pop AM stations fighting for ratings, and one good jazz AM station, unfortunately parked on 910kc, the first multiple harmonic of the common AM 455kc IF frequency, which caused an accompanying constant annoying hetrodyne whistle on most 'modern' radios, but not the older early 1930s superhets and none of the TRF/ Neutrodyne 'Electric' radios of the latter 1920's that I loved.

    I discovered "good" audio reproduction thru a series of events leading to the audio shops of Columbia, S. C. in the early 1970s during my Army career, and eventual introduction to the little pubs, The Absolute Sound and Stereophile, led me down the rabbit hole of technical audiophilia. Audio magazine, under Eugene Pitts III, was a constant in my life then, and the music reviews a valued guide. The mid-late 1970s Wiesbaden PX Audio Photo club complex was a legendary walk-in treasure chest of audiophile technological delights for vitrually anyone on any budget.
    Good times, good memories.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  14. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Well-Known Member

    NE. FL.
    Well, in my case it was music first, and after hearing my 1973, at that time GF`s brother`s large Advent/Pioneer/Sennheiser 414 headphone/TT setup system for the whole summer.
    I discovered that there was a higher SQ level than what I had heard before, being too poor to dream of buying such equipment at that time !!
    I found out a year or so later that if I taught myself electronics that I could afford to buy broken quality receivers cheaply, or even be given them sometimes by people I met when they found out that I was very interested in music and studying audio electronics.

    My first "real receiver" was a broken Kenwood model something and a pair of Rectilnear speakers, that put out something like 50 watts p/ch. and I still didn`t have enough repair savvy to fix it, so I took it to a repair shop..
    Well-- they couldn`t seem to keep it running for very long, so I bought a bunch more electronic books and studied much, much more until I felt comfortable tackling it and ended up fixing it long term with the aid of a Heathkit audio generator & scope that I bought and assembled while studying which started me on the technical side of audio and the pursuit of HQ reproduction and recording of music..
    I already had some experience with hooking up PA`s & running sound for HS bands, and as little as I might have known at that time, I still knew more than the guys in the bands about sound systems..

    Sometimes I was hired just by being able to solder and fix their cables as a "pre employment test", it also was helpful to learn/understand and become good at installing & trouble shooting 4/8 track tape players in cars and vans in the early seventies, as well..
    Interesting times those were..
    Enjoy the music folks.

    Regards, OKB
    red 111 likes this.
  15. justjed2

    justjed2 Active Member

    Music, or the reproduction thereof(gear)? In my world, either, without the other, is nothing...
  16. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    west Texas
    Way back in the late 50's when I was in the 9th grade. The next door neighbors Dad played in a local CW band. So he had speakers and amps and a bunch of stuff in his garage, Well when Stereo LP's came along he set up some of his guitar speakers and pA horns, some amps bought a turntable with a stereo cartridge and a Fisher pre-amp and we had stereo music to listen, too. We moved away 4 or 5 months later, but thats whenI got hooked on Stereo. I was already hooked on Big band,swing with some Some small group jazz thrown in from listening to our RCA console, 78's with an additional 45 rpm player added.
  17. jobrewer1983

    jobrewer1983 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    San Jose, CA

    It started with Music, and then over the years one tries to improve upon the quality they can achieve.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill Ferris likes this.
  18. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Shit 'n' Piss, Texas
    When I was a kid I would put $$$ in car stereo into a car that cost me $. But I didn't have much interest in home systems beyond making tapes cuz I either lived with my parents, or in a dorm, or in barracks, or on a ship, or in an apartment. Listened a lot with headphones. These days I like the vintage stuff cuz it's groovy. And I live in a house.
  19. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    My older sister. I grew up listening to her collection because she was listening to it. Door, Stones, Dan Hicks, Zeppelin, Joplin (Ugh!) and so on was pretty much the soundtrack for my life from kindergarten through 6th grade when she went off to college. When my mom had to go away she left my sister in charge and she started the day off with music, loud. Even now I recall a Saturday morning waking up to Eli's Coming blaring. If anyone got me into music it was her; gear came much, much later.
    Bill Ferris likes this.
  20. custom10

    custom10 Active Member

    Saskatchewan Canada
    The gear for me. Dad was an electrician. He would describe electricity and show me motors, thermostats, breakers anything he had in the van. This led to electronic gadgets and most times their ultimate demise when I took them apart! He would buy old radios, turntables, amps etc and we would take them apart or at least open them up to take a look and try and identify what made it tick. The speakers, I had a real fascination with speakers early on.

    The music part of the equation came from my two older bothers. Can a guy ever forget seeing the cover of Santana Abraxas LP at 6 or 7 years old?! My mom would hide that album from me. Common denominator in this thread >>> most of us were introduced to audio in some shape or form by our family members! Thanks Dad, shame on you brother!
    Bill Ferris likes this.

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