My AUDIO story....complete...funny...!!! (long) [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : My AUDIO story....complete...funny...!!! (long)

10-29-2005, 03:45 PM
Well i start :-)

I was about 16 years old living in Houston Texas. On a lazy dog dangling afternoon i went to my best friends house, Kinman Chan (god thank the 16 year old drivers license and curse the 21 year old drinking limit) to play some CS. So i got there and we were bored as hell. So we decided to watch a movie, and i think we watched Speed 2 on a kick ass surround sound setup. A Sony STDR receiver with a Toshiba DVD player and BOSE 501's in the front a BOSE center channel and some Optimus speakers as surround.

I was floored, all that bass and kick ass sound. Man i wanted something just like that! So i went home and i had 5 Alarm clock radios and i placed them all around the room and tuned them to the same station. Wasnt quite the BOSE sound, but what the hell. So when X-Mass came along i begged my father to death that i want a system like that. A few days later we were for some reason in Wallmart and i saw a big boom box. 5000 WATTS of power with kick ass blinking lights with MEGAWOOFERS and i almost cried...well as a matter of fact i did cry because i didnt get it. I dont know why the heck i cried, but oh what the hell i have to admit it :p thats how the story goes. My father said that he will not spend money on that **** and i was quite pissed and expected that id get some other cheap crap. We did go to Circuit City and there i saw stuff like the Sony STDR and Infinity and Kenwood and all that other stuff i never heard off. We went into a demo room and my eyes sparkled like a x-mass tree when i saw the stuff they had. My father made me pickup a Sony STDR and said

Dad = Do you feel that?
Flo = What?
Dad = Go over here and lift the Onkyo!
Flo = Man that thing is heavy!
Dad = Exactly, thats because it has good parts!
Flo = What parts?
Dad = The power supply!
Flo = Cool...

Well it went on and he explained to me that these things have to feed 5 channels from one power supply and one amp and that the good ones eventough rated lower had this for all channels total. Aha, if the Sony has 500 Watts of peak power for all 5 channels means that it will do something like 100 watts per channel peak. And the Onkyo only has 120 watts but for each so its actually more and since it has more reserves it can handle the peaks more. I was starting to learn more about. So i got a Onkyo TX-DS555 receiver with some Infinity RS3 bookshelfs.

I had to wait a few days until x-mas was here and i could actually use it. But man it was awsome when i heard it. So clean and defineded. Solid knobs and a good build quality. But this was not to be the end, i wanted more. A family friend was over from germany and he said he had speakers that were open from the front and back and put sound out without boxes. I never got what he meant until years later! He explained that there was a thing called Stereo image, and i placed the speakers in a triangle and that was my first time ever i got hooked on it. I had a STAGE....a real stage and sound coming from the middle of the speakers. It never let me go and i searched the internet and actually stumbled across ( where there was a add for Magnepan and really flat speakers. Of course 550 bucks was a ****load of money back then and still is today but those flat speakers were very interesting, but like everyone else i bought into boxes. But the High End bug was soon to bite me!

I brought my manual of the Onkyo TX-DS555 to school and read it, i dont know what i was looking for. But my math teacher also had a manual on his desk from a Onkyo TX-SV919 THX....the biggest baddest and most kick ass receiver on that day. Well i talked to him and bugged him like all hell. So i actually got invited and when he opended the doors i was greated by a big tasty rack [hifi you perf ;-) ] of Marantz THX Monos, DVD players, dolby digital and DTS decoders, laserdisc players, steward projection screen and a full blown THX speaker system. The Onkyo THX-Sys1.....wholy crap my jaw dropped the floor. I never saw something like this and when i felt the power of two THX subs along with a Velodyne HGS10 my life was forever changed. He had a NEC SW300 subwoofer which i could have if i mow his lawn the summer.I did mow the lawm in 104 degrees outside with his rotweiler in the backyard to get that subwoofer. ( it died later because i played it too loud) And god knows i cut more yards and saved enough money to buy a Onkyo TX-DC340 disc changer.

The setup was growing and i was soon to have some luck, there was a ebay auction for the big Onkyo THX System 2 Front speakers. THX Ultra certified and man those things rocked. We bid 160 bucks on it and won the auction too. So know i had some THX speakers and set them up in the room and played with the stereo image and sound etc... I couldnt legally work since i only had a VISA but somehow i managed to get a Denon DVD1500 DVD player since the store closed down. ...Oh wait i remember how i got it. Our friend owned a pair of Genesis 350SE with a Wadia CD player and he gave me a present which was a CD from Massive Attack. I played that on the Infinitys but couldnt hear anything at all, so cranked the volume up on to meet my 6 1/2 bass driver wiggle like crazy and he eventually died. The frequency was so low that it couldnt reproduce it audibly and i cranked it and killed it. Well i had a friend which was basically a moron, he bought the Denon for me and i gave him my broken Infinitys. This guy was so dumb, he later bought the same speaker again to repair my broken ones...oh well i guess some people are just too dumb :(

I think i sold my broken NEC subwoofer to a idiot at the pawn shop and my dad paid the rest for a Velodnye CT100 subwoofer, which kicked ass for the money.

Anyways, times were hard and god knows after my second stepmom and constant hatred in my family i moved back to germany. My childhood sucked out the ass in terms of family. But thats another story! I went back to germany with my stuff and got spoiled by my mom. She bought me a equipment rack, and a center channel and some surrounds. And my HT was finally completed. Everything sounded great, but i wanted more. More finess, more bass, a better soundtage and wanted to reach the high ends of audio heaven. I got a job in a supermarket and put food in shelves for a long time for 600 bucks a month and went through these fine babys here. The Onkyo TX-DS555 changed into the 919 and then into a 838 which then turned into a Harman Kardon AVR7000 which then got replaced by the Marantz SR8200 and then later moved to the Onkyo Integra TX-DS989! I sold my entire setup and bought the Onkyo THX System 1 used on ebay which starts of as my first Higher End setup.

On a lazy as hell visit to my grandmother (she is nice, but its damn boring) i visited a audio shop in Kassel which changed my audio life altogether another time. I enetered the showroom and listend to some Quadral Vulcan Titans and the Hotel California soundtrack. It sounded really good and killed my setup at home, but i saw some very flat speakers in a closet. They looked very much like what i had seen on a few years back. I asked them to hook it up and they did, to some Denon electronics and from that moment on i never looked at a box speaker again. The music flows, it flys around the room and sooo many details just absolutly wonderfull music. Needless to say i called my mom and asked for 1200 bucks...LOL she didnt go for it. But i promised that i will sell my HT setup for this and god knows what else i promised. Anyways, i got my Magnepan .5's and worked my butt off to pay them off.

I used the second speaker output on my Onkyo TX-DS939 to power the Maggies but was not satisfied. I looked for more toys and stumbled upon a NAD 320BEE which i bought..but it clipped horribly and had no balls at all. A coworked is into PA stuff and he sold me a Bell Audiolabs power amp (huge with fan) and a Kenwood Basic C1 preamp which also clipped horribly. I called around and found a Magnepanstudio which helped me a lot and i was in for a treat when i sold the PA stuff and got a Cambridge Audio C500 and P500 which drove them very nicely. At that time i had cables from Wireworld and a Marantz CD56 CD player which i traded for some computer work. The system sounded great, and i could have lived with this setup to the end of my day. No B&W, or Dynaudio or any other system was a option. I can always hear the color and the box resoance no matter how much the system was. I auditioned the Magnepan 1.6 with a Pathos Acoustics Classic one on my 19 birthday and was sure to get that setup someday. The Pathos was 2500$ and the Maggies where 2800$ so not exactly cheap. But you better believe that the sound is soo beautiful, so majestic fast and musical. Stunning! My next upgrade was after i sold my Marantz CD56 and i saved more money from my work in the supermarket and my computer help was a Rega Planet 2000 MKII which is a really really good player for the money. I got this puppy and was very proud of it, and still am today. I have a fetish for exotic things, and also for extremely high powered computers. My system at the time was a Dual 3.2Ghz Intel XEON setup, completely watercooled with SATA raid setup in a 300$ Lian Li chassy. The owner of the Maggie studio, agreed to trade in my computer and i bought a Pathos used for 1200€ which came from me selling the Cambridge gear and more saved money from work. This is my first High end setup. The 1.6 Maggies, the Rega and a pathos classic one.....damn that sounded good!

But this was not to be the last! One year later on my 20th B-day i had sold the HT system saved enough money to buy a used Magnepan 3.6R/SE for 6000US here in germany. I paid 4500 bucks and paid the rest off in the following 9 month. 1 week after i got the speakers i went to america for a journey that never happended to anyone twice on this planet. Needless to say, i missed my maggies big time and sitting in the house all day was boring as ****. So i asked my parents if they wanted to buy my system and since the dollar is so weak i can get new stuff in the US. They agreed and i bought my Maggie 3.6's, a Krell KSA-150 (from NY), the Jolida JD3000b from a person in Switzerland (who is my friend know and owns Apogees too, reviewer). And a Audio Analouge Paganini CDP. The system was kick ass and its a shame that those wooden houses in the US have horribly acoustics and those huge ass windows didnt help either. I couldnt fix the sound. It was very good but not like it can be, and i wanted more. So i sold the speakers and bought some VMPS RM30 speakers which in my opinion are very good but not as good as the speaker i sold. Oh well, life and learn i guess.

I moved back to germany and brought my toys with me. My parents got the VMPS RM30 which is more room friendly and a lot smaller. I got my 3.6SE Maggies back and well didnt like the match with the Krell at all. But here goes the clue, when i picked up my Krell KSA-150 in NY i heard a Apogee Duetta that blew me away. Incredibly fast, enourmas bass..details over details and oh my god that system was so damn good. So i went into the Apogee forum and found a Apogee Scintilla for sale fro aprox 7000US which i then traded my Maggie in for. The person builds his own tube amps and well a 1ohm speaker aint gonna work with a normal tube amp. So we traded and i got the scintilla. This was a ear opener and is still to this day the second best speaker i have heard in my life. Nothing i know exept the DIVA touches it. Some like the Scintilla over the DIVA and vice versa, but these are the two best speakers i have heard in my life. Nr 3 and 4 are Duettas and Calipers. Well so my setup was almost complete. I did open a hifi shop and sell VMPS speakers and actually bought a TACT RCS 2.0AA digital room correction device to get the VMPS to sound good in my room. I bought it used form the USA and it was quite interesting indeed. I saw the inroom frequency response and played with it a bit. I then traded the Jolida JD3000b, the Tact RCS2.0 in for a Krell KRC-2 preamp and the Audio Analouge Paganini for the Audiolab CD8000 and DAC 8000. That system is still one of the absolute finest systems i have ever heard and many of my audiophile friends.

My Scintilla did have a problem with the bass ribbon tough and needed a repair. (transport) and the repair was too expensive. There was a Apogee DIVA Reference for sale here in germany completely restored for aprox 9200US and i wanted to hear it. I could never have afforded it but i listened to it anyways. My friend now, has all the top dogs from Audio Research, Krell, Conrad Johnson, Jadis and Goldmund and a Magnepan MG20, a Apogee DIVA and a Duetta. He listened to the Scintillas and liked him more, so he offered a trade. 1000 bucks plus the Scintilla for the DIVA. Well i said yes and here we go. !!! The finest speaker in my opinion right up their with the Fullrange, Grand, Alon Grand Exotica, Megaline, Scintilla, 20.1R, Dunlavy SC-V, Wilson X2 and son on. I changed equipment here and there and now ended up with Wadia as a DAC, VRDS T1 as a Transport, Sphinx amps and preamps along with a complete lineup of Ampzilla 2000 Mono and stereo blocks. Needless to say this is almost at the top of the food chain and only better by very few systems on this earth component wise. But speaker wise, this is pretty much it...right up their with the legends. I am not a spoiled rich bastard, i got lucky and worked my ass off. I wrote this to firstly entertain and tell more about myself......replies welcome :D

10-29-2005, 06:44 PM
Wow dude. I got blurry eyed reading all of that. Fwew.. Give me a second. Did you have RGA type all that for you? It was great. I laughed, I cried, it was a part of me. Oh OK, I'll be serious. Seems that you have a lot of passion for music/sound reproduction. That's great. And even better, you are chasing after it. It's great to dream and better to realize that dream. I bobbed around not knowing what I wanted back when I was your age. Sure, I liked music. I even bought my own stereo (there was no surround back then). An all in one, Panasonic 25wpc receiver with a built in 8-track recorder. Did you learn about those in your history class? Maybe you saw them in an old movie or at a garage sale. Hocked that bad boy up to a pair of Pioneer project 100A's and I was in heven. I also took up the guitar. I had a friend who worked at stienburger and I picked up a prototype that they decided not to make for their manufaturing costs. Got me a fender twin reverb tube amp. It still kicks ars. But keep a window open because it gets real hot. But I never really learned to play well. Just OK. I was too busy getting high. Traded the 100A's for some Genissis components. My friend was going to build his own but never got arround to it. I put them together when I was 17. I worked full time at IBM and paid my own way to night school. Music fell to the back seat while it got involved with motorcycles and playing pool. They kept my busy until a few years ago when I met the best woman on earth. The domestic sceen was in for me. But last winter our basement flooded. The particle board boxes I had built in 1977 fell apart. So I built new boxes. This time they came out better. I liked them so much I went out and bought more components to build two more. So now with new speakers I needed a new receiver. Enter the Yammie 2500 (now the bug has me). I can't drive home made speakers with my new receiver now can I? So I bought the Infinities. A few months ago I heard a pair of Maggies. Ut oh, more to buy. And If I buy those my receiver will need help driving them. Hmm... maybe a Parasound, or two.. More to come...........

10-29-2005, 07:28 PM
That was really cool, I have had a few passions in my life so I can relate. Audio was one of my first then motorcycles now audio again,I think my wife and kid are in thier somewhere :D I need more tell me another story. :cool:

10-30-2005, 02:04 AM
Hi Flo and fellow audio friends,

That was great.Thanks for sharing.
As I am twice Flo's age my story is somewhat longer, so I will try and tell the short version.
I grew up in West-Berlin and had a promising future in Soccer that was cut short through a vicious tackle at age 14.
Since that was my life it left a huge void.I got my first system then (Dual-TT,Amplifier,Tuner and Speakers) as I was confined to barracks for a while.Caught the teenage disease and became confused. Ended up in a Childrens home in Wolfenbuettel for 17 months.
I then started my apprenticeship (Pastry chef) and traded the Dual system for a huge Rotel Receiver,Technics TT,Akai Tape Deck and Reel to Reel and some big Heco speakers. Punk just started and this system was just the ticket.
Had a falling out with my father on how to run our business and left Berlin (but not before I put my 5000+ records in Storage) and went to work around Europe.
Ended up in Teneriffe and run a Nightclub/restaurant with a spanish and english partner. Got ripped off and was left hoding the can. Sold up and went to travel around North America (saw all the canadian Provinces and all but Alaska of the US-maybe one day I will complete the journey)
Came to the UK and tried London. Didn't like London at all and went up north and here we pick the Audio story up again.
Saved some green and bought an Arcam alpha amp, Celestion DL6 speakers and a AR Turntable. Shipped my records over and was a happy boy. Then the dreaded Digital marketing machine chewed me up and spat me out. I guess you know whats coming.
Sold most of the Vinyl and replaced it with those neat shiny silvery discs and bough a Technics CDP. Great-Not.
Within days I knew I made a big mistake. So for the past 20 years I am crawling up that Vinyl mountain again. I am just over halfway there.
Changed that system to an Linn based set up (LP12,Ittok,Audio Technica,Kabers,Intek and a Arcam Delta CD Transport and Black Box D/A Converter). The happiness returned.
Got all domestic, fell out and left my house with everything in it. So had to start again.
Bought a new house and a new System (Musical Fidelity X-A2,XA-50 x2,Rega Planet CDP,Rega P3 and Monitor Audio Floorstanders).
Changed the XA-2 for a XP-100 and added another pair of XA-50s to bi-amp the new speakers (Castle Harlechs2).
Changed the CDP for a Naim CD5 + separate Power supply.Big Mistake. Didn't like that at all. Changed that for an Audio Note 2.1. that was better but poor build quality.
Meet the most brilliant woman got married and settled into our life (I train and breed Gundogs and Susan is a Business assessor).
Changed the Rega P3 for a P25. Really liked that change. Then changed the amps for a Manley Pre and Audio Analogue Donizetti monos and a Trichord Dephini Phono Stage.The Manley got me really hooked on Valves.
Unfortunatley one of the Donizettis went mental and blew on of my Speakers up.Changed the speakers for castle Stirling3 and the Amps for the Pathos Logos (still miss the Manley).
The new Speakers were not good enough so I changed them for a pair of Monitor Audios GR20 (Metal Drivers Urghhhh!). Lesson: Should have listen to them first.Changed them quickly for ART Stiletto's.
Not bad but just a little too small sounding.
What to do now. My wife said how much would it take to get the set-up I would like.So I took a deep breath and named a figure and waited for the fall out, but oh wonder the opposite happened. And I had an open cheque (within reason) to get my system right once and for all. I did hear the Zingali Home Monitors and knew then that's the speaker I like just to big for my Home. So I went for the smaller Overture3 and the rest followed pretty soon after that (Ayre CX-7,Unison Research Performance,Michell Orbe/Technoarm,ART Audio Vinyl One,
Isotek Titan and Minisub,Cardas Golden Reference cables and Kimber Powercords).
Then for some strange reason I changed the Orbe for a Clearaudio Ambient with Direct wire tonearm. That was terrible. Not like german engineering at all. The arm stuck to the armrest the belts kept flying off and the arm bearings stuck too. I was dismayed. But there is always a silver lining somewhere and I got a great deal on the SME20/2A and Series V arm.And that will be it for a long time I think--but you never know.

Had a great dealer who helped me all the way.Thank you.

So as you can see I had to start several times over but boy does it sound sweet when I come in tired and wet at night and light the fire,open a bottle of red and let the needle hit the record. Bliss.

Man-that turned out to be longer than I planned. Believe me that is the condensed version.

Enjoy what you have been given and peace to all.


P.S. Whats playing? Karma to Burn by The Waterboys I think the most complete live album I have ever heard. Thank you Mike.

10-30-2005, 07:25 AM
If this thread is going to end in a group hug, I'm outta here.

10-30-2005, 07:37 AM
If this thread is going to end in a group hug, I'm outta here.
It wont end in a group hug, but we are friends here. I chat with most per telephone and we discuss our hobby. If you dont want to be a part of the audioreview friendshipcircle then you can leave at any time. Or you can join in and tell your story, if you have one.


10-30-2005, 07:51 AM
Well said Flo.
What's wrong with being friendly and exchange views and experiences.



What's playing : Alan Parsons Project-Tales of Mystery and Imagination

10-30-2005, 08:10 AM
I hope you all copyrighted this stuff......Don't be surprised if Hollywood makes the movie of your life stories and you don't get a dime........ :)

Seriously I find this post interesting and I think it helps gain some perspective on the people who frequent the forum. My story is pretty pedestrian (though my oldest daughter is named for an island in the Indian Ocean) so I won't bore you all.

Keep them coming and remember that no matter where you go .....there you are. :)

10-30-2005, 08:30 AM
I hope you all copyrighted this stuff......Don't be surprised if Hollywood makes the movie of your life stories and you don't get a dime........ :)

Seriously I find this post interesting and I think it helps gain some perspective on the people who frequent the forum. My story is pretty pedestrian (though my oldest daughter is named for an island in the Indian Ocean) so I won't bore you all.

Keep them coming and remember that no matter where you go .....there you are. :)

How can someone else's life's story be boring. Not so.
Life is exciting.And full marks for a great name for your daughter.



What's playing: The Clash-The Story of the Clash

10-30-2005, 09:37 AM
If this thread is going to end in a group hug, I'm outta here.

Come on Nod. What's your story? I promise not to hug you.

10-30-2005, 02:48 PM
Off to college to study photography. Glad to be out of the hometown. Purchased my first stereo which consisted of Smaller Advent speakers and a white marble based Kenwood turntable with a Shure cartridge. This was back in the days when you bought a turntable and they would include a Shure for a penny. A friend gave me his JVC receiver with a five band eq. Carol King, Carly Simon, Maria Muldaur, Joni, Judy, Nina Simone never sounded better. I could sit in my room and contemplate my first two relationships and let the ladies sing my pain away. This is the system I took home with me after college. I went back to the hometown. I began to sell audio and while working picked up a pair of AR speakers and a manual JVC turntable with a fairly good arm. Gave the Advents to my younger brother and gave another friend the Kenwood turntable. My next purchase was a Harmon Kardon A402 integrated amp. Wish I still had that one. It was dual mono 40 watts a channel. It was designed to deliver a true 40 watts and not some of the inflated specs at the time. Then came a pair of Polk speakers. Next came lifes big mistake of moving to Dallas. Being the trusting soul I am when a friend from college told me how great it would be for us to be in Dallas I sold the stereo to help with the expense of joining him in Dallas. So when that turned sour back home to the hometown and no stereo. Next I purchased a Dual turntable, Harmon Kardon receiver, ADS L570 speakers. About this time I tried a Technics cd player. It was early generation and I could not listen to it. It was a while before I would try cd again. Soon the Dual was replaced by a B&O RX2 turntable and the HK by an Onkyo int. amp. The ADS speakers were replaced by a small set of B&W(don't tell Flo) because I was ready for a change. This was the time I tried a later Sony cd player and could listen to it more frequently than the last time. Next came My Rega Planar 2 to replace the B&O. Then a Rotel int. amp and Rotel phono eq. The Rotel was such an improvement over the Onkyo that it opened my ears to what is available. The Rotel was like listening to a Grand piano and the Onkyo was like a spinet. I was hearing the full sound attack and decay. Then I owned a pair of Celestion speakers. Next came the Sony ES cd player that I recently tried and succeeded to breathe new life into the old boy. Now it was time for the NHT SuperOnes. They are still with me and I enjoy them very much. I have a hard time shopping for speakers because I want to buy something truly better and I am concerned I might just buy something different. Recently I purchased the Cambridge Audio Azur 640 A when I thought the Rotel was going to give up the ghost. I bought it for fear that while I was trying to decide what to buy to take my system to the next level I would be without music. Well it is better than I had any right to expect for the money. Now I am researching products for a higher level of fidelity. I am thinking about new speakers and of course a new cd player.

I definitely enjoy the information exchange and the friendship circle. I am not much into hugging either. A slap on the @ss is welcome.

10-30-2005, 04:21 PM
Very cool storys so far guys, thanks for sharing! :cool:
As to the B&W's, you own NHT's now so its cool. LOL


PS: Keep em coming boys!

Currently playing live in my room now: Massive attack....mmh silent 20ish Hz rumblings at 2 in the morning :p

10-31-2005, 12:13 AM
Great Story. I think many parallels can be drawn across location,age and musical like and dislike. I really enjoy sharing that and we can learn a lot from them. Any more out there.
I am not into huging either, but I go for a slap on the ar*e.

Enjoy the music


What's playing: The Cars-First Album