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  1. #1
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    When did you know...

    Come on - bust it out - when did you know you where an audiophile?

    When were you out - so to speak?

    What was the 1st great moment - when were the other grate moments?

    And are we forever chasing that 1st moment again? Or do we just have second winds?

    When did you hear something that blew your mind that was actually within your budget? Could be your own?

    If you aren't to old or stoned to remember, come on, spit it out! Will you?

  2. #2
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    I'm not an audiophile, at least by conventional, defined standards...I appreciate music too much.

    That said, I have some audiophilic tendencies. I enjoy quality gear and can easily hear subtle differences in playback. I enjoy system synergy and strive for such but, ultimately, I'm gonna listen in any case. For me, music recreates and sometimes creates a mood, a time and place, evokes an image or a feeling. Music should be a communal experience and so it is that I find much of the quibbling and bickering offputting.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  3. #3
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    The moment for me was only maybe 3 years ago. Before that, I was more content with my old Marantz, Kenwood and Adcom gear. The eye-opener was a setup of McIntosh separates, digital music server and some B&W floorstanders at a local home-theater store. Then I heard even better at a boutique stereo store not long afterward.

  4. #4
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    Spring of 1984 for me. I remember it vividly.

    In elementary school everyone would bring there boom boxes to school and during lunch we'd all play them. Kids would gather into groups on the playground according to the music they liked. Well I had this gigantic monstrosity which took 10 D cell batteries to run and was blaring Def Leppard's High n Dry to my hearts content. When I went to fast forward to "Mirror Mirror" this girl comes over to our group and proceeds to tell me how I am going to break my radio because "You aren't supposed to press the play and the fast forward button at the same time dummy!"

    I jumped up and said, "It has a P.S.S - programmable search system! I can hit this silver button along with the FF button and choose up to 3 songs in advance and have the deck automatically go to the beginning of the song."

    This girl was ugly anyway so I put her in her place but I realized then that while most people wanted the biggest radio on the block I was more interested in the features and sound quality.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    in high school, a friend had me over and his dad played some of my 45s on his hand assembled cabinet enclosing radio shack components he bought. EXCELLENT! it was then i knew i had to have better sound.

    i was barely able to afford the used juke box 45s which was my only music source besides the radio. my mother always had a good sounding GE table radio and once we bought a used zenith floor standing radio with an electromagnet speaker in the nice veneered cabinet. it hummed but bert kaempfert souded great on it.

    when i went into the air force and went to guam (863rd medical group) i heard the systems of my roommates (sansui 2000a, pioneer sand filled monitor sized speakers, dual 1019/shure) and knew again that more was needed at home. i only bought a panasonic auto reverse open reel with dust cover over the reel/head area.

    after a few misinformed attempts to get some equipment, my next door neighbor with ar3s, dyna tubes (pas3/st70, garrard) sent me to pacific stereo on vineland and lankershim in the san fernando valley. great salesman (later became the infinity rep in no-cal) demoed what i asked for-ar4Xs and dynaco a25s.

    after a while of being alone he came in and asked what i decided. i said the ARs. he them put on nillsson schmillsson's 'jump into the fire' on side two and played the break where the kick drum and bass guitar-first on the ARs and then the a25s. the a25s CLEARLY delineated the two instruments and the dynacos came home with me.

    that was the metamorphosis. it took years as did further development with the help of another friend and then the patient listening at dealer demos for other customers, and then demos for me after i gained the listening skills needed. anybody can gain them, so called golden ears are not needed when you know what to listen for.

    my current system can be reviewed here: http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/588.html
    ...regards...tr

  6. #6
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    I have had audiophile traits as long as I remember, as a child I always gravitated toward anything playing music, I began to collect records as soon as I was able to figure out how to scrape money together. Beginning with a suitcase record player and always trying to better what I had, moving to all-in-one stereos, my first receiver when I was a senior in high school, later I worked for an electronics distributor as a sales rep which allowed me to get what I'd consider my first real quality system a Kenwood 3300d integrated, cdp & tuner that drove Infinity Kappa 7's. The 3300d was a specialty component system that was much better than Kenwood's standard lines. I got really sick of explaining that to snobs. The integrated was the first piece of gear I had ever seen with a built in DAC, this is in the late 80's. Years down the road I should have known when I paid about $1600.00 for an Arcam CDP to replace the broken Kenwood something was amiss I think though it really didn't dawn on me until some years back here on the forums there was a thread discussing what was an audiophile and I realized that was me.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular swan24's Avatar
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    My father, long ago, in the late 50's, took me to a friend of his who sold McIntosh HI FI gear... My father was a musical director at our church at the time, and he also worked for IBM as a customer engineer, which means he actually fixed computers... But he was into radio and electronics from way back... And he built tube gear from scratch... God, I wish I still had some of those old chassis... He's been gone since 1981... He died at 57 of pancreatic cancer, but always left me with a taste for good audio gear, even though I really never had a lot of money...

    I now still have an audio buff friend who does circuit design, and has his own bench equipment and repairs and builds tube gear... He's a Dynaco afficionado, and has done many mods, although I've never availed myself of any of his equipment other than an old AR turntable some years ago...

    Harking back, I also had a cousin who was a jazz buff, also in the late 50's, and I used to go over and listen to his audio system... We'd listen to Trane and Miles when everyone else was getting hooked on rock and roll... His family had the dough to buy him some good gear, although I have a hard time remembering just what he had... It sounded good though... I think, Bozak speakers, and early HK gear... Not sure...

    Then I would listen to my father's system at the time, and he had a lot of 78's of classical music... There was a huge turntable that I now think was a Rek-O-Kut with a huge tone arm that required an outrigger, that is, an extension beyond the base... I think it was an ortofon arm... Anyway, that's when I think I got hooked... (m.)

  8. #8
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swan24
    Harking back, I also had a cousin who was a jazz buff, also in the late 50's, and I used to go over and listen to his audio system... We'd listen to Trane and Miles when everyone else was getting hooked on rock and roll... His family had the dough to buy him some good gear, although I have a hard time remembering just what he had... It sounded good though... I think, Bozak speakers, and early HK gear... Not sure...

    (m.)
    My grandfather had some old Bozaks with some early Marantz gear. I can vividly remember listening with to some black wax spinning. Those memories are priceless.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  9. #9
    Forum Regular swan24's Avatar
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    There's this old guy who tells the story of having a pair of Bozak Concert Grands, and he was phasing them, that is, checking to see that all the drivers moved outward when a DC power source was hooked up to them, and rumour has it, he blew out a couple of windows in the room because he had the doors all closed, and the internal pressure build-up was just too much... I'd take this one with a grain of salt, though... (m.)

  10. #10
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    That moment that the light turned on for me,was in 77,married,2nd child on the way,at a friends house for a party. The most beautiful rack system I had ever seen. Phase Linear gear, 700B poewr amp,3000 II pre amp,5000 II tuner, and a Teac A3340S RtR. All hooked up to four JBL SC 99 Athena,speakers. Thats when I had to have it.

  11. #11
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    If we're just talking about when we knew we liked the gear, that was when I got one of those all-in-one setups with the 8-track in the front and record changer on top. My first step into bona fide quality gear was the Marantz on the left side of this photo. I think I bought it in 1982...not sure exactly...maybe 1983. I eventually picked up a Marantz 6300 turntable and some Cerwin-Vega D-3 speakers and I was rockin'. But I'd never really thought about what I might be trying to achieve with the sound quality. I just wanted a nice system.

    I suppose some might say I was an audiophile when I got my Kenwood Basic setup or my Adcom separates, but I still wasn't listening critically just yet. The day I heard that McIntosh system it was probably the best sound quality I had ever heard in an attainable price range. I was intrigued, to say the least.


  12. #12
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    Thats a tough set of questions.

    I grew up watching my brother build Heathkits, Dynaco, and Hafler gear on the kitchen table at night. I remember the first set of AR5s that my other brother got to hook up to the Dynaco gear. I can remember hearing decent systems since I was 8 or so.

    My first setup was a Heatkit receiver, dual TT, and hand built speakers, again my older brothers. The fist setup I bought with my very first income tax rebate at age 17 was an Onkyo receiver, Tape Deck and Infinity speakers. I can never remember the model but they had the EMIT teweeter, adjustment settings on the back for treble and mids (i think) and at least a 10" driver with beautiful wood cabs.

    After getting married, I got a combo of Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner and 9180, and Mirage 790s.

    Been a snob ever since.

  13. #13
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    There's a thread running right now on another forum where someone inquired about what it takes to achieve an audiophile system and it turned into a 90-post debate on the word "audiophile".

  14. #14
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    "audiophile" seems to have taken a negative connotation in some circles. i just feel that it represents a person who has realized he needs better equipment to realize more accurate sound for the enjoyment of the music.

    yes, i am an "audiophile" AND a music lover. it just appears that people like to be contrary.
    ...regards...tr

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    You become an audiophile, IMO, when you realize (a) you want better sound, and (b) that better equipment has the potential to give it to you. For me that happened about 1971-2.

    So by that definition I ceased being an audiophile in the mid '80s when I lost much motivation for (even) better sound because (1) I was doing less listening due to other time priorities, and (2) because I felt (mistakenly) that my then equipment was as good as it could get for anything near what I could afford.

    Yet again I became an audiphile around 2001-2 when I was finding more time to listen and once again sought better sound than I was getting.
    Last edited by Feanor; 03-13-2011 at 02:37 PM.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    fean,

    looking at your analog source, i DO believe you could up your enjoyment by going with something like a VPI or SOTA tt system. the rest of your equipment seems to be a pretty high level yet the analog front end is entry level.

    vinyl can be ever so much more satisfying with even mildly upgraded components. i am sure what you have sound quite good but there is GOODER out there.
    ...regards...tr

  17. #17
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy
    fean,

    looking at your analog source, i DO believe you could up your enjoyment by going with something like a VPI or SOTA tt system. the rest of your equipment seems to be a pretty high level yet the analog front end is entry level.

    vinyl can be ever so much more satisfying with even mildly upgraded components. i am sure what you have sound quite good but there is GOODER out there.
    I'm done with analog, HFT. As it stands I've only go 200 LPs which doesn't justify an upgrade. And I won't be adding more.

    Most of the reason is that I listen to classical music almost exclusively and there is essentially nothing available on vinyl. Perhaps I 'd have been wise to buy up second-hand LPs back in the days when people were dumping them for CD, but I didn't and supply has dried up, at least around here.
    Last edited by Feanor; 03-13-2011 at 06:10 PM.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    poppa chubby seems to find his and he lives in london, ontario. oh well, we all make choices.
    ...regards...tr

  19. #19
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    I believe I was already an audiophile when I bought my first gear in 1967. Table radio's, boom boxes and the like never sounded good enough for me. Playing an instrument probably had a lot to do with my feelings about listening to "crappy" gear.
    Although I was an early buyer of a CD player and CD's I eagerly bought vinyl from those who were dumping LP's for CD's. Many of my friends thought I was crazy. Those same friends now marvel at my vinyl collection.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy
    poppa chubby seems to find his and he lives in london, ontario. oh well, we all make choices.
    He may find what he whats but is more to be pitied because he listens to little classical music.

  21. #21
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Give the guy some time. Jazz and Blues have got his attention right now. Good gear has a tendency to expand ones musical horizons. At least it did to me.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  22. #22
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    There's a thread running right now on another forum where someone inquired about what it takes to achieve an audiophile system and it turned into a 90-post debate on the word "audiophile".

    Ohhh... boy - that sounds about as exciting as watching the paint dry.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    fean,

    as you may know, classical is an acquired taste just as is any other form of music. if one is privy to classical in his upbringing, he may have the tendency to pursue it, or NOT.

    i know people who forced things like that down the throats of their children only to have those children never want to listen to it again.

    jazz and blues are every bit as worthy music as classical and to pretend they arent is heresy. that is as much prejudice as racism is.

    i had to self educate myself in classical and my involvement is greatly more on the surface than my love of jazz. still, i love it and when i hear things i like, i seek them.

    a good example of a jazz player is andre previn whom i thought was foolish to go and take the lamebrain job in england after having such a success with the tune "like young" in the early 60s.

    recently i found a great jazz record by him: "andre prevein-jazz at the musikverein": http://www.allmusic.com/album/jazz-a...r311023/review

    if you can find it, or if you care to, you may just enjoy it. the personnel list includes ray brown and mundel lowe, just as when he made a couple of jazz discs with itzhak perlman.
    ...regards...tr

  24. #24
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    My classical collection has stalled at around 200 records on vinyl and around 100 on CD. I think I may be near the limit of my interest. My jazz collection continues to grow, although it still isn't much more than my classical collection. In the end, I suppose I'll always find pop, rock, folk, country, etc. more enjoyable. A Bob Dylan record beats a Bruno Walter record most days around my house. My nice audio system is admittedly not essential when Bob is on, though.

  25. #25
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifitommy
    fean,

    as you may know, classical is an acquired taste just as is any other form of music. if one is privy to classical in his upbringing, he may have the tendency to pursue it, or NOT.

    i know people who forced things like that down the throats of their children only to have those children never want to listen to it again.

    jazz and blues are every bit as worthy music as classical and to pretend they arent is heresy. that is as much prejudice as racism is.

    i had to self educate myself in classical and my involvement is greatly more on the surface than my love of jazz. still, i love it and when i hear things i like, i seek them.

    a good example of a jazz player is andre previn whom i thought was foolish to go and take the lamebrain job in england after having such a success with the tune "like young" in the early 60s.

    recently i found a great jazz record by him: "andre prevein-jazz at the musikverein": http://www.allmusic.com/album/jazz-a...r311023/review

    if you can find it, or if you care to, you may just enjoy it. the personnel list includes ray brown and mundel lowe, just as when he made a couple of jazz discs with itzhak perlman.
    Thanks, HFT. Your comments are well appreciated.

    I have recounted my musical appreciation history before, but I'll mention that I had atypical lack of interest throughout my teenage years. Two types of music eventualy stimulated my interest while I was in college: Folk music (plus Bob Dylan ) and Classical. I also had a slight interest in Jazz.. It's worth pointing out that I never had any interest in Rock 'n roll, Rock, Pop, much less HipHop or Rap that emerged later; I still have absolutely no interest in these.

    Andre Previn is noted for his broad musical taste and participation. He is a remarkable musician.

    Although my interest in Folk has pretty much vanished, I still have some interest in Jazz: I have 40 or so Jazz albums, mostly Hard Bop, Modal, and Bop.

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