This is Ping Gong, one of my hosts and my fellow traveler. At breakfast this morning, he explained to me how he became an audiophile. "It was the Cultural Revolution," he said. "We weren't allowed to study, so we played music and talked. I had a big Russian turntable—mono! And one speaker, of course.
"When things loosened up in the '70s, I got a mid-fi Japanese hi-fi, but it was stereo! And I began to build stuff to listen to."
Yup—not studying and listening to records, sounds like how I got into hi-fi. Except for that whole repressive government closing down the schools part—I didn't need no bureaucracy to keep me from going to school!