Who (or what) got you started in high-performance audio?

Who (or what) got you started in high-performance audio?
Good old Mom
4% (6 votes)
Dear old Dad
15% (25 votes)
My Brother
4% (7 votes)
My Sister
0% (0 votes)
A friend
20% (34 votes)
Audio-store staffer
6% (10 votes)
The Media (print, radio, TV, Internet)
11% (18 votes)
Discovered it on my own
36% (61 votes)
Other . . .
6% (10 votes)
Total votes: 171

We've all got to start somewhere, and audiophiles often begin with the guidance of someone close to them. Tell us who it was and how it happened.

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COMMENTS
M.  Atwell's picture

The credit goes to Gene Lippa of the Sound Shop in Colorado Springs, who, in early 1995, got me to think about more than standard "box" loudspeakers. Martin-Logan SL3s started my slide down the slippery slope to a high-end addiction, and although the products Gene had available never won the race, I thank him for really opening my eyes (I mean ears) to how wonderful music can sound on a great system. Gene, you're the best.

Michael Grosz's picture

My father was a quiet man who liked to nestle himself away and listen to records. His collecion of LPs is in the thousands. While not a vinyl baby myself, I have become my father's son. I am a digital child, and my final words are quiet, so I can hear the music.

Curtis Heisey's picture

Question: How come the number of male audiophiles outnumbers the number of females?

Chuck Peterson's picture

My grandpa had a jerry-rigged system using a console player for one channel and the source/amplification and the TV speakers for the other. Boy, did it sound cool. It became my system after he died, and did I play the grooves smooth with it. I know he loved music, and it carried on to me through my dad, though dad wasn't the musician my grandpa and I were. I often imagine what it would be like to audition my Krell-based system with Grandpa . . . I think he'd love the sounds. I still have some of my grandpa's old stereo LPs!

Dixon Lee's picture

I got into high-end audio while in college in 1992 because the love of music led me to wanting better reproduction of such female voices as Harriet Wheeler (of The Sundays), Sarah McLachlan, Mary Lorson (Madder Rose), and Tanya Donelly (with Belly, at the time). I put together a "budget" high-end system and have enjoyed it for the past six years (Adcom GCD-700 CD carousel feeding Audio Alchemy DLC preamp and OM-150 amp powering a pair of AR303s with Kimber PBJ interconnects and 8TC cabling). And before I reach the quarter-century mark, I expect to upgrade most of my system.

Bob Sykes's picture

My first roommate from 15 years ago had built Tigersaurous amps and had Magneplanar speakers. I had never seen or heard anything like that. We've been building, upgrading, and tweaking ever since. My dad helped me get started building Heathkits and speakers even before that, which was the very beginning.

Alfred Ferrara's picture

Dad had a custom stereo cabinet built for the living room back in 1967, and had someone build a system to install in it. It was a Scott receiver (valves, man!) with an ELAC Miracord turntable driving Bozak speakers. Not knowing anything about soundstaging at the time, I was still bowled over by the gobs of microtransients and low-level resolving power of this system. Female voices and Command Records were the typical fare. They all sounded realer than life. I've been searching to re-create the "you are there" quality of that system, and have finally come close, although my ears are 35 years older now.

Bob Bernstein's picture

I was a musician into college, and was always loving music (popular mostly) growing up. At the same time, i was also interested in gadgets, cameras, etc,, and it was a natural progression. Once i starting reading about products, and wondering what difference they made to the sound, i visited local shops. Then after purchasing what to me then was a high end system, i kept reading. I guess that was my downfall since i lead to up-gradeitis,, but, did also lead to greater enjoyment. And a side benefit of a good system is that it allows you to appreciate more types of music too. Im now listening to a broader range of types than when i was younger.

DJG from Cali's picture

Word of mouth is the best advertising. Good sound from my brother's speakers sealed the deal.

George Messick's picture

ever since i can remember i've been interested in music and how it sounds

Gary Meade's picture

I am a music lover and a perfectionist. I think all audiophiles are like this one way or another.

Greg Carlin's picture

The rest of my family and most of my friends think I'm a little crazy....

R's picture

I'll never forgive him for introducing me to the upgrade bug!

Tom Selnau's picture

Dad had a great Fisher system with XP18 speakers. He loved to play his march and German oom-pah music at live levels. I, of course, used the system when he wasn't around.

C.  Soo's picture

Out of the desire of wanting something very special of my own, I considererd a huge variety of hobbies and interests, and decided the pursuit of high-end audio to be most beneficial, both to my ego and my mental health. As I grew older, the need to show off became more subdued and insignificant---that's when my pursuit of soul enrichment took on a clearer shape. Along the way, I've influenced my co-workers, girlfriends (!), and others, impressing some and isolating a few, too. Today, I enjoy the recognition I get when my wife silently tells the knowledgeable salespersons of my prestigious system; however, my goal now is to fully enjoy music without the acknowledgement or intervention of other audiophiles. Last but not least, my personal belief is that while high-end audio is fun, it is perhaps economically wiser to stop pursuing it at the point where the Law of Diminishing Return kicks in full thrust, and mentally saner to just simply sit back and reap the benefits your stereo can offer.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

Dad started it with his Dynaco/Bozak/AR system, but I'd have to say the job was completed by friends, who had the Blue Oyster Cult albums and the big bhangs

Maxwell Bricks (maxwellb1@aol)'s picture

This is all your fault. If it were not for you I would not have purchased B&W DM604 speakers, McCormack amp & preamp, a Planet CD player, and I'm still looking for a tuner. Like I said, you are to blame!!

Craig H.  Kinsley's picture

When it came to the "high end," I was a babe in the woods. With the honest and conscientious assistance of a dealer here in Richmond, I was able to confidently navigate my way through the perilous waters of claims, counterclaims, exaggeration, and misinformation to find my current system. Tim Harrison of Audio Art typifies what one seeks in a dealer. As a music lover who now can uncover the riches in his music more fully, I am grateful. The influence of the dealer should not be underestimated: He/she is the final link between manufacturer and customer.

Steve R's picture

My father bought me my first stereo at 13 and I have been hooked ever since. As the years go by (I am now 40), I continue to upgrade my system. Dear old dad is still a little bit behind the times. I now give him advice instead of going to him. You know the old saying: the student has surpassed the teacher.

Patrick D'Annunzio's picture

my friend in college, Aaron Fosdick. He tried to get me to hear that the tape deck, a Nakamichi, sounded better that the record. I told him that the record sounded better. After a few days he called me back to apoligize for calling me an idiot. years later I got the bug and bought my first Stereophile, the 30th Aniversary issue. All those expensive pieces of equiptment and a writer that I enjoyed reading, Corey...Even without him (: I enjoy the mag. Ciao.

Aaron Reynolds's picture

Although my introduction to audio reproduction in general started when I wandered into a local hi-fi store, it was picking up a copy of Stereophile that really opened my eyes, and later my ears, to the vast range of meticulously engineered audio components available. This in turn led me to investigate my favorite music on a more intimate and emotionally involving level.

Pete Roth's picture

I had to figure this one out on my own (almost). The help I had came in 1996 from Audio Consultants in Hinsdale, IL. While some of my college friends got me into music, their playback systems were universally poor (after all, they were students). I was home for the summer and just happened to check out what was inside that one-story brick building with the distinguished but plain sign out front. Inside I found not only a wide array of exceptional equipment, but a staff that was willing to spend a lot of time answering a multitude of questions posed by a 19-year-old, and had no problem letting me listen to different combinations of systems for hours on end. They gave me the bug, and I love it to this day. I have nothing but good things to say about Audio Consultants.

Lawrence Rosekat's picture

Introduced to fine audio by Paul S. Bartman in grade 9. Also found out early that all things are not equal.

Anonymous's picture

IT WAS A LOT OF PEPOLE. MY DAD,BEST FRIEND AN OLD GIRL FREINDS DAD AND THE LIST KEEPS GOING. BUT I HAVE TO SAY IT WAS A STAND UP COMIC. HE SAID WHEN YOU ARE IN YOUR 30'S YOU CAN AFFORD A NICE MUSIC SYSTEM (WITH ME IT WAS LATE 20'S).BUT I HAVE ALWAYS LIKED TO LISTEN TO MY MUSIC ON A GOOD SYSTEM FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE. NOW THAT I CAN AFFORD MY GEAR (I TELL MY WIFE THE LOCAL SHOP HAS ABOUT AS MANY SALES AS HER FAV. HANG OUT STORES TO KEEP THE PEACE). I HAVE ALOT OF FUN WITH MY SYSTEM,AND I HOPE TO KEEP THE FUN GOING SO MY 3 YEAR OLD SON CAN ENJOY THIS WELL INTO HIS LIFE ALSO.

Steve Dodds's picture

My father started me on the hi-fi quest. He was a pro musician for many years. Good sound for him was important because he liked good music and knew what it sounded like live. The big difference between us is that he knew when to stop spending on equipment and start buying more great music.

Colm Moran's picture

We had an awful 3in1 and I KNEW there had to be something better From there I bought a small seperates system that has grown into the great setup I have now

Louie's picture

My good buddy, it gave us something to talk about, something to do, and more importantly: gadgets to fool around with. That's what guys like to do--play with toys. This is cheaper than yachting or a golf club.

John Crossett's picture

I have to say I discovered it on my own, but I did it by buying a copy of Stereophile. I had been into stereo and music for as long as I can remember, but until I happened to start reading Stereophile (back in 1986) I had no idea of the high end. So I guess you could say I found it on my own with the help of the media. How's that for taking the middle ground?

Stephen Curling (Vsx1@aol.com)'s picture

My dad always had some music in the background when the TV wasn't on. Although I never really paid attention to what I was listening to, it rubbed off on me. When I was about 15-16 years old, I had saved enough $$$ to get away from the $40 boombox radio deals and get some serious firepower. I can't thank my dad enough (died 8/89).

Stuart McDoniel's picture

My high-end audiophilia started by going to Salon One Audio, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, back in the late '80s. When I heard the beauty of ACCURACY in sound reproduction . . . I was hooked!!

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