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ludwigvan968's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 31 2005 - 9:14pm
First HiFi

What was everyones first HiFi?

I bought my first HiFi in the late 90's after working all summer:

Marantz CD45
NAD 312
Wharfedale Diamond 7.2 (before they made cheaply)
Home Depot cables and Magnet wired interconnects

This system really played the music for me in high school. I went on to become a rega nut, mira, planet and jura's, that was a sweet second system!

So what did you all start with?

PhilNYC's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:03am
Re: First HiFi

I don't remember the model numbers, but my first system looked something like this back in the 80s:

Harmon Kardon integrated amp w/built-in phono
EPI TE-100 speakers
Technics turntable w/Shure cartridge
Technics CD player
Radio Shack cables

I did, however, spend quite a bit of time as a teenager with my father's system, which included:

Fisher 400 receiver
VAX speakers
a turntable I don't remember

I recently found the Fisher 400 receiver in my parents' basement, and have sent it to someone who specializes in re-building Fisher gear (a disciple of the Fisher Doc). Should be getting it back in 2-3 looking for a pair of speakers that will be a good match for a 25wpc tubed receiver...

Pjay's picture
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 6:59am
Re: First HiFi

Wow, you had it easy.

I think it was around 1972 or 73. I started at the Co-OP weekly flea market in Berkeley CA. I guess stores were still closed on Sundays back then. You could get almost anything there and there was a whole section with animal adoption. You walked up, pet a dog. Walked away with it if you liked it. But I digress . . .

Pilot tuner with multiplexer
Lafeyette tubed receiver with the tuner broken. Used as an amp.
Rek-o-Kut turntable (Rumble kut). This was one of those units where you bought a TT and it did not have a plinth. You had to build one. Mine had veneered plywood with no finish.
Speakers were some long box with a line of 5" drivers, paper cones and maybe one tweeter at one end.
Oh, yes, a color organ.

I remember I had an Eico amp. I think one channel of the Lafeyette went out and the Eico only worked on one channel when I bought it, so I got two channels from two broken stereo amps.

Total cost was probably under $10.

Everything was tubes and a lot of my allowance went to tube replacement. Still hate tubes.

I remember one night a few years later when I was in HS. A bunch of us drove ALL THE WAY to SF (gas had skyrocketed to $.28 gal) and found the door to KSAN. We banged on the door until we were let in by a guy we thought was the janitor. Turned out to be the Mega-god of the airwaves of that time, I cannot remember his name. He was our idle. I think Johnny Fever on WKPR was based on him. Anyway, he took us right into the booth and we all played some awesome tracks. Above the sound booth, there was a shelf a Marantz reveiver flanked by JBL speakers. They would listen to the live signal to make sure the total path was good. I am sure this degraded the sound, but he would anounce and play a track, and in the same room as the TTs, turn up the monitor to incredible levels. We were in heaven. I still have that lustful image of the blue Marantz light in a dark studio with my favorite music.


300Binary's picture
Last seen: 9 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 10:47am
Re: First HiFi

Early 70's - got job, checking account, LOC ... stereo system!

Went to stereo shop in an old house by the university, I think they were called Chapter 11 Artistes or something, Got AR turntable, Sherwood receiver, and Rectilinear speakers. Wanted KLH speakers, but, they were out of stock. Fine system, lost it in a divorce

dcrowe's picture
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:39am
Re: First HiFi

I didn't have nearly the fancy equipment the rest of you started with! In 1964 in high school I got a used turntable, a pair of headphones, and built a solid state Heathkit amp (I think it was about 10 or 20 Watts per channel). All through college I also exclusively used headphones. I didn't graduate to my first (Bose) speakers until about 1972.

Editor's picture
Last seen: 11 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: First HiFi

>What was everyones first HiFi?

Late 1960s: Garrard SP25 turntable with AudioTechnica MM cartridge, Kenwood KA2000 integrated amplifier, Wharfedale Super Linton loudspeakers.

First upgrade was the turntable, to a Thorens TD150ab with its TP13 tonearm and a Shure M75EJ cartridge.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Robh3606's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 10:11am
Re: First HiFi

That would be 1973 with a Sansui 2000X with JBL L25 Primas and a Garrard Lab 80 turtable with a Shure M97?? cartridge. Still have the Prima's. My first upgrade was using the preamp outs on the Sansui and adding a Dynaco ST400 that I built from the kit and a Garrard Z100 with a V15.


Monty's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: First HiFi

Around '78 or so. Toshiba receiver of 30 watts, can't remember model, Technics turntable and JBL monitor speakers, can't remember models on those either. I remember wishing I had the money for the Technics receiver instead of the Toshiba.

My next move in audio was toward car systems and I didn't make my way around to home audio until the mid 90's. I heard a pair of Sonus Faber speakers and Adcom-Rotel electronics by accident and immediately became hooked on home audio.

dogface1956's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 1 2005 - 2:23pm
Re: First HiFi


I don't think I would call this hi-fi, but I do have fond memories of my BSR all in one system from 1969 with turntable (and ceramic cartridge), AM/FM tuner and amp with about 10 watts running to some fine BSR two-way speakers and yes I thought I had died and gone to heaven this was a "major" upgrade from my portable mono record player. My first real stereo system was a Kenwood Intregrated Amp, Dual Turntable, Sony Cassette deck and Sansui speakers (all purchased overseas when I was in the Navy in 1975)


swagger's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Oct 27 2005 - 4:51pm
Re: First HiFi

My first real hifi was first half 90's:
JM-lab Micron (first model)
Rotel RB-850 power amp
QED passive pre-amp
Sony 228ESD cd-player
Sony ST-S311 tuner
JVC TD-V711 cassette deck

nyctc7's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 24 2005 - 10:43pm
Re: First HiFi

Bought new in 1986:
Yamaha Integrated Amp
Yamaha CD Player
Genesis Physics 22 Series 2 Speakers (not to be confused with Genesis Technologies. Anyone nostalgic for Genesis Physics, check here...

A pretty good sounding first system. About five years later, I assembled what I consider my first high-end system:

Magnepan 1.5 QR Speakers
Arcam Delta 290 Integrated Amp
California Audio Labs Alpha & Delta Processor & Transport
Magnum Dynalab FT-101A Tuner
Denon Casette Deck
Transparent Audio Speaker Cable
Audioquest Interconnects
Sanus Rack
Noisetrapper Power Conditioner

In the early 1990's I got all that for around $6,000 (new) and it really, really sang, but the Magnepans really needed more power than the Arcam's 75 wpc.

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