How long have you been interested in quality audio?

How long have you been interested in quality audio?
Less than a year
2% (7 votes)
1 to 3 years
10% (29 votes)
4 to 6 years
9% (28 votes)
6 to 10 years
10% (31 votes)
10 to 20 years
28% (86 votes)
20 to 30 years
28% (85 votes)
30 to 40 years
11% (35 votes)
50 years or more
1% (3 votes)
Not interested . . .
0% (1 vote)
Total votes: 305

The high-end audio business has been around for less than 40 years, with new generations signing on each year. When did you join?

Roberto Diniz's picture

I have always loved music, and one of my earliest memories is walking up a street in 1968, 8 years old, taken by the hand by my mom and getting entranced by beautiful music coming from a record shop (it was "Sounds of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel). Since then it has been hi-fi, lo-fi, taxicab radio, phone pbx waiting music, airplane headphones. Whatever, I love it. But I still own more vinyl than CDs, although I'm buying a lot of CDs. Even with Class A CD players (like a Meridian 508.24), LPs sound more musical through a Linn deck. And I have been critically listening for gear for a while now . . . You have asked, this is my opinion.

John Mulcrone's picture

On the advice of a friend, I bought my first Stereophile in 1995, and I haven't looked back since. In those three years I went from no stereo (?!) to Technics, to Hafler, to Conrad-Johnson, and Cary.

John Poulson's picture

I am older now but appreciate good sound moer than ever

Sven Greener Than He's picture

I didn't know there was anything called high-end, I just knew I'd bought a brand-new system and it didn't sound like music, so I started searching . . . and, like many, I'm happy but still searching.

Charles A.Erkus's picture

I've been interested in quality audio reproduction since my first HeathKits and my first kits from the old Allied Electronics Catalogs, but it seems a consumer has to choose from the proliferation of cookie cutter audio components and or the astronomical priced state of the art that less than 1% of us can afford. It is a disgrace to the high end audio that there are not more quality ausio components in the low to mid price categories. Any fool can design something and price it out of the range of most consumers, I think it takes a really gifted designer and manufacturer to design and build state of the art components at mid fi prices.

Jim in Dallas's picture

I've always been a high-end listener, despite the equipment. My favorite rig was a tri-amped three way: two horn loaded 18", two 12", and one compressesion tweeter per side. Right! It was a PA system back when I was Florida's Jungle Jim the Singing, Swinging, Whistling Sound Man. Why was it my favorite? We never had to fret about how well it could mimic the live event, because it WAS the live event! PS: It sounded like crap playing back casettes that sounded just fine at home. PPS: Get everyone out on the dance floor, then start the drum solo, and then send that through a lexicon digital echo/delay box and watch the dancers fall over.

R.  Trinka's picture

I've always been interested in stereo equipment, but did not get really interested in the high end until I was looking for surround sound equipment and walked into our local high end retailer just to look around. Once I heard good equipment, two channel and home theater, I was sold on high end.

_noam's picture

Someone who really loves the music will usually settle down in a few years time and stop obsessing about the gear.

Emmanuel B.  Fonte's picture

Piano lessons started at 5---anyone who has gone through that hates them. All my life I have been surrounded by music. My dad had one of those Telefunken all-in-one systems; I would play my albums day and night as a kid. Then moved to my first high-end system---a gift for making it into an all-star band. As a music student I would spend hours in the library listening to records, cleaning them, listening to them again. Now, as an adult, I can afford an impressive playback system, still playing tunes over and over again. Now I get to do it so I can choose the repertoire to perform with my various choirs and orchestra. Then it's real music. I guess those piano lessons paid off after all. Thanks, Mom!

Chris Fisher's picture

I have always been interested in high-quality audio, since I can remember. However, my definitions of what is quality have changed over time. There was a time when all I cared about was brand names; i.e., Sony, Bose, Kenwood, etc. After a while, my interest in high-quality sound reproduction led me to start researching more. I then realized that there is a HUGE arena beyond what I knew about in the beginning. I am now a beginner audiophile at 21 years of age. I hope that this pattern of continued reexamination of what I consider to be high-quality sound will continue for the rest of my life. Then maybe someday I, too, will be able to afford a Krell 605M, a Mark Levinson No.39, and a pair of JMlab Grand Utopias! Well, maybe I'll stop blabbering, now that I have completely disproven my point that my interests are no longer brand-based!

Jack Szymanski's picture

My dad was a broadcast engineer in the '40s and '50s, so I had an opportunity to hear some pretty good sounds over Berlant Concertones and Ampex tape decks. Even back in the late '50s the audiophiles and pro-audio types realized that we had a good system for recording audio, but not for distributing it. I recently dusted off a few master tapes made on Ampex 351s (2-track stereo) recorded by myself in the mid-'60s, and played them over a reasonably good high-end system--a real revelation!!!

Mark Harries's picture

I was in college, and I didn't have a pot to pee in or any worldly experience (audio or otherwise!)---just a year before, I'd recommended to my girlfriend that she put an 8-track in her car instead of a cassette player---"they'll never last!" Anyway, a high-end dealer I stumbled into was kind enough to turn my dorm roomate and me on to really good sound. I remember exactly---Threshold gear and Apogee speakers. It was unbelievable---I knew I would never be able to afford or appreciate such esoteric stuff---but I was turned on nonetheless.

Federico Cribiore's picture

Man, I can't wait to see what my system will look like when I will be checkin' one of the later boxes. Six years just ain't enough!

John T.  Jones's picture

I saw an Adcom ad in Stereo Review that quoted Sam Tellig from some magazine I'd never heard of. I picked up the June '86 issue at a newsstand out of curiosity and I have read every issue since.

Matthew Mitzner's picture

Reading the "As We See It" column by R. Harley in December '96 rekindled my interest in audio and introduced me to high-end audio as well. I now work at a high-end dealer and will get to display stuff at the Show in LA this June. Thanks to Stereophile, I now have a wonderful hobby and a great job.

Joer Hartmann's picture

In 1975 I purchased a Sony Receiver Advent Speakers and a Dual Table; I expected in my room sound. I attend a SUNY Binghamton with its great fine arts department of the late 60's so I had a good reference. Attempting to get there has been a quest since that first system left me wanting. I am currently investigating my fourth upgrade so most of my choices have stayed in my system for many years. After all music is the reason I started this search and its what I listen to most of the time.

Tony Harrison's picture

What a wonderful hobby we have. None better!

Greg Weaver's picture

My first exposure to the fledgling High End in 1969 has been a lifelong theraputic achievement.

Ian McArthur's picture

My hobby became my job---the only way I could afford my hobby.

Trevers Astheimer's picture

While this might prove to be an interesting question, the better question would be, "How long have you been interested in high-end audio, and how old were you when you started?" My answers: 11 years, and I started at age 14.

David Laloum's picture

Grew up with Beethoven & Tchaikovsky playing non stop on mum's plastic early 60's "record player" (bright red and cream thing with lid containing speakers) Once hooked on music..... the rest is history!

MUDCAT's picture

Although I have always enjoyed listening immensely to music, I did not appreciate and become interested in quality audio until i became a young man - about 18 years old. This is when I purchased my first receiver - a 25-watter (with a sliver faceplate and constructed entirely of wood from Sony) a pair of KLH speakers and a Dual 1225 turnatable. I kept this set for many years.

Chris Kuhn's picture

I've been searching for better sound ever since I got my first stereo. It is a slow process and nowhere near over. Will it ever end?

Henri Xavier Vray's picture


David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

Dad made me do it when he played my rock and jazz through his Dynaco/AR/Bozak system, much of which got handed down to my brother.

Jim R.'s picture

My first system was a Kenwood receiver, a Dual turntable, a Shure M91ED cartridge, and a pair of KLH 17 speakers.

Steven Lutz's picture

I stumbled upon hi-fi because I just couldn't find any thing that satisfied me at chain stores. I still don't a nice loudspeaker system. I am relying on my head- phones to get get me through school. Then when I graduate I might be able to invest in some real equipment. I am 22.

Anonymous's picture

Don't call me generation X. I'am not going to buy any high-priced stuff from the "high-end audio business". I had had the most musically involving system 20 years ago - a boombox. I only enjoy your magazine, that's all. Don't sell my response to the data-collection agency for sales forecasting purpose :-)

Rick Fauska, Milwaukee, WI's picture

Have been interested in separates since 67'. Only recently have I had the opportunity to enjoy quality sound and music together. In 67', the music was more important than the quality of sound. Music was inexpensive and good, and the quailty sound reproduction was not. Today, quality sound and good music is relatively inexpensive. In has nothing to do with my current income but rather that the value and availabilty of afford-abile quality componets.

antonio esporma's picture

I still remember High Fidelity magazine, my first Marantz 2220B receiver, etc.... I was 15 and it sounded better than my dad's and his buddies' stereo systems. I guess lack of funds but lots of knowledge led to careful system matching. Heck, I had a Stanton 681EEE on a Dual belt drive table by the time I turned 17!