What was your very first audio system?

What was your very first audio system?
Here they are
97% (183 votes)
Don't remember
3% (6 votes)
Total votes: 189

We all had to start somewhere, reader Mark Gdovin observes. He'd like to know what your very first audio components were.

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

Well, the first music reproduction device I've ever owned -- I hesitate to call it a component -- was a portable suitcase-shaped mono record player with the turntable in the base and an amp and speaker in the lid. The first real components, though, were a mid-80s JVC stereo receiver, a JVC single-disc CD player, and Sony acoustic-suspension 2-way bookshelf speakers.

Tim Wood's picture

ESS HIEL Speakers SON of AMPZILLA Amp THOBE Preamp LINSONDEK Turntable SONY Reel to Reel

Nate's picture

A BSR turntable with an ADC cartridge, a Pioneer receiver, and some house-brand speakers which were Ohm knock-offs. Loved it! And while the BSR table and speakers are history, the reciever still lives on, 28 years later.

scott higgins's picture

Lg. advents,marantz 1060 integrated amp & pioneer pl-12d turntable circa 1970

Frank Dickof's picture

Marantz 1060 amp Pioneer TX-7500 tuner Dual 1215 turntable Shure cartridge Bose 501's

Jim's picture

Scott 375r reviever Scott 312 speakers Jvc cassette deck Dual Turntable

Aris Petropoulos's picture

It was a Crown all-in-one console with separate bookshelf speakers. I was 14 years old and my parents gave this to me as a birthday present. I can't describe the joy it gave me back then. I wish I could be 14 again.

Bob Taylor's picture

Bought in 1981, a Pioneer Receiver, ADS Speakers, Yamaha Cassette recorder/player, and a Bang Olefson turntable.

Robert Hamel's picture

A Sansui 2000X, Garrard Zero 100 turntable, Shure V-15 Type 3 cartridge and JBL L-25 Primas. I still have the L-25's.

Bigtuna's picture

I regret that I don't remember the brand name, as it was 40 years ago, but it was one of those all-in-one suitcase type models. I begged my mother to buy it for my brother and myself. Two speakers, a turntable, and an amp assembly, all snapped together so it could be carried like a suitcase. We were thrilled and its sound was fantastic, at the time. That brings back good memories.

Tom Warren's picture

My first system, which was purchased in 1970 when I was a sophmore in high school, was for the most part picked out by my older brother, who has turned out not to be an audiophile. Together we bought a pair of AR 2Ax speakers, a Dual turntable with a Shure cartridge, and a Pioneer integrated amp and tuner. At the time, I thought it sounded amazing. The good thing is that I always kept a fresh needle, and every LP that I have bought since that sophmore year is in excellent shape and very playable.

Ed Strnad's picture

Acoustic Research 4x speakers (in pine, of course

Anonymous's picture


Sam's picture

$160 Sony radio/cassette boombox back in 1979. Second one included a Sansui receiver. Third one featured a Mitsubishi receiver and turntable and KEF speakers. My father is still happily using this system.

Anonymous's picture

I first started collecting records in 1967 at the age of 12. I played them on a mono record player that belonged to my mom. I believe it was a General Electric from the late 40's. The tone arm was quite bulky and wouldn't track at all unless weight was added such as a penny or nickel. My friends wouldn't lend me records because they always came back damaged. Even at the age of twelve I could tell that the sound of this player was horrendous but it was all that I had. I learned to listen past the poor fidelity and focus on the music. The player introduced me to many great artists of that period and I have fond memories of that time. Also, I was always taking the unit apart and doing things in an attempt to improve its sound. I learned then that making any change to any component can have an effect on the unit's performance. Glen Politano

Tony P., NY's picture

A Heathkit Integrated Amp,JBL L88 speakers and a strange manual turntable that I can no longer remember the name of but the motor turned a wheel that engaged on the rim of the platter to turn the platter

Alex Fundock, Clermont, FL's picture

I spent the summer of 1970 (between junior and senior years of high school) washing cars to save up for my first stereo system. All those $1.50 per wash efforts culminated in a Marantz 26 receiver (14Wpc!), a pair of Electro-Voice bookshelf loudspeakers (6" woofer with integrated whizzer cone!), and a Finco FM4G antenna. My Uncle John, who got me started as an audiophile, gave me an old Rek-O-Kut turntable and an Empire phono cartridge to complete the system. Soon after, I purchased a used Emerson 14" black & white television for $15, tapped into the unit's audio output section, and fed it into the Marantz's auxiliary input. It was stereo heaven and home theater, too, circa 1970. I was a very happy lad!

Anonymous's picture

Martin Logan Claritys, Musical Fidelity 3.2 Integrated and 3.2 CD, Van den Hul interconnects and speaker cables, Audio Prism Foundation III, Transparent Super Power Cord.

Fritz Getze's picture

Garard 40 MkII with Shure M44-7 (still made for DJ market); Heathkit AA-14 early transistor amp (the worst of solid state!); Jensen alnico 16 ohm speakers in Heathkit reflex cabinets (I still have these.)

Sven Felsby's picture

Beomaster 1200 receiver Beogram 1202 turntable Beovox 1600 speakers -all 1972, and looking gorgeous. The turntable and the speakers are still with family members and sounding fine.

Randy's picture

It was 1977 and I was 16 years old. One night, my Dad came home and surprised me with the following rig: Marantz receiver, Superscope speakers, and a Garrard turntable. I was completely elated. The rig sounded great in my small room. I really loved that Marantz receiver, it had an analog tuning wheel and glowed an incredibly beautiful blue color. My Dad and I set it up together and turned it on. It sounded perfect to me. Although I've moved on to the high-end, I'll never forget the night Dad brought me my new stereo. He passed away a couple of years ago and I wish I'd kept those components as a tangible reminder of that evening. It was magical.

Jim's picture

B&W DM603's B&K AVP1000 ROTEL RB981 Toshiba DV8200

Don Hollis's picture

In the summer of 1971,I bought a Realistic 36Wpc receiver with 6.5" woofer and 3" tweeter two-way speakers, and a Radio Shack Lab 12A automatic turntable, which included one of the lower-end Shure cartridges. It sounded great at the time.

Craig Ellsworth's picture

Radio Shack 20 watt per channel receiver, Radio Shack 2 way speakers (one 10 inch and two 3 inch drivers).

sdecker's picture

pioneer sx-525 receiver klh 32 speakers dual 1009 turntable shure M91ED cartridge superscope CD301 cassette koss pro4aa headphones 1975-1979

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

Going way back, when I was 11 my father gave my brother and me a Gerrard 40B turntable with some type of PIckering cartridge, a Lafayette integrated amp, and a pair of Criterion speakers. It didn't sound as good as his Dynaco/Bozak/AR setup, but it beat most parents. And that Lafayette amp was really killer, it whomped my my roommates' brand new Yamaha receiver when I got to college.

Guy White's picture

AR Turntable with Empire Cartridge, Dynakit PAS-3 Preamp, Dynaco ST-70 Amp, Dynaco A-25 Speakers,Tandberg 3041X Open-Reel Tape Recorder, Dynakit FM-3 Tuner. Amp bought used and rebuilt. Zipcord speaker cables, and whatever interconnects could be found at Lafayette.

Anonymous's picture

The year was 1973: Sansui Seven receiver Dual 1229 turntable Sure M91ED cartrige Bose 501 speakers

Willis Greenstreet's picture

Fisher 500C Receiver, AR3A's, Dual Turntable and Pickering Cart.

--Ed's picture

Turntable: Philips 212 Cartridge: ADC XLM Preamplifier: Dynaco PAS-3x (kit; added Mullard 12AX7A tubes) Amplifier: Dynaco Stereo 70 (kit; added Mullard small-signal and EL34 tubes) Speakers: Large Advents The system offered simply glorious music for far less money than should have been possible. Yes, the ADC XLM cartridges would collapse with unpredictable regularity and, yes, the Large Advents did tend to consume tweeters (the crossover point was set fairly low by Mr. Kloss to mate with the large woofer); but, when the system was up-and-running, I and my college friends could just lose ourselves for hours in a sweeping and eclectic range of musical performances. The system probably should have classified as a controlled substance!