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.

Mark in Louisiana's picture

I am 14 years old and would like to say that my dad got me started. I have two Optimus loudspeakers ($300), two Linaeum PRO LX5 ($150) and two Yamaha bookshelf speakers ($100), a Technics receiver ($300), a Technics CD player ($150), and a TEAC tape deck ($150). This system may not be as expensive as most of y'all's, but for a 14-year-old kid this is BIG money. To me, this is awesome. All of my equipment is new.

Joe Hartmann's picture

A relative had a Sherwood receiver and AR 3a speakers; I wanted better. I got married, bought a Sony receiver, Dual 'table, Advent speakers. It had to be better. A local store had Tom Holman with his new preamp; it sound better. I am listening to that preamp as I write. Many live concerts and much reviewed equipment and three upgrades later, I am starting to get to listenable equipment. As I unjacket the old records, I wonder how they got this on record with the stuff they had.

Joe Corcoran's picture

Playboy Magazine

Gordon White's picture

I was shopping for speakers and was about to buy a pair of JBLs from Circuit City when I wandered into Danby Radio in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on a quiet Friday evening in 1992. Truly clueless, I asked the salesman what speakers he recommended. What followed was a three-hour conversation about the history of high-end, what it was, and how to go about putting a system together. Then I spent 15 minutes with a Conrad-Johnson/Ensemble/Museatex system. I've been hooked ever since. That night changed my relationship with music in a way I will never forget. Thank you, Barry.

Frank Goldfarb's picture

My first eye-opening experience was with a new cartridge and turntable. Systemdek and AudioQuest replaced an Audio-Technica and Denon. Unreal improvement. I then replaced a Haflet DH 101 with an NYAL Minuet in A, and that was the big hook. That was 1986; I am still improving, albeit at more dollars for less improvement.

steve thomas's picture

I just loved the music and went from there

Kurt Christie's picture

Waaaaaay back in 1956, a school friend asked if I wanted to hear his high-fidelity system. I did not know what he was talking about. We went to his house and he explained it to me. The concept was fairly new then, but the music he played on his "record player" sounded really good. I have been an audioholic ever since.

Doug Cline's picture

As a 10-year-old, my best friend's older brother (an ancient 22-23-year-old) had the reputation of being a beatnik---you know, like the guy in Dobie Gillis, aka Maynard G. Krebs. Anyway, the one time we snuck into this beatnik's bedroom (most likely to search for "illustrated" magazines), I discovered a room covered with egg cartons, walls and ceiling, and a tube-type amplifier, turntable, and speakers (raw drivers, no enclosure) suspended from the ceiling on wires. I don't really remember much of the sound, but I do remember that as the starting point for an interest in hi-fi. Thanks for the question---I have not thought of that particular memory for a long time, and trying to remember Maynard G. Krebs was definitely a bonus!!

John Valvano's picture

Didn't know high-end existed until my friend showed me the music.

M.  Cox's picture

My roommate introduced me to the high end. I was forced, kicking and screaming, to figure out the notion of a sweet midrange to that of exacting imaging. I do thank him, because I had better taste in music than he did.

Alfredo Martel's picture

Saw TAS & Stereophile when I bought Adcom 535. Bought both out of curiosity.

Rich S, Pittsburgh's picture

I had always loved music, but knew nothing about the "high end," so I had a basic Technics/Sony/etc. system through high school. One day during college summer break, a strange-reading letter from some magazine I had never heard of intrigued me with claims of better sound for the $, telling it like it is, etc. (I never had trusted J. Hirsch, etc.) Within a year I had a nice little (college budget) system centered around used Belles electronics, an NAD CD player, and Spica TC-50s. Through the years, the system has grown to CAL/AA/Melos/McCormack/Martin-Logan, but the original equipment (except the CD player, now a Philips CD player/DAC-in-the-Box) is in my living room as a reminder. Who knows where I would be if Stereophile hadn't gotten my name from some mailing list back in 1983?

Bob White's picture

My sister's boyfriend, Tom Marmon, had an awesome rig complete with eight-track.

noam ben-ami's picture

Never having read stereophile, and having a better ear than pretty much anyone there, she put together a wonderful Rotel/Thiel system.

Brad Melton's picture

A "friend" got me started. My wallet and I curse him to this day.

Ted Panos's picture

Mom had reams of old 78s that she let me listen to. Frank Sinatra, big bands, Doris Day, and others.

Greg Simmons's picture

When I was 12 years old, my father brought home a Sharp Quadraphonic system, along with the 1812 Overture and a test record from (I think) Sheffield Labs! An open-reel recorder followed, then one of the first pre-Dolby cassette decks. The bug had bitten! (Due to aesthetic reasons and the lack of convincing Quadraphonic recordings, the rear speakers ended up mounted on the wall directly above the front speakers. Oh well! At 12 years of age, you can't have everything . . . )

eyal's picture

Actually, it was my cousin

John Alberino's picture

My dad managed a retail electronics store while I was growing up. I remember I couldn't wait until Saturdays to go into work with him. I would spend the day in the "sound room" and pick out what I wanted for Christmas, birthdays, or just doing well in school. I remember I always had separate components with these monster speakers, as my friend listened to Lloyds all-in-ones. My father now comes to my house and looks in amazement, as I did 25 years ago.

Mr.  Kelly Taylor's picture

Everybody thought i was crazy to spend 6,500 on a system less speakers. that is until they sat down to listen.

Ann's picture

My uncle and my cousin are true audiophiles. They tolerated a 10-year-old tomboy in their midst asking a zillion questions about turntables and speakers, etc. This was in the '70s, when Grundig was THE product to have, apparently. I watched my cousin, who had only recently come back from Vietnam, fiddle around with speaker wires and other stuff with a quiet, almost Zen look on his face, and I just knew I wanted to do that too. I think it was like a kind of therapy for him. Anyway, I credit my cousin and my uncle---who lives and breathes stereos, etc.---with getting me into the best hobby there is.

Chief Long Crystal Copper's picture

If it wasn't for Michael Faraday, Jean Luis Ampere, Thomas Edison, and Allesandro Volta, I wouldn't have the high-end system I do today. And not to mention Maceo d' Stereo, Adolph Mono, Lucia Treble, and Ivan Bass . . .

Mark B.  Miller's picture

It was actually my cousin Arthur who was using a combination of Lafayette speakers and Dyna Tube electronics and an AR turntable when I went to visit him in 1966. I was so impressed that I went out and bought my own goodies...AR2AX's, AR Table and Dyna Electronics.

Greg's picture

I wanted to buy albums and hear the music in stereo. We only had a record player and it was mono. I went to a place like K-Mart. This was in 1969 so there were more of these stores around. I bought an Electrovoice receiver and some no name speakers with a Gerrard turntable. All for about $250. It sounded ok for a couple of years until I started learning about high end.

ayjiwani@hotmail.com's picture

Father, 1963,Grundig

Jim Wentworth's picture

It all started back in 1972, when I was in the Coast Guard in Portland Me. One of my cohorts wasfrom Portland and was able to live at home. I went over for dinner and listened to a Macintosh amp and preamp combo as well as an original pair of Bose 901's and a B&O turnable rig. I even remember the album "Fathers and Sons", the blues compilation featuring Muddey Waters. Although by my current system standards I could find alot of fault with this system, at the time it was absolute magic! I had never heard anything like it. Since then I've become a hard core junkie at this hobby. I have this day to thank for it. It changed my life forever.