How Did You Get Started?

We’ve all had it – that moment that sparked an interest in audio forever.  It’s the bug that keeps us upgrading and trading gear until we feel it again.  Often it starts as a love for music, that first record purchase, an incredible live concert experience, or memories of a parent or relative’s set up.  Some of our users posted their stories in our Forum, and we chose a few to share with you below.  Be sure to share yours in the comments!


Ckoffend: For me, it started in elementary school when my parents allowed my sister and I to each choose a new record, which I think I wore out in less than a year. I found listening to the radio was unsatisfying as I had to listen to music I was not interested in. It went from this to trying to record off of the radio onto either 8-tracks or cassettes. In junior high school, I got a paper route and made just enough to buy 3 new albums per week. In high school, the silver pre 1964 quarters that my grandparents had given me every year since I was young shot up in value. When my parents were out of town, I took my quarters to the local coin store and sold them. I got about $1,500and bought my first real stereo system. Two years later and up to a couple hundred records, I convinced my parents to get me a Thorens table for Christmas, best Christmas present I ever received. Just got rid of that table last week!!!!

Davvie: When I was a child, I used to love to get a brand new pencil and sit in my favorite chair listening to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and pretending I was conducting. Later on, I would constantly borrow my sisters portable record player with detachable speakers (much to her displeasure)! In high school, my parents had some farm land that had a nice house that was completely cleaned-out by robbers.. I convinced my dad to take some of the insurance money and let me get a real component music system.

Consttraveler: My uncle Warren was a merchant seaman making the trip between San Francisco, Japan and Seattle. When he was taking his Coast Guard test for first mate, he stayed with us for about two weeks. His next trip he brought my mom and dad a Sony reel-to-reel with detachable speakers as a thank you gift. As the oldest child, it fell to me to set-up the tape my parents wanted to listen to and to get the speakers “just right.” I was hooked!

Brianmgrarcom: Some moments I can recall…Sitting on a little wooden stool between the bucket seats of my Dad’s 1967 Chevy pickup, staring at an 8-track player he bolted under the dash, with the same 8-track always plugged in, CCR. It seems like I spent almost every summer night staying over at a friend’s house and I remember us purchasing a headphone splitter so we could both use our own headphones off one jack on his radio. My dad purchased a jukebox and put it in our basement. We still have it, although not working. It had a large glass front and when selecting a song you could watch the “rack” spin to the record, select it, pull it out and set it down. We played that juke box a lot! It seems like a special time for playing music back then (70’s).

Jeffb28451: During vacation in the 6th grade, I had $5 to spend at the end of a week. We stopped in a Grace Dept. store in Raleigh, NC, 130 miles before we got home. 88 cents each got me a Rolling Stones “Between the Buttons.” I almost didn’t, but the cover of “Fresh Cream” was too cool, and I’d heard this guy in there was pretty good with a guitar, so I dropped the big money on that, too. We got home and the first thing I drop the needle on is “I Feel Free.” To say my world, at that moment, changed is an understatement. No more Monkees albums for me: I had to dig that old guitar out of the attic. Christmas that year was more Cream, Hendrix, and even Grandma bought me a Stones album! 37 years later of trumpet, guitar, and bass, music has been indispensable. Stereo was quite different. I was shopping for new horn for high school graduation and in that music store were some type of panel speakers by Fisher and a 504 reciever (SQ 4-channel, anyone?). Some collegiate type group was singing a version of “Never My Love.” That was when the emotions of a system related to my life.  I’ve moved up-market ever since.

Talon4: Back in 1976, which was one year out of high school for me, my stereo system consisted of Yamaha NS690 speakers, Yamaha receiver, and Dual 1229 turntable. My friends and I would dream of 10k systems and would listen to rock music almost every night. We bought a lot of record albums back then. I was interested in listening to music, mostly rock music, since I was twelve. Back then, today’s classic rock was just…rock. My friends and I saw a lot of rock concerts back then too. It was a great music era to grow up in.

Gaslover: In high school I got a job pressing records at the world’s only (at that time) audiophile pressing plant. I soon became the Quality Manager. As a result of this experience I can honestly say there are probably less than 10 people alive who know as much about the secrets of vinyl as I do. Before I required reading glasses I could simply look at a freshly cut lacquer and tell the producer everything he/she needed to know about the eventual outcome of the finished product. But alas those days are long gone, as is my near-field vision! But the ears are still fine and I take great delight in exposing this current generation to the glories of analog playback.


How did you get into hi-fi? Was it a relative, teacher, or friend? From a love of music or a love of equipment?  Comment below to share your story.

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