What got you into hi-fi?


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Apr 5, 2009
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Hi all,

On other threads here I have taken advice on buying new speakers and changing my amp. I am still using kit bought around 20 years back and my interest in systems has been rekindled recently having not changed anything for years.

That got me to think about what got me into hi-fi and I thought I would share my journey and maybe others might like to do likewise?

I am in my mid 50's and got my first "stereo" when I was around 12 - a Fidelity turntable and two speakers - whilst all my mates were listening on old box type "record players". I loved the stereo effect and my mate got the same system and we then bought a box from "Tandy" which along with another set of speakers from there supposedly made the system quadrophonic!

I kept the same system until I was 16 and then "upped the ante", saved my pocket money and bought a Pioneer turntable with Ortofon Concorde cartridge and a Yamaha amp and a pair of Wharfedale Linton speakers. Loved the VU meters on the amp.

My Dad had a work colleague who had a very nice system - including Linn Sondek turntable and speaking with him enthused me even more.

Didn't change anything for years - went to Uni and was skint for 3 years.

Ended up working and then bought the system that I still have today - Roksan Rok One speakers (currently for sale on ebay as I have, (due to space restrictions) just bought some small Dalis, Rotel RCD991 CD player, Audio Analogue Puccini amp all sat on a "Target" stand.



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Jan 15, 2011
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I am now 44 and had a midi system until I was 16. It was then that I got a Saturday job in Currys, with staff discount and a manager who was more than happy for me to upgrade and restock my old system every couple of months. I got to a very nice Technics separates system by the time I left.

Then came university and a Pioneer A400 was procured along with a pair of Kef C75’s and a Pioneer PD73 CD player. Overdraft, BarclayCard and student loan all gone in single stroke! I failed my first year by spending too much of my time being stoned and listening to music and got kicked out of university, so the next year I had to sell my system to raise funds, and worked while taking a couple of different A Levels.

Working = money so I bought an Audiolab 8000A and Marantz CD52 MKII and I have been trading up ever since, spending my student loan and part time working money every year on hifi while studying again. I even spent a brief time dealing secondhand kit to get to where I am today.
What got me into Hi-Fi was the first time I heard Kef floorstanders. Up until then, all I’d heard were standmounts, or the bundled speakers that came with stack systems. Once I’d heard them, that was it for me.


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Apr 24, 2013
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I was running out of money whilst at university so during the 'hi-fi boom' years of the early '70s, I got a saturday job in TCR in one of the discount shops.

Paid £5 for the day, cash.

Selling mostly cheap tat (Teleton anyone), but some items were clearly much better, but hearing the good stuff now and again was enough to really grab my interest. Upgrading from my SP25 Mk1 to the Pioneer PL12ac was what really got me going.


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Mar 8, 2009
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First year at Uni, I sat in a friends room and he played his pioneer deck, Trio amp and ditton 33s. Roxy Music track, and I thought the footsteps I heard were someone walking past the window. “Gotta get me some of that!!”

I bought a Garrard deck secondhand, Sansui amp and had a speaker set made by another friends dad. Yowza, I was made up. Spent years upgrading bits and bobs, added tuner, cassette, CD players then an add on amp for surround. Got to where I am today via Audiolab, Micromega, Yamaha, Kef 104abs (still running in brother in laws house!) and Philips.

Unlike some on here, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey. As I’ve spent more money on various components, an upgrade became a major listening event. I once hauled a pair of 104s into a dealer for a comparative test. Ouch. Not many mistakes on the way though.

I’m in Cno’s “spend twice as much to get an improvement” camp and got very impressed with my Oppo player when it enabled all sorts of modern options. I’ve got into a position where I’ve stopped spending because the next upgrade would be scary money for little benefit.

Wifey loves the gear, music and Sky football. Kids Spotify me to death with new music. And “Love is the drug” still brings back many years of enjoyable memories. The soundtrack of a life, played through a hifi, eh?
My father. My earliest memory is some Wharfedale speakers he had which were bigger than me at the time - this was early 70s and I was a few years old - I guess they were about waist height to us now. Around mid 70s my dad had changed to separates via a friend, with a Pioneer PL12D and Shure M75ED, Technics RS-273USD flat bed cassette deck, JVC JT-V31 tuner, Sansui AU-101 amp and Jim Rogers JR149 speakers. Things really kicked off then, and I think towards the late 70s I used the system more than my dad did, mostly taping off the charts on Sundays.

Whilst still at school, I picked up a used Denon PM-510 amp From Bullocks TV & Radio across the road from my school at the Fox & Goose, Washwood Heath, a pair of cheap Solarvox speakers from Comet (TB70, I think), and a JVC L-A110 turntable from Richer Sounds, which was my first system bought with my own money.

Always remember me and my mates at school though - we all wanted Technics systems. We knew all the models, all the specs inside out, and I remember drawing the system I was going to get in the back of my maths book. We’d pile into Birmingham on Saturdays in the early 80s and tour the record stores and hi-fi shops looking and playing with stuff, probably being annoying to most of the staff, but we didn’t realise that at the time. There were many hi-fi shops back then, but Laskys was the main place we’d head for, as they had the cool Betamax players and TVs of the day, loads of equalisers, the first CD players, loads of headphones and turntables etc. That whole second floor on Corporation Street was all hi-fi.


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What got me into hifi was my dads hifi when I was a kid playing records on his hifi I can’t remember what he had but when he died I had hoped I would be left it but the hifi was rented from radio rentals which was a big disappointment .

my first job I got my first hifi from the club book which I had to pay half my wage every week until it was paid off but that was a Philips hifi and when I got a better paid job I brought a technics amplifier which was the su600 and by that time CD players where coming out and they were very expensive to buy but I saved for one which was a Sony CD player and my speakers were Jamo floor standing speakers and I thought the sound was very good back then .

i didn’t get into serious hifi until I was in my 30s after years of dreaming of the hifi in magazines which I cannot afford before but brought my first serious hifi in the 1990s which was Arcam 7se and matching CD player with mission speakers then by then the bug kicked in and I went to bigger and much more expensive hifi and borrowed the money to buy the expensive hifi which in the end got me into trouble with money .

so when I got to 40 I had to start again as I had no hifi four 6 or 7 years so when I came back to the hobby things had changed but the first hifi I brought was the Marantz PM6005 CD6005 with my first pair of Dali book shelf speakers which was better then listening to music of my PC for the last 6 or so years .

but music got me into this hobby and the fact I like collecting boxes but learned my lesson about money not to over do it when buying hifi now I save for it not borrow the money but over the years I’ve had loads of hifi separates


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Mar 22, 2016
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Up until 20 I had been struggling with mini systems and though they were pretty expensive, I was never satisfied. One day, accidentally, I was passing a Hi Fi shop and they had Spendor s3e on display. I popped in and had a demo with Cyrus preamp and power - that was it. Before I also heard sound in recording studio, that made me think much...
What sparked my interest in Hifi was my mothers love of Rock n Roll and Heavy Metal.

Every day when I came home from school in the 80's my mother would be listening to Various Rock music, more often than not Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden.

I really have no clue as to the system, all I know was it was a tuner, Turntable, amp and speakers. I always remember how good it sounded compared to my friends parents systems. I always thought a lot more information was available to listen too.

My first proper system was Nadal gear, Amplifier and turntable and some mission speakers. How I enjoyed that system. Eventually led me to a to discover more genres due too its transparency I could appreciate more music.

Good Hifi is an absolute blessing.


I have no story that might make my story different than the next person. I just like music faithfully reproduced. That’s it. The tech is largely incidental to that ideal.


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His handed down mags (starting when HFNews was 20p) Still got them all and they make very interesting reading.

That and hearing a separates system at a 70s party - probably something like Pioneer / Trio / Wharfedale. Just like others have said, you want some of that, then you're hooked.

Deleted member 108165

Have always liked music but never got into stereo systems until I was about 23, (1981). Most of them were cheap like Aiwa or Akai. I did drop some serious cash on a Kenwood UD7 mini system in 1990, still have the system but the CDP no longer works. I don't think I ever really got serious about hi-fi, I was more interested in a decent sound system in my car than at home.

It was not until 2012 that I experienced true stereo, this was the first time I had ever spent time on correct set-up and speaker positiong, (internet is a wonderful thing). Sitting in the sweet-spot was a complete revelation for me and never ceases to amaze me to this day, music takes on a whole new meaning and a source of immense pleasure.


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Nov 12, 2008
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As a teenager, 60 years ago, I enjoyed building electronic things (valves in those days). I built better and better amplifiers, basically to get better and better quality of sound. I wasn't much into music then. So I guess I was an audiophile then! Now I concentrate on music, so presumably no longer an audiophile. (Don't rise to it! No offence meant; maybe a bit of a tease to those who take it too seriously.)


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Sep 23, 2014
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He always had hifi seperates & I often had his old gear when he replaced his, although he still has his mahoosive Pioneer SX amp & homemade Wilmslow Audio speakers. :(

The first I remember having was an Amstrad amp (yes they did seperates) with sliding controls, rumble filter, scratch filter (whatever they did) and DIN connectors, a Garrard record deck & Wharefdale speakers.
But I'll shorten it...

As a baby of the 60s mytwo elder sibling were big into music (not hi-fi). My earliest memory was listening to records from the likes of The Who, Motown etc etc etc.

In 1976 my dad purchased a record player for my birthday. Didn't sound anything like my school friend's set-ups, I saved all my pocket money over the years and in 1978 purchased a s/hand receiver - Minerva. Again it was rubbish sounding through homemade speakers (they were actually car speakers, and I built the cabinets.

The rest, as they say, is history.


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Sep 23, 2014
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plastic penguin said:
homemade speakers (they were actually car speakers, and I built the cabinets.

It doesn't work too well the other around.

I may have once decided to butcher the cabinets of an old pair of hifi (well Goodmans) speakers and attempt to mount them on the rear parcel shelf of my Mk3 Cortina, sadly my Audioline radio cassette (with auto reverse) wasn't quite up to the job of powering them, this became largely irrelevant when, during some enthusiatic cornering, the double sided tape holding them to the parcel shelf gave up its grip & one of my lovely(?) speakers exited stage left and broke the rear window.


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May 3, 2010
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I guess I inherited my love of HiFi from my Dad, although he never owned separates, he loved his PYE record player with matching speakers and before that he owned a big sideboard unit made by Decca with TT and radiogramme.

It wasn't until I went away toUni that I came across really good gear of the time Leek amps Gerrad TT and Warfdale speakers and that was it, as soon as I could afford it went and bought a Rotel amp Pioneer cassette deck, Sony TT and Warfdale Lintons

It's been a long and most enjoyable journey to get to where I am today, don't regret £1 spent.




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Nov 24, 2013
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I've been a music nut since I was a wee boy in the early 70's and have always bought records cassettes and latterly cd's, downloads and streaming. It was and still is all about the music for me - I spent most of the 80's trying to make a career out being a musician - all my energy and money went on that. After that it was hedonism work and then family in that order (that i concentrated on) I made do with mini all in one systems or boom boxes. Never had any interest in hifi until about 2005 and it's no coincidence that this is when my career took off and I had a lot more money to play with. Since then I've box swapped quite a bit to the point where I'm almost where I want to be. It's a great hobby.

Daz B

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Mar 10, 2010
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My first hifi was a cheap Sansui amp and cassette player with some cheap Laskys speakers. When the cassette player died one day after the guarantee ran out I bought a Sansui turntable.
This was back in the mid 1980s. I bought a Hitachi seperates system off a mate.
I soon replaced this with my present day system consisting of a Kenwood 3020 se amp and Marantz CD 63 CD player and Mission 71 speakers. I added a Rega P1 turntable in 2007. I did purchase a Thorens Td150 turntable in 2016 but still need to spend time getting it up and running.
I like spending most of my money on records and just love listening to music.
My first encounter with hi-fi was my uncle's Lenco turntable, Quad 22, home-made poweramp and speakers. This was soon followed by the new neighbour with a Thorens TD125, SME3009, V15, Armstrong 521, Ferrograph reel-to-reel (wow!), etc. I bought my first system in 1974, and started helping out in the shop where I bought it a few months later. Our top systems tended to be based around Harman/Kardon receivers (the 930 was the boss's favourite) and Acoustic Research speakers (AR3a). We sold Quad 33/405 too and a few ELS57s as they are now known. The core items were Dual/NAD, Lenco/Leak, and Sonab, Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz and Trio separates, with lots of tape and cassette machines by Akai et al. We flirted with big Tannoys, Heil ESS, Sonab, Spendor, KEF reference and similar, with budget speakers by Celestion, Wharfedale, Leak, plus a locally-made range from Omar Skinner that we sold under an own-label.

A few years on, I encountered early Naims with Linn/Grace/Supex and Dalhquist speakers. That was my SoA for a few years. Then came the LP12/Ittok/Asak, Naim, Isobariks that you know well. Fast forwarding a little further, the annual Heathrow show saw the advent of Absolute Sounds, the importer. I was soon beguiled by Audio Research, Krell, Sonus faber, and Oracle turntables. To me, that was light years ahead of Quad, for example.

Nowadays I buy for the long term!