Your introduction to Hifi

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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A topic about introductions to Hifi

My dad owned these B&W DM7 Mark 2's. Quite a classy 3 way system for its time. I didn't have much reference to compare those days but they were decent sounding loudspeakers. However I liked them better with the grills on.

They were paired with the Quad 303 and 33.

I have used the Quad system for a couple of years for my first set of Tannoy M1s and the B&W602/s3. I replaced it with a Harman Kardon HK3270 amp later on for practical reasons but in terms of sound I neither won or lost anything. The Hk was just as good. I only missed the power on / volume dial on the Quad 33 pre-amp that switched it on like a tank. :)

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plastic penguin

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Horrible memories of of my first system. When I was 14, after saving up pocket money etc etc I purchased a receiver from a local electrical/DIY shop. It was nasty. It was rickety and it tried to kill me more than once: Every time I touched the metal knobs it gave me an electric shock. It was called a Minerva. Never seen one since.

First proper system was a JVC receiver, which I have fond memories of.
Clickety
Solovox speakers
Garrard table
1637197146109.png
and a Hitachi cassette deck D230
1637197244015.png
 
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Brian G

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Jul 22, 2021
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Growing up my father always had tight 2 channel setups. Most memorable was a pair of Telefunken TX3 speakers mated to a Yamaha CA 610 and a Revolver Rebel turntable. The Telefunkens ended up suffering from the effects of long term volume-wear (likely caused by my brother and I) and being replaced by some Energy stand mounts (C2 I think, but at any rate it was back when energy was using a bunch of Dynaudio internal bits IIRC). The final iteration ended up with Mission 780s and a tone arm upgrade to a Rega 300 or 301. (This is probably why I have a bit of a thing for Danish speakers and British kit).

I in turn went through a bunch of equipment, most of which was hi-tech multi channel digital, and none of which sounded remotely as good as the above. A little while back, with help from this site, I got rid of that and started focusing on clean, tight budget friendly 2 channel set ups and the rest is history.
 
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My family only had a large stereo radiogram so my first introduction to proper hifi came when I visited a school friend and his father had a setup that included the wonderful Lecson AC-1 / AP1 combo pictured below along with a very nice French turntable who's name escapes me...(since Googled and it was an ERA)
It made a very nice noise so, as I couldn't afford either I went out and bought an Armstrong 621 amplifier and a Leak (Lenco) turntable shortly afterwards. It all kicked -off from there.

2011EU0507.jpg
 
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Gray

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Horrible memories of of my first system. When I was 14, after saving up pocket money etc etc I purchased a receiver from a local electrical/DIY shop. It was nasty. It was rickety and it tried to kill me more than once: Every time I touched the metal knobs it gave me an electric shock. It was called a Minerva. Never seen one since.

First proper system was a JVC receiver, which I have fond memories of.
Clickety
Solovox speakers
Garrard table
View attachment 2932
and a Hitachi cassette deck D230
View attachment 2933
Bet the speakers came from Comet.
(I've still got my Solavox 'Ghetto blaster').
Your Cassette deck looks very similar to my JVC KD21, which I also still have (but then many decks did look quite similar).
 

plastic penguin

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Bet the speakers came from Comet.
(I've still got my Solavox 'Ghetto blaster').
Your Cassette deck looks very similar to my JVC KD21, which I also still have (but then many decks did look quite similar).
You bet correctly, sir.
As with Richer Sounds and Cambridge Audio, Comet was the only official outlet for Solovox in the UK. Because the internet was decades away, the only other way to buy Solovox was newspaper classifieds or, very very occasionally, a dealer might have taken one in
 
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12th Monkey

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Dad's parents had no music replay at all, and mum's has an old fashioned sideboard radiogram. Dad had a bum-basic turntable with built n amp - just connect speakers jobbie. I do remember other friends having dads with better systems, but by that point I'd already bought a wonderfully late 70s music centre. Started buying separates thereafter - I think I got hooked reading hifi magazines when I was doing an unpaid work placement. Beyond that, quality told and I've been improving my system over many years, albeit in a plateau/climb/plateau/climb kind of way.

1637252612477.png
 

plastic penguin

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Dad's parents had no music replay at all, and mum's has an old fashioned sideboard radiogram. Dad had a bum-basic turntable with built n amp - just connect speakers jobbie. I do remember other friends having dads with better systems, but by that point I'd already bought a wonderfully late 70s music centre. Started buying separates thereafter - I think I got hooked reading hifi magazines when I was doing an unpaid work placement. Beyond that, quality told and I've been improving my system over many years, albeit in a plateau/climb/plateau/climb kind of way.

View attachment 2935
My family only had a large stereo radiogram so my first introduction to proper hifi came when I visited a school friend and his father had a setup that included the wonderful Lecson AC-1 / AP1 combo pictured below along with a very nice French turntable who's name escapes me...(since Googled and it was an ERA)
It made a very nice noise so, as I couldn't afford either I went out and bought an Armstrong 621 amplifier and a Leak (Lenco) turntable shortly afterwards. It all kicked -off from there.

View attachment 2934
I grew up listening to a Monogram my parents had. It did pump out the bass. I suppose because it was housed in all wood the radiogram was like a huge speaker cabinet.
I think it was a GEC make, although don't quote me on that.
 
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plastic penguin

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Just remembered about the radiogram we had. This made me laugh.
(Apologise to the OP for taking the thread slightly off kilter)

The arm to the turntable had a indentation underneath. To make the arm lighter there was a spring you pulled and clipped back in. To make the arm heavier you slackened off the spring.

When I started experimenting with carts I replaced it with a very used magnetic Shure cart and a preamp.... the cart was held in the headshell with plasticine

It really make me chuckle how primitive it was back in those days. Ah, and the cartridge was ceramic not magnetic.

I'm so so so sorry.
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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It is difficult to define Hi-Fi particularly as modern all in ones can be just as good as separates however; in the early days I think it meant that it was a separates system rather than an all in one. (Radiogram, Music-centre etc.)
With the above definition my first setup (Built up over time) consisted of (From memory so the model numbers may be a bit off) a Garrard AP76 Turntable with Goldring 800e cartridge, Eagle AA6 Amplifier and Heathkit Loudspeakers (Built from a kit) that used Kef Drive units and crossover, also added was a Nikki FAM400 Tuner, Akai CS33D Cassette Deck and an Akai 4000DS Reel to Reel recorder which served well until the update bug started. (I think I also added a separate Dolby B Processor for the cassette deck)

Bill
 

12th Monkey

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I wondered when somebody was going to mention the music centre - the original all-in-one, yes we'd had radiograms (often only mono) but to have that cassette deck and easily record from the TT or stereo radio....luxury.
Next step was mum's Amstrad ghetto blaster, with detachable speakers. Recorded at one speed, played back at another...
 
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nopiano

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I suppose my introduction to Hifi was through my Uncle, who was a Latin and Classics teacher, but also something of a polymath. He was quite the scientist at times, making his own radios etc. His Hifi was a radiogram looking cabinet, homemade, holding a Lenco turntable, a Shure cartridge (perhaps a M44), a Quad 22 preamp and a DIY tuner with preset stations. The power amp wasn’t readily visible, but I think was DIY with valves. This drove some largish speakers possibly made from a kit, with a saggy cloth grille sitting on tapered legs. It wasn’t pretty but it sounded great!

Some years later, a neighbour had a Thorens TD125, an SME3009 arm (which I was in awe of), and an Armstrong tuner amp - 525 perhaps. Can’t recall the speakers but maybe they were by Howland West. Not long after he went quadrophonic with a Harman/Kardon 95+ receiver and four Acoustic Research speakers.
 
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RoA

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I guess my penchant for Hifi (and Photography as is so often) comes from my late dad. I can't remember every component but certainly recall the Revox R2R my step mother got him for a birthday. - There was a huge, long wall covering book shelve, floor to ceiling, with records, travel books, a long silver All-in-one Record, Tape, Tuner, Amplifier unit (B&O?) and medium sized Book shelf speakers placed on ... the bookshelf left/right. I remember them bring quite high up, obviously nothing to do with us kids :).

We also had one of those cool big, all enveloping, swiveling, plastic round 'bowl' chairs with red interior. Many a fun time.
 

jimbofisher

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My father had a 60s B&O in our living room and allowed us to use and then happy for us to start spending our own money, my older bother bought a JVC amp and cassette deck with (i think) wharfedale speakers (may have been celestion.

At 12 had a paper round and purchased this (recently found by my brother in my parents loft, he took it outside and sent me these photos. My money from thereon went on albums/cassettes

Then at 19 using my holiday job money bought my first separates Rega turntable, technics cd, yamaha cassette, rotel amp, celestion speakers - audio heaven... until the upgrade bug bit!DSCF5592.jpgDSCF5585.jpg
 

12th Monkey

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That feature a slot-loading cassette? A friend's dad had a (very) mini system that had one of those - ultra cool. It had the sloooowest eject ever - proof that it was a quality item, of course. But then more LEDs meant better back then, so maybe my taste wasn't all it could have been!
 

jimbofisher

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Cassette loading was a tray, like cd players. Yes i remember that the definitiion for good for a cassette player was relative to the slower speed that the cradle opened
 

nads

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My father had a 60s B&O in our living room and allowed us to use and then happy for us to start spending our own money, my older bother bought a JVC amp and cassette deck with (i think) wharfedale speakers (may have been celestion.

At 12 had a paper round and purchased this (recently found by my brother in my parents loft, he took it outside and sent me these photos. My money from thereon went on albums/cassettes

Then at 19 using my holiday job money bought my first separates Rega turntable, technics cd, yamaha cassette, rotel amp, celestion speakers - audio heaven... until the upgrade bug bit!View attachment 2943View attachment 2944
I had a slightly newer version of that in the mid 80s which got me through 6th form. Then it was a step up to a NAD 3130 , JVC tape deck, a technics turntable and tuner. With some AR speakers with liquid cooled tweeters.
 

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