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  1. #51
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Q3Di View Post
    I started in mid 90s with Adcom pre, McCormack DNA1 Dlx mono and Thiel. The McCormack and Thiel are glued to my room for a long time. At that time, I didn't surf internet and curious if there is something better than what I have. I only visited SoundEx, Sound by Singer...then go home and be happy with my beloved system.
    I grew up in Soundex, all 3 locations as they grew. Bought my first Onkyo - Infinity setup at 17 y/o when they were in the strip across from the mall.
    -----------------
    Brian

    Main System -
    Rotel 1072 CDP / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Fyne Audio F502SPs > Synergistic Cables

    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > Dynaudio Audience 82s > Tara Labs Cables


  2. #52
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Although I always had good stereo equipment my first real “high end” gear came from American Sound in Toronto. I had a Krell KSA250 amp with a Rowland Consummate for the Pre. These are still prized today. My speakers were originally Apogee Stages but I soon bought Duetta’s I would have gone further up to Divas but my wife drew the line. She decided that the flat panel would interact poorly with children. Digital was a Proceed DAC with California Audio Labs Transport. We’ve come a long way since in digital.
    PS Audio BHK Pre, BHK 300's, Direct Stream DAC, Perfect Wave Transport, P5, WOO Audio WA5-LE, Focal Utopia Headphones, Lavricables Headphone Cable, Intel NUC with ROON Rock, Matrix, HDPlex 300W LPS, EtherRegen , Custom Ethernet Cables, Wilson Audio Sasha 1, Iconoclast and Siltech Loom for Speakers, IC’s, power. NRG Custom Cables for high current, Shunyata NR for DAC, Nordost Red Dawn for peripheral devices. California Audio Technologies CAT600.2 amp.

  3. #53
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    My first high-end component was the Apogee Duetta Signature. I went to a local audio dealer’s event in 1992 and listened to Jason Bloom’s demonstration of the Apogee Diva with Krell Class A monoblocks. I was stunned by the most lifelike reproduced music I had ever experienced. The dealer had a giveaway and I won a pair of Apogee hybrid speakers. I asked the dealer if they would put that money towards a pair of Apogee Duetta Signature and he agreed.

    I was moving into my first residence at the time and I had two strong friends accompany me to the store, where we added the new speaker boxes to my rented moving van. When we unloaded my furniture at my new townhouse, the Duetta Signature were carried into my living room, where they remained delighting me with the most lifelike vocals and piano for the next ten years. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to high-end audio thanks to Jason Bloom and my dealer.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  4. #54
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Not sure it would count as being high end (especially after reading an opinion recently that high end starts at US$100k per component) but my first "audiophile" system was a NAD 3020 integrated (it became famous after I purchased it ), a matching NAD CDP (can't remember the model now) and a pair of KEF C30 speakers all wired with Van den Hul cables (D102 and The Clearwater).

    I played it so much I wore out the CDP.
    Borresen Acoustics Loudspeakers, Borresen Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

  5. #55

    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    Not sure it would count as being high end (especially after reading an opinion recently that high end starts at US$100k per component) but my first "audiophile" system was a NAD 3020 integrated (it became famous after I purchased it ), a matching NAD CDP (can't remember the model now) and a pair of KEF C30 speakers all wired with Van den Hul cables (D102 and The Clearwater).

    I played it so much I wore out the CDP.
    Those NADs were awesome...

  6. #56
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    The 3020 was what that company was built on.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Supratek Chardonnay, PS Audio BHK 250, Verity Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC's & PC's, Triode Wire Lab SC, PC's & USB , PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Teac NT505, Kinki Studio EX-M1+, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

    Greenville, SC- Marantz HD-CD1, Auralic Aries G1, PSA Directstream Sr., Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Reynaud Abscisse Jubilee/Harbeth C7-ES3, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Audio Envy IC's and SC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  7. #57
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    Alberta, Canada
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Cambridge CD player 600 series with wireworld oasis interconnect I want to say. Came from a Harmon kardon 5 disc tray with lamp cord. My ears and eyes opened up

  8. #58
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I worked at a music and marine store in the early 70s' while going to college and got to partake in some cool gear. MY first was , Marantz 2270, KLH Fives and a Dual 1229. Upgraded to Marantz Mode 32 amp, a Marantz model 24 a pre-amp and a Thorens TD150, AR3a's speakers. Got of audio and got into guitars and amps and traded everything in.

  9. #59
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I've had several notable pieces from the beginning ...

    Carver CM-1090 integrated amp (college)
    Martin Logan Sequel IIs (college)
    Krell 300i integrated amp (post-college)

    But I feel like I've just recently got started with my high-end journey (at least high-end to me) with my Pass Labs XP-22 and X250.8. More to come.
    Electronics: Pass Labs XP-22, Pass Labs X250.8
    Digital: OPPO UDP-205, Auralic Aries G1, Bryston BDA-3
    Analog: U-turn Orbit Custom w/ Ortofon 2M Blue, iFi iPhono3
    Speakers: Janszen Carmelita, SVS SB13-Ultra
    Other: David Laboga Custom Audio/Shunyata/Audioquest cabling, Panamax power conditioner

  10. #60
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I think my first real high end system was in the early 80s.

    Oracle Delphi table - can't remember the arm but I think I had a Denon 103 cartridge.
    Meridian MCD CD Player
    Audio Research SP6 preamp
    Mark Levinson ML-3 power amp
    Magneplanar Tympani IV speakers
    Entec SW-1 servo subwoofers (stereo pair).
    Kimber cables

    By the late 80s, I had upgraded most of the components.
    Goldmund Studio table with T3F arm
    Spectral SDR-1000 CD Player
    Audio Research SP9 Preamp
    Cello Audio Palette
    Krell MDA-300 monoblocks
    Duntech Sovereign Speakers
    Cello Strings interconnects and Kimber speaker cable
    Roon ROCK Server w/LPS, Schiit Yggdrasil A2, Denafrips Gaia, Denafrips Terminator Plus, DIY Preamp, Parasound JC5, DIY FirstWatt F5 Turbo monoblocks, DIY Neurochrome Mod-286 monoblocks, DIY Purifi monoblocks, DIY GR Research NX-Otica with dual 3-stack servo subs, PS Audio Power Plant 3, AQ Diamond USB, Tubulus Argentus i2s, DH Labs cables (Red Wave PCs, Revelation XLR), GR-Research speaker cable, EtherRegen w/LPS

  11. #61
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayT View Post
    I think my first real high end system was in the early 80s.

    Oracle Delphi table - can't remember the arm but I think I had a Denon 103 cartridge.
    Meridian MCD CD Player
    Audio Research SP6 preamp
    Mark Levinson ML-3 power amp
    Magneplanar Tympani IV speakers
    Entec SW-1 servo subwoofers (stereo pair).
    Kimber cables

    By the late 80s, I had upgraded most of the components.
    Goldmund Studio table with T3F arm
    Spectral SDR-1000 CD Player
    Audio Research SP9 Preamp
    Cello Audio Palette
    Krell MDA-300 monoblocks
    Duntech Sovereign Speakers
    Cello Strings interconnects and Kimber speaker cable
    Wow! My shop - Audition - in Birmingham, AL, was a dealer for ALL of those products back then, except for Oracle & Kimber! We sold Rega, Linn, & Goldmund tts, Fulton cables in the early days, then MLAS, & Cello, and from then on, Transparent Audio cables.

    Who was your dealer? Definitive?

    The products I most revered - in no particular order - were the Duntech Sovereigns, the Cello Audio Palette, all of the various Goldmunds - especially the Reference, & the Entechs.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AudioQuest Diamond USB 5M: ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; AQ Diamond AES - 3M; AQ Diamond Ethernet - 1.5M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amp w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  12. #62
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    I worked at a music and marine store in the early 70s' while going to college and got to partake in some cool gear. MY first was , Marantz 2270, KLH Fives and a Dual 1229. Upgraded to Marantz Mode 32 amp, a Marantz model 24 a pre-amp and a Thorens TD150, AR3a's speakers. Got of audio and got into guitars and amps and traded everything in.
    Personally, I might have preferred the 2270 & 5s with the Thorens, but all of them led the way, bringing many folks into the future audiophile fold...
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AudioQuest Diamond USB 5M: ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; AQ Diamond AES - 3M; AQ Diamond Ethernet - 1.5M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amp w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  13. #63
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    My first high-end component was the Apogee Duetta Signature. I went to a local audio dealer’s event in 1992 and listened to Jason Bloom’s demonstration of the Apogee Diva with Krell Class A monoblocks. I was stunned by the most lifelike reproduced music I had ever experienced. The dealer had a giveaway and I won a pair of Apogee hybrid speakers. I asked the dealer if they would put that money towards a pair of Apogee Duetta Signature and he agreed.

    I was moving into my first residence at the time and I had two strong friends accompany me to the store, where we added the new speaker boxes to my rented moving van. When we unloaded my furniture at my new townhouse, the Duetta Signature were carried into my living room, where they remained delighting me with the most lifelike vocals and piano for the next ten years. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to high-end audio thanks to Jason Bloom and my dealer.

    Ken
    Agreed!

    It was so saddening when Jason passed.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AudioQuest Diamond USB 5M: ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; AQ Diamond AES - 3M; AQ Diamond Ethernet - 1.5M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amp w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  14. #64
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Wow! My shop - Audition - in Birmingham, AL, was a dealer for ALL of those products back then, except for Oracle & Kimber! We sold Rega, Linn, & Goldmund tts, Fulton cables in the early days, then MLAS, & Cello, and from then on, Transparent Audio cables.

    Who was your dealer? Definitive?

    The products I most revered - in no particular order - were the Duntech Sovereigns, the Cello Audio Palette, all of the various Goldmunds - especially the Reference, & the Entechs.
    I lived in the Boston area back then, so Alan Goodwin was my dealer. Originally in his store in Harvard square, and then out of his apartment until he established his (then) new store in Waltham.

    The Duntech's were great speakers, but a real pain to move. I ended up moving to three new homes after I bought them, and when we decided to move yet again the new house just didn't have a space that would fit them, so I sold them for a song.

    But the product in this collection I most regret selling was the Cello Audio Palette. That was just an amazing piece of gear and there really isn't a modern replacement. I actually sold it back to Alan in exchange for some other gear, even though I was living on the opposite coast by then.
    Roon ROCK Server w/LPS, Schiit Yggdrasil A2, Denafrips Gaia, Denafrips Terminator Plus, DIY Preamp, Parasound JC5, DIY FirstWatt F5 Turbo monoblocks, DIY Neurochrome Mod-286 monoblocks, DIY Purifi monoblocks, DIY GR Research NX-Otica with dual 3-stack servo subs, PS Audio Power Plant 3, AQ Diamond USB, Tubulus Argentus i2s, DH Labs cables (Red Wave PCs, Revelation XLR), GR-Research speaker cable, EtherRegen w/LPS

  15. #65
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    but all of them led the way, bringing many folks into the future audiophile fold...
    So very true Jim.

  16. #66
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    It was the Marantz 140 amp, the 3200 pre and the 125 tuner.
    I still have them.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by PierreB; January 28, 2021 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Add photo
    Simaudio Moon 600i v2 - Simaudio Neo 260D - Rega P8 Apheta2 - Modwright PH 9.0 - Elac Adante AF-61 - Bis Audio cables

  17. #67
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    May 2018
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    Adelaide, South Australia.
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    In 1986 I purchased a Townshend Elite Rock mkII, Mission Cyrus 2 and PSX and a Pair of Heybrook HB2Rs.
    Previously I had a Pioneer SA520 and Garrard DD130 can't remember what speakers.
    I still have the Rock, upgraded the amp to a Copland CSA14 in 1995 along with the Heybrooks upgrade to Castle Howard S1s. (still have the castles).
    CSA14 upgraded to CSA29 in 2016 which I still have, also have a DIY first Watt M2X and B1pre, B1korg pre also.
    I have DIY Elekit TU8500 valve pre too.
    A pair of Lenehan LK1 kit speakers and a clone of VAFs SW19 subbie.

  18. #68

    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Mid 70's I purchased:
    Luxman M4000 power amp
    Luxman C1000 pre amp
    Luxman T110 tuner.

    Still have the amp and pre but gave the tuner to my best friend who started me on the audiophile road.
    Rick

    PS Audio BHK 250 Amp
    PS Audio BHK Preamp
    Marantz NA-11S1
    Vandersteen Quatro Cloth

  19. #69
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    London, Ontario
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I guess I'm not entirely sure what "high end" means -- maybe different things to different people. But to me it means an expensive component usually from a prestigious maker.

    Taking that definition my first "high end" was probably a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 preamp, ($3500 new, but I bought it used). My second was, by that standard, a Pass Labs X150.5 amp, ($5500 new, again, bought used). Even these wouldn't be high end by some people's standard.

    I sold on both these units, the Sonic Frontiers years ago, the Pass quite recently. In its place I bought a VTV Purifi stereo amp -- rather far from high end, but it has better transparency and dynamics than the Pass.

    Ironically UPS is soon delivering me another Sonic Frontiers Line 1. I bought this mostly for nostalgia reason; it remains to be seen how well I like it pair with the Purifi amp. If I like it, I'll keep it and sell my Schiit Freya +, otherwise I'll be selling another SF Line 1 nine years after the first.

    ... But WAIT ... going back to the late '70s I suppose my actual "high end" components were a Phase Linear 400, a terrible, terrible sounding amp, and a APT Holman preamp, a really nice pre and one of the few components I really regretted selling.
    Last edited by Feanor; January 29, 2021 at 09:57 AM. Reason: addition
    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping D90 DAC => Sonic Frontiers Line 1 preamp => VTV Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp => Zaph ZRT (DIY) speakers + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

  20. #70
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by PierreB View Post
    It was the Marantz 140 amp, the 3200 pre and the 125 tuner.
    I still have them.
    So COOL !

  21. #71

    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I bought my 1st system in 1972 for about $740. It was a 40wpc Pioneer receiver, PE turntable with a Stanton 681EEE cartridge and Large Advents with the utility cabinets. I was working at a plant nursery putting peat and dirt into plastic bags and securing them with zip ties. I was paid 2 cents per bag so you had to fill and zip tie a whole bunch of bags to make $740. Funny story.....The delivery driver for the nursery called in sick one day and the owner needed a yard of peat delivered. He asked me if I knew how to drive a stick shift. I lied and said yes so he sent me on the delivery. I had watched him and his son drive that van ( 3 on the tree ) many times so I kind of knew what to do. I got there, made the delivery and got back without messing up. I graduated from filling bags with dirt to the new delivery driver that day as they let the other guy go......lol.

  22. #72
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I received a 35 watt per channel Sylvania receiver for my HS graduation in 1968. It was accompanied by two Sylvania 10" "air suspension" speakers, a Gerard turntable and Sony reel to reel recorder

    About 10 years later I purchased a Sansui AU20000 integrated amp. Six JBL L-166 Horizon speakers, Fisher cassette player/recorder, Kenwood FM tuner, Sansui manual DD turntable with Stanton cartridge, an ADC programmable, remote control turntable/changer, dBX compressor/expander, Gerard turntable snap and pop remover, Pioneer 4 channel/2 channel modular reel to reel recorder.

    And my current system was purchased about 40 years later (2020). As you can see in my signature the new system is much simpler since my only source is streaming.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

    Speakers: Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary
    Model.

    Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 speaker cables,
    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  23. #73

    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    MSB Platinum DAC IV

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What was your first high-end component ever?

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