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  1. #1
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    Question What was your first high-end component ever?

    It's kind of interesting to follow someone else's audiophile journey from their first high-end component to the present day.

    Mine began with a B&O Turntable system decades ago. This was safer than continuing to sneak time on my father's McIntosh System (turntable, reel to reel, etc. - it was nice ...) when he was at work.

    Some years later we went with a Krell Int with B&W 802s (in cherry) and a Sony ES SACD. A set of Grado Headphones joined the package as well. We had a few multi-channel systems thereafter that NEVER fully satisfied my two-channel craving ....

    Now we're patiently waiting upon the delivery of another two-channel system.

    Whether long or short, what's your audiophile journey been like?

  2. #2

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
    It's kind of interesting to follow someone else's audiophile journey from their first high-end component to the present day.

    Mine began with a B&O Turntable system decades ago. This was safer than continuing to sneak time on my father's McIntosh System (turntable, reel to reel, etc. - it was nice ...) when he was at work.

    Some years later we went with a Krell Int with B&W 802s (in cherry) and a Sony ES SACD. A set of Grado Headphones joined the package as well. We had a few multi-channel systems thereafter that NEVER fully satisfied my two-channel craving ....

    Now we're patiently waiting upon the delivery of another two-channel system.

    Whether long or short, what's your audiophile journey been like?
    You asked from first component to present day. A whole system was the beginning, in 1990:

    Cambridge CD-3 CD player
    Stax SRM-T1 tube headphone amp
    Stax 'Professional' electrostatic headphones
    Siltech cables

    One and a half years later, I switched to a speaker system, with then my third CD playback system (Meridian 602/606) and Audio Innovations Second Audio parallel push-pull triode monoblock amps, powering Ensemble Reference monitors. I kept the amps for 26 years (going through heavy modifications and supplement with BorderPatrol MB external power supplies) and the speakers for 25 years (re-foaming in 2005).

    Development of my system:

    CD playback:
    Cambridge CD-3 > Meridian 208 > Meridian 602/606 > Wadia 8/12 (kept for about 20 years) > Berkeley Alpha DAC2 (with switching to Simaudio Moon 260 DT CD transport after the Wadia 8 gave up) > Schiit Yggdrasil DAC v1 > Schiit Yggdrasil DAC Analog 2

    Amps:
    Audio Innovations Second Audio monoblocks > Octave RE 320

    Preamp:
    diverse passives > Pass B1 (buffered) > Octave HP 700

    Speakers (all monitors):
    Ensemble Reference > Reference 3A MM DeCapo BE > Reference 3A Reflector

    Subwoofers:
    REL Storm III (purchased in 2000) > JL Audio F112v2

    Cables:
    Ensemble/Siltech/MIT > Monster Audio Sigma 2000 (IC/SC) > ZenWave Audio D4 interconnects / SMSG speaker cables (digital AES/EBU cable, MIT)

    Room treatment:
    Tube traps/ sound panels/ SubTrap, then window plugs, then ceiling diffusers (all ASC), absorbing panel from Acoustics First. Changing through diverse carpets.

    ***

    Now I'm essentially done. While I have regular exposure to other kinds of systems, I will always remain a monitor/sub guy. I can hardly envision any more meaningful upgrades within this type of system that I have, except perhaps the DAC. Yet given how spectacularly it performs -- it really came into its own with the preamp upgrade --, there is no hurry, i.e. not within the next few years. Good on my wallet, I have other things to take care of. Don't be surprised if I have the same DAC five years from now, or longer.
    Simaudio Moon Neo 260 DT CD Transport / MIT SL-Matrix Plus AES/EBU digital cable / Schiit Yggdrasil Analog 2 DAC / Octave HP 700 preamp / Octave RE 320 stereo amp with Super Black Box / Reference 3A Reflector monitors on Sound Anchors Signature Stands / dual JL Audio Fathom 112 v2 subwoofers on ASC SubTraps / ZenWave Audio D4 and SMSG cables / Acoustic treatment: tube traps, Tri-panels, window plugs, ceiling diffusers (all ASC), large absorbing panels (Acoustics First), diverse carpets chosen for acoustic properties: wool, polypropylene basket-weave

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

    Magnepan IIc, ca 1986 or thereabouts. Driven by a Bryston 3B and Kinergetics KDC-20 CDP, the one with a built in volume control--cutting edge digital for the day until the Cal Audio Labs tubed CD player debuted a few months later.
    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

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

    I had lots of lower end stuff including Dynaco-Heathkit-Hafler that my brother built. My first entry into HE was Hafler 945 and 9180 with Mirage M790s. Then I bought Dynaudio 82s, a Sound Valves 101i, and a Stratos+ amp.

    I later lucked into my VAC-Counterpoint-Clearfield setup for a steal.

    My first true HE purchase was my new Luxman I got 3 weeks ago.
    -----------------
    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


  5. #5
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    New 25 watt MacIntosh MC225 that replaced a Dynakit amp. Circa 1960. No kidding!
    Added a C20 pre-amp and a second speaker and a stereo cartridge so we could have stereo. My new wife footed the bill. Some time later I let her choose new speakers. She chose Roger's LS3/5a's which we had for 36 years. Our used Cotter preamp's power supply eventually got noisy after running 24/7 for 36 years. Mitch Cotter was right when he said his gear was built to NASA standards.

    We paid $450 for the LS3/5a's and I sold them in an hour for $1K (could have got $2K). I bought the Cotter pre-amp used and not working. After repairing it and using it for 36 years I sold it for $1,000.

    I lost my wife of 56 years recently and went crazy buying audio equipment. I didn't enjoy it so I sold off most of it and bought a modest Naim system. I did fall off the wagon when I bought a Naim ND555 streamer/DAC.
    Bud<br>
    Naim NAC 552 Preamp w/555PS - Naim NAP 300 DR Amplifier - Naim ND555 Streamer/DAC w/555PS - Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary Speakers - Skylan speaker stands - Quadraspire SVT Equipment Stand - Naim Super Lumina Speaker Cables - Chord Music IC's - Naim power cables - Ansuz Mainz A2 power distributor - Ansuz C2 Power Cable. - Nordost Heimdall 2 Headphone and Ethernet Cables - Sennheiser HD-800S and Audeze LCD 4 headphones

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

    WOW those are some nice systems AI M.; puroagave; Shadowfax and Leatherneck. AI M. you seem to have the longest journey detailed so far. And Leatherneck with the system I’m fixing to receive I will be near the end of my journey as well – but do still intend to get some Magico M3s and higher end Shunyata cables and possibly a turntable setup – the boss and I are still discussing it. Purogave, Bryston is some very nice gear. The Maggies must sound incredible with them. And Shawdowfax, Luxman is incredible. Mike is delivering a Luxman D-08u SACD to me soon – hopefully real soon.

    Time to go celebrate a birthday. Post later.
    Last edited by Calvin; December 7, 2019 at 04:46 PM. Reason: birthday ...

  7. #7
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
    WOW those are some nice systems AI M.; puroagave; Shadowfax and Leatherneck. AI M. you seem to have the longest journey detailed so far. And Leatherneck with the system I’m fixing to receive I will be near the end of my journey as well – but do still intend to get some Magico M3s and higher end Shunyata cables and possibly a turntable setup – the boss and I are still discussing it. Purogave, Bryston is some very nice gear. The Maggies must sound incredible with them. And Shawdowfax, Luxman is incredible. Mike is delivering a Luxman D-08u SACD to me soon – hopefully real soon.

    Time to go celebrate a birthday. Post later.
    I actually began in 1954 when I was a Marine going to a Navy electronics school on Treasure Island. I met sailors who were building their own audio amps. My wife and I bought the Mac gear in 1960.
    I had Maggies with Bryston gear but my wife made me get rid of the Maggies, too big. I had always wanted some Naim gear back in the day and decided to finally give it a try by buying a Naim Supernait 1. I was so impressed, I sold off all my Bryston gear and went with Naim.
    My dream system back in the day was Naim/Linn/Spendor. I now have Harbeth as my BBC thin wall monitors instead of Spendors.
    Bud<br>
    Naim NAC 552 Preamp w/555PS - Naim NAP 300 DR Amplifier - Naim ND555 Streamer/DAC w/555PS - Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary Speakers - Skylan speaker stands - Quadraspire SVT Equipment Stand - Naim Super Lumina Speaker Cables - Chord Music IC's - Naim power cables - Ansuz Mainz A2 power distributor - Ansuz C2 Power Cable. - Nordost Heimdall 2 Headphone and Ethernet Cables - Sennheiser HD-800S and Audeze LCD 4 headphones

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherneck View Post
    I actually began in 1954 when I was a Marine going to a Navy electronics school on Treasure Island. I met sailors who were building their own audio amps. My wife and I bought the Mac gear in 1960.
    I had Maggies with Bryston gear but my wife made me get rid of the Maggies, too big. I had always wanted some Naim gear back in the day and decided to finally give it a try by buying a Naim Supernait 1. I was so impressed, I sold off all my Bryston gear and went with Naim. My dream system back in the day was Naim/Linn/Spendor. I now have Harbeth as my BBC thin wall monitors instead of Spendors.
    I still own a bevy of "chrome bumper" Naim gear from back in the day (Nait I, Nac-32.5, HiCap, NAP-90, NAP-110 and NAP-160) I've owned all of the classic Spendors (BC-1, BC-3, SP1/2, SP100 and 15 ohm LS3/5a) and I still own and use two LP12s. I've gone through my Harbeth phase as well, all good...life could be worse.
    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherneck View Post
    I actually began in 1954 when I was a Marine going to a Navy electronics school on Treasure Island. I met sailors who were building their own audio amps. My wife and I bought the Mac gear in 1960.
    I had Maggies with Bryston gear but my wife made me get rid of the Maggies, too big. I had always wanted some Naim gear back in the day and decided to finally give it a try by buying a Naim Supernait 1. I was so impressed, I sold off all my Bryston gear and went with Naim.
    My dream system back in the day was Naim/Linn/Spendor. I now have Harbeth as my BBC thin wall monitors instead of Spendors.
    Naim is some very nice equipment. Mike and I discussed Naim when I was considering a new system. I know Mike really enjoys it. Admittedly though I've heard them spoken about often, I don't know much about Harbeth speakers.

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

    My first "High End" piece was a Nakamichi deck, and then soon followed by KEF 104aB speakers, back in the '70s.
    Hattor Pre-Amp | T+A DAC | McIntosh Amps | Rega TT | Technics TT | SimAudio HP Amp & Phono Stages | Magnepan Speakers | Rythmik Subs | Astell & Kern DAP | Abyss HP | Pro-Ject RCM | Oppo CD/SACD | AudioQuest Power

    Neil degrasse Tyson - "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know you are wrong."

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

    RGR model 5 power amp, citation 25 pre, Kef R105/3 speakers(speakers I kept 25 years). I went thru multiple combo's of amps and pre's before finding a Krell kav 300il really pulled the sound together.
    Meridian dsp8000 se upgrade, meridian 218 zone controller, Paradigm Persona 7f, Hegel h360, rega jupiter, roon nucleus, revox tuner.

  12. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    Magnepan IIc, ca 1986 or thereabouts. Driven by a Bryston 3B and Kinergetics KDC-20 CDP, the one with a built in volume control--cutting edge digital for the day until the Cal Audio Labs tubed CD player debuted a few months later.
    Mine was the predecessor to the Maggie II, the Maggie 2167-F (glad they changed the names of their models) bought almost a decade earlier. I probably still had my big Pioneer receiver and Dual turntable with Shure cartridge. The Maggies replaced my old AR-5 speakers bought when I first came to grad school in California (Go Bears!) in the late '60's.

    The Maggies lasted until the end of 1979, when our daughter who was not quite a year old was beginning to learn to walk. One day, I heard a big crash. Our daughter had been trying to stand up using one of the panels of the Maggies for support and instead pulled it down. Fortunately, neither she (who is now 40) nor the Maggie were any the worse for wear. They were in the classifieds a couple of days later (remember those?) and replaced by some Thiels which had a much lower center of gravity.

    Larry
    Analog-VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono,2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 Herron VTPH-2A&BottleheadPhonoPre,
    Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacMicroModel2
    Dig Play-Lampi Pacific, mch NADAC Roon/HQPlayer,Oppo105
    Electronics-Herron 360Pre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps
    Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
    Other-Symmetrical Power&ArtKelmGroundOneIsoTrans,AudioDiskVinylClean er,AirTightRecordFlattener, Scott Rust cables
    Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs ,50TBripped files

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

    Not exactly "high end" but I owned a 35 wpc Sylvania receiver and 2, 8" Sylvania "air suspension" speakers. A couple years later my parents purchased a 50 wpc Sylvania receiver and 2, 10" Sylvania "air suspension" speakers, for a HS graduation present. This was circa 1968.

    Ten years later, after my wife and I were married, we purchased a much more high end system...Sansui AU 20000, 170 wpc integrated amp, 6-JBL L166 Horizon speakers (4- upstairs and 2-downstairs), manual DD Sansui TT with Stanton cartridge, Fisher cassette deck, Kenwood receiver, ADC programmable TT, Gerard click and pop remover, dbx 128 expander/compresser, Pioneer reel to reel tape machine.

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

    There's some great systems being spoken about here. Small or large, and some maybe not rated as high end now, but all of us had a beginning - and at the time they were GREAT. Back in the day I had a Sony Walkman and thought I'd arrived...

    Keep the systems coming ...

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

    My first higher end unit was Kenwood KA-3300D. Kenwood occasionally put out higher end gear, just to show they could, the 3300 series was such a series with matching tuner (only FM) and CDP, I acquired all 3 eventually. To my knowledge this KA-3300 was the first integrated amp to feature a built in DAC, circa late 80's.

    Prior to that my financial situation kept me to only receivers.

    With the 3300 series I bought Infinity Kappa 7's.

    I did keep that for some years but the love of hi fi and having some money, or, good credit, led me to try different avenues of hi fi down the road.

    It all started when the DP-3300 CDP broke and no parts to fix it. I bought an Arcam Alpha 9 CDP. Then my excuse was wanting an amp with remote, this led to Krell integrated and CDP, and upgreaded within. A 180 to Conrad Johnson separates, I had an EAD transport and Audio Note DAC, a CJ DAC, T+A CDP, Levinson #512 SACD.

    I tried some thing after CJ, Threshold, Audio by Van Alstine, ended up with Pass separates, then eventually to where I'm at now which has me very satisfied. It is worth noting I kept a Coda CSX that I rotated in and out of my Pass set up.

    After the Kappa 7's I had Dynaudio Contour T's center and mains, forget the exact model. Then Revel F52's and now my JBL. Somewhere in there I had Zu Audio, it was back with the CJ amps, for a short.

    I've had other things in my system to try but this is long enough
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    All Clarus Crimson cabling, AC to binding post. Surgex
    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

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

    I got a Magnavox suitcase stereo recorder player with speakers in 1962. It saw me through college. A friend had a component system he bought overseas while in the Navy. University bookshelf speakers, Teac reel to reel and Sansui receiver. Even at that humble level I could easily tell it was much better than my suitcase setup.
    So, I then bought a used Eico tube integrated, Garrard 40B turntable, Shure cartridge and a pair of Utah co-ax speakers in boxes I built. Exposure to better systems resulted in following setups being better.
    Main System: Analog - Linn LP12, Origin Live DC motor and Controller, SME V arm, Benz Ruby H 2 cartridge, Wright Sound preamp. Digital - Intel NUC I-7, 16 gig ram, Jriver media center 24, Wyrd4 Sound 2V2 SE Dac, Fathom Hard Drives.
    H-Cat Version 9 preamp, ARC Reference 75 amp, Custom line source speakers - 10 SB Acoustics midwoofers, 10 Fountek ribbon tweeters. JL Audio Fathom f112 Subs
    Wire - T G Audio, Shunyata, Synergistic Research , Audioquest, Lewis silver foil, Duelund, Transparent.

  17. #17
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I traded in a pair of Bose 901 Series II for a pair of Dahlquist DQ-10's and a Ampzilla amp.
    Jim

    D'Agostino Momentum M-400's & HD Pre-amp
    Wilson Alexandria X2 Series 2 speakers
    Digital: dCS Vivaldi DAC, Clock & Upsampler
    Analog: SME 20/3 with Esoteric E-03 Phono
    Transparent Opus Speaker Cable & Interconnects & Opus Power Cords
    Power Cords on Digital: Shunyata
    Power Conditioner - Shunyata Everest

  18. #18
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Apogee - Duetta Signature Loudspeakers (circa 1989)

    I really liked those speakers and it took 20+ years to find something to replace them with when I did let go of them.

    While not the hardest Apogee load to drive, they tended to eat many amplifiers alive back then and until I could afford an equivalent amplifier, I (ab)used an Adcom 555 (thank you Nelson Pass) to drive them.
    Anthony

    Front End:
    MSB Reference DAC/MSB Reference Transport/Femto 33 Clock, Magnum Dynalab MD107T, Aiwa AD-F990
    Amplification: Dan D'Agostino Momentum HD Preamplifier & Momentum M400 Monoblocks, Crown XLS 2502 (x3) (subwoofers)
    Speakers: Scaena La Maitresse Ultime Loudspeaker System
    Cables: Shunyata Aeros Aurora-SP, Shunyata Aeros Aurora-IC, Jungson Golden Dragon
    Power: GigaWatt PC-4 EVO+, Shunyata King Cobra CX, Jungson Pure Power, JPS Labs AC+, Transparent HPPC
    Miscellaneous: ​Bohmer/Legacy Audio Wavelet DSP/Room Correction

  19. #19
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by laynesaddiction View Post
    Apogee - Duetta Signature Loudspeakers (circa 1989)

    I really liked those speakers and it took 20+ years to find something to replace them with when I did let go of them.

    While not the hardest Apogee load to drive, they tended to eat many amplifiers alive back then and until I could afford an equivalent amplifier, I (ab)used an Adcom 555 (thank you Nelson Pass) to drive them.
    I owned Duetta Sigs around the same time. I started with Rowland Research Model 3s (great amps) and moved the up the Krell range starting with a KSA-80B.
    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    My first "High End" piece was a Nakamichi deck, and then soon followed by KEF 104aB speakers, back in the '70s.
    Nice, back in the 70s - very nice!

  21. #21
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    I owned Duetta Sigs around the same time. I started with Rowland Research Model 3s (great amps) and moved the up the Krell range starting with a KSA-80B.
    I owned Krell amps and int amps later in life.... Never heard the Duetta Sigs though.

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

    Showing my age here: Apt Holman preamp, SAE MK IV power amp, Thorens 125 MkII turntable, IMF TLS 50 speakers, and Monster cables galore.
    Jonathan
    _______________________

    Age is a mental construct.

    System: Theta Casablanca IV preamp/processor/DAC; Wadia 8 transport; Wadia 2000 DigiMaster DAC; Theta Compli SACD/CD transport; Lumin T2 streamer/DAC; Roon Nucleus+; Luxul AGS-1024 switch; SOTA Sapphire turntable w/Premier FT3 arm & Alpha Genesis 1000 cartridge; McCormick phono preamp; SweetVinyl SC-2 noise/click remover; Oppo 203 digital player ; Magnum Dynalab FT-101A tuner; Krell 200c amplifier; Revel Ultima Studio loudspeakers and Sub 30 subwoofers (2); Velodyne MiniVee 10 subwoofers (2); Stax SR-L300 headphones; TeddyPardo Teddy19/3 linear power supply; ExactPower EP-15A (voltage regulator); Richard Gray's Substation (for power balancing/surge protection); Shunyata Denali 6000/S, 2000/T and Hydra power conditioners; Transparent Audio Super speaker cables; Audioquest, Kimber Kable, MIT, and Wireworld interconnects; Audioquest, Shunyata and Wireworld power cords.


  23. #23
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by AVphile View Post
    Showing my age here: Apt Holman preamp, SAE MK IV power amp, Thorens 125 MkII turntable, IMF TLS 50 speakers, and Monster cables galore.
    The Thorens 125 MkII turntable with TP 16 tonearm is a classic! Of course the SME 3009 Series II tonearm was even better.

  24. #24
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    My first real high-end piece was/is a Linn Unidisk 1.1 w the Dynamik power supply upgrade. Still sounds wonderful. I run it thru a Naim Superuniti, and a Naim NAP 250, which power my refoamed and recapped Kef R107's.
    Very nice sound-stage, clarity, imaging, detail etc.
    I'm in the process of setting up a TT/cart for my LPs.

    Dave

  25. #25
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    First system:
    Marantz 2270 receiver
    Infinity Column II
    Kenwood turntable with Denon 103

    I wish I had kept the Marantz, it would make a nice office system

    First super component:
    Audio Research SP6b

    Took it home, listened to it for a while, decided it was too expensive, brought it back, lasted 30 minutes and I went back to the dealer to buy it.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Room: shared use, American Clay on walls and ceiling
    Speakers: Vandersteen 5A Carbon
    Amp: Aesthetix Atlas Eclipse Stereo
    Preamp: Aesthetix Calypso Eclipse
    Source: Aesthetix Romulus Eclipse, Logitech Transporter
    Power: Audioquest Niagara 1000, Keces P3
    Ground/Isolation: CAD Ground Control GC1, Gigafoil V4
    Cables: Audioquest Hurricane on DAC, Audioquest Earth, Audioquest Castlerock, Audioquest Diamond Ethernet

  26. #26
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Had hand me downs denon receivers/Klipsch speakers from the 90s.

    My first actual bought HiFi gear were the maggy mmg’s I believe in the early 2000s. Always been around HiFi in some fashion and committed myself to only buying not so HiFi till i was more settled in with a new house and now my growing family. As of 2020, I have B&W 702s2, H390 and Torus RM20. Need it to be as simple as can be...that’s how I do things.

  27. #27
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Welcome to Audio Shark

    Quote Originally Posted by Low325 View Post
    Had hand me downs denon receivers/Klipsch speakers from the 90s.

    My first actual bought HiFi gear were the maggy mmg’s I believe in the early 2000s. Always been around HiFi in some fashion and committed myself to only buying not so HiFi till i was more settled in with a new house and now my growing family. As of 2020, I have B&W 702s2, H390 and Torus RM20. Need it to be as simple as can be...that’s how I do things.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    All Clarus Crimson cabling, AC to binding post. Surgex
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  28. #28
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Carver, I believe an integrated, and with a CD player but not sure the brand, it may of been Carver or Sony. Klipsch Forte’s where the speakers and cables did not matter during the late eighties and early nineties.

    This electronics were bought at the air force base, and speakers naval submarine base.


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  29. #29
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I got devorced in 1988 so I spoiled myself with a Carver 2000 receiver, Denon DCD-1700 cd player and Klipsch Forte' speakers. I still have the Carver and Denon in the original boxes. Sold the Klipsch about 10 years ago to a friend. It was a fun system for Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Zepplin and my favorite jazz music.
    Speakers: Magico A3 with grills, Gaia II
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  30. #30
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    What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel View Post
    I got devorced in 1988 so I spoiled myself with a Carver 2000 receiver, Denon DCD-1700 cd player and Klipsch Forte' speakers. I still have the Carver and Denon in the original boxes. Sold the Klipsch about 10 years ago to a friend. It was a fun system for Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Zepplin and my favorite jazz music.
    Jesus Darryl we weren’t that far off each other, systems and music that is What was your first high-end component ever?


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  31. #31
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I almost purchased a pair of highly inefficient, but awesome sounding, Infinity Quantum Line Source speakers in 1978 but they recommended at least 400 wpc to run them. That was a deal breaker. They were also pricey. I think around $2500? A lot of money back then. That and the price of a 400 wpc amp nixed the deal for me.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

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  32. #32
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    In the early 1970's a Mac integrated amp and a pair of Bose 901. The Bose was very short lived and went back to the dealer for a pair of Klipsch Hersey.
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra & PC's. DIY PCOCC interconnects & speaker cables with Furutech terminations. Audio Quest Vodka CAT 7's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

  33. #33
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    The first truly high end system I ever saw or heard was a system my cousin brought back with him after being discharged from the Marines, circa 1960. It was a full system as I recall but that was a long time ago and I can't remember all the components. I was only 10 years old at the time. I remember the speaker grills were a light tan color. The book shelf speakers looked like Advents. They might have been Scotts? But I'm not sure what brand and models they were. We listened through both the speakers and headphones. Headphones were used a lot back then. The system sounded awesome through headphones or speakers. I couldn't stop listening through the headphones. Neither could my dad. I do remember one of the records my cousin used to demo the system was a George Cates record. It was a Latin style recording with lots of percussion. The system was likely top of the line back then. Can't remember if there was a receiver or separates. I remember there was also a reel to reel tape machine.

    My dad was no big music connoisseur but he must have been pretty impressed because within a couple weeks we had a new Sylvania console stereo which I wore out over the next several years.

    That console stereo taught me how to play guitar. Some of the first record albums we owned were The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, George Cates percussion, early Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins, Buddy Holley, Eddie Cochran, and The Ventures. The Sylvania console was our main sound system for the next 7 years or so until my parents purchased (for me) a Sylvania 35 wpc receiver, Sylvania/Gerard TT, and 8" Sylvania "Air Suspension" book shelf speakers. Probably the closest thing to a high end system without being truly high end that was available back in the mid '60s. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was replaced by a similar but larger and more powerful Sylvania system...50 wpc Sylvania receiver, 10" Sylvania "Air Suspension" speakers, Dual TT, and Sony reel to reel tape recorder. It was my HS graduation present (1968).
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

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    Model.

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    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  34. #34

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

    It's hard to remember that long ago, but I originally started with a Harmon-Kardon receiver, but quick changed it to separates with a Citation 11 Pre-amp and Citation 12 amp. I was running Cerwin-Vega speakers but replaced with ESS Heil. Lots and lots of changes over the years and now have all Audio Research with Vapor Nimbus speakers.

  35. #35

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

    First high end piece was a McCormack DNA .5 amp followed by Audible Illusions 2A preamp, finally followed by the beautiful (for the time) Martin Logan SL3, finally replacing the very ho-hum Polk Audio speakers... Had to work and save for a while for each upgrade and it took some years but I enjoyed every minute of it. All through the 80s, I mostly listened to a fairly nice Denon system while visiting audio boutiques and listening to real high end and dreaming to own some of those components some day.
    Serge

  36. #36
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    What was your first high-end component ever?

    Used? IMF speakers
    New? Perraux amp and preamp

    But truthfully, it was the 1970’s and everything is now a blur!


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  37. #37
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    What was your first high-end component ever?

    LP12 ( I don’t remember the arm but it was an s shape and some I think dynavector cartridge) Naim 135 with linn isobarik was in the 80s
    It replaced thorents 125 ortofon with step up transformer sansui 818 and kef 104ab



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  38. #38
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    An Odyssey Stratos way back in 2000. A Cary SLP98 and V12 soon followed.
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ EMT HSD-006 cart, MSB Premier DAC --> Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2

  39. #39
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Other than the AR-XB turntable, I don't remember the electronics from the 70s, but the speakers were Pioneer CS-A700. I remember saving my money from a $1.80/hour minimum wage job to buy them.
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    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR for source, Denali 2000 (2) for amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

  40. #40
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Audire Model 2 amplifier with a Soundcraftsmen PE-2217 preamp and ADS L-810 speakers. Can't remember for sure on the TT but it may have been a Connoisseur BD-2 with a Sonus cartridge.
    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.

  41. #41
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    I used to love the ADS speakers!

    First real high end that I remember was a Nakamichi deck. I think it was a 670zx. Love that deck. Shortly after was KEF 104ab speakers!
    Hattor Pre-Amp | T+A DAC | McIntosh Amps | Rega TT | Technics TT | SimAudio HP Amp & Phono Stages | Magnepan Speakers | Rythmik Subs | Astell & Kern DAP | Abyss HP | Pro-Ject RCM | Oppo CD/SACD | AudioQuest Power

    Neil degrasse Tyson - "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know you are wrong."

  42. #42
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Randy

    My son still has that Cherry pair of L810 S/2's with factory stands in his Family Room in Md. I still have two mint pairs of the L570 S/2 large bookshelf speakers that I picked up several years back with one pair of the open top metal stands. Really need to move those on as I haven't used them in some time. They have the same "house sound" as the 810 but with only one of the 8" woofers and the silk dome tweeter. Closest thing you can get to them now is Aerial Acoustics which is owned by Michael Kelly one of the last in house designers for ADS. Ultimately the 810's were replaced by Snell Type A's built not to far down the road from the ADS factory. I gave my Nakamichi away a couple of years ago to a neighbor who is a broadcast equipment tech as it needed work that he knew how to do and I hadn't used it for over a decade.
    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

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  43. #43
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    The L810's were a great speaker from my memory. But that was way back in the day for me.

    I saw a Nak 970zx for sale and was tempted, but then I reminded myself that I no longer have any of my tapes and I really do not want to get back into taping... but I do have very fond memories of this deck!
    Hattor Pre-Amp | T+A DAC | McIntosh Amps | Rega TT | Technics TT | SimAudio HP Amp & Phono Stages | Magnepan Speakers | Rythmik Subs | Astell & Kern DAP | Abyss HP | Pro-Ject RCM | Oppo CD/SACD | AudioQuest Power

    Neil degrasse Tyson - "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know you are wrong."

  44. #44

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

    A Classe Dr 6 preamp, pair of Classe dr10 amps, and a Mitchell Gyrodec turntable.

    Sent from my SM-T830 using Tapatalk

  45. #45
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    IF I recall correctly...

    ARC SP-3a
    ARC D-76
    ARC D-51
    Thorens tt/with SME arm, Decca phono cartridge
    Revox A-77 15/7.5 IPS, mostly used to supply copies of my masters, as well as my playback-list tapes to the Norfolk, VA. PBS radio station
    Magnepan Tympani 1B's, replaced by Infinity Servo-Statik 1s
    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.

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  46. #46
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Mirage M-5si speakers
    Forte F44 preamp
    Forte Model 4a amp
    AQ wires
    NAD CD player
    Plateau rack
    Morgan

    SPEAKERS KEF Blade 2 w/IsoAcoustics Gaia II
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    DIGITAL Marantz SA-10, Sonore opticalModule and opticalRendu, Intel NUC Roon Core
    VINYL EAT C-Sharp, Hana SL, EAT E-Glo S w/LPS, Bob's Devices Sky 20 SUT
    POWER AudioQuest Niagara 5000, two dedicated circuits
    WIRES AudioQuest William Tell, Earth, Leopard, Tornado
    RESONANCE/ISOLATION Nordost Sort Kones, various Herbie's Audio Lab

  47. #47

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

    Hello, my first high end was a pair of Avalon Ascendant. High price but surely not the end of the path.

    Olivier

  48. #48
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    IF I recall correctly...

    ARC SP-3a
    ARC D-76
    ARC D-51
    Thorens tt/with SME arm, Decca phono cartridge
    Revox A-77 15/7.5 IPS, mostly used to supply copies of my masters, as well as my playback-list tapes to the Norfolk, VA. PBS radio station
    Magnepan Tympani 1B's, replaced by Infinity Servo-Statik 1s
    You don't mess around Jim.
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra & PC's. DIY PCOCC interconnects & speaker cables with Furutech terminations. Audio Quest Vodka CAT 7's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

  49. #49

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

    My first-ever system, put together just out of university back in the mid-70s was:

    H-K Citation 11 preamp
    H-K Citation 12 amp
    Thorens TD160 TT with Ortofon cartridge
    Large Advents in Walnut

    I later replaced the Thorens with a Rega Planar 3 and SME III, which was a massive improvement over the Thorens.

    I replaced the Citation 11 with a Dyna PAT-5 pre that I modded with Walt Jung's mod published in the Audio Amateur. That was stolen when my place in Berkeley was burglarized, so I replaced it with a Hafler DH-101 preamp.

    Some time around 1982 or '83, I tried an Audio Amateur mod using MOSFETs published by Nelson Pass in TAA, but I could not get the amp to work.

    So, I bought the NAD 3120 in '84 or thereabouts and used that until I got back into high-end around 2009 or so. The NAD 3120 was an amazing performer, and I think I paid $179 for it when I bought it.

  50. #50
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    Re: What was your first high-end component ever?

    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.
    Jim

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What was your first high-end component ever?

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