Where Did You Start?

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#16 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by ed »

at home, late 60s had a ITT/KB combo unit with dustbin omni speakers
moving on early seventies shared a flat with current band guitarist..bsr deck into selmer50/goliath one channel and linear 30 with large fane cab in the other channel. I remember having to put 1/2 pennies on the headshell.
first bought hifi around '74, Sansui au101 amp, celestion county speakers and sony tc377 r2r.
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Daniel Quinn
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#17 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Daniel Quinn »

As a 16yr old student who wanted my sociology lecturer to my father , I naturally copied is hobby. So I purchased hifi review month after month , until a summer job allowed me to buy my first hifi

I couldn't afford an lp12 , so I bought a Phillips cd player , mission 1 amp and heybrook point 5 speakers .

I never got on with cd , but I purchased another 3 hoping it would change . My termly grant purchased one of them.

Then I was house sitting for my parents while there were on holiday. Step father had a dynatron TT ,amp and radio in a wooden box and some speakers , shoved together on the floor in a corner, I was 18 .

I had a Japanese pressing of 3 sides live , I placed the speakers on makeshift stands 6 feet apart and played the record..

Fuck me , thats what genesis are supposed to sound like . I'd wasted so much money !

Thankfully , a series of women kept me occupied for a number of years until I purchased a pink triangle and I met Richard .

Then I had a basal ganglia brain bleed and I moved on to making my own TT, amps and speakers .
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#18 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Neal »

14, having managed to get my parents radiogram working by replacing a power resistor I took on a mates parents table radiogram that wouldn’t power on. At some point I got it to light up and kneeling over it on my bedroom floor with multimeter in hand managed to touch something HV that flung me backwards flat on the floor. After a few minutes staring at the ceiling wondering what the f*** had happened and tasting metal in my mouth I decided that I’d give it back and say I couldn’t fix it! Reasoning kicked in fast! It was all solid state from then on, having a brother selling cameras and kit in Tottenham Court road gave access to a lot of interesting Japanese stuff that I dearly which we had held on to. Then in 1993 with HiFi World introducing valve kits it all changed and I ended up with you lot! :D
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Ray P
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#19 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Ray P »

I've been thinking about the subsequent journey...

After a couple of years my first upgrade was to replace the amplifier; I bought a used Quad 405 locally and partnered it with a Quantum 102 pre-amp that I purchased from Paul Green HiFi in Bath. The Quantum was a bit of a poor mans Meridian 101 but it performed well (though soldering the DIN plugs was a nightmare for me at the time). The Quantum had plug in boards for MM and MC cartridges.


Sorry, I couldn't resist!
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#20 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by IslandPink »

My first brush with HiFi was in the mid-70's. I spent quite a bit of time with my uncle Tom, who was a very interesting man ( craftsman joiner etc ) . He had a good radiogram at the house and used to play me music, some classical, but also Pepe Jamarillo, which I rather liked. I was probably around 11 or 12 at the time.
My dad was mostly working on trying to get our old farmhouse into a habitable state at that time. At some point when he's finished the bulk of the work he must have been thinking about listening to music, maybe from being at Tom's place, so he decided to buy some kits from Heathkit and build a small transistor amp ( 15wpc ) and some speakers. I remember helping him with the soldering on the amp and putting together the speakers. They were fairly substantial sealed-box units with an 8" bass unit. This was fed from a late-model Garrard deck which was pretty basic.
However the whole thing did make music, and I enjoyed listening to this both at the old house and our later more modern house in the 80's.

The first kit I bought for myself was in 1989, when I finally had a bit of spare cash from working. My dad had by now built another amp, so I got the Heathkit 15_+15w one for free. As was the fashion at that time, i bought a Dual CS-505 turntable and some Goodmans Maxim II speakers. This was a very enjoyable, slightly warm system which I used for a few years. At some point I added a basic Sony CD player.
This was all fine until 2001, when I started reading HiFi World magazine. You can guess the rest !
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#21 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Michael L »

My first amplifier was a Texan 20wpc kit that I built as a teen.
The channel that worked sounded wonderful. I was unable to get it fully working and didn't know anyone who could help at the time.
Next amp was the Nad 3020. I had a lovely pair of AR7s but stupidly traded them in for a pair of fancy looking Revox ls - the dealer refused to swap them back when I realised my mistake - that the Revox were rubbish.
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#22 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Ali Tait »

First bit of kit for me was an old ITT music centre I got when I was 12. I remember it sounding pretty good- the speakers had a single paper cone driver each. For my 18th I got an Akai stack system- I ended up blowing the amp wiring two sets of speakers to it. I then saved up and bought my first bit of proper kit- a NAD 3020 amp. I then made a pair of floorstanding speakers from the two sets of bookshelfs that I’d blown up the Akai amp with. No clue what I was doing, just made them the same size as the two bookshelf speakers and chucked in the drivers with their original crossovers. I thought they sounded great. In the process I wrecked two Parker Knoll chairs my mum had in the shed for their stuffing. She was a bit miffed..

A few years later I wanted a new set of speakers and went to demo what the mags were saying at the time were the best in my price range- the Mission 752’s and the B&W P4. Ended up buying a pair of ex dem P5 which I couldn’t really afford but they sounded so much better than the other two.

Kept the NAD for a few years until I got hold of an old wooden sleeve A21a, which I really liked, that got me reading about Class A amps and valves. A windfall further down the line let me buy the WAD 300b PSE monos, having never even heard a valve amp before. Managed to put them together with a bit of help and I wasn’t disappointed. The rest you all know. :-)
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#23 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by gninnam »

Mine is easy

1985 - sick of my car being stolen (Ford Escort 1600 Sport) and my brother had moved out taking his system with him
So, sold the car and bought the following:
Michell Syncro with Linn LVX arm and Linn K5 cart
Audiolab 8000A (still using to this day) amp
Heybrook HB1 speakers (gave to my brother-in-law for his 50th a few years back)

Sounded awesome at the time and I am sure it still would today.
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#24 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Tony Moore »

In the early 70s a terrible record player with a BSR TT in it, all lovely plastic.

Then various home build very bad speakers and Maplin kit amps...

The first half decent stuff I bought myself was a Technics SL22 TT and Amstrad IC2000 Mk3 amp and Wilmslow Audio 3 way kit speakers, sometime late 70s.

Went to Uni, got a Technics tuner, Teac cassette deck and a Technics amp, I can't remember one, fairly cheap. Maudaunt Short Festival 2 speakers. (I still have those!)

From then on a series of changes of amp and cassette decks including a fancy Aiwa cassette deck and then onto DAT tape decks. (I still have one working Sony DAT deck)

Then a gap....

Then in 1995 I walked into a hifi shop and got the bug again.

Got Acram Alpha 9/9P amps with Ruark Talisman 2 speakers. Built a DAC kit from Holland as source.

Then I found out about WAD amps and went through a few - Kel84, Kit6650, 2A3 PSE, HD83, Phono2, and finally the clone 300B PP.

I know the question was "where did you start" but I feel like I started several times! :lol:
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andrew Ivimey
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#25 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by andrew Ivimey »

I started off with a wind up 78 machine retrieved from my grandparents' loft. Inexpressible joy lissnin' to Sandy Powell and The laughing policeman. I made needles out if matchsticks.

Dad's Dansette something or other lasted until sister brought home Are you Experienced.

Meanwhile I was soldering things - short wave radio - the glory of all those totally weird noises coming through the headphones, from crystal set ( 0a81 diode to 854 peanut valve ( trf radio) I was hooked.

Tottenham Court Rd offered all sorts of goodies. An sp25 mk3 wiw! Sonotone cartridge , home made enormous 4 x 10 wharfedale speaker boxes. Clive Sinclair's unreliable modules. A mate bought an el84 SE guitar amp that was the way, the truth and the light oh my. By the time I was 16 I got a pair of quad 57s for £50 and then a Quad 2 set. With a Gerrard 401, acos lustre and shure 15 I sold it all fir a Hi Watt 50 ( for the band ) and it paid for most of a trip to the USA. THROUGH 'UNI' I had a variety of odds and sids - Rogers ravensbourne, au101turntable Akai and some German make of real to reel. Home made ls35as became a ery ery long term companion about that time.
Another quad 2 system but almost nothing stayed long. I'd learned that valves were too noisy for hifi ( as I built them) so started a long term relationship with 2N3055s.
WAD finally came to the rescue about 20 years ago...
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#26 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Mike H »

Heathkit stereo record player. A friend in sixth form also had one (I got one because he did) and he got me into DIY electronics – I was a complete utter newbie to the subject and knew absolutely nuffink abaht it – being poor students no way was we buying kit from HiFi shops. :shock: So he went down the DIY route, adding a more 'proper' turntable to his Heathkit, then homemade more biggerer speakers made of chipboard, with 12 inch drivers. (Baker, probably.) Then he decided the little amplifier in the original unit (germanium TO128's and TO127's) needed updating, so then we started getting into power amp designs. I was just following along in the wake, kind of thing, meanwhile asking irritating questions ... :D ... then I started reading books about it from the library. Long slow learning curve 'cause I'm not technical, actually. Plus all the hobby magazines.
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andrew Ivimey
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#27 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by andrew Ivimey »

Practical Wireless. Practical Electronics, Wireless World, Elektor- where are they now?

Drips nostalgia into the curry I'm cooking. Quaffs Primitivo...
Philosophers have only interpreted the world - the point, however, is to change it. No it isn't ... maybe we should leave it alone for a while.
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#28 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Nick »

And don't forget Practical Television, Everyday Electronics and ETI.
Whenever an honest man discovers that he's mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or he will cease to be honest.
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#29 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by andrew Ivimey »

Philosophers have only interpreted the world - the point, however, is to change it. No it isn't ... maybe we should leave it alone for a while.
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#30 Re: Where Did You Start?

Post by Dave the bass »

Apparently for my Mum's 21st birthday (which was approx. 12BC if my maths is correct) she got a mono Garrard Auto changer record player with a built in valve amp. This was permanently set up in our dining room in the 60's and most of the 70's and was my 1st experience of playing records. I discovered we could get better sound from it by closing the lid while the records were playing and placing something large and heavy on the lid, experimentation found my baby Sister strategically placed onto the lid got a much better and louder sound so I reckon that was the true beginning of my journey into DIY HiFi.

Later Dad purchased an Uncle's 2nd hand Ferguson stereo 'hifi' with a BSR TT, ceramic cartridge and a 'Realistic' branded Tuner. This was 2 x better than Mum's 'set-up' as it had 2 loudspeakers. To obtain the best sound ever known to mankind it was best to lay on the ground directly between the 2 speakers and have one on either side of my head, this was truly-life changing, mainly for me but also my Baby Sister as she was no longer required to obtain good sound quality.

On my 14th birthday Dad and I went to Whitechapel road and purchased a Sharp RT10H cassette deck, I'd been studying magazines and talking to school mates and it seems most of our circle of music loving chums had small record collections but we worked out that if we all had cassette decks we could copy one anothers record collections and have even more music. Genius! Later I started getting 'serious' and found I could 'curate'/record obscure TV concert programmes by plugging the TV headphone socket into the cassette deck via special lead I'd made up using Dad's soldering iron and then further experimentation revealed with a 5 pin Din to 4 phono plugs we could 'bootleg' these recordings and further increase our impressive recorded music libraries.
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