Perhaps I've shared this with you before; I'm not sure. Feel free to post on your blog if you want, excerpts or in total. Here goes:
My audio journey first began in the early 1970s, when I heard my older brother's HH Scott receiver & speakers, my first introduction to hi fi (it was totally crappy by true audiophile standards, but miles ahead of what I ever heard). I was hooked, but only a teen & unable to afford anything like that. My first self purchase was a pair of Koss headphones shortly afterward, which I used constantly on my parents crappy console stereo. In 1978, my parents bought me a nice Pioneer SX-880 receiver for Christmas & my 17th birthday; I had mentioned it for months & told them I'd gladly give up any additional presents for my birthday, graduation, ANYTHING for a year if they would buy me one. I never dreamed they would actually drop the cash on it. It ended up being one model up from the one they had considered originally as Service Merchandise (remember them?) was out of the SX-780. I connected it to a pair of outboard Zenith speakers (with separate woofers & tweeters!!) my Dad had bought for the old console & was in paradise!
Life took over for several years, & the old Pioneer moved with me to LA, then England, then back to TN. After two different trips to be serviced over the 15 or so years I'd used it almost on a daily basis, it gave up the ghost. I was without decent tunes for the first time since I was 17...
Those stayed with me through 4 years in Turkey, back to TN, then to MD until my second divorce in 2006, when I Iost the JBLs & the Pioneer to the ex, & I began looking in earnest for some better bequipment. I had been perusing eBay for several months looking at Carver gear & in Dec 2006 purchased a C-2 preamp & M1.5t amp to use with the Klipsch speakers. It KICKED MAJOR ASS over the old Pioneer. This was REAL POWER. I joined the CarverAudio forum about the same time.I ended up purchasing a pair of Carver AL-III speakers right after that, & a Sunfire 300x2 amp & Tube preamp shortly afterward. I'd been bitten by the bug & BAD. The two Sunfire items were sold to fund a Sunfire TG-IV processor, Sunfire Ultimate Receiver, and Sunfire 400x7 amp.
I sold to the Ultimate Receiver this past year to fund the lawyer (still fighting the ex). I've been tweaking on my current stuff for about 3 years now, & ended up going the active crossover route this year.
So, I didn't become an idiot about this stuff until the past 4 years. I guess I figured it was my turn after 2 divorces~
Hope my long-winded story didn't bore you to tears. As Bob himself would say, "Enjoy the music!"
Good reading Gary. I wish you had included a few recent photos. Plenty of time, and plenty of room here. You are the poster child for what I was trying to get across. Good audio is fun. At some point, you learn enough to pick up a soldering iron and try to improve things. No one experiments like you do. >==========
=========>I like your time line way of listing your equipment/addiction. Mine goes like this:
1954 - I was 8 and my sister was 16. She bought every 45rpm record released, and also kept the old A.M. radio wide open. I hated that, but it taught me the words to every song from that era. I got in trouble when me and Cousin Roger used some of her 45's for air rifle targets.
1960 - at 14 my parents bought me a "Stereo" record player instead of the blow up doll I wanted. No one knew what 'stereo' was, but mine came with a 45 of "Running Bear" which I still have. By then Roger and I were using my Sister's records as skeets for the shotgun, but Sis had married and left, so no one cared. I wore this record player out during my too brief stay at Clemson. My roommate and I discovered you could get free records by joining the many record clubs back then. So, we joined often even though we had no money to pay.
1963 - For $48.90 a month, me and People's Bank bought a VW Beatle. No air, not much heat, but it had a great A.M. radio. That car taught me how much fun music (and girls) could be. I doubt I will ever own audio equipment as important as that was.
1966 - My roommate at the time bought a tiny reel to reel tape. He put it in a shop and they converted it to 12 volt. We recorded music by placing the microphone in front of a speaker and joined in singing on the songs. It sat perfectly behind the seats of a 1954 Corvette I had at the time. We might have been the first with recorded music in a car. It sounds funny, but it was very cool at the time.
1968 - In the Army, I bought a second hand Garrard Turntable because "Travis McGee" used one. It was cool, and how could I know you had to have an amp to get music from it? There used to be a mail order company called "HeathKit" and you could buy audio kits and pay a few dollars a month. I got a Sony Reel to Reel tape deck from them that had a built in amp. I think the deal was I had to pay $18/month for 37 years. It came with two speakers that clamped on and closed up like a suitcase. I recorded songs from a radio station in Luxembourg, and my apartment became the place to be.
1969 - A local German shop got in a portable cassette player/recorder from Grundig. I bought that and it was a joy to me for many years.
1971-73 - Ran a hippie club (MUTHERS) and was more into live music. Built a stage, bought a Peavy Amp and microphones for anyone who wanted to show up to sing, play or yea - read poems. It was fun. They got stolen once, but I got them back. It is hard to believe all this has happened, and TNRabbit won't have an amp for 5 years!!! Ha Ha - TNRabbit missed out on all the real Hippie girls. At this time I was also the best Foosball player in the world.
1973-95 - Married a Hippie girl, working, hitting a music bar when I could. Found out 'Hippie Girls' are no difference from the others -> all are born "nesters".
1995 - Bought a bird feeder. Found I enjoyed sitting on the porch with birds and music. Spent $300 dollars on two powered JBL speakers and a sub made for a computer. The sound coming out of those speakers amazed me. All my stuff sounded so different. It was like I had never heard Diana Ross before. I even became a Beatles fan as they sounded different than what I remembered in the VW. Conway Twitty coming from these speakers was incredible!!! Since then it has all spiraled out of control. I still use that JBL sub at my treadmill, but I have upgraded many times over the years and will skip ahead to ->
2010 - I have a closet full of good audio junk going to waste. I have some decent stuff not in the closet. In addition to my first record ('Running Bear') I also have over 20,000 of my favorite songs (don't have any crap). I have them neatly stored in loss less format in my computer, and a hell of a lot of CDs and LPs in my RedNeck bar. I should sell those on ebay, but hate to let them go as I love them more than any new owner would. The big difference in the VW radio and now is that back then the beat and the words were everything. With better equipment, you hear the MUSIC. I don't mean just the instruments, but also the music good vocalists present. Over decent equipment, Sarah Brightman, Charlotte Church, Reba McEntire can amaze. The Tams sound like they are on the deck, and a good rock band like Nazareth can tear the damn deck down. With decent equipment music becomes more than just background while you do something else.