When and how was your passion for this hobby born?

Matthew J Poes

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I think we each have an interesting story behind our being here. We wouldn’t join these forums if we didn’t have some level of passion for Audio, video, or both.

I was absolutely born into this hobby and didn’t have a choice even if I wanted. My grandfather was an audiophile with Infinity Quantum II’s, Maggie MGIII, SAE amp and preamp, Audio research amp and preamp, Thorens Record player, and lots of other goodies. My dad has Klipsch Heresy’s and a Rega turntable and Golden Tube Audio integrated amp. My first stereo was a Sony record player, Sony receiver, and EPI speakers. I was 8!

That isn’t what really solidified the passion though. It was the quizzing every day of every song ever produced from the beginning of musical history. I had no choice about it.
 

tripplej

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My family would go to the theaters a lot when I was a kid so I loved going to the theater and watching movies. In regards to my home theater setup, my parents didn't have much money so we never had a home setup but in college when I worked part time at Best Buy, I was able to get some discounts and get a home theater setup in the family house. It was all sony products, even the speakers. :)

Only later once I had more money, after I graduated from college and had my first real job, I was able to spend good money on better equipment and I was able to setup my first apartment and then once I got a house, I was able to setup with a rear projection TV in the late 90s.
 

Mark C Flick

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Hmmm,... we had a theater in town and it was 35 cents for a double feature, candy and popcorn were inexpensive as well. So for a couple bucks it got us out of Mom's hair for a few hours almost every weekend. Second thing that got me started was when I bought a pair of Realistic speakers to upgrade the ones that came with my record player, I was about ten at the time.
 

Matthew J Poes

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Hmmm,... we had a theater in town and it was 35 cents for a double feature, candy and popcorn were inexpensive as well. So for a couple bucks it got us out of Mom's hair for a few hours almost every weekend. Second thing that got me started was when I bought a pair of Realistic speakers to upgrade the ones that came with my record player, I was about ten at the time.
Well that just makes me said since movies today are $10+ (with some feature rich premium theater experiences topping $20 a person).

I think the surround sound bug never bit me with commercial cinemas. I never noticed the effects enough to care. When Dolby Prologic came out as part of Home receivers at modest prices I finally started to care. I would guess I was wound 12-13 when I got my first surround receiver, and I set it up in my bedroom with a full set of mismatched speakers. I had Infinity Quantum II for L and R, a pinnacle bookshelf as a center (bought at a warehouse sale for a large local electronics store) and Baltik Audio bookshelves as surrounds. I used preouts from the receiver to the SAE preamp/amp and used a couple equalizers to balance them tonally. I did it by ear as I didn’t have measurement equipment nor know what I was doing. I later bought a RadioShack SPL meter and began hand plotting the response using testones in 1/3 octave spaces to eq better.

I remember distinctly the two movies that did it for me. Prologic encoded VHS copies of Candyman and Jurassic Park. I remember a scene in candyman where a bee flew from the rear of the room to the front right corner. It was so surreal, I remember jumping in my seat and looking behind me to see if a bug was actually in my room.
 

Tony V.

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Audio and video in general has been in my blood since I was a child, The large church I belong to has a history of putting on big productions for the holidays like Easter and Christmas. When I was young (14 years old) when I first got involved in the media side of the production so this was in the early 80s.
At the time they had a full blown TV studio for broadcasting our services on TV (due to the high cost this was eventually stopped) I would run one of the TV cameras They were the old 3 tube huge studio cameras of that era and I slowly made my way into the audio studio and front of house sound. After the TV production went off the air we still recorded in house and archived the services and sold tapes to congregation members. I eventually at age 16 did the audio side (both house and studio) on my own and soon took over some of the leadership of it.
Of course I loved it so I really spent way to much time there (at Christmas time sometimes more than two weeks straight even sleeping in the church to avoid the time of travel back and forth). Anyhow long story short been doing it for the last 32 years and recently stepped back as to allow more time for family and work.
 

Matthew J Poes

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Audio and video in general has been in my blood since I was a child, The large church I belong to has a history of putting on big productions for the holidays like Easter and Christmas. When I was young (14 years old) when I first got involved in the media side of the production so this was in the early 80s.
At the time they had a full blown TV studio for broadcasting our services on TV (due to the high cost this was eventually stopped) I would run one of the TV cameras They were the old 3 tube huge studio cameras of that era and I slowly made my way into the audio studio and front of house sound. After the TV production went off the air we still recorded in house and archived the services and sold tapes to congregation members. I eventually at age 16 did the audio side (both house and studio) on my own and soon took over some of the leadership of it.
Of course I loved it so I really spent way to much time there (at Christmas time sometimes more than two weeks straight even sleeping in the church to avoid the time of travel back and forth). Anyhow long story short been doing it for the last 32 years and recently stepped back as to allow more time for family and work.
That is a great story. We really do have some eclectic experiences.
 

maccardi

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I started my love for this hobby 42 years ago when my father bought me my 1st stereo receiver on my 9th birthday. I still remember the model, Pioneer SX-535, 20Wpc, dial tuner. Once I was old enough to work during the summers, I would spend all of my money on stereo equipment, speakers, tape decks, turntables etc.

As I got older into my later Teens and started driving I got into some pretty high end car stereos (for the time) and also installed car systems in all of my friends vehicles too.

In my twenties I started to get into video with my 1st HIFI VCR and a separate Dolby surround decoder added to my stereo system, This was the bomb back then. I had a VHS copy of "Top Gun" and used to impress all of my friends with jets flying around the room on my whopping 27" television.

I then went digital with a Sony TAE1000ES pro logic pre-amp with complimentary Sony ES amplifiers and added a super VHS VCR. Shortly after, I added a laserdisc player.

Then the unthinkable happened, I got married! I would end up keeping this audio hardware for the next 20 years as I was raising a family and didn't have allot of disposable income. I did however convince the wife to buy a 61" rptv and a DVD player.

I got divorced and started to build up my gear again. 1st purchase was a 65" Panasonic plasma TV and a cheap Pioneer AVR 5.1, I added three HSU bookshelf speakers, 2 ceiling mount surrounds and a SVS sub. This would be my setup for about 8 years until 2017.

I replaced the plasma with a 65" LG OLED, bought a Samsung UHD player and replaced the Pioneer receiver with a Yamaha A1060

I recently changed rooms around in my house which has doubled the size of my media room and I have set it up as a 7.1.2 system with new Def Tech front speakers. My next purchase will be a 11 channel receiver so I can add 2 more ceiling speakers.

It's been a great ride so far and I look forward to keep on building...
 

Tonto

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I have always loved movies and music. Got my 1st HT system in college. Yamaha & Klipsch. Then SVS came out with cylinder subs which put Klipsch to shame. That was it for me, bass junkie till the end!
 

Prof.

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I'm pretty sure I can go back further than any of you as to when my interest began..

In my second year of high school in 1955, my fellow school mates would be playing cricket or football or some other outside activity and I would be in my bedroom listening to jazz on my old record player!

When I started work in the City a few years later, I met a guy who had a little shop in the main street, who was making speaker systems..
I remember that he was building bass reflex systems using Wharfedale speakers in cabinets the size of refrigerators!! :)
These things sounded great to me so I invested my first wages in a pair..Those speakers stayed with me for many many years..through my marriage and the birth of my two daughters, who even as little girls, always wanted me to play music loudly for them to go to sleep!!
Talk about chips off the old block!! :bigsmile:

Even after my divorce after 7 years, I still had them and took them with me when I left..
I then proceeded to move into several different places over the years, taking these monstrous speakers with me.. I even moved to a different state and transported them over there as well!!

After 12 years of living in this state, I decided to return to my original hometown state..
I wasn't going to be able to transport these speakers back again, due to my limited ability to haul everything back, so the speakers were finally destroyed!
I had had those speakers for approx. 35 years and they were still going as strong as the day they were made!!!

And so began my journey into home theatre..
The story of that would take me forever to relay all that information!!
I'm now 76 and just recently built my fifth theatre in a new home..and this will most likely be my last..
 

thrillcat

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I was always into music growing up, as far back as I can remember. My mom always liked having a 'decent' stereo system for listening to records. We didn't have a ton of expendable income, so we were late to the VCR game, but it was also because my mom knew enough that she was saving up to get a VCR that would receive stereo broadcasts and play back stereo tapes, so we could connect the TV to her stereo.

I was in college when I first started really noticing the sound quality at commercial theaters, and my junior year I visited a friend who had a Dolby ProLogic system with a LaserDisc player. Hearing that horn section on She Caught the Katy at the beginning of The Blues Brothers had me hooked.

I soon picked up a JVC receiver with Dolby ProLogic and a $99 KLH add-on kit that added a pitiful center channel and a pair of surround speakers. It was pitiful, but it was mine, and I was on a mission.

A couple years later I came across an issue of Audio/Video Interiors at the grocery store. It wasn't until that moment that I realized what could actually be done in the home, and I never looked back.

Oddly enough, it was still another 15+ years before I had a true, dedicated home theater, with a projector and screen. I had always had surround sound, but the current house I own was the first that had a space for an actual theater. And I'll never own another home that doesn't have that space.
 
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