what audio component(s) that had the most impact in your audio life? much like your first love.

my first love was when i was 17 (that was a long long time ago) and it left an indelible mark in my life. that was the sweetest and most innocent chapter in my life.

in audio, it is definitely the audio research classic 30 and that happened in 1990 . i was too young to appreciate the past giants of ARC like sp-11, d70, d250 and all those models that preceded the classic series.

i used the classic 30 to drive the legendary ls3/5a and i had a good few months of audio nirvana before i upgraded the ls3/5a to spica tc-10 (remember spica in the 80s?).

the classic 30 simply has the sweetest sound among all the ARC amps i have ever heard. not only that, it taught me about high-end values.

high-end values that i hold dear and are still applicable till today. the bland and analytical tube sound of today is nothing like the glorious tube sound of yore.

tell me about your first love audio.


GCK said...

My first love in audio equipment was the ARC SP9 Mk2 preamp. At that time it sounded most beutiful. But as time moves on and I got better in my listening skills and setup, it did not cut it anymore.
Still, I have fond memories of that pre-amp,kind of the same for first love in a girl I guess.

km ng said...

My 1st love hifi was a jukebox in a bus station in early 70s.

Still remember putting 20 cent coin (saved from lunch money) into the jukebox to hear some of my favourite songs at that time, like, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Iron Man", etc.

Was fascinated by the workings of the jukebox, you know, put in the coin, select the songs, the wheel holding the EPs turns, stops, a mechanical arm like a crab claw picks up the EP, turns it around horizontally and lays it on the platter, tonearm then comes up, moves inwards and drops on the EP.

"Screeetccch, screeethh, screhh.."

Then, voila!!, sweet music flowed - with me standing in front of the juke box's sweet spot, heaven on earth.

Sweet memories of yesteryears.

Anonymous said...

Klipschorn.Those beutiful gorgeous horn,that was driven by MacIntosh tube amps...Hooked for life..

both companies are way behind ,trying to hang on to their former glories.Ut remind me of an old boxer trying to prove himself on the ring,and failed miserably

Ray said...

Well not just MaciIntosh I think even ARC has lost its shine.

To me I always marvel at ARC's greatest range of products: the preamp...

But I think they are losing direction now,ARC,and it would be just a matter of time before romantics like me ,will abandon ship

sham said...


I remember those times too,I always have a chick wrapped around the waist listening to the Beatles

shu said...

Thorens TT being amplified by the original Mark Levinson Ml-1/ML 3monoblocks driving the original Thiel speakers..

2 years ago,i finally gave up on ML after realizing that i was forcing myself to like em based on past glory..It was as if a lost my best friend forever.

They all sound the same now,don't they,Maggielurva?All those computers programming..............

hafiz said...

Naim audio.What a heritage,and what good fun I've had with them...

Moving on to Wavac now but,Naim always have a special place in my heart

km ng said...

Hi Sham,

No chick for me at that time - too young and only got 1 speed bicycle at that time.

But, later, I got a fabulous chick in my arms all night long.

Her name is Mary Hopkin. Her LP, "Earth Song, Ocean Song" (released 1971) of acoustical folk songs is utterly fabulous. I won the LP in a radio show way back then and can listen to it all night long.

I still have the LP with me after 35 years! Listen to it and prepare to be stunned!

Anonymous said...

Should you be loyal to a hi-fi brand? I think not its the music that you should be loyal to, but even that changes and evolves with the times. I think of artists whose "sound" has changed with each label they have moved to. My first love Quad 22/II and although they brought it back its just not the same.

ali said...

I agree with you anonymous,we should only be loyal to the music not hardware..

But that is just in theory,at least for me,How i wish we all could be like politicians,hopping every....

Well for me it was my uncle's system.He was the first in the family to study abroad and when he came back in the early 70s he brought back with him MacIntosh amps.....My good I still could hear how the whole kampung came running to hear Elvis singing.Stupendous!!!!!

Well sadly,MacIntosh is no longer the same.funnyly ,some of the japanese tubes amps sounded more like the great mac than any american modern amp that I know...

So it seems most of us come from the same era,huh!!!

Karl said...


ARC classic 30 driving the legendary ls3/5a???!!!

Heck!!!that is like losing your virginity to Angelina Jolie>>>

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi karl,

to me, it is like losing virginity to scarlet johansson! ;-)

the rest,
thanks for sharing. every one has his first love to tell. yes, one must be loyal to the music. brands can change but music must remain!

Anonymous said...

First love was a Thorens TD160 Super turntable about 20 years ago. Don't know why but got attracted to it right from the start.

Next was a Rotel tuner, those analogue ones. The lights and the needle moving across the band was nice to see.