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07-17-2013, 08:34 AM #1
A Long Time Ago, in A living Room Far, Far, Away
As I get older I get to tell people what it was like to live in the past.
Today my new Cipher comes. I don’t get nostalgic over old electronic equipment, perhaps because, I see how much better the new ones are. But I do get nostalgic over the music and movies of my bygone eras. It was, at one time, an age of discovery.
I have always considered myself a two channel guy, with a home theatre add on. But now, the multi channel world has so totally integrated my system that the strictly two channel era is becoming a memory. My gosh, even the new SACD player is multi Channel
But today I will move my Salamander Cabinet, which once weighed twice as much. The SACD player replaces what once was the three huge boxes that were my Mark Levenson 30.6 and 31.5 Cd player. The Krell 707 replaces not just the ML 502 but the two box pre amp, ML 32. I’ve removed my old VCR and Cassette Player this year. My two big shoe boxes of ML 25 and 26 (phono Preamps) are replaced with much smaller Krell ones. And my small internet Sonos has replaced my bigger Satellite Tuner. From this photo see how much room they took up!
Looking back, It’s hard to believe how my parents, children of the depression, and Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass forever changed my attitude towards audio.
You see my parents, raised during the worst economic times, never knew how to splurge. So the old Dumont TV (ten inches), radio and monaural Record player stayed in our house until broke. I man completely broke. I mean that when the TV went, we still used the record player and so on.
So it was a big thrill to get for my birthday a $40 Emerson stereo record player! Hot socks.
No joke: No audio component was used and enjoyed more in my life than this one. My brother and I fought over it! We’d wait and save our money all year until Sam Goody has his big sales and then go nuts.
My friends I had an Herb Albert record and there was a piece entitled, “Five Minutes More.” My friends and I marveled on how the musicians had silence, played together, then had silence, then played etc. We wondered how they did that. The mystery would be solved by a Lafayette Receiver, a Garrard 55 Turntable and Criterion speakers! My brother bought that set and we could hear for the first time, how the musicians were able to keep time. I found this cut on you tube, take a listen:
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - Five Minutes More - YouTube
They had a bass playing keeping time, but we never heard the bass on our cheap systems!!!! So, how much more were we even missing now! Inquiring minds wanted to know. And that single question has cost me a fortune.
You see when my older brother moved out, he had the nerve to take his stereo with him!!!!!! I worked hard and saved up $400 and went to Harvey’s and bought my first system. The Sansui receiver was not great, but the Dual 1212 (I think) turntable and especially the Advent speakers were wonderful!
When I moved out, I got a better system, my first separates: Dynaco PAT 5 and 60 amp, and Accustiphase speakers. I did bi pass the quad record player era. That system lasted many years until a new invention ruined them (really!) A CD player. My first one was a Dual. It didn’t sound as good as records and it was a good lesson on why not to be an early adaptor. It blew out my speakers AND amp.
I got a pair of ADS speakers and loved them.
My first step into High End was the Mark Levinson Line, when they were owned by Madrigal. I got the ML 26 preamp and then the 23 amp. Wow, what a remarkable difference. Believe it or not, it feed into my “laziness.” That is, I no longer looked around and around for the best component. I waited for ML to come out with one and knew it would be good. That era has past.
My first Foray into home Theatre was the Shure 5200 unit which was great for the time. That got replaced by the Proceed PAV (later updated with the PDSD) . On a similar preamp some guy named Jerry Del Colliano wrote in 1999: “You’ll be proud to own one as the centerpiece of your high performance multi-media system.”
So as I now wait for the Man from Krell to install another new machine, I realize that not only is my stereo cabinet lighter after all these years, so is my wallet!!Barry
Surround Pre-Amp: Krell 707 3D; Amp: (center) Krell 400e; Amp Fronts Krell 600e; Rears Proceed HPA-3; SACD: Krell Cipher; FM: Day Sequerra FM Reference; Blu-Ray: Oppo BDP 105; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2; Center: Revel Voice 2; Rear/Back: Thiel Powerplanes; Subs: 2 SVS SB-13 Ultra; Turntable: VPI 19 Mk 4 w/Tonearm SME 309 & Audioquest 401i; HDTV: Verizon; Projector: JVC DLA-RS66U; Screen: Vue Tech 108; Internet Radio: Sonos; Remote: MX850; Pioneer Elite LDS-2 Laser Disc
07-17-2013, 08:45 AM #2
wow. Good historical writeup. Very impressive! Always upgrading is always good!
07-17-2013, 09:25 AM #3
I never remember seeing that Dual CD player. What year did you buy it?
I had a buddy of mine that saved up all this high school graduation money to buy the first Sony CD that hit the market. It was crazy expensive, for that time and very heavy. We used to go to our closest HiFi store on a weekly bases just to see and hear new equipment and hit the record store.
I remember the lady that owned our local record store kept all her 45s on pegs, on a pegboard behind the counter. She had a small record player sitting on the counter and would pull down records for us to hear. She introduced us to a ton of new music, and helped herself to the majority of the money I earned mowing the lawn.
That Lafayette receiver looks a lot like the Realistic receiver my parents bought. They still have it stuffed in a closet at their house. I'll have t dig it out and hook up my old Techniques turntable someday.
07-17-2013, 09:30 AM #4
The Herb Albert tune reminds me of the old Dating Game theme song. It's with good reason, I suppose.