Here is a little bit about myself what got me into audio..
My journey into electronics started when I was just a toddler and music being one of the key factors that played a role in my initial fascination with speakers wondering how on earth music came out of them.
I remember around four years old pulling the covers off one of my Dad’s Fountain Speakers and marveling at these three round paper cones that made a noise and then poked the dust cover in on the woofer as a typical four year old would!
From there it moved to the Fountain AF2550 amplifier, Dual 1215 turntable and Fountain cassette deck in which all the controls/switches were fiddled with when no one was looking of course.
So this ‘obsession’ you could call it is what led me down the path of my interest in stereo gear and electronics and eventually as I got older I learned how to fix radios, stereos, cassette decks, record players, valve radios and even television sets but fixing TV’s was when I was a bit older. One thing I remember was getting given my grandparents old Philips Hi-Z Stereo radiogram which saw many years of use and of course keeping it going wasn’t a problem.
Fast forward to my teenage years when I brought my first real decent amplifier – the classic AWA/Hitachi AHA-330. I loved the look of the brushed aluminum front panel with the big volume control and those VU meters looked cool when lit up. I had it connected to an early Pioneer PDM6 CD player running into a pair of Philips HiFi International 4- way speakers and the sound I thought was pretty darn good. By now I had part time job working for a local electronic repair shop fixing TV’s/VCR’s and stereo gear which eventually turned into a full time job once I had finished my studies at Hutt Valley Polytech (now Wel-Tec)
It wasn’t until one day a customer brought in a huge Pioneer Receiver (think it was a SX-9000) in for repair and my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I first saw this thing and how it looked with its impressive front panel and the flap that came down revealing all the controls, it was huge and heavy and I liked it.
And that Pioneer is what was responsible for starting me on wanting to collect Pioneer. The next Pioneer I got was an SX-850 and then the big jump to a Pioneer SX1280 which I got in 1995 and still own. Not long after obtaining the SX1280 through a mutual contact and shelling out quite a few dollars for it back then, I met another fellow enthusiast who introduced me to Sansui and that started another brand I liked from the word go.
Since then I have been collecting Japanese stereo gear mainly Pioneer and Sansui but have a smattering of Kenwood in amongst it all and the odd valve amplifier or two, a handful of turntables and cassette decks, all vintage and mostly all operational. My favorite cassette deck is the Pioneer CTF-1000 and in reel to reel department, the RT-909. I have more Sansui amplifiers/receivers than Pioneer but the ones I have are all high end models like the SA-9900, SA9100, SX1280 etc. Some of the Sansui’s are AU919/717/AU9900, Seven, Six, 7000, QRX6500, G6000 etc. I also have a soft spot for Quad and own their first Quad II/22 valve combination and the 303/33. Also have a few Japanese valve amplifiers/receivers from Pioneer, Sansui and Trio/Kenwood.
The quality and workmanship of the gear from this period cannot be surpassed and the look, feel and the sound of this older gear is something that is hard to beat.
Don’t get me wrong there is some really nice exotic high end audio out there in the market today and its real top-notch gear and with all the digital technology available now and I would love to own some of it but price is the factor. In saying this, the materials they were using in the 1970’s to build say a Sansui or a Pioneer amplifier would probably equate to something rather expensive today.
Call me old fashioned… I just love the old hifi and that’s pretty much the long and short of it and I know there are plenty of others like me who are the same and when it comes to working on this sort of stuff, I’m like a “pig in clover”