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  #1  
Old 13th September 2019, 09:39 PM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Hi-Fi Journeys

My Hi-Fi Journey Part 1

My Hi-Fi journey started when I was quite young. My parents loved classical music and I learnt this love for it from them. This led to me frequently listening with them and to start building a bit of knowledge. All done with a Pye radiogram. It had two speakers but used a mono valve amplifier.

When I was about eleven, my Dad bought a new system. A Garrard SP25 MkII, a Rogers Ravensbrook amp coupled with Celestion Ditton speakers. I thought this system sounded fantastic. Stereo as well! I was given the old radiogram, but couldn’t fit it in my bedroom. This is when my love of DIY Hi-Fi started. I broke up the radiogram, removed the two speakers which I mounted on small baffles covered in grill material, took out the Pye valve amp and made a wooden box for it which I painted red and then applied a couple of white lengths of tape across it diagonally. Go faster stripes you could say. My source was an old Garrard portable ‘record player’. You know the sort. It had a close down lid with metal clasps and a choice of flip over 78/microgroove styluses on the head of the all plastic arm. What got me about this system was it appeared to sound better than it did when it was a radiogram. At this time, I didn’t have any records of my own so I was constantly borrowing from Dad’s collection, much to his annoyance.

As a result of my love for music, I started piano lessons and got up to grade three, but didn’t really like it, so I moved on and took up the flute. My first flute had an old ebony body with a silver metal lining. It was old and clunky but I did quite well, eventually joining a youth wind orchestra, where after a few years, I worked up to 1st flute. This time in the orchestra vastly expanded my music knowledge, albeit, everything was classical.

Of course, as a young person, I was also into modern music and can remember, long before I had my first system, I had an old valve Bakelite radio in my bedroom, from about the age of seven. At the time we lived in a three storey house and my room was on the top floor. The rest of the family had bedrooms on the lower floor. I felt isolated and it was quite scary. To be honest I hated it, but the isolation allowed me to play Radio Caroline and Radio London after I had gone to bed, I had been kissed and tucked in and the light turned off. One of the first songs I liked and can remember is ‘Sideboards in the street’ by Unit 4 + 2. I recently downloaded this to my streamer. My first actual LP was a Christmas present, Bridge over Troubled Waters by Simon and Garfunkel, followed the next year by ‘More Bob Dylan Greatest Hits’ the following Christmas. The first record I ever bought for myself with my own money was a 45, Tracy by the Cufflinks. I still have these very over played records.

Eventually, Dad upgraded to a Rega Planar 3 and I inherited the SP25MkII. Audiophile bliss, for me, at the time. As I grew older, I started building a record collection. Being heavily influenced by mates from school, I was buying Black Sabbath and Deep Purple type albums, but I was also into Bob Dylan and Donovan. Obviously I always used Dad’s system to play my outrageous music. I can well remember head banging to Black Sabbath and being oblivious to my surroundings when my parent’s came home to find me revealed in this embarrassment.

When I left school, I work in Port Talbot General Hospital for most of a year and after I was eighteen, went to the Bristol Royal Infirmary to train to be a State Registered Nurse. I was provided with a single room in the male nurses accommodation house with otherwise shared facilities. My old system did not travel with me (I suspect it just got thrown out at home) but I could not manage without my music, so in a rash moment on a pay day, I visited a local Hi-Fi dealer and purchased a second hand Thorens TD150 MkII mounted in sheet of veneered chipboard and a Rogers valve HG88 MkII in chassis only form which I still have. I supported the record deck on a set of matching egg cups and made a veneered wooden shroud for the Rogers. In my small hospital room, I connected this to a Musoleum speaker given me by my old music teacher. It was a strange matter of a single 12” Goodman’s driver fitted into a large cabinet that had loads of vents, so I’m not sure how to categorise it. Obviously it had baffle quality’s but also something of bass reflex. It sat neatly on top of my wardrobe and happily accommodated both channels at the same time from my valve stereo amp. (Don’t do this with a modern solid state amp, you’ll blow it). This became my system for the three years of my training and I was well happy with it. I spent many hours in the local Virgin record shop buying and expanding my music library.

Part 2 to follow.

Have a think about telling your own story.
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Old 14th September 2019, 03:27 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

Good to read Greg, part two should be interesting, I will respond in due course, but might need part 1-2-3-4-5 . Bob
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Old 29th September 2019, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

Sorry for the lack of update. Iíve just spent over two hours writing my next episode to see it disappear into the ether when I tried to upload it. Yes, my fault, I should have saved it and reapplied it into the thread but I forgot. Well pissed off. What a waste of my time! Isnít it about time that settings here can be opened up so this sort of fail doesnít need to happen?
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Old 29th September 2019, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

Also, I thought there were more replies on this thread other than Bobís. Where have they gone?
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Old 30th September 2019, 09:39 AM
Richard Richard is offline
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

Hi Greg, thanks for sharing the first instalment. I for one was waiting for the rest before joining in. A few dates might help put it in perspective, I think we're of similar age ("born in the 50's" as Sting sang ), and your story mirrors mine in many ways so keep going and I'll just be able to post ditto!!

There are no missing posts as far as I've seen. The bb losing posts during writing is a known issue. I haven't seen a time-out setting, or anything we can adjust, but it may be to do with the isp connection or a built-in protection if the message screen is left open too long. It certainly catches me out too from time to time but all isn't wasted as the post is still fresh in mind and doesn't take too long to type again (in Open Office then paste!).
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Old 30th September 2019, 01:55 PM
John Caswell John Caswell is offline
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

Re losing posts.
Simplest way is to write it in Pages or Word, save it somewhere then copy and paste into this forum - simples.

John
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Old 30th September 2019, 04:21 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

My journey started with the Garrard SP25 Mk V complete with a Ortofon VMS3 cartridge at the age of 15, some months later I acquired a used Philips amp. don't remember the model, but it worked, it was only 10 watts, not valve, many months past before I found two Rigonda speakers at the local tip, they worked to me it sounded very good, so I started to by records, a few years went by and a friend had just taken delivery of a new Pioneer PL12 turntable, I had to have one, so started saving, months later I got the Pioneer and then realised that the rest of the kit was shit. It was 1975 and I had just finished my apprentice ship, I was invited to join Sir Robert Mac Alpine and sons so jumped at the chance, I was now earning around £90.00 a week and a new amp and speakers were the order of the day, the amp I chose was a Sony TAF 3 at 50 watts, it was big and very shiny, speakers were Goodmans Acromat 400 floor standers, this was amazing sound, better Ortofon cartridge's followed until I tried a MC 10, wow, then, QED introduced their 79 strand speaker cable, what a transformation. Don't miss next week exiting episode. Bob
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Old 1st October 2019, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

Yes, I completely understand what I should have done, recording my second episode of My Hi-Fi Journeys. Certainly Iíll have a go at doing it again in due course, but itíll need me to find a time to do it. Certainly it is coming, just not sure when I can find the time to do it.
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Old 7th October 2019, 03:05 PM
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Baggy Trousers Baggy Trousers is offline
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Default Re: Hi-Fi Journeys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg. View Post
Also, I thought there were more replies on this thread other than Bobís. Where have they gone?
My own passage through the world of HiFi began such a long time ago that I suspect only Guglielmo Marconi would recognise anything, so I'm reluctant to bore people with the arcane and recondite. It was Henry Hartley who coined the phrase "high fidelity" before the War and I once owned one of his excellent 12" speakers. But don't get me started . . . .

I find these personal experiences to be interesting and am looking forward to further instalments of Greg's journey.
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