Our first one
Each of us remembers our first love affair, puppy, day at school. What was your first encounter with high end audio? What was the first track you heard on a great, resolving, three-dimensional stereo system? I remember mine well. It was 1974, the system was owned by a local merchant and "audio nut" named Norm Little. Norm had a tri-amped Audio Research system driving a pair of Cerwin Vega 18" woofers, a set of Jantzen electrostats, and tweeters I cannot remember ever paying attention to. The preamp was also Audio Research, SP3A4. I don't remember the turntable but I do remember the arm, a Rabco straight tracker, the cartridge from Decca. And Norm had a freezer full of hash. It was the 70's, after all. He played for me Stevie Wonder's Living For The City and I think I may have been drooling—which happens when you can't pick your jaw up from the floor. In front of me was an image! A sonic picture, the city, instruments separated and placed within a magic tapestry with clear locations from front to back, side to side, as if they might be playing in the same room. This was a revelation to me, soon followed by yet another similar experience on an entirely different system, but of lesser magnitude. Like the first time in a fast car, a pretty girl, holding your newborn—trying to keep tears from falling. There's only one first for all new experiences in our lives. What was yours?
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