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My first stereo was a Pioneer SX-550 Receiver, BIC 940 turntable and Marantz HD-55 Speakers. It was purchased in 1977, about the time I graduated from high school.

Later I added a Sony TC-K8B Cassette Deck to the system, and began planning to upgrade the rest of the system. Eventually I ended up with a Sony Audio Lab system, consisting of a Sony TA-F6B 100 watt/channel integrated amplifier, Sony ST-A6B FM tuner, a Sony PS-X40 turntable (not Audio Lab series), along with the crowning touch, a pair of ESS amt-1b speakers. Later I added a pair of Sennheiser HD 400 headphones and a dbx 118 Dynamic Range Enhancer to the mix. Most of this was purchased in 1979 and 1980, and so qualifies as "vintage" equipment. In 1990 I added a Technics CD player, which I no longer have.

That system is still in use, although newer equipment has been purchased, primarily a Yamaha AV Receiver to use with the main TV/VCR/DVD setup. Unfortunately, the Sony TC-K8B tape deck died due to a simple spring wearing out. [Turns out Sony doesn't stock parts after 10 years, so it couldn't be repaired. It was a shame: a deck that cost nearly $900 new was rendered useless because a cheap spring that probably cost pennies to produce could not be replaced.] The ESS speakers provide the sound for the system.

My original system, the Pioneer SX-550, BIC turntable and Marantz speakers are long gone; the receiver and speakers sold to my sister (they have since been stolen), and the turntable I sold to my former school band director.

The Sony Audio Lab amp and tuner are used in conjunction with a Sony CD-changer and a pair of Phase Tech 3.5T speakers. They sound pretty good, but not nearly as good as the ESS (although to be fair, few speakers do).


Copyright 2006 — 2020 by Michael A. Grimm