In the early ‘80s a new audio company named Audible Illusions burst on the scene with a single product, a dual mono preamplifier for about $300. It got a little bit of press and no one paid a huge amount of attention to AI until 1985 when their Modulus preamplifier debuted.
The audio world is sometimes wacky indeed. In the first issue of TONE-Audio, this column featured my first real high-end preamplifier, the Hafler DH-101. Always the packrat, I recently found a box with a bunch of old receipts, for you guessed it, hi-fi gear.
Every now and then, smaller is better. Such is the case with a lot of the Japanese receivers from the ’70s. Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui and the like were on a power race similar to the Cold War of the same period, releasing receivers with more and more power all the time.
For many audiophiles, their journey with electrostats began with the legendary Quad 57—but not mine. As someone who really likes to rock, I spurned the audiophile approach and preferred to rock the house with my Altec 19s and a big McIntosh power amplifier.
Back when I was selling Technics SL1200s and Shure V-15 cartridges by the truck load, on the brink of becoming an major obsessive audiophile, our shop received the latest and greatest from Ortofon – their MC20 moving coil cartridge and the accompanying MCA-76 head amplifier.
Back when our publisher and I were Bart Simpson–like teenagers disrupting our high school electronics class, we still wanted a great system but had no dinero. The few things we had breadboarded together hummed like a swarm of bees when a turntable was brought into play, and we scratched our heads.
I must be honest with you, this is the only component I have ever purchased sight unseen at full retail price. That’s right.
Spin the clock back to 1986, when I was still living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and making regular pilgrimages to Quintessence Audio in Naperville, Illinois to audition hifi gear.