The Early Years Part 1

Since a young lad I have had a keen interest in hi fi equipment and like many youngsters of the 60s Dad had a Reel to Reel Tape recorder which we did get to use and the most usage that tape Recorder had was in recording the Top 40 on a Sunday eveninghosted by a variety of TV Top Of The Pops DJs alan Freeman, Ed Stewart, David hamilton, tony blackburn and Pete Murray to name but a few. The tape deck was a Fidelity 2 Track with just two speeds 3.75 & 7.5 inches per second.

The recording method was crude by todays standard we had the tape Recorder stood on the table with the microphone plugged in we stood the radio nearby with the microphone near to the radio speaker and that was as simple as it got, daring not to make any noise in the room whilst you recorded the music, and I do remember doing likewise to get songs from top Of The pops from the black and white TV usually with the microphone stood on top of the TV, but you know it was okay, not quality but just okay.

I did progress in 1975 to getting my very own cassette tape recorder a small mains and battery unit with piano type keyss with a microphone built in and also an external microphone, oh and an earplug! not headphones just a single earpiece.

In my early teens I did then realise you could actually record music from the radio or vinyl records via a plug in lead which was fantastic you did not hear any noise in the background from things like Mum hoovering or my brother slamming the door saying oops! forgot you were recording, really.

I much later purchased an Akai 4000 Reel to Reel which would do 2 and 4 track recording in mono format or stereo, I did have a set of stereo huge over the ear type headphones which made me feel like an engineer monitoring my sound levels and playback. I could only record from my radio cassette player and listen via my headphones no speakers!

That is where I think I was getting more serious about hi fi and once I had left school and got my first job and a means of my own money source I could do some saving and buy my beloved hi fi equipment my very first turntable being a JVC LA-11 which cost me £69.99 at Comet’s in Bedford and aside from Mum and Dad telling me I had more money than sense as it represented about 3 weeks wages!

As you can probably appreciate the turntable was only the start as to even be able to hear the records you have to have an amplifier so that was my next purchase a TRIO KA 110 to the cost of £112.00, which then allowed me to plug my headphones in and listen to my vinyl, still no speakers as I shared a bedroom and we had no space but I had fantastic stereo quality sound and could also connect my Reel to Reel up as well.

This was a basic set up I had for a while before the next big event in my life, I left home!

Part 2 to follow