Our first music systems

edited September 2017 in Systems
Adjusting the sound of my system by recent tweakings of my speakers has put me in mind of adjusting the sound of my first system using its little built-in graphic equaliser. The process is very different, and the sounds of the two systems are (I hope) not identical. But, that seeking to optimise the potential of the equipment feels very similar. I even wonder whether the "ideal/imagined" sound that I was trying to achieve back then was the same "ideal/imagined" sound that I aim for nowadays (hopefully I'm a bit closer to hifi nirvana now than I was back in my teenage bedroom).

Anyway, based on my vague memory that my first "system" was a JVC boom box of some description, and using some Google-detectiving I eventually identified the old beauty as a JVC PC-W100,
Here is an identical one in all its glory... :-)


My memories are that I thought it was cool because:
1. It had a double cassette deck.
2. It had a 5 band graphic equaliser.
3. It had detachable speakers on hifi-looking cables.
4. It had the words "Super bass horn" written on it (I wasn't exactly sure what that meant at the time. I'm still not).
5. It was 1988 and I was 14/15 years old.

Also, I remember having two concerns about it:
1. That it didn't go loud enough without distorting (and didn't go loud enough full stop).
2. That one aspect of the sound that was ever-present was the sound of an empty plastic box (i.e. the speaker cabinets themselves).

I'm very struck by how fondly I remember the old JVC. If one comes up on ebay for a few quid, I shall probably buy it.

Anyway, what I'm getting to is that I'd be interested to learn what other people remember about their first music playing device...


  • It was a Philips Radio Cassette (mono) when I was around 10 or 11, I think. Haven't done that Google research yet ;-)
  • Thanks Dave. :-)
    Let me know if you track it down!
  • My very first was a Ferguson radio.
    Very similar to


    Just a single "tone" control.
    Elder bruv had a Philips mono cassette player


    Eldest bruv had my parents hand-me-down Thorn radiogram which sported slider tone controls! Can't find a piccy even close for that one. I eventually inherited that and cobbled on a cassette player to it.
    That was replaced by my first HiFi separates system of Marantz TT221, PM230, SD340 and Wharfedale Laser 50.
  • Sibling hierarchies...!
    That Fergusson radio looks vaguely familiar. Something about the push buttons...
    I wonder if one of my family / friends had one similar?
  • My stereo was a Sanyo Getto Blaster thingy and my first proper Hifi was a Yamaha CR600 Receiver, Teac A400 Cassette Deck and a single IMF ALS40 (the other one had blown) when I was around 12/13 years old. I inherited the above system when my Dad upgraded his.
  • This is one of my favourite threads. :-)
    Ghetto blasters seem to be a common gateway piece of kit!
    Nice thought that systems are heirlooms.
  • My son will definitely get some of my system (once he’s a little older).
  • PaulD said:
    My son will definitely get some of my system (once he’s a little older).
  • ^^^^^^^
    That's a nice thought. No one in my family shares my interest in well reproduced music so my system would, I guess, get sold off.
    Seems a shame as half of it represents many hours of painstaking DIY.
    I've heard of peeps inheriting some nice kit from fathers, uncles, & why but also seen plenty of these up for immediate sale which I find a little sad.

    Anyone else inherited audio equipment or have an inheritee lined up for theirs?
  • My parents had a radiogram, but it disappeared when I went off to university, I think. But I didn't want it, anyway.

    I have no offspring, and none of the kids I know shows any interest in hi-fi. Or anything resembling music (says the old git!).
  • My sister dismantled toy washing machine + Meccano a paper cone and a rose bush thorn as the needle, sounded better than some I hear today and cheap to make. Oh my sister is now 50+ and she has never forgiven me to this day, he he
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