Time Machine

There’s lots of threads about upgrades and cables, internet speeds and switches, racks and stacking orders and on and on however there’s few on the impact music has had on our lives. I know l’ve mentioned it a few times but for me it’s always about the music it’s 1st 2nd and 3rd. I’m just fortunate enough to be able to have a stack of Naim boxes and afford the odd tweak and upgrade now and then but if I wasn’t I’d still listen to music on anything anywhere I could regardless of quality.

Someone posted recently that they believed hi fi couldn’t be beautiful and I thought in my opinion just how wrong they were. My hi fi is beautiful it’s magical, it’s my shiny time machine capable of transporting me back in time, both to happier and sadder places and times. It’s taken me back to ‘64 as an 9 year old wagging school to watch the Beatles arrive in Australia. Listening to The Monkees “I Want Be Free” and finding it somewhere to hide while our family was falling apart. It’s getting a lift with the “cool” kids and having to nurse their collection of LPs, Bowie Lou Reed T-Rex etc as they drove like maniacs towards the coast. It’s taken me back to a shared house in North Entrance all of us stoned listening to my plastic white stereo as Dark Side of the Moon bounced the speakers around the vinyl floor, it’s Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get On” and my first wife. It’s hearing the Moody Blues on the first proper hi fi I’d ever heard and the joy of watching Elton John jumping up on his piano on his first visit down under. It’s the melancholy of hearing Dylan’s “Sara” and remembering a lost friend.

There’s hardly a album in my collection that doesn’t have an emotional trigger. I sit back press play and it’s like I’m Captain Kirk on the Enterprise in the blink of an eye I could be miles or years away.

I’d love to hear others stories of albums/songs that have the ability to transport you somewhere else, the good and the bad times. And next time someone tells you your hi fi isn’t beautiful just remind them of it’s beauty and that is definitely a case it’s more than skin deep.


Let’s Get It On…. you old smoothie :joy:


Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald have a double Time Machine effect for me. They can transport me back to a time before I was born, to a smokey jazz club, to moments of joy in the midst of great hardships. Alternatively, they can transport me back to the 80s, when I was posted to Germany with the the Army and first discovered their music. Living in the block with other squaddies, an environment where everyone and everything is made fun of but nobody ever took the mickey out of my music. It only recently occurred to me how strange that was…


It was the “first” wife I see……

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Great sentiments Pete. Music can be very transformative and restorative and bring one back to memories, both good and not so good, of pervious times in our lives. That’s one of the beauties of music, along with bringing one into a calmer state, getting out of one’s head and all that stuff.

I often go back to my teenage years when I listen to the British rock music of the 70’s and the second prog rock era that kicked of in the second half of the 80’s when I was at High School, then University. A couple of albums will draw me in a particular event - a summer holiday with DSOTM on a portable cassette player in a camp ground. Early Marillion and Rush with mates at each others homes. Hah, Diamonds Heads “Living on Borrowed Time” is an old unknown classic.

Other music takes me back to gigs, particularly prog bands at the London Astoria - Pendragon, Jadis etc. A weekend in Munich to see Eloy.

Yes, so many memories.


Zero Time by Tonto’s Expanding Headband is one that instantly transports me back to when I was a teen listening to it in darkened rooms with a small group of friends - utterly transportative (is that a word?).It was almost a ritual to play it as we’d heard nothing like it.
Similarly, HP Lovecraft II, and Easy Action by Alice Cooper.

Terry Riley’s Rainbow In Curved Air too, though that was more solitary.

The Doors, always.
And Sibelius, especially the 5th - utter time machine.


I like that. Being a part of later gen x. Hi-Fi/music allowed me to step into the shoes of the boomers and beyond.
Of course a healthy dose of a creative imagination is helpful.
The TARDIS has evolved over the years. Time and relative dimensions in space - are still the same.

Although I would still argue the case of great Hi-Fi amongst great music. What with the lifting of veils, artists/band in the room, inky blackness and what have you making that glimpse more poignant and tangible.


Ok a bit different to the offerings so far, but hearing that sustained E flat contra-bass pedal note at the beginning of Das Rheingold, that goes on and on and suddenly bursts out into the three Rhinemaidens playing in the water just takes me back to when I first fell for Wagner’s music, somewhere between O levels and A levels more than 50 years ago.


Whatever you’re on tonight Mr Pete, I want some of it :crazy_face::crazy_face:

Thanks @Pete_the_painter for an excellent post.

I am the same age as you by the sound of it, 67 towards the end of this month. Without wishing to be too morbid, nearer the end than the beginning. I can identify with every word you say.

I think you explain well why my favorite music/artists have largely remained unchanged for the past 50 plus years. All of them invoke memories of, mostly, good times for me. Just the odd not so good times fortunately. I still turn the car radio up when a Clapton track comes on despite having most of his catalogue & having played it many times. That sort of thing.

I have enjoyed, & purchased, much music in the past 30 years or so but, other than a couple of artists discovered in the 90’s, I couldn’t say any of it has embedded itself in my conscious in the same way as that heard in the 60’s & 70’s. Not too many new special memories created. Probably a combination of my formative years being behind me & a need to concentrate on my marriage, home & career rather more from the 80’s onwards.

There have been several posts at various times on the forum that seem to offer mild criticism of those of us who still listen to the albums of our early musical idols on a regular basis. The posters think that we should all grow up musically & constantly be searching for ‘new music’ & that to still be listening to old favorite’s is some how immature & we should grow up & embrace anything modern.

I have no objection to those constantly seeking new music & feel that, for whatever reasons, they clearly never identified with the music of their younger days in the way we did. As I said, each to their own. I am always willing to listen to someone else’s recommendations & feel fortunate that it is so easy to do so nowadays with the technology now available. I have discovered a couple of artists that I enjoy listening to this way, but none that would displace my own favorite’s, & in nothing like the numbers I originally anticipated when I first began streaming just over 3 years ago.

So, I think I fully understand what you were saying. Oh, & so pleased the Moody Blues got a mention. When I discovered stereo, by plugging a cheap guitar amp into our mono record player (with stereo cartridge), my album of the moment was ‘To Our Children’s, Children’s Children’. See, a magical memory there!


You’re absolutely right about the opening of ‘Rheingold’. If you don’t know the Solti recording (taped for Decca in the Sofiensaal in Vienna by the late John Culshaw and his team - almost unbelievably - over sixty years ago), do try to hear it. Many people (and I think that I’m one of them) think that the ‘Solti Ring’ is the greatest single achievement of the gramophone era.

It’s claimed that there was a resident cat in the Sofiensaal at the time of the Decca recordings, and that its meows can be heard under the massive orchestral sounds of the Wiener Philharmoniker. I have never heard it, and my system has great resolving power, but it may be there!

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My early memories are of the Sony separates system my parents had, the toggle switches, split volume control, or was it the tape level dial?, auto DD turntable, and the electronic music my dad played on it, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Vangellis, Mike Oldfield. And my mum’s love of Top of the Pops on the TV without a remote control :scream: :rofl:

There was a period with a Sanyo “walkman”, 3 band graphic equaliser, orange foam covered headphones, involving Shakin’ Stephens, Five Star, then Europe, Whitesnake and Bon Jovi… What!? This is warts and all :wink:

Heading out clubbing, at 16, to the house music nights in Manchester clubs of the late 80s/early 90s, was a liberating experience. It broadened my outlook and put a lot of rubbish at school prior to that into the appropriate perspective. Plus, feeling your trousers flapping from the bass bins, dancing away lost to the world, happy days

I bought my first system at 18, after working through sixth form. Technics RS-B565 tape deck, Technics SU-V470 amp, Systemdek TT and Mordaunt Short speakers, and regular trips to Eastern Bloc records to endure the constant derision of the staff whilst buying white labels X)

Uni and post-grad meant wealth beyond the dream of avarice… so a 2nd hand NAIT3 + phono cards :wink: … and here we are.

So great memories of music, and the equipment it played on.

Fab thread @Pete_the_painter :sunglasses:


Ha ha, guess it’s more about what I had been on. Like most I’m a product of my time and like most experimented with different substances in my youth. I’m certainly not ashamed of it and often think it’s probably helped open up my mind.

However my thread was more about balance, there’s lots of threads and posts about the electronics, cables etc all of which could probably be confirmed in a lab. It’s science (although some may have a feeling some of the posts about network cables and switches are the black arts but that’s for another thread). However all of this science is simply a means to reproduce music, and music is art. It’s about all those touchy feely things it’s emotion. Anyway anyone who has ever read my posts shouldn’t be surprised. I’m genuinely interested in how music effects others, it’s like going to a museum to see other artists work.


Well spotted Mike :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Cheers. The Moody Blues album was Seventh Sojourn and 2 tracks were For My Lady and New Horizon. Whenever I hears these I can’t help but think of the place and time.

I’m with you all the way Pete. All the electronic words do my head in to say the least

I’ve loved music from the start and so did my parents

What a journey it’s been so far

On train heading down to highlands for weekend - crank up the big system

Any news from Harry re new speakers ??

Yep, still (as I suspected) in Heathrow waiting a flight. They always bump non perishable goods or fresh stuff, Harry’s hoping it’s on a plane this weekend.

I mentioned to him might be interested in the Majistra’s ( baby to your new ones ) he said I’ve got enough speakers ha

That’s a disappointment.

Given the thread title, I did think it was going to be about Dio’s superb dvd.

You’ll survive. :rofl::rofl:

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