My love of music started in the early 60's with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. I remember being allowed to sit up to see the Beatles in concert on the telly. My Dad, I have no idea why (he didn't have many records), decided to buy a 'stereo' (as it was called in those days) in around 1968. It was a Rogers Ravensbrook amp, Rogers speakers and a Pioneer P12D (I think) deck. I could afford to buy LP's from about 1970 via newspaper round cash, pocket money and later Saturday jobs. He allowed me to play them on the stereo as long as they did not generate too much bass - bad for the amp and speakers apparently! As you might imagine Deep Purple and Led Zep only got a single play.
From about 1971 myself and a group of friends used to meet at the house of one person who owned a stereo (Garrard Deck is my only equipment recollection) and some tame parents. We used to take our new purchases round for serious listening and - discussion!! - it was great until as we got older the drinking and girlfriend side of things got a bit out of hand (shall we say) and even the tame parents had to ban us - I cannot say I blame them, and it was great whilst it lasted. At the same time there used to be ferocious debates in the 6th Form Common Room about the relative ,merits of this or that band, this or that genre of music. I was also beginning to go to a lot of concerts.
So it was music first for me - totally part of my DNA when growing up and it is still there.
Got my first 'stereo' when I go married in 1980. Thorens TD160MkII, SME III simplified, Ortofon 20E Mk!!, Sansui 217 MkII and Mission 710 speakers. All purchased from Billy Bee in Lewisham. Been upgrading ever since - though I think I am now complete. Hi-Fi is also in my DNA. I just want to hear the music reproduced as well as it can be within what I can afford and I feel I owe it to the artist to hear them at their best. I am constantly amazed at the extra nuances an upgrade will reveal and am in awe that the artist thought to put it into the recording.
So 50/50 for me - but I would trade in my current set up for something cheap and nasty before selling my music collection. Some of my super pristine CD's and LP's do not sound as 'atmospheric' as the LP's I still have from the early days which are scratched, etc, from years at parties and listening sessions. They bring back happy memories.