I've been screwing around with this stuff a long time. Mostly dabbling at the edges, figuring out ways to get my fix without spending massive amounts of money. I've never been able to spend the big bucks on audio. And in retrospect, I think that's a good thing. It made me particular, and realistic. Particular about what kind of sound I liked, and realistic about what kind of equipment was necessary to create it.
I remember my first diy speakers. T/S parameters weren't very old then. I had this Radio Shack book with charts that you used to find the parameters from the measurements. I went to the local tv shop and pestered them until they let me use a tone generator and voltmeter to check my drivers. They were some old 15's out of a guitar cab. Looking back, they were probably celestions and worth a damn fortune now. So anyway, it was a ported 15 with a piezo tweeter. Damn they got loud. And were probably pretty nasty, but at 16, who cares. It wasn't too long after that I put a biamp, (yes in 1974) system in my car, with outboard amplifiers. Nobody even knew what hell I had. 2 6x9's in the back, 1" domes and 5 1/4's in the front. And it was a cassette. 8 tracks still dominated in those days. As I recall it didn't get loud, but it sounded good. That seems to be my M/O with car stereos to this day. They don't really get insanely loud, but they're balanced and sound good.
The vagaries of youth. They never leave you, you know. The stuff that got your blood boiling then still does today, whether you admit it or not.