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post #1 of 18 Old 09-08-2012, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to get a modestly priced decent vintage receiver from the '70s-early '80s. Everything I've seen elsewhere on the topic recommends $500+ models. I can appreciate the audio fidelity that one of those beautiful receivers puts out, but unfortunately I just don't have that kind of cash laying around. $100-$200 is my sweet spot. There are quite a few of them on ebay in that price range, but I don't want to take a shot in the dark and wind up with something better suited as a boat anchor. I'd like to use it as a tuner and for my television/video game audio. Sooner or later I'd also like to add in a decent turntable. I know I'm not going to get a big bad legendary receiver for that price, but can any of you guys help me get the most bang for my buck? I'd really appreciate the help because I'm kind of at a loss at this point.
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 02:20 AM
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If you are buying any of these older units that hasn't seen a tech recently, you are taking pot luck with regard to longevity - might last forever OK, might need some help sometime. Usually it's not major, but some are complex to disassemble to work on, so it costs in the hourly rate.

For an actual vintage unit, my suggestion would be a Yamaha CR-xxx/xxxx. They are generally similar, but the larger numbers mean a unit higher up the chain in terms of features and power.

These vintage units are often very nice, but they are not as sonically superior as some of the vintage based sites might like you to think - some are not even that good. I think they can be pretty so I have a few floating around here that I'll test and restore later and have done quite a few over the years.

With a limited budget, and the desire for a system you can use for a while without hassles, I'd suggest NOT vintage as they are escalating in price. Look for a good late model receiver or amp/tuner combo, made in Japan or Taiwan in the late 80's or 90's that has the feature set you're looking for, eg phono pre.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 02:28 AM
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Who said you have to spend $500? For $100-200, consider the Sherwood 4105/4109 or the Onkyo 8255.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Who said you have to spend $500? For $100-200, consider the Sherwood 4105/4109 or the Onkyo 8255.
That Onkyo looks excellent (not available here). The Sherwood being cheaper, would make a great temporary unit (and most likely fine for years...) whilst you saved up and looked for a nice vintage unit if you still wanted one. Patience, cash at hand and persistence in trawling ebay/CL regularly will eventually turn up a bargain.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 06:01 AM
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$100-200 won't bring you nice vintage unit, just old unit. Vintage electronics is like classic cars - expensive and require proper and often extensive care. If you only need receiver that works, get one of Yamaha RX series from 1990s. They are in your price range, have decent phono preamp and tuner. I would look at models RX-59x and up. It probably won't be you favorite styling, but they do what they were designed for well. When you will be able to spend $500 and up, then you should shop for one of beautiful Sansui's you probably lust after.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 06:28 AM
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Look for a Kenwood KR-7600. Depending on condition they can be had for $100-$150. My cousin has one which he's had since 1977. The only item he's had to fix has been the on off switch. Plenty of power at 85wpc. Also for maybe $100-$150 more the Kenwood KR-9600 a real beast the will give you 160wpc. If you're going vintage the best case senario would be actually checking out the equpment in person.smile.gif
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 07:51 AM
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fwiw, nad made some great gear during the80's theres a nad 7155 on sale on ebay for$199. had the exact model 25 years ago.has a great phono pre

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow. I wasn't expecting so many replies so quickly. Well, here's the deal. I know how to do minor restoration work like recapping, pot cleaning, and amplifier/chip swapping. Anything more than that though is a little out of my pay rate. I'm not going for raw sound quality/power. The styling and hands-on operation of the older units is appealing to me. I can't explain why, but the brushed aluminum faces, knobs/switches instead of click buttons and light-up dials just look incredible to me. I actually already have a Sherwood 4105. I used it for years and recently gave it to my son. (New teenager so I figured right that he'd appreciate a stereo.) I replaced that for my use with a used Kenwood VR-517 standard 5.1 Dolby unit. It sounds good to me but once again it's a plain black box with 15 or so click buttons and a volume knob. Yay... I rarely even use the rear/center channel speakers. Left-Right and the subwoofer does the trick.

If I have to save up for a while then so be it. Just hoping I don't have to.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 12:17 PM
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Most of the issues I have found with old gear is bad PSU or electrolytic coupling caps, dirty pots and switches and sometimes a failed relay. If you can do that yourself, then you're sweet. Occasionally it's something more major like a blown output stage, but test before buying with a real speaker connected and at decent volume or buy from someone/somewhere reputable.

These units, especially good/restored are escalating in value as they get rarer and people get more nostalgic. I got offered quite a lot recently for my mint Marantz 2285B sight unseen, just mentioned somewhere, but it's not for sale.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-09-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

. . . When you will be able to spend $500 and up, then you should shop for one of the beautiful Sansui's you probably lust after.
I'm a Sansui guy, with a bunch of 70's Sansui gear. And, yes, they can be pricey.

However, while the well known Sansui stuff gets top dollar, there are lesser known models that get very little attention on eBay. Some are just as good as the better-known models. I was able to buy a QA-7000 for $180, which sounds as good as my BA-2000s (but with less power). The trick is determining which are the good models and which are not.
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-10-2012, 01:28 PM
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I would say find a decent receiver that is new. The Older gear is a crapshoot. Don't get me wrong it can be great. I had an old 80's pioneer that sounded fantastic. One channel died and I decided to get rid of it over fixing it. My wife bought me a Sherwood two channel from Radio Shack. It has plenty of power to drive some early 80's B&W's that are I think rather inefficient. Great sound for not a lot of money. I also have a Yamaha but I really don't recommend the really cheap stuff by them.
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-10-2012, 01:36 PM
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I initially suggested buying new, but if you like the vintage look and you can do some basic repairs yourself, go for it.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #13 of 18 Old 09-10-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys. I was mulling over a few different models. Marantz 2230, Sansui 5050, Harman Kardon 930, Pioneer SX-780 etc. All seem to go for under $200 shipped and they aren't bargain basement brands even if they are the less feature rich models. Just bear in mind that If I were to have to put it on the bench for minor work, I wouldn't be out a receiver for the duration. I'll still have the Kenwood. Just something I'd be willing to put up with.
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-10-2012, 04:02 PM
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Hi EJ,

I just have two comments on the Sansui 5050, which might apply to your other candidates as well.

First, that particular model does not have an AUX input. You may need an AUX if you wish to hook-up a CD player or digital-audio player.

Second, it doesn't have a tape monitor. I use the tape monitor out to hook up to the sound-card of a computer, to be able to record from the radio or from the turntable. I use the tape monitor in to play back recordings, or to play from my digital-music library.

Maybe neither of these is important to you, but they were to me, so I needed to mention them.
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-10-2012, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh heck yeah. Thanks Mark. That's a deal killer for the 5050. I'd specifically need an aux input for the computer audio. Using a multimedia machine for netflix, pandora radio and video games. I'll look at a few more sansui units more carefully.
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-10-2012, 05:23 PM
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Why not the Luxman R-115.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-11-2013, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SlyFox37 View Post

Why not the Luxman R-115.

+1 on the R-115. I owned one that I purchased new in 1987, and, it was probably the best sounding audio gear I have ever owned for two-channel listening. I now have higher end equipment (Lexicon MC-12B/Proceed) that I use mainly for HT, but, for for what I paid for the Luxman, the sound compared well and was very satisfying.

They come available often on the used market for $2-300.

David Lynch Current Equipment: Marantz AV8801, Proceed HPA3, Parasound HCA-1206, Aerial Acoustics LR5's (LCR), Aerial Acoustics LR3's (sides), RBH in-walls (rears), Seaton Submersive, Marantz VP15s1, 106" Carada BW screen, Oppo BDP-103.
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-11-2013, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post

+1 on the R-115. I owned one that I purchased new in 1987, and, it was probably the best sounding audio gear I have ever owned for two-channel listening. I now have higher end equipment (Lexicon MC-12B/Proceed) that I use mainly for HT, but, for for what I paid for the Luxman, the sound compared well and was very satisfying.

They come available often on the used market for $2-300.

Oops...just realized how old this thread is eek.gif

Oh well, maybe somebody else is searching for a similar answer.

David Lynch Current Equipment: Marantz AV8801, Proceed HPA3, Parasound HCA-1206, Aerial Acoustics LR5's (LCR), Aerial Acoustics LR3's (sides), RBH in-walls (rears), Seaton Submersive, Marantz VP15s1, 106" Carada BW screen, Oppo BDP-103.
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