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Vintage amplifier Technics SU-A8 versus modern entry amp, t-amp?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A colleague of mine is selling an old Vintage Technics SU-A8 power amplifier and a SE-A7 stereo DC control amplifier (pre-amplifier). Because of how old it is I haven't been very successful in finding user reviews of this amplifier. I haven't been able to determine the current dollar value of the unit as well.

http://audio-database.com/TechnicsPa...p/su-a8-e.html
http://audio-database.com/TechnicsPa...p/se-a7-e.html

These units retailed in 1981 for 80,000 yen each (approx. 800-900 USD), I would assume that this would put them above entry level at the time.

However, how would these compare against the modern entry level amplifiers? Given the advances in computer and electrical engineering over the last 30 years one would assume there would be no contest. For example, my smartphone would been considered a super computer in 81. Yet in the audio community I see a lot of people hanging onto old vintage gear.

In short, I am trying to decide between the Technics offered by my colleague (vintage hi-end amp?) versus a more modern stereo amplifier or T-AMP. Are today's entry level amps as good as high end amps 30 years ago?. I've been looking at the HK 3490, Maverick A1/D1 combo, and various t-amps (HLLY TAMP-90).

The setup will be primarily for near-field music listening with a variety of Apple lossless files. I've been considering B&W 685, Sierra-1 or used Mission 760i for speakers.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, any feedback or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 5
In my mind the problem is not whether it sounds better. Amp topologies have not changed much in 30 years as far as I know. I would have thought sold state amps were perfected by the time this one was made (a guess.)

But a 30 year old amp probably has some potential problems, such as old caps which could fail. Most of the parts last pratically forever, but it probably needs or will need some work.

I know nothing about this amp, but if you are comparing it to a t-amp, I would think the t-amp has a lot less power (based on the ones I have seen, and assuming this old amp is 60 watts or more per channel.)
post #3 of 5
Technics had a great run in amps(back in the days Matsushita cared).

Depending on what he is asking, I'd try it. If it doesn't give you the desired result, then try something else.

My guess is this is from the mid-80's. Mid 80's was a great time for Matsushita, and it showed in their product.
post #4 of 5
If it's possible, I would say "go for it!".
You will not be disappointed.
The SE-A7 power amp is not pictured here, because I have active loudpeakers and SE-A7 isn't used:



post #5 of 5
VintageTechnics lists them as not being as expensive as claimed, and potentially newer (it lists years of productions as 1981-1985). Just keep that in mind (I bring up the price in the event that you're being leaned on over "this was $2000 new"). The amplifier is spec'd to 60wpc. That wouldn't be terrible (most entry to mid-level receivers will give you about that in stereo). You can probably keep the amplifier forever assuming it's in good shape, the preamp may be removable if your source has volume control (if we're talking about a computer, for example).

If the price is in the range of a new receiver ($200-$400), I'd probably pass - the potential for reliability issues is a lot higher than a new component (just due to age), and you have no warranty. If you need digital inputs or a remote, I'd also accordingly pass. Otherwise, assuming you can at least see them working before you buy - looks good.

mbartosi,

That's a very pretty set-up.
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