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Do you miss 70's and 80's hifi?? All those cool features, meters, dials, etc?? - Page 2

post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

These days we do that with a computer-powered gizmo called "Audyssey". ;-)

You're right Arnyk, and I'm not saying we ignore progress. ..But don't you think there might be some value in trying to do an updated version of the Marantz receiver pictured in my OP? ..One that includes something like Audyssey?

Yes.
Quote:
..I'm judging from your posts that you go back aways. ..You can't tell me that you don't have a soft spot in your heart for that old gear. ..And knowing you to be a subjectivist, I'll bet you agree that the claims high-end gear companies make about balance/treble/bass/mode, etc.. damaging the signal EVEN when neutral or zero'd to be bunk.

All true. I have a bit of a museum going here, some of the best and the worst.
Quote:

..And can't Audyssey exist alongside tone controls?

I don't have it myself - my AVR is a Yamaha bought on kind of an emergency basis before I knew what I know now. It doesn't even have YPAO!

Ask the Audyssey gurus in the Audyssey thread - they will know for sure.
post #32 of 61
I see a similar parallel to studio outboard processing gear and synthesizers .

In analog world, every control had a knob (or slider, etc.) Then moved to digital and controls buried in menus. But, those playing synths and mixing wanted more direct control so we now have digital gear with knobs - some control a specific function others can be assignable. There are even hardware units with knobs that are used to control SW.

I could see an AVR with a 'remote' that has assignable buttons,knobs sliders. You could program a custom treble and bass control (you pick the freq. and slope)
post #33 of 61
One of things I miss most about the older hifi rigs is how well built they were and how long they lasted, with a few exceptions of course. These days you're lucky if the AVR or even some of the more expensive separates last you more than a few years. I miss the days when even cheap, price wise, gear lasted until the days you retired it because you were ready to move on, and not because the gear forced you to move on. I have gone through 3 AVR's in almost three years, all Onkyo's and one expensive two channel amp and all have developed problems that required service, and in some cases couldn't be fixed period. Shame that with progress we have gotten away from building quality pieces of audio gear. Of course this is only my experience, and I am sure others might not agree.
post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts View Post

One of things I miss most about the older hifi rigs is how well built they were and how long they lasted, with a few exceptions of course. These days you're lucky if the AVR or even some of the more expensive separates last you more than a few years. I miss the days when even cheap, price wise, gear lasted until the days you retired it because you were ready to move on, and not because the gear forced you to move on. I have gone through 3 AVR's in almost three years, all Onkyo's and one expensive two channel amp and all have developed problems that required service, and in some cases couldn't be fixed period. Shame that with progress we have gotten away from building quality pieces of audio gear. Of course this is only my experience, and I am sure others might not agree.

I don't find that the quality of AV actual quality pieces of audio have slipped recently. If you want to talk about slippage, IMO much of that happened way back in the 1970s when the then-universal use of solid metal knobs got replaced with plastic inserts with a thin metal decorative cap on them. About the same time front panels went from being solid pieces of aluminium to again pieces of plastic with if anything a metal shell.

Equipment is going to get even lighter but with no necessary loss of quality when iron power transformers are replaced with small pieces of ferrite as this area of the receiver goes switchmode. Then, the same thing is going to happen to the output stages. Right now there are pro audio amps in the killowatt range that weigh less than 10 pounds. They still pump out the clean watts. Same thing is going to happen to home audio, and already is. The Harman AVR1700 is the future.
post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts View Post

I have gone through 3 AVR's in almost three years, all Onkyo's and one expensive two channel amp and all have developed problems that required service, and in some cases couldn't be fixed period. Shame that with progress we have gotten away from building quality pieces of audio gear. Of course this is only my experience, and I am sure others might not agree.

Onkyo AVRs have a terrible reputation for failures.


I have a couple of Yamaha AVRs that have never missed a beat over the years and will probably reach retirement because I want to upgrade to new units rather than having broken down on me.
post #36 of 61
I miss the "old" stuff, much of it had a lot of knobs yet was far easier to use than most new AVRs! I have two very different audio systems, an old Yamaha system in Michigan and a Bose system in Texas. Before I get butchered for the Bose system, understand that it was a bit of a necessity. I love both systems and both are very easy to operate, the Yamaha sounds better but the Bose (LS 235) sounds pretty good as well! It did not make my ears bleed and the world did not come to an end!

Enjoy your classics but do not be afraid to try something new!
post #37 of 61
I remember when the gear manufacturers were all trying to outdo each other with those big beautiful ,120" thick brushed aluminum faces and knobs and switches and built like a brick outhouse. Seems like they all got together in the late 70s and decided to make all their gear black - and (yuk!) plastic! It took a while for me to even shop for a plastic faced black receiver or integrated. I had a very trusty but obviously aging Kenwood KR-6200 that was going to need some surgical procedure to fix it - the quote for repair came in and it was cheaper to buy a new receiver. I ended up with an integrated Technics amp and el cheapo tuner that lasted for ~5 years. A used Sony of a model I can't remember. One of their early AV series from the early 90s. I only ever used 2 channels of it - 120wpc I think it was.

I'd still like to have another receiver like the first one I ever bought - it was a Sansui 500A. It had something like 17 tubes. I bought it in 1966 while in Japan (USN). I ended up trading it for a car - it was easier at the time to give up the receiver than it was to have to take a bus to work.
post #38 of 61
I just ran across this thread and thought I might post about my Marantz 2600. I guess I've had it for 35 years but it's mostly been collecting dust for the past 20. When I first fired it up I was only getting sound out of the right channel but after fiddling with knobs and buttons the left channel came on. When I turned the volume knob I got all kinds of static when I was adjusting it but it stopped when I did. Probably from lack of use because after shutting it off I just kept spinning that knob around for a few minutes and when I turned it back on, no more static! Anyway, I have an old pair of Polk bookshelves hooked up to it and it sounds okay. I just hooked up an old Technics turntable and I was able to listen to a few scratchy 45's from my youth ! What a rush ! Now that was music; not the stuff that my grandkids listen to. Why does it all sound the same to me ? Kids these days.

Anyway, this Marantz weighs a ton! According to the specs, it's 60 lbs and I don't plan on moving it around too much.

Just thought I'd share that.
post #39 of 61
That 2600 Marantz should weigh a ton! It's rated at 300wpc and is the most powerful vintage receiver Marantz made in the 70s. It is also quite rare. You might be able to parlay that 2600 into a nice piece of pocket change if you ever sell it. It was 'beat' only by the beastly Technics SA-1000 with 330wpc - and the Sansui 33000 with the same 330wpc. It took the manufacturers a few years to start making big power from the solid state stuff but once they got going they really 'put out'!

Get some deoxit for your Marantz. It'll clean up the static you're hearing in the volume, balance, and switch controls. I always keep some on hand for whenever I drag another orphaned vintage amp or receiver home. For now I'm down to a couple of pieces. I recently gave my son an old Kenwood KR-3130 receiver and my daughter a Pioneer VSX-9900. So I'm down to a Phillips 312 turntable - Kenwood KA-4006 integrated and a Technics SU-7700 integrated. And I sold 4 vintage tuners and a couple of receivers late last year - including a very nice sounding Marantz 2225 receiver. And recently sold another 2 tuners - a Yamaha T-85 and a Denon TU-1500RD. All nice stuff but I just have no room for it all. I do love the older gear.
post #40 of 61
I loved my old Sansui G7500, Pioneer SG 9800 equalizer, Technics 1600 MK2 turntable, Sony TCK 96R cassette, and Pioneer HPM-100 speakers and I have many many great memories of the time I spent listening to that system with my friends.
Yes, sometimes I miss the old gear and then I turn on my new system and those feelings go away.
I have no desire to go back to vinyl LPs and cassettes, I would not want to give up my universal remote either.
The old gear looks cool, but now the less lights I see in my darkened viewing room the better I like it.
post #41 of 61
I LOVE MY Pioneer SX-1050 120 watts per channel



Its my daily driver for my 2 .1 audio and HT system
post #42 of 61
In the early 70s I worked for Shrader Sound in Georgetown, Md. We were THE stereo store back then and sold all the name brands mentioned as well as McIntosh, Nakamichi, Tandberg, REVOX, TEAC, Cerwin Vega and the ever popular speaker for college kids- the Advent series. I loved them then and I still do. I personally LIKE all the available front panel controls and I/O capabilities.

I am at a loss to understand why anyone would rail against analog controls and then use an automatic digital device that does the same thing to the audio. I have the gear to enjoy the MUSIC not the bragging rights for how much money I sank into the system. I see no point in opening up menu after menu and using ten minutes and 3 buttons to adjust what I could have done in seconds on the front panel.

I know I am in the minority on this but I prefer the subject of a movie and the music in a performance much more than looking at 50,000 plus in hardware.

My dad started in television as a film director/editor using 16mm film and was part of the crew that opened 4 different stations in the 50's including the ABC station in Washington, DC. He raised me in the new field of audio visual. The technology has improved in visual definition and audio fidelity but NOT in content IMO. Just because a technology is new does NOT mean it has more value. I have hundreds of cassette tapes that have some of the best music ever recorded and they still work at 40 years old. CDs are already dying and we were sold a bill of goods when they were introduced as to the longevity, and the quality. One tiny scratch and the disc is shot. A cassette still runs fine after exposure to sunlight in the car, and 40 years storage and shipping around the country.

I have used RtR TEACS to run shows -including cues on one channel- that sounded absolutely incredible playing right alongside the US Marine Band LIVE. All analog gear and old technology speaker systems. One of the first real life "is it live or is it Memorex?"moments.

Yep, I am old school and will be til they close the lid.
post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

CDs are already dying and we were sold a bill of goods when they were introduced as to the longevity, and the quality. One tiny scratch and the disc is shot.
Bollocks. I can run almost any disc through EAC and get a result that matches in accuraterip, including a couple that looked like they'd been glued to the bottom of someone's shoes and then riverdanced. The only discs that have not played in my CDP, had very large scratches and one of equivalent size on an LP in stripe on a cassette would have rendered them unplayable to.
post #44 of 61
I guess I never ran across those CDs made from Unobtainium as you evidently have. For many years, AV companies refused to use CDs as an audio source because of the propensity for surface damage.
Each to his own.
post #45 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

These days we do that with a computer-powered gizmo called "Audyssey". ;-)

This sounds like all the photographers out there manipulating their photos with Adobe PhotoShop...The art of doing things for the best possible results is becoming the lost art. I love to take pictures and pretend that there is no such thing as PS.

The difference between photography and audio is that the differences are very real and obvious. I shoot Leica and love it, it has a certain glow (look) that I love! Is it right or wrong? it all depends upon your perspective...
post #46 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by chashint View Post

I loved my old Sansui G7500, Pioneer SG 9800 equalizer, Technics 1600 MK2 turntable, Sony TCK 96R cassette, and Pioneer HPM-100 speakers and I have many many great memories of the time I spent listening to that system with my friends.
Yes, sometimes I miss the old gear and then I turn on my new system and those feelings go away.
I have no desire to go back to vinyl LPs and cassettes, I would not want to give up my universal remote either.
The old gear looks cool, but now the less lights I see in my darkened viewing room the better I like it.

My second residence has a Bose LS 235, it only has one light... It also sounds better than many would suggest. My ears do not bleed, nor has my head fallen off!!!

I was derided on this forum for suggesting that my old Yamaha A-1000 was as good as a Krell KAV-400XI... The fact is , it does!!! I also like my Bose! The Bose is a comfortable listen, it does not demand attention, it just does its job.

I love my other equipment but the point is...Enjoy what you have!!!
post #47 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

I guess I never ran across those CDs made from Unobtainium as you evidently have. For many years, AV companies refused to use CDs as an audio source because of the propensity for surface damage.
Each to his own.
I worked for years as a Technical Director at at that time the largest TV broadcaster and we used CD all the time before everything evolved into workstations. I was involved in studio, OB and radio and all used them with no qualms and very, very few issues. Nothing unobtainium, just standard retail CD so my experience at work, and at home is that CDs are not the delicate little things you seem to think they are.

I have a cassette deck and I was so glad when we could get rid of that crappy medium. McDonalds audio.
post #48 of 61
We will have to agree to disagree. In the professional audio visual presentation field, CDs were the bane. We were always on the move city after city in all kinds of set-ups and shipping equipment all over. Not in a nice quiet limited access area. BTW, the Nakamichi 1000 was anything BUT "Mcdonald's audio". We installed a bank of ten in a rather secure dept of the USG back then and they are still in use today with stellar results. The system does not requite DC to daylight FR but the longevity, durability and accuracy of those decks eclipses anything on the market today even with the ridiculous ''upgrades' trumpetted here by so many. The same can be said of VHS decks. Quality decks worked the first time every time and did not require 5 different formats of discs or extensive finalizing scenarios etc. Granted the resolutionis better in a DVD system but portability between systems is a PIA. For years, many companies used video tape decks -VHS and 3/4 U-matic- to accurately record audio for timing accuracy.
post #49 of 61
Thread Starter 
Just to clarify, I don't doubt for a minute that in many respects today's gear is better. ..The absence of hum/ hiss, quiet controls (no scratchiness), room-correction technology, etc.. are steps forward. ..But to my thinking these improvements have an impact on my enjoyment of my music that is far smaller in magnitude than the disappointment from losing front face controls such as Bass, Treble, Mono/Stereo/Reverse, Loudness, Watt Meter, heavy Tuner knob that glides, etc... These controls made it FUN to interact w/ our gear.

Look closely at the pic qguy provided of his Pioneer receiver. ..Do you see the set-screw that holds the tuner knob in place?? I don't know why, but I find that to be very cool. These days, go to a Best Buy and check out all the AVR's (and few 2-Channel receivers) and look for ONE that has a knob with a set-screw. ..None do. All the knobs are these disappointing feather-light nylon pressure-fit affairs. .ugh.

Now if you look at pricey boutiquey high-end brands like Bryston, Musical Fidelity, Audio Research, etc.. you'll find set screws holding knobs in place BUT all the front-face controls like bass, treble, mono/stereo/rev., Loudness, gliding tuner knob, etc.. are GONE. ..And the reason we're told is that these things have an unavoidable deleterious affect on the signal. ..I'm not an EE, but I think I can safe call BS on this. To me, this claim is cover for these manufacturers being lazy, elitist, and/or simply wanting to reduce costs! Sadly, a lot of audiophiles simply buy into this claim without really challenging it.

And what about my earlier question. ..Do you think more young people would be drawn to audio if the gear had the same sort of "draw you in" allure of yesteryears gear?

Put simply.... Where the heck is the fun in using a piece of gear that looks like this (not denigrating MF gear, I'm sure it performs well)???



Thanks to all who have posted! ..This has been a fun thread. And particular thanks to those who have posted pics of their vintage gear.
Edited by syd123 - 2/21/13 at 8:12am
post #50 of 61
But physical controls are scary! Bury everything inside menus instead.

The reality is that a lot of the controls on the front of vintage audio gear are redundant today, and many of the functions have been replaced by more advanced controls that are too complex to adjust with a single dial. Mechanical parts will fail, so why add a physical control that will eventually break, when that function is just a digital filter now anyway? Putting analogue controls in the signal path is just going to add noise.

Current trends with all hardware these days - not just audio - is towards minimalism anyway. Sleek fronts with as few controls visible as possible. Hide the hardware away and control it via your phone, rather than put it on display.

I find myself torn. On one hand, I really like the sleek minimalist future we're headed towards. On the other hand, while it can look really good when it's done right, a lot of the time it just looks boring - especially if you have a mixture of older hardware and new.
post #51 of 61
I love the look and overbuilt quality of vintage stuff. Too bad I wasn't around for any of it.

Still have my grandfather's 60+ pound beast Pioneer SX-1250. One channel doesn't work. Planning on getting it restored one of these days...
post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

I wonder if there might be an opportunity for a gear company to come out with a modern day receiver, replete with balance, bass/ treble, loudness comp, mode (L+R, R+L, Mono), etc... ALL mounted on the faceplate, all at the ready to be quickly and easily accessed.

Have you seen Yamaha's current stereo receivers?

post #53 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion View Post

Have you seen Yamaha's current stereo receivers?


That's very cool looking. ..I had no idea that Yamaha had receivers like this. ...I wonder if you can get the wood end caps that their TOL integrateds have as an after purchase accessory.

One item missing from this. ...NO MONO switch!!! ..I wonder why. For me, a mono switch is a must. ..Just the other night I was listening to some early Beatles. ..You had Vocals coming from the left speaker and guitar from the right - with NO center fill. ..Just atrocious. ..Hit the mono switch and suddenly it's quite listenable.
post #54 of 61
I prefer the galore of switches and knobs for vintage gear but prefer a plain faceplate for modern gear.

Just yesterday, I asked my 12 year old son to turn off the Pioneer SX-1050 (1976) it has a Lever switch for power. After switching it off he said "Thats wicked its like a machine" biggrin.gif
post #55 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by qguy View Post

I prefer the galore of switches and knobs for vintage gear but prefer a plain faceplate for modern gear.

Just yesterday, I asked my 12 year old son to turn off the Pioneer SX-1050 (1976) it has a Lever switch for power. After switching it off he said "Thats wicked its like a machine" biggrin.gif
Nothing gets by that kid biggrin.gif
post #56 of 61
Here's a test I found interesting. The old stuff holds up pretty well.
http://www.iavscanada.com/Articles/art_receiver_shootout.htm
post #57 of 61
when i came across this thread,i immediately thought of a receiver my parents had back in the late 70's.i called my brother up and he still has it til this day.its a Marantz 1515.he said he recently took it apart,blew all the dust out of it with compressed air,threw it back together,and he said it works like a charm.no problems 35 years later.i looked up the specs on it and i couldnt believe it only had 15wpc,sounded like it had alot more when i was cranking it when i was younger.love the blue lighting it has as well.
post #58 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

That 2600 Marantz should weigh a ton! It's rated at 300wpc and is the most powerful vintage receiver Marantz made in the 70s. It is also quite rare. You might be able to parlay that 2600 into a nice piece of pocket change if you ever sell it. It was 'beat' only by the beastly Technics SA-1000 with 330wpc - and the Sansui 33000 with the same 330wpc. It took the manufacturers a few years to start making big power from the solid state stuff but once they got going they really 'put out'!

Get some deoxit for your Marantz. It'll clean up the static you're hearing in the volume, balance, and switch controls. I always keep some on hand for whenever I drag another orphaned vintage amp or receiver home. For now I'm down to a couple of pieces. I recently gave my son an old Kenwood KR-3130 receiver and my daughter a Pioneer VSX-9900. So I'm down to a Phillips 312 turntable - Kenwood KA-4006 integrated and a Technics SU-7700 integrated. And I sold 4 vintage tuners and a couple of receivers late last year - including a very nice sounding Marantz 2225 receiver. And recently sold another 2 tuners - a Yamaha T-85 and a Denon TU-1500RD. All nice stuff but I just have no room for it all. I do love the older gear.


Thanks for the Deoxit suggestion. I ordered a 5 oz. can from Amazon. I also ordered a re-edge surround kit for my JBL L65 Jubals that I also hauled out last week. All the drivers seem to be working but the foam surrounds were rotting away. I guess that's pretty much the norm for some old speakers. Maybe I'll have everything working in a week or so.

I took a picture of the Marantz with the top cover off. I think you can see why it's a wee bit heavy...
post #59 of 61
Anyone ever check the market price for vintage McIntosh equipment like the MC-240 tube power amps? They are indestructible and fetch a couple thousand today easy. In the 70's they ran about 400.00.
post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

Anyone ever check the market price for vintage McIntosh equipment like the MC-240 tube power amps? They are indestructible and fetch a couple thousand today easy. In the 70's they ran about 400.00.

My solid state MC 2205 sells for about the same as what I paid for it in the 70s. cool.gif
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