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Rescue Audio - Part 1 - Finding the Gems
Author - Mark Cerasuolo
As you read this, chances are that someone is abandoning a classic audio componentmaybe something you always wantedat a thrift store near you. Here's how to rescue and enjoy it.




Back in audio's Jurassic Period (pre-digital early 1980s), a friend in Boston showed me his latest acquisition. He's been driving in Upstate New York, and in stopping at a roadside shop had spotted what was tagged as oriental-style room divider screens. The shop owner explained that the dividers were priced to reflect the fact that someone had replaced the typical printed fabric with plain white clothwhich is how my friend snapped-up a pair of near-mint KLH Model 9 full-range electrostatic loudspeakers for $80 (the shop owner even knocked $10 off each divider if he'd take them both).


For readers unfamiliar with them, the KLH Model 9 is ranked by The Absolute Sound magazine as one of the 12 Most Significant Speakers. A restored pair typically changes hands for several thousands of dollarswhen you can even find one. A bit later I got to house-sit for my friend for several weeks when he got married and went off to Europe, so briefly lived with his pair of Model 9's, and I can verify that TAS was, if anything, understating their capabilities. Aside from an indelible audio experience, the Model 9's imprinted a belief on me that a sort of audio El Dorado meets Treasure Island exists around the corner if only one can be in the right place at the right time.

Read the complete article at HomeToys.com
 

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Funny since every time I go to a thrift store I check the electronics section for gems. This article has gotten me interested in starting a routine. There are a lot of thrift stores here.
 

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Yea I agree I saw andold THORNS turn table in one once and I said hmm I think thats things worth some $$$. I remember THORNS way back when I was too young to be talking about turntables...... so I was told by a store keeper many many years ago......
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew
A friend of mine gave me a jewel. "Too nice to toss in the dumpster."


The bottom three pieces in this stack.
I've always loved the old Nak gear. Always great sounding, maybe overpriced & tempermental at times. But always great, clean sounding. I still have my old TA1A (I think) reciever. I just may turn it on tonight!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic C
Yea I agree I saw andold THORNS turn table in one once and I said hmm I think thats things worth some $$$. I remember THORNS way back when I was too young to be talking about turntables...... so I was told by a store keeper many many years ago......
In all the time spent in thrifts I hardly ever see decent turntables. Then yesterday I found a Dual 1019 in great shape, even had the headshell and accessories except the dustcover.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442
Great to see an article on Vintage gear. I have always loved the old 70's electronics, even though I was not yet a teen when the era came to an end. I remember being in awe of my friend's father's silver stack, monster power meters flicking with the beat. I have had no luck at the various pawn shops or thrift stores. 99.8% plastic rack junk would be my guess. Have stumbled across a couple pristine pieces at garage sales, but just like today, its the lower end units that sold enmasse.

Here is a picture of the Vintage gear I have collected over the past few years, mostly from E-bay I'm afraid. I have them on display as part of my screen wall and although none of it is currently connected everthing works like new. The second page of my theater build link below has closeups and the name of each if you want to have a better look.

I find the same thing at pawn shops and garage sales, and it may be regional. Unfortunately one of the first garage sales I stopped at had two Dynaco amplifiers in good shape so I spent a lot of time hitting them but never had a repeat experience.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew
A friend of mine gave me a jewel. "Too nice to toss in the dumpster."


The bottom three pieces in this stack.

Great find! I also love the old Nakamichi gear, especially the 600 series. I've probably found a half-dozen Nak decks in thrifts over the past two years, people just don't hang onto them any more.
 

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Yeah, I hit up my local Goodwills, and Salvation Army's, about once a month. I will also walk into random thrift stores, when I feel the urge. Mostly, the stuff I find is hit or miss, but sometimes there are a few gems.


I actually pict up a JVC HR-D7504 VCR for $5.06 from my local Goodwill. I kept the price tag on it to remind me, that no matter how expensive the rest of my set up is, right in the heart of it, is a Goodwill VCR for only a fraction of the rest of the components. It worx like a champ too, I just used a head cleaner.
 

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This has more to do with speakers, but I have 4 technics 3 way speakers we got at the Goodwills we looked around. I also got a Luxman amp to power our subwoofer. yes they are alot better than some of the speakers you might get at your local best buy.
 

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I stoped in to a Savers today and they had a pair of Yamaha NS-A8.2 speakers. The grills were missing but the drivers looked to be in top shape. I didn't pick them up cause I couldn't find any info about them. So are they any good? I guess I should have got them they were only $20.
 

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I've seen some of the Technics speakers at Goodwill, the phase-array stuff from the late 70's and honeycomb drivers from the early 80's. Usually the woofers are rotted, but when you consider the cast frames, compression drivers and flat mids and tweeters they can be a real find.
 

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I remember growing up admiring my uncle's reel-reel tape deck.


And, ah, early adopters! My grandmother was had an 8 track recorder before I ever saw my first cassette deck. When my mom bought a vtr (vhs), my grandmother bought one also - a Betamax!


I like checking out thrifts for classic computer items, although now days that means it is a Windows 95 game or accessory. I've never seen decent audio pieces though.
 

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Great read. My very first audio find at a garage sale was a Dual 1229Q fully serviced in the box for $5.00 I had no idea what I had bought but when I researched it I was hooked. Now I have some great vintage pieces that are older than I am. And I also make a point to mention my gratitude to my very understanding girlfriend when discussing this hobby with others. Rock N' Roll and thanks!
 

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Garage sales are great as well. I picked up a B&O system that had the linear tracking 4002? turntable and matching receiver for 50 bucks, a Carver m 1.5t amp for 20, which I later blew up and spent 350 on getting rebuilt
etc.

I don't even use them but for that kind of money for classic high end gear that still sounds great I couldn't pass them up.
 
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