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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad used to have a monster Sansui AU-20000 integrated amp and, if my memory serves me well, it sounded fantastic: very deep and smooth with no harshness or ear fatigue, yet very detailed and dynamic.


When I listen to modern amps like Cambridge Audio Azur 840A, Denon PMA-1500 or even Marantz PM-15S1, to name a few, I keep comparing them to this old beast and, quite frankly, I often find them lacking something, something important in the way they present the soundstage… Sorry, I cannot even express what it is that I am missing… I have recently had a chance to A-B Sansui AU-919 and Cambridge Audio Azur 740A (DALI Ikon 6 + Pioneer PD-D6-J setup) and I can tell you I definitely preferred the sound of the old guy! Gives one something to think about when shopping for a new amplifier …



I used to believe the technology should have improved substantially over the years (about 35 years or so), but apparently it is not always the case. Could somebody knowledgeable in the “hardware” please explain to me how come all these new transistors and other “parts” did not improve the SOUND? Here I do not even talk about the possible degradation of the “innards” of the monster AU-20000…
 

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Quote:
Vintage amps: are they any good?

Seems you've already answered your own question since you prefer the old over the new.
 

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i've been using a pioneer qa800a 4 channel amp i bought new in '73. i use it for music and ht.

it's been repaired twice and still sounds great! imo.


new gear may/may not sound better but i like the cleanliness of this particular amp.
 

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I know this question is the bane to some people, but where the levels matched with a voltmeter/SPL meter when you A/B'd?


If not, volume differences as small as even 1 dB can affect the results of these tests. Also, how are the capacitors in the older amp? Have you measured them? Perhaps they have lost some of their capacitance and you prefer that sound. Nothing wrong with that, but if you want to really know what suits your fancy, it may be worth investigating these things so that you know.


If you don't care, but just like what you hear, then so-be-it.


When I last heard my dad's 10 year old JVC receiver in stereo mode, it sounded fantastic. Sounded at least comparable to my Rotel setup.


I would say the processing has improved for pre/pros over the years. Whether or not the amplification side has improved "a lot" is not I am convinced about, at least on the solid state side. My rooms have been reasonably small, and speakers, reasonably easy to drive, so under these conditions, I doubt i could tell much of a difference if any.


0.02$
 

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SoundSparks,

I have a newer Yamaha receiver with Paradigm speakers for HT, and it sounds great for HT. It sounds great for typical music listening too. However, I also have a Pioneer SX-1010 (circa 1973) 2-channel stereo. For listening to music, I prefer my Pioneer set-up. There's just something about the old-school equipment. I'm not an expert, or even the least bit scientific about my listening preferences, I just like how certain things sound over others. So... what I'm saying is that if you like the sound of the older equipment, so be it. Get an older set up from a thrift store, an estate sale, the classifieds, AudiogoN dot com, or a reputable *bay seller and enjoy it. Listening is a personal preference, not governed as much by specs and others' opinions as it is what "flips your switch."


Mike


Here's my "no listening fatigue, I've enjoyed it all day" system...

Pioneer SX-1010 (free: salvaged from the trash bin and repaired)

Dayton Speakers (DIY kit from Parts Express)

ADS 690 Speakers ($10.00 at a garage sale)

RCA sub (Radio Shack)
 

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Vintage/classic/antique/old... whatever. Why challenge the discussion?



IMO, there's no reason to nit-pick semantics. Let them discuss without challenge.
 

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Discussion without challenge is a bit stale, no?


Discussing the difference between "old" gear and "vintage" gear could be an enlightening discussion and within the subject matter of the thread.


Ok, I'll attempt to answer the OP's question. Yes, vintage amps can be great performers. I just don't consider the amps mentioned previously in this thread as "vintage", which, if you wish, is open for discussion. I guess the title of the thread versus it's content was a bit surprising to me, hence my post.


But, if I am guilty of nit picking or hijacking this thread from anyone else other than Rat, then I sincerely apologize.
 

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All equipment in someway color sound just take a look at the threads ,this amp seems

key word to handle the bass better or I like the treble on this particular amp and i find

most people don't like the sound of neutral gear they seem to embrace certain forms

of coloration which there is nothing wrong with that. The main thing wrong with vintage

gear is the fact the caps go bad.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech /forum/post/14185823


The main thing wrong with vintage

gear is the fact the caps go bad.

And tubes, and power supplies, and cold solder joints......
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien /forum/post/14184226


Ya know, there IS a difference between "vintage" and and just plain "old".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman /forum/post/14185115


Vintage/classic/antique/old... whatever. Why challenge the discussion?



IMO, there's no reason to nit-pick semantics. Let them discuss without challenge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech /forum/post/14185823


All equipment in someway color sound just take a look at the threads ,this amp seems

key word to handle the bass better or I like the treble on this particular amp and i find

most people don't like the sound of neutral gear they seem to embrace certain forms

of coloration which there is nothing wrong with that. The main thing wrong with vintage

gear is the fact the caps go bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien /forum/post/14185847


And tubes, and power supplies, and cold solder joints......

maybe that's why repair facilities exist?

my local repair shop keeps my 'vintage/old' pioneer amp running smoothly, year after year after year...

another facility in ct. looks after my nakamichi and akai r2r machines.


i really dont care what anybody else calls this stuff. i like it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien /forum/post/14185215


Discussion without challenge is a bit stale, no?

No... plenty of challenge occurs here. No need to stir the pot.

Quote:
Discussing the difference between "old" gear and "vintage" gear could be an enlightening discussion and within the subject matter of the thread.

I agree... the start your own thread to discuss the differences between old and vintage.

Quote:
I just don't consider the amps mentioned previously in this thread as "vintage", which, if you wish, is open for discussion.

Ah... so it could be semantics or your opinion. Vintage/old, high end/low end... can't anyone have a discussion without nit-picking?

Quote:
But, if I am guilty of nit picking or hijacking this thread from anyone else other than Rat, then I sincerely apologize.

Lot's of love back at ya.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman /forum/post/14185115


Vintage/classic/antique/old... whatever. Why challenge the discussion?



IMO, there's no reason to nit-pick semantics. Let them discuss without challenge.

and thanks for 'letting us' discuss...!



 

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Sheesh... just trying to let the OP and others have a discussion without it turning into an unnecessary "contest" over what qualifies as vintage vs. old.



IMO... start a new thread if you and others have a need to debate that issue.
 

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Play dead! It's the old "pot head" looking to debate or play devil's advocate 'cause there's nothing better to do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandu /forum/post/14186890


Another source for for vintage audio... AudioKarma.org


To me, nothing sounds better than a nice vintage Sansui reciever or amp for 2ch listening.

what he said!

except a nice vintage pioneer amp is better!

why? just because.


i like all the brands from those days. they sounded and looked great! many still do. both.


an old army buddy in ca still has his sansui reciever, turntable, reel to reel recorder, and 4 gorgious sansui 3-way all wood cab. speakers.

all purchased in '73.


i seriously doubt he's ever cleaned the heads on the r2r in 35 years. i'd bet on it. have to ask him, sometime.
 

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Wow, you guys really hold Sansui and Pioneer amps in high regard. When they were new, they were considered mid-fi.


Kinda like someone saying that they are really into vintage cars and can't wait to get their hands on a mint Pinto.


Not making fun here. Just find it kinda interesting on where the bar is set on vintage amplifiers. When I think of vintage amplifiers, I think of:


McIntosh MC-275

Marantz Model 8b

GAS Ampzilla

Crown DC-300a

Phase Linear 700

Marantz MA 500 Monoblocs

Carver Cube Amps



Amps like that, and there are many others. Amps that defined a performance standard and/or a niche in the market place.
 
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