Do vintage receivers sound better than new ones?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 12" 45rpm, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    Generally speaking, vintage sounds better. In this case we’re talking about a 50 wpc modern amp vs 35 wpc vintage. Neither one is going to win any awards or keep you from looking for a better amp.

    Now bump that sx up to something that starts with a 9 or a 1 and it’s going to take well over $1,000 to buy something new that’s better.

    When it comes to the mass produced products like this, they were better made 40 years ago. They just used better parts and more material. I bet that sx weighs about 15 to 20 lbs more than the onkyo. Some of that is the face plate, cabinet and tuner but a lot of it is the power supply and transformers.

    Before 1980 they measured watts differently. Today they give you the peak number. That onkyo can get up to 50 at its peak but that’s not the average. The sx is giving you the averag at 35wpc. I’m guessing they would both clip at the same volume running the same speakers. That is really the big problem with lower powered SS amps, they will clip if you push the volume and you can blow a speaker.

    Also, just because something is old doesn’t make it good. Once you get beyond pioneer, Sansui, Marantz or McIntosh, those amps from the 70’s get very suspicious.

    Old or new, there’s no such thing as a free ride. The good stuff is expensive.
     
    SirMarc, bluesaddict and 12" 45rpm like this.
  2. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    Depends. In my area a bench fee is going to run about $70 (just to look at it) and then labor is about $40 an hour. A four to six week wait time is also pretty normal. It doesn’t take much for a trip to a tech to get over $200. In perfect sape that Nak might sell for $500.

    I could be wrong but I think the Nak amps were rebranded and made by another company. Possibly Halfner?
     
    Thesmellofvinyl likes this.
  3. LitHum05

    LitHum05 I would prefer not to

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Once you fall in love with vintage it’s hard to appreciate the sound of sterile modern components (unless you can afford tubes). The Pioneer SX- series was especially good, too. ;)
     
  4. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    My friend recently made almost the reverse swap-old Pioneer to pretty new Onkyo. The Onkyo sounded clearly better with a more solid sound. It was quite obvious. As another reference point, while my mom's vintage and my pretty new Denon both sound good, hers sounds "leaner" and not quite...I dunno. Mine sounds like nothing, and I mean that in a good way.
     
  5. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Actually they say "50 w/ch, 8 ohm, 20Hz - 20kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 ch driven, FTC" which is a pretty good spec. It's true a lot of receivers (especially multichannel AVRs and especially lesser brands) fudge by saying "6 ohm" or not 20-20k Hz or all kinds of baloney, but these Onkyo stereo pieces seem pretty good. Somewhere one was actually tested and exceeded its rated power at clipping (granted a different distortion spec).

    I'd say before 1980 there were liars as well. Maybe fewer perhaps. The FTC was actually petitioned to regulate this and did...nothing.
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  6. Donal

    Donal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    That is concerning. Been looking at some receivers on craigslist, and seems like all are advertised as having been gone over liberally with deoxit. Should these receivers be avoided? What would be used to clean, other than deoxit? I'm mostly interested in the phono stage.
     
  7. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    Everyone uses detoxit. I’ve never heard of any problems that came from using it. Every tech I’ve ever used has it and they’ve never said not to or talked about repairs they had to make because someone did.
     
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  8. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Deoxit is a cleaner most techs use. No reason to be scared of it, it's a great product.

    Too lazy or busy to switch out receivers and try? Dont get that one. I could swap out in 20 min or less, prolly <10.

    I would at minimum blow off inner dust, clean all switches and pots first and verify dc offset is ok before I listened to it.

    Pioneer is all discrete components, Onkyo will have opamp running the show but only way to know best sounding is to listen.
     
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  9. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
    [​IMG]
     
  10. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    You need to ask the internet what you like listening to? o_O
     
  11. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby RIAA AWARD COLLECTORS on Facebook

    Sad but true....4 more came in since that post. SX-5580, Sanyo 50, Rare Onkyo TX-555 with Gold Face and unwrapping a Mint Technics SA-1010 this morning.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  12. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Other than perhaps needing some maintenance, there’s no reason not to think a receiver that sold for $300 in the mid-70s would be better than one that sells for $200 now. A better comparison would be to adjust for inflation and see what you get. Maybe a Yamaha A-S801, Marantz PM8006 or Musical Fidelity M3si.
     
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  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    My money's on Pioneer if in excellent operating order. And efficient speakers are used. Better built, better engineered, and built to sound good and for longevity. The earlier poster is right about the fact that at this age, there will be a little work needed to get it back to peak operating order, electrolytic capacitors often by now in them. Once serviced, it's good for another 20 years.
     
    The FRiNgE and Dennis0675 like this.
  14. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
    Hey, my wife gave me one of those Technics receivers for Christmas in 85. Not sure where that one went.
     
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  15. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby RIAA AWARD COLLECTORS on Facebook

    From doing research it seems that era of technics receivers had a LOT of problems so it probably crapped out on you and you discarded it. Just a guess.
     
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  16. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    I got around to testing the old Pioneer with headphones ( too much of a pain to swap it out in my system ). Honestly, it sounded the same as my newer Onkyo. I could not hear any discernible difference.
     
  17. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Diamond Tone Junkie

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    In fairness, you should at least have a tech check the DC offset and adjust the idling current. I'm sure the Pioneer has drifted over this much time, and unless you're sure it's not sending clean output to your speakers, you run the chance of damaging them. As others have said, this particular model was not known to be one of the better models at the time. If you do like what you're hearing, I would suggest seeking out one of the higher watt SX-x50 models.
     
  18. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    I had once owned 60 wpc SA 510 (little brother to the SA 1010) which I bought new.

    Sounded good but I vividly recall how hot the unit would become if left idling for a while which I understood to be typical for Class A. However, as Technics marketed these receivers are "New Class A", I was not expecting this amount of heat.

    When the 2nd heat monitor appeared, the receiver was what I would consider extremely hot - as in boarderline tube territory. I simply wasn't comfortable with it and traded it back on something else. I had later heard this series Technics had developed a reputation for melted solder connections, burned boards and other heat related issues.

    Looks like a nice example but just be careful to avoid prolonged periods of idle time and NEVER leave it unattended when it is powered up.
     
    Billion$Baby likes this.
  19. Bathory

    Bathory 30 yr Single Malt, not just for breakfast anymore

    Location:
    usa
    same thing, only different
     
  20. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    [​IMG]
    I'd tend to agree with you, but it's probably just in our heads. At least in mine. I love playing my 70's Marantz receiver over my 5.1 Yamaha "natural sound" receiver, but can't prove if it's clinically better or not.

    One thing I know for sure, is it certainly looks a lot cooler playing the vintage Marantz.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  21. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    You have done a successful comparison of the headphone amp in each unit. That really doesn't have much to do with how they fire up speakers.
     
  22. meanoldman

    meanoldman Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Park, CO
    Nice Pioneer. If I were going to have a large receiver, it would definitely be one with a floating tuner like that.
     
  23. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby RIAA AWARD COLLECTORS on Facebook

    Thanks for the heads up. Good to know It can serve as a griddle for pancakes and eggs too!!
     
  24. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    It's tough to want to bring those Technics home. They made some great high end stuff but most of it was built for the entry level, cost savings the priority over performance.
     
  25. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby RIAA AWARD COLLECTORS on Facebook

    Will disagree on the SA-700, Sa-800, Sa-1000 Models (at least..there maybe more) They sound as good if not better than their Marantz and Pioneer counterparts from the same time period. Not quite up to Sansui thou. Cant really comment on Mid 80's Technics gear as this is my first time buying one. Really just bought it for its appearance
     
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