Do vintage receivers sound better than new ones?

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

  1. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Diamond Tone Junkie

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I find my SA-700 to be very clean sounding, almost to the point of being sterile. It sounds best with lively speakers, something like an Altec or Klipsch, or some of the west coast sound monitors like the HPM-100's. With a speaker with a very flat frequency response, the Technics sounds again a bit clinical. I would not think it would pair well with the vintage KHL's, AR's or Advents known for their more east coast sound. Aesthetically, IMHO, the SA-xxx series from the late 70's are simply gorgeous especially at night with the silver background and subtle lighting.

    I also own an SU-V9 integrated that is New Class A, and that things runs hotter than hell! It's a powerful beast, but you can heat your room with it.
     
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  2. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    yes, I'm talking about the 80's stuff. Like most companies, their stuff got flimsy and cheap. Kind of like the Fisher Stuff from that era. They traded their brand and reputations for quality they built up for mass market sales. You rarely see guys that are into vintage gear running stuff from the 80's or 90's that doesn't say McIntosh.
     
  3. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    I also owned an SA 500 which I bought new. Nice sounding overall with a lot of features but I wound up selling it to get the all-new "Fluoroscan" Pioneer SX 3700 whose build quality I felt a good notch above the Technics.

    Sold the SX 3700 to a HS friend who continues to run it to this day without any major repairs being done. I believe he even kept the original boxes.
     
  4. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Diamond Tone Junkie

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Oh, they made some beautiful TOTL equipment in the 80's, like this SE-A100 amp. It just didn't get the respect here in the US like many other brands.
     
  5. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby RIAA AWARD COLLECTORS on Facebook

    I use JBL's will all my 60+ Receivers from the 70's. 4312A/166. Sounds great to my ears. Never purchased any of the 3600-3900 Pioneers so cant give any observations vs Technics
     
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  6. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Receivers suck in general. Integrated amps are almost always better. In terms of which receiver is better, it comes down to a case by case basis. It's possible to prefer one over another in any particular system due to synergy. While technology has moved along and it is possible for new amps to outperform vintage amps, build quality of modern amps to match that of vintage amps will cost quite a bit. Chiefly because production costs have been lowered by use of cheap labor and cheap parts and materials to keep the cost to consumer down. If we were to invest in a product, like we did in the days vintage gear was new, then we would buy much better, higher end amps today than most people do. You tend to get what you pay for, then and now.
    -Bill
     
  7. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby RIAA AWARD COLLECTORS on Facebook

    Majority of INT sound better for sure...not all....boring to look at. I don't mind compromising a little in sound quality for a nice light show in the evening. That's just me. Love my Pioneer 9100 INT over my dozen or so Pioneer Receivers sound wise. Integrated during the day..Receivers at night.
     
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  8. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    My first hi-fi amp:

    [​IMG]

    -Bill
     
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  9. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    :edthumbs:
     
  10. lobo

    lobo Music has always been a matter of Energy to me...

    Location:
    Germany
    What about the Yamaha CR models? I once owned the CR-820 and it sounded quite good. The Marantz 20 something I had sounded good at first listen, but after some time I prefered a more neutral sound. Another great vintage receiver is the Harman Kardon HK 430. Easy on the eyes and a wonderful sound. Lots of power to. Double mono construction, great piece of vintage hifi. Soundwise a mixture between the Yamaha and the Marantz I would say. Unfortunately, very, very sensitive to all kinds of changes in the electricity net, so I had to sell it.
     
  11. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    Have you tried cleaning the volume pot? I recently found a JVC receiver with the same problem. The volume pot just needed a good cleaning and now it plays fine. Easy to do if the pot isn't too difficult to reach.
     
  12. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    Yeah but it's 70's Pioneer coloration. Like whipped cream on a banana split. What sort of nut eats a banana split without whipped cream? :laugh::hide:
     
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  13. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    I wouldn't know, I hate bananas. :D
     
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  14. Thesmellofvinyl

    Thesmellofvinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cohoes, NY USA
    This control has buttons to push for an incremental change with each click. What part should be cleaned?
     
  15. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    It's ok but it really needs bigger meters.

    That is exactly the amp I was thinking of when I said they made great stuff but I doubt there were 1,000 sold in the US. The certainly don't turn up used....ever.
     
  16. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    I see. Not sure then. I was thinking of regular volume knobs in which case all you need to do is get inside behind the knob and spray some contact cleaner into the potentiometer and then work the knob back and forth 50X. I suppose what I would try in your case is remove the faceplate and see if the contact behind the button is dirty.
     
  17. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    I wouldn't buy any stereo gear treated with deoxit. It buys more time, an effective cleaner and preserver, for now! The bad and ugly of it, oleic acid in deoxit removes oxides but also an oxidizer of copper, aluminum, and silver. The oil preserver delays oxygen from reacting with the acid (which remains forever) The preserver can fail, and oxygen does make its way however more slowly to metal switch contacts and parts in the pots. Secondly, the oil is conductive. In fact, deoxit publishes in its literature the oil contains conductivity enhancers. The conductivity of the oil does help make positive electrical contact. (to counter on the fact oil inhibits good electrical contact, and adds capacitance) Also the ugly of that, excess oil coats not only the contacts, other parts are coated. So the oil conducts in places we don't want it to conduct. The value of a pot, oil on the trace can be altered, changing the response of your amp. Oil can also introduce resistance to ground, and may contribute to high frequency attenuation.... even if a small amount, perhaps 0.2 dB at 16kHz, the cumulative effect of four or five pots, plus several switches add up to more significant loss. Most of all, any excess deoxit on a printed circuit board conducts electrically across the traces.

    Where you have acid and metal, not good!
    Where you have conductive oil and electronics, you have a very bad mix!
    Deoxit should be used as a last resort when contact cleaner fails.
    Stubborn pots or switches can be refurbished or replaced


    I have refurbished switches in Pioneer products (and other brand receivers) as these can be de-soldered, the metal cases removed, and the contacts mechanically micro-polished. (the better way to restore a problematic switch .. but requires factory quality soldering to make this a clean undetectable repair)

    Well made pots are self cleaning. The wiper and trace naturally remove/displace any light oxidation with normal use.
    Pots and switches that crackle or cause intermittent signal are most often dirty, not oxidized, a combination of dust and resins naturally in the air.
    The black oxidation found on copper contacts of "function selectors" is normal. The actual contact surfaces are self cleaning and are not oxidized!
    Removal of that oxidation is unnecessary, again any intermittent signal would be almost always caused by dirt and migrated oil or grease or deposited resins. (micro-sludge if you will)

    Fire hosing a pot does not do it any favors. The grease on the shaft bearing may be washed on the wiper and trace where it does not belong. Further dousing will be required to remove this.. you end up with a pot with no lube in the bearing, and loses its damped action by the turn of the knob. Beware of a serviced pre-amp/ receiver that the bass/ treble/ volume controls turn too freely, without any smoothness of feel, without any damping.

    The deoxit "cult" will eventually be debunked. It's a matter of time, and countless pots and switches damaged in the long run.

    This is from deoxit literature:
    "Some film deposits are effectively removed with "wash-type" cleaners such as DustALL, CaiKleen, Tuner Cleaners, CAEON 27, CAEON 28 or alcohol. Oxides and sulfides, however, become an integral part of the contact surface and cannot be removed by ordinary contact cleaners. The most effective method of removing these films is chemical action.DeoxIT dissolves oxides and sulfides that form on metal contact surfaces, removing these sources of resistance. This restores the contact's integrity and leaves a thin (organic) layer that coats and protects the metals. Special additives prevent the dissolved oxides from re-attaching, keeping them in suspension and allowing them to be easily dispersed by the mechanical action of the contact. DeoxIT's unique properties allow it to work on stationary and moving contacts and connectors with similar or dissimilar metals. Even when a treated connector mates with an untreated one, DeoxIT will migrate and coat the other. When connectors are separated, DeoxIT will re-coat the exposed metal surfaces. DeoxIT's advanced formula contains deoxidizers, preservatives, conductivity enhancers, arcing and RFI inhibitors and anti-tarnishing compounds that significantly increase the performance and reliability of electrical components and equipment."

    The above quote in my opinion is snake oil BS.

    Vintage gear is generally well engineered and well made. Some of these, sadly are lacking in repair tech workmanship, bad re-soldering, and use of harsh chemicals that should never be anywhere near them.
    Steve VK
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  18. William K

    William K Forum Resident

    Location:
    NW Indiana
    You guys make me want to go out to the garage and bring my old Sansui 881 and my Jensen speakers back in the house :shh: My 881 needs an LED or bulb whatever it is in the tuner replaced though.
     
  19. timind

    timind Bushy

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
    I had forgotten I ever owned a Technics receiver until I saw your pic. Thinking back, the only thing I remember about that receiver is late Christmas night I got up and went out into the living room and split my toe nail on it as it was sitting on the floor. :realmad:

    My toe nail was never the same. Not a good start.
     
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  20. Trashman

    Trashman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I use both vintage and modern receivers.

    For me, the modern receiver is great for the living room TV setup, where the volume setting needs to be run via remote control. It's a pretty basic Onkyo two-channel unit, fine for amplifying TV shows and movies.

    For playing LPs in my music listening area, I only use vintage tubes amplifiers... having both a tube receiver (Fisher 400) and integrated amps (Fisher 100, Voice of Music 1428). I can happily admit that I like the way they color the sound.

    As to which is better, it all comes down to personal preference.
     
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  21. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    I think the vintage Pioneer will put a little meat on the bones of your music. If it is brought up to spec the Pioneer will be more harmonically rich.

    I say this and I own a modern Onkyo receiver that is powering a secondary system. It’s very capable and has high-current that can drive 4 ohm speakers. It’s is good sounding too but just a different kind of presentation. The one thing that beats the classic receivers is having a remote. :)
     
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  22. John Schofield

    John Schofield Forum Resident

    Location:
    OH
    A great point Sneaky Pete.... almost as bad as having to get up to flip an album over. But that’s a whole other thread.
     
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  23. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Hell yes they do. And that’s my biased opinion:)
    My nephew who works at NASA told me in passing “we couldn’t build the SATURN V today ( he works on delivery systems) In the context that you can’t assemble that kind of engineering badass today. Slide rulers WHAT!
    Think of the R&D that went in to my Pioneer SX 1250?
    Other than that NO. Happy listening
     
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  24. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    I mean, how do you top that?
     
  25. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    I’m so glad I’m second owner of a PIONEER SX 750 ( for mamas room)
    And PIONEER SX 1250 ( for daddy’s room) HA!
     
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