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Best sounding vintage stereo receiver for under $300

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Mercury77, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Mercury77

    Mercury77 New Member Thread Starter

    Long Island
    I'm thinking of a Pioneer receiver but wanted to come here for clarification anyway
  2. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Louisville, KY
    Sony STR-GX69ES, it's Dolby Pro-Logic but exceeds stereo receivers for stereo pleasure.
  3. p.analogowy

    p.analogowy Forum Resident

    Warsaw PL
    My immediate reaction: Sansui! Either low G-series or 5050.
    But before that perhaps you should say what do you mean by "best sounding"? :D
  4. leemelone

    leemelone Forum Resident

    If you can find a Pioneer SX 750, grab it. It's the sweet spot in the SX 50 series.
  5. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I wouldn't buy a vintage receiver, or any other piece of vintage equipment, unless it's been serviced/refurbished by a experienced audio tech.
    fish, Juan Matus, Mike31853 and 8 others like this.
  6. Abbagold

    Abbagold Working class hero

    New Orleans
    I agree on Sansui. 2000x or 5000x. Once you get them serviced, you’ll have a killer unit. I’m not familiar with G series, but I assume they’re great as well.
    p.analogowy likes this.
  7. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Allied 333 or Pioneer SX-34 is better than any solid-state vintage receiver. But, it does not sound great until you replace all the audio coupling caps with Russian K40Y-9 capacitors. Caps needs to be replaced anyways. My Allied 333 plays into 87dB Revel speakers with enough volume with the 12 watts per channel. Svetlana 6BM8 are cheap and very good due to low distortion. Mullard 12AX7 long plate plays best with RCA 12AX7 long plate close to Mullard performance. Only buy a working radio. I paid $250 for my receiver.

    Rebuilt the power supply with two 1000uF 160 volt (22mm x 40mm size) and one 220uF 350 volt capacitor on the voltage doubler output.

    If you follow my advice you cannot find a tube amp for $1000 that sounds better. Up to you.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    Cyclone Ranger and progrocker like this.
  8. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member

    $300 isn't much to work with. Miracles can happen buy you will likely find low powered units, think 20 to 30 WPC. IF you don't have very efficient speakers and/or listening in a small space, nothing good will come it and you could possibly blow the speakers by clipping the amp.

    With that said, the collector market is going to price you out of most Sansui, Marantz and Pioneer. Rotel, Mitsubishi, Denon, Scott, some technics, Luxman and Kenwood are going to get you further on a $300 budget.
    Mike31853 likes this.
  9. Bruno Primas

    Bruno Primas Forum Resident

    .......or be willing to fix it yourself, or willing to pay to have it repaired when something goes wrong.
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  10. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Yup, those are options. I'm glad you said "when" something goes wrong, not if.
    Bruno Primas likes this.
  11. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    Harmon Kardon 430. Onkyo TX4500 MKII.
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  12. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident

    Meridian, ID
  13. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    One that has been fully recapped and serviced by a qualified tech, and has enough power for the speakers you want to use.
    Mike31853 likes this.
  14. Razakoz

    Razakoz Forum Resident

    You're not gonna get much in the vintage amp scene without a bigger budget. You'll probably be able to get a low powered amp that will sound bad and be a failure risk unless it gets a full recapping. Vintage stuff can be lovely, but you either need to pay a lot for restoration or be capable of doing it yourself.
  15. rfs

    rfs Forum Resident

    Lansing, MI USA
    I bought a Harmon Kardon 330c on eBay for $175 including shipping that sounds pretty great. I know that it isn't supposed to be as good as the 440, but it's a nice little receiver.
    Cyclone Ranger, DavidD and ls35a like this.
  16. h46e55x

    h46e55x What if they believe you?

    Gitmo Nation West
    Look for a S7?? Sherwood receiver.

    Sherwood S7100 [Sherwood S-7100 and S-7100A | Classic Receivers ]
    Sherwood S7200 [Sherwood S-7200 | Classic Receivers ]

    Not a lot of power, but they sound really nice and are available for bargain prices. There are many available online that have been serviced, and have had a power switch installed (negating the possible failure of the combined power-volume switch). If you can service it yourself, you can get a beautiful model for less than $100.
  17. Kray

    Kray Forum Resident

    I think the early 70’s series Sony STR-7065/7055/7045 fly under the radar and can be had cheaper than the typical Marantz, Pioneer. I owned a 7065 and 7045. Both amazing machines from when Sony wasn’t cutting cost so much. Just sold both each for under $300

    I also love Sansui early stuff but only had their Integrateds, not receivers and they are awesome. Still have a full rebuilt 555a, but hard to find that under $300
    Sterling1 likes this.
  18. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    I've dabbled in vintage gear and got a few nice units at great prices. Problem is they were only minimally serviced and quickly developed issues. If you buy vintage and cannot perform the work yourself, only buy from a well known tech who has fully serviced the unit.
    patient_ot likes this.
  19. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    Welcome to my Candy Store.....what would you like??

  20. Mercury77

    Mercury77 New Member Thread Starter

    Long Island
    You got any of the stuff the other people suggested previously ?
  21. Mercury77

    Mercury77 New Member Thread Starter

    Long Island
  22. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Well stocked for the vintage receiver apocalypse I see...:) :) :)
    audiolistener and wrappedinsky like this.
  23. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    I'm a Marantz lover. Mine sounds great but at only 25w, it could use a few more balls some days. But no serious regrets owning it and playing it.

    Pioneer makes good stuff too!

    My other system is a Yamaha Surround system that kicks a$$.
    Mike31853 and Tourswede like this.
  24. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    Can I ask why you want a vintage receiver, especially at such a low budget? Unless you luck out, you're going to buy $300 worth of problems. In general, none will sound as good as a modern unit and tuners are now, pretty much, worthless (due to what's on the radio).

    I'd be looking in the other direction for a Marantz or Yamaha integrated amp like the PM5005 or A-S301 or A-S501. These are often found at accessories4less.com at or near your $300 budget.
    telemike, Ezd and Razakoz like this.
  25. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    And it use to be 3 rows deep :) Now Im down to about 30-35 I think.
    patient_ot likes this.

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