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Considering a Vintage SS Receiver- my findings

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by allied333, May 3, 2021.

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  1. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Here is my very limited experience with receivers (I went to separates around 1983 or so).
    Sherwood S-7900A rich, full, detailed, very natural and organic sounding.
    It was damaged so I replaced it with a Pioneer SX-880. It sounded threadbare, thin, tinny, lacking dynamics and had very small current capability. I would liken its sound to skeletons screwing on a tin roof.
    I then bought a Kenwood KA-8100 integrated. It was a step up from the Pioneer, but not nearly as good as the Sherwood.

    About two years ago I bought a US made Phillips 7831 for a secondary system. I was shocked how good it sounds. I wish it had preamp out/amp in loop however.

    I worked in a stereo department at a store for 3 years in the mid 1980s. We had Hitachi, Sony, Sanyo, Panasonic and JVC to name a few. None of which impressed me. (Maybe because by then I had Threshold electronics).
     
    timind likes this.
  2. Bruno Primas

    Bruno Primas Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    If you're looking to buy vintage, you must be willing to do one of these two things.

    1. Pay to have them rebuilt/repaired.

    2. Learn to repair/rebuild them yourself.

    They will not sound and/or perform the way they were meant to 50 years after they were built in original condition. No one should expect them to, either.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
    fish, timind and patient_ot like this.
  3. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    The Sherwood S-7900A uses Darlington power output transistors. I am not a fan of Darlington power output design, but...... No op-amps though. I rebuilt a Philips 7841 and replaced both op-amps with modern op-amps. It did sound fairly good. Gave it to my friend.
     
  4. PB Point

    PB Point Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego
    I somehow got on the vintage 70’s ferry. It’s been fun and I’m not getting off anytime soon or ever.

    Sansui Eight - got it fully recapped by a Sansui pro - Love it. As for power, can barely go past mid way on the volume dial. These used do not seem to be commanding huge prices like other younger Sansui’s, or those Pioneer SX series.

    You’re in a good position, actually envious. You can recap these beauties by yourself and not really lose any money if you don’t like the sound. I’ve noticed fully recapped 70’s equipment goes for a pretty penny when documented.
     
  5. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    Sansui Eight is 60 watts per channel, has a cult following and ebay auctions usually sell at $500+. Sometimes $350 shows up as BIN, but does not last long. No op-amps, reported very good sound.
     
  6. rfs

    rfs Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    My vintage 70s receiver, a MAC 1900, sounds quite nice.
     
    roverb likes this.
  7. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    BTW- I bought an Onkyo TX-2500 MKII in clean and working order for $150. I will upgrade the TX-2500 and face off against my Allied 395 that sounds excellent plus post findings here. The TX-2500 & TX-4500 are same except power output. The TX-3000 unfortunately is full of op-amps.
     
    Otlset likes this.
  8. Otlset

    Otlset under western skies

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    I have an Onkyo TX-2500 (version I) not in use at present. I look forward to your impressions of your MKII after you upgrade it!
     
  9. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Tell you what you also do: get a Peak Atlas ESR meter or generic "transistor tester" and keep a log sheet of the value, ESR, and loss factor of every passive you take out and every replacement you put in...
     
    timind likes this.
  10. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    Best Bang for your buck receivers from the 70's IMO based on having over 100 of them:
    SANYO JCX2900K About $400-500...will smoke any Pioneer/Marantz from that Era.
    Sherwood 9910....Stunning with the MIDRANGE Control $400
    ONKYO 8500 and Kenwood KR-9600...but these usually run a bit more money.
    Sansui Eight Deluxe...Around 500-600. The 9000 Series are slightly better but cost MUCH more money.

    No idea why anybody would be buying the bottom of the line stuff when the BEST of the same line is not significantly higher.

    BTW none of these will compete with any of the Amps made today. That's total nonsense. You get what you pay for.
     
    motorstereo likes this.
  11. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    Marantz and Pioneer bottom of line? I also beg to differ with your assumption vintage will sound worst than any new solid-state amps. Have you rebuilt the vintage receivers with SIC or Hexfred rectifiers, increased HV power supply capacitance, lower ESR small power supply caps and all new capacitors in the amplifier boards including audio grade coupling capacitors? Makes a huge difference. My rebuilt Allied 395 is close to my best tube amp. And, I am sure my best tube amp will outperform any new solid-state to at least $2K in cost. However, the Allied 395 may be a 'freak'. I am rebuilding a no op-amp Onkyo and will compare to the Allied 395.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  12. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I have to agree with you, although my experience with them is limited. I have owned a Yamaha CR2020 and Pioneer SX-780, both were re-capped, and both sounded very dry and rather cold.
     
  13. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    I owned vintage Yamaha CR series and it was terrible. The Pioneer SX-780 has the nasty op-amp. I did not recommend any vintage receiver with an op-amp. About 90 of 100 vintage receivers are dogs with the op-amps, but my list on original post avoids them. So, you cannot assume all vintage receivers are lousy.
     
    action pact likes this.
  14. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    ANY Bottom of the Line. Sorry but whatever vintage gear you have is not going to come anywhere close to competing with what I have laying around. Maybe you should check my "inventory" before making such an absurd comment. Your not getting any SOUNDSTAGE, INSTRUMENT SEPARATION or any other qualifier you care to name with your vintage amp. My Gear is like having the Band in your living room....each instrument has its own place in the room. Your vintage gear just like MY vintage gear doesn't have those capabilities REGARDLESS of what parts you care to put inside. You need to get your head out of the sand and go to a REAL Audio shop and see whats changed in the past 40 years. Your just making foolish statements based on ZERO experience obviously
     
  15. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    This WAS my inventory....4 rows across and 4 rows deep. You can put all new parts in ANY of them and they wont compete with a $2000-3000 Pass Labs or First Watt Amp made in the past 20 years...and PASS LABS is nowhere near the best of whats available today. Its just one of the more affordable brands for somebody that doesn't have deep pockets. If you ever bought one you would stop trying (in vain) to get those "state of the artifacts" your messing with to perform to todays standards. Its NEVER going to happen




    [​IMG]
     
  16. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    You are being ridiculous. I have checked your info and great you have thousands in audio equipment. Now, I did not say any vintage receiver will compete with a Pass labs amp. Most tube amps will not compete with Pass Labs. I am also not proposing to spend $4K either. You are not adding anything constructive to my original post, but keep on posting non-relevant statements. However, your inventory is impressive.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  17. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    More like $250,000...not thousands...but who's counting. Plenty of Tube Amps that will compete with Pass Labs/First Watt....but they aint called ALLIES. LUXMAN, LINE MAGNETIC, AUDIO RESEARCH, DECWARE, TEKTRON, BOB CARVER, DON SACHS and a hundred other brands all make TUBE amps that you can purchase for 2-3K that will smoke your rig. Do your homework....Your poor ears are being wasted.
     
  18. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    Also plenty of vintage tube amps that fall short of Pass Labs. You seem to have this issue of proving me wrong on my posts including the original post and vintage receivers are worth nothing. Most will disagree with you. Stop wasting everyone time. There are audiophiles that have interest in vintage receivers and may be a bedroom or secondary system. Do you mind sir?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  19. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    If you want to see what's worth considering, here manufactured 1973-1977, I submit the Phase Linear Preamp 4000...

    [​IMG]
     
    fish likes this.
  20. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    Didn't say they were worth nothing BUT don't dare compare them to todays gear. Why are your wasting your time in the vintage gear arena with stuff like Onkyo 2500/4500?? Even in THAT vintage world they fall far short of the Onkyo 8500. Cant you spare an extra $200-300 to get the Best from that lineup??

    I also gave you the ULTIMATE Cheat Sheet to what to buy in YOUR arena. You wont have to go thru 100+ Receivers like I did to find whats best. I was doing you AND everybody else a favor.

    Most will disagree with me?? The only people that will disagree with me are people that are living in the past or for whatever reason cant afford to swing for modern day gear. As previously stated GO to an Audio Shop NOW and hear what your missing. Im guessing you rather live in denial. I would LOVE for you to start a thread on Audiogon, Whats Best Forum, Audio Shark, Audio Aficionado, Audio Mart telling everybody that your 40-50 year old gear competes with what they have. Now that would be amusing to see all the responses you would receive. Yea better keep yourself parked here. Strength in Numbers and all that. Hopefully one day you will stop depriving yourself and see whats truly possible in TODAYS Audio World.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  21. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    I doubt you have upgraded the vintage receivers mentioned or if so used the best of best parts. They did not exist a few years ago. A rebuilt & upgraded TX-2500 will likely crush a factory stock TX-8500. Get real. I have a tube amp that I am quite sure will compete with any Pass Labs gear. Same amp I rebuilt for others took top place in his extensive inventory. Also, largest vintage tube seller in the world stated completes with his WE 300B amps and $8K rebuilt McIntosh amp. So, it is a serious amp. And, my upgraded Allied 395 is not that far off in performance, but granted seems to be a 'freak'. I am also sure it will complete against new SS gear to to $1.3K. Frankly, how do you know what it sounds like? You do not! So, stop posting generalizations. No, nothing I own beats a $100K system and interested viewers may not even have an extra $1K. Again, time to go away, your posts are not true and you are misinforming others.
     
  22. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I would love to hear a good-sounding vintage SS receiver. I'm sure there must be some.
     
  23. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile Thread Starter

    Location:
    MI
    Follow my original post and rebuild with new quality parts and you will have a good sounding vintage receiver despite what others say.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
    action pact likes this.
  24. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    Wrong again. I have a guy who completely restores Marantz/Pioneer gear primarily from the ground up...over 100 new parts. Nope....still isn't even in the same ballpark. Again....there is no WIDE and DEEP Soundstage. You don't hear the Singer upfront, The Drummer in the Back, The Guitars on separate sides. There is no "Air" or "Sparkle" from Vintage Gear. Your completely clueless....very sad indeed. I don't need to hear your 40-50 year old amp to know its limitations. Your just wasting your time....but it is indeed your time to waste.

    If anybody is doing a disservice to anybody its you for spinning your delusions of grandeur and Fairy Tales living in the past. BTW MCINTOSH is MID-FI Gear.....also doesn't compete with any of the TOTL Brands.
     
  25. Billion$Baby

    Billion$Baby Forum Resident

    I listed 5 of them for you. Those are the best Ive heard "Bang for the Buck". For their time....not today....they were exceptional and most unknown or underrated.
     
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