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    Thread: Vintage Hi-Fi gear. Who's into it?

    1. Member
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      05-27-2010 09:17 PM #1
      Hope this is the right forum for this.

      I've been involved in consumer electronics/hi-fi gear for many years, and am really starting to get interested in vintage gear.

      I've just picked up a pair of Karlson X-15 cabinets and have started looking for some EV, Tannoy, or Altec coax 15" drivers for them.



      I'll drive them initially with a ~1966 Kenwood TK-66 solid state receiver. A friend passed along a derelict Trio/Kenwood KW-70 tube receiver recently; after re-capping the heck out of that, I'll use it.



      The Karlson/15" coax/Kenwood combo should be great for classical guitar, instrumental jazz, and big band music.

      For general listening, I'm building a pair of Altec 891a's; they'll get Morel Supreme tweeters, my own xover, and most likely Morel or Aurum Cantus 8" woofers. I love the sound of an 8" two-way, and the Altec cabs are super beefy for their size.



      I haven't decided yet on what to use to power these; been considering something like a Sansui AU-series integrated or other early 70's integrated. They should end up around 91dB efficient, so no need for a gazillion watts.

      Anybody else nerd on stuff like this? I know that the gear I like isn't high end, but it's what I like. And at the end of the day, I only have to please my own ears, so nahnah, booboo, haha to all of the gear snobs.

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      05-30-2010 03:13 AM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      Who's into it?
      So I'm guessing by the crickets that it's just me.

      Get offa my lawn with the sounding of the surround and the walkpods! Guess I'll go back to my easy chair...

    3. Member XiaoNio's Avatar
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      05-30-2010 05:15 PM #3
      I had an undesirable Marantz SR2000 from college until about a year ago. It had a great tuner and headphone section. I initially ran it with a pair of old 70's Mission speakers. I had a whole bunch of amps come and go, but the Marantz always ran as my backup.

      I also had some old Luxman, Nikko and Pioneer gear and some Infinity speakers with the emit speakers, etc. I just got tired of always cruising craigslist and collecting boxes that were collecting dust.

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      05-30-2010 06:46 PM #4
      I have some:

    5. 06-11-2010 04:25 AM #5
      that Sanyo is beautiful.... Do you guys just hit up pawn shops or garage sales to finds vintage receivers? I'd like to get a stereo receiver for my office or the garage, replace my current receiver with 50/50 sounds (works 50 percent of the time on one side...) Also - can you refurbish them yourselves or did you take them to a shop?

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      06-11-2010 05:45 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by PintSized View Post
      Also - can you refurbish them yourselves or did you take them to a shop?
      Understandably, the amount of time a vintage receiver will continue to work is a crap shoot. If you buy a vintage Marantz, there are a lot of people in the business of refurbishing them. I have a 2235B & a 2252B, & know they are repairable if something does happen to them.

    7. 06-11-2010 10:36 PM #7
      I have a pair of Dahlquist DQ20i's........does that count as vintage?

    8. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      06-11-2010 11:30 PM #8
      I have always wanted a nice tube amp for my analog setup.
      ...tunes from the car makin' everybody dizzy. bumpin' Flaming Lips, Johnny Cash and Biggie...

      Support Your Local Homebrewery
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    9. Senior Member F1_Fan's Avatar
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      06-12-2010 03:19 AM #9
      Not quite vintage but my home office has a Denon DRA-325R 2-channel receiver, Denon DRM-510 cassette (all 1990-ish), Boston Acoustics A70 speakers and a JVC XL-V440 CD player (1986).

      It was my university system, still sounds great. That CD player was made long before 1-bit/20-bit/etc decoders... it's basically pure 16-bit 1st generation player technology and built like a tank. I always thought is sounded better than more expensive players (sometime around 1994 I conpared it to Denon and Nakamichi players and decided to stick with the JVC).
      There's always money in the banana stand.

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      06-12-2010 08:42 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by PintSized View Post
      that Sanyo is beautiful....
      Yes it is. And some of that series are still worth some good money in the used market.

      Quote Originally Posted by PintSized View Post
      Do you guys just hit up pawn shops or garage sales to finds vintage receivers?
      Garage sales are a great source. Estate sales, repair shops, Craigslist, and eBay (sometimes ) are all good places to look also.

      Quote Originally Posted by PintSized View Post
      Also - can you refurbish them yourselves or did you take them to a shop?
      I'm lucky, I have one of the best electronics repair shops on the West Coast in my backyard. SerTech Electronics in San Jose are amazing guys. If you're going to buy gear sight unseen/untested/long distance, I'd recommend finding a local shop that knows this kind of stuff inside and out. I've purchased many components from people who said that some shop or other couldn't fix the problem, only to take it to SerTech and have it fixed for super cheap. It's a matter of the shop knowing what to look for.

      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainQualude View Post
      Understandably, the amount of time a vintage receiver will continue to work is a crap shoot. If you buy a vintage Marantz, there are a lot of people in the business of refurbishing them. I have a 2235B & a 2252B, & know they are repairable if something does happen to them.
      Your 2252B is one of my favorites. Such sweet amps and a really fine tuner. You're right, though. Buying this stuff can be a real roll of the dice.

      Quote Originally Posted by Natas View Post
      I have a pair of Dahlquist DQ20i's........does that count as vintage?
      Lots of people really love those, but I've just never gotten into the sound of them. To each their own, though, I'm sure lots of people will hate the way my Karlsons will sound.

      Quote Originally Posted by F1_Fan View Post
      Denon DRA-325R, JVC XL-V440
      You done good. The 325 was always an underrated little current monster, and the XL-V440 had the amazing 16-bit Philips TDA-1541 D/A converter chip IIRC. Best 16-bit D/A ever! The early JVCs had a really stable transport, too.

    11. Senior Member F1_Fan's Avatar
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      06-12-2010 11:29 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      You done good. The 325 was always an underrated little current monster, and the XL-V440 had the amazing 16-bit Philips TDA-1541 D/A converter chip IIRC. Best 16-bit D/A ever!
      Yeah, the 325 is rated somewhere around 40 W/ch but with good sensitivity speakers there's power to spare.

      Thanks for the info on the CD player, I didn't know much about it. I bought it in high school and can't even remember why I picked it now. I do remember several years later when I took home some $500-600 CD players from a local high-end stereo shop and over a weekend of listening I couldn't hear enough of a difference to need to upgrade.
      There's always money in the banana stand.

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      06-14-2010 11:48 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      I've just picked up a pair of Karlson X-15 cabinets and have started looking for some EV, Tannoy, or Altec coax 15" drivers for them.
      Try this link & look under the Realistic Mach One woofers. There's a 4 ohm & an 8 ohm version.

      http://www.parts-express.com/wizards...AT&srchCat=485

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      06-14-2010 01:21 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainQualude View Post
      Try this link & look under the Realistic Mach One woofers. There's a 4 ohm & an 8 ohm version.
      I'm actually looking for 15" coax, as in three-way, full-range. (I know, a lot of companies called a full-range, coaxially-mounted three-way a "triax", but I'm using a common term just for reference.)

      I have a company account at Parts Express.

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      06-14-2010 07:38 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      I'm actually looking for 15" coax, as in three-way, full-range. (I know, a lot of companies called a full-range, coaxially-mounted three-way a "triax", but I'm using a common term just for reference.)
      I see. That's going to be a tough one to find brand new.

      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      I have a company account at Parts Express.
      They have some great prices on things that if bought locally would be high priced like cables of all kinds.

      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      Your 2252B is one of my favorites. Such sweet amps and a really fine tuner. You're right, though. Buying this stuff can be a real roll of the dice.
      I've been fortunate with the vintage electronics. Usually just a bulb out or two.

      I'm not really in to the vintage speakers, but I'll do classic speakers from the '90's. Mostly Canadian companies like PSB, Paradigm, & Mirage. I do have a set of American Pinnacles in the garage, rare, bought for the sound because the PO beat the hell out of them cosmetically.

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      06-15-2010 12:40 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainQualude View Post
      I see. That's going to be a tough one to find brand new.
      I hope I don't find them new. If I do, I'll have to sell a car to be able to afford them. They're expensive enough used in excellent condition; there's a used pair on eBay right now in custom boxes, the guy's looking for a kilodollar.

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      06-15-2010 03:30 PM #16
      Good luck with your search. Vintage speakers never seem to age well at all. Most of the time they need the surround replaced or the whole driver replaced.

    17. Member Dave928's Avatar
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      06-19-2010 02:55 AM #17
      always quite a bit of vintage goodness at Hawthorne Stereo in Seattle...

      http://hawthornestereo.com/used/
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      06-19-2010 10:04 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave928 View Post
      always quite a bit of vintage goodness at Hawthorne Stereo in Seattle...

      http://hawthornestereo.com/used/
      Oooh! Lotsa good stuff there. Thanks for that.

    19. Member Dave928's Avatar
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      06-22-2010 09:02 AM #19
      No prob. i bought my AR XA TT, Carver M-1.5t and Linn Keilidh's there
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    20. 06-22-2010 10:53 AM #20
      Yeah I have always lusted after the Nakamichi RX UDAR series cassette decks, you know the one that ejects
      and flip the cassette around and closes back. I once saw one on consignment at my local hifi store but they
      wanted a couple hundred for it

      I still have a ton of tapes that I will never get rid of so one day I will get that deck.

      I remember Paula Abdul opening one of her music video's with that deck back in like 89', it was a close up of it in action,
      once it fliped and started playing the video started.


      Ahhh the memories of thumbing through my Stereo Review magazines back in the 80's.

      And yes that Sanyo is absoulutely georgeous up there. Looks like my old Realistic/ Optimus reciver.
      Last edited by RENOG; 06-22-2010 at 11:02 AM.

    21. Senior Member F1_Fan's Avatar
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      06-22-2010 11:58 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by RENOG View Post
      Yeah I have always lusted after the Nakamichi RX UDAR series cassette decks, you know the one that ejects
      and flip the cassette around and closes back.

      ...


      Ahhh the memories of thumbing through my Stereo Review magazines back in the 80's.
      I remember that deck. I'm not sure if it's the same one but I lusted after a Nak that had something like 20-30 buttons on the front. I still can't believe that a cassette deck needed that many buttons but I wanted it!

      Ha, it feels like I grew up on Stereo Review.
      There's always money in the banana stand.

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      06-22-2010 05:01 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by F1_Fan View Post
      Nak that had something like 20-30 buttons on the front.
      RX-505?



      It has all of the buttons. My boss has one at home. I don't know if I could bring myself to own a cassette deck now.

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      06-22-2010 05:02 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave928 View Post
      Linn Keilidhs
      Wouldn't happen to be looking for a center channel speaker, would you?

    24. Senior Member F1_Fan's Avatar
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      06-22-2010 05:25 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      RX-505?



      It has all of the buttons. My boss has one at home. I don't know if I could bring myself to own a cassette deck now.

      Maybe... my memory may have embellished it a bit. Might have been the Dragon:



      My cassette deck is mostly for playing my old mixed tapes (I've got ones from my mid-teens... LOL) and the few tapes I have that are hard to find on CD.
      Last edited by F1_Fan; 06-22-2010 at 05:28 PM.
      There's always money in the banana stand.

    25. 06-23-2010 10:44 AM #25
      Found a RX 202 (little less buttons) on CL for $100, a bit much even still for dead-for-20-years tech
      but the nostalgia is to great on this thing, I would love to have one on my rack, I actually have enough taps to justify it.

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      06-23-2010 04:35 PM #26
      I haven't owned a deck since 1985-86. IIRC, the last one was a 3 head Akai. If I was to buy another one I would pick up a NAD from the same era as the Monitor Series 7100 receiver I have. I might still have 2 or 3 tapes left, not enough to justify having one around.

    27. Member Dave928's Avatar
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      06-23-2010 04:42 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      Wouldn't happen to be looking for a center channel speaker, would you?
      sorry, no. 2-channel only system.
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      06-23-2010 04:51 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave928 View Post
      sorry, no. 2-channel only system.
      Good news for you! I never quite got the surround sound thing myself, especially for music.

      I have a Trikan and an AV5120 looking for a home, though, so I gotta ask!

    29. Senior Member F1_Fan's Avatar
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      06-29-2010 02:18 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by CasaDelShawn View Post
      and the XL-V440 had the amazing 16-bit Philips TDA-1541 D/A converter chip IIRC. Best 16-bit D/A ever!
      I popped the top today... it's actually got a Burr-Brown PCM54HP.
      There's always money in the banana stand.

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      06-29-2010 04:26 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by F1_Fan View Post
      I popped the top today... it's actually got a Burr-Brown PCM54HP.
      Aaah, early 16-bit Burr-Brown. Their 20s were revolutionary, and the 16s weren't too shabby either.

    31. 07-19-2010 11:23 AM #31
      Oh guess I should say that as a dj I do own two Tech 1200s from the 70's that still perform flawlessly.

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      07-19-2010 02:45 PM #32
      I just added an interesting twist my collection: a local repair shop that I work with was throwing away some stuff, and among the pile was a pair of Grundig Lautsprecher-Box 8. They don't look like much, only ~14" deep x 7" wide and tall. I almost didn't pick them because one of the front grills was jacked, but I figured if nothing else, I could make planter boxes out of them.

      I'm glad I plugged them in first...

      I popped the back of the cabinet and found a single 6" driver with a whizzer cone in excellent shape. Folded cloth surround, so very little chance of that rotting away. Right on the back of the driver it says "45Hz-19,000Hz, so that has most of the audible spectrum covered.

      I put power to them just for a listen, expecting only good imaging and midrange. I was wrong. With Johnny Cash from the American recordings, it was like he was in the room with me. They sound great! I tried them with some traditional jazz and classical/flamenco guitar and was equally blown the hell away. I really can't believe how great these sound.

      I tried another experiment; grabbed a car audio crossover that I had laying around, set the Grundig on top of one of the Karlsons that I'd found a "full range" driver for. Ran the low frequencies to the Karlson, highs to the Grundig, and sat back and listened. An hour had gone by before I realized it. Hmmmm, I might be on to something here...

      I love it when things that don't look like they would work together do!

    33. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      07-19-2010 11:43 PM #33
      My home theater is anchored by a pair of Polk Monitor 10's I bought in the early 1980's. I never felt the need to upgrade.


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      07-21-2010 01:23 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by F1_Fan View Post
      Not quite vintage but my home office has a Denon DRA-325R 2-channel receiver, Denon DRM-510 cassette (all 1990-ish), Boston Acoustics A70 speakers and a JVC XL-V440 CD player (1986).

      It was my university system, still sounds great. That CD player was made long before 1-bit/20-bit/etc decoders... it's basically pure 16-bit 1st generation player technology and built like a tank. I always thought is sounded better than more expensive players (sometime around 1994 I conpared it to Denon and Nakamichi players and decided to stick with the JVC).
      I have a 20 bit denon made in 89. Needs some repair though. I was amazed to find optical and coaxial out on it.

      Right now I have some Teledyne Acoustic Research AR-71s, and a bunch of old quadraflex gear. I just upgraded to a surround receiver for my home theatre, so the Reference 650fet gets garage duty. It isn't the most amazing sound(I think it needs to be recapped), but the first to use MOSFET design. Came out in 1979.
      -Jon

    35. 07-22-2010 10:19 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
      My home theater is anchored by a pair of Polk Monitor 10's I bought in the early 1980's. I never felt the need to upgrade.

      I remember those, thats back when polk speaker were super awesome.

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