Whats your favorite vintage reciever?
Posted 09 August 2006 - 01:54 AM
Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:23 AM
Next on my list would be Yamaha CR-1020.
Posted 27 July 2006 - 04:39 AM
Posted 27 July 2006 - 04:18 AM
Posted 30 July 2011 - 06:17 PM
Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:29 PM
Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:34 PM
Although I liked the way the Marantz 22xx series looked, I remember being at a BAS meeting when this new-fangled distortion analyzer just came out. The 2245 and 2270 had horrendous amounts of upper-order THD (4th, 5th, 6th, etc) at clipping, which made them sound quite harsh and nasty when pushed just beyond their limits. I've never forgotten those measurments.
I always liked early-mid 70's Sansui's and Sherwoods too. I knew a lot of people who were very happy with their $200 Sherwood 7100A's powering Small Advents and AR-4x's. A very gutsy, competent small receiver.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:01 PM
Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:36 PM
Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:22 AM
Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:30 AM
most regretful no buy would be pioneer sx 1980 for 55 bucks in mint looking condition, i was just a kid i passed on it because i thought it looked overdone meaning it was a cheap piece of shit. i found out a few days later it was worth a pretty penny, oh well live and learn.
Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:04 PM
A lot of the '70s Japanese receivers look very cool and have lots of power. I've used a Kenwood KR 5600 in my vintage system and right now my Marantz 4270 is in the shop, but my personal bias for vintage New England speakers has been to use a vintage receiver that was "Made in the USA" (since we don't do that any more)
So, as far as American receivers go, I've used a Sherwood 7100A (a great little receiver and a great bargain, as Steve pointed out), a KLH Twenty-Seven (nice but the aluminum tended to pit and all the connectors in back were too close together), a Sylvania RQ 3748 (another great bargain, built in NY, with a flywheel tuner like the Marantz). Had a Fisher 440 that I "flipped" and probably should have kept. Used an AR amp & AR tuner (not really a receiver) for a while. Right now my vintage speakers are driven by a McIntosh MAC4100 and that's probably the "best" solution for me, but I'm always itchin' to try something else. Or I may go back to separates, like I had a quarter-century ago.
A note on vintage receivers: If you use one, get it thoroughly checked out by a competent tech. You don't want to blow up your vintage speakers! In the case of my MAC, I had it serviced by an authorized McIntosh shop, later I decided to follow a re-capping project that was written up on AK, but after a complete recap I had the receiver checked AGAIN.
"An ounce of prevention...."
Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:52 PM
Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:05 PM
My favorite receiver of all time is my venerable 1953 R388/URR other wise known as the Collins 51J3 General coverage receiver. It is not hifi, unless I tap into the audio driver circuit to an external amplifier, and it does have out's the do just that, then it sounds like a period console radio.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:47 PM
Nothing looked cooler, or has looked cooler than the AR receiver. Ever.
I second that... AND third it! I know, "me too" posts are for serious dweebs, but I just LOVE this thing!
The FM section alone was an outstanding performer, both in sound quality and measured performance. And the amplifier circuit is of a very unusual topology for a solid state amp, AR describing it as "a single-ended class AB push-pull stage." The really odd thing I noticed the first thing I opened it up is the presence of driver transformers (!). I'd never seen this kind of set-up in a solid state amp, nor have I seen it again since. It appears that AR's engineers were trying to achieve a more tube-like behavior, with a tube-like ability to tolerate low-impedance, high-current loads. It stands to reason, given that the amp section was designed to handle AR's own flagship speaker, the AR-3a, with its nominal impedance rating of 4 ohms and minimum impedance dipping nearly to 2 ohms.
The design was solid and reliable, holding up much better under these demanding load conditions than most solid state designs from the period, and much more powerful than all but a handful of tube designs.
Also worth noting is it's unique - and exceptionally effective - tone control circuits. According to AR, both bass and treble control characteristics were designed to conform exactly to the equal-loudness contours of human hearing as first measured by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson of Bell Labs back in the 1930's. The end result is that it is exceptionally easy to find tone control settings that provide audibly natural "flat" response at any listening level. It is virtually impossible to find an "unmusical" setting with these tone controls. That is why the usual so-called "loudness" button is omitted - because it would not be just redundant, but inferior.
Besides the innovative features and the out-of-the-box thinking that went into every aspect of this product's innards, it is just so gorgeous to look at! At least to me it is! It pushes all my aesthetic buttons. Plain, spare, uncluttered, simple, elegant, form-follows-function, etc... Anyone who loves Shaker furniture, Craftsman architecture, Minimalism, the Volkswagen Beetle and things designed by Apple Computer, will respond to this unique and artful design. But if your aesthetic sensibilities in vintage audio gear lean toward the gaudy, the chrome-plated, or the cluttered, flashing neon "Tokyo-at-night" look, you likely will be left scratching your head over this piece of kit.
Below, note the image...
Acoustic Research Model R Receiver
Honorable mentions - in my receiver pantheon, anyway...
- Yamaha CR1020, a sweet-sounding, sweet-looking offering from "Yammerhammer's" "Natural Sound" series of the late '70's. (picture below) I am generally not a fan of receiver products from this period (nor of the autos, architecture, interior decor, music or fashions either - all pretty much deserve an enthusiastic projectile hurl I.M.O.). Manufacturers were getting locked into a knobs/features/lights/watts/specsmanship race and many of the resulting products were really silly - festooned and cluttered with tiny buttons and levers that operated features from the merely dubious to the utterly useless, glittering with multi-colored lighting "entertainment" (the aforementioned "Tokyo-at-night"), with engineering compromises made to wrest the highest rated power, gaming the specifications to show ridiculously low THD specs, all for the sake of marketing. Yamaha swam against this current, with products that were better than their competitors' in the ways that really count, with a brand-wide design vocabulary that offered a modern look of spare, clean elegance and class - a soothing and welcome alternative during a period dominated by bad taste and excess.
- Fisher 500C. Classic "last gasp" of the tube era in stereo receivers during the 1960's. Great FM section and sweet-sounding amplifier section, capable of driving large floor-standing KLH Model 12's to satisfying levels, despite these speakers' low efficiency and the receiver's modest rated power. I know, because that pairing became my "dream" system during my high school years - the system to which I was able to treat myself whenever I went to my friend's house. The closing scene from Solti's recording of Wagner's “Die Götterdämmerung," with its full, heavy - and I mean seriously heavy - brass section work as well as its deafening thunder machine (an aptly-named, real contraption - an approximately 12-foot-tall piece of thick sheet steel suspended within a very sturdy frame and hit by muscular men wielding heavy sledge hammers) was impressively apocalyptic (we're talking about the death of the gods here!) through this setup. Moreover, I also know from personal knowledge that many of these honeys spent their salad days driving Acoustic Research AR-3's - widely used and loved by classical music aficionados, but seriously, seriously inefficient, and 4-ohm speakers to boot. And this tube Fisher did a fine job with them. The later 500T, the solid state replacement for the 500C, featured an excellent tuner and was the best solid state receiver Fisher knew how to make. Unfortunately, it just wasn't as good as the 500C it replaced. And Fisher's decision to replace the clean gold-anodized front panel with a panel covered in really nasty faux-wood-grain vinyl was unfortunate. It looked just like the cheesy fake wood-grain crap one still sees being sold at the local Ace Hardware that people use for lining their kitchen drawers. It made their product look cheesier without actually making it cheaper - or lowering its price! Not a good thing...
- Advent Model 300. Still love that clean, minimalist look! Henry Kloss and folks wanted to put a receiver out there capable of driving their speakers, including the inefficient - and 4-ohm - Smaller Advent Loudspeaker. Like with their speakers, they were targeting the so-called intelligentsia. "Intelligentsia" is pretentious, pseudo-sophisticated lexicon denoting the many of us out here with college degrees in the liberal arts fields. In short, people with education, but NO MONEY! McIntosh and Marantz aspirations without the finances to fulfill them. Advent's goal was a receiver with top-drawer sound - and little else - at a price friendly enough for the typical buyers of their loudspeaker products. Its rated power was a piddling 15 w/ch - a laugh during an era when the Pioneers and Kenwoods of the world were leading with 200 w/ch mega-tonnage. But its rated power was deceiving. Foreshadowing companies like NAD, with their "soft-clipping" circuits and 3db "headroom," the Advent 300 was easily capable of a clean 30 w/ch - or even a little more - on musical peaks. And it was remarkably stable and gutsy into 4-ohm loads. It also featured an excellent FM tuner - good enough that reviewers often remarked that even if the Advent 300 was just a stand-alone FM tuner and not a full receiver, it would still be a bargain. But the Model 300 became legendary for its Tomlinson Holman-designed phono preamp section, claimed by Advent to be "audibly equal or superior to any separate preamp at any price." Reviewers from the often nutty 'self-appointed golden ear' audiophile press corps (people who in their reviews freely toss about words like "grain," "woolly," "chocolaty," "glassy," "spitty," "boxy," "slam," "astringent," "papery," etc.), who normally wouldn't descend to reviewing a receiver at all, let alone a receiver selling for less than a decent set of headphones, didn't snicker, or write it off as mere ad-speak hype. They largely confirmed that just as a preamplifier, it held its own against separate preamps selling for TEN TIMES its price! I was then - and even more so now - pretty cynical about reviews, but I don't think Advent in its best days ever had the money to bribe ALL these guys; Advent didn't even advertise in most of these magazines, so what leverage could they possibly have had? Of course, while the Model 300 was - like many other products by Advent - insanely good value for money, Advent did make compromises to achieve that lower price. The back panel hookups are very sparse (though there is a pre-out/main-in pair), and the quality of the components inside the box were not built "for the ages." Any Model 300 survivor will by now be needing its share of work - replacement of cheap capacitors that have aged out-of-spec at the very least. But there is a small cottage industry supporting people who are buying these up cheap on Flea-bay and restoring them using new and higher-quality parts, effectively making them better than new. In the end, these folks say that buying a surviving Advent 300 and having it re-capped, etc. will still result in a preamp that is a fire-sale bargain of a true audiophile-grade phono preamp - with a quite nice FM tuner thrown in for free! And I'm a SUCKER for that smooth,silky vernier FM dial.
Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:43 PM
Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:58 PM
Sherwoods when they were based in Chicago. For many years, I ran my AR5s with a Sherwood 8800a and my AR9s with the Sherwood 8900a. The 8900a still works except for the phono stage. (The amps were heavy and well built)..
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