Vintage vs. modern receivers

August 31, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

14 comments on “Vintage vs. modern receivers”

  1. I am pretty sure that the electrolytic caps in the power supply module of this old receiver must have totally run dry. When this old gear still sounds better it would sound even much (!) better with new caps and better rectifier diodes!

    1. It depends on the company and how they were used with proper ventilation. Some were made to last. The Technics SA 200-1000 electrolytic Caps in the late 70’s for the most part are still very good. I own 4 SA500s, 1 SA600, and 1 SA800. All still sound great with no swelling or leaking of the main Caps. These Technics receivers are starting to skyrocket on the used market lately. I used to be able to buy an SA500 for 100.00 and now depending on condition can sell as high as 800 and up. These are remarkable sounding receivers. Warm, detailed, musical and instruments are delineated in space with lots of air around them. Absolutely zero hardness, grain or harshness to the sound.

      1. The Technics also blow away Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz, Kenwood, Yamaha and the other vintage receivers of the day that some believe were better. The Technics has always been the sleeper until recently audiophiles are catching on and have taken notice that they were the best sounding thus they are catching up and passing most of the others in cost. These things were built like tanks. Don’t worry about the wattage ratings, these were vintage watts.

        1. Most interesting! My first integrated amps (ReVox B750 and Pioneer A9) from the 80th both showed failure of the el-caps. Could it be that Panasonic provided its daughter brand Technics with exclusive quality parts/components? 🙂

          1. Well I know that Technics is considered Panasonic’s high end. At least they were back in the day. Not sure about today. Most of today’s mass produced electronic’s have lost their way or business model.

  2. It would be fun to put together a vintage system. Until things started breaking, at least.
    I have a vintage cartridge in a bedroom turntable and it still sounds superb.

  3. Hm. For me, difficult to be to objective. I have an A&R A60 with T21 fm tuner, not exactly a receiver but vintage all the same, My Sony d777es dab tuner is better in nearly every way but the analog sound of the A&R……… familiar, comforting and detailed for its age especially when paired with modern items. Probably a bit like it’s owner? maybe!!

    1. The analog tuner in the Technics sound great but I have a Digital Luxman T-117 Stereophile class A tuner that is my baby. Great sound that surpasses many of the best analog tuners, but that’s not the case with all home digital tuners that are quite noisy or don’t have great soundstages. Some of your best tuners are found in vehicles. They need to perform well in a moving environment.

        1. Yes I know. Still I love the sound of my tuner and the music my favorite radio station plays. I have 3 very good streaming DACs. An Audioengine USB with a headphone jack and RCA outputs to wherever, A blue tooth and also a WiFi with 24 bit high quality DAC’s with RCA outputs to wherever. Great for parties.

  4. hi paul, for two days, i have been thinking about a comment you made: ‘since it was all-analog, that’s why it sounded so good’. are you opening up a can of worms?!

      1. Good morning Paul and all others!
        I just listened to the video.
        But sense the the video was a question about which one is better, I wonder why this subject didn’t come up.
        Long before transistors, there were tubes.
        I’m talking about receivers that were made in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
        I own one that was made in both the early and mid 60’s
        And I also own a stereo receiver that I’ve had for a little over 48 years.
        But both of my Fisher receivers beats my JVC hands down.
        And as for the digital audio, that started invading home audio in the mid 80’s.
        But by the time that the late 80’s and early 90’s came about, there was no way of getting around and or avoiding the CD players.

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