How to buy second-hand and vintage hi-fi amplifiers

Hifiman

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Apr 17, 2020
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I still use one of the first Mission Cyrus Ones from 1984 and, even by today’s standards, it performs wonderfully well and, of course, has a phono stage built in. Not bad for something that cost £129 new. I doubt I will ever bring myself to sell it second hand but if you get a chance to buy a good example then you are unlikely to be disappointed.
 

djh1697

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Nov 27, 2008
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"I still use one of the first Mission Cyrus Ones from 1984 and, even by today’s standards, it performs wonderfully well and, of course, has a phono stage built in."

I too had an original Cyrus One from 1984, with a very low serial number, I think it was 79, the CD input was harsh. The phono stage was absolutely wonderful though. Indeed, I used the tape output to feed a Naim 5i, so I could listen to my LP's in the meantime . My turntable is a Pink Triangle 1, Rega RB300, Elys2 cartridge. I had some upgrades to the arm, a Mitchell Technoweight, and an AO rewire. This was put together by the LP12 expert Peter of #Cymbiosis fame.

The plastic case of the original Cyrus was an issue, but I could live with that.

When I got the "upgrade bug" I tried the Rega phono stage, still, the Cyrus phono stage was superior.

Further upgrades saw the Naim 5i, still using the Cyrus 1 as a phono stage, changing into a 112x/150/Flatcap/Stageline offered an upgrade. The stageline now sells for £469, although it was far less when I got it circa 15 years ago. The Cyrus 1 sadly moved home at that stage.

My Pink Triangle, now almost 40 years old, still has pride of place. my other source is digital March DAC1 as Roon endpoint.

My amplification is a Naim 200/202/Stageline the preamp is powered by a TeddyPardo Teddycap. Speakers are Kudos x3's, with Kudos KS1 cable. My power supply and Naim 200 use Titan STYX mains cables. I am very happy with my system, and realise that it would cost me a lot of money to upgrade, something I am sadly lacking at the moment.

The Cyrus 1 was my best sounding amplifier for many years, I tried a Pioneer A400 for a while, which was sadly lacking compared to the Cyrus 1. The £129 price point was increased soon after launch as I recall
 

Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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Ive had a few setups now, my first was an old Armstrong amp upgraded to a louder sansui 501 with my first ever bought speakers, note I was 14 and saved 1£ 40 p a week pocket money to buy the mission 760i speakers that won over the wharfdale diamonds that yr and broke their reign at the top in what hifi, if I recollect it was advertised with a rose on the top of the speaker and endorsed by Mary black, anyway they sounded gr8 especially to a 14yr old knowing nothing other than mainstream Argos crap etc, then I upgraded to tannoy m15s which although the obvious bass increase I wasn't that Impressed with, I then got hold of a pioneer a400 which I still have and love the sound of and mission 763i's which were very deep and again I loved in 1994ish ? Then I tried a Cyrus amp for awhile and just didn't get on with so returned to the a400 with a Philips cd player which blew so was replaced with a Marantz cd player which won an award on here that yr, In around 96 I got into DJ mixing but hated the sound of jamos etc but needed a lighter sound than the 763is could produce especially through an a400 with matching beats whilst mixing music, I got myself a leak amp with bass controls to lighten things up whilst mixing but still managed to distort the missions beyond repair, the rear reflex? Tore causing jarring sounds, the m15s came outta the cupboard for awhile whilst I looked at where to go next, I then got myself a system deck 900 in-between pondering what speakers to get and it was then I encountered the worst sounding speakers I've heard, I got hold of acoustic solutions speakers from argos purely to abuse with DJ decks and they sounded terrible, they were rated 150 watts and indeed were loud but that's all they were bliddy noise, after that I went back to mission getting mx3s which were really good, lighter than the 763is but much more tone, I tried a few different amps from all makers in that budget bracket and still went back to the a400, I was happy with that set up for years, I have upgraded now to monitor audio 300s but still have that set up from the 90s in my bedroom, it's very good and to the untrained ear wouldn't sound any different to the 1500 modern budget set up I have now, the a400 through mission mx3s playing on a system deck 900 mk2 is lovely, I payed 749 for a Yamaha amp and Bluetooth receiver built in and 800 for the monitor audio speakers which is my modern kit now and they sound gr8 but I still love my vintage stuff, a400 amps are around 250 now which is still better than the modern equipment now, a Cyrus is around 180 aswell, obviously always take into consideration with speakers age, they have a life cycle with use, I've seen ppl buy 2000 pound speakers off ebay for 300 and they sound gr8 but I've also seen ppl do the same only to find them worn out
 

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