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Vintage gear

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floyd droid

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Sep 5, 2008
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davedotco said:
The amplifier in my 'proper' system is an EL34 based model in push-pull. 30 or so watts a channel and a quite outstanding SQ.

Nothing unusual design wise, just phenomonally well built and 'voiced' by a master of the art. Far too expensive for me in normal circumstances but it was a gift and I am hanging on to it!
And I was begining to like you ;). Grove ?Tricker ?
 

davedotco

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floyd droid said:
davedotco said:
The amplifier in my 'proper' system is an EL34 based model in push-pull. 30 or so watts a channel and a quite outstanding SQ.

Nothing unusual design wise, just phenomonally well built and 'voiced' by a master of the art. Far too expensive for me in normal circumstances but it was a gift and I am hanging on to it!
And I was begining to like you ;). Grove ?Tricker ?
No worries, I can probably sort that out...... :shame:
 

davedotco

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matt49 said:
davedotco said:
Would I prefer a Devialet 170 and a pair of Sonus Fabers, probably
Now that sounds like a most excellent idea. :p
Can I put it on your tab..........?

Back in the 90s the Electa Amator was one of my favourites and I supplied a pair to a chap with the Electro pre-power.

One of the finest sounds I have ever heard, short of 'megabucks' systems, my love of both brands stays with me to this day.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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matthewpiano said:
I've got to be honest, I'm pretty disillusioned with modern, affordable hi-fi. There is always some feeling of it not quite being 'right' which I don't get with some of the vintage gear I've used - stuff like old Pioneer SA and Sansui AU amps, even the lower end stuff.

Anyone else lean towards the vintage stuff?
Okay, Matt. Please don't take this the wrong way but...

You have at least 3 Sanui amps, shed-load of others plus speakers (a good few) in addition to different sources. It is nothing more than a nasty distraction. Sell the lot and concentrate on your current fav. Then after a few months of saving go and buy a vastly better amp and/or actives.

Storing all these components is far from helping.
 

CnoEvil

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I agree with Dave (well i would do, as he agrees with me), Floydy (I think you should go in the Valve direction), and PP (ie.stop effing around with the wrong stuff - and go once, but go right. :grin: )......music is too important to you to get this wrong.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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CnoEvil said:
I agree with Dave (well i would do, as he agrees with me), Floydy (I think you should go in the Valve direction), and PP (ie.stop effing around with the wrong stuff - and go once, but go right. :grin: )......music is too important to you to get this wrong.
I honestly believe that having all this different stuff around gives you too much of an excuse to question the ability of your kit.
 

stevebrock

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Nov 13, 2009
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my system in 1998 was:

Marantx CD63 ki sig, Pm 66 ki sig & some Mission speakers 780 something with van den hul d102 & QED Silver

tell you what it sounded mint

Then i added a silver SL1200

why why why did I sell it

because i got an iMac & itunes and didnt need all those boxes......little did i know what a big mistake that was
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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What causes me to question the set-up is knowing that the music just doesn't sound right.

Tonight I've been watching a wonderful Proms concert on BBC 4, conducted by Antonio Pappano, and I felt thoroughly involved with the music - not a hint of the usual restlessness or experiencing all the phase, soundstaging, tonality and dynamic issues that thoroughly get on my nerves. Furthermore I also thoroughly enjoyed the few tracks of Megson I played on CD afterwards.

The system? Sansui AU-2200 amp and KEF C30 speakers. The AU-2200 was the first Sansui I put my hands on when I got home.

I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit. A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music. All these small, ported speakers with frequency response humps from ports, and amps that only seem to sound half decent at certain volume levels. Think there are going to be some changes round here.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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matthewpiano said:
What causes me to question the set-up is knowing that the music just doesn't sound right.

Tonight I've been watching a wonderful Proms concert on BBC 4, conducted by Antonio Pappano, and I felt thoroughly involved with the music - not a hint of the usual restlessness or experiencing all the phase, soundstaging, tonality and dynamic issues that thoroughly get on my nerves. Furthermore I also thoroughly enjoyed the few tracks of Megson I played on CD afterwards.

The system? Sansui AU-2200 amp and KEF C30 speakers. The AU-2200 was the first Sansui I put my hands on when I got home.

I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit. A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music. All these small, ported speakers with frequency response humps from ports, and amps that only seem to sound half decent at certain volume levels. Think there are going to be some changes round here.
Could be the help/distraction of having the visuals too, even listening on my very basic TV speaker system does not bother me in such circumstances.

There is something about playing some music on the hi-fi that does it, maybe 'expectation bias' of a wholly different kind......?
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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I see your point Dave and it is a fair one, but my experience tonight is in stark contrast to my experience of watching the Proms through the Denon stuff last week. I'm also not that distratced by the visuals - I can't stand the sound from the TV for music.

Obviously needs longer to see how things pan out, but....
 

floyd droid

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Sep 5, 2008
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matthewpiano said:
I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit. A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music.
It dosnt it does ruddy hifi if you get my drift Matthew. Theres no involvement in the music , tis just listening to boxes making a noise. Jeez i'm rubbish at putting things across in words.

Dynamics , tonality, soundstage issues. Half decent at certain volumes , thats trannie amps all over.

Move over to the dark side or at the very least give it a try.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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Blackdawn said:
I would like to listen to some older vintage hifi equipment as was tempted by a few Pioneer SA and SX receivers second hand. However, the oldest I've heard is my dads NAD 3020A which sounds good and is still running.

I'm personally happy with my affordable HiFi (most of which are 5 star reviewed products) and doubt I would benefit much from changing equipment at the same price bracket and wouldn't be tempted by vintage kit - due to loss of performance over time and generally poorer spec or reliability issues. Compared to the usual ipod docks etc I feel my hifi is very good.

IMO I think things like noise in the home or outside plus neighbours/ room-house size have a much greater impact on satisfying listenability. Maybe its time for the next step/price bracket?!
OK lets play the Spec Guessing Game.

I'm thinking of a pair of speakers that have a frequency response of 20hz to 20khz +/- 3dbs. They have max SPL's of 119dbs continuous and can do transient peaks up to 124 dbs. They have a nominal impedance of 8 to 16 ohms. Guess how old they are and how much you have to pay to buy a pair?

I'm thinking of a turntable. It has a Din B signal to noise ratio of 95dbs. Speed accuracy is to 0.001%. Wow and flutter to 0.003%. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?

I'm thinking of a power amplifier. It delivers 300 watts into 8 ohms and 600 into 4 ohms. Damping factor is greater than 200 into an 8 ohm load. Noise level at least 100dbs below rated output. Slew rate is 50v/microsecond into an 8 ohm load. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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floyd droid said:
matthewpiano said:
I'm really starting to question the quality of some of the modern kit. A lot of it just doesn't seem to do music.
It dosnt it does ruddy hifi if you get my drift Matthew. Theres no involvement in the music , tis just listening to boxes making a noise. Jeez i'm rubbish at putting things across in words.

Dynamics , tonality, soundstage issues. Half decent at certain volumes , thats trannie amps all over.

Move over to the dark side or at the very least give it a try.
Are you seriously suggesting that the bulk of the affordable equipment that is endlessly discussed on this forum is actually a load of mid-fi tat?

I think we should be told........ :pray:
 

floyd droid

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davedotco said:
Are you seriously suggesting that the bulk of the affordable equipment that is endlessly discussed on this forum is actually a load of mid-fi tat?

I think we should be told........ :pray:
As if :twisted:
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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Matthew is absolutely right in saying that it's the music that's important. I get the feeling that for many posters to this forum it's the kit that's important. I suspect that if you spend say £2k on your hifi setup (and avoid stupid mismatches) you are going to get something that is perfectly good at reproducing music. After that you can doubtless get improvements but they will cost you a lot and get you very little.

Chris
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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lindsayt said:
OK lets play the Spec Guessing Game.

I'm thinking of a pair of speakers that have a frequency response of 20hz to 20khz +/- 3dbs. They have max SPL's of 119dbs continuous and can do transient peaks up to 124 dbs. They have a nominal impedance of 8 to 16 ohms. Guess how old they are and how much you have to pay to buy a pair?

I'm thinking of a turntable. It has a Din B signal to noise ratio of 95dbs. Speed accuracy is to 0.001%. Wow and flutter to 0.003%. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?

I'm thinking of a power amplifier. It delivers 300 watts into 8 ohms and 600 into 4 ohms. Damping factor is greater than 200 into an 8 ohm load. Noise level at least 100dbs below rated output. Slew rate is 50v/microsecond into an 8 ohm load. Guess how old it is and how much you have to pay for one?
I was thinking of large Voice of the Theatre systems for the speakers, but no way can you get 20 Hz at those levels out of a horn unless you are actually living in it. Rules out Klipsch and the like too.

Off the top of my head, the only thing I can think off that would come close to that spec is the old 'Texas Bookshelf', JBL 4350s form the 70's, cost an absolute fortune in Japan, which is where most of them are.

As someone who thought turntables started with the LP12 I have to admit I know little about old turntables. The wow and flutter figures would seem to rule out both belt and idler drive, so the TD124 and Garrard 301 are out. I'm thinking a big japanese direct drive, Denon maybe.

I know little about old power amps too, the only thing I have experience of that comes close is the Crown/Amcron M600 and although I have only seen the small versions, wasn't there a massive Threshold Stasis back in the day?
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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plastic penguin said:
No. Loved my old Pioneer SA-706 but wouldn't buy to replace my newer set-up.

I think, as you're a piano player, you're looking for the ideal all-rounder. You, more than anyone, should know there's no such thing as the perfect set-up. A jack of all trades turns will always turn out to be a master of none.

Think you have to except, Matthew, that in your price bracket there'll always be little deficiencies. You really admire the PMC DB1is but even with an amp to justify them you'll get a little disillusioned after a couple of months.

Back to the wrinklies you'd have to buy the equivalent to a midrange/hi-end amp to achieve a similar result to your Denon. Then you have to factor in the reliability angle: If it's 30 years old how much time could you realistically get from it?

This is why I feared when you mentioned actives: You'll love them to begin with but after a couple of months your sig will change [again].

You say you're pretty disillusioned with your current bundles, but don't say which aspect of their presentation is coming up short.
Reliability. Generalisations don't apply here.

If you have speakers with latex cone surrounds, grills that keep sunlight off the drivers and prying fingers away from poking-in dustcaps and an easily removable rear panel allowing access to the crossovers, what is there to go wrong? And if you ever do decide to replace the caps in the crossovers how difficult do you think that is? There really is nothing that goes wrong with a pair of speakers like this. Not with the sort of use that you and I would give them. These are the sort of speakers that will last 50, 60, 70, 100 years or more with no servicing or minimal servicing.

If you have speakers with compression drivers they only have 1 moving part: the diaphragm. That part is inexpensive and easy to replace. 15 minute job if you've not done it before. 5 minutes if you have. Reliability combined with cheap, easy repairs make vintage compression drivers a good long term ownership prospect.

Amplifiers. If they have valves expect to replace the big valves every 5000 hours or so and the little valves every 10000 hours.

When it comes to capacitor replacement in valve and solid state amps it all depends what type of capacitors are used and to a lesser extent how hot they get and how close to their voltage limit they're being used. Volume pots and selector switches might need cleaning / replacement every 20 years or so. But your vintage amp might not have these in.

Sudden catastrophic failure in amps. It all depends. Some are more likely to fail than others. Some have protection in the event of failure. Some don't.

A lot a vintage gear is so affordable that if you're worried about how long it will last, just buy 2 of them.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Covenanter said:
Matthew is absolutely right in saying that it's the music that's important. I get the feeling that for many posters to this forum it's the kit that's important. I suspect that if you spend say £2k on your hifi setup (and avoid stupid mismatches) you are going to get something that is perfectly good at reproducing music. After that you can doubtless get improvements but they will cost you a lot and get you very little.

Chris
Not for me.

There is nothing that I can think of that can be bought with that budget that will do it for me, 3 or 4 times that I would say.

I think the really big step up comes in systems in the £5-10k region, personal I know, and I admit that I am no longer that conversant with that much in the way of expensive gear, but in broard terms those are the sort of figures I would be looking at should I want something new and good.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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Covenanter said:
Matthew is absolutely right in saying that it's the music that's important. I get the feeling that for many posters to this forum it's the kit that's important. I suspect that if you spend say £2k on your hifi setup (and avoid stupid mismatches) you are going to get something that is perfectly good at reproducing music. After that you can doubtless get improvements but they will cost you a lot and get you very little.

Chris
Ah yes Chris, but you can spend £40,000 on a brand new two source Linn system and get a fairly decent sounding system. Or you can spend less than £4,000 on a vintage system and get something that sounds significantly, easily noticeably better. Even in a blind test. With a tone deaf listener. With a lot of wax in their ears.

And that to me is THE main point of cherry picked vintage gear. The Linn system is fine for people that want to buy that sort of thing. But for those looking for a bit of magic every time they listen to music at home at a vaguely affordable price...
 
T

the record spot

Guest
matthewpiano said:
I've got to be honest, I'm pretty disillusioned with modern, affordable hi-fi. There is always some feeling of it not quite being 'right' which I don't get with some of the vintage gear I've used - stuff like old Pioneer SA and Sansui AU amps, even the lower end stuff.

Anyone else lean towards the vintage stuff?
I used to as you Matthew, but by the same token, it comes with caveats as much as new gear does, just a different set.

If the vintage gear had ticked your boxes, you'd be using it. As it is, you have three very similar Sansui amps in your stable, from the early 70s. They're all perfectly decent, will sound nice, but in the end, you'll come back to whatever level of dissatisfaction that caused you to put them to one side in the first place.

Vintage gear comes with its own issues - the more you spend, the greater the cost of the risk. A thorough service is required, especially for Sansui's amps where the glue they used originally can become a problem and corrode circuit boards. Capacitors, etc, often wear and need replacing. I had an AU-717 and it was a great amp, easily up there with Exposure's 3010s, Harman's HK990 and Leema's Pulse II. Easily.

By the same token, I guess I spent about £400 all in with the Sansui. The Leema, which sounded pretty much identical, was £699 at the time and came with a guarantee.

I think I mentioned the same some weeks ago, but I think you're more caught up with listening to imperfections in your gear and the shortcomings of some recordings than anything else.

I enjoyed trying out some older gear, but in the end, you get the performance with today's gear and the benefits of technological advance - true maybe amps haven't changed that much, but I'm happy with the choices I made in leaving vintage gear behind and reaping the benefits of buying current product.

Try them out again by all means, they'll give you differences in presentation, but not much. I've no idea what to suggest. You've been through more combinations than anyone on here, and could probably put some shop staff in the shade too. Personally, I think it's a mindset issue less than the gear. Maybe not quite OCD, but not entirely unconnected. I doubt running out and just buying active speakers will be the answer as I suspect you risk the same thing occurring again.

So, I think the question you need to answer first is why you change your gear so much; I don't believe the answer is a hifi or music related one, as the underlying dissatisfaction comes from a different place. I think once you've worked that out, you'll be some way to dealing with the problem.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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the record spot said:
matthewpiano said:
I've got to be honest, I'm pretty disillusioned with modern, affordable hi-fi. There is always some feeling of it not quite being 'right' which I don't get with some of the vintage gear I've used - stuff like old Pioneer SA and Sansui AU amps, even the lower end stuff.

Anyone else lean towards the vintage stuff?
You've been through more combinations than anyone on here, and could probably put some shop staff in the shade too. Personally, I think it's a mindset issue less than the gear. Maybe not quite OCD, but not entirely unconnected. I doubt running out and just buying active speakers will be the answer as I suspect you risk the same thing occurring again.

So, I think the question you need to answer first is why you change your gear so much; I don't believe the answer is a hifi or music related one, as the underlying dissatisfaction comes from a different place. I think once you've worked that out, you'll be some way to dealing with the problem.
Totally concur. I touched on earlier that his stock gear is far from advantageous.
 

utomo

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Jul 2, 2013
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BigH said:
utomo said:
I hear many still saying that old products still better than new ones.

many electronic still made in USA or europe and have good quality.

now many are made in china.

people also saying that old speaker also sound better than new ones.

Why not so many development on speaker ? meanwhile other part is evolving fast
Speakers have developed quite a bit over the last 20 years, just look at the new driver materials, different shape of cabinets, more active speakers available. What other parts do you mean? Amps and cd players are hardly changing.
Yes there is development in speaker: material and shape, but it is not as big different compared to other development.

we see big leap on storage, dac and other area.

We already know for long time that only about 1% energy converted to sound.

anybody working on this ? to make it more efficient ? 1% is very small. If somebody can increase it to 5 or 10% it will become huge news and money

just my 2c
 

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