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Vintage gear

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chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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Root and branch clear out Matthew. Pick the best Sansui ( because you like it) and sell everything else.

Get the remaining amp serviced to give it another 20 years.

Wait for the best pair of Codas / C30s to come along on eBay. (I've seen some very smart ones appear now and then.)

It might mean a few weeks without a hi-fi but you won't have the hassle of auditioning because the Sansui and KEFs are so familiar to you already.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
447
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19,270
You could be right Chebby. I've actually already got a good pair of C30s, though might be tempted by a really nice pair of Coda IIIs at some point - they are even nicer than the C30s in my experience.

Does anybody know any good places to get a 70s Sansui amp serviced?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,233
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matthewpiano said:
Does anybody know any good places to get a 70s Sansui amp serviced?
This place looks thorough...

http://www.amplabs.co.uk/

http://www.amplabs.co.uk/sansui_amplifier_service.htm

.... Sansui amps (with normal chassis and up to 60wpc) would cost £150. (Plus courier charges.)*

Maybe ring for a chat about yours and look up some other companies for quotes.

Still, not a lot if the amp is good for another couple of decades afterwards.

A testimonial here.

*(You should get a LOT more than this from sale of your other kit though.)
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
451
9
18,895
That is really expensive for what they are going to do. For £150 you would expect a full recap not just a 'check' that the components are still in tolerance.
 

Covenanter

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2012
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18,540
CnoEvil said:
Covenanter said:
Not an insult, I'm just surprised anybody finds the time. There is no way I could fit what you describe into my life now even though I am retired. When I was working I didn't even have time to listen to music much and now I'm catching up. I guess hifi is your main interest whereas to me it's simply a means of listening to music.

Chris
It is far from my main interest and would have made up a tiny percentage of my time compared to other things (Music, Tennis, Horse Riding, Golf, Skiing, Fitness Training, Hockey, and a little bit of photography). Helping raise 4 kids and doing a job that used to take 7 days a week and 12 hours a day, for 6 months of the year, didn't help either.

The trouble is that I have been grounded due to back problems, and latterly a back op......so I come on here far to much, to talk about it.

Music is the main goal, but I'm very fussy about how it sounds, which has meant becoming somewhat knowledgeable about the means to produce it.
I'm sorry to hear of your back problems. I have a bad back too (although greatly improved due to modern medication) and know how debilitating that can be.

I think I'm fussy about how things sound too but maybe there are degrees of fussiness? I was listening to more Haydn String Quartets this morning (my currect listening project is to hear all of them, there are over 60, the precise number depends what you count) but in this heat I have to have my window open and living on a busy road in the centre of Birmingham there is nearly constant traffic even on a Saturday. This was a far from perfect listening environment and yet I was perfectly able to listen only to the music and to marvel at Haydn's inventiveness and the quality of the string playing.

Chris
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,233
5
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eggontoast said:
That is really expensive for what they are going to do. For £150 you would expect a full recap not just a 'check' that the components are still in tolerance.
I am not experienced in these matters so can you give Matthew links to some more cost effective companies? (You seem much better acquainted with what a service should cost and what should be included.)
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
156
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Matthewpiano,

I think the problem is you, not the gear. You will never be satisfied with any gear you buy.

No offence but I think that's the problem.
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
52
0
18,540
Cypher said:
Matthewpiano,

I think the problem is you, not the gear. You will never be satisfied with any gear you buy.

No offence but I think that's the problem.
There's a few of us who are guilty of that :doh:
 

AlbaBrown

New member
Jun 29, 2012
14
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0
There's great vintage gear out there, and some bloody awful stuff as well (but sadly Rose-tinted memories of such equipment seems to generate absurd mass hysteria on the web)

As mentioned longevity of the components, and the need for servicing to return them to their best, means you have to choose very carefully. Speak to an independant dealer (if you can find any left) who can advise on good and not so wise investments.

Also do not tar all modern equipment with the same brush. There is just as much junk on the market today as there ever was.

With respect, your RP3 is (from an engineering point of view) poorer than an old Planar 3 but it certainly is not the weak link(s) in your system. The Denon gear is mass produced medocrity at best and the Quad 11Ls are possibly the most lifeless (but glossy) bore boxes I ever had the displeasure to listen to.

Ditch the Denons and Quads and audtion an Exposure 1010 CD and Amp (you'll have to get a phono stage) with something like Focal 705s (maybe even search for the outgoing V versions) and get some musicality back into your listening.

Oh and for heavens sake get rid of that bloody awful QED and IXOS junk!

Give some Tellurium Q cables a try, or if your budget is tight, maybe even some Wireworld cables. You won't believe how much better cables can be when they are not just based upon the same inferior cheap copper and just plated in silver to tune it to end up with a different flavour of poor!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Sorry to repeat this Matthew, but the issue here really is not the gear. None of it. I'm sure there's a perfectly good setup in all the gear you've tried, but until you establish why you've been through as much as you have, it's not that that is the problem. Most of it though is as one or two others have said; sideways moves with heaps of similarly priced equipment from the main players.

I really feel you need to work out the "why" you go through the amount of box swapping that you do - and again, I don't believe it's to do with the music at the core of it all - before you embark on getting another piece of gear. Whoever said that it's time for a clear out is bang on. Get shot of some of this stuff, it's just hampering you in the end. You've mentioned before you'd seriously considering actives, yet on here you're seriously considering Icon Audio valve gear and that "things have to change".

It doesn't seem - and I apologise if I am way off the mark here - that you're clear on what you're looking for. Getting "closer" to the music is one thing, but you're reliant on the recording here, not the live event. How well it's been produced, mastered, etc, etc. It's not just the equipment. Positioning is critical for speakers. I had to shift my Tannoys around a little when the new Onkyo amp came along but the system sounds great now. Deeply impressive. I'd start with some serious decluttering. All the box swapping in the world doesn't cut it and I think you are aware of this. Whatever solution you end up with, it's not going to be found in buying another bit of gear before you work out why you've ended up with enough gear to open a shop now.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
447
271
19,270
Its about being able to enjoy the music RS. Its about the fact that I've tried and tried to find something that shares the musically involving sound of some of the Sansui, Pioneer, JVC and Technics vintage amps I've enjoyed but with the other advantages of modern gear - warranty, remote control, more inputs etc. Trouble is, nothing I've tried really does it. I want to be excited and involved to the point where I start playing air guitar, or feel like conducting the orchestra, or simply sitting there transfixed by what I'm hearing. I know it is never going to be like the real live performance, but I don't want the hi-fi to remind me that I'm listening to the hi-fi at every turn, and so much of the modern kit I've had does.

I think the whole hi-fi sound thing is complex and I think I've got it more complex than most so, yes, I agree that this is as much about me as it is about the equipment. However, I'm not the only person in my household or family who feels the same so I feel the issue does go further than your post suggests.

I think the focus of the hi-fi world has changed, that a different sound has become the main aim and it perhaps doesn't suit me. The stuff I've really really loved the sound of has been very expensive and not mainstream - Opera loudspeakers, Unison Research electronics, Electrocompaniet, Sugden. Stuff I'll never be able to afford but which, somehow seems to combine all the hi-fi niceties with the involving and electrifying sound that much mainstream gear doesn't get close to. I'm not saying the older affordable kit does, but somehow it seems to make a much better stab at mimicking it in at least some respects.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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matthewpiano said:
The stuff I've really really loved the sound of has been very expensive and not mainstream - Opera loudspeakers, Unison Research electronics, Electrocompaniet, Sugden. Stuff I'll never be able to afford but which, somehow seems to combine all the hi-fi niceties with the involving and electrifying sound that much mainstream gear doesn't get close to. I'm not saying the older affordable kit does, but somehow it seems to make a much better stab at mimicking it in at least some respects.
There are some great Bloodhounds on this forum, so if you give an idea of your max budget, you might be surprised what people can dig up. There are often great deals to be had on ex-dem stuff, often taking 40-60% off the new price, which regularly turn up.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
matthewpiano said:
Its about being able to enjoy the music RS. Its about the fact that I've tried and tried to find something that shares the musically involving sound of some of the Sansui, Pioneer, JVC and Technics vintage amps I've enjoyed but with the other advantages of modern gear - warranty, remote control, more inputs etc. Trouble is, nothing I've tried really does it. I want to be excited and involved to the point where I start playing air guitar, or feel like conducting the orchestra, or simply sitting there transfixed by what I'm hearing. I know it is never going to be like the real live performance, but I don't want the hi-fi to remind me that I'm listening to the hi-fi at every turn, and so much of the modern kit I've had does.

I think the whole hi-fi sound thing is complex and I think I've got it more complex than most so, yes, I agree that this is as much about me as it is about the equipment. However, I'm not the only person in my household or family who feels the same so I feel the issue does go further than your post suggests.

I think the focus of the hi-fi world has changed, that a different sound has become the main aim and it perhaps doesn't suit me. The stuff I've really really loved the sound of has been very expensive and not mainstream - Opera loudspeakers, Unison Research electronics, Electrocompaniet, Sugden. Stuff I'll never be able to afford but which, somehow seems to combine all the hi-fi niceties with the involving and electrifying sound that much mainstream gear doesn't get close to. I'm not saying the older affordable kit does, but somehow it seems to make a much better stab at mimicking it in at least some respects.
I know a good few professional musicians violinists, trumpet players, a good few. One of those has a hifi system. The rest have a basic all-in-one setup. There's no doubt that you've got a good ear, but I'd simply caution against thinking that buying more expensive gets you "nearer to the music". There's only one place to recreate a live sound, and that's in a live venue, with real musicians playing. Anything else is compromise. You can get close, but you'll always be at the mercy of compromise - the recording, the mike placement, the production and mastering and then your room and setup.

I've been through a few older amps. Sansui's AU717 being a good pick. Cracking amp. Matched in every way by Leema's Pulse II and now bettered by the Onkyo amp in my signature line below. Currently listening to Arvo Part's "Te Deum" on ECM and it's a delight. I'd still chuck a load of your older stuff, how many amps and CDPs? Try out some ADM5s. They're as good an entry into actives as you'll get. Selling off some of your older gear will net you a pair at low cost by the time you sell off the old stuff and you'll get an idea of what actives can do. Although you tried the Yamaha HS50 as well I think? This'll give you an alternative viewpoint. Yes, I know I just said no buying any more stuff, but if you chuck out some of the other stuff on Gumtree or Ebay, you'll cover your costs and if they don't float your boat, you can sell them on.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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the record spot said:
There's no doubt that you've got a good ear, but I'd simply caution against thinking that buying more expensive gets you "nearer to the music".
I would certainly agree that price alone doesn't guarantee satisfaction.....but seeing the brands MP likes, gives a strong pointer as to where he needs to look.

FWIW. I agree with him.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
CnoEvil said:
I would certainly agree that price alone doesn't guarantee satisfaction.....but seeing the brands MP likes, gives a strong pointer as to where he needs to look.

FWIW. I agree with him.
That's as maybe Cno, but I simply think until MP realises that "getting nearer to the music" isn't a given at a higher point of expenditure, where he needs to look isn't at a bunch of manufacturer names that might work...and I still believe the answer lies in understanding, not yet more hardware.

It's perhaps down to the amount of live music MP hears that's the issue, but I don't know. It's an inordinate amount of hifi to get through and selling the vast majority of it off would release funds to go onto a better purchase. However, I'd simple say....caveat emptor. That said, dealers like Emporium Hifi and Big Ears Audio have a lot of gear at wallet-friendly prices. I'd probably look to their stock. Also the excellent Audio Emotion too.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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I mentioned to Matthew about managing expectations about 3 years ago. At every price point below stupid money there's always going to be a compromise. If anyone catagorically refutes the notion has either had too much alcohol or sun... or both.

Agree with Cno, to a point. Matthew has either dem'd or owned practically every make under £1000. His options have run out. He now needs to expore the Sugden A21s or MF M3i or Naim XS, Caspian M2 or Leema Elements or Audio Analogue.

But in all honesty Matthew, I believe, needs his 'fix' in the shape of box swapping.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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the record spot said:
That's as maybe Cno, but I simply think until MP realises that "getting nearer to the music" isn't a given at a higher point of expenditure, where he needs to look isn't at a bunch of manufacturer names that might work...and I still believe the answer lies in understanding, not yet more hardware.
These are brands that I believe he has heard "work", it's just a matter of finding them within budget. They also happen to be the sort of brands that I believe will do what he is after. In this case, I believe the hardware is crucial...but I'm far from being the Delphic Oracle.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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plastic penguin said:
But in all honesty Matthew, I believe, needs his 'fix' in the shape of box swapping.
I don't.

I believe the box swapping will come to an abrupt halt as soon as he finds the missing emotion in the music.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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I can fully relate to what Matthewpiano is saying. And I agree with everything he's said. Some hi-fi systems get closer to the magic of a live event than others. A lot closer.

It's the naturalness in the midrange. The bass impact. Bass tightness. Treble smoothness combined with bite. Clarity. Low level detail. Generous listening volumes. Sharp-edged transients. Unforced dynamic ease that elevates a system from sounding like a hi-fi to sounding vaguely like a live event. The ability for the system to play the musical perfomance how it actually sounds and not how the system wants to sound.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,725
147
19,870
CnoEvil said:
plastic penguin said:
But in all honesty Matthew, I believe, needs his 'fix' in the shape of box swapping.
I believe the box swapping will come to an abrupt halt as soon as he finds the missing emotion in the music.
Well, in the last 5 or so years I've been on here its been an on-going issue. Surely, even if your taken by the law of averages, in five years of trying almost every combo, nothing has fully satisfied him.

I firmly believe if he spends on the next step up (£1000-£1500) he'll love it for the first 2/3 months.

I've said that my RS6s and Leema are the closest I've heard, for the money, to the 'live sound'. You could never replicate it but some combos push you slightly nearer - the real expectation is a hi-fi is nothing more or less. It's a hi-fi, regardless of whether your a musician or not.
 

Covenanter

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2012
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The problem is that this is all in abstract. I'd love to have Matthew round and see if he finds my setup as deficient as he describes others and if he does to try to understand why.

Chris
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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0
lindsayt said:
I can fully relate to what Matthewpiano is saying. And I agree with everything he's said. Some hi-fi systems get closer to the magic of a live event than others. A lot closer.

It's the naturalness in the midrange. The bass impact. Bass tightness. Treble smoothness combined with bite. Clarity. Low level detail. Generous listening volumes. Sharp-edged transients. Unforced dynamic ease that elevates a system from sounding like a hi-fi to sounding vaguely like a live event. The ability for the system to play the musical perfomance how it actually sounds and not how the system wants to sound.
Sounds remarkably like a good active system to me....... :?
 

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