Where can you get decent, clean classic/vintage/silver kit these days? Thinking 70s/80s amps etc

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hi All

What dealers and ebay shops are decent for getting vintage amps, receivers, etc? Any in London? I am looking for something lovely in looks and quality as a small second system for my home office. Intend to plug a Mac Pro (maybe via a DACMagic if it is not overkill?) and a pair of Mordaunt Short Aviano 1s into it. Maybe a Thorens or other turntable, maybe a tape deck too. Or a decent CD player.

I love 70s Marantz, Yamaha, Sansui, Pioneer, Kenwood...etc. But I’ve had a hard time finding a reliable place to get them – especially ones that don’t look battered and baggy. It seems in certain shops you pay a premium, get one not looking good, and a month for it to fair at best. I want them serviced, and/or with some kind of guarantee as they are 30 years old plus. I know X Electrical and Audio Gold are meant to be OK, and there is the option of taking a punt on ebay, Cash Converters, gumtree etc and sending it straight to be serviced before I even touch it as I do with old cameras, but surely there is a better way? I know there are some shops in the US that service, test and clean up old kit before sale.

Any ideas and tips would be great.

j
 
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Anonymous

Guest
In my opinion you should check out the new retro styled range from Yamaha the A-S500 looks like fantastic value and has won a WHF award for 2010. If you go further up the range you will even find wood end panels.

You get the advantage of remote control and no old capacitors or noisy volume pots and switches.

Did I mention it was available in silver.... and only 330 pounds.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Cheers, Veri. A mate of mine has new Yamaha S700 and it is very lovely. I was not thinking of spending much more than £200 max though, don't care for remotes much, and really wanted something vintage as we are design geeks. I love the look and feel of the Marantz 2xxx receivers for example, or the Yamahas of the same era. My Dad had a lovely Yamaha with silky metalwork and a green glow. An engineer once explained to me how this Made in Japan marvel was packed to the gills and overengineered with high quality stuff you rarely see today when everyone picks out of the same often dubious Chinese parts bin. My other amp is a Marantz PM6010 OSE and I love how simple it is. You can get them minty for £150. That is my fallback option. It is a small room - I sure don't need more than 50w and even would be happy with 25, 30ish. Silver, metal knobs, glowing lights and VU meters are for me in this case. Or the simple spartan honesty of a Sansui - some of which can be £200ish and if in good nick I've been told rinse the best of today. Where to find such a beast?
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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As I said in reply to your other (identical) thread, keep an eye on Steve's Hi-Fi and Green Home Electronics. I've used both and would heartily recommend them. My Rotel CD player came from Steve's Hi-Fi and has proved a great buy.
 

Sizzers

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Jun 20, 2008
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Steve's HiFi has a good selection of vintage kit, all serviced and with a 3-month guarantee. Worth a look.

http://www.steveshifi.co.uk
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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The Salaryman:An engineer once explained to me how this Made in Japan marvel was packed to the gills and overengineered with high quality stuff you rarely see today when everyone picks out of the same often dubious Chinese parts bin.

Worth remembering that 35 years ago (when all this 'classic' Japanese gear was on the shelves) many people were saying much the same thing about supposedly 'dubious' Japanese hifi, cars, motorbikes and cameras as you have just said about Chinese built gear!
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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Some of the finest hi-fi is made in China these days - Audiolab, Quad, quite a bit of Arcam gear, several KEF speaker models, Missions, Wharfedales, B&W 600 series, Castles, Cambridge Audio, some Marantz stuff... The list goes on and on. Absolutely nothing wrong with any of it.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Cheers and sorry for the duped thread! Got some error saying adminstrator notified something wrong etc then two posts. All the feedback much appreciated! On the China point, its not workmanship that bothers me, more the supply ecosystem. Maybe I'm ignorant about hifi (and many of the highest quality products are made in China these days), I just heard that when it comes to sophisticated electronics a lot of OEMs cut corners on components, and are in fact not sure where they come from due to a chaotic supply chain. This book is big in the manufacturing business community:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poorly-Made-China-Insiders-Production/dp/0470405589

The Japan/Korea/Taiwan model was to overengineer and use the best stuff, starting with low prices and edging up as the market learned that it was great kit. Allegedly Chinese OEMs are the opposite - underbid and overspec at the start of a run, then squeeze margin down the line through downgrades in build, components, MTF, etc.

Of course this depends on who owns the factory. Canon for example does where it can, and controls the chain so its moot. Many other brands use arms length OEMs though.

On a related point, is DACMagic taking output from a Mac and then on to an amp and Avianos overkill? Even the original?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Oh and I'm not precious about a dealer being in London if it is good. Thanks again for the expertise offered!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Retro reproduction in Edinburgh is a cracking place for vintage hi fi - they are on the web as well

There is a lovely looking Yamaha CA-800 going on ebay - might be very much up your street. Same class A option as on the CA-1000. Failed to sell for £180 "buy it now" and subsequently re-listed - £50 with 4 days go.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Second Retro Reproduction; the online site's not comprehensive, but they have a monthly ad with a fuller stocklisting in Hi Fi World.

As for finding this stuff, your best bet is to be patient and set up some amplifier searches (for instance) on Ebay for Sansui, Pioneer, Quad, etc. And then be prepared to sift through a ton of stuff that's not worth too much hassle getting. The real gems come up rarely and either go for inflated prices (Pioneer SA9800) or people don't know the equipment and you can pick up a winner for a relatively small sum (I think Sansui's mid/late-70s gear will continue to rise in value as recent prices suggest).

After that, it's just a case of keeping an eye on the various listings (there's Gumtree's improved search listings now with easier to track coverage of the UK and you can filter in a similar way to Ebay by entering a relevant term) or classified online.
 

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