View Full Version : what are the top ten affordable vintage receivers?


lineartech
10-10-2010, 07:39 PM
I have around ten receivers and about five vintage receivers. the best sounding one is the harman kardon 330a. what would you guys say the top ten best sounding receivers are? this 330a is great so if y ou have heard it, please use it as a comparison. I am not into tube amps.

hatrack71
10-10-2010, 07:52 PM
In no particular order.

H/K 430 twin
H/K 930 twin
Marantz 2270
Marantz 2230
Sansui 881
Sansui 9090
Fisher 400
Pioneer SX-1250
Rotel RX-1603

I prefer the sound of the twin H/Ks over the single transformer 330. I snuck the Fisher in even though you don't like tubes.

avionic
10-10-2010, 08:40 PM
What do you consider affordable?

Blue Shadow
10-10-2010, 08:41 PM
someone left out the luxman units.

But you can't beat the HKs for value for the money, especially the 330 iterations.

JohnVF
10-10-2010, 08:44 PM
You might want to check out some of the vintage Sony receivers. The STR-6060fw gets a lot of love and is priced accordingly but the others from around the same time are also nice and won't set you back much. Sony's rep has been soiled by making a ton of everything good and bad, but their vintage gear is excellent.

Also, the STR-6800sd from a bit later (late '70s) was one of the better sounding receivers I've had.

cdfac
10-10-2010, 08:45 PM
you could sneak a Yamaha or two in there as well. the CR-1020 was a huge seller and widely available today.

DENNYDOG
10-10-2010, 08:50 PM
You want affordable? Buy one of the totl receivers from the manufacturer of your choice so you don't have to buy ten or twenty of the low to mid level receivers. I have an Echowars SX-1250 and no desire to own any of the lesser Pioneer receivers. Maybe an SX-1010 but that was totl from a different time period.

JohnVF
10-10-2010, 08:52 PM
You want affordable? Buy one of the totl receivers from the manufacturer of your choice so you don't have to buy ten or twenty of the low to mid level receivers.

Haha...now that is the CORRECT answer if there is one.

vintageboy
10-10-2010, 08:53 PM
Where are the Kenwood receivers here? They had some pretty good stuff on good prices!

reggaenaut
10-11-2010, 05:40 AM
You might want to check out some of the vintage Sony receivers. The STR-6060fw gets a lot of love and is priced accordingly but the others from around the same time are also nice and won't set you back much. Sony's rep has been soiled by making a ton of everything good and bad, but their vintage gear is excellent.

Also, the STR-6800sd from a bit later (late '70s) was one of the better sounding receivers I've had.

I have the 2 models.:thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp:

hatrack71
10-11-2010, 07:46 AM
You want affordable? Buy one of the totl receivers from the manufacturer of your choice so you don't have to buy ten or twenty of the low to mid level receivers. I have an Echowars SX-1250 and no desire to own any of the lesser Pioneer receivers. Maybe an SX-1010 but that was totl from a different time period.

I agree. Buy the best TOTL vintage receiver you can afford and don't look back. Pool all of your money into ONE machine.

mforys
10-11-2010, 09:41 AM
I agree. Buy the best TOTL vintage receiver you can afford and don't look back. Pool all of your money into ONE machine.

I like this thought, but how can I get a list of TOTL receivers?

JohnVF
10-11-2010, 09:49 AM
I like this thought, but how can I get a list of TOTL receivers?

Poke around here enough and you'll figure it out. There's probably a thread on it, or a list of the highest-wattage receivers, or the 'what's the best sounding receiver" thread, which while totally subjective, will tell you what people have liked. If you really want to be happy, collecting a bunch of mid level units can at least clue you in to the different house sounds of the makes but I agree that it is, in the end, a waste of money if you are after the best sound for the least amount of cash. 5 mediocre receivers are not as fun as one really nice one, at least I don't think so. But that's coming just from my own opinion, having collected a ton of receivers only to end up abandoning them altogether. You have to spend some time trying to figure out what suits your taste, though. I think I'd be happier with a Harman Kardon 630 than the ultimate Pioneer SX-1980, one of the biggest of the TOTL receivers, if the 1980 sounds like the 1280 I had. Yet the 1980 sells for thousands, the 630 sometimes less than a hundred.

Dr. Mordo
10-11-2010, 09:53 AM
It all personal preference, but you can get a decent wattage Marantz for not too much money, and if it is anything like my 2226, it will produce sweet, sweet sounds. I'd shop for a 2250 or 2285, or one in between if the right deal came along.

You can also get a lower wattage Sansui G series for not too much, and they are great. I will say that they are so clean that they sound a little strange to my ears, but you'll get acclimated and they have the best tuner I have personally seen or heard. I think these amps are a well kept secret.

No matter what you get, I'd tack on $300ish to get it recapped (more if it's a bigger more complicated amp; my G33000 was $700 to recap just the power amp). It may sound a bit different after the recap, but the big reason is reliability. I have two old amps that worked when I got them then failed or started making weird noises. I can recap them, so it isn't a huge deal, but if you can't recap/repair them yourself, I'd factor in extra money for that expense.

BTW, I might shy away from particularly massive receivers. I have heard the SX-1980 has inherent problems with its power supply, and I know my G33000 blew out a ton of stuff in the power supply. Those huge receivers pull so much power that they have a lower tolerance for design shortcomings, and also when old parts fail they may fail spectacularly. My G5700 sounds almost exactly like my G33000; I'm sure not many people could differentiate them in a blind test. So if I were buying them at market value, why pay $4000 for a G33000 when I could get a G5700 for $150?

patokapirate
10-11-2010, 10:42 AM
In keeping with the spirit of the orig. question. The Pioneer SX 7xx seem to be less bid up and sought after than their larger frame SX 8xx and up. Many of the marantz receivers up to 50 watts slip through the cracks too. One of my favorites is the Kenwood KR 8010 which was their second most powerful receiver and gets little love because people desire the KR 9600. I would dare say anyone who has carried a 9600 up two flights of stairs would never buy another. LOL

Not quite 10 but those are the ones I'm familiar with.

blhagstrom
10-11-2010, 10:57 AM
I can't help but think that there is no answer to this.

I don't think anyone has heard them all.
I don't think everyone feels the same about the sound.

I know a lot depends on the speakers and the room and the music.
A lot depends on the condition for vintage gear, the stuff is old and things have aged.
A lot depends on the source, good TT/cartidge, decent CD, strong FM station.

I have heard incredible sounding gear where you wouldn't expect it.
I expect it at TOTL. Haven't gotten to hear most of that stuff.

I have heard a lot of MOTL that sounds really great.

I have only heard a few that seemed to suck.
Maybe I'm not critical enough.
Maybe that stuff wasn't working right.

I do know that I like almost every silver face receiver I've had the luck to sit and listen to. Marantz, Pioneer, Sansui, H/K, Kenwood, Akai, Hitachi, Toshiba, Technics. So far though I haven't had the luck to enjoy much Yamaha. The one I had, I didn't care for much. I have not had a good old Sony so I have no idea on those. I have not had a chance to really try other famous vintage gear, Phase Linear, Carver, SAE, (not sure if there ARE and receivers in that croud). I've seen things around here that I never heard of or actually seen, so I could be missing things.

I would say though, that if you like the H/K 330 (A very popular series model), you would probably like a Pioneer a lot too. A good working SX6xx has always sounded great to me. They seem very affordable and they seem to be everywhere. SX636, SX650, SX680. Bigger is better but the prices climb.

I would also add that around 50wpc seems to be a magic point for powering a lot of the older speakers. Smaller units sound good but the 50 range seems to offer up that next step is getting the speakers to perform.

just dave
10-11-2010, 10:57 AM
Go big or stay home.

myu701
10-11-2010, 11:19 AM
The big TOTL receivers are impressive... but whoa, do they have a footprint. Not only on your shelf, but on your wallet. As others have mentioned, if you haven't recapped them you probably will... and it's not cheap.

But then you have to think of the usage venue. Do you listen in a large room and really crank it? If not, it's crazy to get something like an SX-1980. And personally, I think if you're going to go for big power, you're better off with separates anyway. The quality vintage receivers like a Marantz 2270, Pioneer SX-1050, or Yamaha CR-1020 are usually more than adequate for the average living room. Stick with models in the 50-80wpc range. They're more affordable and not too huge to be unwieldy. You get the convenience of an integrated unit and the benefit of quality sound.

And then the other consideration is what speakers are you going to drive with it. Some combinations have better synergy than others.